A favorite quinoa dish of mine that is made simply with a handful of ingredients. Healthy and extremely versatile, you can enjoy it as a side or as a meal on its own.
The last couple of weeks had been rough on our family. Seasonal allergies were on an all time high in Houston for us, and everyone in our household has been dealing with some really bad allergy symptoms. From extremely congested noses to itchy and watery eyes that later developed to fevers and asthmatic symptoms. It has gotten so bad for us that both Bella and Jamie had to stay home from school for a few days.
While caring for sick children at home, I found that this Smoked Salmon Quinoa Bowl recipe, that I actually make all year long, came in really handy. A fresh and easy salad that can be enjoyed as a meal or as a side. Deliciously simple, packed with flavor and lots of fresh vegetables, this is the perfect easy lunch or dinner.
Smoked Salmon Quinoa Bowl
by Miss Crumbs A lot
1 Cup Dry Quinoa
1 Cucumber (peeled, cored and diced)
1 Avocado (peeled and diced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
15 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
3 tbsp Shallots (finely diced)
1 15.5 oz Canned Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
1 1/2 tsp Dill Weed
Salt & Pepper
Smoked Salmon (or any other protein of choice)
1. Run cold water over 1 cup of dry quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer.
2. In a 1 1/2 qt pot, add in 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 min or until all water is absorbed.
4. Fluff gently with a fork and allow it to cool slightly.
5. Gently toss the cooked quinoa with diced cucumber, avocado, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, shallots, black beans, olive oil, juice of 2 limes, dill weed and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Top with smoked salmon or any other protein of choice and serve.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
A delicious low carb and gluten-free bread that is satisfying and healthy.
It has been quite a while since Kian and I started the Slow Carb Diet, reducing carbs, sugar and dairy. Having lost a significant amount of weight, we have since kept up with the diet loosely and also started experimenting with others as well. We recently introduced intermittent fasting into our routine and have taken interest in the Ketogenic diet. Having read up a little about it, I found so many delicious and interesting recipes out there.
I made a Almond Flour Bread recipe that was very similar to the Flourless Almond Butter Bread that I had shared some time ago. However, this recipe produced a more spongy texture and is less dense. I personally felt it was more bread-like. It is very easy to make and keeps very well wrapped up in foil in the refrigerator. And the bread makes an awesome avocado toast or sandwich while maintaining a low carb count.
Almond Flour Bread
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from FatForWeightLoss
1/2 cup Butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 cups Almond Meal / Flour
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 Tsp Salt
1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F. Grease and line a bread pan with parchment paper.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter slowly using the microwave in 30 second intervals. Mix in 2 tbsp coconut oil.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat 7 eggs until light and fluffy. Add in melted butter and coconut oil. Mix well.
4. Add in 2 cups almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
5. Pour batter in lined bread pan and smooth out the top.
6. Bake for 45 min in 355 degrees F. Insert a skewer into the middle of the bread and ensure it comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.
Makes 1 loaf
The closest version of a burger in Chinese cuisine, these Asian Pulled Pork Buns are so tasty and fuss-free to make, they are guaranteed to be a family favorite!
Some time ago, I made a fusion version of the traditional Hokkien dish, Braised Pork Belly Taco. Braised Pork Belly is originally served in lotus leaf buns, and they are usually cooked over a long time until soft and extremely fragrant.
I wanted to make a less fatty version for my kids so with the same base marinade, I made these delectable Asian Pulled Pork Buns for dinner when we celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival at home last month. These flavorful buns were like mini sliders that were so delicious and versatile, perfect as an appetizer, or as a hand-held pass around at parties or on its own as a meal.
Using the slow cooker also made this recipe extremely easy and fuss free to make. Just prepare the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work. At the end of the day, simply pull the meat apart and pop them back into the fragrant sauce. The recipe also freezes very well and you'll get a few meals out of this this large batch recipe.
