Kelp Noodles Salad with chicken and cucumber

Here’s another great salad recipe for the summer!

We were introduced to Kelp Noodles at a friend’s gathering, and she actually made this dish for us. (All the credit goes to her for this recipe!) We love the refreshing, half crunchy, half chewy texture and its got incredible ability to soak up any sauce or dressing you put in it. It’s versatile enough to be put into soup/broth, stir fry or into salads. Not to mention it’s made of kelp which is mineral rich and SO good for you.  Oh and did I mention there’s only 6 calorie per serving? SIX!!!

The noodle is only made of three ingredients:Water, Kelp and Sodium Alginate (made from brown seaweed). I buy them in packets online but they’re quite often sold out, so it makes them even more of a treat when I do get my hands on them!

They come in little packets and all you have to do is give them a little rinse under some water, and you’re ready to cook it.

Here’s the recipe to the wonderful and nutritious salad, I hope you guys will like it as much as we do!

Ingredients:

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  • 1 pack Kelp Noodles
  • 2 cucumbers, julienned (long thin strips)
  • 2 chicken thighs (or breast)
  • Japanese Sesame Dressing
  • White Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Step 1) Poach the chicken in simmering water (low heat) for about 8-10 minutes, until cooked. Cut or shred into strips

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Step 2) Rinse the kelp noodles under running water, drain and put into a bowl with the cucumbers and chicken. Add 3 tbls of Sesame dressing, 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and 1 tsp of white vinegar. Toss and taste.

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At this point, taste the salad to see if you need more dressing, or acidity (vinegar) or more salt and pepper. Add in a little bit of a time and mix to taste.  You can also sliced up some red chili to add some heat to the salad. But that’s it, so simple and easy to do!

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030367_kelp_noodles_weight_loss.html#ixzz3jzAx9rYD

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Homemade Chicken McNuggets

Chicken Mcnuggets – a childhood staple slathered in BBQ, sweet and sour or hot mustard sauce; it’s bouncy, chewy texture, no longer representing the strands of tough, dry chicken meat, a mysterious kind of meat. It never once occurred to me as something you can make at home, this special treat was only to be enjoyed at the fast food joint where more and more press tells you how bad the food is for your health, what kind of chemicals and processed plastics they’re adding to the meat.

Until one day my college friend told me how simple it was to make. Just blend chicken thighs, batter it up and fry it! SERIOUSLY?

I couldn’t wait to try it at home and I’ve never looked back since. It’s so close to the real thing that I guarantee you you won’t miss it. Ever.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Corn starch

Equipment: 

  • Food processor
  • Bowls
  • Spoon or small ice cream scoop
  • Frying pan and spatula

Step 1) Cut chicken into large chunks to fit into food processor. Put in all spices and blend until everything is mixed into a paste. (like second picture)

 

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Step 2) Prepare your batter station in the following order: a) Meat mixture; b) corn starch; c) beaten eggs; d) flour.

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Step 3) Spoon and roll one scoop of meat mixture into a bite size ball, gently dust in the corn starch. Drench into the beaten eggs, then roll in the flour, make sure the entire ball is lightly covered in flour, but don’t press too hard otherwise your batter will be too thick. Place the ball on a plate and gently flatten to form a nugget. Repeat until all mixture is used.

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Step 4) Heat a pan and coat in oil for pan frying, medium heat. Prepare a plate with kitchen towels to place your cooked nuggets and to soak up the extra oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the nuggets on both sides until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side.

Tip: You can choose to deep fry it by putting in more oil. Be careful that the oil can get too hot if constantly being heated, so move the pan away from the heat source or turn on/off the stove when you see fit. The best temperature to fry the chicken is around 350 degrees Farenheit.

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Feel free to cut open one of them to ensure that it’s cooked through, especially when serving young children.

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Serve with a side of salad and dipping sauce (we make our own siracha mayo or wasabi mayo dipping sauce), it’s a fun and delicious meal that your kids are bound to love!

