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BBQ saus kippenvleugels recept Instant Pot

Kippenvleugels, kipkluifjes en drumsticks zijn populaire kipdelen in elke wereldkeuken. Wat je er al niet mee kan bereiden met zo veel kruidenmengsels en marinade mixen als keuzes. Het is snel en makkelijk klaar te maken en leent zich werkelijk voor elk menu onderdeel; snack, tussendoortje , voorgerecht, bijgerecht of als hoofdgerecht.

Je raakt nooit uitgegeten of verveeld met de talloze bereidingswijzes en met behulp van allerlei simpele of flitsende kookgereedschappen. We beginnen dan ook maar net het vuur op te stoken voor diverse gerechten. Ik had eerder al Kippenvleugels in een soja-chili marinade (Engelstalig) post gedeeld, die bereidt je gewoon op het fornuis.

BBQ saus kippenvleugels recept wordt in de Instant Pot Duo voorbereid met de hogedruk kookfunctie. Na de bereiding kun je er voor kiezen om het gelijk op de barbeque of in de oven grill af te maken voor een krokante vel en een mooi gouden kleur. Ik vind een krokante vel en lichtelijk geblakkerd wel lekker, maar niet zover door als “blackened fish/chicken”die je bij de Cajun-keuken kan verwachten.

 

In die keuken is de ‘heilige drie-eenheid’ van belang maar dat bewaar ik voor bij mijn favoriete jambalaya en gumbo binnenkort, hier is alvast een voorproefje van Zwarte Bonen recept (Engelstalig) om alvast op te warmen. OK, terug naar de vleugels.

BBQ saus Kippenvleugels recept Instant Pot

 

BBQ saus kippenvleugels

2 kg hele kippenvleugels (bestaat uit vleugeltip, middenvleugel en vleugelstick) Je kan het ook variëren met 1 kg drumsticks of kippenbouten in 3 delen gehakt.

Optioneel: 1-2 tl gedroogde chilipepers vlokken en/of Cayennepeper. Of verse Spaanse peper, verwijder de zaadlijsten en snijd in reepjes. Gebruik in dit recept geen scherpe pepers zoals Madame Jeanette of Bird’s eye chillies deze zijn te scherp en overheersend.

Voor een beetje pit had ik nu een mix van 1 tl Chili vlokken en Cayenne peper poeder met elkaar gemengd en toegevoegd. Vaak wissel ik af met o.a Sambal Badjak, Thai Siracha saus of Piri Piri kruiden mix Portugees of Afrikaanse versie. Daarmee proeft het net elke keer iets anders terwijl je dezelfde bereidingswijze toepast.

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Kook notities

Tips voor Keto, LCHF, Paleo en T2D (type 2 diabetes)

  • Kookliefhebbers kunnen hun eigen suikervrije BBQ-saus maken of kies een goed suikervrij merk zoals bijvoorbeeld in de aanbevelingen hieronder.
  • Voor gebruik in o.a. mijn smoothies of het bakken daarvoor heb ik o.a. erythritol, inulin, Stevia, dadelpasta en Chinese Lo Han Guo als zoetmiddel.
  • Een van mijn favoriete opties die ik nu vaak gebruik is o.a. Lakanto monk fruit suiker het bevat 0 calorieën, heeft een geweldige zoete smaak zonder de lichte bittere nasmaak zoals bij Stevia. Er is ook een Lakanto suikervrij Maple siroop die honing en siroop in recepten kan vervangen zonder enig smaak verlies.
  • Voor het bereiden van sticky BBQ chicken wings kun je deze suikervrij optie gebruiken i.p.v. de calorierijke suikers.
  • Hoofdingrediënt van Lakanto bestaat uit Luo Han Guo, een andere Engelse gebruikte term is “Monk fruit sugar”. Het is kenmerkend vanwege laag calorie en laag glycaemic gehalte als voedsel ingrediënt daarbij 300x zoeter dan gewone suiker.