Asian Pulled Pork Buns
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 to 4 lb Pork Shoulder or Boston Pork Butt
6 oz Shallots (thinly sliced)
18 cloves of Garlic (lightly smashed)
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
2 oz piece Ginger (lightly smashed)
12 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Star Anise
3 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 White Pepper Powder
3 tsp Sesame Oil
3 oz Rock Sugar
5 cups Water
Lotus Leaf Buns (available in most Asian supermarkets, in the frozen section)
1. In a wok, heat up 5 tbsp of cooking oil. Once heated, brown the whole pork shoulder or Boston pork butt on all sides. Set aside.
2. In the same wok with the leftover oil, add in thinly sliced shallots and light smashed garlic. Stir fry until fragrant and soft.
3. Add in dark soy sauce, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, Chinese 5-spice powder, cumin powder, salt and white pepper powder. Mix well.
4. Add in water, sesame oil, rock sugar and lightly smashed ginger. Mix well.
5. Bring to a boil and lower heat to allow it to simmer for 10 min.
6. Place browned pork shoulder or Boston pork butt in the slow cooker. Pour the marinade over the meat. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.
7. Once ready, remove the pork shoulder or Boston pork butt from the slow cooker onto a chopping board. Shred the meat and place them back into the sauce.
8. Serve with cilantro in lotus leaf buns.
Thin strips of boldly seasoned and skewered meat that is cooked quickly over long beds of hot charcoals.
During this past summer holiday, one particular Singapore classic food that I have been making often is Satay. These little hand held meat skewers are such a versatile dish. They are perfect for parties as an appetizer, as a tray pass food or as a light meal! I even made them for Jamie's 5th birthday pirate themed party. I called them "Pirates' Peg Legs" and not only were the guests amused, they were impressed with this quintessential Singapore street food.
And they are easy to prepare too, although one should plan ahead of time for marinating and cooking. I typically marinate the meat the night before and skewer the meat the next day before grilling them over my Satay grill, which is a long rectangular grill using charcoals. But you can grill them over any type of grill or even bake them in your oven if a grill is not available. The skewers are flipped frequently to ensure even cooking while basting it with a mixture of coconut milk and vegetable oil. Boldly seasoned and lightly charred over the grill, these Satays are so flavorful and delicous. Definitely one of my family's favorite recipe that I have made so far!
Satays are typically served with cucumber, shallots, ketupat (a type of Malay style rice dumpling packed in a diamond shaped woven palm leaf pouch) and a peanut sauce in Singapore. Unfortunately, Bella is allergic to peanuts and so we usually do not have it with peanut sauce. However, I do have a bottle of a store bought Satay peanut sauce that I'd let friends sample with the Satay if they wish to. The sauce is readily available in the Asian supermarkets. So, if you are thinking of grilling this weekend or on Labor Day here in the US, perhaps you might want to shake things up with this favorite Singaporean hawker food!
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
3 1/2 lbs Beef Filet Mignon or Chicken Thighs
8 oz Shallots
6 cloves Garlic
1 1/2 inch slice of Turmeric
1/4 inch slice of Galangal
4 1/2 stalk of Lemongrass (white portion, sliced thinly)
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Tamarind Extract
1 1.2 tsp Anise Seeds
6 tbsp Sugar
3 tsp Salt
6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Skewers (soaked in water for 20 min)
Basting Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup Coconut Milk
4 1/2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Cut beef and/or chicken into small 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
2. In a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, coriander powder, cumin powder, tamarind extract, anise seeds, sugar, salt and vegetable oil until a smooth paste is formed.
3. Mix the marinade with the meat and allow it to marinate for 3 -4 hours or overnight if time permits.
4. Prepare the charcoal grill, use charcoal sparingly as too much heat will burn the Satay easily.
5. Skewer the marinated meat and prepare the basting sauce by mixing the coconut milk and vegetable oil together.
6. Cook the Satay over the grill, flipping frequently to ensure even cooking and baste it with the coconut milk and oil mixture. Lightly char it, if desired.
Makes approximately 200 Satays
A protein rich, super flavorful and satisfying White Bean and Broccoli Meatball recipe that is quick and easy to make.
It has been more than 2 weeks since we returned from our Spring break vacation and one of the hardest thing for me after a week long holiday is to try and get right back into our routine and diet. It certainly did not help with the long Easter weekend that we just had. While it has been an amazing time spent with family and friends, it was difficult to exercise control with those yummy chocolate eggs that the Easter bunny left behind for us.
