Posts

Sweet And Spicy Chicken Drumsticks

These sweet and spicy chicken drumsticks are a go-to recipe in my house — ball games, picnics, pig-outs… Read more

Buckwheat Ramen Soup

buckwheat ramen soup

What is it about ramen that makes it so good that I will eat it even on a hot summer day? I mean, usually, if you told me I was going to have hot soup for dinner in August, I’d run the other way. But not with ramen. It’s just so good! And this buckwheat ramen soup is one of my all-time favorite recipes.

I like to eat grain-free whenever possible. I also love pasta and noodles of all kinds. Now, I could make this soup using all different types of vegetable noodles, like zucchini, carrot, parsnip, etc. This recipe from feedfeed is awesome if you want to give the veggie noodle ramen a try. The buckwheat ramen noodles that are available in stores now are amazing, so I say give this a try! It’s close to real, authentic ramen noodles.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, buckwheat (despite its name) is not a grain, it’s a seed. So, it’s like hitting the jackpot with these packaged noodles.

The other day, my niece was coming over for dinner. I didn’t give this dinner any thought at all during the day. Then, all of a sudden, at about 4pm, I realized I better make sure I have the ingredients to make something. Anything edible would do. I looked in my pantry, and saw a package of buckwheat ramen noodles. And, I have to tell you that even though it’s hot here in New York in August, nobody complained — it was the perfect dinner.

I served the hot bowls of ramen with cold old-fashioned tomato sandwiches. Can I just say, this was an amazing dinner. So, I’m telling you that you have to make this buckwheat ramen soup. And soon. Don’t wait til winter.

And, if you want another great summer noodle dish, try my recipe for Szechuan Zoodles.

buckwheat ramen soup

There are a bunch of great healing ingredients in this buckwheat ramen soup:

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. Buckwheat is a seed, not a grain, so no inflammation here!

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Ginger is also great for some digestive issues. 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).

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.

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. I used a hot pepper sauce in this recipe (Sriracha) and I added some sliced jalapeños at the end — do whatever makes you happy!

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….

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

buckwheat ramen soup

Buckwheat Ramen Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, ramen, lunch, dinner, main course
Cuisine: Asian, vegetarian, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Buckwheat ramen noodles are genius! This ramen soup has everything you want, but none of the usual grains or gluten. This is comfort in a bowl... and so healthy!
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, boiled for 5 minutes, then cooled in ice water for awhile, then peeled and cut in half
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 Tbs yellow miso
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp sriracha sauce
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1 large head of bok choy, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 3 Tbs liquid aminos
  • 1 cup shredded or spiralized carrots
  • 3 buckwheat ramen noodle cakes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  2. Saute about 5 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
  3. Add the garlic, miso, and ginger. Cook, stirring about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the sriracha and cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vinegar, and use it to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the broth, bok choy, carrots, and aminos.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the bok choy is slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the buckwheat ramen noodles, poking them with a fork or tongs to break them up. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the noodles are al dente (about 4 minutes). NOTE: Do not overcook these noodles, or they may become gummy!
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each bowl with 2 egg halves and a few slices of jalapeños.
  10. Enjoy!

buckwheat ramen soup

Orange Peel Chicken

Chicken and oranges pair so well together and orange peels are great for your digestion… enter: orange peel chicken!

orange peel chicken

This past weekend I was at my son’s college graduation. I’m such a proud mom and I just love that kid so much that of course now in the days past the graduation all I’m doing is thinking about him. He likes to cook, so I love to come up with recipes that I think he would like and that are easy to prepare. This one fits the bill — but when he makes it I’m sure a lot of hot peppers will go into the sauce.

I love chicken dishes with fruit. A great friend of mine once made me his version of Caribbean chicken with lots or oranges and lemons and cherries. This was many years ago, and I still think about that dish today.  So, these things had me thinking…

I know, I really should get a life. All I do is think about food…

My favorite lemonade is made with whole lemons (here’s that recipe) — peel and everything. And I absolutely love grating lime zest on everything! So, when I was making orange chicken the other day, I figured why not use the whole orange. Yup, this orange peel chicken uses the entire orange — peel and everything.

