Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tofu tuna patties and mashed..... What?

So my very good friend Professor P wants me to go on her primal / paleo type diet. Somehow, she bullied convinced me into trying it for just 30 days. It's only a month! Well, it's been 4 days and dammit, I want a Cup O'Noodle! Don't judge.

Anyways (I'm paraphrasing here), the whole point is to avoid grains, sugar and processed foods (including soy). Therefore, you have to cook your own food. Wut? o.O Not that I mind it, I really get bored of leftovers, like more than once, and I'm bored. I'm taking a lot of liberties and I think Prof P is letting me slide and ease into it for the first month by letting me have my soy and my cheese. CHEESE!

So, last night, I made some comfort food, tofu tuna patties. I mostly followed the recipe I found here:
But I eliminated the sugar and the ginger. I remember when we made this at home, we would dry the tofu by squeezing it in a dish towel, but I went the compression way with a heavy bottle of water. The tofu definitely needs to be dry to make this hold together; I really should have gone with the dish towel method but I didn't want tofu bits stuck in the towel loops. This came out a bit sweeter than I remember, but maybe it was the oyster sauce. I don't know if we put any seasonings in these, but we did eat them with shoyu (soy sauce). Something to ask mommy.

But here are the patties!

Normally, I'd nom these with rice, but no rice! GAAAAAAAH what will I do? I found recipes online for cauliflower rice, but I was honestly too lazy to put the food processor together so I went with mashed cauliflower instead. Let me preface this by saying I am not a fan of cauliflower just because it smells funky. You know what I mean. I've cooked it before (bf from Holland loved it so I pulled it off one day).

There are a ton of variations between recipes, so this is what I did:

1 head cauliflower, washed, drained and cut into florets (the bigger ones I cut into quarters and I also peeled the tough outer skin off most of it)

Put florets into 8"x8" glass baking dish (the one for brownies), cover tightly with cling film and microwave for 10 minutes. No water, no salt. Kind of watch it towards the end so the cauliflower doesn't burn and be careful when removing the cling film for the steam. Poke one of the larger pieces with a fork, it should be soft enough where the fork slips in (called "fork tender").

Throw some butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder on and whizz that cauliflower with a stick blender! I recommend moving the cauliflower from the baking dish to a bowl so you can blend it properly instead of making a mess all over like I did. :) Hehehehehe

I didn't add anything like milk, cream cheese or sour cream. Just that damn cauliflower! How does it taste? pretty damn good! Nothing like cauliflower and it doesn't smell like feet. Wut? It's a bit sweeter than mashed potatoes, but it has a nice texture once it's been blended and it's creamy. I can imagine how good this would be as a baked potato substitute with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon bits! Hmmmmm :)

So yup, 26 more days to go......................

Monday, September 10, 2012

Misoyaki butterfish

Sorry, it's been a while since I blogged; I completely blame my Google+ addiction.

I rarely cook for myself, but this is something that if I want it, I have to make it. Luckily, here in Hawaii, I can buy this ready-to-cook in the Japanese food store, but it's really easy to do yourself as long as you can wait 72 hours ;)

Here's the typical recipe, I picked this link because he has pictures and an explanation of what butterfish is:

I always grew up calling it butterfish, but from reading on the interwebz, it might be called black cod outside of Hawaii. It's an oily fish with a distinctive fish taste. I'm thinking if you don't like salmon, you probably won't like this. It's much oilier than salmon. It sometimes reminds me of unagi. The bones are large enough where you wouldn't accidentally eat them and it's better to cook the fish on the bone so your filet remains a filet. Fillet? Too early. You'll find this in many bento boxes along with a piece of chicken katsu or roast pork.

I prefer to bake mine in a foil lined pan for ease of clean-up. Burnt sugary miso is near impossible to get off a  pan. I lined the pan with foil, added sliced onions (I absofreakinglutely LOVE cooked onions), sprinkled the onions with salt, pepper and a splash of soy sauce, then plopped the miso butterfish on top. I added a bit of water and covered the pan with another foil sheet so the fish would steam. Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes so it would cook through (I don't like my butterfish rare, it's a squishy texture thing). Once the fish and the onions appeared cooked, I cranked on the broiler to high and made roasty-toasty caramelization on the top. The burnt bits are really good. You don't need the onions, I just LOVE onions so I added them because I know they would help keep the butterfish from sticking and I would have vegetables to eat. I really wanted a garden salad, but meh, such is life. I poured the pan drippings all over everything once done.

Yeah, it's not the prettiest, but if you had to make a monochrome meal, this would be it ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Whenever there is a fundraiser of sorts, I always make this. It's quick, easy and it freezes so you can make them ahead of time. It always surprises me that people haven't heard of or eaten zucchini bread! It's a quick bread, not unlike banana bread or carrot cake, where the moistness of the cake/bread is derived from the vegetables/fruit.

These are great toasted with butter AND cream cheese.

Here's the recipe I use (and without any tweaks really!):
Mom's Zucchini Bread

The trick is to NOT drain the zucchini (ever! Don't do it!). I sometimes add a bit of water if the batter looks too thick (thicker than cake batter but not as thick as cookie batter). The recipe calls for two regular sized loaf pans, but I'll use mini loaf pans (the foil ones) and split the batter between 5 to 6 of these. 2 cups of zucchini is about one nicely sized vegetable, heavy for its size. A lot of the time, I will use more than 2 cups of zucchini simply for the fact that I grate too much. I use the cooking spray with flour and easy peasy, you're good to go. I've done 30 of these for a bake sale and when you start a week or two ahead of time, wrap and freeze them, it makes them much easier to transport and once the loaves defrost, they're just as good as if you just baked them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Plank Exercise - Core Strength

So, yeah, I'm a fatass because I won't eat right and I don't exercise nearly enough. My trainer comes to torture me on a weekly basis and he's kind enough to read me the news while I gasp for my life and we berate each other for our horrible drawings in Draw Something.

This is by far the simplest exercise to do and it's oh-so-painful! Let's begin! ::claps her hands gleefully::

First, you must Google "plank exercise". Got it? Now, get on the floor, elbows in line with your shoulders, weight distributed evenly from side to side and across your forearms. Forearms either up or down, hands clenched in fists or open, or you can hold your hands together (I do mine, hands up, palms open). Whatever gets you through the next 5 seconds of your life. Feet position, either in line with your hips or together. I keep mine together. Body straight (keep your butt down!) like a plank and weight should be evenly distributed between your arms and legs. Alrighty then! Do it! Breathe!

If your entire body is shaking and you think you're going to pass out (make sure you're breathing, dammit), you're doing it right! If you think this is too easy, your butt is too far up in the air, this is called PLANK, not PIKE. Oh yeah, see, there ya go.

How I get through these terrible seconds... I breathe, long, deep breaths, regulating them by counting to five on each inhale and exhale (that's about 3 seconds in real time) and clenching and unclenching my hands as a distraction. I used to be able to do a minute, but I'm back down to 30 seconds. Yay!

From your Google search, I'm sure you've seen side plank and other wonderful variations on this torture. Just be careful, push yourself but don't hurt yourself. (Disclaimer because I feel I have to, I don't know crap, I just do what I'm told by my trainer and I'm relating a semi-funny allegory for you). It all pays off eventually. Some day ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poke Bowl - Paina Cafe

Okay, so I dug into it before I took a proper picture. Sorry, I was hungry. This is one of our "famous" poke bowls from Paina Cafe. This is the large size (I usually get the small, but hello, hungry!). Here's the scoops for ordering your bowl:

1) Size (small, large, extra large)
2) Type of rice (white or brown)
3) Type of shoyu sauce (mild or hot)
4) Nori, furikake or none (your free topping)
5) Type of poke
6) Any additional toppings

My bowl is a:
1) large
2) brown
3) hot shoyu sauce
4) nori
5) half spicy ahi poke, half wasabi masago poke
6) pickled onions, seaweed salad

I've made a few posts about this before, so apologies for the repeat, but I'm not going to be totally cruel to my G+ family and make them read all the old posts. Yet. Quiz later, peeps.

Shoyu is Japanese for soy sauce. We put a special blend of soy sauce and spices to drizzle on the rice, it makes it super nom. If you wonder what it is, that's what it is. Nori is dried seaweed with a little salty taste, it's crunchy but as soon as it hits moisture, it limpy-fies; these are the thin black strips that you see scattered on top of the fish. Furikake is a nori sesame seed blend, tinier flakes of nori. Other toppings are pickled onions (sweet, vinegary onion-y goodness), taegu (Korean spicy cuttlefish or cod), kim chee (pickled aged spicy cabbage), takuan (Japanese pickled radish), kyuri-zuke (Japanese pickled cucumbers), green onions and super antioxidant topping called yamakake style (_yama imo_ a Japanese yam that's ground until it's a paste like texture, nori and green onions). I've tried everything except the yamakake style. It's a texture thing for me.

Poke (sounds like poh-kay, not poke like that thing in Faceb**k, or pokey like a cactus) is a blend of raw tuna (ahi), sesame oil, onions and other seasonings. We have a few different types of poke that we serve daily: shoyu ahi, hot shoyu ahi, spicy ahi, hawaiian poke (with limu fresh seaweed, crunchy bits of ocean-y goodness), wasabi masago (wasabi flavor with masago - tiny fish eggs) and other specials that rotate throughout the week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Hummus

I love hummus. I was introduced to a lot of middle eastern food when I was at college and lived in Chicago for a summer. Store bought hummus is great but it's expensive. Google a few recipes online and you'll see how easy it is. The biggest expense will be the tahini (sesame seed paste, think almond butter) but you only need a few tablespoons for about two cups. A food processor is a must; this gets pretty thick so I'm not sure a blender will work well. Let me know if it does! This is what went into my hummus: One can of chickpeas, juice reserved Two tablespoon type scoops of tahini 1.5 teaspoon chopped garlic Two teaspoon type scoops of sundried tomatoes in olive oil Juice of one lime Fresh cracked black pepper Whizz everything in the food processor, adding the reserved juice from the chickpeas until smoothish. Taste it before adding salt. Sometimes the chickpeas are pretty salty. I've added cilantro, onions, green onions, lemon juice, olive oil, pine nuts, all sorts of variations. It's kind of like barbecue sauce in the US or ozoni in Japan, every family has their own recipe. I eat it with pita bread or chips, with tabbouleh. One of my friends said he uses it as a sandwich spread instead of mayo. Funny thing is my boss was raving about a tuna sandwich he had that had no mayo. I hope to blog more. My crappy Motorola Cliq XT is dead and gone and there's a blogger app so hang on, more crazy poha on the way! ;-)