The best Pad Thai. (V, GF)

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Wherever I am with my mom, she always insists on trying every Thai restaurant in the area. Even when we’re in Thailand. (Go figure, right?) So what’s the first thing she’ll order? Pad Thai. If the Pad Thai isn’t good, don’t expect a return visit. Ever. Sorry cooks, she’s got high standards. ;)

Of course, it is no surprise then that the Pad Thai she makes is the absolute best. Twenty years of me being alive, and I had never learned her secrets! So when she came to visit me, it was time to teach me her skills.  She then also thought it was a great idea to teach all her friends individually, on consecutive days, how to make her Pad Thai… I had Pad Thai for 2 weeks straight… A little too much, but thanks mom…

My mom knows this recipe by heart, but she was willing to nicely type it up for me to share.

Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients:

  • 11/2 cups tamarind juice (tamarind soaked in hot water for about 20 min)
  • Two pieces of palm sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of ketchup
Directions:
  1. Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
Pad Thai Ingredients
  • Pad Thai sauce
  • 1/2 pack of rice noodles (preferrably from Chantaburi, Thailand) soaked in luke warm water for an hour or until softened
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • 2 cups of Chinese chives (chopped to 1/2 inch)
  • organic tofu 1/2 piece
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped salted radish
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped shallots and garlic
  • dried shrimps or fresh prawns (shelled, optional)
  • sliced tofu (the other half) or thinly sliced chicken or pork (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cube the tofu and deep fry in oil. Set aside.
  2. Brown the mixture of chopped shallots and garlic in oil.
  3. Add chopped salted radish, dried shrimps, and deep fried tofu (if you use fresh prawns, you must put it at the end of the process so that your prawns won’t be overcooked.
  4. Add fresh sliced tofu or meat, then and noodles.
  5. Put sauce in little by little (too much it will be too soggy, too little it will be too stiff)
  6. Add egg if desired.
  7. Add chives and keep on stir-frying.
  8. Add  fresh prawns. (if you use dried shrimps, no need for this step)
  9. Add bean sprouts and stir-fry until the bean sprouts are soft.
Serve with wedged lime, crushed peanuts, chili powder, fresh bean sprouts and fresh Chinese chives.

PB & melted banana oatmeal (V, GF)

For the past 6 months, I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast on an almost daily basis. Not those instant oatmeal packets filled with sugar and artificial flavoring, but good old fashioned rolled oats. Why, you may ask? Don’t worry, I got you. ;) Here’s a list for you:

  • Oatmeal is packed with soluble fiber. Meaning: it will keep you full for a long time.
  • There are so many possibilities! Add whatever toppings to make your bowl more exciting.
  • It’s fast. It can be made in 2 minutes or less. (no excuses for skipping breakfast!)
  • It’s CHEAP. Like, really cheap. Approximately $0.15 per serving!
  • Oats are a kitchen staple. They can be used in so many other great recipes.

Basically, oatmeal is like a savior for anyone, especially college students or any busy person.

One of my favorite blogs I have been (silently) following since last summer is www.theoatmealartist.com She has hundreds (literally, hundreds!) of oatmeal variations. She is clearly an expert at making and eating oatmeal, so definitely check her blog out. (:

So here is my favorite way to make oatmeal! Peanut butter and melted banana oatmeal. It can look pretty messy compared to these pictures, but it tastes amazing and I love all the different textures. Also because bananas can be found year-round for cheap (or free if you steal them from your dining hall…), and I also steal peanut butter on the regular (shh, I’ll talk about that later) this is my go-to breakfast. And yes, I know it’s a little ridiculous the number of pictures I took for such a simple recipe.

pbbananaoatmeal1 ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • splash of almond milk

directions:

  1. Add oats to bowl.
  2. Slice banana into bite-size pieces and add to bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter.
  4. Add dash of cinnamon.
  5. Pour as much milk as you like, but enough to at least cover the oats.
  6. Stir and microwave for 2 minutes.
  7. Add toppings if you like.

pbbananaoatmeal2I usually just divide the banana pieces by hand because it’s faster, but for presentation reasons, I nicely and evenly cut them for you. You’re welcome. pbbananaoatmeal3Add a big glob of peanut butter. Mmm, peanut butter.pbbananaoatmeal4As you can see, I like a lot of cinnamon.. I also love using the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice interchangeably.pbbananaoatmeal5Add whatever liquid you like, but I prefer unsweetened almond milk. The almond milk gives it a delicious creamy taste. pbbananaoatmeal6Stir, pop in the microwave, and eat! I added a spoonful of chia seeds, blueberries and granola as toppings after for decoration.pbbananaoatmeal9

BAM! oatmeal. yum.

little raw pizzas. (V, GF)

Pizza is one of those universal foods that everyone loves. Especially in college, where the only seemingly effective way to lure students to come to anything school sponsored related is by having food.. aka pizza.

See, look at the following lines from emails that pop up when I type in “pizza” in the search bar of my school email account:

“Pizza will be served, so please do come out and join us!”

“The events will be informal and pizza will be served.”

“Reminder: information session with Pizza” (because pizza deserves a capital letter)

“Please come to meet the guest speakers. PIZZA will be served!” (all capitals so you definitely won’t miss it.)

I think this picture sums up the general view:

It is then probably shocking to most people that I rarely eat pizza. Same with Lilly, though her reason is that she doesn’t eat gluten. So, we decided to health-ify this popular food so we can both enjoy it. 

rawpizza1

Recipe adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life

Ingredients for the crust: (makes 4 little pizzas)

  • 1/2 cup each of hemp seeds, raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper
  • 2 tsps fresh basil (or use dried basil)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender (or food processor) until completely mixed and sticks together.
  2. Divide mixture into four and shape into pizza crust shapes.
  3. Cook in oven at lowest possible temperature for 4-5 hours.

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Notice all the oil on Lilly’s hands! Now notice that there is no actual oil listed as an ingredient. Yes, all of that oil is from the seeds and walnuts!

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This is how the finished baked pizza crusts looked. The hardest part was waiting for it in the oven for hours. Definitely plan way ahead if you try making these. Obviously, they are also very small and don’t look like typical pizza, but try to use your imagination. ;)

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Instead of red pizza sauce, we opted for a yummy spinach pesto sauce.

Ingredients for pesto:

  • 5 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt & pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water, as needed
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
Directions:
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender (or food processor) until creamy.
  2. Taste it. (so good)

Add the pesto on your pizza crusts, then add whatever toppings you desire! The pizzas are so small, that I could only fit some tomato and avocado. They are certainly different from “normal” pizza, but we were satisfied. They are worth trying!

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Now here are some beautiful pictures of Lilly thoroughly enjoying her food in the background.

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Mmm pizza!!

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