Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mushroom Smothered Meatloaf

Many health conscious people fret about eating red meat and sauces made with heavy cream or half and half. Eating red meat and consuming dairy rich in fat can actually be beneficial, if consumed in moderation. It contains many beneficial minerals and vitamins, complete protein... the list is endless. This is why I decided to make a meat loaf made with ground beef and ground pork and to top it off with mushroom sauce made with half and half. It was delicious and satisfying... Mmmm. You got to enjoy life, eat what you want and be happy!

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef and pork mix
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 handfuls bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 20 crimini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • a shot of dry sherry
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup half and half or cream
  1. In a large bowl, place a grater and grate onion.  
2. Add sage, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire and mustard, salt and pepper then mix meat to combine.

3. Score meat into 4 sections and form 4 oval shaped loaves, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
4. Preheat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat loaves and cook 6 to 7 minutes on each side, or until the meat loaves are cooked through. Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

5. Once meatloaves are removed, place the skillet back over medium heat. Add oilve oil, about 2 tablespoons, and the mushrooms. Cover the skillet with foil and nest the foil into the pan with a second smaller skillet, smothering the mushrooms.
6. Cook until deep brown and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the foil, add flour and cook a minute longer. Add in a shot of dry sherry, then whisk in the beef stock. Stir in half and half or cream and bring to a bubble. Season the mushroom gravy with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Place the cooked meatloaves into the gravy so the meatloaves will soak up the sauce just a little. Place the meatloaves on dinner plates and douse with hot, smothered mushroom gravy. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nutty-Coconut Oatmeal

I was looking for a breakfast that will energize me before my hot hula workout, and I came up with this recipe. It has lots of dried fruits and nuts in it to add texture and flavor. You can increase the amount of dried fruits and nuts to your taste.

  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoons each: goji berries, raisins, dried cranberries
  • a pinch mineral sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup oatmeal


  • chopped nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, pecans or combination of all)
  • Maple syrup (for sweetness)
  • coconut flakes
  • wheat germ
  • ground flax seed
  • ground cinnamon
  • milk, soymilk, rice milk, or if you like it rich, half and half.


  1. Bring water to boil in a sauce pan over high heat.
  2. Add the salt, dried fruits and oatmeal. Lower the heat to medium low. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally until oatmeal is cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. sprinkle all or some of the toppings and serve warm.


  • ground flax seed and wheat germ will supply you with tons of fiber, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • I recommend using Grade B maple syrup instead of Grade A because Grade B maple syrup has more pronounced flavor and it also contains more minerals than Grade A because it goes through less refinement.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kale Chips!

So in a quest to try out healthy snack recipes, I came across this interesting snack called "kale chips". At first, I was skeptical. Very skeptical, especially because one of the reviewers commented that it tastes just like potato chips. To see if that is true, I decided to make this myself. Making this was easy as 1-2-3!

• 1 bunch kale
• 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Cut kales in a little bigger than bite size pieces. Wash them really well since it can tract a lot of dirt. Dry kale thoroughly.
2) Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper and massage them into kale until all of the kale are well coated with oil and seasonings. Add more olive oil if kale seems to be bit dry.
3) bake in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until kales are nice and crispy. Let it cool. The kales get more crispy once it is cooled to room temperature.
4) Transfer kales to a serving bowl and enjoy them as a healthy snack!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Maple Sweet Potatoes

I found a perfect sweet potato side dish for those with sweet tooth.

I don't know why, but I never thought of putting two of my favorite flavors: sweet potatoes and maple syrup, until I was trying to figure out a way to sweeten this dish without using sugar Yum...

It was so easy to prepare and it is so nutritious! It is a perfect side dish for red meat such as meat loaf, rack of lamb, filet mignon...etc.

Please try it at home!


  • a pinch kosher salt

  • 3 medium sized organic sweet potatoes, each cut into 2 inch pieces

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, or more if you prefer creamier mashed potatoes

  • 2-5 table spoons maple syrup, or more if you like it sweeter


1)Bring large pot of water to boil, add kosher salt and sweet potatoes and cook until potatoes are fork tender

2)Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl

3)Add cream cheese and maple syrup into the bowl

4)Mash the potatoes, cream cheese and the syrup with a potato masher and mash until desired consistency.

5)Serve warm as a side dish, or eat it as a healthy yet satisfying snack!

