Spicy Chili Meatballs

Don’t you dare buy pre-made meatballs ever again. Don’t take that as a challenge. This is not truth or dare. It’s not opposite day either. No but really it isn’t. Are you confused? Good. Now let’s get to the real business. For the longest time, I was intimidated by meatballs. You’re handling raw meat, firstContinue reading “Spicy Chili Meatballs”

Wholesome Baked Eggs

Sometimes, you just want a simple, healthy breakfast. But you can’t muster the enthusiasm to fry eggs, and lord knows what would happen if you attempted eggs benedict after a solid 4.25 hours of sleep. Don’t try to visualize it. You have a situation on your hands. A dilemma. At this inhumanely early hour, youContinue reading “Wholesome Baked Eggs”

All-Natural Microwave Granola

You read that right. Crunchy granola in less than 5 minutes. No ovens involved. It’s pretty darn healthy too—none of that brown evaporated cane syrup rice juice business. I’ve actually been making it in my dorm room for quite some time, although I’m not entirely sure if my roommate approves of our room consistently smelling likeContinue reading “All-Natural Microwave Granola”

Crispy Waffle Bits

Here’s a semi-good college cafeteria story: So in my school cafeteria there’s this breakfast bar, where you fill out an order form and they make pancakes/waffles/scrambled eggs on the spot. I’m a fan of breakfast, and a fan of ordering oversized plates of food, so it’s perfect. This was a Tuesday morning between the hoursContinue reading “Crispy Waffle Bits”

Commentary Cici: Souped-up Soup

When I hear the word “chicken noodle soup,” I have one reaction: let me eat it. That was particularly true last week when I experienced my first college illness. I desperately wanted chicken noodle soup, but my options were limited to Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, both of which contained literallyContinue reading “Commentary Cici: Souped-up Soup”

All-Natural Snow Cones

For some reason, snow cones (or “sno cones,” if you’re young & wild & free) are perceived as healthy. I have no idea why, as it’s just frozen water drizzled liberally with artificially-flavored corn syrup. It kind of reminds me of soda. But you see, it’s mostly made of water, and water is healthy. Let’sContinue reading “All-Natural Snow Cones”

Lighter Hummus (without tahini)

I’m all about that olive oil, but I’m not about it enough to pour loads of it casually into my chickpeas. In this kitchen, hazelnuts are not to be distorted into sugary chocolate butter. Cocoa is not to be contorted into a barely-recognizable ganache butter. And chickpeas are not to be maimed into an oilyContinue reading “Lighter Hummus (without tahini)”

Dark Chocolate Nutella Without Oil

Let me brag about this first.  This Nutella has 3.4 g of monounsaturated fat, 1.8g of protein, and 1.6g of fiber in every tablespoon.  It also tastes like a darker cousin of your favorite why-do-I-even-need-toast-I’ll-just-eat-it-out-of-the-can hazelnut spread. It’s like that one time your cousin went to the beach and got ten shades tanner than you didContinue reading “Dark Chocolate Nutella Without Oil”

Juicy 15-Minute Pork Chops

This was the recipe that made me fall in love with thick cuts of meat. See, as an Asian, I’ve been taught to be deathly afraid of pink steak/pork/fish/clowns. Rule of thumb: if the meat isn’t cooked to death, neither is the bacteria. My carnivorous experience wasn’t juicy, tasty, or tender. It was basically theContinue reading “Juicy 15-Minute Pork Chops”

Healthier Rocky Road

Today, I wanted to eat mass quantities of crunchy chocolate-covered objects without feeling like an elephant. I think that’s fair. Today was also the day I re-discovered the big box of plain shredded wheat that’s been loitering in the pantry for 5 months. I know it’s healthy and whole grains and fiber and love andContinue reading “Healthier Rocky Road”

Easy Mooncakes with Mung Bean Filling

These things are so expensive in Asian supermarkets, you’d think they require hours of intense labor. Not so. Usually, mooncakes are made with somewhat exotic ingredients (golden syrup and lye water) and with even more exotic kitchen tools (namely, a special mooncake press). But look, my kitchen is currently located forty minutes away from theContinue reading “Easy Mooncakes with Mung Bean Filling”

Red Wine Vinegar Mushroom & Onion

Sometimes stir-fry gets monotonous. Chop, oil, fry, stir, sprinkle with salt. Where’s the fun in that? Trick question. There is no fun. But one rainy day found me standing in front of the vinegar section in the supermarket, wondering if a new type of vinegar was the missing piece in my life. Balsamic vinegar was tooContinue reading “Red Wine Vinegar Mushroom & Onion”

Seriously Amazing Blueberry Muffins

If you’re going to save one muffin recipe, let this be it. Okay, that doesn’t quite cover my excitement. Hold on. (OH HEAVEN THESE ARE THE BEST MUFFINS I’VE EVER MADE NOM NOM NOM OH NO I JUST ATE THREE MUFFINS AND NOW I HAVE TO MAKE MORE GAH MUFFINS MUFFINS MUFFINS THEY’RE LIKE FINSContinue reading “Seriously Amazing Blueberry Muffins”

Salt & Vinegar Potato Stir-Fry

This is like salt and vinegar potato chips, except Asian and way healthier. The best part, though, is that this won’t make you feel like you’re pregnant with a seven-month food baby, as potato entrées usually do. Unless you’re already seven months pregnant, in which case stir-fried potatoes won’t help either. Potatoes are commonly stir-fried in China, butContinue reading “Salt & Vinegar Potato Stir-Fry”

Laughing Sesame Seed Balls

I think I’m addicted. Addicted to easy, to fried objects, to laughter. In other words, to these sesame balls. The idea of making sesame balls came to me from one of my followers. (Yes, you can give me ideas on things to make. No, I won’t bite your head off. Yes, I promise.) These laughing ballsContinue reading “Laughing Sesame Seed Balls”

