Sunday, December 29, 2013

Greek Yogurt Oatmeal Pancakes - High Protein

It's kinda weird, but I LOVE to eat breakfast foods at night or just whenever. I guess it's mainly cause I usually experiment with new recipes during the evening or I get too excited to wait until the next day to make my breakfast. Haha.. either way.. breakfast food is awesome! I have been looking forward to trying to recipe for about two months now. I just never got the chance to make them since the holidays came up and I was busy with school. I decided to add whole wheat flour into the batter since I'm making the pancakes for my boyfriend as well. I would say that he isn't a big fan of Greek yogurt so hopefully he doesn't notice a WHOLE CUP of Greek yogurt in his pancakes. I would say that this is a successful recipe if he doesn't notice. Hahaha.

The picture looks like all my other pancake recipe but I promise it is not the same :)

Recipe adapted from This Mama Cooks.

Yields: ~ 3-4 servings - 2-3 pancakes per person

1 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour - optional, eliminate for healthier alternative
6 egg whites
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweeteners)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Blend the instant oatmeal until grounded. Combine all ingredients and mix together using a whisk or you just blend all the ingredients together.

Heat the pan on high then reduce the heat to low. Coat the pan with oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the pancake batter onto the pan. Flip the pancakes once the batter starts to bubble.

**Note: The pancakes have a tangy taste because of the Greek yogurt. Add agave nectar or maple syrup and fruits to balance out the tangy taste.

Nutrition facts do not include fruits or syrup used to top the pancakes.

Source: Calorie Count

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

On Christmas Eve, I had a fun filled game night with my family. Well, they were playing games. I got sick a little before the holidays so I slept on the floor next to their Settlers of Catan game. Hahaha. I was trying to sleep but instead just dose in and out of sleep. They were so excited about the game. My family is so competitive so there was A LOT of yelling going on - mainly because of excitment. They actually just ended up playing one around of Settlers of Catan. I have the expansion set so seven people were able to play. When there is more people playing, the game is more challenging and last longer. Everyone ended up being tired from the first game so we just called it a night. I think that game took about two hours to play! I know.. pretty long right?! Haha. Well, before my family and our boyfriends started playing games, we had a food feast! I made guacamole and Turkey Basil Marinara with Brown Rice Spaghetti (I will post the recipe later on). My boyfriend made Salmon Ceviche which was delicious!! After that, we had desserts.

Photo credit to Tiffany Tay.
Tiffany Tay is a Las Vegas night/day club promoter @  The Light Night Club - Las Vegas. If you ever need to get on a guest list for any Las Vegas night/day club, please contact her via text @ (702) 513-1749 or message her on facebook.

We had chocolate chip cookies (recipe here) with Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream!! Delicious!!! We went out and got ice cream at the store. I just wanted to share a picture of our delicious dessert!! For the ice cream sandwich, I used the same size cookie scooper as the one I used for the cookie to scoop the ice cream, so it fit perfectly. Scoop the ice cream and place it on one side of the cookie. Place the other half of the cookie on top and press down lightly. Voila, you have a perfect chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich!! :D

*** Note: Be sure to leave your ice cream out a little so it can soften.

Before we headed off to game night, I had hot pot with our family and friends. It was super fun. We decided to have Christmas Eve lunch instead of dinner. We ate a lot of food during hot pot. There were so many people, we needed three stoves to food everyone. We opened gifts during the day and it was a blast! I love seeing the reaction on my family's face when they open the gifts I give them. I always buy my gifts way ahead of time and put a lot of thought into it. I must say that it was a fun filled Christmas. I am excited for more family fun to come :)

Anyways.. Merry Christmas Everyone!!! <3
There was actually more gifts than this!! So much fun!! :)

My favorite kid in the world! I didn't get to play with him since I am sick. :(

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chewy Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I haven't made a holiday post yet but I gotta stay that I am really excited. I know it may be hectic during the holidays with all the crazy shoppers and maybe some family drama. I have to say that I love the holidays though. I always get so excited when the Fall semester starts because I know the holidays are here! Thanksgiving, Christmas then New Years are all right around the corner. All my family members try to come back home. I notice that the older you get, the more busy your family gets. The best excuse to come back home to get together is, of course, the holidays.

