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Healthy vegetarian Sunday dinner – potatoes and cucumber salad in yogurt dressing

Lately, we really prefer to eat less meat, and more vegetable and plant food. After watching A Plastic Ocean, What the Health, Cowspiracy, who else has the appetite for meat or even seafood? The world is really sick, everything seem polluted and everywhere is having problems. I am not saying that I am turning to a vegetarian now, but I think eating less meat is a good act. 

Let’s go for a very healthy Sunday dinner with a potatoes salad. My husband is a big fan of potatoes salad, because of where he is from, Germany! And I know he loves this salad, as always remind him of his mother, that’s how she used to do potatoes salad.

First of all, we have to cook the potatoes. There are few ways to do it. You can chopped them in cubes first, then boil them in water or steam them, until they are cooked. You can also boil or steam the entire pototes and roughly cut them into cubes after they are cooked. Make sure you season them with some salt, and then let them cool down or even chill them in the fridge. Depends on how would you like to eat your potatoes, if you would like them a bit warm, no need to chill them too much. 

To prepare the rest of the ingredients, get a big salad bowl ready, and place everything inside. Thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced onion, diced celery and two hard boiled eggs cut in cubes. Mix all ingredients well, together with the potatoes as well. For the dressing, mix Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, garlic powder, half lemon juice, fresh finely chopped dill or dry one, finely chopped spring onion and finely chopped parsley well, then pour the dressing into the the salad. Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it with garlic bread. 

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My Morning Mean Green Juice with Broccoli instead of Kale

I am drinking at least one juice a day, the first thing in the morning to kick start the day with a glass of fresh juice. I am having this mean green juice every other day, and this is the recipe from Joe Cross. It is kind of difficult to get kale here, you would not be able to find that easily, not in every super market or rarely see them at the wet market. So, I decided to replace the kale with broccoli, which it’s so much easier to get them. They are kind of from the same family, so I guess it make sense to have that replacing kale.

So my version is with 1 cucumber, 3 stalks of celery, 1 green apple, half broccoli, half lemon with skin and a piece of ginger. There you go, you should be able to get a good 500 to 600ml of the mean green juice to cleanse you up first thing in the morning! For most people, you should be running to the toilet within an hour after the juice. So make sure you will not be stuck in traffic at that point of time…. ūüėČ

Have a nice day!~

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Sunday dinner Рlemon & honey chicken drum sticks with greens 

It’s been three weeks that I haven’t had time to write my blog, was so busy with moving home. It’s never been easy with moving, packing, unpacking and we even have something that we need to build. We’ve moved to this new place for two weeks already, but there are still a lot of building work waiting for us to finish. One major part is my husband’s home studio, we just got some material ordered and hopefully to get that done soon. The other part is my private kitchen, basically is done but I just have to set it up nicely. Hopefully with that, it will be so much more easier for my food blog and for anything that I am going to cook, plus having guests to dine here. Can’t wait for getting everything done!

In order to make my Sunday a bit more easier, cooking something simple will be my target! Tonight, I am cooking this lemon and honey glazed chicken drum sticks, and served that with greens. It is a great dish to serve with rice or potatoes, you can have either one as your option, but I do prefer to have more greens.

The major ingredients of this dish is chicken drum sticks, you can also use the same cooking method for other part of the chicken. Besides that, we also need lemon, honey, garlic, ginger, rosemary, parsley, dark and light soy sauce. For the greens, I used three kinds of green, asparagus, green beans and zucchini. First of all, season the chicken drum sticks with some salt and pepper, and then get a pan ready and heat up with a touch of butter with some olive oil. Add in sliced garlic and sliced ginger when the pan is hot, then add all the chicken drum sticks in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add some dark and light soy sauce, some rosemary, slices of lemon and also squeeze some lemon juice in, cover the lid and let them cook for around 10 to 15 minutes. You can add some water if you feel the sauce is turning too dry, but try not to make it too watery. Add the honey few minutes before you think the drum sticks will be done, do not add the honey too early, otherwise the entire pan will become too sticky too early. When the chicken is done, add chopped parsley and mix them well, save a bit of parsley for the finish garnishing.

On the other hand, we need to get the greens ready, the best way is to start cooking the greens 5 minutes before you finish with the chicken. Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, then add in sliced garlic. Stir fry the green beans to start with, then add in asparagus and the chopped zucchini at last. Stir fry all greens until they are fully cooked and season them with some salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken drum sticks with some greens and garnish them with some chopped parsley.

