Why everyone should learn to cook?

I am a believer. I believe every single person in the world should know how to cook a fresh healthy meal for themselves. This does not include freshly microwaved pre-done meal. Here are the reasons why everyone should know how to cook.

1. Cut out salt and fat intake Home cooked food has way less amount of salt and fat that the restaurants have to include in every single dish they rush out of their kitchens. Salt and fat are tasty to our our tastebuds and the more we get it, the more we get used to loading up on them.

2. Healthy wallets An average meal (criteria – taste and quality) can easily cost at lease $5 – 10. And you know that you can cook at home for so much less money. Especially, if you cook a big batch of soups, curries and freeze them up. you can easily cook about 10 meals for under $20-25. Keep the money and spend it on things that are more rewarding, like fixing something at home, going on a weekend trip, or just chiling at home with a nice bottle of wine and conversation with your loved ones.

3. Wind down from your day Cooking is one of many creativity outlets. Life becomes routine – get up, get ready work, come home, TV… 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. Cooking takes you out of the routine and brings in adventure, creativity, waking up your senses with smells, colors, touch, and taste. You will find yourself forgetting about your day in no time if you cook at the end of your day.

4. Bonding with family  At the very least, your kids, spouse, partner will ask what is being served up and then the conversation starts from there. Imagine the appreciation from the person you feed a nice meal while sharing the events of your days and lives. Did you know, that there are researches that show that children who eat with their familes perform better academically and are psychologically healthier than those who don’t? They also have higher self esteem from having a chance to spend time with their heroes – parents. Remember when we were kids? Our parents were the coolest people in our world!

Cooking is a fun and healthy way of showing love. Be it to yourself or your loved ones.

Til then! 🙂

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Quinoa… (keen-wa) Super-Duper Food

Dear rice lovers, how are you? I have good news for you today. If you don’t already know it, quinoa is a great choice for you to have for an alternative of rice. In fact, quinoa and rice even play well together. Since you can cook quinoa the same way that you would cook rice, you can start with doing a ‘half and half’ trial so you can get used to the quinoa flavor- which, if you ask me, needs no getting used to at all.

Quinoa tastes nutty with fluffy textire similar to rice.. a little bit towards the al dente side. It is LOADED with high amount of protein and amino acids that your body will love. Not only that, it also has a lot of fiber an essential nutritional benefits that you can’t find in rice or any other grains. 

Give it a little try! You will love it, I promise!

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Get Yammin’

Today’s superfood.. drum rolls….. Yam!

I have been looking for healthier alternatives for carbs and try to mix wholegrains into my meals for all their health benefits. For example, adding quinoa in my brown rice to make it healthier. So, I went to my church the Asian market and saw these beutiful yams. (To admit to you… my first thoughts were Samantha from Sex and the City II and her craze about yams.) Then, I remembered later I have read great things about them just the other day. So I decided to cook some for dinner. They are high in fiber and also plant based estrogen, which helps us ladies to have a healthy amount of estrogen in us. I won’t bore you with this info. You can go to the link above and study all about yams. They are tasty and so super healthy. 🙂 Totally should be a staple in anyones house!

Hope you will look for these little beauties and cook them up. Enjoy!

Side dish of yam sauteed with herbed salt.

Side dish of yam sauteed with herbed salt. YUM!!

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How to make up for a mediocre meal.

Want to make a romantic, smooth, velvety, decadent and elegant dessert to impress someone? This is surely going to win ANYONE’s heart. Anyday. Chocolate mousse is the answer. 😀 Mousse with double “s”, that is.

INGREDIENTS:

Dark chocolate 1 bar (I used 60% Ghirardelli dark chocolate)

Butter 1 Tbsp.

Heavy cream 1/2 cup

Vanilla 1/4 Tsp.

Egg yolks 2 large

Sugar 1 Tbsp.

Water 1/4 cup

Salt 1 small pinch

DIRECTIONS:

1. Break chocolate into little pieces and put in a bowl with the butter and half of the water, and melt over a hot water in a saucepan over the stove.

2. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

3. Whip egg yolks with sugar and water on top of hot water on a stove until pale in color and foamy. Egg mixture should be hot to the touch.

4. Whip cream until soft peak form. Be careful to not overwhip, because we want the cream to be on the soft side so that the final product is smooth and shiny.

5.  Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

6. Add the whipped cream and fold gently until incorporated.

7. Pour into 4 small size ramekins or 2 martini glasses and chill for at least 4 hours. (This is a little rich, so 4 little ones should be more than enough. Don’t worry.)

8. Be ready for all the praises that will be sing on the chocolate mousse and you! 🙂

Have fun! Make a mess on purpose, so you benefit from “cleaning” the chocolate off of the bowls. 😉

 

 

 

 

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Let’s cook up a rainbow!!

