Archive for ‘Low Carb Recipes’

August 13, 2012

Whole Roasted Trout with Thyme, Lemon, and Garlic

This is a simple and beautiful dish that is so easy to make. Roasting in foil packets minimizes cleanup. Instead of trout, you can use salmon, halibut, catfish, striped bass, rockfish, branzino, etc. Instead of thyme, you can also use fresh parsley, basil, rosemary, dill, and/or tarragon. A perfect weekday dinner, serve with rice (or any whole grain) and a fresh salad.

Advance preparation: You can prepare the fish and make the foil packets several hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until shortly before cooking.

Total time: 15-20 minutes

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 10-15 minutes, unattended

Serves 1-2

Adapted from Recipes for Health

  • 1 whole rainbow trout, boned
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 bay leaves (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Grease the foil with olive oil so that the fish doesn’t stick to it when roasted. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and open it out flat, skin side down.

3. Place the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and a couple lemon slices down the middle of the trout, and fold the two sides together. Drizzle some olive oil over the fish.

4. Making sure that the trout is in the middle of each square, fold up the foil loosely, grabbing at the edges and crimping together tightly to make a packet. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one of the packets after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.

5. Place each packet on a plate. Carefully cut across the top to open it, taking care not to let the steam from inside the packet burn you. Gently remove the fish from the packet, and pour the juices over it. Serve.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

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August 9, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks with Pesto and Feta

This is a delicious Greek-Mediterranean fusion recipe that features the beautiful produce of summer. Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, make sure that each ingredient is the freshest and best quality you can find! Be careful not to over-season, since the feta is naturally salty. Although this is best eaten right away, you can make a big batch and store in the fridge for about a week. This would be great in a sandwich or wrap for a weekday lunch or as a quick snack.

 

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Adapted from Gluten-Free Veggie Gourmet

  • Olive oil
  • Basil Pesto
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 oz feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup), more if you desire
  • Garnish: finely shredded fresh basil leaves

 

1. Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking pan with foil.

2. Cut off bottoms of eggplants, then cut 1/4″ thick crosswise rounds. Cut 1/3” thick rounds from the tomatoes.

Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from DC’s Eastern Market

3. On baking pan, arrange the eggplant rounds side by side. Lightly brush eggplant rounds on both sides with olive oil to keep the eggplant moist and to prevent it from sticking to the foil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes.


4. Spread each eggplant round with pesto, then top each with the largest tomato rounds. Top the tomato rounds with feta. Make another layer with eggplant rounds, pesto, tomato rounds, and feta, then top with remaining eggplant and feta.

Roasted eggplant

Stacks on stacks on stacks!

5. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until heated through and cheese on top is softened. Transfer stacks to 4 plates and drizzle plates with olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Basil Pesto

Basil pesto is a staple everyone should know how to make: it’s versatile (put it on eggs, pasta, risotto, fresh vegetables, chicken, sandwiches, wraps, stir it in a soup, etc.), it’s delicious, and it’s EASY!

Tip: Fresh pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two. You can also make a big batch and freeze it for several months in ice cube trays. Use the pesto “cubes” as needed. If freezing, don’t stir in the cheese; stir in the cheese by hand just before serving.

Time: 5-15 minutes

Makes about 1 cup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything

  • 2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, big stems discarded, rinsed and dried
  • ½ to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (optional)
  • salt, to taste

1. Combine the basil, salt, garlic, nuts and about half the oil in a food processor or blender (or mortar and pestle).

Pine nuts

Toasted pine nuts

Quality extra virgin olive oil

2. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container occasionally, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add additional oil if you prefer a thinner mixture.

Pesto!

3. Stir in the parmesan by hand just before serving.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 8, 2012

Sichuan Eggplant

This is a classic Sichuan dish that is spicy, sour, salty, and sweet all at the same time. You can find Sichuan peppercorns at a Chinese grocery store on the cheap, or you can order them online. The Sichuan peppercorns give this dish its characteristic tingly sensation and spicy flavor.

