Easy as ABC Soup

Easy as ABC Soup

This Summer, I have one simple word for you: EASY. I'm inviting you to join me for a fun and (hopefully) care-free time in the kitchen making easy Asian dishes. What I'll be doing is taking some of my favorite Asian recipes and giving them a new twist by simplifying them.

What that means is I will be replacing some ingredients that are either too difficult to find outside of Asia or too expensive to buy when you do find them. I will introduce one or two basic ingredients that may be new to you. I may even throw in several simple step-by-step videos to show how they are done. How exciting!

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Green Onion Hummus + A Nutrition Coaching Experience

Green Onion Hummus + A Nutrition Coaching Experience

If you look at the recipe archive, you'll see green onions liberally sprinkled on MANY dishes. I wouldn't blame you for thinking I have an unnatural obsession with green onion. I do. The proof is hereherehere and HERE.

Green onion is a very popular ingredient in Chinese food. (We even put it in our pancakes!) I use it a lot in my cooking but never thought of making hummus with it until I saw the recipe on registered dietician nutritionist Kelli Shallal's blog when I was looking for protein-filled snack options. Call me biased but I think it's a brilliant idea!

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Friday Tidbits: Transitions + Preserved Lemons

Friday Tidbits: Transitions + Preserved Lemons

I'm in the mood to play with food. I don't mean anything like build a dollhouse with the veggies from my CSA box. (Or do I? Wink.) I mean try something new or different, experiment and get dirty in the kitchen! (That doesn't sound quite right either, does it?)

This past Spring, I've had so much fun discovering new vegetables like green garlicleeks and fava beans. With Summer right around the corner, I'm starting to feel a little frisky. It's difficult not to be when plump peaches and bright cherries are starting to appear everywhere. The plum trees around the neighborhood are about to unload their juicy goodness on us. Are you ready for sweet summer? 

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Chopped Salad with Spiced Chickpeas from Eating in the Middle

Chopped Salad with Spiced Chickpeas from Eating in the Middle

I've become a huge fan of salad for lunch. It's quick and easy to throw together, and can be prepped ahead of time. Plus, I love vegetables, and making salad my standard lunch fare is a commitment to incorporate fresh, healthy, and wholesome ingredients into my diet regularly. But when salad is the main part of a meal, there are some things to consider. Satiety is one. What I've learned to do is pack my salads with plant-based protein. Another consideration is the weather. Cold, raw salads just don't do it for me on cool or rainy afternoons. So I learned to make warm salads

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Baked South Indian Fava Bean Fritters with Green Chutney

Baked South Indian Fava Bean Fritters with Green Chutney

Remarkable things happen when you work on a farm. If I made a list it would be lengthy, but I'll just name one that has impacted my eating habits the most: the discovery of new vegetables. When I started volunteering at One Acre Farm in Morgan Hill, California, last Fall, I found out I really like long beans. It helps that your farm host is a fantastic cook who makes intuitive cooking effortless. I've been going back to help on the farm on a weekly basis, and was recently introduced to fava beans. 

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Asian Rainbow Chard Wraps

Asian Rainbow Chard Wraps

Swiss chard is one of those vegetables that makes you go wow and inspires awe with its big bold leaves and multi-colored stems. I get awfully excited in its presence. It's been about three months since we subscribed to a CSA farm share and I can't think of a better way to eat fresh vegetables. There's something about receiving a big box or bag of vegetables and unwrapping it like a Christmas present. A gift of health and nutrition. What I love most are the surprises. Even when I know what I'm getting in a particular week, I'm always gleeful and wide-eyed, which is often the case when I get a bunch of amazing swiss chard.

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Green Garlic and Spring Onion Fried Farro

Green Garlic and Spring Onion Fried Farro

I have been busy stalking certain vegetables that I've been told are only available during this time of year. Green garlic, or spring garlic as it is sometimes called, is one of them. If no one had told me about it, I wouldn't have been able to tell it apart from spring onion. Thankfully, I'm subscribed to a CSA farm share as part of my mission to find new vegetables to try for my Spring Discovery project, and urban farmer Angie of The Freckled Rose has graciously offered to tell me more about it. 

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Friday Tidbits: My Time Capsule + Salted Kumquat Tea

Friday Tidbits: My Time Capsule + Salted Kumquat Tea

A year ago, I filled up several jars with layers of sea salt and fresh kumquats from the backyard. I placed them on the shelf, checked on them every few weeks, and eventually forgot about them. Patience is an essential ingredient in this recipe. 

Salted kumquats are one of those things that get better with age, and I've been told they keep for years, in fact the longer the better. Almost every Chinese household keeps a jar, or knows someone who does, because salted kumquats in hot water with honey stirred in are a long-held Chinese remedy for sore throat. Add some ice cubes and you have the perfect sweet-sour-salty cure for a hot day. 

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