Thursday, October 20, 2011

Savory Steamed Custard

Savory Steamed Custard
Adapted from Migi's Kitchen

This is a savory steamed custard that is eaten with rice. The delicate silky texture is achieved from the art of steaming. Thanks to Migi's Kitchen website where I learn to master steamed custard. I like my savory custard simple and plain. You can substitute the water for vegetable stock, chicken stock, or even seafood stock or dashi. You can add a few fresh shrimp or shitake mushrooms  (Japanese version), salted shrimp sauce (Korean version) or dried shrimp and Chinese sausages (Chinese version), but I just like it plain. This is such a simple, quick and healthy dish to make.

1-1/2 cups cold water (12 ounces)
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 large or extra large eggs, beaten (5.4 to 6.0 ounces)
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped green onions

In a medium-size bowl, combine the water, salt and sesame oil. Strain the beaten eggs into the water mixture through a fine sieve. Whisk until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Steam on medium-high heat (7.0 on induction cook top) for 10 minutes; then reduce heat to low heat (2.0 on induction cook top) and steam for additional 8 minutes. Custard is firm on the sides and slightly jiggly in the center.

Yield 3 to 4 servings

 What's for Lunch?
Brown rice topped with Savory Steamed Custard, Steamed Spinach and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Banana-Cinnamon Waffles

Banana-Cinnamon Waffles

100% whole-grain and 100% delicious! Just a hint of cinnamon not to overpower the banana flavor, but you can add more cinnamon if you like.

2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (2.8 ounces)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (2.3 ounces)
1/2 cup soy flour (1.0 ounce)
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (1.0 ounce)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (0.8 ounce)
2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice (0.6 ounce)
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups Silk Brand unsweetened plain soy milk or unsweetened almond milk (14 ounces)
3 tablespoons EXTRA LIGHT olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (0.9 ounce)
2 large eggs, beaten (3.6 to 3.8 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1-3/4 large-size very ripe banana, fork mashed (9.6 ounces)

In a very large mixing bowl, combine all four types of flours, flax seeds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir well with a whisk to combine all the ingredients together. Set aside.

In a medium-size bowl or a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the soy milk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Add the soy milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a whisk just until blended. Fold in mashed bananas. Set aside.

Preheat a waffle iron for about 15 to 20 minutes. Coat waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Spread a generous 3/4 cup of batter for two 4-inch thick waffles onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to the edges with a spatula. Cook for 4 minutes or until steaming stops. Repeat cooking procedure with remaining batter.

Top waffles with sliced fresh bananas and drizzle 100% maple syrup over waffles.

Store any leftover waffles in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To reheat, place waffles in a toaster.

Another breakfast tips: Toast leftover waffles and spread with almond butter. You can also top the almond butter with fresh sliced bananas. You can eat it open-faced or top with another toasted waffle to make a breakfast sandwich.

Yields ten 4-inch thick waffles

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oatmeal with Roasted Black Sesame Seeds and Goji Berries

I stayed with my parents for 2-1/2 weeks. During my stay, my father cooked this delicious oatmeal with ground black sesame seeds and Goji berries. At first glance, it didn't look appetizing because the ground roasted black sesame seeds made the oatmeal a bit grayish in color. I LOVE sesame seeds. I sprinkle roasted black and white sesame seeds on almost everything. After one taste of this oatmeal, I was highly addicted. My father would cook this oatmeal every morning for himself. Since I was staying with my parents for awhile, I took over to cook this oatmeal every morning for the three of us. There are a lot of nutritional benefits in eating this oatmeal:

Goji berries: High in antioxidants and beta-carotene, rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and minerals. Great for eye degeneration, prevention of cancer, lower blood glucose, boosting the immune system and lowering cholesterol.

Black sesame seeds: Excellent source of magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and zinc. Supports healthy bones, muscles, blood and the nervous system. Black sesame seeds also aids in digestion and promote bowel movements. Believe it or not: some say it helps your hair stay black. I was already sprinkling roasted sesame seeds over my oatmeal before tasting my father's oatmeal, but it is even more delicious adding them ground. The nuttiness flavor of the sesame seeds is even far more intense which make this oatmeal so delicious and addicting. You just have to try this!