All I did was put all of my orange sauce ingredients into my Vitamix, whiz it up and cook the chicken in it. Not only is this recipe delicious, but I underestimated the amount of sauce my ingredients would make and I had enough sauce to freeze half of it for another time… which is definitely a really good thing! There’s nothing better than a freezer stocked with awesome sauces…

orange peel chickenorange peel chicken

Nutritionally speaking, this chicken is awesome:

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

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).

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…

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….

orange peel chicken

Orange Peel Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: chicken, poultry, main dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Toss some whole oranges into your blender (peel and all), add a few more ingredients, cook the chicken in this delicious mixture, and you will have a delicious and healthy dinner.
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lb)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large oranges (organic if possible), washed, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs sliced fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plum sauce or hoisin sauce or korean bbq sauce (use whatever healthy version is available)
  • 1 -1/2 tsp sriracha
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp five spice powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the chicken on both sides in the oil, about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Place all of the remaining ingredients into a blender and whiz it up until it's really smooth. (I used my Vitamix so this didn't take too long.)
  6. When the chicken is browned, pour enough of your blended orange sauce into the pan so that the chicken is mostly covered. Stir to coat the chicken.
  7. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken, shaking off excess sauce, to a baking sheet.
  9. (I saved my extra sauce and put it in the freezer for another time!)
  10. Place the sheet under the broiler until the sauced chicken starts to char a bit (about 3 minutes).
  11. Enjoy!

orange peel chicken

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed sweet potatoes are a great go-to last minute dinner — stuff them with whatever makes you happy!

Stuffed Butternut Squast (lr edit)-0126

I was in the kitchen and I had no clue what to make for dinner. It’s not that I didn’t have any ideas, it’s that I was feeling kind of lazy (OK, more than kind of lazy) and I didn’t want to go to the market. But, as I was looking around, I really felt that everything I was in the mood for required an outing, which required more energy than I was willing to put forth.

I had a few sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving. And these were no ordinary sweet potatoes. These tubers were almost as big as my head. I mean, obscenely huge. It was time to get them off of my counter (I mean, they were taking up so much room and I needed the space…), so I poked them with holes and roasted them in the oven. For a long time. They were so big that it took about an hour and a half for them to be done!

While they were cooking, I had a lot of time to create a stuffing.  I’ll admit that some my incentive came from my desire to forage within the confines of my kitchen so I could avoid having to put my coat on to go outside… And, let me tell you, this recipe is a keeper. Butternut squash, tomatoes, sage, pomegranate seeds, avocado, jalapeños… sooooooooo good!

Feel free to use creative license with this recipe. Use whatever you have in your fridge. I finished mine off with a drizzle of spicy sriracha mayonnaise… this, I highly recommend…

Butternut squash tomatoes sage on tray (lr edit)-0094

These stuffed sweet potatoes are delicious and good for you…there are some really amazing ingredients:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

Jalapenos contain capsaicin which has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and E. In Chinese medicine, we know that eating bitter and spicy foods can keep the body warm in the winter and can help get rid of an infection. Spicy foods can also help tremendously with certain types of arthritis and can benefit heart function.

Stuffed Sweet Potato (white background)-0149

 

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Butternut Squash, Avocado, And Jalapeños
Author: 
Recipe type: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, main course
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: serves 2
 
These sweet potatoes are stuffed with butternut squash, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeños, and pomegranate seeds... they make for an awesome simple and healthy vegetarian meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 lb cubed butternut squash
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 7 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • ½ of an avocado, diced
  • 14 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sriracha
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and roast it in the oven until it's done (my sweet potato was so huge that it took 1-1/2 hours in the oven!)
  3. Place the squash, tomatoes, and sage on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer.
  4. Place this tray in the oven and roast until the squash is tender and the tomatoes start to caramelize, about 35 minutes (depending on the size of your squash cubes).
  5. Make the sriracha mayo by mixing together the mayo and sriracha in a small bowl.
  6. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, scoop out a little of the insides if you like, then fill or top with the squash tomato mixture, the avocado, jalapeños, and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Drizzle with the spicy mayo.
  8. Enjoy!