The holidays is another reason to bake of course. I love when my family eats the food I am. I believe that food brings everyone together as well. Since there is technology and almost everyone has a smartphone, we also tend to share our happiness online with our social media friends.

For Christmas, I will be making these Chewy Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies I adapted from Chew Out Loud. Whenever I try a new recipe, I am always so excited about what my family will think. It especially makes me happy when they love what I make! After this chocolate chip post, I will be posted other recipes on my blog. The recipes are not traditional. We tend to do things a little different since we are Chinese American.

Recipe adapted from Chew Out Loud.

Yields: ~72 cookies

4.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Place the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl - set aside.

2 cups unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cups brown sugar - loosely packed (I used Organic Brown Sugar from Trader Joe's)
2 - 3.4 oz packages instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs - @ room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and brown sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Add packages of vanilla pudding - one at a time. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla extract. Mix until well-combined.

Using the dough hook attachment, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold ingredients until fully incorporated. It may get a little messy since the mixing bowl will be pretty full. I suggest slowly adding the flour mixture so that it doesn't get everywhere.

4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)

Add the chocolate chips into the dough mixture. I ended up using about 3.5 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of 4 cups. You may also opt to mix in the chocolate chips with your hands.

The dough should look like the image below.

Cover the cookie dough mixture tightly and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour - I chilled mine for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F while you are waiting for the cookie dough to chill.

Form the dough using a cookie scooper or form the dough by hand - about 1 inches. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 12 scoops of cookie dough per baking sheet and space them out evenly. Use a spatula to press down on the cookies a little.

Bake the cookies for 8-12 mins. Keep an eye on your first batch to determine the right amount of time for the cookies to bake - every oven is different. It took my oven 10 minutes to bake the cookies. The cookies are perfect when the edges look golden brown. Be sure to look for that in your first batch of cookies then set the timer accordingly. *Note: Cookies may seem underdone but will firm up as it cools.

Cool the cookies on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes then place them in an airtight container (I use the OXO 3-Piece Pop Round Canister Set).


Friday, December 20, 2013

Creamy Tomato Pasta w/Asparagus, Spinach & Tofu Sausage

So excited that this will be my first pasta post! I know my sister, Tiffany, would really appreciate this post. I decide to make a post about pasta because she reads my blog and I know she LOVES pasta!! I hope she enjoys the picture posted on this blog and decides to use this recipe one day. Also, this posted is dedicated to all the pasta lovers out there :)

This was my first time making a creamy tomato sauce. I accidentally added 1 whole bag of pasta instead of half a bag so I ended up having extra to give my sister to try! I thought my first time making this pasta was amazing expect I felt it didn't have enough sauce since I added to much pasta! Please remember not to make the same mistake :D The pasta still ended up being pretty amazing though and I loved the twist of adding the asparagus. My boyfriend thought it was odd that I added asparagus into the pasta.

The tofu sausage - not really sausage - was actually pretty amazing. I couldn't tell that there wasn't any meat even though if I knew it's simply tofu. Perfect substitution for meat. I think the pasta would also be amazing with grilled chicken. If you do not have access to tofu sausage, you should definitely add grilled chicken.

Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

Yields: ~6 servings (or more if you accidentally add too much pasta :D)

1/2 bag of whole wheat penne pasta - from Trader Joe's

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat then add a pinch of salt. Add the pasta into the pot and cook until tender - it'll take about 10-12 minutes (look at your package of pasta because it depends on the type you get). Drain the pasta and pour cold water over the pasta so that it stops cooking. Set aside.

