You probably can’t see the fish buried underneath all the veggies pile but this is one of my favorite dish to make because it’s easy and I only have to make one dish to get a balance meal for my family of 2+1.
Not only it is simple, quick and enjoyable by even my little tot, you can also substitute with whatever white fish and veggies you like as long as you don’t overcook them and having to time when to add in the vegetables during the steaming process is important.
6-7 ounces of white fish fillet (Here I used red snapper)
One large heirloom tomatoes/ or two medium red tomatoes (half then sliced)
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup broccoli stems sticks (remove the outer skin, then julienne)
1/2 tablespoon sliced ginger
One cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stocks
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
- Place the fish fillet in the center of a round deep dish, add in ginger, sprinkle on top the salt, white pepper powder, and pour over the soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Arrange the tomatoes slices on the side into a fan shape. Add in the chicken stocks
- Add water to a steamer and bring to a boil, place the dish inside the steamer and steam about 15 minutes.
- Arrange the broccoli sticks in the middle and broccoli florets on the side using chopstick to prevent being burn by the steam. Steam for additional 5 minutes
- Turn of the heat, and add in cilantro in the middle. Cover for another one minute.
- Garnish with roasted garlic and garlic oil. (optional)
Beets is a great roots vegetables, not only it is a good source of folate, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber, it is also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. If you haven’t tried beets before, maybe now is the time to venture out your comfort zone.
I liked beets but usually after a few bites I can’t help but noticed the earthy taste (other people describe it as dirt taste) becoming more intense in my mouth. One of my colleague had brought in her pickled beets for us to try and I enjoyed it much better cold and when pairing it with salad, it’s a delightful dish!
She said that most of the recipes online that she found has too much sugar or too much spices so she altered some and added different spice to it and it has since becoming her signature dish. She is kind enough to share her recipes with me and has allowed me to post it here as well. Thank you Susan W.
My daughter doesn’t like this at first but after about the fourth introduction, she started enjoying it and has been asking for it as a snack, *weird* I know, but nonetheless I’m grateful that she’s an adventurous eater after all.
1 large beet or 2 medium beets = yield about 2 cups when sliced
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (can use regular vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground clove (or 1 clove)
- Bring a pot of water to boil, put in the whole beets in and cook till tender. About 45 minutes.
- Let the beets cool down, peel the skin off, cut the beets in half and slice it.
- In a separate pot, add in 1/4 cup water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, salt and clove. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Add the sliced beets into the spiced vinegar mixture, stir to evenly coat beets with the spices, cover for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it cool down and serve.
This refreshing cucumber salad is perfect for a hot summer day ! It’s good as a side salad or just as delicious when mixed in with rice.
This recipe serves 2-3 and it is recommended to eat right away before the cucumber becomes soggy. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do. My little tot loves it but my husband only give it a 6 out of 10 as he doesn’t like cucumber dishes in general.
1 English Cucumber (Julienne or thinly sliced)- Regular cucumber works too.
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
A dash of sesame seeds
Raspberry or Cherry tomatoes for garnish (*optional)
- Wash cucumber, peeled off the outer skin then thinly sliced it into matchsticks. If you are using regular cucumber, just deseed the middle part before slicing it.
- Mix all the sugar, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil into the sliced cucumber in a chilled bowl, give it a few toss to evenly coat the cucumbers.
- Sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds and garnish with raspberry or cherry tomatoes.
Zucchini is overly abundant in the summer and since I’ve gotten a few from my CSA share last week. I’ve decided to bake it and add a few extra ingredients to style up a little.
Zucchini itself is a low calories vegetable, per one cup chopped only contains about 20 calories. It is also a good source of vitamin C, B6, Riboflavin(B2) and Manganese, these nutrients will help skin integrity and energy productions. So, take advantage of this summer vegetables.
One medium size zucchini
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
A dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko/bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degree.
- Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
- Use a mixing bowl, add olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper together.
- Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick and toss zucchini into the mixing bowl with the oil mixture. Stir to evenly distribute the seasoning.
- Add in panko or bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, evenly coat zucchini in the mixing bowl.
- Lay zucchini in baking pan and baked for 20-25 minutes.
- Grate additional Parmesan cheese and some orange zest on top as garnish when it is done.
