Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oven-Style Ratatouille Roast 烤蔬菜杂烩

Happy 2017 everyone! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and love here at my website throughout all these wonderful years. I wish everyone many healthy and happy years ahead.

Nothing fancy for the first post of 2017, just as my approach to home-cooked meals - simple and fuss-free; "simple" does not mean "done without deliberate thought". On the other hand, you have to put your heart and thoughts into preparing healthy and nutritionally-balanced meals, really.

The last time I made this ratatouille-inspired oven-roasted dish, I enjoyed it and wanted to make it again. This time, it is a vegetarian heartier lot with autumn/winter squash, heirloom carrots, green and red bell peppers, eggplant and Tokyo Negi (similar to leeks - leeks have flat green tops rather than the tubular tops of Negi). Tokyo Negi may be sharp pungent onion/leek but similar to leek, it mellows down to sweetness when slow-roasted or cooked.

Roasting packed the vegetables and squashes with natural sweetness, imparting full-bodied flavors to the entire dish.

Do not be afraid to load up the oven. It saves energy (your energy + the utilities bill of course!) and is a brilliant way to incorporate a variety of vegetables, a huge batch of vegetables; let alone the roasted vegetables coming together in an awesome medley of flavors, deliciously sweet in a savory way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One-Pot Tomato Rice 电锅番茄饭

By this time, most of you in the social media food-groups must have come across the Internet one-pot tomato-rice sensation. Beside one-pot pasta, this one-pot (or one-pan) rice is also one-darn-good cooking idea for homecooks like us who need to think of "it's-gotta-be-different, better-be-new and hopefully-interesting" dishes to cook everyday. Truth is, we (rather, I) don't cook different and new dishes everyday.

However, once in a while, I do try to inspire myself to cook something different. I was even more inspired to put this tomato-rice as part of my regular cooking ritual/meal plan as it is a one-pot-everything dish. To me, this is similar to cooking one-pot biryani rice, just that this tomato-rice does not include the use of Indian-spices and leans towards home-style cooking. I would call it healthy "fried" rice.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Baby Kale Soy-Bean Soup 羽衣甘蓝黄豆汤

Soy-bean broth or stock is quite versatile and I absolutely enjoy it as a light-tasting broth for green vegetables e.g. Chinese Broccoli Soup.

For this soup (adapted from Chinese Broccoli Soup), some carrots were boiled in the broth till cooked, then baby kale and some leftover pan-fried tofu were added.

Baby kale is supposed to be milder-tasting and less bitter compared to kale. To be used in this soup, I added the baby kale only after the heat from the pot was turned off; then add the baby kale, cover the pot and allow the remaining heat to cook the baby kale.