No matter what your politics, we should all be grateful that we live in a country where we can disagree, yet have a peaceful transfer of power. We are not ideal, but we are all united in trying to build that 'more perfect union' as best we can. And by happy coincidence, we are eating "any kine" All-American food this week.Not so Meatless MondayMa Po Tofu
. When my husband volunteers to cook, he can make pretty much whatever he wants. Therefore, we have meat on Monday--about 1 pound of pork split among 4 adults.Tuesday
(Leftover) homemade chili
nachos with semi-homemade corn chips. On Sunday, we had an all-day Mavericks Surfing/49ers/San Jose Sharks at-home tailgate, with a ton of appetizers and a big pot of chili. So we'll have nachos with the leftover chili, salsa and corn chips. Adding an avocado, sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and non-fat sour cream. Just in time for another hockey-watching night. Go Sharks and are we ever glad we aren't in Edmonton. My girlfriend from Calgary says, "Oh it's only a little cold there." To an ex-pat Hawaii girl, the HIGH temperature of 10 degrees F makes Edmonton pretty much the North Pole.WednesdayFive-Star Falafel
Turkish food, as requested for a household birthday dinner. For each member's birthday, s/he chooses their takeout dinner. Past choices included Banana Leaf (Malaysian), Amici's Pizza, and sushi.Meatless ThursdayAlmost Alfredo Pasta
. This time, I'll use broccoli or chard instead of spinach, just for a change of pace. And probably mushrooms because I like to add those whenever I can too.FridayClam and Cannellini Bean Soup
. I want to try out San Marzano tomatoes to see if they are really worth the extra cost. Any opinions on relative worth of the vaunted San Marzanos? Post them all!
Tofu with Snow Peas and Mushrooms
Much better this time. Yet another meal that is meatless, uses one dish and can be made in 30 minutes. I tend to overcook stir-fry dishes, but since this has no meat, it's easy (and safe) to take a very light touch.Click here
for the recipe.Pretty Much My Mother-in-Law's Corn Chowder
I glommed together a recipe from the trifecta of Mother-in-Law, Tyler Florence and the Barefoot Contessa. I need to make this again because we were all had multiple servings and there were no leftovers. Hence, is no picture. This is a very good sign.Click here
for this one.
Much better outcomes than the infamous Tofu Loaf.
Tomato tart and Chicken with lime/guava glaze are on deck.
Always looking for new ideas, so don't be shy about sending in suggestions!
Cleaned out the recipe/market research drawer
Most of us have been eating pretty heavy over the holidays. So I've made dinners for the first full week of back to work/school purposefully lighter and included new recipes from the New Year's magazine purge.
Here's what we are eating this week. As a bonus, we are meatless TWICE
. Not a lot of links yet, but will be posting the new recipes later this week.Meatless Monday
Tofu Stir Fry.
I tried it awhile ago with mixed results (see link
and ugly photo). The original recipe is a beef stir-fry. However, over our recent vacation, we drove through Coalinga, CA, location of the endless field of Definitely-NOT-Free-Range-and-Not-Very-Likely-Grass-Fed cows. Thus, we are eating tofu.
Almost Meatless TuesdayCorn Chowder, Take 3
. This time using the combination of my mother-in-law's, Tyler Florence
and the Barefoot Contessa
, all people with serious cooking chops.WednesdayChicken with onions, red peppers
and maybe the rest of the snap peas from Monday. With a guava-lime glaze
, from a Bon Appetit magazine, circa 2000. The original recipe is for kebabs, but it's winter, so it'll be baked. Complemented by My Very Own Namasu
and rice.ThursdayGreek Tuna Pasta Salad.
Pasta tossed with cukes, red peppers, red onions, feta cheese, tuna, kalamata olives, and a little red wine vinegar. Genius! I should have thought of this years ago.Definitely Meatless FridayTomato Tart
, using puff pastry and fresh tomatoes. Blah-blah winter tomatoes go rah-rah when roasted with their friends garlic, onions and parmesan cheese. This should be good.
Happy New Year. Looking forward a great year. Any good resolutions for 2013?Eat Well. Be Well.
Christmas planning is going full-speed ahead. This weekend, we got our pictures taken, ordered Christmas cards, went Christmas shopping and now I'm prepping boxes to ship out to Hawaii. I also attempted to cash in on an online calendar sale, but sadly, that sale and along with the last of my Christmas mojo expired like Cinderella at midnight last night.
However, we still need to eat, and planning the weekly menu always reminds me to settle down and pay attention to the most basic of things--feeding my ohana. Here is what we're having this week.
Pork sausage spice goodness
, stew-style. It's too late for tomatoes, but red peppers and eggplants were looking fabulous at the grocery store. Lucky to have temperate California weather.TuesdayWinter-style Panini
, using the technique from Turkey/Summer Panini.
I made a huge batch of Homemade Pork Sausage
for Thanksgiving and froze half of it into patties. The winter version is pork sausage, arugula, pears and either Havarti or brie. Or both.WednesdayMy Grandma's Meat and Macaroni
, with ground turkey. There is nothing fancy about this meal, but everyone loves it.
