Monthly Archives: January 2015

Potatoes and Eggplant in Fried Onion



  • 4 small potatoes
  • 4 small eggplants
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion
  • strand of curry leaves
  •  ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  • Salt to taste


  • Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add whole potatoes (without peeling) and boil until three-quarter done.  The potatoes should be firm but when you prick with a knife, if should be soft.  Let cool
  • Quarter each potato (into 4 pieces)
  • Wash eggplants and slice lengthwise.  Slice each half into 3 or 4 pieces.  If the eggplants are very small, just quarter them
  • Wash bell pepper and split lengthwise.  Remove seeds and the rib.  Slice them into thin strips.  Cut the strips diagonally into 2 pieces
  • Using a motar and pezzle crush coriander and cumin together.
  • Chop garlic and ginger into small pieces.
  • Cut onion into half and slice thinly
  • In a large skillet add oil and when hot add mustard seed, onion, and curry leaves and fry until onion are translucent.
  • Now add crushed garlic and ginger and fry until onion is golden brown
  • Add cut potatoes, eggplants, and bell pepper and fry for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add crushed red pepper, and salt and cover and cook on low flame about 10-12 minutes.
  • Yield: 3 side dish



Blueberry Banana Bread


As opposed to plain banana bread, this gives extra fragrance of blueberries.  Adding blueberries also gives a sour-tart taste on top of the sweet banana taste.  Walnuts add extra crunchiness to this soft and moist bread.  You can store this bread wrapped in an aluminum foil or cling wrap in the refrigerator for up to a week.  I always use fresh blue berries since they are much firmer than the frozen ones.  If you are using frozen blueberries, make sure it is thawed to room temperature and probably spread on a paper towel to extract any moisture or ice from the blueberries.



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2 medium sized bananas)
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup cooking oil (such as canola, or corn oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly grease a parchment paper and fit into a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • Wash blueberries and let dry on a paper towel
  • Mash bananas with a folk and set aside
  • In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • In another large bowl beat egg lightly.  Add sugar and beat well
  • Now add oil and beat until oil is completely incorporated into the egg mixture.  The mixture will look yellow and smooth. Beat in vanilla extract
  • Add flour mixture alternating with mashed banana into the egg mixture and mix thoroughly until well combined
  • Mix in walnuts.  Add blueberries and mix until combined making sure not to mash the blueberries
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about one hour or a wooden tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Then cool in pan until room temperature.
  • Yields: 1 loaf (9×5 inch)

Tofu pad thai



  • 4 oz pad Thai noodles or wakame rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 8 oz mixed mushrooms such as shittake, portabella, button
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups napa cabbage
  • 1 large julienned carrot
  • 1 large green chili julienned
  • 7 oz water packed tofu
  • salt to taste
  • 1 small green onion cut into 1 inch pieces


  • Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.  Run cold water over noodles to remove any starch which make the noodles clump
  • Drain tofu on paper towel for about 15 minutes
  • In a small bowl mix together soy sauce, bean sauce, tamarind, and lemon juice.  Set aside.
  • Slice mushroom diagonally into thin slices
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Spread mushrooms on the cookie sheet and spray with oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes or mushrooms are well done and all water released by mushroom has been absorbed.
  • Cut tofu into small cubes.  In the same cookie sheet spread tofu and spray with oil and bake for about 15 minutes.  Let cool.
  • Once tofu is cool, with your hands crumble them that resembles scrambled eggs.  Alternatively you can also pulse the tofu in food processor.
  • Add oil to a wok or large skillet, once hot add garlic, carrots, green chili, and cabbage and saute in high heat for about 4-5 minutes.  The vegetables should be cooked but crisp
  • Lower flame and add baked mushroom, tofu and green onion and saute for another minute.
  • Add sauce and mix well.  Now add noodles and gently toss until noodles are coated completely coated with sauce and well mixed.
  • Serve warm.
  • Yields: 2 main dishes.

Quinoa with roasted Brussels sprouts and mushroom



  • ¾  cup quinoa (mixed red and white colored)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 8 oz portabella mushroom
  • 8 oz brussels sprouts
  • 7 oz water packed extra firm tofu
  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • half of a small red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste


  • Add quinoa to a saucepan and roast on a low flame until it has a nutty fragrant, about 5 minutes
  • Add water to the saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce flame and cover and cook until all water is absorbed – about 15 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Wash and quarter brussels sprouts.  Slice mushroom into thick slices.
  • Drain tofu and cut them into small cubes
  • Spray oil to a cookie sheet and spread brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and tofu and roast for about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool
  • Crumble roasted until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.  You can either use your hands or a food processor
  • Add canola oil to a skillet and add sliced onion and saute until lightly browned.
  • Add crumbled tofu, mushroom, and brussels to the skillet and fry for a minute on low flame
  • Add crushed pepper, and chili paste and fry for another 2-3 minutes
  • Transfer cooked quinoa to skillet and mix well.  Season with salt
  • Yields: 2 as main dish.

Sugar cookie mix almond bars


I usually don’t like buying cookie mix or cake mixes since they never have the flavor that we get when baking from scratch.  But with this cookie bar, it is a bit different.  The main flavor and taste comes from the almond paste topping and the fruit preserves.  The cookie dough was used just as a base to hold the almond paste bar.  This came out really good and the almond flavor was amazing.  I took this recipe from better homes and gardens website ( and modified according to my liking.


  • 1  17 ½ oz package sugar cookie mix
  • 2 oz cold butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup sliced almonds toasted and finely crushed
  • 2/3 cup raspberry fruit preserves (or raspberry jam)
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons ground almond
  • drop of green food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.  Add parchment paper to a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and grease with butter.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a pastry blender cut butter and cream cheese into cookie mix until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Add finely chopped almonds and combine together.
  • Reserve 1 cup of mixture.  Spread the remaining mixture evenly on the cookie sheet and press gently.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes


  • In a small bowl stir the fruit preserves to loosen up
  • In a large bowl with an electric beater, beat egg lightly.  Crumble almond paste and mix with beaten egg.
  • Add sugar, ground almonds, and green food coloring and beat well.  Beat in milk one tablespoon at a time until mixture is spreadable.
  • Once cookie crust is done, spread fruit preserves evenly to within ¼ inch of the edge.


  • Now spoon almond paste mixture into small mounds over the fruit preserves.  Gently spread them evenly over the top of the fruit spread


  • Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumb mixture and top with sliced almonds


  • Bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the top lightly browned
  • Cool completely on wire rack
  • Cut into pieces.  Yields about 32 large pieces

Bulgur with Skillet Roasted Tempeh and Bok-choy



  • 1 cup sliced tempeh
  • 1 small bunch bok-choy
  • 6 oz mixed mushrooms (remini, portabella, oyster)
  • ½ cup sliced snow peas
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 ½ cups water


  • Slice mushrooms thinly.  Add one table spoon of the canola oil and once hot, add sliced mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes
  • Sauté snow peas and bok choy stems for about 5 minutes
  • Add bok choy leaves and sauté for one minute
  • Sauté garlic and set aside
  • Add the rest of the oil to the skillet and sauté tempeh for about 2-3 minutes about 1 ½ minutes on each side until tempeh strips are crisp and browned.
  • Add sauteed vegetables to the skillet with tempeh, add chili paste and salt and cook for another minute or two.
  • Wash bulgur thoroughly
  • In a covered sauce pan bring the water to boil.  Add bulgur and bring to a rolling boil
  • Reduce heat and cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
  • Let stand covered for about 20 minutes
  • Transfer cooked bulgur to the vegetable skillet and mix well.  Season with salt
  • Yields: 2 servings