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Sesame Pork Meatballs

Sesame Pork Meatballs are the perfect appetizer, hors d’oeuvre, main course, or snack… delicious and healing!
sesame pork meatballs

If it’s getting close to dinner time and I still have no idea what to make or what I’m in the mood for, my go-to is oftentimes some kind of meatball. I always keep a variety of organic ground meats in my freezer just for times like this. This recipe for sesame pork meatballs was born on one of these nights.

I go through phases with foods and cooking. Sometimes I will make the same type of ethnic food for weeks at a time, just because that’s what I’m feelin’ at the time. I learned long ago that when I cook what I’m in the mood for and what my body is craving, the food comes out awesome. If I make something that I really have no interest in… ummmm…. it can come out really bad. And yes, I too have some epic kitchen failures.

Asian food is one cuisine that I have a love-hate relationship with. I can go for months without touching it and then… bam… I have to have it. A lot.

Last week, when I was hot and tired and didn’t feel like cooking but I also didn’t feel like going out, I opened my freezer and peeked in. I did what most of us do: I stood there and stared. I moved some things around as if by doing so something new would appear. Needless to say, it didn’t.

I really do keep several packages of ground meat in the freezer. I’ve got ground lamb, bison, beef, pork, and chicken in there right now as I write this post. When I know the flavors I’m in the mood for, ground meat can become my canvas for those flavors. That’s what happened here. These sesame pork meatballs have a slight Asian taste and that’s exactly what I wanted. And the sesame seed coating makes them a little crunchy… yum… just perfect.

I didn’t use any grains in these meatballs. Instead, I used chickpea crumbs. This is an awesome invention — they are sold in bags in lots of markets now and I just love to substitute them for breadcrumbs. (See the recipe below, for  details on the chickpea crumbs I used.)

These are not messy balls. They can be eaten with your fingers. And that is my favorite way to eat everything. The sesame seed coating helps keep the moisture and juices inside the meatballs… kind of like M&Ms. Well, not exactly, but I think you get the picture. Pick one up, dip it in your favorite Asian dipping sauce, and pop it in your mouth. Perfection.

If you’re a meatball fan like I am, you should also try my recipe for Paleo Buffalo Chicken Meatballs With Ranch.

sesame pork meatballs

I love to customize recipes for specific health concerns. Let me customize a meatball recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

sesame pork meatballs

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this recipe for sesame pork meatballs:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. You can use black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, or a combination of both for this recipe.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular. I used chickpea crumbs instead of breadcrumbs in these meatballs.

sesame pork meatballs

If you make these Sesame Pork Meatballs, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Sesame Pork Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: meatballs, appetizer, hors d'oeuvre, finger food, main course
Cuisine: Asian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-15 balls
 
These meatballs have a slight Asian taste and they are crispy on the outside and so moist on the inside... delicious and healing!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp tandoori spice (or use your favorite Asian spice)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup chickpea crumbs (or substitute your favorite crumbs)
  • ½ cup raw sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a large bowl.
  4. Mush it up with your hands until it's combined.
  5. Form the mixture into golf-ball size balls.
  6. Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate.
  7. Roll the balls in the seeds so they are coated on all sides.
  8. Arrange the balls on the tray so that they are not touching each other.
  9. Bake for 10 mins, then flip them over and bake for another 10 mins or until they are cooked through.
  10. Serve alone or with your favorite Asian dipping sauce.
  11. Enjoy!

sesame pork meatballs

Szechuan Zoodles

This recipe will actually make you feel cooler and calmer…

szechuan zoodles

It’s holiday season, but in my book that doesn’t mean everything we eat has to be heavy and traditional. This dish is neither, but it’s awesome. When I brought a big bowl of these Szechuan Zoodles to my family’s Hanukkah party, they certainly looked non-traditional next to the latkes but they made everyone happy. I’m all for healthy and happy, so if I were you, I’d give this dish a shot at your holiday party!

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest and the beautiful pics kind of called to me, so I knew I was going to have to make some version of them!

