Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NEW RECIPE: Fruity Baked Oatmeal with Sugar-free Blueberry Compote

This recipe has a couple of interesting inspirations to it. The first is the actual baked oatmeal component. I got the idea from Gordon Ramsay, who made a baked oatmeal as part of his "Home Cooking" TV series. It's a quick, delicious, and healthy way to use up fresh oats without stressing over a pot of oatmeal. It was also incredibly simple, with just oatmeal and liquid absolutely necessary to make it. 

The second part of my inspiration for this recipe actually came from a Netflix documentary I watched as part of one of my food science classes (shoutout/thanks to Professor Matthew Lange for making us watch it, it was eye-opening!) This documentary, titled "Forks Over Knives", describes the benefits of switching to a diet focused on whole foods and plants. Cutting animal products completely out of a diet, the documentary claims, extremely reduces risks of cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and many other factors. As a food scientist, I could agree fully with this documentary. It actually inspired me to do my own trial period of whole foods, plant-based dieting. This is my first recipe based off of that. 

I'm using a pure unsweetened cashew milk as the liquid to add protein and flavor to the oatmeal. Vanilla and cinnamon are the two sole flavors, with the only sugar in this recipe coming from the natural fruit (even for the compote!) This makes the recipe sweet and flavorful, but healthy at the same time! 

Recipe serves 10-12 people.

For the Oatmeal:

2 Pink Lady Apples, cored and diced
2 Bosc Pears, cored and diced
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tbsp lemon juice (squirt over the apples and pears to keep from oxidizing)
5 cups dried quick oats
5 cups unsweetened cashew milk
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed and added)

For the Blueberry Compote:

8 oz whole blueberries, washed
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Sprigs of mint for garnish


1) Preheat your oven to 380 degrees F.

2) Combine the oats, apples, pears, and cinnamon stick in a baking dish. Pour over the cashew milk and vanilla extract/seeds, then mix to combine as well. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

3) Add the blueberries and water to a saucepan, and bring up to a boil, swirling occasionally. When the blueberries have all popped and burst, add in your lemon juice and reduce the liquid until it sticks to a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool in the fridge until ready to serve your oatmeal.

4) Top portions of oatmeal with your blueberry compote and a sprig of mint, then serve!

This recipe is all about convenience, as the time involved with this recipe is absolutely minimal but packs amazing flavor and health! With no extra sugar, this still manages to be a relatively sweet dessert. The lemon juice brings out the natural sweetness of the blueberries in the compote, while the cashew milk and vanilla do the same as the fruit bakes into the liquid. It's definitely an amazing and healthy alternative for dessert or breakfast that you should give a go!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think or what I should change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NEW RECIPE: Hot and Cold Seafood Ceviche

Food that is the most delicious to me isn't the food that is heavy or rich. Rather, it is the food that wakes up the palate with exciting flavors and freshness. That freshness is something I crave and love to get in food, especially when it comes to seafood. As such, when I make a seafood dish, I prefer to keep the flavors fresh and lively.

This ceviche is just that. A ceviche is a South American dish comparable to a seafood salsa. Loads of fresh ingredients and produce go into it, with the seafood done raw or partially cooked usually (with the exception of shrimp, which is a common ceviche ingredient). For my ceviche, I've gone with a mix of colder seafoods (or raw) as well as cooked or hot seafoods. Scallops, tuna, and shrimp all go into this dish, and they combine with the fresh produce to make an amazing appetizer - or entree if you eat enough! 

Recipe Serves 2 people.


1 oz ahi tuna, finely diced
5 shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 scallops
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 avocado, diced (save the skins to serve in, if you wish)
1/4 red onion, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp lime juice
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
Fresh cilantro to garnish


1) Stir together the avocado, red onion, tomato, tuna, garlic, cumin seeds, and some salt and pepper to lightly season. Squeeze over the lime juice before stirring to keep the avocado from going brown.

2) Season the shrimp and scallops lightly before cooking in a pan on high heat. The scallops need a minute to a minute and half on each side. The shrimp just need a minute before being finished cooking.

3) Chop up the shrimp and scallops into bite-sized pieces before mixing into the ceviche along with the fresh cilantro and serving.

