Rain and colder temperatures together with a busier-than-usual family and for for-hire client schedule mean dinner needs to be warm and made very efficiently.
Tortilla Soup. Fast, warm and happy.
I was in San Francisco with a client until 10PM last night, so it was El Pollo Loco chicken by request for my Mother-in-Law. There is no El Pollo Loco in Hawaii so when she visits, this is a must-do.TuesdayTortilla Soup
, using the leftover El Pollo Loco chicken. We haven't had this in awhile. We have some absolutely bee-you-tee-ful homegrown avocado from a friend, as well as pepper jack cheese for sprinkling.
No piggies here.
Fresh choy sum. Yum
What's good about winter rain in California? Lots of green
. As in lettuce, choy greens, mizuna, spinach
. I have already consulted with the household carnivore, and as a bonus, we are meatless twice this week. Here's how we are going green
this week.MondayMyles Last Resort Meatloaf,
salad and cheese buns from the Cheese Board Collective
on Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley. After the tofu-loaf fiasco
, it's time for reliable, 'normal' meatloaf. The ironic thing is that the ingredients for the good loaf and the very bad loaf are quite similar. Leaf of the day: romaine lettuce
for salad.TuesdayPortuguese Sausage Sticky Rice
and Choy Sum with Shoyu-Mirin Sauce.
Leaves of the day: baby spinach
in the sticky rice and choy sum
, in the choy sum.
Macadamia-Arugula Pasta (pic shows pine nuts)
Leaf of the day: mizuna
, a Japanese green.ThursdayCornmeal Fish
. Leaf of the day: the rest of Tuesday's spinach
sauteed with a bit of garlic.Meatless FridayMacadamia-Arugula Pasta
. Well-worth the trip to Trader Joe's for the lemon pepper pappardelle. Leaf of the day: arugula
! Swap in pine nuts if you're out of macs.
Stay dry this week. Eat Well. Be Well.
Brown University, Providence, RI
This post is dedicated to all college kids (and a few in particular) who are now living the dream of off-campus apartment living.
Ah, yes. The freedom of selecting exactly what you want to eat. No more mass-produced, pre-selected dorm food to be eaten at specified times.
The reality of which quickly becomes, "Oh (appropriate college-level profanity here)!? I have to cook! And wash dishes!? And buy food?! Hello, Mom!?"
A friend of mine has a child is in just such a predicament, with two vegetarian roomies thrown in, just for some added fun.
Do not despair, or worse yet, whine. Armed with a salad spinner, rice cooker, a non stick pan, a non-stick spatula and a baking sheet, you will neither starve nor burn through your parents' money eating out.
Feeding Your Ohana 101: Staples you should always try to have in-house
Spices & Seasoners
Garlic. This makes everything better
Coarse sea salt. Say no to refined salt
Black pepper. The kind you can grind on your own
Olive oil. For general-purpose cooking
Canola oil. For when you decide to fry something, and you will
Shoyu (soy sauce). Low-sodium, green label Kikkoman is my favorite
Roasted sesame seed oil. Dynasty or Kadoya brand
Sriracha sauce. Look for the rooster on the label. He is your friend.
White vinegar. Buy a gallon and you can also use it to clean your floors. When you clean them.
Balsamic vinegar. Impress your friends
Brown sugar. For homemade teriyaki sauce
White sugar. If you bake. A mom can dream!
Cooking sherry and ginger
Generally non-perishable items
Onions. Technically perishable, but they last a long time and you will use them a lot
Rice. White or brown short grain, Koda Farms if you can
Quinoa.That you can cook in your rice cooker
"Noodley" type pasta like linguine
"Shaped" pasta like penne, farfalle, or elbows
Nuts. Pine nuts, walnuts and cashews
Dried cranberries. Good to toss into salads
Bread. Add cheese and it's a sandwich
Perishable Items--stored in the fridge
Cheese. Parmesan and your favorite for sandwiches
Firm tofu. If you and your roomies can make peace with it
A bottle each of lime and lemon juice. Fresh are always preferable, but these are good to have on standby
What you can make with the above supplies plus a trip to the grocery store for fresh produce.
So whether you are Lions, Tigers or any-type-except-Golden-Bears,
Cardinal, Crimson or Big Red--enjoy college.
Remember that if you have aluminum foil and an iron, you can make grilled cheese, and that snow banks are excellent temporary coolers.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Study Hard. Play hard, but not too hard. After all, I'm still a mom!
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.
Rainboots in June. SJ Sharks color of course!
It didn't just drizzle today. It poured. For the Bay Area in June, this is just plain weird. This is fitting, considering Monday's meal.
