Wednesday, July 29, 2009

healthier banana bread

i know i said before that i don't like bananas, but i absolutely love banana bread. for a few days, we had some bananas sitting around slowly growing older, so i kept a careful eye on them, ready to pounce with my masher as soon as they were ready. and when they were, i happened to stumble upon this recipe from the talented Christina Kim.
the recipe not only promised a banana bread that was delicious and nutritious, we also happened to have all the ingredients at home. ok, so we had fat free plain yogurt instead of greek and we had no vanilla, but besides that we followed the recipe. it turned out great, although some people (my mom) said it was not moist enough. true, it was drier than your traditional banana bread, but it was still tasty in its own way.

Monday, July 27, 2009

vamanos a la mission!

(i hope i said that right. i haven't taken spanish since 7th grade)

like any good san franciscan, i am absolutely in love with my city. if you ever come to sf and need a tour guide, i'm your girl. one place i would most definitely take you to is the mission, our mexican neighborhood.

mr. burbujas can't wait to see you!

if you are in the mission on a weekend and you see this delightful, yet disturbing, art work outside of la gallinita, go in immediately and get yourself some tacos and quesadillas!. during the week, la gallinita is a butcher shop, but on weekends they serve food.

a satisfying lunch. you've got a taco (pictured here: cabeza, which means "face" and is cheek meat. just try it, it melts in your mouth) and the completely genius creation of chorizo and potatoes wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried.


you can also go with carne asada (grilled steak) for your taco. or a number of other fillings, including chorizo (my favorite) or sesos (brains. yum!)
after lunch, stroll around a bit, checking out mexican markets, a multitude of murals, and some great dollar stores, before returning to 24th and harrison for the amazingness that is humphry slocombe ice cream.

pictured: 1 scoop of peanut butter curry + 1 scoop of oolong tea.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

easy curry, parts 2 and 3

two variations on the aforementioned easy curry.
first one is with lentils, second one is with about a cup total of kidney beans and black beans. they both have half an onion, one carrot, and about 1/4 cup trader joe's punjab spinach sauce.

saute your vegetables until just starting to get soft, about 5-10 minutes. add your legumes, stir, add your sauce, and heat, stirring for about 3 minutes. top with your favorite chutney (i used suki's mint chutney and i looked, but can't find a website for them. its available at the ferry building farmer's market in san francisco though) or plain yogurt and almonds.
this is one of the things i make when i need a quick lunch and want to use up some leftovers. just throw pretty much whatever veggies you have in there, add some beans or lentils (trader joe's sells pre-cooked lentils which makes this dish super fast and easy), and your favorite indian sauce, and you have a warm, comforting, and healthy lunch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

spicy soba noodles with shiitakes and cabbage

first of all, i love this dish because it has so many fun to say ingredients. you've got the alliteration of "spicy soba", then "shiitakes" which is fun because it has two i's in a row, and also the word looks like "shit" (well, that is fun if you're immature. i am obviously way too mature to be amused by such childish things), and to top it all off, you've got "edamame", which really rolls off the tongue.
anyhoo, both of us twins have long been fans of soba salads and soups. the salads, served cold, are perfect for a rare san francisco hot day, and the soups are exactly what you need when the fog inevitably rolls in.
so when i saw this recipe on smitten kitchen, i knew i had to try it.

yum! we used straw mushrooms (1 can) instead of shiitakes because that's all the grocery store had. we also used the thai chili paste, but this dish was not super spicy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

chocolate, date, and almond milk smoothies

"I'm taking you to cafe gratitude," my mom recently announced.
Tempted as i was to try amazing raw vegan food, i had always avoided the place because of the, for lack of a better word, hippy-ness, of it.
"Fine," I said, "but I'm not ordering my dish out loud. I'll just point to the menu."
"Stop being so judgmental," she replied, "they're very nice people."
So we went and when it came time to order, I found myself telling the rather perky waitress, "I am graceful". The thing about cafe gratitude is that all of their dishes are positive affirmations. So you order an "I am graceful" (bowl with quinoa, veggies, and cashews, and delicious enough to put up with the ridiculous atmosphere) then the waitress comes to your table, sets down your plate and says, "You are graceful" (which i'm not at all, btw. but apparently cafe gratitude is too positive to name a dish "I am exceedingly awkward and clumsy").
The most delicious thing of the lunch was dessert, a chocolate and date smoothie ("I am luscious").

Rita and I loved it so much, we decided to try and replicate it at home.
chocolate, date, and almond milk smoothie
serves 1
adapted from recipes included in the ultimate liquor-free drink guide and the complete book of raw food.
*3/4 cup almond milk (we made our own from this recipe. if you buy sweetened almond milk, you might not need as many dates and as much vanilla in your smoothie.)
*1 banana, frozen
*2 dates, soaked for 1/2 hour to an hour and pitted
*1 tablespoon hot chocolate powder (or carob if you want it vegan)
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. blend all ingredients until smooth.
variation: I don't like bananas that much, and this shake had a definite banana flavor. I made another the next day with 1/2 a frozen banana and 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt. I liked the flavor of that better, but it wasn't as thick. But for those of you who like bananas (which is most people. i'm weird, i guess), the first recipe is perfect.
Also, our recipe is more breakfast food than dessert.
edit: cafe gratitude's original recipe, which i have not seen, is available in their cookbook, "I Am Grateful".

