Kale Quinoa Salad

This is a very healthy and delicious salad! It’s also very easy to assemble when you have the ingredients prepared in advance. It takes even less time if you use canned beans but I suggest soaking the beans overnight and cooking them in the morning, while you’re cooking the quinoa, for a less processed food. It’s an easy and delicious way to get your serving of grains, beans, and vegetables. My family also really enjoys this dish so I’ve been making it on a weekly basis this summer. The dressing is also a family recipe that my mother taught me. It’s simple, healthy, and delicious! I put it on all of my salads! I suggest to finish the dish within a few days since it is a type of salad. It’s a perfect dish to bring to a potluck or BBQ! 😊

Yield: 8-10 servings
Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups kale leaves, chopped into small pieces (don’t use the stalk)
  • 2 cups quinoa cooked with broth
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 8.75 oz unsalted sweet corn, drained and washed
  • 1 tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • ½ cup olives, chopped
  • lemon juice, 2 tbsp


Dressing Ingredients (adjust to taste)

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large serving bowl, spread the chopped kale on the bottom surface.
  2. Spread quinoa, beans, corn, tomato, olives, and avocado on top of the kale. Add lemon juice on top.
  3. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing together. Add dressing to the salad and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think this is my first time making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies but they came out so well! It’s difficult just to have one and I’ve been gaining weight because of them! ☹ It’s a struggle because I enjoy eating them but I also want to lose the last 10 lb from my post-partum weight. I grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from time to time but haven’t eaten peanut butter for years. I recently made fresh peanut butter using my Vitamix and it was delicious! You really can’t compare freshly made products from processed ones. I’ve been getting addicted ever since I made fresh peanut butter.

These cookies are a perfect way to use up some of your peanut butter at home. It’s a sweet indulgence that both kids and adults will enjoy! 😊

Full of peanut butter 🙂

Yield: 16 large cookies
Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat or regular pastry flour
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips (or whatever flavor you prefer)
  • 2 tsp flaked salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the middle.
  2. In an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, peanut butter, and baking soda on low-medium speed until well mixed.
  3. Add vanilla extract and 2 large eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour and mix on low speed until flour is incorporated.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix on the lowest speed for a few seconds or until chocolate is well distributed in dough.
  6. Gently make golf sized balls from the dough and spread out the balls so they’re not too close to each other on the baking tray.
  7. Chill dough in fridge for at least 15 minutes. This step is optional and helps cookies keep their shape.
  8. Distribute flaked salt evenly on top of the cookies for that extra crunch.
  9. Bake cookies for 13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  10. An additional optional step is to gently press down on the cookies with the bottom of a glass cup for a chewy texture.
  11. Let the cookies cool and enjoy!

Mitarashi & Kinako Dango

Dango is one of my favorite Japanese desserts! It is delectable with matcha or jasmine green tea during the afternoon or after a meal. I try to treasure every bite and become a little sad when I’ve reached the last dango on the bamboo skewer. ☹

The best dango I’ve tried was at the Shibuya station in Tokyo. It was so soft and delicious with the right amount of sweetness! It spoiled me to the point that I couldn’t eat supermarket dango ever again! Luckily, I can make my own dango at home whenever the craving hits. There are different toppings or sauce to dango such as mitarashi (soy sauce), kinako (toasted soybean powder), goma (sesame seeds), anko (red bean paste), zunda (edamame paste), and more! My favorite flavors are the mitarashi and zunda! I’ve put up the mitarashi and kinako dango recipe below. I hope you enjoy this special Japanese sweet! 😊

Mitarashi dango
Kinako dango

Yield: 15 dango pieces
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup shiratamako (sweet rice flour)
  • ½ cup joshinko (Japanese rice flour)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Kinako powder (optional topping)

Ingredients for mitarashi sauce (sweet soy sauce)

  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP mirin
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP potato starch + 1 TBSP water

Instructions

  1. Mix shiratamako, joshinko, and sugar in a bowl. Gradually add warm water and gently knead into a dough.
  2. Form 15 small dango balls from the dough.
  3. Fill and boil a pot of water that can generously cover the dango. Slowly add each dango to the boiling water and let it cook until the dango float on top. Cook for 1 minute longer.
  4. Move the dango balls into a bowl with iced water. Drain well and put 3 dango pieces on one bamboo skewer.
  5. In a small pot, combine the soy sauce, mirin, water, and brown sugar. Stir well and let it boil. Meanwhile, mix potato starch and 1 TBSP of water until well combined in a separate bowl. Slowly add the potato starch slurry into the pot of sauce. Stir until well combined and take off heat when the sauce thickens. Let sauce cool.
  6. Top dango with either sweet soy sauce or kinako powder.

Easy Caramel Sauce

Caramel has always been one of my favorite flavors in anything sweet or related to dessert. It’s also one of my favorite additions in coffee drinks. I have a hard time resisting caramel covered popcorn or caramel flavored snacks as well! If I had known how easy it was to make caramel sauce then I would have made it more often (which may not be the best for my waist though!) This home-made caramel sauce is healthier in the sense that it doesn’t contain any preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. You can use this caramel sauce to add a bit more indulgence in your dessert or drinks!~

A personal serving of caramel sauce~

Yield: 8 servings
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and water in a pot over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and turns clear.
  2. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the caramel for approximately 8 minutes or until a golden color.
  3. Take the pot off the heat and add heavy cream, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
  4. Let the caramel sauce cool until room temperature and store properly in a container and keep in a fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles

This is a creamy and savory noodle dish with a spicy Korean kick from the gochujang (Korean chili paste) and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes.) You can adjust the level of spiciness depending on how spicy the gochujang you use is. Although it sounds counterintuitive, a lot of people from around the world eat spicy foods during the hot summers. I think the logic behind that is to sweat a lot from eating spicy foods and then cool down from your sweat. Regardless, this is a great dish to fulfill your spicy or noodle needs!

Yield: 1 serving
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 udon package, cooked as per instructions and drained
  • 1 TBSP olive oil or cooking oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ onion, cubed
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 egg, fried


Ingredients for the spicy sauce

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • ½ tsp gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the spicy sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a frying pan, spread 1 TBSP of olive oil or cooking oil on the bottom of the pan and sauté garlic, onions, and mushrooms over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to turn into a golden color.
  3. Lower the heat to low, add noodles, heavy cream, and spicy sauce mixture to the frying pan. Mix well and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and mix well. Serve immediately with fried egg and scallions on top of noodles.