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Seafood Salad Recipe with 4 dressings

Fish and Seafood are healthy choices, and it is low-fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “The good omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation, read more in Seafood and fish healthy benefits.

Preparing a seafood salad, buy fresh from the market or use frozen seafood mix, I often stock a bag in the freezer. Add the quantity into a colander hold it under the water tap to remove the layer of ice.

Put a pan on the stove bring water to near boil and flash through the frozen seafood. Remove seafood quickly with a sieve and transfer to a bowl filled with ice cubes. If you bought fresh fillets and choice of seafood shells, poach the fish and shellfish for more flavour. Bonus, the remaining liquid has turned into rich aromatic fish taste broth.

 

 

Seafood Salad

How to poach fish and seafood in an aromatic broth called court-bouillon, a traditional way to enhance flavour. The Seafood Salad recipe and dressing variations are right here below.

  1. The poaching liquid is easy to make within 30 minutes. Using ingredients; sea salt, onion, carrot, bay leaf, parsley with lemon or vinegar. (The use of acidity is to help to retain the colour of salmon and turns shellfish in a bright red colour (lobster, crab). Milk helps with white fish fillets.
  2. Add some spices peppercorns, cloves or give it an Asian twist use ginger, galangal, Lemon Grass, etc.
  3. Bring liquid with aromatics to a boil let it steep after 30 minutes remove all the aromatics.
  4. Bring the liquid back to near boil, watch bubbles break through the surface. Add pieces of fish and shellfish carefully into the water.

Seafood Salad Recipe Asianfoodtrail

Cooking time

  1. Cook for the right moment;
    1. small shrimps only need 15 sec,
    2. squid just 1-minute
    3. for all shellfish approx. 3-5 minutes (or shell opens)
    4. Fish fillets between 3 – 10 minutes, this depends on thickness and type of fish. Watch the fish fillets change colour and start to get flaky.
  2. Note: for whiter and creamier flavour use milk to poach in the fish fillets with aromatics.
    1. Pour milk in a pan, just to cover the pieces of fish fillets barely.
  3. Remove quickly with a sieve, to cool transfer immediately in an ice-water bath to stop cooking process and cool down immediately.

For Instant Pot users: cooking time table for fish and seafood.

Poaching liquid

  1. If you are preparing a cold fish dish, remove the pan from the burner leave it to cool down in the poaching liquid for more flavour.
    1. This step slows the cooking pace down. Watch the time and the target temperature carefully.
  2. At the end of poaching all fish and seafood ingredients, you will have an excellent intensified liquid leftover. Keep the broth by straining through a sieve in containers or freeze in cubes.
  3.  Store the poaching liquid in the fridge use it within 24 hours for best flavour. Store in the freezer, it will keep for 2-3 months.
  4. Or use a high-pressure canner to store poaching liquid as broth in glass jars. I use a 24-quart Presto canner.


 Various dressing style

Seafood Salad fresh ingredients, I love various dressings to fit my mood and appetite or to go along with my menu theme.

Italian/Mediterranean Insalata Frutti di Mare simple dressing is one of my favourites. Add parsley with two tbs of lemon juice with 80 ml (1/3 cup) of light olive oil, 1-2 cloves of garlic finely minced, pepper and salt. Taste for acidity level and add if needed a little bit of vinegar. Garnish with parsley leaves or chopped onion on top. Optional: add 1 Tsp of dijon mustard for vinaigrette dressing

Thai-style dressing, in Thailand this dressing is often combined with grilled squid and fish. Start with 4 tbsp lime juice, 4 tbsp fish sauce. Add 4 tbs palm sugar or 1 tbsp liquid sweetener ( no stevia!). Followed by 2-4 cloves minced garlic, 2-3 tbsp finely chopped coriander. For moderate heat add 1 pod chilli deseeded, chopped or sliced finely. Like Thai-style hot add in finely 1-2 chopped bird’s eye chilli’s). Add 2 tbsp of filtered water and mix everything together. Taste and add a little more water if needed. Garnish with fresh mint and coriander leaves to finish. Optional: no fresh chilli at hand use 1 tsp sriracha sauce.