I’ve made zoodle dishes before and some have them have been great, while some have been only so-so. While I do love these vegetable noodles, I am a true pasta fanatic, so sometimes I end up a little disappointed. This dish is especially great because the zucchini noodles are mixed with buckwheat noodles, so in the end, this slurpy and spicy pasta dish tastes like real pasta. That’s always a really good thing…

And the dressing… OMG… it’s spicy and sweet and peanut buttery and it’s made in the blender… so it’s easy.

A real pasta dish that’s paleo, healing, spicy, slightly sweet, vibrant, and fresh… who could ask for anything more?

For another awesome paleo pasta dish try my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Fettuccine.

szechuan zoodles

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these Szechuan Zoodles:

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better when you are feeling hot. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

Buckwheat is great to eat if you have diarrhea. It also helps lower blood pressure, stops some types of sweating, and has a good amount of vitamin E. It also contains antioxidants that can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use black or white seeds, or a combination of both.

Peanuts, contrary to what some believe, are actually good for many things in your body. I don’t often let myself eat them because they sometimes contain mold and it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic healthy peanuts. But, these popular nuts are great for lessening edema; they act like a diuretic. They can also help you if you have insomnia or if you are breast feeding. An old-time remedy is to made peanut tea and drink it for bed to promote sleep. And, peanut shells used to be used to help with high blood pressure.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use green pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

szechuan zoodles

Szechwan Zoodles
Author: 
Recipe type: zoodles, pasta, spaghetti, spicy, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Asian
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This dish is made with zucchini noodles and buckwheat spaghetti. The sauce is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet! It's paleo, healthy, and comforting!
Ingredients
  • 20 oz zucchini noodles (I bought mine pre-zoodled, but I would guess 2 large zucchini would do the trick if you are spiralizing them yourself)
  • 1 lb buckwheat spaghetti, cooked al dente (I used these buckwheat/sweet potato ones)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (here's an organic one)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos (you can buy it here)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  • 2 Tbs hot chili oil
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (buy organic ones here)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10 baby bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 hot pepper, sliced
Instructions
  1. Boil the buckwheat noodles, just until they are cooked al dente.
  2. Drain them and run cold water over them while you toss them around with your hands to make sure they don't stick together.
  3. Place the buckwheat noodles and the zucchini noodles in a large bowl.
  4. Make the dressing: Put the peanut butter, tahini, aminos, lime juice, coconut sugar, chili oil, sesame oil, coconut milk, and ¼ cup hot water into your blender. Whiz it up until very creamy.
  5. Put the remaining ingredients into the bowl with the noodles.
  6. Add in as much dressing as you like and toss with your hands (you will probably have some extra dressing).
  7. Enjoy!

szechuan zoodles

Sesame Green Beans

Sesame green beans are a staple in my house… they are so simple, so healing, and they can be served at room temperature!

sesame green beans

Every now and then I feel the need to post a really simple but delicious recipe. Sometimes I get a little too chef-y and I forget that simple is often better. Well, you can’t get more simple than this recipe for sesame green beans. And, you can’t get any better either!

What’s better than a fresh veggie, cooked perfectly so that it’s crisp-tender? These green beans are slightly steamed, then tossed with a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and sea salt.  That’s it.  Nothing chef-y about the prep, only in the taste! Everyone will love this…

This side dish has been my go-to all summer long. It goes great with grilled meats, with my favorite paleo pasta dishes, and honestly, there’re nothing better than grabbing a leftover handful straight out of the fridge. I think these beans taste best cold or at room temperature, so that makes it even easier. You can make these awesome green beans way before you plan to serve them and, I can’t stress this enough: they are so easy to make!

For another simple vegetable dish, make my Simple Baby Bok Choy recipe.

sesame green beans

There are only a few ingredients in this recipe, but they are great healing ones:

Green beans have a lot of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B, and iron. Eating green beans can help rid the body of toxins and can help regulate metabolism. They also can help relieve that feeling of excessive fullness in your stomach and excessive belching. In Chinese medicine, green beans are eaten to clear up chronic diarrhea and even for some lower back pain.

Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use black or white seeds, or a combination of both.

sesame green beans

Sesame Green Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: American, side dish, simple
Cuisine: vegetables, beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Fresh green beans are gently steamed and then tossed with toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds... this is the perfect side dish for everything... and it's so easy!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam the beans just until they are slightly tender. Don't overcook them!
  2. Drain and toss with remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
  4. Enjoy!

sesame green beans

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls

These Vietnamese Meatball Bowls are deliciously Asian flavored… they will make you smile!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Almost all meatballs are awesome. But these meatballs are extra awesome. They are made with pork and infused with some traditional Vietnamese flavors. They are bit-sized, juicy, mouth watering, amazingly flavorful meatballs. (I do realize how over the top that sounds, but I’m sticking with it…)

Almost all food tastes better when it’s turned into a “bowl”. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bowl bandwagon, don’t wait even another minute. A “bowl” is a complete meal served in… a bowl! It’s extra special because you get so many great flavors together in one place. And they are so easy to customize to reflect your own particular tastes.

One of my favorite food bloggers, Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum, posted her awesome recipe for Banh Mi Bowls With Lemongrass Meatballs. I found that recipe so inspiring that I created this recipe for Vietnamese Meatball Bowls.

This bowl has it all. It’s got deliciously moist pork meatballs. The meatballs are on top of spiced cauliflower rice. And crispy pea pods. And a few different kinds of peppers. And fresh aromatic herbs. It’s got so much flavor. And it’s grain-free and dairy-free. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly. And, it’s easy to make. And it tastes great as leftovers the next day. Is that enough? I’m getting hungry again just writing this.

If you are looking for another great meatball recipe, try my Lamb Meatballs With Herbs And Kale recipe.

Vietnamese meatball bowlsVietnamese meatball bowls

Here are some of the great ingredients in this Vietnamese Meatball Bowls:

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Lemongrass is great for lots of digestive issues; it can help with stomach pains and vomiting. It’s also good to include lemongrass in your diet when you have a cold and it’s been known to help people with arthritic joint pain.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. It can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification. So, as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Mint is a Chinese herb called Bo He. It’s one of the best things to fight a cold, sore throat, or fever and it’s good for some abdominal pains too.

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Vietnamese Meatball Bowls
Author: 
Recipe type: bowl, meatballs, cauliflower rice
Cuisine: Recipe adapted from: Pinch Of Yum
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Moist and flavorful pork meatballs sit atop spiced cauliflower rice and are surrounded by crisp snow peas and peppers.
Ingredients
  • For meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 Tbs lemongrass paste (or you can buy a jar of sliced lemongrass and mince it up really fine)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs sriracha
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or substitute soy sauce or fish sauce)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • For rice:
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (buy it already riced or place one head of cauliflower florets in your food processor and pulse it just until it's like rice)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • For the bowls:
  • fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 2 Tbs for each bowl)
  • fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (I like about 1 Tbs for each bowl)
  • pappadew peppers, sliced (as many as you like)
  • fresh pea pods or snap peas (as much as you like), briefly sauteed or steamed (they should still be crisp)
  • 1 hot red pepper, sliced (or more if you like things spicy)
  • 2 limes, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1 jar of pickled vegetables (I used pickled ginger carrots, but there are so many awesome varieties available).
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mush it all together with your hands and form into small balls. Place the balls on the tray, so that they are not touching each other.
  4. Place the tray in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a pot with the turmeric, salt and pepper, and broth. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the rice is just softened a bit.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, divide the cauliflower rice among the bowls. Top with meatballs and surround with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Enjoy!

Vietnamese meatball bowls

Turmeric Chicken

Turmeric is so healing, so why not use it whenever you can? This turmeric chicken is a crowd-pleaser… it’s so good!

turmeric chicken

Every year there are a few foods that just seem to show up everywhere. Last year it was kale. There were kale salads, kale pestos, kale smoothies… And while I was starting to feel a little “kale-ed out”, I do still make some of these recipes, because, well, they are just plain good!

This recipe has no kale in it… It’s an organic, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free meal that will reduce inflammation in your body. And, the colors are bright and vibrant. So, if you eat with your eyes first like I do, you will be smiling even before you take the first bite.

This year, turmeric seems to be the “it ingredient”. And it’s an awesome ingredient at that! For years, I’ve been using turmeric to heal inflammation in the body. I bet you didn’t know that turmeric is actually a Chinese herb! (See below and I’ll explain it to you.) I’ve always loved adding turmeric to my smoothies and to pots of chili and to my curries, but now I’m expanding my use of this awesome herb into more everyday-type recipes. This chicken is one of them. Really, it’s simple pan-roasted chicken with a great turmeric sauce. It tastes a little Chinese, a little Indian, and a lot delicious!

