Fig & Banana Smoothie

August 17, 2011 § Leave a comment


I’m finally back in the States after spending most of my Summer in Taiwan. What I miss the most is having fresh tropical fruits on a daily basis. So now that I am back, I have been trying to incorporate more fruits in my diet. I bought two pounds of fresh brown turkey figs because they’re delicious, in season and I got them for $5!

California’s Fresh Figs Seasonal Chart

Chart and descriptions below from California Fresh Figs

  • Fresh Brown Turkey Figs 

They are a light purple to black skinned fig with pink flesh and a robust flavor.

  • Fresh Black Mission Figs

They are a purple to black skinned fig with pink flesh and an intense earthy flavor.

  • Fresh Kadota Figs 

They have a creamy amber color when ripe with a light delicate flavor.

  • Fresh Calimyrna Figs 

They are large pale yellow skinned figs with a nutty, sweet flavor.

I enjoy figs in all recipes, but what I love the most is eating them fresh. I’ve been making this smoothie for a couple of days now and still have not gotten tired of it. I love figs!

Fig & Banana Smoothie Recipe

Serves: 1

Cook Time: 5-10 min

  • 3 Fresh Figs
  • ½ Banana*
  • ½ tbp Shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup of Soymilk or Coconut milk
  • ½ cup of Ice
  • ½ cup of Water
  • Agave or Honey to taste**

*I used frozen banana chunks. My bananas were softening so I cut them up and put them in the freezer.

**It was sweet enough for me without adding anything extra.

To Make: Add all ingredients in blender and blend


Turnip, Taro & Toon!

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Turnip Cake

These photos are a sample of the amazing treats that my mom, aunt and uncle have made this week. I have so much to learn from them. I’m lucky to have access to all these fresh tasty treats. 🙂


This is homemade turnip cake topped with soy sauce, ginger and chili. Surprisingly no turnips, mostly radish. You can find this dish on the menus of dim sum restaurants, Taiwanese restaurants or in a package in an Asian supermarket. It’s composed of shredded radish, rice flour and some veggies. The texture will vary depending on how you prepare it. Restaurants typically slice and pan fry, we chose to steam then slice. The difference is like biting into a potato wedge versus a baked potato. If you’re in the mood for something with a crunchy coat, order it pan-fried. You won’t lose either way.

Note: I have not tried this recipe in the video and it’s not a veg recipe. I just included this video because it reminds me of my mom. 😀


Steamed Taro Bun

Steamed bun aka mantou is typically eaten for breakfast in China and Taiwan. In the U.S. you could find these in every Asian market because it is a staple. In Taiwan, aside from the market, you can find these at any major convenient store and breakfast stand. This is vegan and made with only flour, water, soymilk and taro. Taro is just one of many flavors that can be adapted.

My uncle started experimenting with different flavors last week and I’ve been eating mantou with almost every meal. I’m not complaining at all because these mantous are delicious! To me, a good mantou needs to be soft, chewy and fluffy and these definitely are. They’re perfect! Besides taro, typical flavors include plain and brown sugar. We experimented with dried cranberries- brown sugar- cranberry & flaxseeds- pumpkin.

Note: This is a similar process that my uncle used, but I have not tried the process in the video.

Chinese Bread aka bing

Chinese bread is more like a stuffed pizza or foccocia bread with all the toppings and spreads on the inside. A few weeks ago, I posted about toon a herb similar to cilantro or basil. It has a strong, distinct flavor and it’s one of my favorite herbs. We used the leaves and made it into a spread and kept it in the freezer. It can be used in noodles as a sauce, an ingredient to accompany a vegetable dish or in this case, between bread.

This was kneaded and baked on the stove in a lightly oiled pan. Ovens are almost non-existent in Chinese cooking so everything is done on the stove. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video. But when I learn the process, I will be sure to post.

I hope you get a chance to try some of these delicious foods at least once. They’re too good not to! 🙂

Soy Milk at Home

July 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

In Taiwan, I can find fresh soy milk almost at every corner. It’s an essential part of traditional Taiwanese breakfast along with the duo shao bing (literally means baked bread) and you tiao (literally oil stick), which is major carb overload. Shao bing you tiao= donut sandwich. It’s not as weird as it sounds. It’s actually delicious! Occasionally, it’s a necessary evil, but I keep my love affair at a distance. I opt out of the you tiao and go for the shao bing with egg along with a refreshing cup of ice cold soy milk.

shao bing you tiao taken from blogger my inner fatty

Buying fresh soy milk in Taiwan is easy, but once you make your own, store-bought will never be as good. Homemade soy milk is delicious, cheap and easy to make. There are two things that take time: (1) soaking the beans over night and (2) steaming the beans. Most recipes don’t steam the beans, but I found that steaming them before blending brings out more flavor.

