Blog Archives

Recipe ReDux: Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Fried Rice

The theme for April 2014 is…

Treasured Cookware: Share a story of classic cookware – and a healthy recipe to go with it. Some of us will be celebrating Mother’s Day next month (May 11,) but it’s more than once a year that many of us cook with a pan, a wooden spoon or another piece of cookware passed on to us from the kitchens of our favorite relatives. Let’s see what you can cook up with your treasured kitchen tool!

I had slight difficulty with this one, mostly because my family doesn’t do all that much cooking. My dad once gave me a bowl of mustard pasta (yes, really) and I made the mistake of believing my mom.
(dad): Try it!
F: (sniffs the pot of pasta) Why does it smell kinda…strange…?
(dad): Just try some!
F: Did you have any yet?
(mom): Yeah, I had a bowl of it. It was fine.
F: Well, okay then.

In case you were wondering, I now have trust issues. I forgot that my mom doesn’t love and adore food the way I do, and pretty much only eats because it’s necessary to survive. ;_;

This entire back story is really just to explain that there isn’t actually a piece of classic cookware that’s been in my life for as long as I can remember. The one constant I can consistently recall (which may or may not have to do with the fact that I’m Asian) though is our rice cooker! Since I’m currently located across the country from my family, I’m obviously not using the same one they have, but I absolutely adore this thing. <3 I’ve used it for all kinds of kitchen experiments in the past 1.5-ish years–for instance, to bake cakes for friends’ birthdays and to cook quinoa.

The recipe is adapted from here! One look at that picture and there was pretty much no way I could go on without trying to make it. The substitutions were done based on my budget/what I already had in my apartment, and it didn’t come out looking anywhere near as pretty as the recipe I modified it from, but people liked it a lot! It’s been ages since we’ve been able to do a potluck (med school got in the way), so I gathered everyone at my place over the weekend and we had a mega-feast! It’s been a long, long year, so it was great to be able to relax for an evening while enjoying great food and company. :]

Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Fried Rice with Maple Tofu Cubes


-4 cups brown rice (cooked)
-1/2 cup raw pistachios, shelled
-1/2 small sweet onion, diced
-3 cups kale, chopped (thick stems removed)
-1 grapefruit (juice + pulp)
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-sea salt, to taste
-black pepper, to taste
-pinch of cayenne pepper
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp EVOO
-2 tsp honey (can sub with maple syrup to make it vegan!)
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 cup firm tofu, cubed

1) Cook rice in rice cooker. (Preferably day-old rice.)
2) Heat 1-2 tsp EVOO in a skillet (or ginormous pot) over high heat. Add the chopped onion + saute for 1-2 minutes. Add pistachio nuts and saute for another minute until they’re toasted.
3) Add in another tsp of EVOO and add rice, pumpkin, salt, pepper, grapefruit, garlic and spices. Toss and saute so that pumpkin distributes evenly through the rice.
5) Add grapefruit juice to hydrate the pan and ingredients. Saute until it absorbs. Transfer to large bowl.
6) Add tofu cubes to skillet Drizzle honey and ground ginger over tofu cubes.  Add a bit of salt and pepper.
7) Saute on high and toss it with the rice until just combined.
8) Serve hot!

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux Contest entries only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

This was the view from our “front porch!” WV paints its sunsets as though the sky’s on fire. My phone camera doesn’t do it justice, but it’s still beautiful all the same. <3

This was all but three of us! (One’s taking the picture and two of em’ came later.)


Raspberry Almond Bird’s Nest Cookies

Not too long ago, I discovered that there was a such thing as Carrot Cake M&M’s. Yeah, you read that correctly! Carrot Cake M&M’s! I couldn’t find them at Kroger so I scoured Walmart for them (that was a load of fun). I wanted to make bird’s nest cookies that weren’t frighteningly unhealthy, so…I used this recipe for the base (I halved the amount of honey though). To be honest, they taste better without the M&M’s if you put in jam (I think the flavors clashed), so choose either the jam/fruit preserves or the M&M’s!

I’m sorry if you’re sick of seeing this plate, but it’s the only pretty plate I have, so just grin and bear it. :O

Raspberry Almond Bird’s Nest Cookies

(18 cookies) 98 calories, 12g CHO’s, 5g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 51mg sodium!

-1 1/2 cups almond meal
-2 tsp baking powder
-5 tbsp applesauce
-2 tbsp honey (sub with maple syrup if vegan)
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/2 cup raspberry jam/preserves (or fresh raspberries)
-24 carrot cake M&M’s (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2) In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the raspberry jam
3) Drop batter onto parchment paper in 1-tsp size balls.
4) Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes or until golden.
5) Press in an indentation into the center of each cookie with the back of a teaspoon.
6) Top with a little jam or with M&M’s.

Choplets with Hoisin or Teriyaki Sauce

My apologies in advance because you’re gonna be seeing this picture twice. :O This is mostly because on their own, choplets really don’t look all that appetizing, so they’ve been drizzled with “hoisin” dressing and paired with yet another variation of pineapple fried rice. Don’t hate. Choplet recipe was from Heidi (as most of my recipes are these days! :O!!) and the sauce recipes were from Chloe’s Kitchen.

These are good as a meat substitute for stir-fry, sandwiches, stews, etc. :]


(Pictured on the right with vegan hoisin sauce!)