Tip: To grind the Sichuan peppercorns: Toast peppercorns in a dry heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until very fragrant and smoking, 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to let them burn). Grind, while still hot, to a powder in an electric coffee/spice grinder (or a blender/food processor). If you want, you can sift through a fine sieve, discarding hulls.

 

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Adapted from Appetite for China

  • 1 1/2 pounds Asian eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock, or substitute water
  • 2 tablespoons chili bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns

1. Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each length into quarters. Cut each quarter in somewhat substantial, but still bite-sized, cubes (about 1 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch cubes).

2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken stock, chili bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl the pan to coat the base and sides. Add the eggplants and stir-fry until outsides become golden brown and insides begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppercorn and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

 

5. Pour in the sauce mixture and mix well. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the eggplant to fully cook and the sauce to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Remove from the heat, plate, and sprinkle scallions on top.

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

Raspberry Mint Limeade

I like lemonade, but I LOVE limeade. This drink is refreshing, good for you, gorgeous, and perfect for summer. Use fresh limes! To extract the juice more easily, cut the limes in half and microwave them for 30 seconds. Use more or less honey or sugar depending on how sweet you like it.

Adapted from An Hour In The Kitchen

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup lime juice (6-10 limes)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ½ cup honey or sugar
  • 2 cups water

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

2. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve to remove seeds.

3. Serve over ice and garnish with mint and lime slice.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

White Peach and Basil Salad with Orange Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

This is another quick summer salad recipe. White peaches are my favorite: they’re sweeter than regular peaches and have a firmer texture.  You can substitute the delicate champagne vinegar with a little bit of white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, raspberry vinegar, or apple cider vinegar (all of which are not as mild as champagne vinegar, so use less).

 

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 1

 

Salad

  • 1 white peach, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch of salad greens

 ORANGE HONEY CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE

  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

1. Whisk the vinaigrette.

2. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

Peach and Basil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a beautiful summer salad, showcasing the fragrant sweet peaches and herbaceous basil in peak season at this time of year. Lemon brightens up the flavors. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil, as well. Enjoy!

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

Salad

  • 4 peaches, diced
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
1. Whisk the lemon vinaigrette
2. Toss peaches with basil and lemon vinaigrette.
Happy Eating!
Love, Yang
August 2, 2012

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

This is a delicious and comforting weeknight recipe. You can use any vegetables you have on hand (I used sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, and carrots). The measurements for the sauce are approximate and feel free to add more sugar, soy sauce, or vinegar, depending on how salty, sweet, or acidic you like it. The water is important to add because the sauce will thicken as it cooks, and it can become gummy if the water isn’t added in the beginning. As the tofu turns golden brown, you might feel tempted to stir, but don’t. Just let it sit and crisp up in the pan for 5 minutes, and check every few minutes to see if it’s golden brown. This is a simple stir-fry, but tastes phenomenal!

Hint: To peel ginger, place your thumb on the back of a spoon and apply downward pressure; the skin will come off easily!

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

SAUCE

  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter (Organics Old-Fashioned Creamy brand is my favorite!)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, (or white vinegar, or lime juice)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (or honey)
  • dash of crushed red pepper or cayenne (optional, to add some spice)

TOFU & VEGETABLES

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cups of vegetables (any kind!)
  • 2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • fresh basil (optional garnish)

1. To prepare tofu: Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Cut the tofu into ½ inch cubes.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more.

3. While the tofu is crisping, prepare the sauce: Whisk water, peanut butter, rice vinegar (or white vinegar), soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Taste it, to make sure it’s the way you like it.