Japanese Wafu-style dressing, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 4 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar, 6 tbsp oil (do not use olive oil), 1 tsp fine caster sugar (1-2 drops liquid sweetener). Optional: add finely grated onion with daikon. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds on top.

For other reads and recipes: Thai noodle soup | Red Curry Mussels | Chinese stock methods and variations

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

Welcomed by a blazing sun on Sunday it ignited planning a trip to the beach. We never passed beyond that first thought. Absentmindedly sweeping up our backyard and trimming by pulling and snipping into the wiry Ivy. We ended up stripping down almost twenty years of Ivy growth against the garden wall.

After hours of manual labour, pulling and cutting the Ivy stalks we managed to get rid the Bush. Simple trimming turned out to be a heck of a job.

 

 

Going to the seaside was not an option anymore nearing the end of the day. Instead, we had a seafood salad mix as part of a healthy Keto (Paleo or LCHF) diet. Eating fish and seafood happens to be perfect with weight loss plan too.

Seafood and Fish

We like to eat and prepare the fish whole from head to tail, fish types e.g. red snapper, mackerel, sardine, red mullet, sea bream, and more. Or sample fresh seafood like cuttlefish, clams, mussels, prawns, scallops and oysters.

You might have guessed, Fruits du Mer or Seafood platter is one of my favourite dishes. The presentation combined with flavour, texture it will take more time in advance for preparation.

Instead, it is easier to have a salad with fresh, canned and frozen items for a quick formed meal. Eating more seafood and fish in our weekly meal plan are healthy choices, in fact, it is low-fat, high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.


The good omega-3 fatty acids have shown to reduce triglycerides, blood pressure and inflammation. I have been reading on the benefits for a healthy diet due to reversing diabetes Type 2 while following Keto diet with very good results.

Here a short overview why having more fish and seafood benefits a healthy diet in our body and brain. The recipe description for Seafood Salad Mix with extra dressings and cooking notes are here with other recipe suggestions right after the resource listings here down below.

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet

  • Lower blood triglycerides (cholesterol)
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • May improve symptoms of inflammation, arthritis and psoriasis

Seafood nutritional value

Seafood and fish nutritional value

  • Many varieties of seafood are low cholesterol and sodium
  • Rich source of protein, minerals and vitamins
  • Low-calorie source of essential nutrients
  • Polyunsaturated fats lower LDL, triglycerides, boost cholesterol profile
Resources and facts

Seafood nutritional value

What’s not to love with healthy and tasty seafood dishes. Any style goes throughout the year. For dinner tonight a seafood salad mix is just perfect.

For other Salads, click on Thai beef salad | Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad  | Seafood Salad Mix Recipe

Calendar events:

Seafood and fish benefits a healthy diet. Mention and share a fish event near you with us. We will add it to the list or perhaps even drop by :-).

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Chinese style braised oxtail bones – recipe

Chinese style braised oxtail bones are served as a topping on rice or served separately in a wide bowl. Vegetables as carrots and cassava are added making this dish a hearty and flavoursome nutritious dish. Paleo fans will enjoy its warming earthiness as much without any gluten ingredients. Interchanging between a variety of bean sauces (Chinese fermented soybean sauces), chilli paste and spices will allow you to play with an aroma to your own liking. Or be adventurous and choose to cook from other south-east Asian cuisines enjoying the different flavour, texture with salivating fragrances.

Serve in a bowl by itself with rice or noodles on the side, or topped above as a one-dish meal for lunch or dinner. As a main dish, if preparing a menu for more persons, I would suggest adding a vegetable- and doufu dish with a light soup to complement each other. The Chinese style braised oxtail bones will be the focus for your guests at the table. For the recipe scroll here below, click here for Chinese braised oxtail in Instant Pot information and photo images.

Difference between braise, stews and soup – Update 21 December 2015

I received engaging comments with the questions, how much liquid to add. Followed by the difference between braising and stews. In answer to my readers,  I am updating the post with the replied information on the method of cooking techniques used for tougher cuts of meat.