*Nutrients in 8 ounces (250 ml) of plain soymilk:

Regular Soymilk Lite Soymilk (reduced fat) Whole cow milk Fat-free cow milk
Calories (kcal) 90 70 149 83
Protein (g) 10.0 4.0 7.7 8.3
Fat (g) 4.0 2.0 8.0 0.2
Carbohydrate (g) 14.0 16.0 11.7 12.2
Lactose (g) 0.0 0.0 11.0 12.5
Sodium (mg) 120 100 105 103
Iron (mg) 1.8 0.6 0.07 0.07
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 11.0 0.412 0.446
Calcium (mg) 80.0 80.0 276 299

*Soymilk on; cow milk figures from USDA Nutrient Database. USDA soymilk data differs; apparently soy figures are sweetened.

Serves: 3-4


Kitchen Tools:

To Make:

Step 1: rinse soy beans

Step 2: soak overnight or 8 hours minimum make sure beans are submerged

it’s natural to see bubbles

Step 3: steam for 30min-1 hour

make sure they’re soft and steamed thoroughly

Step 4: remove shells

It will be difficult to remove all the shells. It’s okay if some are left.

**Step 5: in VitaMix blend 1:3 measure of beans to water (~45 sec)

Step 6: dilute to desired consistency

Step 7: use strainer spoon to remove excess foam

Step 8: add sweetener if desired

**Note: I used a VitaMix, but if you use a regular blender the consistency will vary. If you want a smoother liquid, strain with cheesecloth after Step 5 and move directly to Step 8.


in a glass

in a bowl

Helpful links for making soy milk

Breakfast Destroyed

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tragically beautiful. Here’s their blog. Video made by Bruton Stroube Studios.

Tropical Granola Clusters

May 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

granola cluster

I stopped buying granola products because they never live up to my expectations. They’re often overly sweet with a slight cardboard flavor and makes me feel like I’m crunching pebbles.

I decided to make my own.

Originally, I planned on making granola bars. When I cut them, they turned out to be clusters. If you use more honey you’ll probably have some bars, but clusters are just as good. 🙂

The flavors work well together and taste delicious! Keep it in an airtight container as a snack or add some milk and have it as a cereal.

Feel free to use nuts instead of seeds, with or without coconut and choose fruits you like.


  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut shreds
  • ~1- 1 1/2 cup of dried fruit*
  • 1/2-2/3 cup of honey
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ~1/4 tsp of salt

*I used no sugar added apricots, dates, peaches, pears and apples.

To Make:

Step 1: Measure the dry ingredients

2 cups of oats

1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup of shredded coconut

Step 2: Preheat oven to 350°F

Step 3: Put the ingredients measured above on a sheet pan for 10-12 minutes till lightly browned





Step 4: Measure dried fruit and cut into small pieces

Step 5: Mix toasted ingredients, honey, vanilla and salt

Step 6: Mix in fruit

Step 7: Pour mixture in pan and press down (I used a 9 1/2 x 9 1/2)

Step 8: Put it in the oven at 300°F for 35-40 minutes till edges are slightly brown (check on it around 30 mins.)

Step 9: Let it cool 

after it has cooled, cut and eat


Baked Egg

May 9, 2011 § 6 Comments

baked egg with whole wheat toast

Baked eggs are delicious! I hardly consider this a recipe. It’s more of a yummy way to eat eggs and some leftovers. When I make pasta, there always seems to be either extra sauce leftover or extra noodles. This recipe helps solve one of those issues. When I have extra sauce leftover, I get excited because I can have baked eggs the next day. This is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or anytime you feel like having a snack.

There are two versions that are featured on this page. One with zucchini and one without. I had extra zucchini so I shaved some onto the sauce before adding my egg.

baked egg with shaved zucchini- out of the oven

baked egg with shaved zucchini (I like a runny yolk.)


  • ½ cup of left over pasta sauce (you could use more or less)
  • 1 egg
  • zucchini or squash (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • whole wheat toast (or whichever kind you like)

Before you start, pre-heat oven to 400°F

prepared without zucchini

Step 1: Scoop leftover sauce into a small baking dish* covering the bottom and the sides making a bed for the egg

Step 2: Shave some zucchini or squash (optional)

Step 3: Crack an egg into the dish

Step 4: Put the dish in oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how cooked you like your egg

Step 5: When you’re near 10-12 minutes, heat up some bread. Either put some on a baking pan into the oven or toast some.

Step 6: Crack some pepper and dig in!

Next time you have some extra sauce and bread, don’t be upset because you can have baked eggs! 🙂


* I bought Emerilware on HSN and it’s the best bakeware I’ve ever used!

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