Luo Han Guo, monkfruit komt oorspronkelijk uit zuid China. In TCM, Traditionele Chinese Geneeskunde is het al eeuwenland een traditioneel medicijn wat toegepast wordt met name voor behandeling van obesitas en diabetes.

Het wordt gebruikt bij bereiding van Chinese medicinale of gewone thee en het koken. Mijn familie gebruikt het maar had hiervoor niet gerealiseerd een verborgen agent te hebben als een gezondheidshulpmiddel. Dat de bijzonder gezonde werking hiervan totaal niet bekend is bij Nederlandse diabetespatiënten en overige consumenten die op hun gezondheid moeten letten.

Sinds het volgen van Keto diet ben ik hier meer bewuster van geworden. Luo Han Guo tea en poedervorm is behalve online eveneens verkrijgbaar bij Aziatische en Chinese supermarkten en Chinese kruidenwinkels.

 

1. BBQ wings Instant Pot dinner tonight 2. Recipe in English


 

Sticky BBQ chicken wings recipe for Instant Pot

My cooking notes:

  • 1/4 cup=4 tablespoons, 0.25 ml or 56.5 grammes
  • Multi cooker model here is Instant Pot DUO 7-1.
  • The Instant Pot cooks a quarter, half or full pot with the whole wings, drumsticks, turkey drumsticks. The cooking time will be the same.
  • Use to make homemade marinades and seasoning rubs, but these are my favourite ready-made spices; McCormick Smokehouse Maple and Montreal steak seasoning.
  • BBQ charcoal smokiness comes straight from the BBQ grill or smoker. I use liquid smoke to recreate this by adding it to the cooking liquid in the pot.
  • Sweetness is added by using palm sugar or substitute with brown sugar or a combination of sugar and honey (2+2 tbs).
  • 2 lbs chicken wings (frozen or thawed) I used a combination of 1 kg chicken wings (wingtips with drumettes attached) plus 1 kg chopped Chicken legs (in 3 pieces).
  • For a little bit of heat, I added a blend of 1 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper and 1 tsp crushed chilli peppers.

Change the flavours by alternating between Thai Siracha sauce, (Indonesian Sambal paste), Sambal Badjak. A bit closer to home opt for Portuguese/African Piri Piri spice blend 1-2 tbs. My dinner guests will ultimately inspire the level of heat and spiciness.

 

Sticky BBQ chicken wings recipe for Instant Pot

Tips for Keto, LCHF, Paleo and T2D (type 2 diabetes)
  • Make your own sugar-free bbq sauce or order online a good brand as in the recommendation ads here below.
  • For my smoothies and baked goods, I use erythritol, inulin, stevia and Chinese Lo Han Guo as sweeteners.
  • Favourite sugar-free option I recommend Lakanto monk fruit sugar it has 0 calories. Great sweet taste no off flavours as with stevia. You also can use Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup instead of honey.
  • For sticky BBQ chicken wings use this sugar-free option to substitute for using high-calorie sugars.
  • Luo Han Guo is a low-caloric, low-glycemic food used as a sweetener in beverages and cooked food.

Using this sweetener in Chinese herbal teas and cooking I am familiar with the level of sweetness. It never occurred to me how beneficial the health benefits are having a hidden agent as a health aid.

Luo Han Guo, monk fruit is native to southern China. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) it is been used as a traditional medicine to treat obesity and diabetes.

Luo Han Guo is a low-caloric, low-glycemic food used as a sweetener in beverages and cooked food extremely sweet (about 300 times as sweet as sugar). You can purchase this online or purchase Lo Han Guo tea and powder at Asian and Chinese supermarkets and Chinese herbal shops.

 

Lakanto monk fruit

FAQ Lakanto sugar-free 0 calories 100% sweet taste from Lo Han Guo aka monk fruit

1# BBQ wings Instant Pot dinner tonight

2# BBQ saus kippenvleugels recept Instant Pot

 


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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

 

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.

