Author: foodefiles

Putting veggies first – a mini tip

It’s been a busy summer so far with kids out of school and getting distracted by all the fun summer activities to be had here in NYC. I’ve also been diving into a holistic nutrition course to educate myself on a topic that I’ve been passionate about. The course has given me the focus I need and so far it’s been enlightening and inspiring. I hope to incorporate more of what I learn here! Eating more greens and vegetables is a no brainer for optimal health – and is a common denominator in most dietary theories. As I’m trying to be more intentional about incorporating vegetables at the family dinner table I find that I need a better strategy than habitually keeping greens an afterthought, scrambling together a crudite platter for dinner. Nothing wrong with some raw veggies and dip, but I know I can do better. With two little kids, there is a very small and unforgiving window of feeding time, as many parents know. So my goal is to have the veggies ready along …

Japanese Curry Rice (not from a box)

If you haven’t heard of Japanese curry or it seems like an odd pairing of words, then I’m glad to introduce this wonderful comfort food. This dish is where the Venn diagram of childhood foods of my husband and I squarely intersect. While my version was served with a side of kimchi and his with some Japanese pickled ginger, it’s a nostalgic dish for both of us. A typical home cook would make Japanese curry composed with a protein, vegetables and starch (e.g. beef, onions, carrots and potatoes). One of the most popular ways of cooking this dish is to use convenient curry cubes you can find at the Asian grocery store – S&B Golden Curry Sauce mix. As with many convenient shortcut flavoring devices when you look closely at the fine print, there’s an ingredient lurking in it that explains a lot of the sluggishness, bloating and general food coma that seems to ensue after consumption. It was through a book I’m reading called “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices …

Lentil Soup with Mushrooms for a Blizzard

Since moving to New York at the end of January we’ve been through two snowstorms.  I think I’ve had my fill and caught up from the snowless winters we experienced in Northern California. The snowstorm wasn’t as bad as meteorologists had expected, in fact the NYT says the city narrowly escaped the worst of this storm. Regardless, it was a snow day which means it’s a great day for soup. I’ve been wanting to redeem myself from a terrible lentil soup recipe I cooked from the internet – it was flavorless, one-noted and didn’t have any of the hearty goodness that seeps into your soul that soup, in my opinion is required to do. I have a great Indian-inspired lentil soup that is now my go-to, but I was looking for a more mediterranean-style without the warming spices. After comparing notes and melding together several recipes the frankenstein recipe was satisfaction and full meal in a bowl. If I have the time, I generally like to tackle a particular dish by researching several different recipes and notice …

Golden milk two ways: sleepy time and afternoon tea 

On my good days I try to switch up my afternoon coffee routine with a cup of golden milk. When I first heard about this traditional Ayurvedic medicinal drink made with tumeric I was intrigued and was willing to give it a try for all its great health benefits. Tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties and combined with the other ingredients it’s a powerhouse of a health elixir. And the name, golden milk drew me in – sounded like a luxurious way to kick off my late afternoon to tide me over before the dinner prep frenzy. Some people might think this process is a bit involved and it’s defnitely not as simple as brewing a bag of tea, but since I make my coffee using the pour over method, this recipe has a familiar ring of ritual. Gathering the various spices, warming up the milk in a pot, whisking the coconut oil together to melt it all into a golden cup of goodness is all part of the experience and perhaps part of its health benefits. It forces you to slow …

Resolutions 2017

It’s a new year and I’ve been taking the past few days weeks to take stock of 2016. There were lots of ups and downs for us personally in 2016 so I’m ready to start afresh. 2017 is already starting off with a bittersweet bang — beginning with a cross country move back to NYC. Getting ready to move a family of four (plus a dog) and processing it all got me thinking  about resolutions – specifically by reviewing the year’s past. As I shed our possessions to once again return to a small apartment, I’m also looking through the cookbooks, the piles of articles torn from magazines that I saved for later and never actually looked at again. This unused pile of cookbooks and hidden inspiration in the kitchen prompted me to make some specific resolutions around the kitchen and use the resources under my nose. So this year I’m resolved to try to cook more out of my collection of someday recipes – especially out of physical cookbooks, and try my hand at some more challenging recipes that …

New Year Traditions and dduk guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it has been one year since I started this blog. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this long. It’s been fun to share recipe discoveries and archive family favorites here. This new years day, we spent it focused on keeping culinary traditions from Korea and Japan, honoring the heritage of me and my husband. I love traditions that involve food – like Turkey every Thanksgiving – there’s comfort in knowing exactly what you’ll be eating that day every year. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 2017 than slurping up some soba noodles and eating chewy rice cakes in dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup)! Out of curiosity I researched background on dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup) and I found a Facebook post by the official “Korean Food Foundation” with some historical background. If you’re interested take a look here. Here’s a solid recipe for Korean Rice Cake soup that I use all the time from my trusted source for Korean food, Maangchi. I typically use a beef broth as the recipe calls …

Sushi at Home (with the kids)

One of our favorite ways of entertaining before having kids was to serve “make your own” sushi or temaki sushi (hand rolls). It’s simple to prepare and feels special to have fresh sushi presented beautifully at your own table. Our guests could fill the rolls with what they want and it’s much more affordable than dining out in NYC. I won’t take any credit for this idea as it was ushered into my life by my husband who grew up with this tradition at home. The shopping, the prep, assembly and presentation is all done by him. While I like to cook I keep this sacred as “his” thing. (I don’t mind being “served” a meal either!) During an attempt to plan a birthday gathering for my mother-in-law we realized that most sushi establishments worth going to didn’t open until dinner, and the idea to entertain sushi at home resurfaced! Not to mention, two members of the party are under five years old, and trying to enjoy dining out with those two would be a delusion. The fun …