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Homemade Dragon Boat Festival Dumplings (台山粽子)

I know, it’s days after Dragon Boat Festival…. but hey, I’m about 360 days early here teaching y’all how to make dumplings for the coming year! =) One of my favorite memories with my grandma was watching her make dumplings (粽子). Our ancestors came from Kaiping City, one of the Five counties of Guangdong.  It is the ancestral homeland of many overseas Chinese, when many of the men emigrated to the United States and worked as laborers during the Gold Rush. As a result, the region became a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese, such as the Diaolou, which are multi-story towers built to protect each family from bandits. You can easily identify the architectural influences between the east and the west from these towers. Since 2007 they’ve been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it’s an amazing place to visit! The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates Qu Yuan, a poet who committed suicide into the Miluo River. The local people who admired him made dumplings with sticky rice and would have dragon boat races so to scare off the fishes as well as to eat the sticky rice dumplings instead of feed off his body. That was the origin of these dumplings. Every region has their own special way of filling and wrapping their dumplings. In this article I’ll tell you how dumplings in my hometown is made. Ingredients: 

  • Bamboo Leaves (Washed, boiled and soaked in water 3-5 days prior to wrapping)
  • Glutinous Rice (Washed then add some oil and salt)
  • Pork Loin (Cut into large strips, marinate in salt 1-2 days prior)
  • Peanuts (Soaked in water, boil to remove skin)
  • Salted Egg Yolks, halved
  • Dried Shrimp (Soaked in water 1 day prior, then drain)
  • Other ingredients you may include: Chinese Preserved Sausages, Mushrooms, Pork Fat.

IMG_2318 To wrap: This takes a little bit of practise… and I’ll try to explain it the best I can here. I hope the photos will help reinforce each step. Step 1-4) Place two leaves one on top of the other, twist and fold in the middle so you get a cone. In the cone you’ll put rice and a little of each of your fillings. IMG_2322IMG_2323 IMG_2325IMG_2328 Step 5-6) Finish off with a little bit more rice, just enough to cover most of your fillings. With your left hand, hold the cone firmly and with the right, fold over the leaves so it covers all the fillings. Use your left thumb to ensure the leaves are folded over from the left as well. IMG_2330 IMG_2331 Step 7-9) Turn the dumpling 90 degrees so the bottom edge is standing straight up on your left palm. With the right hand, fold over the ends of the leaves. Secure and tie with strings. IMG_2333 IMG_2334 IMG_2336 IMG_2359 It’s a great family bonding activity! I actually made it with my dad on father’s day! IMG_2363 Boil in a large pot for one and a half hours. Drain and it’s ready to eat! IMG_2374 IMG_2373 You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days, or you can freeze them and they’ll keep for months! Boil until they’re heated through before consuming. Thanks, hope you like the zongzi from our hometown. Please comment! She cooked.

Avocado Grilled Cheese

You’ve heard of grilled cheese before. But have you ever thought of putting avocados with your grilled cheese??

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I love avocados, so I’m down to put avocados on everything. It’s a great superfood, though a bit high in calories, but if you limit your intake it’s just so good for you! Besides it’s so versatile! You can mash it up to make creamy delicious guacamole, or simply cut it into cubes to put on top of salads or toast. Sandwiching avocados in grilled cheese not only enhances the flavor of the cheese, but creates additional depth, flavor and texture that is guaranteed to bring your grilled cheese to a whole new level.

You really don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to create this fantastic meal:

  • two slices of bread (whole wheat or white is fine)
  • shredded cheese (Gouda works well and melts great)
  • 1 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • a small knob of butter

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1) Heat pan on low heat, melt a little butter into it.

2) An additonal step we take is before we assemble the sandwich, we’ll toast the INSIDES of the bread too. That way you’ll get addtional cruch as you bite into it, but it heats the toast up on the inside too so it’ll help melt the cheese!

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3) Once one side of the bread is golden brown, remove and add additional butter to the pan. Once melted, place the UNTOASTED side of one piece of bread down (toasted side should face up). Add a handful of cheese, top with avocados then another layer of cheese.

*hint – we sometimes add a bit of reduced balsamic vinegar on top to cut down the richness of both the cheese and avocados.

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4) Top off with the other slice of toast, but with toasted side facing down now. Flip the sandwich once the bottom is golden brown and add a little extra butter to grill the just flipped slice of bread to toast. Cover and let grill, checking constantly to make sure the toast is not burnt.

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Remove from pan once ready and serve immediately while hot.

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 She cooked!