While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, you can dice the onions and mince the garlic. Cut the asparagus into about 1-1.5 inch pieces. Cut the tofu sausages into pieces as well.

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small onion - diced
4 cloves of garlic

Add olive oil into the skillet over medium heat then add onions and garlic. Cook until softened and transparent - took about 3 minutes since my heat wasn't on low.

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes - you can also use fresh tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly cracked pepper- for taste
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt

Add the can of diced tomatoes (include tomato juice), dried oregano, dried basil, pinch of red pepper flakes, pepper and salt into the skillet. Stir to combine all ingredients.

2 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup of water

Add the tomato paste and water into the skillet. Stir until the tomato paste dissolves into the sauce - do not let it sit there because it will not dissolve (trust me, I tried haha).

1 oz. cream cheese
1.5 tbsp Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Turn the heat down to low. Add 1 oz of cream cheese and 1.5 tbsp of greek yogurt into the sauce mixture and stir using a whisk. Add half of cheese then stir until melted. Add the other half of the cheese and do the same.

1 bundle of asparagus
1 package of tofu sausage from Trader Joe's (no actual meat in the tofu sausage)
1/2 (9 oz) bag Spinach
1/2 lb cooked wheat pasta

Add the cut asparagus into the sauce along with the tofu sausage. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until wilted - about 3-5 minutes.

I recommend adding the sauce only when ready to serve - in case there is extra pasta and sauce. The pasta tends to soak up the sauce after a period of time.

Enjoy :D

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baked Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

I haven't posted in a while but I finally have time again. Finals are finally over!! I will have more time to exercise and blog now! No excuses. For those who actually look at my blog, sorry for being MIA. I will try to post more yummy food recipes! :)

For today's meal, I made something really simple. You will probably think it's unbelievable! Hahaha! Everything will be made in the oven.

(Pictured above is chicken seasoned with Mrs. Dash - Extra Spicy)

Recipe for sweet potatoes adapted from Creative Cain Cabin.

Yields: ~5 servings

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.

Use two different baking trays.

Baked Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
~5-6 thin sliced boneless chicken breast (If you don't have thin sliced chicken breast, you can just cut the chicken breast)
Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash seasoning (I used Original Blend and Extra Spicy for another meal)

-Place the thin sliced chicken breast onto the baking sheet. You can line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and lightly season. Cover the tray with aluminum foil and poke holes so that the chicken breast can roast.

1/2 bag of cut sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's or ~2 sweet potatoes
Olive Oil
Paprika seasoning (you can use other seasonings as well)

-Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes - try your best to cut them into evenly sliced pieces. Place the sweet potatoes onto the baking tray (lined with parchment paper/aluminum foil). Drizzle with olive oil then mix around to ensure the oil is all over the potatoes. Season with desired seasoning.

Place the tray of sweet potatoes and chicken into the oven for 35 minutes @ 350 degrees F.

Baked Asparagus
1/2 bag of Asparagus (or 3/4lbs)
Olive oil
Black pepper - sprinkle desired amount

-Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.

-Trim the asparagus. Wash & dry. Place the asparagus onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil - mix to ensure that the olive oil is distributed evenly. Sprinkle ground black pepper onto the asparagus.

Cook the asparagus for 8 minutes. ENJOY!! :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vanilla Shakeology Oatmeal Pancakes w/ Banana Honey Greek Sauce

Recipe adapted from lovetoliv.

Yields: 4 pancakes

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix well.

1 serving of Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
2 egg white
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 banana

Heat the pan on high then reduce the heat to medium-low. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop up the batter and place it onto the pan. Flip the pancakes a couple of times so that it doesn't get too brown.

Place all ingredients in a blender and combine. Use the rest of the banana on top of the pancake.

4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1/4 banana
1 tsp honey (or other sweeteners)

Note: You can eliminate the oatmeal or put less if you want your pancakes to be less calories. Without oatmeal, you can just use 1 egg white.

