Lunch

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

My absolute favorite way of preparing salmon is broiling. I only recently discovered this method over this past year or so. As my kitchen in my Hong Kong apartment is simply equipped with a hot plate, microwave, and toaster oven, I have really learned some new cooking techniques. For the first 4-6 months I had been living here, I didn't touch the toaster oven. I grew up with a toaster oven but we only really used it for well, toasting things. English Muffins, melting cheese, etc. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that a toaster oven can do everything a real oven can. Bake, roast, broil. It's incredible and the reason why there have been so many toaster oven recipes on the blog this year, lol! 

Broiling salmon sounds so...aggressive. However, once you've got the timing down pat, you are in for the flakiest, butteriest (is that a word?), moist, and tender salmon ever. The amount of time needed to broil a piece of salmon simply depends on its size (and thickness). I find that a normal fillet takes between 5-8 minutes. The finished fish will be firm but still bounce back to the touch. Any time I have broiled it beyond 8 minutes, the flesh will lean towards rubbery and over-cooked. Again, play with timing for yourself.

My favorite preparation for salmon is simply salt and pepper, and then served with tons of lemon juice after it's cooked. I feel like simple seasoning allows the real flavor of the fish to come out, especially when it's perfectly cooked. And of course, you need a ton of acid with fish. Today I'm sharing a simple classic marinade for salmon that you can enjoy with brown rice and veggies. Simply whisk it together and marinade the fish for at least half an hour. Of course, the longer the better. When it comes time to cook, prepare everything else in the meal first, since the fish will only take 5-8 minutes. You can prepare more marinade on the side, to warm and thicken for serving if you'd like. 

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders

Today I'm sharing a really fun way to get hemp seeds into your families' diet. I am never one to turn down a chicken tender. Seasoned almond flour and hemp seeds are the perfect crust for baked chicken tenders - they turn out deliciously crisp on the outside and are great for dipping. Watch the video recipe below and let's get cookin :) 

Beef Enoki Rolls

Beef Enoki Rolls

Ooooh these are little rolls of magic! Lately I've become obsessed with enoki mushrooms. The bouncy texture, how easy they are to cook, and the way they soak up whatever flavors surround them. They are dirt cheap, and you can toss them into virtually any dish. Growing up, I think I've only really eaten enoki mushrooms when I've gone out to eat hot pot with friends. I always enjoyed them, but they were definitely an afterthought. (Hello, beef!) Recently, however, I've been eating enoki with everything - stir fries, soup, noodle dishes, even salads. Their sweet, mellow flavor is so yum. 

I was inspired by these Japanese Beef Enoki Rolls that I had as part of a lunch set the other day, and couldn't get enough of them. They are simple to prepare and the marinade is actually super versatile and can be used for cooking other protein. Beef Enoki Rolls are tender, juicy, and almost taste like beef jerky - a harmonious blend of soy, ginger, garlic, sake, and sesame oil create an incredibly savory marinade for the thinly sliced beef. Soaking the enoki mushrooms in warm, salted water allows them to soften and gain some flavor. Finally all you've got to do is wrap small bundles of mushrooms in the marinaded beef and pan fry. Searing the meat takes a few minutes, and then you're in flavor heaven. Let's get cookin!

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

I'm going to let you in on one of my tried and true 'recipes', which is totally just a little trick I've been doing since high school whenever I'm really lazy and REALLY hungry. I love chicken wings - and here in Hong Kong, grocery stores sell bags of frozen mid-joint chicken wings. These are my favs - don't get me wrong, I like drumsticks too, but I really love just the wings. In my little HK kitchen, I don't have a proper oven (just a toaster oven). This method of cooking chicken wings on the stove-top is quick, fail-proof, and super flavorful. 

Sometimes you don't have time to go grocery shopping, but you can bet that there'll be some frozen chicken wings in your freezer. You can make these wings with virtually any sauce or marinade that you have in the kitchen, making this the perfect lazy meal! There are simply 2 steps, and 3 ingredients. Simmer the chicken in chicken broth until they're nice and plump (my trick to knowing when they're finished is when the blood clots come out :) and then tossing them in sauce in a skillet. 

Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant pizza is the easiest way to satisfy your pizza cravings when you're trying to cut down on carbs! Using fresh eggplant as a "pizza crust" is a quick and tasty substitute; not to mention how cute they are!! Pizza is such a fun, hands-on meal to make with kids, and what better way to get some extra veggies into your families' diets than to use eggplant slices instead of dough :) 

Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

This is a protein-packed version of good ole fried rice that is the easiest way to use up leftovers in the fridge! Fried rice is a one of my favorite indulgences - there's something so easy and lazy about it. A one-stop-shop that has carbs, protein, and veggies all in one. I've been trying to cut down on carbs (lol so hard) and switching out rice with quinoa is the perfect for doing this. You can probably tell from the influx of quinoa recipes on the blog lately lol! 

I regularly make a variation of this dish every week, depending on whatever I've got in the fridge. Pan-fried tofu and quinoa are the mainstays; anything else is just a bonus! I love tossing in fresh broccoli, onions, and carrots, but you can use frozen veggies, chicken, shrimp, even leftover steak. The options are endless! I love using plum sauce as a little twist in my stir-fries. It's a viscous, light brown sweet and tangy sauce that is amazing with fried tofu, chicken, pork, etc. A mix of fresh ginger, oyster sauce, and plum sauce makes a wonderful sauce that clings to all the great ingredients in this dish. Let's get cookin :)

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Pasta salad is perfect for Springtime! This recipe is an easy and delicious way to stretch out fresh seafood. Tender orzo pasta, roasted salmon, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and salty feta are tossed with a zesty citrus dressing for a beautifully hearty salad. There's something about the texture of orzo pasta that makes me crave it all the time! This Spring salad is great for emptying the fridge - don't have asparagus? Use peas, spinach, or beans! Sub shrimp for salmon or leftover chicken and feel free to use Parmesan instead of Feta :) If you're cutting carbs, toss all these ingredients with crispy Romaine or kale. 

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen)

This dish is a great way to cool down in the Spring/Summer! Hiyashi Chuka can be made with a variety of toppings, but popular ones include: pickled ginger, cucumbers, ham, shrimp, strips of egg crepes, imitation crab, nori strips, wakame seaweed, and sesame seeds. Some other great ideas are carrots, shredded steamed chicken, and tomatoes! The options are endless, and the dressing is so yummy that it'll pull any combination together. This recipe is super simple - shred and julienne all your toppings, whisk up the dressing, and toss the chilled noodles together. You know how certain foods taste even better when eaten cold? The flavors of the sesame, soy, and rice vinegar dressing bring all the toppings to life :) Let's get cookin!

Smashed Avocado Salad

Smashed Avocado Salad

This is my go-to. My Smashed Avocado Salad is the perfect base salad for any time of the day. Top it off with your favorite protein and you have a filling meal that's easy on the calories. Who would have thought that dressing-free salad could be so delicious? Smashed avocado, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper are all you need to cut out those crazy calories that come from just a drizzle of bottled dressing. 

Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese

Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese

The yummiest twist on the classic grilled cheese - Pesto Caprese Grilled Cheese! Caprese-anything is already delicious and really hard for me to resist, so I put that combo in between two slices of crisp, rustic bread? Perfect for Spring. I have a great toaster oven in my apartment and grilled cheese sandwiches have never been easier :) Hot, crisp edges and gooey cheese in minutes. Add a smear of pesto for an added kick - or make it your own and add sundried tomatoes, some spice, a drizzle of balsamic, or even an egg :) This is an easy one, let's get cookin!