Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ikarian Longevity Stew from Blue Zone Solution

Recently, I read a book called Blue Zone Solution. This book is about going to many places in the world where many people live over 100. Then, they look at the similarities and try to implement the concept to some cities in the United States. What I like about it is that they know it is very difficult to leave it to individual choices especially in the United States where our life style is very different from those Blue Zones. In order to make it a successful project and outcome, they try to change the whole community so it is easier for individuals to make right and healthy choices.

Anyways, they have Okinawa (an island in Japan) as one of Blue Zone and it made me happy to see my country as one of healthy area but I think it is also completely different story when you look at Tokyo. The lifestyle has changed so much and people are busier and it is sometimes difficult to make right choices.

If you are interested in this book, here is the link for Amazon.

This book have many recipes from those Blue Zones and I tried a few of them. One of them which I tried was Longevity Stew from an island called Ikaria in Greece.

Here is the recipe from Blue Zone website. Click here for the recipe. 

This soup has many vegetables and it is easy to make. It has black-eyed peas and it is yummy and satisfying.

The book said you can freeze this so I made a big batch and froze half of it. It will be a great lunch or dinner when I don't have time to cook.

When you look at those people who live long life in those area, some of the similarity they have is they eat lots of vegetables, they move a lot, they have a close community and friends they can rely on and they have some type of religious believes.

My husband's grandmother is like 95 years old and she is very fit and strong. When I think of her, many things are similar to what the book said. She has a garden and she works on her garden everyday. She is constantly moving. She is eating a lot of vegetables from her own garden. Everyone in her village know her and she is always going to different parties and gatherings.

Eating healthy is not easy sometimes but I want to incorporate more vegetables into my cooking. I will still eat meat and fish but I will also have vegetable days few days a week or I will use some meat or fish but make a meal which include more vegetables in it than the meat and fish.

This soup is a great soup. I will be making this soup again. I used to hate beans and peas but lately I am forcing myself to eat more beans and I am starting to like it more and more. I am excited to find more beans and peas recipes in the future!

So NY is finally getting warm. Actually somedays are like summer already. I love summer so I am happy that it is warm but I have one complaint this spring.

It is the pollen! It seems like the pollen has been going crazy this year. I normally don't have it this bad but my eyes have been so itchy this year. I heard because it was a long winter and now everything is blossoming at the same time. Hopefully, it will go away quickly so I can enjoy this beautiful weather!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Birthday Party

Well, It has been already three months since my son's birthday but I wanted to share what I made for his birthday. He turned 4 this year. I can not believe how time flies. He is such a wonderful boy and I am looking forward seeing him grow up.

Anyways, we invited many of his friends to out place to celebrate his birthday. It was nothing fancy but we had a wonderful time with our friends.

I made bunch of snacks and also lasagna. I forgot to take picture of lasagna but here are the other things I made for the party.

Corn and Bean dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip (This is before baking)

Caesar Salad

Veggie Sticks

Fruit and Cookies

Caprese Salad

For a cake, I decided to make banana pudding this year instead of Strawberry Cake. This Past three years, I made strawberry short cake for his birthday but I know I am not a great baker and it is quite difficult to make a big square cake which is moist and taste good. I remember it was quite hard and dry last year and I didn't want to take a risk this year so I decided to make something which I know it always come out great and always a great hit with everyone.

Banana Pudding (Magnolia Bakery Recipe)

This banana pudding never fails me and everybody loves it!

The birthday party was a success and I am very thankful that my son is a healthy 4 years old. I started this blog more than 4 years ago before I get pregnant with my son. Even though the update of this blog slowed down significantly, this blog helped me a lot and I would love to continue posting whenever I can.

Thank you for your support and I really appreciate my life every single day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup and macaroni salad from America's test kitchen and Onigirazu

This tomato soup is from a special edition of America's Test Kitchen Magazine called "All time favorite recipes". I love this tomato soup and I made it a few times already. One time, I made it for a friend who just had a baby and she and her family loved it.

This tomato soup use canned tomato and does not have any cream but it is creamy and great.

In America, I think it is common to have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich, however my son doesn't like cheese so we didn't make grilled cheese with it. But I am sure the grilled cheese will taste great with this tomato soup.

It is great with crouton and the recipe called for homemade crouton but I was too lazy to make it homemade so I just used store bought crouton.

My son love it. I am sure we are making this soup again and again especially during the winter season.

I love America's test kitchen or Cook's illustrated magazined because they try lots of different methods and come up with the ultimate one. They explain all the details and troubles they went through in the process and it is very interesting and educational, I think.

This book is a collection of their favorite recipes and it is a great one to own. I love it. I haven't made all of them yet but I sure would love to try all the recipes in there.

Well, another thing I made is "Onigirazu". This is a new version of rice ball and it seems like it is very popular in Japan at the moment. Regular rice ball is triangle or round but this one is square and you just place seaweed, then add some rice, then add some ingredients you like and add more rice on top and then wrap them with seaweed like a present. Here is how it looks.

I think the reason why it got popular is  because you can add more stuff in it and it is easier to eat than regular rice ball.

This was had Spam and lettuce in it. Spam Onigiri is very popular in Hawaii. Hawaii's spam onigiri looked like nigiri sushi. They put Spam on top and wrapped it with thin slice of seaweed.

Well, the spam was too salty but I like this shape of onigiri. I think you can come up with many different like of stuffing inside.

I also made some sushi roll since we had avocado and imitation crab. I don't know why but it was so difficult to roll these sushi. I guess I am out of practice. I got so frustrated rolling those sushi. I almost gave up but my husband calmed me down and I finished about 6 rolls. 3 of them came out OK but the other 3 were disaster. Oh well.

I also made macaroni salad from the same book which I introduced earlier.
This came out great. I Actually added more vegetables than the recipe called for.

I think this is great for potluck party or BBQ or something like that. It was really good but the portion I made was huge. We had to eat macaroni salad everyday.... Well, I am glad my husband loved it so he didn't mind eating them everyday :-)