To start with the liquid in any recipe, it focuses on the right volume to add, water, stock or broth. Next, the cut size of the meat (small cubes) and cutting against the grain means cutting crosswise through the long muscle fibres in the meat. Breaking them up makes meat more tender.

Often used cuts are the less tender and gelatinous parts of meat for slow cooking as well as the use of accompanying vegetables in the dish. In order to fuse all the ingredients together to melt into a tender and flavoursome dish, is by breaking down the connective tissue as tendons (collagen) just simmering it slowly using the right low temperature.

Braising and stewing cooking technique are combination cooking methods using the hob and/or oven.

  • Braising is cooking meat on a bed of vegetables in a small amount of liquid, utilising steam and stewing in its cooking process. At the end of the cooking process, the meat often falls off the bone and the concentrated gravy is clinging to the pieces of meat.
  • Stewing is a slow cook method, where the food is cut into smaller pieces and covered in liquid using gentle heat for a long time. Here the meat is fork tender and the liquid is reduced covering the meat pieces in an aromatic thick sauce.

Cooking with high pressure is perfect it doesn’t require a whole lot of liquid, making it perfect for braised dishes in my Instant Pot DUO 7-1 I use or Lux 6-1 (version without yoghurt option). In comparison with my stove high-pressure cooker, where you have to manually set the timer and keep an eye on it still. The IP has automated meat/stew 30 minutes program you just press and walk away, at the end of time cancel the keep warm function so the natural pressure release can come down a bit faster (approx. 30-45 min.).

For a braised result, I submerge the meat by adding water or stock just barely covering it exposing some of the bones and meat. If you would opt for only (e.g. 50%) using half of water or stock to add, be aware that the gravy will reduce significantly as well. Tip: Keep in mind if this dish is completely cooled the gravy of the bones will be very gelatinous (jiggly as jelly). Meat jelly is another Chinese delicacy served eating it cold as homecooked food and can be creatively used in appetisers or bun fillings for example.

If I like to make a stew instead, I will submerge the ingredients covering it to ½-1 inch (1 ½ – 3 cm) above with liquid or more if it calls for a soupy consistency.

 

Drink suggestions:

  • Tea leaves: Green tea or Jasmine tea is very common, but Pu Erh tea has an earthy smokiness which is very pleasant with an added bonus it really cuts the fat down in your body.
  • For the beer fans: You will enjoy this dish with a light beer, a darker beer, even more, tasteful. In The Netherlands seasonal draft beer or bottled bock beer would be nice to pair along, it has richer, sweeter lager with warm toasty undertones and minimal bitterness. More information on Beleef bockbier 2015, with an overview of 125 different bock beers in The Netherlands. Besides Guinness Stout beer or a Kilkenny, share yours.
  • As for wine lovers: A red Bordeaux is an easy choice, but for the adventurous wine sleuth, an Australian Shiraz-Viognier Barossa 2006 is a discovery I can recommend. My all time favourite would be the Chilean Tarapacca Carmenere, rich in berry fruits and spices to pair with my bowl of Chinese style braised oxtail bones. You will not believe it, but I made my acquaintance and fell in love with Tarapacca in Taipei. Of course, there are far more than one grape or bottle, the more reason to cook and pair more meals.

If you have made the braised Oxtail bones, share your dinner send me a photo.

Enjoy!

 

Please read my disclaimer and disclosure on affiliated links and copyright notice for links and information in this post

 

Hainan Chicken Rice recipe dinner tonight

My adaptation of Hainan Chicken Rice recipe is here below with related links:

Aromatic poached chicken, tender and succulent very healthy and easy way of preparing. The poaching broth doubles as clear soup and flavours the cooked rice. Final result of three dishes; tender succulent poached chicken, flavored rice and aromatic soup.

Cooking dinner tonight

Prepare dinner for 4-6 adults, with kids, it can serve easily up to 8 persons.

