Orange Cranberry Parfait

One thing I love about winter is fresh and juicy oranges. It’s hard to get them ripe the rest of the year, so I tend to take full advantage of citrus fruit around this time of year.

If you have any leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, here’s a way to use it up by pairing the tangy cranberries with a sweet orange. I added some winter spices to really put this parfait over the top. Try it, and I promise you’ll love it!

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Inspired by the citrus afraid at Epicure Boulud

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 an orange
1-2 Tbsp cranberry sauce
Almonds or walnuts (or both!!)
Honey
Spice mix: ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Start your parfait with the cranberry sauce at the bottom, and then layer 1/2 cup Greek yogurt. Mix honey and spices with the nuts separately, and place on top of the yogurt. Grate some orange zest on top of the nuts, and top with remaining yogurt. Segment orange slices on top of the yogurt, making sure to avoid the tough parts of the fruit, while letting some juice fall into the parfait as well. Top with more honey and nuts, and let sit for a few minutes to settle.

The cranberry with the orange are perfect complements, and the spiced nuts give the parfait a wonderful holiday taste. Enjoy!

Oatmeal To Go

This time of year is always super busy, so every bit of extra sleep in the morning is worth it! Plus, it’s getting colder outside so naturally I’m not as quick to get out of bed and out from under the warm covers. The extra sleep is great, but it usually means compromising something else in my morning routine in order to get to work on time.

This morning, breakfast was the compromise I made, but I didn’t feel like eating a dry granola bar. Here was my solution: Oatmeal Parfait to go!

It’s so quick (just microwave your oats as usual while you’re getting dressed, and layer in your favorites!) Here’s my version:

  • 1/4 cup oats cooked w/ soy milk
  • brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves for spice
  • layers: green apples, almonds, honey, cinnamon cereal, and banana

If you have Greek yogurt, I’m sure that would be really good to add in as well. I put mine in a glass container so it was easy to reheat in the microwave when I got to work. Have fun!

My New Favorite Veggie

I often get bored of the options in the produce section of the grocery store. There doesn’t seem to be much variety anymore…or maybe that’s because I’ve tried everything so many times already. That’s why I feel so lucky to be really close to a number of international grocery stores. I can always count on seeing something new that I probably couldn’t even pronounce.
The veggie I’m sharing today was one of those discoveries. It is so tasty that I have eaten it for the past three days as a side to my dinner! Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to find. Hmart doesn’t even carry it, so we stopped by the Chinese store.

The cooking is simple: sauté with oil, lots of garlic, salt, and a little sesame oil and lite soy sauce if desired. Cook the stalks first and then the leaves. I promise you, you’ll enjoy it!

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Beef Tendon: Recipe

As promised, here is the recipe and instructions for making beef tendon! You will be surprised at how easy it is to cook. Actually, the most challenging part will be finding the ingredients if you don’t have a local Asian store! Try to stick to the authentic ingredients as much as possible because it really makes a difference in the taste. (ie: The soy sauce you find in your Chinese take-out place is not real soy sauce, so don’t use it!)

Follow the pictures below to make your tendon. Basically you just throw everything in a big pot and let it simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, or until tendon is tender and the water boils down.

This is the tendon. Look for it in the frozen section of your Asian grocery store.

This is the spice pack you will need to season the broth.

Put the tendon in a large pot and cover with water.Add the spice pack to the pot.Now add salt, one clove of garlic, and a piece of fresh ginger.

Now add a few pieces of this rock sugar.

Add about 2-3 Tbsp of dark soy sauce. You can always add more later to your taste.

Cover and let it simmer for a few hours, and this is what you'll get!

There are endless possibilities of ways to eat beef tendon, but today we ate it in a soup with green veggies, bean sprouts, a boiled egg, and udon noodles. Yum!!

Almond Tea Cake

I love when I have an excuse to bake a cake! I feel like I need a special occasion to make a whole cake because I definitely don’t want an entire cake sitting in my kitchen staring at me, waiting to be eaten! Sharing is always better, anyway because then more people get to enjoy.

So because it is such a rare thing for me to bake a cake, when I do get the opportunity, I look high and low for the best recipe I can find. Lately I’ve been into cakes without frosting, because they’re much lighter and don’t leave you with a heavy stomach (and guilty feeling) when you’re done eating. And my occasion to bake a cake was my friend’s birthday, it had to be something she would love, so I chose this almond cake recipe.

It’s really simple to make, and turned out so light and delicious. The orange peel added another layer to the tastes that was unexpected and wonderful. The cake is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea after dinner, or as an afternoon treat! I bet they’d be cute in cupcake form as well for a little tea party.

Here’s my (slightly healthier) version of the recipe:

Almond Tea Cake

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 stick margarine, at room temperature
  • ½ cup soy milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

Combine and beat wet ingredients with the almond flour and orange peel until smooth. Sift flour and salt over wet mixture until just combined. Pour into round pan (or cupcake tins) and sprinkle almond slivers on top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool and sift confectioners’ sugar on top before serving. Enjoy!

 

Beef Tendon

I bet you don’t know how healthy beef tendon is! It’s almost unbelievable how nutritious it is because it tastes so delcious and almost like you’re eating a fatty piece of meat!

Take a look at the Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 100g
Calories 150
Total Fat 0.5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 36.7g

So basically it’s a super-food consisting of mostly protein and very little else! Unfortunately, it’s hard to find in American grocery stores because it’s most common in Asian cuisine. So find your nearest H-mart and pick some up! It’s also super cheap by the lb.

Stay tuned for a delicious recipe for beef tendon (see picture below)!

 

Chinese Rice Porridge

This morning I was feeling rather ambitious (probably because of post-workout energy!) so I actually cooked breakfast instead of preparing something simple. We had some leftover chicken breasts and rice, so my first thought was to make a savory rice porridge. I’ve never actually made my own congee, so I adjusted as I was cooking to mimic the flavors I remember tasting in Flushing. Then I topped the porridge with a bunch of goodies from the fridge…delicious! It was a nice change from my oatmeal, and it was loaded with protein for a nutritious breakfast!

Chicken Congee:

  • Soup:
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/3 lb chicken (cubed or shredded)
  • 2 eggs
  • Seasoning:
  • salt/pepper
  • fish sauce
  • dark soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • ginger

Toppings:

  • salted tofu
  • cilantro
  • pickled radish
  • spicy bean paste

Directions:

Bring water and chicken stock to a boil. Add chicken and simmer until cooked (about 20 minutes). Add rice and seasonings and continue to stir until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Quickly stir in eggs and cook for a minute or so. Pour into bowl and add toppings!