Nearly Meatless ThursdayMy Mom's Watercress Soup
. Like shabu shabu
, watercress soup is great for cold days and not heavy. Watercress is apparently the new "it" food, so Mom really does know best.Friday--Dinner and the Movies
and Baba Ghanouj
. The featured flick is The Avengners, which we will watch for about the 14th time. Each family member has their own favorite character: Black Widow, Iron Man, Pepper Potts and Captain America.Remember, this time of the season is supposed to be fun. Eat Well. Be Well.
Monday Night Tacos!
Today was the first rain of the season. Time to transition to soup/oven weather. Three of this week's meals are good 'stock-up' meals. Eat 1. Freeze 1. Here's what's cooking for the shorter days.MondayTacos with no seasoning packets
. Here is what is in one of those spice packets: yellow corn flour, salt, maltodextrin, paprika, spices, modified cornstarch, sugar, garlic powder, citric acid, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavor, Caramel Color (sulfites). JUST SAY NO
to those sodium-saturated (430mg) spice packets. Go with fresh onion, cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, cayenne peper and fresh garlic.
TuesdayNumber 1 Udon
. Char siu was on sale at Marukai, and bok choy is coming into season now that it's cooler.WednesdayJapanese Chicken Curry.
A double-batch for dinner and freezer.Thursday
Double down on Chili
and a fresh Quinoa Salad
, the go-to option for the choir potluck.FridayCorn Chowder
. This was major comfort food when the weather got 'cold' In Hawaii, meaning the low 70s. Trying a new version based on Tyler Florence
and the Barefoot Contessa
, two of my favorite cooking references. Trying to say no to canned cream corn.SaturdayQuiche
. Make two save one for later!Reminder
Feeding My Ohana's Virtual Food Drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank will start November 1st, and we will again be matching donations
Eat Well. Be Well.
The kids are back in school, and soccer, piano and carpool are starting up again. So dinner has a decidedly academic theme. Here's what's cooking at our house this week.
Home Ec Review Assignment #1. A hodge-podge I've made before called "Philly stir-fry." For the entire family, I used only one Cajun and one Sheboygan sausage from the newly re-opened Dittmer's in Mountain View, CA. I sliced the sausages very thinly and then stir-fried them with onions, mushrooms and green and yellow peppers. This way, the sausages are really a flavoring agent, rather then the centerpiece of the meal. The children eat a lot of veggies this way. We ate it over rice and a bit of sriracha sauce. Leftovers will be eaten Philly cheesesteak-style in a traditional sandwich roll for lunches. Started at 5:45 pm and eating at 6:30 pm
Science Experiment #1. Egg and chunky tomato sauce and chard topped with bread crumbs and parmesan. I'm working on this as a kind of Italian loco-moco. This is an amalgamation of two recipes, one from Gale Gand's Brunch!, and one from Cooking Light. This could turn out spectacularly or not, but that's the fun of it.
Economics 101. Costco Chicken
. I *LOVE
* when Feeding My Ohana-ites send me suggestions. Keep 'em coming! This week, I received guidance on how to use Costco chicken bones to make jook (Chinese rice porridge), and this sounds too good to pass up. I may even buy two so that I'll have extra for chicken salad sandwiches and for Friday's Tortilla Soup. 3-4 meals on 2 chickens!Thursday
Editing Assignment #1. Ginger cilantro fish, possibly with chicken
. I'm cleaning out the Greenhouse and will probably transition this page to my Pinterest
board. It's time for this one to put up or be purged.
Economics 202. Chicken Tortilla Soup
, with the rest of the Costco chicken.Extra Credit for the Afternoon Teenager Feeding
Spinach dip, pre-packaged snow peas and baby carrots. I used Knorr's as the starter pack.
Fresh jalapeno/jack cheese tamales from Whole Foods
Crackers and cheddar cheese
Yogurt, nuts and fresh berries
White Cheddar Cheezits, but only because they are on sale
Li-hing pineapple if I can find a good one. My girlfriend made this over the weekend and I need to eat it again.Eat Well. Be Well.
Cows will not be sacred this week. My son, who doesn't eat cow as a lifestyle choice, has educated us. We rarely eat beef. However, he is on a school trip. While I miss him dearly, much more than say, his older sister does, we will console ourselves with beef. Here's what's cooking this week.
Korean Egg Meat Jun
MondayKorean Egg Meat Jun
, My Mom's Japanese Coleslaw
and hot rice. I don't have enough time to make Macaroni Salad
, otherwise, this would be a pretty fair plate lunch dinner.TuesdaySalt and Pepper Shrimp
, green beans, Okinawan sweet potatoes and rice. Day 1 prep for Beef Barley Soup/Stew
You didn't really think we would eat beef every day did you?! Even the steak-loving husband has limits.WednesdayBeef Barley Soup
and Fluffy Wheat Bread
because it's supposed to rain, rain, rain. Perfect soup weather.ThursdayChicken Piccata
, mashed potatoes and broccoli. Fresh lemons from my neighbor work well. This may turn into Fixed Lemon Chicken
, depending on how I feel. I may even feel like a cheeseburger from In-n-Out.FridayChristine's Clam Chowder
and the rest of the bread. Fish on Friday, more or less.
