Garlic Mussels and Calamari Fettuccine

Pei Mussels have long been proclaimed as a “Power food”. These mussels seem to be a healthy choice and are harvested with environmental sustainability in mind. They are small in size but they have a mighty nutritional profile. Mussels are an excellent source of B12, Iron, Protein, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Zinc and Selenium. Since finding out their impressive nutrients I thought I would give them a try at home. The seafood flavor really does all the talking and adds a natural sweetness to this dish. Are you a shellfish lover? How do you cook yours?

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs Pei mussels
  • 10 calamari rings
  • 10oz fettuccine pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • bouillon stock cube
  • butter (knob)
  • olive oil
  • parsley and dino kale (garnish)

Directions:

  1. Wash and clean mussels get rid of any rope.
  2. Soak mussels in a large bowl of salt water (About 30 mins).
  3. Sweat the garlic in olive oil.
  4. Add the mussels and calamari.
  5. Add butter, stock cube and water.
  6. Put lid on cook for 5-7 minutes or until the shells open.
  7. In the meantime, cook pasta in boiling water.
  8. Plate pasta and seafood. Spoon on some of the broth (sauce) to the pasta.
  9. Drizzle olive oil on pasta as desired.
  10. Add parsley and kale for garnish.

Healthy Oat Bowl with Banana and Kiwi Stars

Brighten up your morning with some star shaped banana and kiwi stars. I’m on a mission to eat more fruit and with the common cliche of “You eat with your eyes first” in mind, I spent some time making these cute fruit stars. I’m not sure about you, but I often find oatmeal on its own rather bland despite its healthy profile. I tried to jazz it up with a mixture of different seeds and fruits. Not a recipe as such but I have listed what I used below.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup oats

1 cup water

Mixed berries – strawberry,blackberry and raspberry

2 slices of kiwi

1/2 banana

1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp flax seeds

Easy Speedy Vegetable Noodles

Try these simple vegetable noodles that are great for lunch or dinner. They also store really well so are an easy meal prep idea if you wish to make extra for the rest of the week. The cabbage adds a fresh crunchy dimension, and the onions create a natural sweetness. Once you have chopped up all the vegetables most of the leg work is pretty much done so it is a great go to dish, if you are in a rush or want something quick.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup cooked noodles
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cup green cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (julienne/match sticks)
  • 6 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Saute onions and garlic until almost translucent in a large pot/ wok.Add mushrooms (cook until tender).
  2. In another pot boil your chosen noodles in hot water, drain and set aside.
  3. Next add carrots and cabbage (medium- high heat).
  4. Add in the cooked noodles. The coat the noodles in oyster and soy sauce.
  5. Add water to create steam and disperse the heat.
  6. For crisp veggies avoid cooking for too long and turn off heat as soon as they look like they have begun to wilt. Serve.

Homemade Knife-cut Egg Noodles

Make some of these delicious bouncy chewy homemade knife cut egg noodles to mark the Lunar New Year. They are very versatile and can be used in soups or in a stir-fry. These noodles are definitely better than those that are store-bought and only require four basic ingredients. Today we bid farewell to the Year of the Rat and welcome the Year of the Ox 2021. The Chinese zodiac calendar is represented by 12 different animals. The Ox zodiac sign is believed to symbolize strength, patience and a hard-working nature. As a nod to the Ox’s zodiac character, I dusted off a novelty apron with the words “Don’t mess with the chef!” emblazoned on the front and rolled up my sleeves ready work the dough.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, eggs, salt and water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Knead by hand for 15 mins.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 -45 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough in half.
  5. Take one half and roll with a rolling pin. Keep rolling until it becomes a large round sheet.
  6. Flour both sides generously to avoid sticking.
  7. Fold the dough into 4 layers.
  8. With a sharp knife cut the dough. If you prefer thicker or thinner noodles cut accordingly.
  9. Once cut toss the noodles with flour to prevent them from sticking.
  10.  Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.
  11. You can store the noodles in the fridge for later for noodle soup or stir-frying.
  12. Or they are ready to eat simple boil the noodles in water for 1- 4 minutes depending on thickness.

Creamy Lentil Bolognese Pasta Shells

The snow here sure is making a big appearance just when I thought it stopped another solid foot of that fluffy stuff came floating down. It looks beautiful from afar but talk of a polar vortex and frigid ice storms due this week is enough to make me shudder. So, it is only fitting that I have turned to pasta my trusted comfort food in this freezing weather. To balance it out I will add Lacinato kale, or also know as Dino kale. What a cute name!This dark leafy green has a reputation for being one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Its nutritional profile provides you with an excellent source of vitamin A, C and K. For some protein I will use some brown lentils which hold their shape well.