So, determined to still eat healthy while trying to get out of this funk, I made one of my go-to dishes, White Bean and Broccoli Meatballs. They are so quick and easy to make, even when you feel like you need a vacation after a vacation, these little puppies are still not difficult to churn out. You can make a large batch, store them in the refrigerator or freezer and make several meals out of them.
Kian and I prefer to keep our meals low carb, so these White Bean and Broccoli Meatballs are perfect as I omitted breadcrumbs in this recipe. We love them over a bed of zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) that we sauté with pesto while Bella and Jamie enjoy theirs with pasta in Alfredo sauce. It makes such a flavorful and satisfying meal. You can even toss the meatballs in Go-Chu-Jang sauce (Korean hot and sweet sauce) and have them as an appetizer or side dish.
White Bean and Broccoli Meatballs
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
2 lb Ground Beef (85% lean, 15% fat)
8 oz Broccoli
1 19 oz can White Cannellini Beans
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Using a food processor, chop the broccoli until it is a fine mince and set aside.
3. Rinse and drain the white cannellini beans and grind them with the food processor until a smooth mash is formed. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, minced broccoli, mashed white cannellini beans, egg, salt, white pepper powder, dried oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well.
5. Shape them into 1 inch round balls and place them on a baking tray.
6. Bake at 375 degrees on the middle rack for 20 minutes. The broil on high for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown on the middle rack.
7. Serve with your favortie sauce or choice of pasta or sauce.
Make approx. 60 meatballs.
A lovely combination of scallops and bacon on skewers, perfect as a hand held bite or as a dinner party appetizer.
I love scallops! And I love bacon too. So, the combination of these two ingredients is definitely a match made in heaven, in my opinion. The smokey flavor of bacon complements and enhances the sweetness of scallops when paired with it. Drizzled with a fermented black bean aioli, it adds a layer of complex flavor and a delicious boost of umami.
Fermented black beans, also known as salted or dried black beans, are made from soy beans that have been dried and fermented with salt and some other spices such as chillies, garlic, ginger etc. They can be easily found in Asian supermarkets and are sold in jars. If you do not live near an Asian supermarket, black bean sauce is often available at the international or Asian foods aisle. And you can substitute the fermented black beans with the sauce instead. One of my favorite brands that I often use is "Lee Kum Kee". And they can be found in my local HEB store.
Scallop Satays with Bacon and Black Bean Aioli
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from "Simply Ming In Your Kitchen" Cook Book
15 Large Whole Scallops
4 slices Bacon
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 1/2 tsp Fermented Black Beans (chopped)
1 bunch Scallions or Spring Onions (thinly sliced and divided)
1 Egg Yolk
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
5 8" Skewers
1. Soak skewers in water for at least an hour. Pat dry with paper towel.
2. Skewer 3 scallops and place them toward the top of each skewer. Refrigerate them if not using them immediately.
3. Bake bacon slices in 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, until they are crispy. Drain off fat and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside for later use.
4. In a pan, heat up 1 tsp of the bacon fat from the baking tray. Add in chopped garlic, black beans and 3/4 portion of the chopped scallions. Sauté for about a minute, until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for later use.
5. Prepare the aioli by placing 1 egg yolk, 1 1/2 tsp mustard and 1/2 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until an emulsion forms. Transfer into a bowl and mix in chopped fermented black beans. Add in 1 tbsp lemon juice and stir well.
6. Heat 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season skewered scallops with salt and pepper. Pan fry the scallops for about 30 seconds each side, until they are golden brown and just cooked through.
7. Drizzle the black bean aioli over the scallop skewers and garnish with chopped bacon and remaining scallions.
Makes 5 Skewers
Curry Puff Pastries, a scrumptious and flaky variation of the traditional Singapore Curry Puff that is wrapped in puff pastry instead.
In a blink of an eye, here we are with a week of the New Year gone already. 1 week down and 51 more weeks to go. It may seem like a long time to go but time always seem to just fly by when you're not paying attention.