Friday, July 17, 2009

baked mahi mahi with potatoes, rosemary and garlic

sometimes there's a good story to tell about a dish, and sometimes its just "i thought i should make dinner and there was some mahi mahi in the freezer, so i searched epicurious and found a recipe."
the recipe i found was Marcella Hazen's baked fish with potatoes, rosemary, and garlic.
it was simple, delicious, and comforting.

it would probably be just as good without the breadcrumbs, if you don't feel like buying any.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

super quick huevos rancheros

i'm a little embarrassed to post this, because its barely even a recipe. but it was delicious, easy, and healthy, so you should make it anyway.
all you do is take 1 can of mexican style diced tomatoes (if you have plain, add some chopped green chilies--i think that's the only thing that makes them "mexican"), throw it in a skillet and heat for a few minutes, crack two eggs into the pan, and wait until your eggs are cooked (5 minutes maybe--i broke the eggs, which is why you can see egg pieces in the photo and not a whole egg, but if you are a more experienced egg cook than me, i'm sure you'll manage to cook the eggs whole and correctly), and you have a yummy dish for two. serve with refried beans (also from a can) and warm corn tortillas.
see? only two ingredients, one of which is canned. it reminds me a little of my 6th grade home ec. class, which involved many "recipes" that were variations on the basic theme "different things spread on pillsbury biscuits". the class also involved sitting next to an evil girl who giggled ALL THE TIME, especially when the guy i had a crush on asked her out IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. but that is another story, and clearly one i am still a little bitter about, so we shall stop talking about in now, and enjoy our delicious, yet inauthentic and not from scratch, huevos rancheros.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Back in high school, my friend Onjira would sometimes bring in home-made brownies for all of us. We all loved them, especially Eva, who would always take at least 5. So a few days ago, a friend from high school came over and we decided to bake brownies to bring to Onjira's birthday party the next night. We put almonds in them to deter Eva (she hates nuts), but it turned out that was unnecessary, since they were so good we ended up eating them all ourselves. Here's the recipe we used: best ever cocoa brownies from epicurious.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

shrimp risotto with baby spinich and basil

one weird thing about moving to new york was getting used to seasons. the weather in san francisco is delightfully random, completely free of the schedule followed on the east coast. 2 weekends ago, it was so hot i ended up with a horrible sunburn and the most perfect white tank top strap line ever, but by thursday it was foggy again. yesterday was sunny enough during the day to trick me into going to a giants night game wearing only a light hoodie (mistake. but giants won, yay!) and today all i could see out my window was a heavy blanket of fog, the kind that makes me want to stay inside all day and eat warm, creamy, comfortable foods.
so, naturally, shrimp risotto with spinich and basil sounded like just the thing. and it turned out delicious!
it was my first time making risotto, and it was pretty easy. the only slightly annoying thing was having to stay in the kitchen to add broth and stir every five minutes. for entertainment while doing this, i recommend listening to this song, dancing around, singing along into a wooden spoon, and taking "artsy" photos of your stove.

p.s. i've been playing around with editing the photos a little. i don't think i actually made this look any more attractive though? well, hopefully i will get the hang of it and the photos on this site will improve.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

black beans + plantains

another quick and easy recipe to use up our leftover plantains.
we spent last weekend at various sf pride events with friends. on sunday, rita had a lovely black bean and plantain pupusa from a street fair vendor, and this is inspired by that.
black bean and plantain lunch
serves 2
*1 can black beans (we used trader joe's caribbean style, which have some peppers and garlic mixed in. if you use plain, you can add 2-3 cloves minced and sauteed garlic)
*1/2 a plantain, sliced into medium-thick pieces
*vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
*about 1/2 cup corn kernels
*about 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese
1. heat up about 1 inch of oil in a pan. add plantains and fry, flipping over once, until light brown on each side.
2. drain black beans and heat up in a pot. add corn. stir occasionally and cook until hot, about 3 minutes.
3. mix plantains in with beans, put on two plates, and sprinkle cheese over each serving.
we served ours over whole wheat pitas, because that's what we had. tortillas would be more authentic. or you could make your own pupusas to top with these ingredients.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

chicken souvlaki +greek salad

a few years ago, we went to Athens, and even though we were only there a few days, it was one of my favorite places i've ever been. i tried to think of a good way to describe it, but all i can come up with is that it felt very alive.

in Athens, we would frequent a restaurant that we called "the Souvlaki King". I don't know if it was actually called that or if we just made it up because the real name was in Greek. anyway, the tables were all crammed together on the sidewalk and the waiters would try and get you in and out as fast as possible. you'd sit down and within 2 seconds, someone would bring a menu and take your order, than 2 seconds later, someone else would fling a plate of delicious souvlaki onto your table.

souvlaki is greek kabobs, made with meat, lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano.
this recipe is from prevention magazine. we have a lot of old issues of prevention because my mom's strategy for fitness and health is to buy a magazine or book, read it, think about the advice, and never do it. we also have a lot of unused fitness dvds and one of those big inflatable balls. (btw, she reads this blog. hi mom! love you!)
anyhoo, the recipe turned out delicious and is healthy too. we used chicken instead of pork because that's what we had.
served with a salad of tomato, onions, cucumber, and feta, plus whole wheat pitas and spicy hummus.