As I mentioned before, my daughter is very selective on the types of meat she eats and this dish has never failed me or her. I like homemade tender because you know exactly what you are using. No fillers, no grounding the meats and just a few simple ingredients you can transform a plain chicken breast to delicious delight the entire family can enjoy.
I’ve tried baking these before but the chicken turns out to be dry. So I decided to stick with pan fry using minimal oil as I could. The chicken breast stays tender, juicy and has a nice bite to it. Hope you like it too!
2 chicken breast (~5-6 ounces each)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppers
1 cup panko
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Cut chicken breast into 1 1/2 inches thick and cut into strips or triangle shape to please the youngsters. Set aside.
2. Mix in salt, peppers and flour together in a big bowl, set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Set aside.
4. Mix grated parmesan cheese with panko in a baking pan.
5. Lightly dust the chicken in the flour mixture, next dip the chicken in the eggs and then evenly coat it with the panko. Continue this step until all chicken is completely coated.
6. Heat up a 10 inch skillet, filled up with cooking oil to about an inch thick (about 1 cup).
7. Once the oil started to glisten, slowly add in the chicken and pan fry 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown under medium heat.
You can add paprika and some cayenne powder to the flour mixture, or once the chicken is done cooking sprinkle some peppers flake over if you like some kick to it.
Tired of the plain noodle soup? Try this new recipe instead! It’s lite, soothing and refreshing with a different layer of flavor by roasting or toasting the soba noodles and pair it with the green tea as the soup base.
Japanese and Korean culture often pour green tea over rice as their comfort food. So, it inspire me to try it over noodle instead. The dish turns out to be a surprised to me and also toddler approved by my daughter.
Roasting/toasting the noodle has a lot to do with adding a nuttier flavor to the soba and after noodle soak in the soup for a few minutes, the nutty flavor infused with the green tea and make it tastier.
It’s easy and simple to make. I decided to use zucchini, carrots and top of with a boiled egg with the yolk just cooked through. You can pick and choose what kind of topping to go with it, chicken, turkey, tofu, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli or seaweed, whichever your heart desire.
Servings: 2, each serving is about 260 kcal, 15 gm protein.
1 bundle of soba noodle
3 teaspoon of loose green tea leaves
3 cups hot water
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1/3 cup julienne carrots
1 boiled egg (halved)
- I toast the soba noodles in a large skillet under medium low heat for about 12 minutes. You can also bake them in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from pan/oven, let it cool down.
- Fill a 4 quarts pot with water about half way, bring it to boil. Add the toasted soba noodles in and cook until tender (about 6-7 minutes).
- While waiting for noodle to cook, steep the green tea leaves with 3 cups of hot water in a pyrex 4 cups measuring cup for 1.5-2 minutes (Don’t steep it too long as it will turn bitter).
- Cook the vegetables in a pan/pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes.
- Once the soba noodles are tender, remove noodle from the pot. Arrange noodle, vegetables in a bowl and pour the green tea over it. Serve hot.
Have you ever bought a bunch of grapes and they turn out to be too sour to enjoy it and doesn’t know what to do with them ?
Try roasting them instead! I’ve seen a cooking show long ago talking about cooking with grapes and had this “a-ha” moment in my head thinking roasting should concentrate their sugar content and make it more palatable.
Guess what ? It works ! You can paired the roasted grapes with pork and chicken or blend it up to make up a compote for cheese and crackers too. Here, I decided to add the grapes to plain Greek yogurt with some sesame snaps for added crunch as a dessert/snack for myself and my little one.
This recipes serve 6, each serving is about ~ 170 calories, 5 grams of protein.
1-2 small bunch of red grapes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon of olive oil
3 cups of plain Greek yogurt
3 pieces of sesame snaps (crushed into small sections)
*1 tablespoon of sugar or honey* (optional-only needed if you are making a compote. I enjoy the slight tartness of the roasted grapes without the added sugar)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit (220 degree Celsius).
- Lay the red grapes with stem intact in a roasting pan, add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the grapes a few times to evenly coat it.
- Bake the grapes for 35-40 minutes, until the skin is slightly bubbly on the outside.
- Remove the grapes and let it cool down or refrigerate for about 10 minutes.