  1. Hainan Chicken Rice foodie chat
  2. Hainan Chicken Rice tutorial step-by-step
  3. Chinese stock methods and variations
Recipe Hainan Chicken Rice; Preparing chickens; stuffing set

Preparing chickens; ingredients to marinate and for flavour

 

Hainan Chicken rice - lunch & diner

Hainan Chicken rice – lunch & diner


After reading and enjoying a good meal, why not travel to Hainan? The tropical island of China with white sandy beaches, turquoise sea and waving palms beckoning you to come and visit. “China’s southernmost province, an allure that is increasingly known worldwide as it is set to become an international tourist destination.” Source: China Daily

The island is located in the South China Sea near Vietnam. It has not always been such a commercial and busy island. Tucked away behind the vast country mountains, this island has long been hidden for tourism. Han Chinese already built villages around 200 BC. But the Li population was only discovered in the 1930s.

Hainan is also called ‘Tail of the Dragon.’ Money is not the problem, like many popular areas in China. The developments go here with the speed of light. The island has a speed rail that allows you to move, although we find that bikes are still the best option.

Hainan, China





Piri Piri chicken, baked potatoes & zucchini

With all the rain last week, cold wind and gloomy faces outside, it sure is time for comfort food. Had 3 large chicken legs, cut into parts and rubbed with Piri Piri spice mix then set it aside to marinate. Half of the time when cooking I whiz up the dishes without thinking too much, even when I am experimenting I should write it down immediately not to forget even to photo record the little tweaks.

Cooking with a camera in the kitchen, nearly broke the damn thing because it almost slipped off the counter. Or had to throw away cooking attempts because it burned while being distracted with other devices not being cooking utensils. Ever since the smartphone arrived featuring 5 or higher megapixels camera, combined with options for HDR settings I have become a die-hard fan. Using mobile photography as long as I don’t forget to pick it up and make shots in between. It is also the main reason why I am searching for photo apps as an amateur to make better photography shots of ingredients, dishes and fun things.

A while back I wrote a post about new photo video app, referring to Everlapse an iPhone app with PC version, well Flipagram is a newer app free download for iPhone, Android and Windows version. I have started using this app and become a fan, am really pleased with the results. While the photo video story below has an intense glow, it’s not because I used a filter but they were made in the kitchen at dinner time with only kitchen lightening hence the slight distortion.

In the kitchen busy cooking, background music entered the kitchen from the living room playing fittingly “I just wanna make you smile”. Now you know how this little photo video story came together. You can find the recipe here under attached to this post.

Piri Piri chicken, baked potatoes mix and zucchini

 

Instead of regular chicken seasoning give it a try with a Piri Piri spice blend, choose a Portuguese, African or original South American mixes or make your own mix it’s worth the try. You will grab this more often and not only for chicken, very versatile uses with all kind of meats, shrimp and prawns. Share your dish and favourite cooking method with us, leave a comment and like us on Facebook Asianfoodtrail page.

Piri Piri spice blend it’s just a tiny bottle, little bag or packet but it carries a long and interesting story. A history of slavery and an origin far from what most people believe they know about this pepper, watch here for the upcoming post.

Red Beet Salad recipe with orange, feta cheese, mint

Red Beet Salad recipe with orange, feta cheese and mint, what’s not to love. To begin with, the taste and texture followed by health benefits and support of detoxification. The idea of eating and cleansing suits me fine with these five reasons.

  1. Colour attraction, deep burgundy red (all natural beetroot juice is a red food and beverages colouring).
  2. Sweet slight earthy taste and crunchy texture
  3. antioxidants
  4. anti-inflammatory
  5. detoxification

 Whether you roast it whole, blend into a classic soup or drink as juice like the Olympians does – beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan. (source link: BBC Good Food – Beetroots)

And that sums it up why I keep buying this power food with this recipe I finally had the whole family fully agreeing not to overlook this green but to make this Red Beet Salad with orange, feta cheese and mint recipe more often. The Beetroot has achieved superfood status, according to scientist claimed beetroot juice is capable of boosting athletic performance. Read more: “Boom time for beetroot” DailyMail online article.

