My Favorite Asian Green Beans

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m big on cooking at home. Now only does it save money, it’s also always a healthier option. When you cook, it’s less oil, less butter, and less fat since you’re in control on the ingredients.

I almost always have a side of veggies with every dinner meal. Because I grew up in a Chinese household, there’s always been a variety of foods on the table to be eaten family style. Usually our house had one meat dish and two different plates of vegetables, and of course rice, for a family of four. So I love variety when it comes to dinner. When I cook for two, I always have one meat dish and one veggie dish (we try to go without rice too). This week I’ll share with you a meal that I cook for MG and myself (chicken and veggies). We’ll start out with the veggie dish first – green beans!

Green beans

Green beans are my favorite vegetable. I love the crunch of the bean and the squeak between your teeth when eating. I basically always make this recipe when I have green beans – it’s my go-to! It’s Asian because of the soy sauce and oyster sauce, and the sauces make the beans extremely tasty. Another big plus, it’s a 3 step dish!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of green beans
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green scallion, chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:

1. This is my tip: steam or boil the green beans first so they cook faster! I like to boil because it only takes 5-7 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan on medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and scallions until crisp and golden, but not burnt. Now add the drained green beans to the pan – I love the sizzle in this process!
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a tablespoon of oyster sauce. Mix it into the beans until beans are thoroughly coated. Serve right away!

Ginger and scallions

Sprinkle seasoning

Oyster sauce
Get this at any Asian market – it’s also delicious just eating it with rice!

Beans
Those crunch garlic/scallion clumps are deee-li-ciousss ^^^

All done
Yeah, we basically licked up all the sauce!

What’s your favorite vegetable? Do you have any veggie recipes to share? I’m always on the lookout for new vegetable recipes!

Stay tuned on Friday for my chicken recipe to pair with the green beans!
Jay

  

Tried & True Roasted Veggies

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been keeping myself busy with a current DIY project that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon! Details to come…

I’m going to keep this Friday’s post short and simple! This is my tried and true roasted veggies recipe. I make it frequently for guests. I also make it on the weekends so that I can keep roasted veggies in the fridge to snack on. It’s perfect for all kinds of veggies – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, brussels sprouts, peppers, seriously every vegetable.

For this specific post, I used broccolini and carrots. Roasted carrots are so sweet, and I’m sure even picky eaters will enjoy these.

baking

Tried & True Roasted Veggies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cut up vegetables into bite size pieces. Drizzle olive oil on the vegetables. Use a tablespoon of olive oil for every 2 cups of vegetables. Sprinkle garlic salt and italian seasoning. Toss everything together until the vegetables are evenly coated with oil and seasoning.
3. Put vegetables on a baking pan and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes, until edges of veggies are crispy.

Seasoning
So easy!

Done
Baby broccoli (also called broccolini) has a stem ^^^

Veggies
^^^ Broccoli florets above do not have the stem. I also used baby carrots in this picture above

As the vegetables are roasting, the house smells so good! I put leftovers in Pyrex and keep it in the fridge. I’ll sneak veggies into my mouth throughout the day.  I don’t even have to sneak around while eating these since it’s a healthy snack.

What are your favorite vegetable recipes? Please share because I need some good veggie recipes!

Have a great weekend!
Jay

P.S. Can’t wait to share my DIY project next week! Come back!!!

  

Fat Girl Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Brussels sprouts

It’s time to unveil my recipe for brussels sprouts! It’s the season for these little veggie balls. Trader Joe’s is finally starting to sell the sprouts on stalks again!

I never understood why people don’t like brussels sprouts. If you buy an old batch, they can be a bit bitter, but with a bit of seasoning, the little cabbage balls can be so scrumptious. My mom never made me brussels sprouts growing up, so that could be another reason why I love them so much.

I call this recipe my Fat Girl Brussels Sprouts because there’s bacon in it. And who doesn’t love bacon? Bacon makes everything good. Duh!

Ingredients (only 3!):
Serves 4-5

  • Brussels sprouts (a little more than 2 dozen sprouts)
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
2. Cut up the sprouts into bite size pieces. For the smaller ones, I halve. For the bigger sprouts, I cut into quarters. Try to fluff up the leaves a bit with your fingers. Place them into a big mixing bowl.
3. Cook the bacon in a pan until crispy.
4. As the bacon is cooking, mince the garlic onto the brussels sprouts.
5. Once the bacon is cooked, cool them until you can break the bacon into small pieces into your mixing bowl. Should be easy to do with your hands since the bacon is crispy. Then pour the bacon oil into the mixing bowl (that’s why it’s my fat girl brussels sprouts!).
6. Mix all the ingredients in your bowl until the sprouts are thoroughly coated with the oil. The oil may still be hot so be careful when mixing!
7. Now place parchment paper on a baking pan, and place all ingredients onto the pan evenly. Then put the pan into the oven for 40 minutes (time may vary as oven are all made differently). Basically, bake until brussels sprouts are soft on the inside.
8. Now broil the brussels sprouts in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves are golden brown and crispy.
9. Serve and eat!

DSC01066


Mince the garlic into the mixing bowl.

Fat girl sprouts
Pour in the bacon oil and mix all the ingredients together!