You can make this turmeric chicken recipe mild or spicy. I made mine fairly spicy, mainly because my son was coming for dinner and he likes everything ridiculously spicy… I served it with a grain-free garlicky fettuccine and it was just perfect. I made enough so that there are plenty of leftovers in the fridge, which worked out really well because leftover chicken is just awesome for lunch during the week!

If you are looking for more recipes using turmeric, here’s one of my favorite smoothie recipes: Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie.

turmeric chickenturmeric chicken

Here are some of the reasons this recipe is so awesome:

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. The creamy sauce in this turmeric chicken recipe is made with coconut milk, making it taste rich while healing you!

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Vinegar has anti-bacterial capabilities, can help speed up circulation, reduce blood clots, and can help with post-partum dizziness.

turmeric chicken

Turmeric Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, one-pan meal
Cuisine: Indian, Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This chicken is warming, healing, simple, and delicious... and it's made in one-pan!
Ingredients
  • 8 bone-in organic chicken thighs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup liquid aminos
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 lge hot red pepper, sliced (or to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. (Mine took about 10 minutes on each side.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk, liquid aminos, turmeric, and vinegar.
  4. When the chicken is browned, pour the coconut milk mixture into the spaces between the chicken. (I prefer not to pour it directly on top of the chicken so that it stays crispier.)
  5. Add the garlic, pepper slices, and bay leaf to the sauce in between the chicken.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let simmer for about 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Then, remove the cover and let the sauce boil a bit to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

turmeric chicken

Simple Baby Bok Choy

This simple baby bok choy is the perfect side dish for everything!

simple baby bok choy

I get yelled at all of the time for not sharing some of my simplest recipes. Okay, yelled may be a bit strong. I get questioned a lot as to why I don’t share some of my simplest recipes.

I’m always so mindful of not talking down to people. I mean, there are just so many things that I don’t do well and I would hate it if someone made me feel bad about those things. So, I don’t post some of my easiest recipes because I never want anyone to feel that I think they are not on the ball.

Anyway, enough rambling… here’s how I make my simple bok choy. And I make it a lot. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. This simple baby bok choy goes so well with so many things. And you can spruce it up any way you like. I love to cover it with sesame seeds. Or sometimes I will drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on it. Or, sometimes I like to pick it up with my hands and dip it in spicy mayo. (I know, it sounds a bit off, but it’s really good!)

Here’s a recipe of mine for Chili With Bok Choy... you’re gonna love it!

simple baby bok choysimple baby bok choy

This really is the perfect simple, healthy side dish:

In Eastern medicine, bok choy is used to quench thirst, aid digestion, prevent constipation and treat diabetes. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and fiber. And there are only 20 calories in one cup of Bok Choy. So, it’s good for you, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes good.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

I am a big fan of replacing regular table salt with sea salt. Sea salt is not processed very much, allowing the minerals (and there are many) to remain in a state in which the human body can easily process them. Salt actually can help with various skin conditions, is good for your teeth, helps with some painful eye condition and can help stave off muscle cramps. It helps with digestion and it lessens the effects of food poisoning. Salt is actually a Chinese herb called Mang Xiao and is used to treat constipation and eye conditions.

Simple Baby Bok Choy
Author: 
Recipe type: vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Just plain bok choy. It's simple and it's deliciously healthy!
Ingredients
  • One huge bag of baby bok choy.
  • 10 quarter-sized slices of fresh peeled ginger
  • sea salt
  • optional toppings: sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, spicy mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Add about 1-inch of water to a large pot. Add lots of sea salt and bring it to a boil.
  2. Drop in the bok choy and the ginger.
  3. Give it a stir to make sure it's all wet.
  4. Cover the pot and lower the heat a bit.
  5. Let cook a few minutes, then uncover and stir it up.
  6. Check your bok choy after a few minutes, because as soon as it's how you like it, shut off the heat and drain the pot.
  7. Make sure not to overcook this delicate vegetable!
  8. Top with sesame seeds or drizzle a bit of toasted sesame oil on top and sprinkle more salt as you see fit.
  9. Me, I'm dipping mine in spicy mayo...
  10. Enjoy!

simple baby bok choy

Hot And Sour Soup

Once you make this homemade hot and sour soup, you won’t want take-out again!