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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Seafood Night – Fish, Prawn and Crab

This Sunday dinner, I am thinking to work on seafood. I’ve been thinking to do a dinner with Fish, Prawn / Shrimp and Crab (ť≠öŤĚ¶ŤüĻ). I was thinking to work on my presentation, and do something¬†closer to a fine dining approach. But then, I lost my¬†enthusiasm totally, because I did not manage to defrost the pastry. By the time I need to work on the pastry, I have to come up with a solution quickly, so I decided to use the bread instead. Forget about fine dining presentation…

I started it off with the Prawn Rolled Toast, as I said, my original idea was to wrap them with pastry and bake it. I might try it out again later on, but let’s make it with bread for the time being. The pack of frozen prawn is with 9 pieces of prawn, let’s cook them first in a pan with a bit of water. Remove them from the pan when they are 80% done, and we will cook them through in the oven later on. Remove the shell but keep the tail part on, ¬†devein the prawn¬†and¬†sit them aside and let them cool down. To use the bread to wrap, we have to use a roller to flatten the bread. Use half of a sandwich bread, and coat both side with butter. Lay Swiss cheese, cucumber strips and a piece of prawn on top of the bread, add some wasabi mayonnaise or just mayonnaise, and then roll up the bread and close it tight. Add a layer of egg wash on the surface, and place them in the oven to grill under 200C for 10 minutes.

I’ve used only 4 pieces of prawn for the toast, so I use the rest of them to add into the Crabmeat Salad. Chop the prawn into small dices and get a large salad bowl ready, chop the rest of the¬†ingredients into¬†dices and add them in the bowl. I am using cucumber, tomato, onion, avocado and crabmeat, mix everything well in the salad bowl. Then, add lemon juice, a touch of salt and plain yogurt into it, mix them well and adjust the taste. Keep them cold in the fringe to serve later with the tuna, or you can have them separately as long as they are cold enough to serve.

For the Seared Tuna, let’s work on the dressing first. Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, red chilli¬†and¬†lemon juice, taste it and adjust. I did not manage to get a thick piece of tuna steak here, what I’ve got is only 2 cm thick, but ideally we should work with something around 3 to 4 cm thick. For what I have, I could not have the tuna cooked in a way like cooked on the surface but still raw in the middle. What I’ve got was the entire tuna steak is cooked, because it is too thin. Cut the¬†tuna steak into rectangle shape, coat the entire surface with sesame seeds. Heat up the pan with a mix of sesame oil and olive oil, fry some sliced garlic until golden brown and set them aside for later use. Fry the tuna each side around 15 seconds,¬†you can see how much it’s been cooking on the section, and you can decide on how much you want that to be cooked. When the fish is done, slice them into thick pieces and serve with some mixed green salad together with the crabmeat salad.

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Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner – must have lucky food

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today, we called it ŚúėŚĻīť£Į, and traditionally you should have the dinner with your entire family, in order to end the year altogether. It is important for Chinese to gather the entire family together for important event like this one, but I think it’s important for everyone, like Christmas Eve for Western, Thanksgiving dinner for American, and etc.

One thing funny about what we used to eat for CNY’s Eve dinner, we should have something means lucky to us. Meat somehow is a must, as that means you are rich enough to have meat. Fish is also one of the choice, as fish ť≠ö Yu, sounds like ť§ė Yu, meaning extra. Of course we would like to have extra money! Shrimp ŤĚ¶ Ha, sounds like Śďą Ha, the sound of laughing, so shrimp is also a popular dish for CNY.

So, I’ve made a Western style year-end dinner for us, with shrimp and salmon (fish).

Garlic, Chili and Lemon Shrimp. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put minced garlic in, then put the lemon slices and chopped red chili pepper, fry a bit then put all shrimps with shell in the pan, cover with lid and cook until they all turned pinkish. Season the shrimps with salt, ground pripika and parsley flakes. 

Creamy Salmon Penne Pasta. Put one pot of water to boil, add a good amount of salt and cook the penne pasta according to the cooking time of the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put the minced garlic in, and then put the chopped asparagus and sliced mushroom. Fry them until they turn soft, add some lemon zest and squeeze in lemon juice, then pour in the cooking cream, let it simmer and then add some cheese. Could be a mix of Italian cheese, like parmesan, romano or pecorino cheese. Let it simmer a bit more, then season it with a bit of salt and ground pripika. Mix the sauce with the penne pasta, and serve it with a touch of black pepper.