Leftover Group Project Dinner. 3 large pizzas, half a watermelon, a bag of chips, 2 dozen cookies, a gallon of juice and 7 teenagers came over for lunch and a group project.
1 entire pizza was left. How is this even possible? 6 of them were girls, and the boy left early. They are coming back tomorrow, so I'll need to stock up again.
Perfect purple rice
TuesdayKorean Chicken Soup
, kim chee and purple rice. Perfect for a soggy post-rainy day in June. We'll see how the group project kids feel about this meal! Plan B for the teenagers is a full loaf of bread, roasted turkey and Havarti cheese.Wednesday
Even when I go out to dinner, I still like to make sure the teenagers and the husband don't starve. So Grandma Nancy's Braised Beef
is perfect because they can manage the final 15 minutes in the oven. Even better, a Facebook-Feeding-My-Ohana pal does this in a crock pot. And she will send me her cooking instructions for this method soon. Hint, hint.ThursdaySalmon and Grape Sauce
. This has been lounging in the Greenhouse for far too long. Salmon and grapes are in season. I also have a kale salad recipe that sounds too good not to try. It's kale, walnuts, cranberries and feta cheese.FridayChicken Adobo
, salad and rice. Just something simple to finish out a weird week.
I've gotten new recipes from my clients today, so we'll have to queue those up this week sometime too.Eat Well. Be Well.
Because Mom has been continuing her tour of Bay Area eateries, including a second tofu house, there have been a lot of leftovers for dinner. This week's selection included dim sum
, Korean tofu house #2
, and Japanese curry
I actually missed making dinner. So here's what cooking for the rest of the week.ThursdayBraised kabocha
, made by MomMy Mom's Chicken Katsu
, made by meEasy Roasted Asparagus
, requested by Mom
Spaghetti with Simple Tomato Sauce
, requested by Mom.Eat Well. Be Well.
Korean food trucks are everywhere--Kogi, Korilla, Mama Kim's, and MoGo BBQ. It was time to see I could do something similar but without the FedEx-like truck.Mission accomplished.
Even though our dining room has absolutely zero hipness factor compared to the food trucks.
No wonder these trucks are so popular. Even better, it's pretty easy to do at home. Last night was Make-Your-Own-Bulgogi-Chicken-Wraps
Sides were purple rice
(more on this later), gochu-jang sesame mayo, bean sprouts, lettuce
and sliced cucumbers
. Kim chee on the side, of course. I started at 5:30. We were eating at 6:30. In between, I was able to Facebook and send a few emails for work.
There is a about 10 minutes of prep the night before, and I also made a trip to the Korean grocery store, also *before* I started this meal (See "Look Before You Cook
"). The nice ladies at Hankook Korean Market
were happy to recommend the appropriate spice level of gochu-jang and give explicit instructions for purple/black rice.
First, purple rice is brown or white rice with a bit of Korean black rice
. Black rice costs about $4 and one package will last a long time. Buying it came with two very stern warnings.
1) It will stain absolutely everything and 2) Add only a little bit to brown or white rice. I used 2 cups of brown rice and half a handful of black rice in the rice cooker. It makes it a pretty color and gives it a little flavor and more texture. All good things.
Second, gochu-jang sauce
is Korean chili sauce. It's the consistency of miso paste and has a very slightly sweet undertone. There are levels of gochu-jang hotness, and I was instructed to get the medium hot version. I'm planning on using more of it for spicy tofu and another Korean chicken experiment later this week.
Household was very happy and requested leftovers for lunch. Click here
for the complete recipe.Eat Well. Be Well.
I owe my parents big time for making 'any kine' food, and not just what my sisters and I preferred. Whether I liked something or not was irrelevant.
Dad liked it, it was good for you, and starving children in the far reaches of the world would gratefully consume your creamed tuna or daikon greens, thank you very much. You ate what was made.
I came to appreciate this when my babies started having food opinions. This newby parent was convinced that her piteously hungry children would starve or worse yet, be emotionally scarred for being forced to eat something that didn't appeal to their largely untested and extremely limited toddler palates. At that point, my pediatrician said, "Look at that child's thighs. If he misses a meal he will most definitely not starve. Do not short-order cook for your children. Think of how you ate as a child.
" Did I mention I love my pediatrician?Epiphany.
Meals at my parents house were as much about trying new foods as nourishment. Their neighbors and friends were Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Haole, Hapa, Hawaiian...and we were always getting something new to add to the dinner table.