Pineapple Mojito

For me the best thirst quenchers are drinks with lemon and lime as a main ingredient and a touch of alcohol brings out the smiles. I fell in love with the classic Cuban mojito and found out how dangerously refreshing it is after a couple of drinks speaking Spanish went very smoothly. Ever since from ordering or making “moe-hee-toe” Mojito, the classic version or with many other fruity variations it never fails to satisfy with each sip. In Singapore we ran out of mint but we still had limes and fresh Lychees, so we improvised making our very own version of Lychito (recipe coming up) which became a hit till we ran out of Lychees, but the taste was set to experiment with other tropical flavors until even the herb garden had no mint left. Pineapple Mojito is another favorite, easy to make since this fruit is widely available and why not starring it in this terrific cocktail.

Pineapple Mojito 4

Preparing for one….it turned out into a whole jug!

 

Pineapple Mojito preparation 1

The classic five ingredients; Rum, Mint, Limes, sugar can juice (fine sugar or sugar syrup) and soda (sparkling water). In the blender fresh pineapple and sugar syrup pulp.

If you like cocktails as much as I do, make your own sugar syrup and sweet & sour mix standby for quick mixing cocktails, it’s super easy, cheap and you can adjust the taste to your own liking. Sugar syrups are versatile in use too depending on thickness due to higher or lower level of sugar content, making it thinner or thicker depending the final usage for fruit salads, smoothies, cakes, cocktails, tea’s, drinks etc.

  • For a standard sugar syrup; prepare by mixing 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar cane or fine sugar (I prefer to use 3/4 cup), bring on to a boil in a small sauce pan and stir to dissolve and let it cool.
  • To infuse sugar syrup with flavors is by removing the pan from heat add handful of mint leaves let it cool down completely. Then remove all the mint leaves, leaving them in will spoil easily,  use the mint syrup immediately or store in refrigerator for at least two weeks.
  • The subtle aroma of infused syrups will give that enhanced flavor complementing your drink or dish with an intriguing note. Try other flavors by adding a stick of cinnamon or vanilla pods to boil along (with 2:2 ratio sugar and water) and leave it in while cooling down,  pour everything into a resealable bottle or container  for later use with other cocktails, smoothies, iced tea’s, fruit salads, or baking recipes. Give it a good shake and store in the refrigerator.
  • For an easy sweet & sour mix as used with mixing margarita’s (aka as bar mix); just remember 1-1-1-1 ratio, that’s 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup lime juice. First boil the water and sugar, stir to dissolve then take the pan from the heat and add the lemon and lime juices. Stir to combine let it cool down, pass through a sieve before pouring into a resealable bottle or container, give it a good shake and refrigerate. Eventually you may alter the level of acidity instead of 1 cup to 1/2 cup or 3/4 cups interchanging ratio of lemon and lime to your own taste and liking.
Muddle the lime, mint and sugar to extract and blend the flavors, add ice and soda.

Muddle the lime, mint and sugar to extract and blend the flavors, add ice and soda.

 

Add a pineapple parts in the glass or on top as garnish, pour and serve.

Add a pineapple parts in the glass or on top as garnish, pour and serve.

 

Pineapple Mojito straight up with ice.

Pineapple Mojito straight up with ice or serve with straws to stir and sip!

Tip: For single serving using a shot or jigger, bar tool, click for bar terms and measurements on the highlighted links. 1 shot equals 1 1/2 oz (ounces) 1 shot equals 4.5 CL (centiliters) 1 shot equals 45 ml (milliliters) 1 shot equals 3 tbsp (tablespoons) Equipment: beside using a blender to mix and whiz drinks, a muddler is the tool for making mojito and caipirinha cocktails, it is like a pestle to mash/muddle fruits, herbs at the bottom of a glass in order to release their flavors and blend them together at the same time. For more information click here on my affiliate link for an overview of various muddlers to compare.

Pineapple Mojito

It’s hot in Brasil, the game is on and we are on fire!!  Pineapple Mojito straight up with ice, Cheers!!

Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links:

5 Best Bitter Melon Juice recipes

Bitter gourd vegetable has many varieties and even more recipes in the south-east Asian region, some of the tested dishes are gobsmacking good. However, I was not used to drinking bitter melon juice that only happened when we moved to live in Asia. For centuries it is known and praised for it medicinal and curative properties purposes. Used as a folk remedy to help with weight loss, blood disorders and bad hangovers; it helps lowering blood glucose levels in diabetics. To extract bitter gourd juice, a juicing machine is helpful but a blender will work as well.

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Bitter gourd, bitter melon, bitter squash in English, goes by many other language names

My friends in New Delhi informed me to drink some bitter gourd (Karela) juice on an empty stomach each morning. First, remove the seeds of two to three bitter gourds and use a juicer to extract the juice. Add some water and then drink it.  The Indian variety is much smaller and pointier, it differs from the Chinese which is longer and smoother as shown in the image above.

To drink on a regular basis you must have grown up with and accustomed to regularly consuming the bitter gourd/melons juice. Bitter Melon Juice honours its name by absolute bitterness, it is for the initiated to drink without qualms and a taste exploration for beginners to learn to appreciate its medicinal values and flavour.The juice of one medium size Chinese variety bitter melon will yield around 200-250ml and that is more than enough to start the day or adding a new dietary regimen to your lifestyle.

For the healthy nutritional benefits, cleansing, diabetic and inflammatory properties half the amount will be more than sufficient. Please consult your doctor or dietitian for diabetic advice.

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Bitter Melon Juice with Honey and Lemon

In south-east Asia, every region has its own dishes and recipes and most likely if you travel around you must have seen or already eaten this vegetable. Drinking the juice or in mixed drinks is something I have been experimenting with various fruits and vegetables to find the best Bitter melon juice recipes to enjoy. 

Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C protects your cells from free radicals, harmful agents involved in cancer development, cardiovascular disease and ageing. It also benefits your immune system, keeps your tissues strong by facilitating collagen production and helps you absorb iron from your diet. A cup of bitter gourd contains 78 milligrammes of vitamin C. This provides the entire daily recommended intake of vitamin C for women and 87 percent of the RDA for men.

How to buy and prepare

  • When you buy, do select bitter gourds that are unripe and firm as the ripened ones are extremely bitter. They should have a solid, light green colour, without any signs of yellow or orange colour on the skin or blemishes.
  • It is said to reduce the bitterness, you can soak the chopped pieces for about 30 minutes in a bowl of water with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt or juice from half/whole lemon. Next, to soaking you could parboil the slices or chunks, a method I prefer when cooking.
  • Rule of Thumb balancing food flavours: “bitter taste pairs with sweet, salty or sour flavours”.
Bitter Melon Juice recipes

Bitter Melon Juice recipes

 Five best Bitter Melon Juice recipes

Scroll down for recipe Bitter Melon Juice with ginger, honey and lemon juice or click on the links for other recipes.

  1. Bitter Melon Juice with Ginger, Honey and Lemon
  2. Bitter Melon Juice with Chaat Masala
  3. Bitter Melon Beetroot Juice
  4. Bitter Melon Avocado Smoothie
  5. Bitter Melon Pineapple, Guava Juice

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.

Chamomile GouQi Zi Tea – MY CUP 茶馆

As a child we grew up with all kinds of herbal infused stew concoctions as food, drinking medicinal herbal tea’s made of leaves, root and spices to invigorate and/or recuperate bodily functions and boost immune system. Lighter infusions such as tisane for alleviation or purification for cold, headache, stomach upset, bowel stimulation and other minor or chronic ailments. The later better known as Chinese detox teas are a popular medicinal category tisanes.

Chamomile GouQi Zi Tea 

I just prepared Chamomile (Camomile) GouQi Tea, an infusion (of dried herbs, fruit blends) used as a beverage or for medicinal effects also known as Tisane. Today I am drinking it as to rejuvenate myself and enjoying its fragrance and beauty of flowers and berries in my cup.

Camomile with GouQi

Camomile with GouQi

Tisanes are infusions that don’t contain true tea leaves (Camellia Sinensis). They are made from flowers, berries, peels, seeds, leaves and roots of other plants. In the World of Tea all “true tea’s” leaves stem from the plant Camellia Sinensis. 