Ingredients:

Serves 2-3

  • 2 cups of pasta
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 2 small carrots (shredded)
  • Almond & Cashew milk (milk of choice)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • Kale (chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Swiss Cheese (or parmesan)
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Soak and rinse the lentils.
  2. Boil the lentils in water ( 20-30 minutes until tender).
  3. Drain lentils and set aside.
  4. Boil pasta until al dente and set aside.
  5. In a large pot saute the garlic, onion, shredded carrots and tomatoes.
  6. Add the cooked lentils back in the pot.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, nut milk and vegetable stock.
  8. Add the pasta to the sauce and crumble the cheese throughout. Once all the pasta is coated with sauce and the cheese begins to melt it is ready to serve.
  9. In a separate pot saute the kale until it begins to wilt.

Simmered Miso Mackerel

The cost of my weekly grocery bill seems to be increasing lately and in efforts to be economical while still eating well. I got some frozen Pacific mackerel by Orizon Foods, a 1lb bag cost $3.99. Mackerel can be often overlooked but this oily fish, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and is low in mercury. Enjoy this healthy fish dish with some fluffy rice.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 4-5 mackerel fillets
  • 2 tbsp dashi miso paste
  • 1 tbsp mirin sweet cooking seasoning
  • ½ cup water

Optional:

  • Green onion
  • Furikake seasoning

Directions:

  1. Defrost mackerel the night before in the refrigerator.
  2. In small bowl mix the miso paste, mirin seasoning and water together.
  3. Simmer the mackerel in the sauce mixture for about 10- 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the fish and drizzle the remaining liquid on top.
  5. Garnish with green onion and furikake for extra bite. Serve with rice.

Dan Dan Noodles

A few years ago, Lao Gan Ma spicy chili crisp came into my life and it has been a dream addition my condiment collection ever since. It elevates any dish and a little goes a long way. My favorite is dipping dumplings into it. This divine umami laden sauce is the perfect concoction of Sichuan chili pepper, crispy caramelized onion, garlic, soybeans and spices. There are a number of variations in the Lao Gan Ma range, but this one is by far the best in my opinion. There are some fresh ramen noodles that needed to be used before the sell by date in my refrigerator. So today I decided to do my take on Dan Dan Noodles with ramen noodles and turkey mince.

Historically the dish was borne from humble beginnings. The name refers to a type of carrying pole (dan dan or tan tan) that was used by walking street vendors who sold the dish. The pole was balanced on the street vendors shoulders, with two baskets on each side. One with the noodles and the other with the sauce. This was a more efficient way to sell the noodles compared to the heavier noodle soup variety.

Ingredients:

Serves – 2

  • 2 portions ramen noodles (or noodle of choice)
  • ½ Lb Turkey mince
  • 2 minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 1/2 tsp Five Spice
  • 2 tbsp La Gao Ma chilli crisp (or to taste)
  • Sesame oil to drizzle
  • Sesame seeds to garnish
  • Green Onion

Directions

  1. Heat some oil in a large pan. Then add in garlic and onion cook halfway translucent.
  2. Mix in the Turkey mince.
  3. Add hoisin sauce, Shaoxing wine, 5 spice and La Ga Ma chili crisp (15 mins or until fully cooked through).
  4. While you are waiting cook and drain your noodles.
  5. Put noodles in a large bowl and add cooked turkey on top.
  6. Garnish with green onions, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and a small drizzle of sesame oil (optional) 

Seafood Kimchi Fried Rice

A quick rice dish that can be rustled up using any combination of protein and vegetables that you have at hand. After binge watching two entire seasons of Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast on Netflix I really admired their simple living philosophy, meaningful and fun lifestyle. I was feeling inspired to recreate a take on the kimchi fried rice the hosts served to their guests.

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 cups of rice Jasmine or Calrose (Day old rice is best or same day rice cooled down and refrigerated a few hours before )
  • 1 cup diced kimchi
  • 2 tbsp kimchi juice
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang ( red pepper paste)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Half Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Mussels and Shrimp
  • 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Optional (for garnish):

  • Green Onion
  • Roasted seaweed

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the gochujang, kimchi juice, soy sauce.
  2. Next, heat cooking oil on a medium heat. Then add the onion and garlic stirring until translucent. Add the seafood.
  3. Add cooked rice and stir in the chopped kimchi.
  4. Combine the gochujang sauce mixture. Cook until sauce coats the rice and the rice is fully reheated. Turn off heat and stir in sesame oil.
  5. In a separate pan fry a couple of eggs.
  6. Serve with with green onion and sesame seeds on top.