Oats: Great source of soluble fiber that reduces LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Oats may also help stabilize blood glucose levels, which may benefit people with diabetes. Good source of protein, contains many nutrients, such as Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium.

1/3 cup FINELY GROUND oatmeal (1.4 ounces)*
1 tablespoon ground roasted black sesame seeds (0.2 ounce)**
1 tablespoon dried goji berries, lightly rinsed (0.2 ounce)**
1-1/4 cups cold water (10 ounces)
1-1/2 tablespoons organic natural cane sugar (0.6 ounce) or to taste (optional)
Unsweetened almond milk, carton fresh coconut milk or soy milk

*Place old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. This is optional. The reason why my father process his oats is because my father has Dysphagia. He is unable to swallow the whole grain of oats so he needs to have the oats finely process to make the oatmeal more smooth and easier to swallow. I really do enjoy the smooth texture of this oatmeal more than the rolled oat texture so I continue to process the oats when I cook this oatmeal for myself.

**These items can be purchased from an Asian market. Ground roasted black sesame seeds may be labeled as black sesame powder. If you cannot find the ground roasted black sesame seeds (or powder), you can easily make your own which I will post later. Dried goji berries may be labeled as Dried Medlar or Dried Wolfberries.

Microwave Cooking Instructions
In a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup or microwavable container, combine the oatmeal, ground roasted black sesame seeds and goji berries. Stir well. Add the water and stir well again. Place in the microwave oven. Cook at medium-high power (temperature 6) for 7 minutes, pausing microwave after the first 3 minutes of cooking to stir; then continue to cook rest of the time. Remove from the microwave and stir in the sugar. Transfer oatmeal to a serving bowl. Serve with unsweetened almond milk. If you choose not to process the oats to a fine ground, use 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (1.5 ounces) and reduce the amount of water to 1 cup  (8 ounces); microwave on high power (temperature 10) for 3 minutes.
Yield 1 serving

Stove-top Cooking Instructions
In a small saucepan, combine the oatmeal, ground roasted black sesame seeds and goji berries. Add the water and stir well. Bring oatmeal to a boil on high heat, stirring frequently. When oatmeal comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low heat. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Transfer oatmeal to a serving bowl. Serve with unsweetened almond milk. If you choose not to process the oats to a fine ground, use 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (1.5 ounces) and reduce the amount of water to 1 cup (8 ounces); bring water and Goji berries to a boil. Stir in the oatmeal and ground roasted black sesame seeds. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low heat. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
Yield 1 serving

Steel-Cut Oats Version

This recipe works well with steel-cut oats. I love steel-cut oats, aka Irish oatmeal. The texture of steel-cut oats are a bit more chewier with a more creamier and nuttier flavor compared to old-fashioned rolled oats. Steel-cut oats usually takes about 45 minutes to cook. I learned to reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes from watching Martha Stewart cooking Irish oatmeal on television. It really does work! I normally make a large quantity of steel-cut oats and divide the oats into serving-size portions and storing them in the refrigerator. The next morning, I would reheat one portion in the microwave.

6 cups cold water (48 ounces or 3 pounds)
6 tablespoons dried goji berries, lightly rinsed (1.2 ounces)
1-1/2 cups steel-cut oats (9.3 ounces)

6 tablespoons ground roasted black sesame seeds (1.2 ounces)
9 tablespoons organic natural cane sugar (3.6 ounces) or to taste (optional)
Unsweetened almond milk, carton fresh coconut milk or soy milk

In a large saucepan, combine the water and goji berries. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the steel-cut oats. When the oats return to a boil, immediately remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let oatmeal sit at room temperature overnight.

The next morning, stir the oatmeal; then stir in the ground black sesame seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently. When oatmeal comes to a boil, lower temperature to medium-low heat and continued to cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The oatmeal will splatter as it gets thicker so that is why I cover with a lid during cooking. To avoid the oatmeal splattering during stirring, remove the pot from the heat to stir, then return pot to the heat to continue cooking. When the oatmeal is cooked, remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let oatmeal rest for 5 minutes to thicken more, covered (optional). Ready to eat or you can let it cool completely; then divide oatemal into 6 (about 9 ounces) or 7 (about 8 ounces) servings in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat each portion in  the microwave for 1:45 to 2 minutes on high power.

Yield 6 to 7 servings