We do call many herbal and fruit brews “tea’s”,  a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking tea leaves or herbs in liquid known as infusions or Tisane. The process of extracting certain active properties as with Tisanes are characterized or indicated by ingredients of plants parts, either the flower, leaves, flower, root, bark, seed and spices.

Very well known are Chamomile, Mint, Lavender and ginger infusions. These are single used plant parts, but often tisanes are made from multiple parts of the same plant or blends of several plant types and can be classified as medicinal.

While some tisanes have long histories of medicinal use, the well known infusions (e.g. Mint as refreshing and Lavender as a natural sleep aid) are popular consumed for enjoyment and relaxation. In Asia especially China, Chinese Traditional Medicine Tea’s are daily consumed as a part of lifestyle and for their medicinal effects and benefits since many recipes and/or blends are high in antioxidants and nutrients.

Camomile GouQi Zi Wellness Tea

Camomile GouQi Zi Wellness Tea

Chamomile flower

There are two types of chamomile commonly used for teas, the “true” chamomile, or German chamomile, Matricaria recutita, which is most widely used and Roman chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile.

Chamomile medicinal benefits; boost the immune system, to help relaxing sleep aid, treatment for fevers, colds, stomach ailments, and as anti-septic an anti-inflammatory. As a child suffering bronchitis I was prescribed to use as a vapor it alleviates cold symptoms and asthma. Because of its medicinal properties and best known for its calming and soothing qualities, it is wonderful to sip just to ease away stress and discomfort.

In Chinese Chamomile tea 洋甘菊茶 Yánggānjú chá, to make a cup of Chamomile tea it’s important to use water that is very hot but not boiling because boiling water can destroy the therapeutic properties of the Chamomile herb. For more info on organic Chinese Chamomile Tea read full text here.

Known side effects of chamomile: “Like any supplement or herbal product, talk to your doctor before adding chamomile supplements to your diet. Potential interactions include: aspirin, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, sedatives and any blood thinning medication (Coumadin, Plavix, Pradaxa, aspirin, Lovenox). Chamomile has the potential to interact with other supplements”.

Chinese GouQi Zi 枸杞子

GouQi Zi 枸杞子 also called GoJi or wolfberries, is hugely important and popular herb used throughout Chinese cuisine, yields a number of health benefits used in Chinese traditional medicine. The Chinese Wolfberry is one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits around and has anti-aging properties, for greater benefit it is often used in combination with other herbs. GouQi Zi – GoJi berries have an orange-reddish color, the dried berries have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins with a slight sweet -sour note giving a mild tangy aftertaste.

Modern research confirms Gou Qi Zi’s jack-of-all-trades status by demonstrating positive effects on the immune and cardiovascular systems, including an anti-neoplastic effect against cancer cells.  So every time they trot out a new ancient “superfood” from the jungles of some exotic land to squash into some overpriced mega-ultra-power-bomb-health-drink, inform yourself thoroughly before splashing out the cash. For home made remedies just add few berries to your infusion, soups or stews cheap and cheerful, as for inspiration search for Chinese herbal medicine recipes.

As for the benefits of medicinal health tonics, for Westerners who are not familiar with Chinese medicines in general I would strongly suggest to visit a TCM doctor first before starting to experiment on yourself as a guinea pig. Herbal medicines have health benefits and side effects, if not properly used or wrong administration of herbal medicine causing danger to health.

Especially marketeers popularizing GoJi drinks and teas have not your health but high turnover as their objective, caution is needed as in consuming large quantities and possible drug interactions. “Too much of a good thing, can make you sick, it is Balance that matters most”.

For first time buyers in Europe I would recommend to visit qualified TCM practice, Chinese herbal medicine shops or Chinese Supermarkets rather than local Health Food stores. Health food stores purchases the product based on promising marketing information without proper knowledge yet of medicinal properties and uses. You can read more about GouQi Zi medicinal qualities and other Chinese herbs in English here for information.

 

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