-2 1/2 cups gluten
-1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-2 cups water
-2 celery stalks, diced
-1 onion, diced
-2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ginger
-1 tsp garlic
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 tbsp molasses
-6 cups water

1) (Broth) Saute the celery + onion, then add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
2) (Dough) Sift dry ingredients together, then add in the water.
3) Mix together quickly to avoid dry clumps (it clumps together very quickly!). Knead dough for a minute to make it tougher and more elastic.
4) Form into a log and slice “rounds” off the log. Place them into the boiling broth.
5) Cover and reduce broth to simmer. Cook for 1 hour. (They will look like ginormous chicken pieces, but don’t worry, they’ll shrink back down when they’ve cooled down!)
6) Drain and serve in a stir-fry, stew, sandwich, etc.

Hoisin Sauce
-4 tbsp soy sauce
-2 tbsp peanut butter
-1 tbsp sugar or honey
-2 tsp vinegar
-2 tsp sesame oil or 1 tbsp tahini
-hot +/or black pepper, to taste

Teriyaki Sauce
-3/4 cup water
-3 tbsp soy sauce
-1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
-1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

Recipe ReDux: Walnut Oat Patties

Less than 2 weeks ago, I got to partake in a cooking class sponsored by Greenbrier Better Living Center & Thrift Store (also known as the thrift shop my church runs). The goal was to teach the community that healthy foods could indeed be delicious, and didn’t necessarily have to be extremely complicated/expensive to make. It’s currently being taught by Heidi, one of the best cooks at my church.* She taught us how to make 17 different recipes within 2.5 hours. This included giving us samples of all of them. And raffles. :O D-damn. I believe the next class is going to be covering healthy/healthier desserts! :]

*This is saying a lot, because everything, and I mean everything, I have consumed there thus far [1.5 years and counting] has been delicious. :O She has 6 children (ages 1-11) and I’m jealous of what they get to eat each day…but it’s cool, because that’s what my Saturdays are for. I usually reserve Saturday as my “cheat day” and go back for thirds or fourths; if anyone could convert me into eating a vegetarian/vegan diet, they’d have the highest success rate.

In any case, this is my very first contribution to the Recipe ReDux group! I hope it goes well because I’m not going to be around until about a week after this to see whether or not I posted it correctly. (Hooray for the “schedule post” option!)

The theme for March 2014 is…

A Play on Patties : While St. Patty’s Day will be over by the time The Recipe ReDux rolls around this month, we’re celebrating the ‘patty’ all month long. We’ve seen images of stacked patties go crazy on food photo sharing sites like; so stack ‘em up! Think healthy tuna burgers, potato patties, or veggie stacks.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that it’s so darn versatile. If you want to add a spicy kick to it, chop up a jalapeno and throw it in. Mix up the spices and you have a whole different patty to work with. You could also top it with all kinds of different sauces. :] Hope you enjoy!

Walnut Oat Patties

-2 cups water + 1 3/4 cups water
-1 cup walnuts
-1/4 cup soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp flax seed
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1 tbsp basil
-1 tbsp oregano
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tsp liquid smoke (hickory)
-black pepper or hot pepper (optional)
-4 cups oats

1) Blend 2 cups of water + the next 10 ingredients (basically everything except the oats). The mixture doesn’t have to be smooth.
2) Pour blender contents into saucepan and use remaining 2 cups of water to rinse the rest of the blender contents into the saucepan.
3) Bring mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally since nuts scorch easily.
4) Add oats. Stir, then remove from heat.
5) Let cool. Preheat oven to 350.
6) Use a wide-mouth canning ring to fill/shape patties on a greased baking sheet.
7) Bake for 20 minutes on each side.

These seem to taste best when they’re made a day in advance and then reheated the following day before serving. The flavors mellow out and it’s delicious. :D

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux Contest entries only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Garlic Naan (+ Pizza Dough!)

This is another recipe I learned from my church! The pizza dough recipe is from page 250 of Chloe’s Kitchen and the Garlic Naan recipe is from pages 174-175.

Garlic Naan

-8 garlic cloves, minced
-1-1 1/2 lb. pizza dough*
-flour for rolling
-2-3 tbsp Earth Balance, melted, for brushing

1) Preheat the oven to broil.
2) Knead garlic into the dough until evenly distributed.
3) Divide dough into 6-8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
4) Roll out on a lightly floured surface until ~8-in. thick.
5) Place on broiler pan or baking sheet + brush the top with melted margarine. Broil for 2 minutes, then flip using tongs and broil for another 1-1 1/2 minutes (or until puffed + lightly browned in spots).

*Pizza Dough
(This makes ~1.5 pounds!)

-1 1/4 oz. package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
-1 cup warm water, 110 degrees
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tbsp EVOO, + extra for brushing
-1 tsp salt
-1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup

1) In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until bubbles form (~10 minutes).
2) In a large bowl, combine flour, oil, salt, sugar + yeast mixture. Using lightly floured hands, mix until a stiff dough has formed. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle extra flour (~1 tsp at a time) as needed.
3) Place dough in large well-oiled bowl + rotate the ball of dough so it’s completely covered w/ oil. (This will prevent dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises.) Cover with a dry kitchen towel and place in a warm area until it’s doubled in volume (1-1 1/2 hours).
4) Place dough on lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Knead for 5 minutes using the steering wheel technique** and use dough immediately, or cover tightly in plastic wrap + refrigerate or freeze for later use. Thaw to room temperature before using.

**(Steering Wheel Technique)
1) Shape dough in a disc + place 1 hand at 12 o’ clock (top of disc).
2) Fold dough in half toward 6 o’ clock. With the heel of your hand, press dough from 6-12 o’ clock. Turn dough a quarter of a turn.
3) Repeat process for 5 minutes.