Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, One Pot Dish, Soup, Vegetarian

Ra Ra for Revitalized Ramen Bowls

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I’ve been craving ramen. (If anyone wants authentic ramen in Boston, head to Porter Square and go to Yume Wo Katare. Be warned it’s cash only, the portions are huge and it’s definitely not healthy, but some of the best ramen I’ve had.) After having that this summer, I wanted a healthier, at home twist. This ramen (thanks to Lotus Foods at Whole Foods) was really fun and easy — plus it’s gluten-free, since it’s made with rice. I chopped up the veggies while the egg was heated to a soft boil, dumped in the veggies with the ramen noodles,  waited 5 minutes, topped with the egg and sesame seeds and dug in. Side note, but you can tell I struggggggled peeling that soft boiled egg. Lotus Foods had a much lower sodium content then other brands. (To ditch the high sodium altogether, I’d recommend making your own broth, but that gets a bit more complicated than “easy” ramen at home.) Regardless, these Black Rice Ramen Bowls hit the spot when you want the ease of takeout, but the “healthiness” of homemade.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Soup, Vegetarian

Coming in Hot with Hot & Sour Soup

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In the wise words of Flo Rida, “Oh, hot damn.” This is AMAZING(ly easy). I saw this recipe recently posted on Gimme Some Oven and was so excited to try this. I’ve always wanted to make this at home, but never quite new where to start. This soup is surprisingly simple and not too unhealthy for you if you overlook the sodium — hence why I try to use low sodium options and add soy sauce accordingly. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms so I chopped them into small pieces vs. keeping them in long slices; I didn’t want to skimp on these to keep the flavor authentic. This recipe lets you play around with how hot, sour or salty you like. I kept mine plenty sour and plenty spicy. Plus, I had a cold when I concocted this and it’s a sure way to clear the sinuses with the extra kick of sriracha. I love this. Can’t wait to add Hot & Sour Soup to my recipe arsenal.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refreshingly Crisp Cucumber Salad

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This salad is perfectly refreshing. Light, crisp and just different. How many salads have you had that are just cucumber? Plus, spiralizing any vegetable automatically takes it up a notch. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s different a uniquely fun way to enjoy some veggies. Add the flavors of cilantro, fresh ginger and sesame and this Spiralized Asian Cucumber Salad is sure to cool you down. [Note: this is best consumed within 1-2 days of making, but I doubt that will be a problem because you won’t be able to get enough!]

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad, Vegetarian

Back to [Korean] BBQ

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I’d say this summer has been the summer of salads and bowls. Cooking Light had a great article on “How to Build a Better Grain Bowl” in one of their summer issues like the idea for the Vegetarian Korean BBQ Bowl. While not a true “Korean BBQ,” this incorporates different flavors like gochujang. Start with a grain base (cue the quinoa). Pack it fully of veggies. The key is different textures like carrots and scallions for crunch and then colors like the cabbage, purple cabbage and napa cabbage blend. Add some protein as a fried egg. (Let me digress for a moment. I have to admit. I wasn’t a fan of fried eggs, eggs over easy, poached eggs — really any egg with a runny yolk. But then, I rediscovered breakfast sandwiches and avocado toast and my breakfasts were complete. I wanted to take a stab at this recipe just for the egg.) Finally, the Korean aioli binds the dish, packs in the flavor and tops it to perfection. The best part? It maybe took 10 min to throw this together (assuming the quinoa is already cooked). I’m just dying for my leftovers.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

Deconstructed is Still Delicious

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One of my good college friends works near a bar that she and her coworkers frequent on Thursdays and Fridays. The drinks and food aren’t that special, but they’re always in great company. (It’s the place I met my future Southie roomies!) Meeting with Steph and Ali on more than one occasion, we’ll order lettuce wraps to accompany our spirits. Seemingly simple, I decided to try my hand at making them. Instead of wraps, I deconstructed them to make transport and eating easier. The fresh ginger is brightly fresh with a sharp bite, while the edamame and water chestnuts add crunch and texture to Deconstructed Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Soup

The Best Chicken “Noodle” Soup You Haven’t Had (Yet)

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Guuuuuys, this soup is sooooo goooood. And it’s Dee approved (aka my roommate had a bowl with me for dinner tonight). It’s a one pot recipe so quite easy to make and easy clean up. It’s been rainy, chilly and windy in Boston this week (happy first week of May?) so a warm soup was in the cards, but one that was still light and fresh and indicative of the warmer weather that should be here. I’ve never bought bok choy before, but it was addition and a welcomed break from kale or spinach. I’ve also been slightly obsessed with sweet potato noodles lately, so I swapped rice noodles for some more hearty veggies. Dee and I may or may not have had seconds of this Sesame Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato Noodles. And by “may,” we definitely did!

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad

Crazy for These Colorful Cabbage Bowls

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Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowls for the winnnnnn! I’m trying to make bowl salads or salad like dishes since I’ve become bored from the same old same old. Don’t get me wrong. Certain salads become classics and a staple for a reason, but you need some variety every now and then. Plus, this cabbage bowl is so colorful, it’s hard to resist not diving in fork first. I also never seem to buy beef. Not sure why, but maybe it’s a price thing, but I found some 90% lean beef at Roche Brothers and it was a sign. Literally a sign I needed to test out these cabbage bowls. SO GOOD. I tossed in my own fresh herbs, fresh ginger and hoisin sauce for flavor. Somehow these bad boys are both filling and light all at once and I’m definitely adding these ingredients to my grocery list to make them again.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Local Finds

No Way You Can “Gingerly” Eat This Ginger Chicken

Ginger Sesame Chicken with Sesame Soy Roasted Vegetables

Ginger Sesame Chicken with Sesame Soy Roasted Vegetables. It was pure perfection on Sunday night when I made this. Most recipes call for half a cup of honey and flour. This version is sweet and crispy as is. I replaced honey with its sweeter counterpart — agave nectar so less is required. The fresh ginger and scallions add a whole new depth to this dish. By browning both in sizzling oil before cooking the chicken allows more flavor to come forth. The roasted vegetables are a green side and the perfect complement to the sticky rice and sweet and ginger chicken.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving Miso Soup: A “Green” & Spicy Version

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Ever since I got a sore throat, I’ve been craving a bowl of miso soup. Sounds weird, but sometimes chicken noodle just doesn’t cut it for me. Miso soup is Japanese soup known for its tangy, salty and unique, yet powerful flavor. The miso paste comes from fermenting soy beans. The soup is minimal, quick and easy, and quite different. My Akron family has a knack for growing beautiful kale, and my parents swung by yesterday to check in and drop off some kale, which adds a hearty addition to an already minimal soup. Drizzle with some sriracha and you have a deliciously different take on traditional miso:  Spicy “Green” Miso Soup. Happy Meatless Monday!

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Local Finds, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dangerously Delicious Daikon & Carrot Salad

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This Daikon & Carrot Salad is soooooo easy. Did I mention how simple this was? My dad and I decided to try this restaurant in Portland, ME on a whim for lunch — Pai Men Miyake. With my parents and family friends, we celebrated the end of the summer at the more upscale version of Miyake. Both have Japanese roots with French influences and use ingredients from both their own and local farms. My dad and I split this salad, and oh man — it was a race to the finish. The daikon and carrots were extremely fresh, crisp and crunchy. Daikon, as I have now discovered, is a member of the radish family and loaded with vitamin C and potassium. Another perfect addition to add to your sickness-fighting repertoire. Tossed in a Spicy Sesame Dressing, this Daikon & Carrot Salad will be sure to grace your table again and again.

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