- Arrange 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt on a bowl, add 1/4 cup of roasted grapes (6-7 grapes) on top, layer it with a few sections of the sesame snaps and enjoy ! You can also substitute the sesame snaps with nuts (such as walnut, hazelnut, or pistachios).
Growing up by the coast has given me the opportunities to try vast variety of deep sea fish. It is sort of sad that I couldn’t find a lot of the fish I enjoyed eating at home when I moved to America. Though, I always find ways to curb my home sickness with a little bit of twist and substitution here and there to make it work.
This time I use Swai fish (Vietnamese catfish), it is tender and has a milder taste. It doesn’t have that “muddy” earth like taste of the regular catfish so it might be more acceptable to the little kids to try. You can use any type of white fish as well, cod, grouper, catfish, tilapia, flounder, sole, bass or snapper as you wish.
Serves:3-4 servings (4 oz per serving : 140 calories, 20 gm protein)
2 medium Swai fillets (~8 oz fillet each)
5 1/2 inch thick sliced ginger – julienned
3 Garlic clove – minced
2 Green onions stalk – cut into 4 inches length and slice thin
1-2 Tomatoes (half and slice ) *optional
2 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
A pinch of Salt & White Pepper
- Rub salt and white pepper powder on the fish fillet.
- Layered sliced tomatoes at the bottom of a 10 inches deep dish.
- Steam fish for 8 minutes (longer if a thicker cut fish is used).
- In a separate small skillet add cooking oil and heat up under medium
- Once the oil started to glisten, add in the ginger and garlic, sauteed until slightly golden brown then toss in the sliced green onions and continue to sauteed for 8-10 seconds. Add in a tablespoon of soy sauce at the end and turn of the heat.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the steam fish and serve immediately.
This simple vegetarian dish is something anyone can cook real quickly after a busy day from work. Less than 30 minutes you’ll have a meal on the table.
A family friend has given us a bunch of oyster mushroom earlier this week and I think it goes quite well with the macaroni. You can definitely substitute with other button mushroom as well.
My daughter ate a heaping portions of it and I hope yours does too. If you have leftovers, or just would like a little extra protein, revamp the dish and topped it with steamed broccoli, grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.
3 cups cooked macaroni (about 1 1/2 cups dried macaroni)
1/2 can of small (10.5 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup pasta water (reserve the boiling liquid from cooking the macaroni)
1 1/2-2 cups grape tomatoes (halves)
2 cups oyster mushrooms
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper (optional)
1. Cook the dried macaroni in a 2 quarts pot of salted boiling water (1 teaspoon of salt). About 6-7 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup liquid, drain macaroni and keep aside.
2. In a separate saute pan heat up olive oil in medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 10-15 seconds.
3. Once the garlic turn slightly golden, add in the mushroom and saute for 1-2 minutes with a splash of water to prevent the garlic from burning.
4. Next add in the cooked macaroni, mushroom soup and water. Stir the content until evenly coated or well mixed. Let it cool together for another minute.
5. Lastly toss in the grape tomatoes, stir it a few more times and remove from heat.
6. Add some freshly ground black pepper before serving.
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As the weather warming up in Oregon, making some cold snacks has been the routine between me and my husband. Now we have a little tot running around, I’ll have to make something sweet but at the same time nutrient pack as well.
I’ve recommended this type of greek yogurt pop for a lot of the kids I see in clinic to help them get the calories and protein they need to gain weight. Greek yogurt is caloric dense, less sugar and high in protein, plus the probiotic benefits is good for their digestive system as well.
I’m using the full fat type of yogurt as fat free is not recommended for any children age 2 and below because they needed the fat for their brain development. If you have an older kid, feel free to use the low fat yogurt to cut down the calories unless they are underweight and needing the calories for weight gain.
This is another easy recipe that can be enjoyed by everyone in the house 🙂
5.5 oz of full fat peach Greek yogurt (one container)
2-3 Tablespoon regular strawberry yogurt (to add a little sweetness or you can use frozen strawberries puree too)
2 Tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
1/4 Cup of orange juice
- Mix all ingredients together and put into the Popsicle mold or use paper cups with ice cream sticks.
- Tap the bottom of the mold to ensure the content settle to remove the air bubbles.
- Put in freezer and let it freeze for 2-3 hours. It will make 4-5 creamsicle depending how large the mold is.