This is "staycation" week, full of Olympics watching and a lot of plain ole' nothing going on. It's essential for our summer vacation to go beyond relaxed and well into good and bored so that when the school schedule comes bustling in, we are all prepared and looking forward to it.
I've already stocked up on kim chee, sesame oil and a few other staples from the Korean grocery store and made the weekly Safeway run. Just don't expect to find me in the kitchen all day. It still all about manageable cooking and in the case of wonton, conscripting the children.
Korean Mushroom Tofu
Meatless MondayKorean Mushroom Tofu
, bean sprouts and purple rice. I finally used the Korean cookbook from the library that was renewed TWICE
before I even opened it. The tofu is a winner and the recipe will post later this week.Tuesday"Fixed" Lemon Chicken, Japanese Potato Salad
and Cherry Salad
. I have LOTS
of lemons, cherries and fresh corn.WednesdayWonton
, using half of a freshly ground pork butt, and My Daddy's Killer Fried Rice
, with kim chee. ThursdayCo-worker Kale Salad
, My Mom's Chicken Katsu
and Yaki MusubiFish on FridayBaked Baby Scallops
, theoretically the way I had them in Rhode Island, Greek Salad
, and fresh corn on the cob.
Homemade Pork Sausage. The all-day food.
Extras for the children and their compadres
Spinach veggie dip
using a Knorr's pack and lots of cut carrots, peppers and green beansSteve's Hummus
Loads of yogurt, nuts and berries, aka Squirrel Food
Crackers, bagels, cheese, turkey and salami
Pints Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream: Phish Food, Chunky Monkey, Creme Brulee
and Fresh Peach
seem to be the preferred flavors, and they are on sale too. They're teenagers, they can eat like this!Pickle Mango
. This for me, and it wouldn't be summer without a batch of it. Homemade Pork Sausage
, using the other half of the pork butt. Teenagers sometimes like to have a hearty breakfast. At 11:00 am on a Wednesday. Just because they can.
We are all looking forward to a stretch of homecooked meals together instead of the pseudo-foraging and travel of the last few weeks. Eat Well. Be Well.
Just a few quick updates. By request, here is the Jane's Stuffed Zucchini
, another idea for leftovers and a few things we've been eating lately.
Jane's Stuffed Zucchini
With aloha from Rhode Island. In addition feeding me stuffed peppers, fresh scallops, and all manner of homemade desserts, I got to eat this at a BBQ.Jane's Stuffed Zucchini
is awesomely vegetarian and she used gluten-free bread crumbs to boot.
Mountain View Obon Strawberry Shortcake
There is nothing that is remotely "Japanese" or "Buddhist" about this, but Strawberry Shortcake is an Obon essential.
It's a BIG piece of fluffy white cake, piled with strawberries that are personally couriered up from Watsonville, fresh whipped cream and a bit of strawberry glaze. And it's made to order. I usually skip the glaze and double the whipped cream. Once a year, splurge and have this.
Featuring From-Scratch Pork Loin
and Fresh Corn Salsa
My child kindly de-cobbed our leftover fresh corn, which was converted into Fresh Corn Salsa. The other half of the red onion was used to make a batch of guacamole
Corn tortillas and slices of Tuesday's From-Scratch Pork Loin made
short work for a recycled meal.
Squirrel Food for Breakfast
I found that I am less grouchy and ravenously hungry at lunch when I go carb-less at breakfast. This make everyone happy, especially my children and my boss. Who are not the same people.
My current go-to is Yoplait coconut Greek yogurt, fresh berries and a mixture of lightly salted pistachios, almonds and cashews that I found from Safeway.
It was a good week for enjoying summer and letting meals evolve. I think we are having leftovers again for dinner today.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Dinner is a mix of New England, Obon and a visit from a long-lost friend. All that is good about summer.
Row 1 of Obon food.
Leftover Chicken Teriyaki
from the Mountain View Buddhist Temple Obon, salad and rice. This version of teriyaki chicken is closer in taste and preparation to Huli Huli Chicken
. If you are ever close to Mountain View, CA during the 3rd weekend in July, this is a great place to eat.
From-scratch Pork Loin
A long-lost friend is having dinner at our place. Tofu Steaks
, From Scratch Pork Loin
, fresh corn, rice and a new recipe for Stuffed Zucchini
from my New England ohana. I will be using panko, but the version I had used gluten-free bread crumbs and it was ono-licious. Thank you JLG for the recipe!WednesdayMauna Lani Leftover Chicken Pasta Salad
, using the last of the teriyaki chicken. Easy for a lazy summer dinner.ThursdayBaked fresh baby scallops.
Full disclosure: my New England ohana made this for me last week. Baked with crushed Ritz crackers, butter, salt, pepper and parsley. Melt-in-your mouth good with fresh New England corn and lettuce and tomatoes from their garden.FridayMake Your Own Tacos
with leftover pork loin, corn tortillas, black beans, fresh corn salsa
. Leftovers and gluten-free to boot.