Into the ovenInto the oven they go!

ServedHow delicious does this look?

Yes, they are cooked with bacon oil, but this is a veggie so it’s healthy right? I promise that you’ll like brussels sprouts if you make this recipe.

How do you feel about brussels sprouts? Is this something you’re going to try? Are you hungry yet?

I love bacony & crispy sprouts,
Jay

  

Healthier Living

Produce

After the retreat (retreat post here), MG and I felt like we needed to change our eating habits. Why after retreat? Probably because we scarfed down sandwiches, extra bowls of soup, ramen, popcorn, and other junk food like it’s no one’s business because we felt deprived of our snacks at home. We weighed ourselves after the weekend, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

A friend of ours has changed his own life to consume more raw foods (he dropped weight and looks awesome). What spurred his change were food documentaries like Hungry for Change, Food Matters, and Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. MG and I decided to check these films out, and it’s turned our worlds upside down. Now we are trying to eat healthier and add more fruits and veggies into our diets.

Just a few facts from the documentaries:

1. When you stress, your body automatically goes into “famine mode.” As a result, you continually crave food and your body goes into survival mode even though a famine will never actually happen. It always wants more and more. That’s the main reason why many people overeat.
2. You don’t necessarily need to eat less and diet. Instead add healthier foods to your daily intake right now. Eventually you’ll feel so good about yourself and your body becomes nourished that you’ll snack less on unhealthy foods. Ultimately, you’ll push away most of the “bad” foods. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.
3. A person needs to consume 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (more veggies because fruits have high sugar levels). This means approximately 20lbs of fruits and vegetables a week per person.
4. It’s pretty difficult to eat the suggested fruits and vegetable servings, which is why juicing has recently become so popular. I can easily juice 5lbs in a day and drink it in the morning. Buy organic so that you do not have a high intake of pesticides.
5. Aloe Vera and Chia seeds help detox your body and clean out your intestines. Add these to your drinks for detoxification.

I really encourage you to check out these documentaries to help kickstart a healthier lifestyle.

Invest in a good juicer. Some are cheaply made, which won’t last long. Some are difficult to clean. And some do not extract juice well so you’re throwing money away when there are still good nutrients left.

Juicer
I own the Breville juicer from Macy’s, and it does a great job extracting all the juice. There are some other great selections at Macy’s, but I really like the Breville brand.

If you’re going to juice, here are some suggested produce to purchase that will last you the full week (based on one glass of juice a day).

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 heads of kale
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 6 apples
  • 2 lemons
  • 5lb bag of carrots
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

Few tips: Cucumbers and apples provide a lot of juice. Apples and carrots help sweeten juice. Lemons help take some of that “raw vegetable” taste away. Kale is rich in antioxidants. Lastly, parsley and cilantro help with body odor.

Chia seeds can be added to your juice for extra health benefits. The seeds provide a range of advantages: high in omega-3 fats, calcium, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, and protein, and chia helps stabilize blood pressure. Once you soak them into liquids, they become slimy and gooey. Makes for a fun drink, more importantly, you’ll have amazing poos! For all you pet parents, chia seeds can also be given to your pet children. I’ve been adding 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds to water and mixing it until it forms a gel. Then I add it into Chubs’ dry food. Since chia has no taste or smell, it is not invasive, and kitty eats it all up.

Chia seeds

Here are delicious and fun recipes that you can try. Maybe this will get you excited to eat healthier.

Strawberries

Strawberry Chia Jam
Makes 5 servings, lasts up to 7 days (more like 2 since it’s so delicious)

What you need:
1.5 cup of ripe strawberries, chopped into small pieces
1/8 cup agave nectar
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Combine the strawberries and agave into a saucepan and cook over medium heat until berries soften (about 5 minutes). Then smoosh up the berries.
2. Add chia seeds to the mixture and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring often. Mixture will thicken to a jam.
3. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.

Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry chia jam on crackers
So yummy with some multigrain crackers!

Here’s a juice recipe (it’s sweet!):

Sweet Green Juice
3 full glasses

What you need:
6 kale leaves
3 carrots
2 apples
1 pear (can be substituted with an apple)
1 cucumber
4 ribs of celery
Handful of spinach
Handful of cilantro
1/4 of lemon

Directions:
1. Juice all ingredients except for lemon.
2. Hand squeeze lemon juice into the mixture (don’t juice the lemon because the rind and white spongey layer, called the pith, are bitter).
3. Add chia seeds and mix them into the juice.
4. Pour and enjoy!

Juice

Juice with chia
Crazy green color right?

Here’s a 5-minute breakfast you can try. It doesn’t look like a lot of food, but I guarantee you’ll be full.

Breakfast

5-minute breakfast of champions!
Cut half a grapefruit, cut half a pear, and half an avocado. Stuff some cooked chorizo into the avocado to use as flavoring. Pair with a glass of sweet green juice. Yum, yum, yum! The chorizo avocado is so good, I want it for the next 3 meals.

My body feels more energized based on the past three days. I’m trying to eat like this for at least a month. Keep me accountable!

Have I enticed you yet? What are your thoughts about juicing, organics, and ooey, gooey chia seeds? Which recipe are you excited to try?

Happy (healthy) eating, Jay