Sushi

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Sushi is a big deal these days… unfortunately, it’s always so expensive and it’s not always that tasty. The answer to this problem: homemade sushi. It’s actually quite easy to make, you just need to take your time.

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This recipe does not have exact measurements because I did it kind of randomly. I used coconut milk to flavor the rice and smoked salmon instead of raw fish. Feel free to customize your sushi however you want – use different vegetables, fishes, etc.

With these approximate proportions, I made about 35 sushi.

Ingredients

4 sheets of seaweed

2 cups of basmati rice

2 cans of coconut milk

4 cups of water (for the rice)

4 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1/2 cucumber

1 avocado

1 pack of smoked salmon

Sesame seeds for flavoring.

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Directions:

1. Cook the rice with the water, coconut milk, and rice vinegar. Do not put in all the liquids at once – add them progressively, depending with how sticky you want the rice to be. (more water = more sticky). Flavor the rice with some salt.

2. Let the rice cool for about 30 minutes.

3. Cut the salmon, cucumber, and avocado into thin strips.

4. Take a sheet of seaweed. Spread rice on top of it (about 1 cm thick). At the edge of the sheet, add some vegetables so that span the length of the sheet (you want there to be vegetables throughout the roll).

5. Take the edge of the seaweed sheet and roll it tightly. To keep the edges together once you have completed the roll, wet the seaweed with some water.

6. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into individual sushis.

7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Eat Chocolate: It’s Good for your Brain

Photo by James Yu

Photo by James Yu

Here’s another article I wrote for Spoon. It’s actually based off of a final project I did for my neurobiology class last year.

Chocoholics out there, you’re going to love this: chocolate has been proven to be beneficial for your brain and body. Chocolate’s numerous health benefits will make you love it even more than before, and better yet, they’ll give you a valid reason to indulge in even more sumptuous cocoa treats. So sit back, relax, and munch on some chocolate as Spoon breaks down the ways your sweet addiction may actually be helping your mind and body.

Please click here to view the actual article.

Easy French Tomato Tarte

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At college, I started writing for a national food blog run by college students. It’s called Spoon University. Many different schools have chapters and there’s a wealth of food related articles on this website – Everything from recipes to quizzes to food facts. I highly recommend you check it out at http://spoonuniversity.com. 

Writing for spoon is wonderful experience and I’m really enjoying it. Here I want to share with you my first article, one of my favorite family recipes that we make a lot in my family. Here are just a few pictures and the basic recipe, but please find the whole article here.

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 ml olive oil
100 ml warm water
2 tablespoons mustard
1 cup grated cheese of your preference
½ teaspoon thyme
4 tomatoes
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, olive oil and warm water to make the dough.

3. Using your hands, spread the dough in a ceramic dish. Make sure it is evenly spread.

4. Using a spoon, spread the mustard on top of the dough. Layer the cheese, thyme and sliced tomatoes on top.

5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top according to your preference.

6. Cook the tarte for 25-30 minutes at 375ºF, or until the crust is golden brown.

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Sugar Cookies

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These are classic and simple – not to mention the batter is phenomenal. This recipe makes quite a lot of cookies – about 3 dozen.

Ingredients

3 cups of flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tbsp half and half

2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into large bowl.

Add in the butter and blend in pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

Add in egg, vanilla, and half and half.

Chill dough for 1 hour for easier rolling.

On floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

Place shapes on baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until lightly brown.

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Kale, Sweet Potato, Red Onion Pizza

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I would say this is one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever had. I adapted this recipe for Kristine’s Kitchen.

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, sliced into thin rounds

1 red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ball pizza dough

1 mozzarella ball, sliced

2 cups kale, chopped

5 ounces goat cheese

1/2 tsp of Salt

1/4 tsp of Pepper

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the sweet potato slices, red onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then spread the contents of the bowl on a baking sheet. Cook the vegetables for 20 minutes, or until roasted.

Roll out the pizza dough. Add the sliced mozzarella. Then spread the roasted sweet potatoes and onion evenly. Add the kale. And then the goat cheese.

Cook at 425 F for 15 minutes.

 

Pizza Margherita

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More Pizza! My sister made this one because this is one of her favorite types of pizza. Once again we used the multi-grain pizza dough from Whole Foods, which was delicious. The quantities of ingredients you would need for this pizza depend on how large you want it to be, so it’s up to you. But here are the quantities she used:

2 mozzarella balls

1/2 a  jar of tomato sauce

1 pizza dough

3 large tomatoes

1 tsp of thyme

Roll out the dough. Spread the tomato cause evenly over the dough. Then add the sliced tomatoes and the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle with thyme. Cook in the oven at 430 F for 12 minutes.

 

 

Salad Bowl

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Salad bowls are a super easy and fun way to eat your veggies. There’s no recipe to follow – just toss whatever veggies, salad, nuts, or seeds you want into a bowl, and you’ve got yourself a nice salad. You may also wish to sprinkle the salad with dressing of your choice. You can also add eggs, guacamole, or hummus, to make it a more filling salad.

For this particular salad, I used the following ingredients:

Kale

Spinach

Tomatoes

Red cabbage

cucumbers

carrots

chia seeds

flax seeds

pumpkin seeds

guacamole

Cheddar, Tomato, Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

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This is a “fancified” version of your traditional grilled cheese sandwich, but it’s still just as comforting! I made mine in a panini press, but you can also grill it on a pan with some butter.

Ingredients 

2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat bread)

2 large slices of tomato

1-2 slices of cheddar cheese (depending on how much cheese you like)

1 onion (chopped into small slices)

olive oil

Procedure

In a hot skillet add a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook the onions, mixing them every few minutes, until they caramelize, or become light brown.

On one slice of  bread, put the cheese. Then add the tomato, and then the caramelized onions. Place the second slice on top.

Put the sandwich in a panini press and grill it until the cheese is well melted.

Flower Bouquet

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I made this “bouquet” for my mom on mother’s day. It looks quite complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. All you need is a variety of fruit and some flower shaped and circular cookie cutters.

Materials

Thin wooden skewers

cookie cutters (Flower and circle shapes)

Lots of fruits (I used kiwi, apples, mango, and banana – but you can really use any fruit. It works best when you use some large fruits (ie. apples) and small fruits (ie. kiwis) so that you can have a variety of flower sizes)

1 grapefruit (for the base of the bouquet)

Lemon/ lemon juice

Raisins and dried cranberries

Steps

Cut the Grapefruit in half and place one half, face down on a plate. You will stick the skewers into this. You can wrap up the other half, as you will not need it.

Cut your fruit into slices (1/2 – 1cm thick). Use the cookie cutters to cut out a variety of shapes.

Take a skewer and put 3 raisins on it. Move the raisins so that they are about 1 inch away from one end of the skewer. The raisins will stop the fruit from slipping down.

Then, on top of the raisins, stack about 2-3 slices of fruit to make the fruit “flower”. Put the larger slices on the bottom, closer to the raisins.

Then at the very top add a raisin or dried cranberry to hide the tip of the skewer.

If your flower contains fruits that browns, squeeze some lemon juice on top of it. (the lemon prevents the browning).

Stick the skewer with your finished flower into the grapefruit.

Keep assembling flowers until you have made as many as you want!

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