I have kept myself busy by spending time with family who is visiting from Singapore, hosting parties and keeping up with our annual family traditions. And before I knew it, we were sprinting toward Christmas, Bella's birthday (which falls on December 27) and the New Year. While I took a month off from my blog, I never took a break from the kitchen. I was constantly making dinners for a household of 8 people or preparing dishes for a party.
On the topic of parties, for Bella's 9th birthday party, she wanted it to be "Harry Potter" themed. I had so much fun preparing and cooking for it. And I was so glad that my family is visiting. They helped out so much! We created letters from Hogwarts as invitations, hung battery operated candles with fishing line over my kitchen island to recreate the Great Hall, made Polyjuice Potion Slime and even made a Dementor pinata. The house was decorated with "wanted" posters of Sirius Black and Moaning Myrtle made a couple of appearances in some of our mirrors.
The refreshments had to be in theme too. I found non-alcoholic Butter Beer from my local grocery store and served it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. A little too sweet for my liking but I think the kids had a blast! We even printed paper wings and stuck them onto Ferraro Rocher chocolates to make them look like "Golden Snitches". But the highlight had to be the Curry Puff Pastries that we named "House Elf Curry Puff Pastries" for the party. Inspired by Harry Potter's Pumpkin Pasties, I tweaked my traditional Singapore Curry Puffs recipe and made them with store bought frozen puff pastries instead. In fact, some bakeries in Singapore make them this way too. These flaky and crispy curry puff pastries were absolutely delightful and were flying off the platter at the party. A perfect finger food for any occasion really.
Curry Puff Pastries
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
5 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 Medium Red Onion (diced finely)
3 tsp Garam Marsala Powder
4 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup Chicken Breast Meat (diced 3/8")
2 large Potatoes (skinned, boiled and diced 3/8")
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
3 boxes Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets (6 sheets)
1 egg (beaten)
1. Prepare the filling first. Heat oil and stir fry onions on medium heat until golden brown.
2. Add in 3 tsp garam marsala powder, 4 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and continue to stir fry gently.
3. Add in 1 cup diced chicken and stir fry until chicken is cooked. Add in potatoes, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Remove pastry sheets from the box & packages and allow them to thaw for up to 40 minutes, until it is soft and does not crack or break when unfolding. The pastry sheet should still be cold.
6. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares. Place 2 to 3 tbsp of curry filling in the middle of the pastry and fold it over into triangles, sealing the edges with water. Use a fork to create a crimping pattern on the edges and brush the beaten egg over the top.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown at 400 degrees F.
Makes 24 pieces.
Curried Pumpkin Soup, a creamy and yet light soup that makes a great appetizer and a perfect start to an chilly winter's meal.
Curried Pumpkin Soup, a combination of flavor that marries the complex essence of South Asian spices with one of the most popular winter squash. This creamy and yet light soup is perfect as an appetizer or as a meal on it own when coupled with some warm bread
After a cold, winter-like weekend that we just had in Houston, this steaming bowl of Curried Pumpkin Soup will help you stay warm and cozy during the winter months. While the temperatures now are a range of between 40 to 60 degrees, that is pretty typical weather for -mid-winter in Houston. A tasty bowl of soup to warm your body and soothe your soul is always welcomed.
Curried Pumpkin Soup
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, inspired by Epicurious
2 Medium Onions
2 cloves Garlic
1 oz Ginger
2 tbsp Butter
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 tsp Mild Curry Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 15 oz Canned Solid Packed Pumpkin
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1. Using a food processor, minced the onions, garlic and ginger.
2. Heat up a cast iron pot or heavy bottom pot and add in butter. Once the butter has melted, add in minced onions, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes until it is fragrant.
3. Add in 1 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tsp mild curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala and mix well.
4. Stir in pumpkin, chicken stock, coconut milk and red pepper flakes (optional). Bring it to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minute or until the soup has reduced to the thickness of choice.
5. Puree the soup with a hand held blender. Season with salt and pepper, if required and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Makes 10 servings
Egg Foo Yong, a hearty and fulfilling Chinese style omelette that is perfect for any meal of the day.
Egg Foo Yong is an Asian style omelette dish, specifically Chinese Cantonese. It is fried until the omelette fluffs ups and the edges are crispy, leaving the middle moist. It is a common dish on the menu of a "Zi Char" stall (a Hokkien term used in Singapore to describe a Chinese stall that offers a wide selection of common and affordable dishes that are very much akin to having a home cooked meal).
Growing up, my mom would often make this dish on the weekends. Both my parents worked when we were growing up so my mom would always make it a point to prepare home cooked meals for us on weekends. I have fond memories of having porridge for lunch on Sundays and Egg Foo Yong was a frequent side dish that went along with our lunches. The fragrant and flavorful was a perfect side dish and my mom often added onions or Chinese chives to it. You can add anything to it, which makes it such a versatile dish.
So last week, instead of having lunch out on Saturday, which we normally do after the kids' gymnastics classes, I cooked lunch at home and had Egg Foo Yong as well. It brought back so much memories of my childhood and I shared those stories with our kids. Even Kian mentioned that we have not had lunch at home like this on a weekend in a long time and it was really nice and we should do it more often.
Egg Foo Yong
by Miss Crumbs A Lot, adapted from "The Meat Men Sg"
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper Powder
1/2 Onion (sliced)
1/4 lb Shrimps (shelled & deveined)
1/4 cup Chinese Char Siu Pork (diced)
1 Spring Onion (cut into 2" slices)
1/4 cup Mung Bean Sprouts
1/2 Iceberg Lettuce (shredded)
7 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Whisk 5 eggs and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper powder. Place shredded lettuce on a serving plate. Set them both aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a non stick wok and add in sliced onions. Stir fry until they are translucent.
3. Add in 1/4 lb shrimps, 1/4 cup diced Chinese char siu pork, 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts and sliced spring onions. Mix well and stir fry for a minute. Spoon mixture out and add it into the eggs.
4. Clean the wok and heat 6 tbsp of vegetable oil until it is hot. Gently pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the wok gently to allow hot oil to partially cook the omelette. Cover and let it set for a few minutes.
5. Once the bottom and edges are golden brown and crispy, gently flip it over using 2 spatulas. Continue cooking until the eggs are cooked through. Serve over shredded lettuce.
Stir Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish, an extremely simple dish but so tasty and flavorful.
Stir Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish has always been one of my favorite dishes, even as a child. While most children disliked bean sprouts (also known as mung bean sprouts), My younger brother, Jody and I have always enjoyed them. Not my youngest brother, Jordan though. It has always been a challenge to get him to eat vegetables, even till this day.
When we were kids, we would go food shopping at the wet market with my mom. Wet markets are usually partially covered markets where food vendors sell their products. There will be the meats and fish sections, fruits and produce, dry goods and usually a hawker center selling cooked one dish meals as well. The vegetable stalls would usually have bean sprouts for sale. They are typically displayed in a large round sieve and sold by weight. Unlike now where bean sprouts are cleaned and roots picked off in a sealed packet, those bean sprouts then still have the roots attached to them. We would buy a large packet of bean sprouts and then head home to pick off the roots before cooking them.
Salted fish is one of the most popular ingredient to cook bean sprouts with. Salted fish is a traditional Chinese food originating from the Guandong province in China. The fish is preserved or cured with salt and was a staple food in southern China. Historically known as the "poor man's food" because the extreme saltiness of the fish was useful in adding variety and taste to the simpler rice based meals. More recently, it has become a popular cuisine in its own right. Another dish that I had shared previously that uses salted fish as flavoring is the "Steamed Pork Patty Rice".
Stir Fried Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish
by Miss Crumbs A Lot
16 oz Bean Sprouts (rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup Salted Fish (finely diced)
1 tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Shallot Oil
1 tbsp Water
2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. Prepare the sauce first by mixing 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp shallot oil, 1 tbsp water in a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat up 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok on medium heat. Add in finely diced salted fish and stir fry until they are golden brown and crispy.
3. Add in 1 tbsp chopped garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
4. Reduce heat to low and add in bean sprouts. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add in prepared sauce and mix well. (Do not overcook bean sprouts, you'd still want a crisp and crunchy texture).
5. Turn heat off and stir in chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
A Singaporean SAHM living in Houston, Texas. Discovering her potential in the kitchen with authentic Singaporean Cuisine. And exploring the dynamic food scene Houston has to offer.