Beetroot Salad Orange, Feta, Mint 1

Red Beet Salad preparations

For the balsamic mustard dressing with fresh herbs, I choose to add a Dutch touch with “Groninger mosterd, grof & pittig” whole seed, grainy mustard for a different flavour and sharpness complementing the beets. I used to whisk everything together but it is much easier to put all dressing ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake, the dressing will thicken nicely blending everything together.

Red Beet salad Orange, Feta, Mint 2

Red Beet Salad with Orange, Feta Cheese, Mint

Pour the dressing over the beets first and mix before tossing in the orange segments, as you can see on the photo image the beet juice bleeds very quickly coating everything in red. What you can’t see, smell or taste, unfortunately, is the ‘cheese’, at the local Turkish supermarket shop I bought their artisan-made sheep cheese for the first time and it was so much better than the standard supermarket packed versions.

Bitter gourd stir fry egg mix preserved & salted

Bitter gourd is very popular vegetable throughout South-East Asian cuisines, you will find this Asian vegetable in soups, stews, stir-fry dishes and healthy juice drinks. Bitter gourd aka Bitter Melon (or Bitter squash) is now widely available in Asian supermarkets and shops.

This uneven textured green vegetable is good for one’s health. Drinking bitter gourd juice is a great way to detox your body, while regularly eating bitter gourd as a part of your daily diet is known to prevent skin ailments and aids a glowing skin. It contains a lots of vitamins ad nutrients and is especially highly beneficial for diabetics for lowering down their blood sugar levels. The bitter taste boosts the immune system and while there is no accounting for taste, you are definitely into Asian food if you serve, cook and eat Bitter gourd often.

Cut in halve, remove seed & pith

Cut in halve, remove seed & pith

Cleaning Bitter Gourd

The secret of appreciating bitter gourd is to make sure you clean the bitter gourd well;

  1. Slice the gourd in half and scrape out all the seeds with membranes and pith (white sponge), leaving only a thin layer of white 2-3mm to the green skin of the bitter gourd and cut in thin slices.
  2. Or cut cylindrical and carefully clean by hollowing and removing the insides out for stuffing and further preparation.
  3. Parboil the remaining flesh (especially with larger cuts) to mellow its strong flavor for a few minutes only, then prepare for casseroles, stir-fries, stews or soups.

With young and smaller bitter gourds I skip parboiling but make sure I clean them well and season during stir-frying, to ensure that bitterness turns into a pleasant flavor adding to the final dish.

Salted Duck eggs, Chicken eggs, Preserved eggs \.jpg.jpeg

From left to right: Salted Duck eggs, Chicken eggs, Preserved eggs

Various eggs

  • Century eggs 皮蛋 pídàn is a Chinese delicacy, preserved duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls. The traditional method of processing time depends on the method and may take several week up to several months. At present a simplified approach of soaking the eggs in a chemical bath for 10 days speeds up the aging process while wrapped in plastic. We buy both interchanging century eggs wrapped in rice hulls or in plastic packs for convenience, it can be cooked and often used in cold dishes as salads too.
  • Salted duck eggs 咸鸭蛋 xián yā dàn or 咸蛋 xián dàn (salted eggs) is another typical Chinese food preserve made by soaking the duck eggs in brine or in damp salted charcoal. You do not see them often anymore, eggs covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste, mostly they are wrapped in plastic containers or vacuum packed. We often eat them as a side dish with congee (rice porridge) or as an ingredient in baking, rice dumplings or stir-fry dishes. You need to cook salted duck eggs before further preparation in cooking or baking.
  • Eggs are a common staple food and one of the most versatile ingredients used in cooking. The most commonly used bird eggs are chicken, duck, goose. In more refined gourmet dishes the two opposites in egg sizes, quail eggs or ostrich eggs may be used.

Bitter gourd stir fry egg mix preserved & salted

While stir fried bitter gourd with eggs is a common dish found in many local South-East Asian cuisines, the origin of this dish is infused by leftover rather than a particular native dish  since we have eaten many bitter gourd egg stir fry versions. The ingredients are more or less the same the used seasonings may differ by locality and cook. A simpler version will be linked here soon.