Without oatmeal, the pancakes are 348 calories.

You can also save two pancakes for later or share :)

Source: Calorie Count

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Brown Rice Spam Musubi

Every once in a while, I get this craving for spam musubi. I don't feel good about eating a large amount of brown rice so I asked my boyfriend to make a brown rice version. I know it still isn't that healthy to eat spam musubi. When I really want to eat spam musubi though, I would rather have brown rice. Spam musubi is probably the only thing my boyfriend actually knows how to cook so I gave this project to him. He is the one who made the brown rice spam musubi in these pictures. It was really delicious! Good thing he doesn't cook much so we only eat this once in a while :)

I used hot & spicy spam. You can use any brand or flavor of spam you want. You can even use meat that you have cooked at home.

Rice vinegar: 

Recipe adapted from singleguychef.

Yields: 6-7 spam musubi (depending on thickness of spam)

Appliance and cookware used: rice cooker and spam musubi maker

First, add rice into a rice cooker pot then add 4 1/2 cups of drinking water. Cook the rice for about 90 mins in a rice cooker; brown rice will turn out best if there is a setting for brown rice on the rice cooker.

2 cups brown rice
4 1/2 cups of water

Next: You will have to cook the spam on a skillet. I would suggest waiting until the rice is almost done to cook the spam. 

Slice the spam into about 6-7 slice pieces while you are waiting for the rice; set aside

When the rice is almost ready, heat the pan on high. Once the pan is hot, turn the heat to medium. No oil is needed to cook the spam. Cook both sides of the sliced spam until brown.

1 can of spam of choice

Add rice vinegar into brown rice right after the rice is ready. You must add the vinegar into the rice while it is warm. Avoid using a metal bowl to mix the rice vinegar with the brown rice (the vinegar might react with the metal).

2 tbsp rice vinegar

Assemble your spam musubi using a spam musubi maker.

3-4 half sheets of nori cut in half

Here is a video to help you assemble the spam musubi if you do not have a spam musubi maker; CLICK HERE.

Place 1 half sheet of nori (cut in half) on a cutting board, the place the spam musubi making on top of the nori. Add rice into the spam musubi maker. 

Place the spam on top of the rice. 

Add another layer of rice on top of the spam.

Remove the spam musubi maker then use a small amount of water to "glue" the nori together.

Here is the final product :)

Calories may vary depending on the type of meat used. 
Source: Calorie Count

Grab n Go Breakfast Egg Muffins

Ever since I found this recipe, I have been dying to try it!! I made a little changes to the original recipe by adding chicken and using spinach. This is basically like an omelette but in muffin form!! I made this in the even for mornings when I don't have time to eat breakfast. I couldn't help it... I had to try the recipe right away! Feel free to add your own ingredients like I did and for other ideas visit blogilates. Her website has a ton of work out videos, recipes and even clothes!!! I am truly inspired by her :)

Below are all the ingredients I used for my egg muffins. 

Recipe adapted from blogilates.

1/2 red bell pepper
1 1/2 roma tomatoes
Handful of spinach
1/4 chicken breast, diced
3 whole eggs + 2 cups of egg whites

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Dice up all the vegetables and chop up the spinach. Also dice the chicken into small pieces. Mix the egg whites and whole eggs together. 

Line muffin tin with liners and spray oil using pam or misto - be sure to put oil or the egg will stick to the liner. Place 1 tablespoon of egg mixture into the liner then add vegetables and chicken. After, add about 4 tablespoon of egg mixture into the liners; total of 5 tablespoons of egg mixture per liner. 

Bake for about 20-30 minutes. The egg muffins should be firm on top when ready.

You can take your muffin on the go or eat with sriracha, ketchup, or even salsa! I ate mine with Trader Joe's sriracha and it was AH-MAZING!!

The nutritional facts for 1 muffin is about 45 calories. 
All 12 muffins: ~512 calories. 