Ceviches are amazing because of how incredibly fresh they taste and how easy they are to prepare. The above steps take no more than 20 minutes to complete, and make for a great, refreshing low-carb meal! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

NEW RECIPE: Grapefruit and Ginger Pound Cake

The area of culinary arts that I have the largest struggle with is definitely the baking part. Mainly because I like to play around with recipes, and baking is more of an exact chemistry. However, I do like to bake when I can, and usually I don't mess things up too horribly.

This recipe was definitely one of those kinds. I got the inspiration from a drink someone I met recently made. The drink consisted of grapefruit, ginger, and agave. To me, it was enticing because of the combination of grapefruit and ginger. In my mind, it made sense. Citrus and ginger are common pairings in Thai/Southeast Asian cooking, and both also go well in desserts or sweet drinks. I wanted to try putting in a cake, and this is the result I came up with!

The cake is a pound cake recipe derived from a sponge cake recipe by Gordon Ramsay. (I went for the pound cake because I prefer the denser crumb to that of the light sponge). I also chose to use an unsweetened whipped cream because of the amount of sugar in the cake and wanting to get a good balance. It turned out pretty well!

Recipe serves 12 people.


175 g butter (about 3/4 stick)
175 g sugar
175 g flour
3 eggs
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Grapefruit, Segments of the other half
1 bar of chocolate (you won't use the whole thing)
1 tbsp grated ginger with juice
150 mL heavy whipping cream


1) Preheat your oven to 355 degrees F. 

2) Place your chocolate bar in the freezer to firm up. 

3) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and aerated. It should double in volume and take about 5-10 minutes in an electric mixer. 

4) Add in the Grapefruit juice, vanilla extract, and grapefruit zest, and mix in. Slowly mix in the eggs one at a time before beating in the flour slowly. 

5) Transfer the cake batter to a greased cake tin, and bake for 35 minutes.

6) As the cake bakes, whip the heavy cream into soft peaks with a mixer or by hand. Add in the grated ginger with juice, then finish whipping into stiff peaks. Place in the fridge to chill until serving.

7) Let the cake cool before adding the whipped cream on top. Garnish with grapefruit segments and grate the chocolate bar over the top of the cake. 

For me, this cake is amazing because it has a great balance. The grapefruit on top adds a refreshing citrus zing to help offset the richness of the cake. The ginger whipped cream gives an additional aromatic note, and actually keeps the cake from tasting too sweet. The cake itself is filled with awesome flavors of grapefruit and vanilla that bring together the whole dessert. Overall, it has great balance and is a great way to turn a drink into dessert form!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

NEW RECIPE: Fried Rice with Leeks and Homemade Baked Tofu

Tofu doesn't get the biggest fanbase out there in terms of protein sources. However, I personally find baked tofu to be the most appealing to anyone who may not be a fan. It's much firmer than the usually squish tofu because so much of the water is removed from it, and has a lot more flavor than standard tofu.

I tried to make my own at home, and found it to be incredibly easy and quick! Done in under an hour, this tofu has some great flavors, and goes great in a simple, quick fried rice! 

Recipe serves 3-4 people.

For the Baked Tofu:

1 package firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice

For the Fried Rice:

2 cups Jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
2 eggs, scrambled
1 leek, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 chili pepper, finely chopped (use a chili pepper suiting your spice tolerance/preference. I went for Shishito)
Green Onion to garnish


1) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

2) Sandwich the tofu cubes between multiple sheets of paper towels and a clean dishcloth. Cover with heavy cans and leave for 10 minutes.

3) Remove the pressed tofu, and toss in all of the marinade ingredients in a greased roasting dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

4) Let the tofu cool and remove it from the roasting dish. Saute the leeks in a frying pan on medium high heat with the sesame oil and five spice.

5) Toss in the baked tofu after 3-5 minutes, and season with half the soy sauce and chili pepper. Scramble in the eggs, then toss in the rice and add in the remaining soy sauce.

6) Plate, and garnish with green onion.

This is a great, quick, cheap, but flavorful fried rice! I've always been a fan of fried rices because of that speedy cook time and versatility, and this vegetarian version is definitely a winner!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)