Flaky Steamed Tilapia

It seems unfair to the laws of the universe that this is so healthy, yummy, and easy at the same time. But the universe made Hot Cheetos, and this is my revenge. This is a Chinese style of cooking tilapia, and my family would always cook the fish in this way before we discovered theContinue reading “Flaky Steamed Tilapia”

Dark Chocolate Tofu Ganache-Mousse

I must be candid with you. Take a seat. Please don’t run away. This is made with tofu. Whew. Glad that’s over with. Here’s the thing: tofu gives this dessert a creamy texture, a texture traditionally achieved through cream and eggs. I didn’t want to go through the laborious process of making real French mousse, so I figuredContinue reading “Dark Chocolate Tofu Ganache-Mousse”

Sweet & Tangy Blueberry Jam

If you’ve been buying store-bought jam, you’ve been missing out.  Real blueberry jam is so ridiculously easy, you could make it every morning to go with your bagel, and then every afternoon to go with your PB&J.  Seriously. Stop buying the jar stuff. It’s filled with weird ingredients, preservatives, and heaping amounts of sugar.  Don’tContinue reading “Sweet & Tangy Blueberry Jam”

The Best Scrambled Egg Method

“And if they make the perfect scrambled egg, you know they know how to cook properly.” — Gordon Ramsay Challenge. Accepted. There was just one problem. See, your usual “perfect scrambled eggs” is defined by a soft and very fluffy egg, one that is barely cooked, dangerously toeing the line between Raw and Done. As an Asian,Continue reading “The Best Scrambled Egg Method”

No-Oven Honey Roasted Almonds

Have you ever had one of those honey roasted soy nuts? Maybe a more accurate description would be, Have you ever had five handfuls of those honey roasted soy nuts? I have. Multiple times. So I did what I always do when I eat something delicious yet simple: examine the Ingredients list, hoping to getContinue reading “No-Oven Honey Roasted Almonds”

Gloriously Fluffy Oatmeal

Is it possible? That a measly 1/4 cup of oatmeal can magically puff up to 1.5 cups of bliss? Yes. See, I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but oatmeal soaks up water. Bask in my intelligence. Normally when you’re cooking oatmeal in the morning (we’re talking old-fashioned oats here), the oatmeal doesn’t have enoughContinue reading “Gloriously Fluffy Oatmeal”

Super Savory “Pancakes”

Flaky, savory, salty, and a little crunchy. You must try these. In Chinese, they’re called cong you bing, literally “Scallion oil pancake.” They look like pancakes, but they’re definitely not. Besides, looks don’t mean a thing in my kitchen. I wear ugly t-shirts on a daily basis. They’re a classic Chinese food, a snack flexibleContinue reading “Super Savory “Pancakes””

Asian-Inspired Guacamole

I’ve been eating this stuff for years, and I didn’t know it was guacamole. In our house, we just called it “avocado salad.” In our house, we ate it as a side dish. We ate it straight. On toast. On crackers. On cold spoons. Under the table. Inside the chicken coop. Upside down. Underwater. What.  WeContinue reading “Asian-Inspired Guacamole”

Delicious Steamed Eggs

Eggs are amazing, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes you run out of stuff to do with them in the mornings. You’ve scrambled them, fried them, baked them, omeletted them. You need something else in your life. Something Asian-inspired. Kinda savory, kinda salty. Me. Ha! No. You need these … Asian Steamed Eggs Taste &Continue reading “Delicious Steamed Eggs”

Asian Sweet Bread & Mung Bean Filling

Have you been to a high-end Chinese bakery before? It goes like this:  An attendant in uniform greets you as you walk in. There is a very subtle sweet smell. Everything is kept behind polished glass, arranged neatly on gleaming smooth shelves. You won’t find a sugar overload here; subtle is key. When they say “NoContinue reading “Asian Sweet Bread & Mung Bean Filling”

Two-Ingredient Chocolate Syrup

Oh. My. Goodness. Throw out your corn syrup. Throw out your heavy whipping cream. Throw out your condensed milk. Forget it all. Today is the day that we found out chocolate syrup is just “chocolate + liquid.” And today, that liquid was good old, regular 2% milk. Here’s the story of how I came acrossContinue reading “Two-Ingredient Chocolate Syrup”

Sweet & Sour Ribs

This ain’t your cheap take-out version of sweet ‘n sour. No “all-you-can-eat,” MSG BS. This is authentic Chinese sweet and sour, applied to spare ribs. These are the best. I know, because my Asian granny taught me how to make this, and my granny is more Asian than yours. Note: This recipe can be appliedContinue reading “Sweet & Sour Ribs”

A Super-Healthy Butter

Peanuts, chickpeas, almonds, hazelnuts. Those are all healthy things by themselves, but when we make butter out of them, we put in a ton of oils. Yes, oils do have good healthy fats, but let’s be honest — how many of us actually only manage to eat recommended servings of anything with the word “butter” in it?Continue reading “A Super-Healthy Butter”

Woke Up Feeling Like Paula Deen

… Found out I wasn’t Paula Deen. This morning at least. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Does that there cake look delicious? Yes. Was it? No. See, I thought I could wake up, throw together some eggs, some flour, some sugar, some ripe bananas, and come out glorious with a dense and delicious banana bread. IContinue reading “Woke Up Feeling Like Paula Deen”

Almond Sesame Chrysanthemum

I went to the local Asian supermarket recently, where I found a green leafy vegetable. I thought they only sold Pocky. The label read “shungiku.” That’s not Chinese, so I’m not obligated to know what that means. But my parents knew exactly what it was — tong hao. It tasted kinda different but it wasn’t tooContinue reading “Almond Sesame Chrysanthemum”