* Pictured above is a maple sweet potatoes served along side with goat cheese cauliflower and pan seared meatloaf with creamy mushroom sauce. I will be posting the recipes for the meat loaf and cauliflower in the future so please come back to check it out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making Something Out of Left Over Veggies

I receive organic produce in a box every week, and I had potatos and cabbage left over, so I decided to make organic ground beef rolled in cabbage and chicken stock glazed potatos on the side.
I began the potato side dish by chopping up turkey bacon with butter and olive oil. (since it is turkey bacon and not pork, it renders little to no fat, so you need to use a little oil to prevent sticking on the pan)

Then I added
  • 1 medium diced yellow onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic

and sauteed until onion is tender and garlic fragrant

while the bacon, onion and garlic was cooking, I simmered the potatoes until hard, but soft enough to run a knife through, in chicken stock, thyme and peppercorn. ( it would have been nice if I had bayleaf to add to this mix, but I was out of it =(

Add the simmered potatos into the onion and bacon and add some of the chicken stock mixture into the pan to deglaze all the goodness.

Keep sauteeing until liquid starts to evaporate. (As you can see it in the picture below, it makes a streak when you scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula. This is good. This shows that potatos are getting glazed with all the flavor =)

Keep sauteeing until all the liquid has evaporated and potatos are nice and shiny.

This is me cooking in my SF home kitchen =)

Explanation of how I made the cabbage roll will be another blog. It came out delicious. Mmm mm!

I also made side salad with raw cauliflower, dried cranberries, raw mixed nutes and organic romain lettuce from the box. Packed with anti-oxidant, anti-cancer ingredients!

This is what the dinner looked like.

Different Types of Olive Oil

So I have been really into reading about diet and food politics. I am currently reading a book written by Nina Planck, called "Real Food". In her book, I read an interesting fact about olive oil that I want to share with you.

According to Planck, there are different types of olive oils and they all differ in nutritional value as well as taste. She classifies olive oil in three different types: plain, virgin and extra-virgin. The healthiest and tastiest is extra virgin olive oil because it comes from the first pressing of the fruit, "has no defects in taste or smell, and has acidity of 1 percent or less." To make the best of it, try to find extra virgin olive oil that is unfiltered to retain all its nutrients and flavor. And try to look for oils that are in dark bottles for minimal oxidation.

The worst kind of olive oil you can find on market is plain. According to Planck, most commercial olive oil is plain. Plain olive oil is picked by machine which causes bruising further leading to oxidation of the olives. The olives are pressed repeatedly with heat which "diminishes nutrients and flavor". Planck also notes that heating of olive oil causes oxidation, so it is advised to use half butter and half olive oil for minimal oxidation of oil, which may cause certain type of cancer and heart disease.

The Truth About Milk and Butter

Long before mass production of milk was in effect, cows happily grazed on an open pasture, listened to birds chirping from near by hill and gave praise to morning sun. Consuming raw milk was regular practice until increase in population lead to increase in demand of milk and thus changed the life of cows and quality of milk in America. Cows were no longer grazing on an open pasture but confined in a little space and fed not fresh grass but grains.

This change in life style and diet drastically changed the quality of milk. Because cows received minimal to no sunlight and ate grains instead of fresh grass,the amount of many nutrients including vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important nutrient in preventing heart disease and cellular health, drastically decreased and increased the amount of Omega-6 fatty acids, which counteract a lot of what Omega-3 does in your body. Because cows were living in such unhealthy condition, they began to produce milk contaminated with tuberculosis that caused many deaths. After this epidemic, a law came in effect to pasteurize all cow milk.

Pasteurizing is done through heating up milk to a certain degree to kill bacterias. This process, you may assume will be beneficial for mlik drinkers, but not entirely so. Pasteurization actually kills good bacteria that are beneficial to our health. If cows lived the lives they are supposed to live: grazing on an open pasture, getting plenty of physical activity, receiving vitamin D through sunlight, consuming plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids through eating fresh grass...etc. this epidemic would never have happened, and there would be no need for pasteurization.

So where I am getting at, is that raw milk that is from pasture grazing cows, is better for you. It has many nutrients that will keep us healthy, including beneficial bacteria for better digestion. So when milk goes through less pateurization, more nutrients it will have. And if cows live like how they are supposed to, more benefitial nutrients it will have. When butter is made from milk that has more nutrients,the darker the hue will be. More yellow the butter, better it is for you. So next time when you are about to spread that butter onto your crunchy toast, take a look at your butter and determine how yellow it is. If it is almost white, chances are, you are eating nothing but empty calorie with anti-nutrients that may be detrimental to your health. You will benefit more by switching to other brand. Afterall, butter coming from a happy cow that lives under sunlight and eating fresh grass taste much better than the butter that come from cows that live in a factory.

Some links to creamery I recommend: