chinese squash

pesto bismol :)

I'm not sure if you have watched "The Three Stooges" and there was a scene when Will Sasso was holding a plate of seafood with his pink Pepto Bismol stomach medicine on the side.  And he was calling it his "pesto bismol."  I thought it was really funny.  So every time I make pesto sauce, I would laugh because the term "pesto bismol" would emerge in my mind.  

I've had a busy weekend organizing some works for next week.  Pasta always works for me when I have a busy schedule because it provides enough energy to last through the day.  I have a bit of chinese squash and half of an eggplant left in my fridge.  So I made a simple pesto pasta for two.  Nothing fancy but never grow tired of this simple dish.  

Have a good week ahead! 

Fresh pesto is the bomb.  It goes so well with or without the other vegetables.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 eggplant, diced

1/2 chinese squash, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 tbsp fresh pesto*

2 sun-dried tomato, chopped

sprig fresh basil leaves

1-2 tsp pine nuts

1/2 glass dry white wine

extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup reserved pasta water

1-2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/2 fresh lime juice

150-200g spaghetti

* fresh pesto is made out of a bunch of fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, roasted pine nuts, and grated parmesan cheese.  Season a bit.  

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to the packaging label. 

2) Heat a saucepan with oil on medium fire, cook eggplant for 5 minutes with a lid on.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning the eggplant.  Reduce fire if needed.  

3) Add squash and garlic, stir a bit.  Add white wine and turn the fire to medium-high.  Let the alcohol evaporates.

4) Reduce heat to medium-low, add sun-dried tomato and pine nut to the pan, cook for 1-2 minutes.  Season*.  Add 1/2 ladle of salted pasta water.  Simmer the vegetables in low heat with a lid on for 3-5 minutes.  

5) When the pasta is ready, transfer the pasta to the saucepan.  Mix well.  Heat off.  Add less than 1/3 ladle of pasta water and fresh pesto to the pasta.  Mix well.  

6) Garnish the pasts with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese.  Drizzle a little oil and add a twist of fresh lime juice.  

* I didn't add salt to my seasoning because I used the pasta water that was already salted.  So please bear in mind when you add seasoning.  I only added black pepper as to season my vegetables.  

utilizing our leftovers is the new sexy!

The idea behind these two recipes is utilizing my ingredients.  I hate wasting food and I think living a sustainable lifestyle isn't just about buying local food or chewing greens.  How we utilize our resources can help reduce energy consumption on a bigger scale in the long run.   This also helps us save money, too.  :)  

I wish you a happy week ahead.  

Veggies skewer is a great way to use up our leftovers.  The highlight here is just the sauce and it is so simple to make.  I added a chopped garlic clove, 1 tsp minced ginger, 1/2 seeded chili, some chopped spring onion, 2-3 tbsp soy sauce, 1-2 tsp honey, 1 tbsp mirin.  Brush the sauce on the veggies skewer and after finishing grilling the skewers, simply brush more for an extra taste. 

Serve your skewers with your favorite salad, rice, or whatever.  It is fun and delicious.  :)  If you make them for kids, simply take out the chili. I'm sure kids would love them.  

These little patties are super easy to make.  You can freeze the extras in your freezer for later days.  You can serve them as starters or use them as a veggie burger.  :) 

These little patties are super easy to make.  You can freeze the extras in your freezer for later days.  You can serve them as starters or use them as a veggie burger.  :) 

Servings: 6 patties (depending how big you like to make your patties)

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 bowl leftover cooked brown rice

1/2 cob corn kernel, cooked and removed from cob

1/2 carrot, shredded and half cooked on a frying pan with a little olive oil 

2 shallots, finely chopped

1-2 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs/flour (I used flour because I ran out of breadcrumbs when I was making these patties)

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1-2 garlic, finely chopped

1/2 chili, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

For the saffron & garlic mayonnaise: 

1 small package saffron

1 small bowl mayonnaise

1/2 lemon juice and zest

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1) Get a large mixing bowl, add all the vegetables first.  Then add the eggs, cheese and flour.  Season.  

2) Make the patties with your hands and go here for instructions.  

3) Preheat a frying pan on medium-low heat, add a generous amount of oil and add the patties once the oil gets hot, cook each side for about 5-10 minutes before flipping to the other side.  Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning your patties.  

4) Place the patties on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil before serving.  

Remark: You can add more vegetables like leftover zucchini, peas or whatever you like.  :) 


oh, it's just an ordinary brunch

I don't have anything really exciting to share with you but I do like to share a couple of super easy brunch sets and you can definitely try to make them for your family or friends over the weekends.  Brunch is probably my most favorite meal for two reasons: 1) I wake up rather late and 2) I prefer to drink a glass of lemon water first after I wake up in the morning and follow by an orange to boost my vitamin C intake.   Then, I wait about an hour or so to eat some wholesome food.  :) 

I love making egg dishes and I love pairing eggs with the spongy and salty taste of english muffins.  It is so easy to make.  Sometimes, I really don't get why people would bother to pay for an unhealthy and not so cheap considering the quality of the breakfast from MacDonald when you can just make it in less than 15 minutes.  Not that I've never had those breakfast sets from Mickey D's before.  The only reason why I had those was because home-cooking and healthy eating never crossed my mind.  And I certainly wasn't aware of the harm for eating fast-food.  I guess it was normal when we were young.  We tend to value other things over health like we would rather sleep in for an extra 15-30 minutes than getting up to make a wholesome breakfast.  I had this illusion thinking I could conquer the world without realizing how important health was until my body started reminding me that I'm no longer a spring chicken.  Mehh! 

nothing special but this breakfast/brunch is so easy to make...  :) 

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes 

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 eggs, scrambled or whatever way you like

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

2 kraft cheese

1-2 tbsp butter

2 english muffins, halved and toasted

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions for the sandwiches: 

1) Preheat a frying pan on medium-low heat, add olive oil and cook the onions for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat if the onions start to burn.  The key is to use slow heat to caramelize the onions so the sweetness of the onions could release. Once the onions are cooked, heat off and set aside.   

2) Preheat another frying pan or you can use the same one on medium-low heat, add butter and cook the eggs either scrambled or whatever ways you like.  Heat off.  

3) Butter the english muffins and combine the sandwich with onions, cheese, and eggs. 

Instructions for the fries: 

1) Please go here for the recipe.  

Here is another super easy brunch using the simplest ingredients.  I think I must've got inspired by a lot of other bloggers and other famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver.  

Servings: 6 mini frittatas

Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 zucchini or Chinese squash (I used Chinese squash here because its taste is quite similar to zucchini and easily found in Asia), cut in small cubes or thinly sliced

8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

50-80g organic feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 bunch of chopped spring onions or chives

2-3 tbsp melted butter

4 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180ºC.  Get a muffin tray and brush the melted butter inside of each muffin cup.  

2) Add zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and feta.  Season.  

3) Mix the eggs with milk.  Season just a bit if you like.  Pour the egg mixture to the muffin cups.  

4) Sprinkle parmesan cheese and some chopped chives on each muffin cup.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  

5) Let the muffins cool down for 1-2 minutes before serving.  Add more fresh chives on top and serve with your favorite condiments.  Enjoy!! :)