Hot And Sour Soup-0852

It’s freezing here in New York. I’m not complaining, because the winter has been so mild, but the mild weather did stop me from making as many pots of hot soup as I usually do. This hot and sour soup made me realize how much I miss having a big pot of healing warming soup in the fridge at all times!

When I was a kid I remember getting hot and sour soup from the Chinese restaurant and we used to top it with those deliciously fried Chinese crispy noodles… does anyone else remember this? I’m so out of the take-out food loop now that I don’t even know if you still get those little waxy bags of crunchy noodles… But, this soup recipe is so good that it doesn’t need the noodles. Really. I did, however, put little dots of sriracha in mine at the end because it looks pretty and made it extra awesome.

The beauty of hot and sour soup is that you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. Did you know that the spice comes from black pepper? I remember being surprised at that the first time I made it… but this makes it even easier to prepare and to shop for.  You can customize it with whatever mushrooms you like (I rehydrated some dried shiitakes) and whatever seaweed you like (if any).  I added pork to this pot, but feel free to use chicken or if you are vegan, use tofu.

So, this week we kept this pot of comforting, warming, spicy soup in a big pot in the fridge for 4 days. We ate a lot of it. Like, an embarrassing amount. But it’s so good. And it’s so light and healthy. And it just makes you feel good. And, I also remembered another thing that happens here when there’s a pot of soup in the fridge all week. Today I went to take the pot out, got my bowl and spoon ready, opened the lid, and saw about 1/4 cup of soup left in the bottom of the pot. It’s like leaving one sheet of toilet tissue in the bathroom… ugh!!!! So disappointing, but so typical!

If you want to jump on the soup bandwagon, you should definitely also make a pot of my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup.

Hot And Sour Soup (rehydrated shiitakes)-0831

Here’s some of the great things in this soup:

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the variety of mushroom that I use most. I love the way they taste and they help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. These shrooms also promote healing and have been found to fight tumors. In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are often fed to a patient who has just had surgery to help the healing process.

I like to use some type of seaweed in my hot and sour soup. I used nori in this pot because it’s what I had on hand, but feel free to use whatever type you like. Seaweed is good for your thyroid gland and your lymphatic system. If you have swelling in your body or you are retaining water, seaweed is great because it acts as a diuretic. In the olden days, seaweed was fed to people to get rid of goiters and tuberculosis.

Bamboo shoots actually make you feel better if you have overeaten and are feeling full and bloated or if you have diarrhea. And, if you have a hangover, reach for the bamboo shoots because they will help you feel better faster. This vegetable can also act as a diuretic, so if you have edema, this would be good for you.

Black pepper is a Chinese herb (Hu Jiao). It helps relieve vomiting and food poisoning.

Pork strengthens the digestive system, helps with constipation, and can moisten a dry cough and other dryness in the body. It’s also good to strengthen your qi and give you energy.

Hot And Sour Soup

Hot And Sour Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Recipe adapted fromthekitchn.com. This is better than take-out. It's delicious, healthy, and so incredibly warming!
Ingredients
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes (be sure to save the soaking liquid to add to the soup)
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos (or soy sauce) (you can buy aminos here)
  • ⅓ lb pork cutlet, sliced into thin strips (or use tofu for a vegan version)
  • 5 oz can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper
  • 7 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch whisked together with 4 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs nori krinkles (or substitute another type of seaweed) (you can get them here)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Optional toppings: extra nori, drizzle of sriracha
Instructions
  1. Soak the mushrooms in a small bowl of water. Drain them and reserve the soaking liquid. Slice the shrooms.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the chicken broth, aminos, and sea salt.
  3. When it comes to a boil, add the mushroom soaking liquid, pork strips, nori, and bamboo shoots.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vinegar and black pepper.
  6. Bring to a full boil, and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until the soup begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the egg -- stir continuously until it looks like egg drop soup.
  8. Ladle into bowls and top with additional nori and sriracha if desired.
  9. Enjoy!