🙂 I guess I got your attention. Today, I wanted to share a recipe with you that is super super delicious and the bonus is that it is very wholesome! Dr. Oz would be so proud of me, if he sees this! 🙂 This is a dish that I created by using leftover vegetables, beans and roots I can find in my kitchen. These are the things I kept in mind…

A. Lots of fiber

B. Variety in color (rainbow), hence the nutrients & anti-oxidants

C. Low fat

Sound good yet? I also generously added some Garam Masala (Blend of North Indian Spices), Cumin and SUPERFOOD- turmeric. Let’s get this going!

Purple yam, regular yam, chopped ginger and onion.

Bay leaves, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric. Yes, I buy 1 pounders! 🙂

During the creation. Wish you could smell this!

Final product! See wasn't it easy?? 🙂

Things I found in my pantry and fridge today:

Roots: Purple yam and regular yam.

Veggies: Mushrooms and onions.

Pantry goodies: Garbanzo beans, black beans, sweet peas ( I rinsed them in water 2-3 times and drained), diced canned tomatoes.

Spices: Ginger, garam masala, cumin, turmeric and bay leaves.

Protein: 1 chicken breast.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop ginger and cut onions. Cut the roots in small pieces. Cut chicken in to little pieces. (That is very little).

2. Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add canola oil. Once hot, add bay leaves.

3. Add onion and ginger. Cook until onion is translucent.

4. Add chicken. Cook through.

5. Add mushrooms. Stir.

6. Add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and stir well.

7. Add tomatoes. Stir.

8. Add roots, beans and peas. Stir.

9. Season with salt, mix it all well and simmer for about 30 minutes covered on low heat.

10. Serve on top of brown rice. I like to cook my brown rice with 1 part quinoa and 3 parts rice.

Hope you will try this recipe. I hate to sound boring and tell you all the nutrients in this dish. It has the colors that each represent their own goodness. There is purple, orange, green, red, brown, yellow, and all the spices. 🙂 This is also one of those dishes that get better the next day. So I always make big batches. This batch will serve about 8-10 portions.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

Even if this dish is leaning more towards my Indian side… I still say Thai it, you’ll like it!

Enjoy!

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Move over, butter.. Thai seafood dip is here!

I HEART butter. I do.. with all my heart. And it kind of shows, too. 😉 However, there is time and place for it. Many of them, too. However, not with seafood, in my opinion anyways. I grew up eating a lot of fish and seafood. Mostly fresh water fish though. Bangkok – where I grew up- is by the river. As a result, we get lots of fresh water prawns and all kinds of fish. Hmm.. good old days! 🙂

I have a recipe for you today, for a choice for your seafood dip, apart from butter. Let me tempt you by telling you the best part about it, (apart from being ridiculously delish) it has NO FAT. Nada. It is made of lime juice, garlic, Thai chili peppers and salt. Oh, a little bit of sugar to bring out all the flavors.

Recipe:

1 lime

1 clove of garlic

Thai chili pepper (or jalapeno) or not… It’s optional

2 tsp. sugar ( I used my mango jam to add mango flavor, color and sweetness to it this time)

1 tsp. salt 

2 tbsp. lukewarm water.

Directions:

 -Finely chop chili pepper and garlic.

– Put in a little ramekin.

– Add lime juice, sugar, salt and mix well.

– Add the water and stir until nicely blended.

– Dip your fave grilled or steamed seafood in it.

Wasn’t that easy? Here is how mine looked. I had it with grilled shrimp and brown rice with a generous size green salad to start with.

Thai Seafood Dip

Thai Seafood Dip. Yummalicious!

Remember, my friends, Thai it, you’ll like it!

Ciaociao!

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Where have I been? Heaven and back!

So my dear readers, how have you been? Hope you are enjoying summer almost as much as I am. : )

I went on a vacation in Bend, Oregon for a week and wanted to share some pictures with you. First of all, I have to say thank you to Jim and Gwen, the couple that I look up to so very much! They were the most gracious hosts! I learned to skip rocks, make lemon meringue pie, had stew for the first time (I know, it’s exciting for a Thai girl!, ok?!?), I found out that pine barks smell like vanilla. It was like walking in a muffin forest!! It was so mesmerizing to be in nature. All of this, because of Jim and Gwen. I adore them! 🙂 Thank you for everything, Jim and Gwen. 

Really my friends, life is nothing if our memory bank account has nothing to show for it. That is time with friends and family and all your loved ones.

Here are some pictures from the trip. Mostly, they are from our kayaking trip. Hope you will enjoy seeing them.

Jim & Gwen and John & Kan

Jim & Gwen and John & Kan

Paddling off into the sunset, as Gwen would call it. 🙂

Pit stop at a little lagoon for delicious lunch! We totally worked for it!

Pit stop at a little lagoon for delicious lunch! We totally worked for it!

John is so happy. Can you see? Even his kayak is glowing!

Don't even think about it! This paddle stays with me! 🙂

 

 

 

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