Source: Calorie Count

Chocolate Banana Shakeology Smoothie

I usually make a smoothie when I need a quick grab on the go or when I just need a boost of healthy! When I feel like I don't get enough vegetables or that I have eaten too many bad meals, I make a smoothie! A shakeology smoothie and sometimes a mix of fruits, veggies, and chia seeds. I also drink a smoothie when I don't feel like cooking. Sometimes it's just one of those days where you're really hungry and tired and you just wanna fill your stomach up!!

I will be sure to make a post about my fruit and vegetable smoothie another time! :)

Yields: 1 serving

Appliances used: Ninja blender (you can use any blender you have in handy)

Pour water into the blender cup. Cut half of a banana and pinch pieces into the cup. Pour 1 scoop of Shakeology into the blender cup. Blend together until combine.

~1/4 cups water
1/2 banana
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology

Add ice into the cup leaving room for the blender to work. You must put enough ice so that your drink becomes smoothie-like.

~1.5 cups of ice

Blend your smoothie until well-combined and enjoy :)

Your smoothie should look like the picture below. 

This taste exactly like a chocolate milkshake (but healthier of course)!!! I'm in loveeee!!~ Hahaha..

Amazing amount of nutrition in one little cup! :) Easy and healthy meal as well.

Source: Calorie Counter

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fluffy Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I love pancakes. I decided to make another pancake alternative! It never hurts to have different recipes to fall back on :) 

Recipe adapted from Diane, A Broad.

Yields: 5 pancakes

Place the egg, almond milk, olive oil, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl.

1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients to combine.

Place instant oatmeal into a blender. Blend until the oatmeal is grounded.

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

Place oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt into the mixture.

1/2 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch salt

Combine mixture with a whisk. The mixture should look like the picture below. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk.

Heat a skillet on high and wait for the pan to warm up then turn the heat to medium-low to cook the pancakes. Drizzle some olive oil onto the skillet and spread it around the pan. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter and place the mixture onto the pan.

Wait until the edges of the pancakes pop up and the surface of the pancake bubbles; flip the pancake and cook the other side.

Enjoy your pancakes with fruits, nut butters or any type of syrup. I used bananas and agave nectar in the picture below. :)

Brown Rice Chicken Congee

I love congee especially the congee my aunt makes. Congee = a lot of white rice which is why I never eat it. I decided I needed to make a healthy alternative. I mean.. it's still carbs but at least I can eat congee and not feel as guilty :) I never made congee using brown rice and I think this year was the first time I ever even made congee. I make all these complicated desserts and food but yet I have never made congee. So today I went on a mission to make my boyfriend's favorite chicken congee but with brown rice instead.

I used the homemade chicken broth that my aunt made since she had extra. I also made some changes to my aunt's chicken congee to give the brown rice congee a twist.

Yields: ~4 servings

First, wash the brown rice in water and drain then repeat a couple of times. Add water to the brown rice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook; remember to stir occasionally so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. After an hour, stir in the carrots, shredded chicken and sprinkles of Original Blend Mrs. Dash seasoning. I also add some homemade chicken broth to give the congee more flavor. Cook for another 30 minutes and your congee is ready to eat! :)

1 cup brown rice
~5 cups water (you can always add more liquids if there isn't enough)
~1.5 cups homemade chicken broth
1 large carrot, chopped
2tsp Original Blend Mrs. Dash Seasoning
1/2 piece of cooked chicken breast, shredded

I added some spinach to my congee later on for more vegetables. If you would like to add spinach, add it right before you eat the congee. I thought that eating brown rice congee was a nice change. I always feel healthier when I eat brown rice instead of white rice. I also grew to love the flavor of brown rice over white rice.

For more flavor, place ginger (the size of a tablespoon) into a blender and add about a tablespoon of water then blend. Pour the mixture into your congee.

This is for one serving of brown rice congee.

Source: Calorie Counter