>2010 New Year’s Resolution

>here’s to the new year!! as 2010 is just a day away, many of us are contemplating on new year’s resolutions that we’ll actually stick to. the last time i remember actually sticking to my resolutions was 8 years ago.  what helped me (it was actually my brothers suggestion) was writing down my resolutions and coming back to them at the end of the year to see if i actually stuck to them.  so here i am, deciding on my resolutions and blogging them down.  hopefully by the end of the year i accomplish all of my resolutions.

long term:

1) plan out my meals for the week and only buy the vegetables/fruits that i am going to use.  i found myself always going to trader joe’s eye hungry and would just buy everything insight.  so much veges gone to waste.

2) buy 80%-90% organic foods.  i’ve been trying to buy mostly organic foods but i haven’t been very consistent with it.

3)  grow a small vegetable garden on my balcony. i think i want to start off with tomatoes and herbs.

4)  cut down to 1 cup of coffee per day and drink more tea.

5)  eat breakfast everyday!!!  i tend to skip breakfast in the mornings because i’m not that hungry.  i really need to change this habit.

>vegan arroz caldo (filipino rice porridge)

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arroz caldo is a filipino rice porridge, which literally translates to rice soup.  it’s usually made of shredded chicken, garlic, ginger, and chicken broth.  this is the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold night or to have when you’re trying to get over a cold.

the version i cooked today for dinner is far different from my dad’s recipe (i may have to just keep that in the family, right bryan??).  this type of arroz caldo is what you will usually encounter at a filipino restaurant.  this particular arroz caldo recipe takes me back to going to max’s restaurant with my mom after school and having a merienda, or afternoon snack. yum.

>lentil lemon and garlic soup

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ingredients:
2 lemons, juiced
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cubes of vegetable bouillon optional (i used it in this recipe to add more flavor)
5 oz of diced carrots
5 oz of diced celery
5 oz of diced onions
** i just bought the mirepoix mixture at trader joe’s and used it for this recipe… it’s a quick and easy soup starter**
5 cloves of minced garlic
4 tbs olive oil
1 1/2- 2cups of cooked lentils
1 large potato, pealed and diced
paprika
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
hot sauce (i used sriracha) 
cilantro for garnish (you can also use parsley, basil, etc.)

directions:
1)  heat olive oil in a large pot, on medium high heat
2)  saute carrots, onions, and celery for 6-8 minutes
3) stir in diced potatoes and garlic. cook for about 5 minutes.
4)  add broth (at this time, you can add the vegetable bouillon) and stir occasionally.  cook until the potatoes are close to tender
4) add lentils and lemon juice. cook for 5 minutes.  at this time, season with salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes.
5)  transfer soup into a food processor or blender and puree soup.
6) transfer puree back to pot and simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
7) ladle into a bowl. garnish with cilantro, olive oil, paprika, and lemon slices.
** soup goes well with garlic bread**

Mushroom and "beef" stroganoff

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my mom used to cook a delicious beef stroganoff when i was growing up. this recipe is a mixture of my mom’s recipe with a twist of my own added ingredients.

ingredients:
*trader joes beefless strips, cut into smaller pieces

* 12 oz tofutti sour cream

*1/2 medium onion, sliced
*4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
* cremni  mushrooms, sliced
*1 vegetable buillon, chopped
*2 tbs of canola oil
*2 tbs of vegan butter
* red pepper flakes
*1/4 cup sherry
* 1 tsp soy sauce
* pasta noodles, cooked

directions:
1) in a large pan, heat canola oil and butter on medium high heat.
2) saute onions for 3 minutes and then add the garlic.  cook for another 2 minutes.
3) add “beef” and chopped buillon and sherry.  cook for 7-9 minutes. when “beef” is cooked, stir in soy sauce.
4)  season with salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste.
5)  add pasta noodles and mix well. then add sour cream and mix until all the noodles are covered evenly.  cook for another 2-3 minutes.  enjoy!

>mushroom soondubu jjigae (korean hot pot soft tofu stew)

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i first tried korean hot pot soup a couple of weeks ago at a korean hole in the wall restaurant in milpitas. they actually had a mushroom vegan version. it was delicious!!!

here is my take on korean hot pot soup. i had it today for dinner and surprisingly it turned out pretty good… considering that this was the first time i’ve made it! a very comforting dish on a cold evening.

                                                      ingredients:

2 packages of soft tofu
tofu broth seasoning
7 oz enoke mushrooms
1 small package of beech mushrooms
1-3 tsps red chili powder
4 cups of vegetable broth
chopped green onions
sesame oil

directions
1)prep and clean mushrooms. to make sure all the dirt is out, i personally like to soak the mushrooms in water a couple of times until the water is clear. set mushrooms aside.
2) bring vegetable broth and tofu broth seasoning to boil in a medium pot.
3) add tofu and break apart in pot. cook for about 5 minutes.
4) add mushrooms and chili powder. simmer for 3-4 minutes.
5) remove from heat. garnish with green onions and drizzle with sesame oil.