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Sliced bitter gourd, three eggs mix and chopped garlic

Scroll down for this recipe as shown in the image.

 

Note: a word of caution while bitter gourd is highly nutritious, the vegetable should not be eaten or given to allergy sufferers, pregnant women and young children:

  • If you happen to be allergic for melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe (cucurbitaceae plants aka gourd family) you better avoid preparing or eating bitter melon.
  • For pregnant women the vegetable contains laxative component which may cause premature contraction and lead to miscarriages. Contact your doctor first.
  • For very young children, since the plant insulin is very effective in keeping blood sugar levels down it might cause the child sugar levels to drop.
  • For diabetes, you can add bitter melon to your diet but MUST check you blood sugar level and consult your doctor if in treatment with sugar medication, because bitter melon can cause your blood sugar levels fall dramatically if consumed too excessively.

Blackbeans Jumble Recipe

Blackbeans Jumble, our Monday night one-pot dinner creation influenced by Creole Jambalaya. The origin of Jambalaya apparently derives from the Provencal which is spoken in the South of France, the word “jambalaia” refers to a mishmash or mix-up. Talking about fusion, diversity and cooking, you definitely will find it in Creole cooking, this cuisine is a living proof of all the descendants of early settlers.

Louisiana Creole cuisine is recognized as a unique style of cooking, which makes use of the “Holy Trinity” (in this case, chopped celery, bell peppers, and onions), but has a great variety of European, French, Caribbean, African, and American influences.

La Chinata smoked paprika powder and gumbo mix spice powder

La Chinata smoked paprika powder and gumbo mix spice powder

Pulses and legumes

I love one-pot dishes, mixing ingredients and blending of spices they are ideal to finish up whatever vegetable is leftover on my kitchen counter. Adding pulses and legumes to your diet is very healthy since beans are considered protein-rich super food. Beans are low-glycemic, high-fiber, high-protein and packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not to mention very convenient to cook and to add to your weekly meal plan. Beans help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and as a bonus helps to lower your weight.

Double value for health and grocery shopping budget to buy dried beans instead of cans or jars, a bag of beans is very economic, because it triples in quantity. One dried cup yields 2½­- 3½­ cups soaked beans, enough to feed a family of 4-6 persons. Just soak a cup overnight (1-2 days max, refreshing water in between) to let them well double in size, transfer to a pressure cooker and depending the bean and quantity you only have to cook 7-10 min tops and the beans are ready to be used in dishes or as ingredient of a recipe. For an overview of beans with image and description click here.

Black eyed beans

Black eyed beans

Digestion aid

Not everyone has the same experience but it is a well known side effect of eating beans resulting in flatulence, because beans contain raffinose which is a starch that is poorly digested due to a lack of the enzyme galactosidase. In aid to reduce increased intestinal gas production, there are several ways to avoid bean flatulence;

  1. Pre-soak overnight up to 24 hour, rinse in between (48 hours max otherwise it will ferment instead!) is a must and cook them well, the beans must be entirely soft without any hard bits.
  2. Add a knife tip – pinch of baking soda to the soak water of dried beans before cooking, this will significantly decreases the content of the raffinose family of sugars.
  3. From our time in India, were lentils are staple food we learned from Indian cooking to add asfoetida aka ‘hing’ as a digestive aid, this little tub is on our spice rack among Indian spices. In many Indian recipes it includes turmeric and ginger both are digestives spices as well.
  4. Other spices are cloves, cinnamon, and garlic are potent in reducing gas.
  5. According to a Huffington Post article, adding a piece of seaweed (Kombu or Wakame) will make the beans more digestible. Seaweed is another well known power food and it adds an extra depth as part of flavoring the beans as well aid for digestion 

Chili con Carne is a well known recipe with kidney or brown beans, Blackbeans Jumble is made with blackeyed beans and this recipe has creole influences but was mainly inspired by leftover greens, the use of spices like smoked paprika powder and cumin makes it interesting. You can add peppers if you like the heat or leave them out, by omitting the meat it will become a full vegan dish.

Blackbeans as comfort food

Blackbeans as comfort food

Flat beans stir-fry with ground pork & bean sauce, recipe

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Flat beans are in season now for € 0,99 p/kg, fresh bright green, smooth skin, crunchy and string less, flat beans belong to the same group as runner beans. Flat beans here in The Netherlands/Europe are cooked, boiled or steamed, although I do not know many cooks who will use this unless they have a steamer appliance or steamer-oven otherwise too much hassle. My favorite way of cooking is stir-frying, the cutting up takes more time than cooking in a wok or saute pan/flatware.

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Day before I had prepared fresh aubergines with SiChuan chilibean paste and I only needed half a package of ground pork meat, so I had some leftover ground meat to be used.

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When I refer to soybean paste, I realized it can be confusing especially since I have 4 kinds of bean sauce. Three as shown in the picture above; the first one is a Taiwanese brand, the two glass jars Chinese and the fourth one missing is a Thai version (a photo will appear in another dish soon). Now for tonight’s dinner I only used bean sauce, the middle jar but if I would be cooking with chicken or dou fu I would mix bean and hot bean sauce together for an even stronger flavor.

Flat beans stir-fried with ground pork & bean sauce

To speed up cooking even more, you could zap the bean in the microwave for 5-7min (depending microwave power), we like a crunchier texture so never pass beyond 7 min otherwise even stir-frying will make them wilt even more. With cutting up the vegetables, cooking the rice (2-3pers) and stir-frying this dish dinner is served with 15- 20 minutes tops.

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You can substitute flat beans for runner beans and make this a vegetarian dish by omitting ground meat, variation are endless. You can even create a spicier version by mixing both the bean and hot bean sauce or adding a chili paste to enhance spiciness and leave out the bean sauce entirely. This recipe gives you a base to mix and match and experiment further to create your dish.

Avocado Chia seeds healthy breakfast

Avocado

Due to its shape and leathery skin, did you know that another name for Avocado is Alligator’s pear? What’s in a name right? 🙂

A biologist calls it persea americana, but avocado derives from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, which also refers to a certain part of the male anatomy that the fruit somewhat resembles. In English, the word has almost the same pronunciation as the Spanish abogado, “lawyer.” In Mexico it is called the aguacate. Use your imagination to understand why the Aztecs called it the fertility fruit. Legend has it that an early English description of “avocado” called it the “avogado pear,” leading to the misunderstanding of “alligator pear.”  The fact that the shell of the fruit looks vaguely crocodilian doesn’t hurt. (source: dictonary.com)

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

A fruit native to Mexico and Central America, much eaten as a vegetable and the main ingredient to make famous guacamole dip with tortilla chips. With great benefits to this mighty fruit, a serving size of 150 gram has 240 calories, very low in cholesterol and sodium. Rich source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate. Supports cardiovascular health, promotes blood sugar regulation and has anti-cancer benefits. It is no wonder why Avocado is considered among the World’s healthiest foods.

Chia Seeds

Another health food native to the same region is Chia Seeds (the seeds come from a flowering plaint in the mint family) an important crop and super food for the Aztec’s it was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying Chia 29-years ago. Chia is the highest currently known plant source of omega-3 ALA, which is able to convert into both EPA and DHA. Rich in anti-inflammatory activity, has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus as an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled. Or making a gel by adding liquid for instant pudding or as an egg or butter substitute. 

Avocado Chia seeds mash healthy breakfast

Avocados are regular ingredients in our fruit basket, last week there was a health products promotion at the discount chain store Action for Chia seeds and I bought two packages to add them to our diet. Half way through a hectic week, I needed a healthy boost so I came up with this preparation an Avocado and Chia seeds mash. A healthy breakfast alternative recipe, spiced up with a bit of SiChuan pepper powder and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on toasted Corn bread. Perhaps you could use a #transformationthursday superbooster too with all these ingredients loading up energy, watch out Friday!

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast