Chipotle Chicken Tacos

IT’S TACO NIGHT!

Ok, it was actually Taco…mid-afternoon. Vivian was knee deep in her Lower Extremities Anatomy studying (ha ha ha…knee deep…get it?), and I came back from the gym and we were both in need of some food. We wanted to use a majority of the items in our fridge/cupboard, so all I had to do was go buy tortillas, cheese, sour cream, mangoes, limes, and onions. OK…so we didn’t have that much in our fridge/cupboard.

What we did have was a bunch of chicken, which I cubed and cooked, while throwing in some Chipotle peppers and sauce from the can. I then cooked half of a chopped white onion, til’ brown and soft.

While I was doing, boss-lady made the Mango Salsa. She cut 2 mangoes into little cubes, diced 1/2 of a red onion, chopped up a small batch of cilantro (not parsley…there’s a difference…duh), and mixed them into a big bowl. She then squeezed the juice of 2 limes and added salt and pepper to the mango salsa to taste.

Note: You MUST buy the canned pickle peppers. If you’ve ever eaten at a taco truck, its the extra stuff they give you wrapped up in a ball of foil.

After we cooked, plated, took pictures, and complimented ourselves on a job well done…there was only one thing left to do: eat. What I figured to get an even bite of sour cream every time, is to spread it on your tortilla first…then build it. It’s possibly the best most genius thing this side of New York has ever heard of. You’re welcome. Enjoy!

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- Big Spoon aka Esteban on Taco days

Cauliflower Fried Rice

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I know, I know. Chinese sausages is super bad for you, but I had it in my pantry and needed to use it. OKAAAY Confession: I actually forced my parents to buy me some fresh ones when I was back in CA for winter break. Anyway, now that I think about it, I don’t really crave for Chinese sausages anymore because it just sounds too sweet for me, but when I made it, it was soooo satisfying & delicious. You can always sub out the Chinese sausages for other meats. I’ve already made it with chicken twice.

So here’s what I did. With fried rice, you basically cook everything separately and just put it in with the rice in a big pot. I scrambled 4 eggs, heated some mixed veggies (I bought the huge frozen Costco pack), & cooked the sliced chinese sausages. Back at home, my mom would stir fry garlic and ginger and add the rice so I did the same, just with cauliflower rice. Then you add in all the ingredients you cooked before and voilaaa. Got yourself some cauliflower fried rice. Add pepper, sriracha, soy sauce, you can have whatever you liiiike. Lil spoon likes cilantro in his fried rice because it reminds him of Oakland Chinatown fried rice, so you can give that a try too. Enjoy!

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Beef Sliders

Mmmmmmm burgers.

Vivian’s weakness is burgers. We had recently gotten burgers at a local burger joint and she ordered her burger without the bun…me? naaaaah. Buns for me. If I’m going to cheat, I’m going to cheat. But learning from the previous night, I decided to make sliders with lettuce as buns. I grabbed a pound of ground beef, mixed in an egg, made little patties, seared both sides and threw it in the oven for 25 min at 400 degrees. I then put cheeeeeeeeese on it and waited 5 more minutes to melt. Using my amazing ability to multitask, while the patties were in the oven, I chopped some onions and mushrooms and cooked them over some coconut oil til they were soft. Also chopped some tomatoes. Once done, Vivian and I put our tetris to the test and built mini slider towers with all the ingredients, wrapped them in lettuce, and ate them. Mission complete. In your face, carbs.

Here are some pics taken with our professional equipment. Big spoon’s iPhone.

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-Lil Spoon

Vietnamese Beef Stew

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My mom brought me a slow cooker and I had no idea what to use it for. It was just sitting at the very bottom of my kitchen cupboard. Finally spent some class time looking up slow cooker recipes and nothing motivated me enough to use it… Until I had a crazy (month+ long) craving for some home-made bo kho (beef stew), just like how my momma makes it back home. Lil spoon looked up a recipe for slow cooker bo kho and voila found this!

Lil spoon then went to Chinatown while I studied and he picked up the spices and other ingredients. The meat we used were some beef with tendon and we grabbed some without the tendon. The only things we were missing were the potatoes (purposely), cinnamon sticks (didn’t have it), & annatto seeds (lil spoon’s cantonese can only take him so far….). Also, some substitutions: instead of flour, we used almond flour and instead of all water, I substituted half of it for beef broth.

Of course, my kitchen still doesn’t have measuring spoons so I used my Vietnamese senses to get the taste just right. Turned out as the best bo kho I’ve ever had (including mom’s, I could be biased though). We ate it with a side of cauliflower rice & sriracha. Yums.

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Cauliflower Rice

Ah. The one thing we can’t do without. Rice.

When big spoon and I found out about this rice substitute, we looked at each other and realized, yup, maybe we CAN go paleo. This is probably the Paleo dish Vivian and I have the most experience making. This dish is like the spaghetti to our meatball, or the vanilla ice cream to our apple pie (which I haven’t had in forever…sigh). Rice has been a staple food to our lives, and now…cauliflower rice is the staple to our Paleo lives.

This dish is quite simple to make. Take a head of cauliflower and cut them into manageable pieces for your food processor. Then pulse it until its the consistency of long grain rice. Melt some coconut oil or butter onto a pan. If you’d like, throw in some minced garlic first. Then throw in the “rice” and cook over medium til the desired texture is obtained. Depending on the main dish, I also like to chop some cilantro and mix it in.

Note: when making this, you will realize why Vivian and I make our cauliflower rice for the whole week…because it gets EVERYWHERE. I’ve never had to sweep after cooking, but this never fails to bring the broom and dustpan out.

I present to you, rice.

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Feel free to comment, subscribe, or share =)

-Lil Spoon

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Banana Pancakes

What are you doing at 6:30AM? Sleeping? Getting ready for your day? I’m in the kitchen mushing bananas. So since we saw Paleo pancakes onĀ changeofpaceforme.com‘s Instagram…big spoon and I knew this was a must. I mush 1 banana with a fork in a bowl for every egg, (2 total for us). Sprinkle in some cinnamon and almond flour, mix til the consistency of batter and BAM…pancake mix. Melt some coconut oil on a pat on medium heat and cook evenly on each side. When flipping, somehow my inner Chinese tells me I have to use a combination of spatula and chopsticks…whatever works. We both like to melt almond butter and sprinkle coconut flakes on top of the pancakes.

This goes perfect with a couple of breakfast sausages and a cup of coffee…a meal that’ll give you energy to do anything in the morning, like carry a certain somebody’s ridiculously heavy backpack to school =). Apparently Podiatry school requires their students to take courses on bricks.

Here’s the masterpiece:

BOOYA!

Banana Pancakes

- Lil Spoon

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Garlic Shrimp

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So lately on my instagram & facebook, a lot of people have been in Hawaii and their pictures of the garlic shrimp from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck really got me craving for it. I don’t really remember the taste of Giovanni’s, but I remembered that it was something I knew I could replicate. Anyway, what I made satisfied my cravings. I didn’t take measurements of what I used, but here are the best instructions I can come up with:

  1. Brown your minced garlic (for this dish, don’t be afraid to use a lot of garlic!)
  2. On medium to low heat, add your shrimp (I used about a pound)
  3. Now this is where my memory is a bit cloudy because I pretty much use whatever spices and dry herbs are in my pantry and I just sprinkle them in according to my mood. Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt were used for sure.
  4. Add in your fish sauce (A MUST–add to taste, you can go as salty or as bland as you want)
  5. Turn up the heat and stir fry all your ingredients together so the shrimp is evenly coated in all the flavors. You know the shrimp is ready when both sides are orange. Try not to overcook it.
  6. Serve the shrimp with a wedge of lemon or lime (I personally prefer lemon) and a healthy side (I recommend broccoli). I like to pour some extra sauce over the veggies.
  7. Enjoy :)

- Big Spoon

P.S. I know my recommendations contradict my picture, but asparagus & lime were all I had to work with…

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Chicken Tacos

Excuse the hiatus, but it’s been awhile since we’ve, well… cooked. But here we are now and we cooked together… in NEW YORK!

So Vivian had chicken…and I had free time. She came home from anatomy lab with a box of fake bones, and I came back with a Mexican party. I decided that it’d be a great idea to make healthy tacos.

We had store bought everything. Pico de gallo, guacamole, lime, avacado, green salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce. You may be asking why didn’t I buy healthy ingredients and make it fresh? Well go to a New York “supermarket” at 7pm and you’ll know why. The amount of fresh produce and high prices makes you think an apocalypse is coming…and the only survivors are rich vegans.

Vivian took the chicken and cooked it with garlic salt, paprika, pepper, and onion powder. The exact amount I wouldn’t know, you’d have to ask her… and even then… it’d still be a mystery. But it turned out good!

We used lettuce as taco shells. Stacked them as high as we could with deliciousness and ate like kings…Mexican kings…healthy Mexican kings.

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Fish Salad

Haven’t been posting lately, simply because I haven’t been cooking. But with a little encouragement from big spoon as well as the new health craze thats been running through my house, I decided to start packing my lunch again. So why not choose something healthy? I simply cooked thick pieces of catfish with salt and pepper on both sides. For the salad I used lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The only thing that makes this salad anything special is the sauce. I tried to mimic the Fried Tofu Salad sauce I normally get from my local Thai spot. The ingredients were lime juice, a bit of soy sauce, salt, chili pepper flakes, and sugar. This works very well with the salad, as well as the fish. I told Vivian about the sauce and she pointed out quickly that its extremely similar to hers…”copy cat” was the exact term I believe. Can someone tell her that she doesn’t own soy sauce, lime, and sugar?

Here’s a pic (excuse my camera and lighting)

Fish Salad with STEVENS SAUCE

Thai Green Curry

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Lately, I haven’t had time to cook much because I need to devote all the time I can get to studying. So my kitchen magic has been due to pre-made sauces and curries. This one came from a can I found from a store in Chinatown. No preservatives and no artificial flavors! Yeah buddy!
It was really easy. All I had to do was heat up the can contents, add my defrosted shrimp, and add vegetables. I also diced up some potatoes & fried it to soften it before adding it to the pot. I used frozen mixed vegetables, makes it a lot easier. Yummy and easy!

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