Please note that this is a one-week cow-feasting anomaly
. I do not advocate eating this way as a normal routine. I'm grateful and proud that my son has steadfastly stuck to his no-cow commitment.Eat Well. Be Well.
My Mom believes that there is a clear and absolute line between "for company" homemade food, and the more unassuming and humble food that you only make for your family. The latter category definitely includes things that make my California-raised children raise skeptical eyes. This time it was warabi and watercress soup.
Warabi, cleaned and trimmed.
Pictured at left is warabi, the Japanese name for an edible fern. The Hawaiian name is pohole. The curly parts are not inchworms. I think of "eats shoots and leaves" now when I see it. I grew up eating and liking it; ferns were no more exotic than spinach. It grows best on the damp Hilo side of the Big Island or Maui. Mom usually gets it from the Peoples' Open Market, which is what the Farmer's Market is called in Hawaii, or from my sister, who lives on the Big Island.
You won't find this at plate lunch places or hotels, and only rarely might you find it in the Hawaii Regional Cuisine restaurants like Alan Wong's or Roy's.
Warabi is sold in bunches like spinach. Clean, cut and boil it. Mom makes a kind of salad using dried shredded codfish, chopped kamaboko, a little shoyu, sesame oil and shio fuki konbu (dried, salted and shredded konbu). Mom says do not even try using konbu sheets and shredding those because it is Not The Same Thing. The sheets, she says, are dashi-konbu. There's no recipe to post right now because it's chock-ful of ingredients that are quite difficult to find unless you live in Hawaii. But it's well worth seeking out when you are in Hawaii.
A full pot of watercress soup
On a 'freezing-cold' day where the temperature slipped to the mid-70s during the day, Mom decided it was watercress soup weather.
Chicken, beef and vegetable broth, ginger, garlic, sake, bit of dashi powder, pork and watercress. This is a highly requested meal, and can be easily made in non-Hawaii locales. Three phone calls later, I wrangled out a general recipe. Click here
for what I did.
This is cooking, not Cuisine, but it satisfies your soul. If this is served to you, you're part of the family.
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.
Life marches on--beautifully
Apologies for the absence. The entire household was slammed by a nasty respiratory virus. The kitchen was more like a medicine cabinet. The well-planned sick menu from 2/7
did not happen past last Tuesday.
I'm on the mend, but still not quite genki
), already having gone through 2 boxes of tea, 6 lemons, a bottle of honey, at least 4 bottles of Odwalla Strawberry C Monster, grapefruits, tangerines, a package of li-hing mui, and various OTC meds for stuffy, achy, runny, congested and generally feeling-like-you-know-where.
How on earth do you feed your ohana when you're in a sick bed 15 hours a day? Be realistic. Wash your hands.
Frozen meals, takeout, and whatever you can manage
. And remembering that even 2 sick weeks out of my life is very short, and will pass. So here's how we managed.
With thanks to all who gave me your "Feed a Cold" suggestions, especially the ones for the hot toddies.Bought. Citrus products.
Grapefruits, lemons, tangerines. It's a little too convenient and just plain weird that these are in peak season at the same time as colds.Boxed salad greens.
There were a few days when salad just did not sound good, but this is one of those "You know it's good for you" foods. Made.
Minimal cooking. Maybe 10 minutes of standing up at a time.Breadmaker bread.
I ran out of bread and was in no condition to go to the store. Bread is water, butter, flour, salt, sugar and yeast into the bread machine. Then go take a nap.Teddy Bear Chicken Soup
--Chicken soup has been sometimes dubbed "Grandma's Penicillin." Perhaps not my Japanese grandma, but there is something comforting about a hot bowl of soup when breathing through the nose is an impossibility. Made awhile ago, and frozen for just such days as these.Miso soup with tofu
. This is "My Mom's Pencillin." As a child, I had this whenever I was sick. So much so that for awhile, I didn't like tofu because I associated with being sick. Boil about 8 cups of water. Add about 1/4 cup miso and a few teaspoons of dashi. Cut up a block tofu, dump it in and you're done. Mom said it has everything that's good for you and no fat or oil so it's easy to digest.Simple Spaghetti
. Extra heavy on the garlic and red peppers and boiling water for pasta is good for your sinuses.Takeout.
Takeout is a fabulous option when you are sick, as long as you choose carefully. Light soups or stews or anything that's not too heavy or greasy. A little spicy is good when I'm congested.Pho
. Pronounced "Fuh," this is the generic name for all kinds of Vietnamese noodle dishes. Like miso soup, this is light warm broth. I had it with noodles, won ton, lime, bok choy, bean sprouts and jalapeno. Plus a drizzling of sriracha to help clear out my sinuses. Light, spicy and nutritious.Tandoori chicken.
Husband brought a big pan of this the night before he went down for the count. Spit-roasted spicy chicken with lime, roasted tomatoes and basmati rice. After all that soup, it's good to use your teeth.
Even when you fell icky, you can still Eat Well
. Soon enough we will all Be Well
. Stay healthy everyone!