So this week is inspired by spending a week back at Mom's table. Picky eaters are welcome and most certainly will not starve.Monday
Not the Colonel's KFC. The kids had doctor's appointments and Bon Chon Korean Fried Chicken
is next to the doctor's office. This is a happy coincidence, and not how I chose my children's doctor. Rounded out with plain rice, nori, green beans and a green salad.
TuesdayMy Daddy's Killer Fried Rice
, using Portuguese sausage and a little kim chee. Plus Choy Sum with Shoyu Mirin Sauce
. Mom usually makes this with ung choy, but choy sum was fresh and on sale. WednesdayWatercress soup.
Mom made this last week on a 'chilly' O'ahu day when we were all still feeling icky from colds and jet lag. Everyone was happy and slept well that day. Will post the recipe later this week.
ThursdayHuli Huli chicken
, broccoli and musubi. Just because we can't go to the beach doesn't mean we can't have beach food.FridayTofu-tuna burgers
. I know, "tofu," "tuna" and "burger" in the same breath makes your head want to explode. If that's not enough, I have to throw in "carrots" and "shiitake." It sounds odd, but tastes really great. Think of it as a kind of hash.
Here's to parents and pediatricians--who tirelessly foster un-picky eaters. Eat Well. Be Well.
I'm purposely going without Four Legs
this week. With the 49ers cruelly eliminated, our Superbowl potluck focuses squarely on eating and deconstructing the half-time show and the commercials. During that time, I'm quite sure we'll enjoy several of varieties of our four-legged friends.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't make avocado poke stacks
last week--we went to Kikusushi
instead. I'm hoping to fit it in somewhere, perhaps at our Superbowl party. With that, here's what's cooking this week.MondayCrock-Pot Miso Chicken
Wraps. (Lefotvers Roulette + feathers) This recipe is in the Greenhouse
because it is has potential, but needs some serious help. It turned out way too sweet. I'm hoping the Spicy Asian Coleslaw
will balance it out and make a good leftovers meal. It could also cause a dinner riot, a 1-day hunger strike, or we could all have apple pie for dinner.
(Also feathers) and Japanese Potato Salad
. The adobo is by request of my mother-in-law, who will be 'minding' the teenagers. What she says goes.
Japanese Potato Salad at the request of the teenagers.WednesdayLasagne
(plants) A friend of ours made lasagne with Barilla no-boil
with no-bake noodles, and it was awesome. Great taste and texture, in half the time. I'm using Spaghetti Sauce II
as a base, but omitting Italian sausage. And since it is not zucchini season, I'm adding spinach and an eggplant.ThursdayGarlic Cilantro Mahi
(gills) and Tropical Rice Pilaf
. I've not made this rice pilaf in quite awhile and I miss it. I'll have to see if I can scrounge up a mango this week at Marukai.FridayTechie Gnocchi
(plants). Light meals leading up to the weekend.
As noted above, last week's Crock Pot Miso Chicken
is now in the Greenhouse
. Lemon Pasta with Macadamia Nuts will probably go directly to Plants as it has given the husband new-found, but grudging respect for arugula.
Go New Yor-ngland Patri-ants
. I shall look forward to the commercials and lively company. Maybe we'll watch a little football. Eat Well. Be Well.
is finally in the forecast in the Bay Area. In fact, I took my first rainy run this afternoon. These recipes have been stashed away with the flannel sheets and the household is looking forward to switching it up, at least for this week.MondayChristine's Clam Chowder
, Beer Bread
and green salad. Even with store-bought tomatoes, this was The Perfect Meal
for the first rain of the season. This time I used Kona Longboard Pale Ale for Beer Bread, which made a slightly sweet, very light caramel-colored bread.
TuesdayPortuguese Sausage Sticky Rice
and a green salad. When we have 'heavy' main foods like clam chowder or sticky rice, I like to balance it off with a good light salad.WednesdayGinger/Cilantro'd Fish/Chicken with Coconut Sauce
, revisited from the Greenhouse.Thank you to a Feeding My Ohana Facebook fan
with the suggestion to use chicken. I won't be grilling in the rain, so chicken will be baked.
I'm craving Hawaiian food so it's Crock Pot Kalua Pig
, poi (which comes in on Thursdays at Imahara's in Cupertino), Okinawan Sweet Potatoes
and some way to make lomi salmon or maybe just lomi tomatoes. I need to add a good lomi salmon to Feeding My OhanaFridayMy Grandma's Meat and Macaroni
. This is one of my all-time comfort foods. See how an first-generation Japanese Grandma rocks macaroni. Every last one of her grandkids loves this.
Celebrate the change of seasons. Eat Well. Be Well.