Bella Bruschetta

Broo-sket-tah, Italian for fabulous appetizer, is my go to dish for dinner parties and potlucks.  It requires minimal effort and you can bring something dazzling, flavorful, and healthy to the table.  A small batch of bruschetta goes a long way.  I made a small dish and it served 5, easily.

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Consuming tomatoes provides an array of benefits to your health, including reducing bad cholesterol, improving skin, making stronger bones, fighting cancer, regulating blood sugar, making hair shinier and stronger, and preventing kidney stones and gallstones.  To avoid using white bread, I served bruschetta with whole grain wheat toast for a healthier take on the traditional recipe.

In terms of taste, they say the uglier the tomato, the tastier it is.  Here, I used 10 ounces of mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s.

Recipe after the jump!

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Healthy Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles

Spring has officially begun this week but I’d like to fast forward to summer.  It’s still a bit chilly in San Francisco and I cannot wait for warmer weather.  In the meantime, I’ve made healthy fruit popsicles with strawberries, kiwi, non fat plain Greek yogurt, and unsweetened almond milk.  No added sugar!

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Vegan Miso Orange Glazed Eggplant

Sometimes I forget that vegan cooking can be quite simple.  This eggplant dish is a great lazy meal since it only takes a few minutes to prep.  The rest of the cooking time is baking in the oven so you can set it and forget it.

Did you know that there are 14 varieties of eggplants?  Here, I used the most common one found in American grocery stores – the American or Globe eggplant with its bulbous, pear shape.  If you’d like to create this dish with better presentation, try substituting with the Japanese eggplant with its long and thin shape, cutting in half lengthwise.  You can also garnish with fresh green onions or chilies.

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Recipe after the jump 🙂

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Making Yuzukoshō FTW!

Yuzukoshō is most familiar as green, sublime speckles of heaven on sushi.  Add a dash of ponzu sauce and hello foodgasm!

Yuzukoshō is made from the peel of Yuzu, a specific type of citrus, “koshō” (chills), and salt.

Recipe after the jump 🙂

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Vegetarian Baked Mushroom Ravioli

I bought the frozen mushroom ravioli bag from Trader Joe’s.  I love the ravioli but I’m not a huge fan of the sauce.  Easy fix – discard the sauce and cook the ravioli in butter then baked with fresh grated parmesan cheese.  I also added dry aromatics – ground sage and italian seasoning mix.  The result: crispy edges, soft bits of the mushroom filling, and a subtle but nice sage and italian flavor.

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Recipe after the jump 🙂

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Soft-Boil Eggcellence

Macheesmo.com posted this method for  fail-proof, perfect soft-boiled eggs.  This is truly a game changer.  No more overcooked or undercooked eggs, ever.  The instructions involve boiling eggs in 1/2 inch of water, covered for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  America’s Test Kitchen also validated this method after experimenting with thousands of eggs.

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Here is the result of my replication:
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Adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water is supposed to help with separating the egg-shell when peeling.

A Lighter and Crunchier Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a classic dessert.  It’s  great solution for saving over ripened  bananas and pleasing a crowd at the same time!

I’ve revamped the traditional recipe to make a lighter batter and a crunchy top.  I’ve created a lighter batter by using egg whites instead of the whole egg with yolk.  The inspiration came from the Chinese sponge cake, known for its fluffy airy consistency.  Although banana bread baked with egg whites won’t turn out as airy as Chinese  sponge cake, you’ll notice a lighter texture than regular banana bread.

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If the recipe calls for 2 eggs like this  popular recipe on all recipes.com – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-banana-bread/ – egg whites from 4 eggs would be used instead.  Sprinkle on granulated sugar just before baking and the result will be a crispy, sweet crusty top.

The Best Whipped Butter Spread, Ever

In my opinion, whipped butter is the best thing to come along since sliced bread.  I came up with this super simple recipe to serve whipped butter with dinner rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  Roasted garlic also is amazing when spread on bread, why not have it all?  Add in some chopped fresh herbs and you have a sinfully savory spread.

Roasting garlic in the oven takes about an hour.  You can roast the garlic the day before and finish in about 5 minutes the day you want to serve.

I find that removing the garlic bulb skin before roasting is a lot easier than cutting the bulb in half and wrapping the cloves with the skin in aluminum foil.  It’s a little extra work in the beginning but once the bulbs are roasted, they can just get dumped into a food processor.

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