4. When the tofu is golden brown on all sides, transfer to a separate plate.

5. Saute onions, ginger, and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetables, tofu and the peanut sauce and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, garnish with fresh basil, and serve.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

July 15, 2012

Poached Eggs with Rosemary Tomato Sauce

This is a great brunch recipe and very versatile. Other herbs and seasonings can be substituted for rosemary. Instead of tomato sauce, you can put poached eggs over toast, a salad, beans, pasta, rice, etc. Once you get the hang of poaching eggs, you’ll want to do it again and again! It’s a simple process and the result is beautiful. If you want to poach more than 2 eggs at once, use a bigger pan to avoid crowding or have 2 pots/pans going on at once.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Rosemary Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil

4 large tomatoes, chopped

½ onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Poached Eggs

8 eggs (2 for each person)

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1. Heat up a large sauté pan to medium heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally until they become translucent, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes have cooked down, add the rosemary. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer.

4. Make the poached eggs: Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a small deep skillet or a pot. Add the salt and vinegar, and lower the heat to the point where it barely bubbles. One at a time, break the eggs into a shallow bowl or cup and slip them into the water.

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off for a couple seconds.

6. Season the rosemary tomato sauce with salt and pepper. When it’s the way you like it, spoon ¼ of it on a plate. Add 2 poached eggs on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

July 9, 2012

Eggs, Greens, and Tomatoes

This recipe is less of a recipe than it is a concept. That is, once you know the basics, you can go to town, or as I’ll mention below, places around the world!

The concept is this, and it is easier than you might expect:

Eggs + veggies + additional toppings/spices = a fast, delicious, and healthy meal with endless combinations!

You can internationalize this, too! Add some garam masala to Indianize this culinary concept.

OR, try adding some soy sauce, Shao Hsing rice wine, Asian sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chopped cilantro to Sinicize the concept! Whisk yourself away to Greece by adding oregano and feta for some Greek flavor, or for an Italian twist, toss in some fresh basil leaves, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper, and mozzarella. Mamma Mia, indeed!

Other ingredients that I would highly recommend: red curry paste (or any other curry paste), caramelized onions, roasted garlic, chili oil (or any other flavored oil), Chinese 5 spice (jerk seasoning, taco seasoning, or any other seasoning blends), sriracha, harissa, different kinds of cheeses, etc.

This concept is also a great way to use up your leftovers from last night.

Try to use canola, peanut, vegetable, sunflower or other oils that do not burn at medium to high heat. Most imported olive oil has high acidity, and because of this, burns at high temperatures. Depending on the type of olive oil you use, it can burn and not only impart a bitter taste to your food but also become carcinogenic.

 

Serves 1

Time: 15 minutes

2-3 eggs

Handful or more of chard or any other dark leafy green (spinach, kale, collard greens, beet greens, sweet potato leaves, etc.)

1 ripe tomato

2 tbsp of canola oil

1 small block of pepper jack cheese (or any other cheese. Feta is also a favorite of mine)

Seasonings (any kind you want, I like Mrs. Dash’s salt-free Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

 

 1. To save time, heat up your skillet at medium-high heat.

2. In the meantime, dice your tomato, chop up your chard and separate the stems from the leaves, and cut your small block of cheese into small cubes.

3. Add around 1 tbsp of canola oil to the skillet. Throw in your tomato and chard stems and let them soften for a minute or two.

4. Throw in your chard leaves and let them wilt, which should take less than a minute.

5. Set aside your chard and tomato mixture in a separate bowl or on a plate.

6. In the same skillet (no need to wash), heat 2 tbsp of canola oil at medium heat.

7. Crack 3 eggs into the skillet and let them sit for about a minute. Once the whites are no longer translucent, break the yolk and swirl them around. Now move your egg mixture around constantly until they become scrambled eggs.

8. At this point, dump in your tomato and chard mixture and stir.

9. Once all of the ingredients are well integrated, add the small bits of cheese and other seasonings and stir to combine once again.

10. After about a minute, the cheese should have melted and the seasonings should have permeated your food nicely. At this point, you can add any fresh herbs or spices, add salt and pepper to taste, do a quick toss, and serve.

Happy eating!

Love,

Yang

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