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First cooking in 2017, let’s make it big! Even for our dogs……

 

French Onion Soup

 

This is my first cooking in 2017, I was thinking to have a great start in 2017, kick it off freshly with some nice cooking in order to celebrate my one year anniversary of this blog, which ended up with a lot of my posts are based on my cooking.

This was the Sunday cooking on 8th January, the first Sunday at home after we got back from our Christmas and New Year holiday in Germany. Unfortunately, I got laid off last Monday, the day after this Sunday cooking. It took me a week to get over the entire thing and put myself back on track, and finally I felt a lot better and want to write this down before I forget what I’ve cooked.

So, I was trying to make it big for my first Sunday cooking! I was thinking to do a main dish and an onion soup, I love onion soup especially during Winter time. I would love to learn how to make it, so I started to search some recipes online the night before, and I found two recipes that I would like to base on. First of all, we definitely need A LOT of onions, that recipe on youtube is using¬†a lot of onions. But I guess I’ve been using maybe a bit too much, and the soup ended up full of onion but not much soup. I guess I should have a better control of the proportion between soup and onion to start with. I was using 4 big onions to go with 1 litre of beef stock, I guess I can cut down 1 big onion next time and see if that will be better. So, heat up the Dutch oven with some¬†butter and a touch of¬†olive oil, pour all the chopped onion into the Dutch oven, season them with some salt and fry them until they are all¬†caramelised. Add some dry white wine or apple cider vinegar, followed by some flour, then mix them well with the onions. Stir in the beef stock, and add a handful of herbs, bay leave, rosemary¬†and thyme. Let it simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes, season with salt and a touch of brandy, adjust the taste until you think it’s good. I also add some sugar, as I also see people adding sugar in the other recipe, that’s why you really have to taste it and adjust it according to your taste buds. Then, transfer the soup in a bowl and place the toasted bread slice with butter and garlic on top of the soup. Add some parmesan cheese on the bread, and then cover the entire bowl with Gruy√®re cheese. Place that in the oven with maximum heat and bake for few minutes until the cheese start to turn brown. Save the rest of the soup and you can still have it a day later by repeating the last step in oven.

For the main dish, I would like to cook a meat dish. I was searching the recipe from Gordon Ramsay, and I found this roasted pork loin with lemon and sage, looks easy and delicious. You just need to score the skin of the pork loin, and that cut it on the section and open it up. Season it with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, sage, parsley, and some olive oil, then roll it up and close it with cotton. Season the outside with salt, pepper, olive oil and sprinkle with a touch of thyme. Place it in hot oven around 210C for 45 minutes, and there you go, so quick and easy!

I’ve cooked this¬†Fondant Potatoes to go with the pork loin, which it turned out so tasty! Try to get potatoes with similar size, and chop them into a truck shape. For the cut out¬†of the potatoes, I’ve cooked them for my dogs, not a waste. This is also very simple, but very delicious. Heat up the pan with butter, fry the potatoes until both side with a touch of brown and season them with a touch of salt. Pour in chicken stock, cover around 1/3 of the potatoes, add in some fresh thyme. Place the pan into the oven under 220C and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes. Monitor the chicken stock, and add some water if the stock becomes too less. Serve them with the slices of pork loin.

Roasted Pork Loin and Fondant Potatoes

I also cooked something for our¬†two labradors. I am thinking to get rid of the kibbles and canned food by¬†just feeding them home made dog food starting from 2017, which is one of my new year resolution! I started to do a bit of research to see what to cook for them and what is suitable. Before completely getting rid of the kibbles and canned¬†food, which I still have few KGs left. I am buying time to explore the kind of dog food should prepare for them. Of course there are different strategies out there, but I do believe the base is pretty much based on a balance between meat (protein), vegetable and starch (carbs). One of our doggie is food allergy, she should avoid eating carrot, rice, pasta and etc. Therefore, I have to be extra careful to see what to feed her.¬†With the balance between the three key ingredients, I decided to cook with minced beef, potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs with egg shell. Boil the potatoes in hot water, then add minced beef. For the green beans, I steam them and then chop them into smaller pieces, which should be easier for them to digest. I just learn that is good to feed your dogs with egg shell, as there is good amount of calcium that you can get from the shell. This is my first attempt, other than the regular dinner I cooked for them every Sunday with just potatoes and salmon. They just loving it and finish the bowl so quickly that I almost have to slow them down! For the leftover, store in the fringe and that’s enough to feed them for 2 more days.

Dog Meal