Quinoa Congee Soup

This dish my friend is my healthier version of the Filipino comfort food, Arroz Caldo (Chicken and Rice) or Congee soup.  It’s low in calories and high in protein and fiber and half the carbohydrates than rice.  And, it’s so easy to make.  Your stomach would thank you for having this instead of the usual rice recipe.

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Homemade Tempura with Soba (Buckwheat noodles)

Note:  If this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

‘Want something for a change?  Maybe a Japanese food might be the answer.   Vegetables and Shrimp or prawns dipped in homemade tempura batter and fried; served with organic Buckwheat noodles marinated with soba sauce for dinner.  Mm-mm…good!

I went to the new Asian store that opened up about a few months ago.  It’s about 8 miles away from home.  When I went in, I felt like I was in candy land.   They must have brought half of Korea.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually a very good thing!  You have no idea how happy I was.  Why?  Because first, one of the Asian stores in the area closed down.  Second, they have varieties of fresh seafood, produce, rice, noodles, and sauces, and most of them are organic.  They even have a Korean restaurant inside the store!  If I feel lazy to cook and crave for Korean food, I can just go there and have one of my favorite Korean foods, Bi Bim Bap, which I will be posting soon. 🙂 And third, I can just buy what I needed.  Really, I don’t like buying a large bag of prawns.  It’s like forcing consumers to buy more than they really need.  All I needed was three to six pieces of prawns and that was all.

Anyway, I didn’t like buying tempura batter as well as tempura dipping sauce, so I made my own.

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Here are the ingredients.

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Note:  Add more flour for the batter’s consistency according to your preference.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • eggplant, cut crosswise about 1/2 inch
  • Furikake rice seasoning
  • Purple sweet potato, cut crosswise about 1/4 inch
  • 1/2 of a bundle Buckwheat noodles (Soba)
  • Soba sauce
  • 3-6 pieces of prawns, deveined and peeled leaving the head and tail on.

Preparation Methods:

  • Follow the instructions on the package for the Soba noodles.  Drain and put in a small bowl.  Add about 1/4 cup of the Soba sauce.  Garnish with the rice seasoning.  Set aside.
  • Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and a cup of water in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • Heat a deep pan with oil over medium-low heat.
  • Dip the vegetables in the batter and drop immediately into the pan.  Fry until golden brown.
  • Do the same with the prawns. Fry until prawns turned opaque in color.

TEMPURA DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Regina red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce (a must)

Mix all ingredients in a sauce bowl and stir until well combined.  O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai. (Enjoy your meal) 🙂

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Super Easy Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Okay, you’re probably thinking, who doesn’t know how to make grilled cheese sandwich?  It’s a classic and everyone knows how to prepare it.  Well, you might be surprised.  There are some people out there who are just learning how to cook or who never cooked in their entire lives. Making a grilled cheese sandwich might be the very first thing they can learn how to prepare. 🙂  Here’s what I make at home and my children really love it!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of white or any bread you prefer
  • 1 slice Haverty creamy white cheese*
  • 1 slice Cheddar cheese or smoke Gouda cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Preparation methods:

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat.
  • Butter (1 1/2 tablespoons) one side of bread.
  • Place the bread with the butter side down on the skillet.  Add both cheeses on top of the bread.
  • Butter one side of the other slice of bread and place on top of the cheese, butter side up.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid.  (This will melt the cheese faster)
  • Remove the lid.  Flip over to the other side. Do not cover.  Brown until the cheese is all melted.
  • Serve immediately.

*Note;  You can purchase the Haverty cheese at Costco.  It’s a deli style cheese.  It’s really creamy and delicious, especially on steak sandwiches. 

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Brown Rice and Quinoa Salad with Stuffed Pepper(s)

If you are feeling tired and want to stay away from your stove for a day, you can have cereal in the morning, protein shake or stuffed peppers for lunch and for dinner?  Read on….

First, the Stuffed Peppers:

I’ve thought of going light for dinner and made an appetizer.  The stuffed baby peppers I made for my son’s 1st birthday party came to mind.  Good thing I have some pesto made beforehand and some baby bell peppers as well as left over chicken.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  🙂

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This appetizer is so easy, fast, and light in your gut.  And, it involves minimal preparation.  Hey, no cooking!   🙂

Prepare the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 grilled chicken breast or tofu
  • 1 tablespoon pesto sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tricolor baby bell peppers or tomatoes
  • shredded parmesan cheese

*Note:  Double the recipe for larger servings.

Preparation Method:  Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the seeds being careful not to remove the stem.

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De bone the chicken and slice in tiny pieces.

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Place in a bowl and add the pesto sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to incorporate.

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Stuff the peppers with the chicken mixture and top with parmesan cheese.  Dab a small amount of pesto sauce and a basil leaf on top of the chicken if you prefer. Serve on a rectangular or a circle serving tray.

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Now, the Brown Rice and Quinoa Salad.

As I kept opening the fridge, I saw the bean sprouts I bought  the other day and they didn’t look happy.  If I didn’t use them right away, I would have to discard them. So, I added some to the brown rice and quinoa salad.  Seriously, I need to stay away from the fridge or my brain will flood me with all these ideas.

Anyway, I used one of the above stuffed peppers with the salad and had it for dinner instead.  I added the mango the last minute since it was smiling at me.  So, don’t wonder why it’s not in the picture. You know how it is when you prepare a dish and thought of something else to add the last minute because its flavor would be a great addition.  Well, that’s what happened.

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Prepare the Ingredients:

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Ingredients:

  • Seeds of Change Brown Rice and Quinoa (8.5 oz.)
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • a handful of bean sprouts
  • Edamame (green soy bean)
  • flesh of half mango, diced
  • Miso and ginger dressing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lime (optional)
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Preparation Instructions:

  • Prepare the brown rice according to package directions (microwave).  Let cool.
  • Once it’s cooled, add all ingredients in  a bowl.
  • Drizzle with the dressing and toss to incorporate.