Coast to coast, this country is full of great food and ohana. Eat Well. Be Well.
Downtown Providence, looking toward College Hill
is a beautiful, vibrant city.
Let's get that clear right off the bat. Thanks to massive urban renewal as well as the steady presence of Brown, RISD and the Johnson & Wales culinary school, the capital city of one of the original 13 colonies is revitalized and safe making it a great place to visit all on its own.
More than 1 score and 7 years ago, this was not the case. Downtown was a run-down, past-tense pit that peaked in the 19th century. As college students, we would seldom venture "down the hill." When we did, it was strictly to make a beeline to the train station to New York or the Bonanza bus to Boston, the 'real' East Coast cities.
Then, the river was uncovered, un-re-routed and made a centerpiece of the city. They started WaterFire
. Shops and restaurants moved back in. There is even a Quickly in downtown Providence! Alas, like the other Quicklys', it is not so quick, but the mere presence of bubble tea in Providence completely blew my mind.
Eating in Providence is simply lovely. Traditional Portuguese and Italian influences are still very strong. Thayer Street, the college avenue that bisects the Brown campus offers a host of reasonable eats, bakeries, and coffee. As a bonus, you can also catch the Brown guest wifi on most parts of Thayer.
And then there is Mama Kim's,
Korean food truck that usually parks itself on Thayer Street, near the Hegeman and Caswell dorms. Here is authentic Korean food made by longtime Rhode Island residents. I like that it is of Providence
. Founded by a Brown graduate and his mom, all food is local, right down to the Portuguese bakery that makes the sweet bread and the Johnson & Wales cooks who prep the food, under Mama Kim's direction, of course.
Who could imagine good and reasonable Korean food in Providence?! But there is. And they are nice too. A mere $3
will get you a generous serving of bulgogi, kimchi pork, gochujang chicken or portabella mushroom. You can choose to have it in a wrap or slider style with fresh Portuguese sweet bread. I highly recommend the slider option. Order 2 for a a really full meal, but you can easily have 1 as lunch, or share three with a friend.
One of their Yelp reviews
best encapsulates Mama Kim's: "Find this truck. Eat this food. Thank me later.
Divine Providence indeed. Well worth a visit.Eat Well. Be Well.
Several members of my New England ohana maintain gluten-free diets. This means wheat, oats, malt, rye and barley are off limits. No bread, pasta, panko, beer or beef barley soup. Rice, quinoa, corn, tamales and mochi are all OK. Spam also appears to be gluten-free.
I'm thankful to have learned so much about gluten-free cooking in such a short time. Wheat products, and wheat flour in particular, show up in unexpected items. For example, shoyu (soy sauce), oyster sauce, and cream of chicken soup all contain wheat flour and therefore, are not gluten-free. I suspect it may be used as a thickener for oyster sauce and cream of chicken soup, but I'm not exactly sure why wheat flour is even required for shoyu!
Coming back to my own pantry, Bulldog katsu sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce are gluten-free. I also found a host of gluten-free products, even organic, gluten-free shoyu stocked at Safeway.
This week menu is gluten-free in honor of my New England ohana. I picked these specifically because I think they are gluten-free as is. Last week's lobster in melted butter is also most certainly gluten-free!
MondayMediterranean Lamb Stir Fry
. The one questionable item was the store-bought chicken broth. It contains yeast extract, but this is gluten-free.TuesdayTaco Meat--No Mix
with corn tortillas, Laurie's Guacamole
and Tropical Fruit Salsa
. If it's difficult to get mangoes in New England, fresh peaches will work for the salsa too.WednesdayClam and Cannellini Bean Soup.
Perfect for the land of cherrystones, quahogs, steamers and littlenecks. It's supposed to be a little cooler in New England this week, so a nice light bowl of soup is in order. Eaten outside, of course!ThursdaySalt and Pepper Shrimp
, green beans and rice. The crisp on the shrimp is from constarch and not flour. In case you were wondering, the 5 spices in Chinese Five-Spice powder are cinnamon, anise, star anise, cloves
. All gluten-free.
Tart-style Rat-pa-tooty. Summer veggies are in season!
Peak-season tomatoes, zukes, and red peppers are good for all.IMPORTANT NOTE
I am by no means an expert on gluten-free eating. So please make sure to check your own versions/brands of the ingredients listed to make sure they are gluten-free.
Like going vegetarian, going gluten-free is not as daunting as it seems. One family member even made a kid-friendly gluten-free cookbook to prove it. The food is simple and yummy.
It would be much more difficult to go potato-chip or ice-cream free. What other gluten-free recipes and resources do you have out there?
Send 'em in or post 'em.
The weekly menu is a little late due to a cross-country flights from New England. It takes nearly 10 hours of total time to get from Providence, RI to the SF Bay Area. If you were to continue back to Hawaii, it would take another 5 1/2 hour flight. I can't believe this is what I did to go to school.
With that, here is what's cooking this hot summer week. Taking advantage of homegrown cukes and lemons.
Dimsum & Diet Coke. First Course.
Although I did manage to get my son to soccer practice, I spent most of the day trying not to fall asleep at inopportune times. Hence, the Diet Coke/Dimsum appetizer. Thankfully, my totally awesome husband brought back my favorite Chinese food for dinner.TuesdayZaru soba
topped with green onions and perhaps kamaboko. Plus the rest of the Chinese food.WednesdayRomescu Chicken.
Thinking this will be made as a salad or open-face sandwich with lettuce and cukes.ThursdayWhole wheat pasta and tofu with coconut curry sauce
, a riff on Cooking Light's Beef Soba Noodles
. The original recipe got only bell curve reviews, but has a lot of potential with the ingredients--coconut milk, lime, honey, curry powder...in other words, the perfect baseline to tinker with.FridayYaki Musubi
, My Own Namasu
and Furikake Salmon
. My sister made furikake salmon for my Hawaii ohana last week, and now I'm craving it.
To use the lemons and cukes and to keep the teenagers in checkSummer Water
, gobs of it as a thirst-quencher.Lovely Lemon Curd
, because it plays well with so summer berries and stone fruitFresh cut watermelonSpinach dip
for crackers, carrots and cukes
Another batch of Kale Chips
, trying a sesame oil/furikake version.Eat Well. Be Well.
Quintessential New England
I was lucky to spend some time with my New England ohana this past weekend. And even though it's been much too long since our last time together, it was still like being welcomed home.
And when you are in Narragansett, RI, local means 'lobstuh.' Live caught in the morning. 7-minute boil for dinner.
Simply head to the docks or a dockside market, and pick out your lobsters, or clams, or fresh codfish. Note that lobsters are a lively blu-ish brown as they clank against the scale, and clams are still wet, tightly closed and smell like a good clean ocean.
Note the barnacle on one of the claws
5-toe clarity on the Atlantic!
We on the West and Pacific side tend to think of the Atlantic as cold and gray.
I'd forgotten how undeserved this perception is.
The Atlantic water in Rhode Island is clearer, warmer and simply feels cleaner than Santa Cruz. It may not be Molokini blue, but it is sparkly clear and no wetsuit required. And you can most definitely surf there too.
Thank you to my New England ohana for welcoming me after such a long absence.
What's an uku-pile
is the Hawaiian word for head lice. NO
, our household has not been attacked by head lice. Uku-pile
is a pidgin English mesh of a Hawaiian language phrase ku ka paila
(pronounced KOO' kah pai' lah) which means a big pile of something, usually work, laundry, dirty dishes...say it really fast and you can hear how this was shortened to uku-pile.
By request, here are some recent recipes and updates that I've added to the site. And Kale Chips
and Sweet Po's and Peachy Catsup
can be made in time for a 4th of July BBQ.
30 minutes to satisfy that potato chip craving in a healthier way. With or without parmesan cheese at the end.
Teenagers were very skeptical, but ended up eating every last bit. Even better, they can make it themselves.
Sweet Po's and Peachy Catsup
Colleague's recommendation, teenager requested and family approved. We've eaten this several times to test it out.
Co-Worker Kale Salad
Another winner that has been colleague recommended, teenager requested and family approved. Plus, the recipe was requested by a friend who came to our last potluck, who was quite surprised that it was kale.
Yes T, I really did feed you kale.
Adrienne's Soba Salad, with spaghetti swap
I couldn't bear to see gobs of leftover spaghetti as I contemplated opening a new package of soba.
Worked out very well as a stir fry with snow peas, red and yellow peppers and a bit of char siu.
Happy 4th of July to All.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Happy Birthday to the USA, and here's what's cooking this week to celebrate the incredible melting pot that is uniquely American.
Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches
MondayVietnamese chicken sandwiches
, using a new recipe for Vietnamese-style grilled chicken, namasu
, shredded carrots, mayo and sriracha on green onion slab bread. With leftover Hawaii Homestyle Mac Salad
, this variation had diced green peppers. I hope to post the grilled chicken and another grilled pork recipe later this week.TuesdaySpicy Turkey Burgers
and sweet potato fries with peach/ginger catsup from a recipe I got from another client who also happens to be my egg supplier.Wednesday
Annual 4th of July potluck. A smaller affair than last year. The menu is still TBD, but there will be Spam Musubi
for sure.ThursdayCornmeal Fish
with fresh Tropical Fruit Salsa
Or leftovers from the 4th. Hmm, probably
leftovers from the 4th.FridayEdamame Rice
with fresh tofu and ponzu sauce. Cool and light for the end of the week.
From California to the New York Island, this land was made for you and me.Eat Well. Be Well.