Arrange the brown rice salad on a plate and add the stuffed pepper on top of the salad.  Viola!  It looks like summer.

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Variation:  Stuffed Tomato

You can also add tofu in the salad and use it as stuffing like the one I made below.   Great for parties or at any gathering. Yum!

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Stir-fry Barbecue Steak Sandwich

As a mother of two young boys, I’m all about simple, fast and easy when it comes to cooking, especially when I have to prepare two dishes at a time.  There might be some days when I have extra time and would not mind preparing a more complicated recipe, but I prefer preparing simple and easy meals often.

We had a healthy dinner last night.  Unfortunately, my youngest son is allergic to seafood and could not eat fish.  Sometimes, I have to cook three different meals at a time just to accommodate everyone in my family.

My son had chicken for lunch, so I made him barbecue steak sandwich for dinner.   This dish is easy and made with very few ingredients and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes.*

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Prepare the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. chuck roast or top sirloin or chicken, thinly cut across the grain
  • 3/4 cup Cattlemen’s Kansas Style barbecue sauce or a barbecue sauce of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of Havarti creamy deli style white cheese
  • Ciabata roll or flour tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  • lettuce (optional)
  • sliced or chopped tomatoes (optional)

*Note:  Depending on the heat of your stove, cooking time may require adjustment.

Directions:

Preheat a skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil when hot.  Add the garlic and onions and saute until translucent about 1 minute.

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Add the meat and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

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Cover and let cook until the meat starts to sweat about 1 to 2 minutes.

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Stir and continue to cook  for another 2 minutes . Cover.DSCN7286

Remove the lid.  Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and stir until well incorporated.  Cover and let cook for 4 minutes.

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Remove the lid and stir-fry until the sauce evaporates about 2 minutes. Reduce heat  to LOW at this time.

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Add the barbecue sauce and stir-fry until the sauce is well incorporated about 2 minutes.

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Continue to stir-fry until the barbecue sauce thickens and caramelized or turned to darker color about 5 to 7 minutes.

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Turn off heat.  Cut the ciabata roll lengthwise  without cutting it all the way and place the cooked steak in between. Place cheese on top of the steak and melt the cheese in a 350 degree oven.

DSCN7315Remember, do not leave the sandwich in the oven for too long or it will burn.  Turn off the oven and let heat melts the cheese about 2 to 4 minutes*.  You can add tomato slices and lettuce if you prefer.  For the steak wraps, add 1 tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt and chopped tomatoes and lettuce with the barbecue steak in the center of the flour tortilla and fold the tortilla over.  Roll once.  Gather the sides of the flour tortilla and fold.  Roll up to secure.  Cut in half and serve immediately with fruits or chips. Enjoy.

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*Note:  Due to variations in ALL ovens, cooking time may require adjustment.

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fry

I had a wonderful memory about a salad that my friend and I made when I was still living in Hawaii over two decades ago. We went to explore the island and made a stop at China town in downtown Honolulu for lunch.  Hawaii, known as a melting pot, you get introduced to different foods including tofu.  I didn’t like it at first, but when we made this Asian salad and tofu soup as well as learned of its nutritional value, I changed my mind.  Tofu became one of my favorites.  Like the Mediterranean salad, this too was also a favorite at parties I catered.  It wasn’t just because of the watercress, tofu, and tuna, but also because of the dressing.  When you take a bite, the  raw garlic in the dressing and the watercress have that spiciness and bitterness taste to them that balances out when you bite into the tuna and tofu. The dressing brought all the flavors together.  You can also use the dressing as a stir-fry sauce which I did with the dish I created.

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Sauce Ingredients:

  •  1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic.

Mix all ingredients in a dressing shaker and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside

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Eggplant and Tofu Stir-fry with Pineapple Fried Rice
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Stir-fry Ingredients:

  • 1 Chinese long eggplant, cut crosswise about half inch each
  • a handful of  fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 mini red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
  • 6 oz. tofu, cubed in bite pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of medium onions, sliced
  • oil for frying

Instructions:

  • First, prepare the sauce.  It’s a must.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of oil.  Fry the eggplant until brown or soft.
  • Place cooked eggplant on a plate lined with paper towel so it will absorb any excess oil.
  • In a different skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook until translucent.
  • Add the tofu.  Stir-fry until tofu is heated through.
  • Add the sauce and toss to incorporate.  Cook until sauce is heated through.

Here’s a picture of the salad I was talking about.  I had this about a week ago.  The recipe is available below.  You can use the stir-fry sauce ingredients I provided above to dress this salad.

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Watercress Salad ingredients:

  • A handful of watercress
  • 1/2 cup tuna flakes in oil
  • 1/4 of small red onions, sliced
  • 6 oz. tofu; cubed
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Place all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Brocco Sprouts Salad with Poached Salmon, Berries and Mango

My doctor put me on a strict, no-meat diet due to some health issues I’m currently experiencing.  So, I created this simple and healthy recipe packed with all the nutrients my body needs.  The poached salmon and berries were flavorful enough I didn’t need to add any dressing.  I was a happy camper. 🙂

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All you need is 1/4 cup combination of blueberries and raspberries, a serving size of spinach and broccoli sprouts, 1/2 of manila mango (you can find at any oriental store), and 4 oz. salmon fillet seasoned with lemon and pepper seasoning then poached in a skillet with 1/2 cup of water, juice of 1/2 lemon, a pinch of salt, and 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat until salmon turned opaque in color. Voila!  A healthy and delicious lunch!

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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