Like many people, I love a good deviled egg. There is something about these little bites of heaven that is both kind of fancy, but very comforting at the same time.
They take a little time and care, but they are everybody’s favorite thing to eat at a party.
You can top them with just about anything from chives to smoked salmon, but I like paprika on my deviled eggs because it gives a little color and flare, with just a hint of spice.
Deviled eggs are best when they are made ahead of time so that they get a chance to get nice and cold in the fridge. You can store them in an airtight container and snack them if you get hungry, or make a big batch of them and bring them to an Easter party this weekend.
Classic Homemade Deviled Eggs
Makes 4 deviled eggs (but you can easily scale this recipe up)
2 tbsp of mayo (I used an avocado oil mayo, but feel free to use your favorite mayo)
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
3/4 tsp water
Sprinkle of paprika for garnish
1. Place your eggs in a pot and cover with about 3/4 – 1 inch of room temperature water. Cover and bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat. Take the pan off the heat, and set aside (keeping the lid on the pot) and set a timer for 12 minutes.
2. After 12 minutes, take a slotted spoon and transfer the eggs to a big bowl of ice water and let them sit for 20 minutes. Peel and slice the eggs in half. If the eggs still feel warm at this point, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely cool.
If the egg yolks are too warm when you mix them with the mayo, the filling for the deviled eggs will split, so you want the eggs to be nice and cold before you move on to the next step.
3. You can mash up the filling for the deviled eggs in a bowl with a fork, but the I find that the way to get the smoothest texture is to use a food processor. Add the cooked egg yolks, mayo, mustard and water to a food processor and blend until smooth (or mash together in a bowl with a fork, it will taste just as good).
If the food processor overmixes the filling and you see that the filling has separated, that’s ok. It’s an easy fix.
Add a few drops of water to a bowl with about about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of the deviled egg filing. Mix together until smooth and it should become creamy and emulsified again. Keep whisking in little bit of the separated filling mixture into the emulsified filling (adding the occasional little bit of water if needed to get the mixture to become smooth again) until all the separated mixture has been whisked into the smooth mixture.
Don’t be afraid to adjust the taste of the filling to your liking. If you like a more spicy deviled egg, add a little more mustard (or use dijon mustard instead of yellow mustard if you want to live on the edge). If you like creamier and milder flavored deviled egg, add a little more mayo. It’s completely up to you, so make the deviled egg that you want to eat.
4. Spoon the filling into a ziploc bag and cut off a bit of one corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into the cooked egg whites and then sprinkle each deviled egg with a bit of paprika.
You can also skip piping the mixture and just spoon it into the cooked egg whites instead to give the deviled eggs a more friendly and comfortable kind of charm.
However you make them, I’m sure that they will taste AMAZING.
When I’m feeling like I want a sweet snack in a flash, I make myself a plate of apple slices and caramel dip.
This is the easiest no cook caramel dip ever. This caramel dip tastes incredibly indulgent and takes just seconds to make. Olive oil and maple syrup may sound like an unusual combination, but it tastes delicious, especially when combined with the sweet apple.
Apple Slices and Two Ingredient Caramel Dip
Makes 1 serving
1 fuji apple (or apple of choice, I like fuji apples because they are nice and sweet)
1 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp – 1 tsp olive oil
1. Wash and slice your apple, and place the apple slices on a plate. Spoon the maple syrup and olive oil onto the side of the plate, or into a small dish. Stir the maple syrup and olive oil together until well combined. Dip the apple slices into the caramel and enjoy!
I love tuna salad, and this is a slightly fancier version but is still super simple to make. It’s perfect for a quick dinner, or an easy snack and you can use up your leftover brown rice or salmon to make this tasty dish.
Salmon Salad Sushi
Makes 8 pieces (2 snack size servings, or 1 serving for a hungry person)
1/3 cup cooked flaked salmon (canned salmon is fine too)
2 ½ tbsp. mayo (I used an avocado oil mayo)
1/8 tsp dijon mustard
2 ½ tsp finely chopped green onion
3 tsp lemon juice
tiny pinch of pepper
¼ tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
¼ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups warm cooked brown rice (I just steam it for a few minutes in the rice cooker to warm it up if it was in the fridge)
1 sheet of nori
1. Stir together the salmon with everything but the rice and nori.
2. Lay the nori sheet on a plastic wrap covered bamboo mat.
Wet your fingers, and spread the warm rice on the nori into a thin layer leaving about a ¾ inch of nori uncovered at the top of the sheet.
3. Spoon the salmon salad into a line at the bottom of the rice covered nori. Roll firmly into a sushi roll, and set in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to firm up. Cut into 8 slices and serve.
This super pretty smoothie looks like sunshine in a cup. It’s a snap to make and is not only delicious, but also full of healthy and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, and avocado oil is a monounsaturated fat that helps to increase the absorption of the beta carotene from the carrots. The pineapple adds sweetness (if you use fresh pineapple then you get the benefit of an added anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain which helps with pain) and the strawberries add anthocyanins (the compounds that give the strawberries their color) which can help boost neurogenesis (helping your brain to produce new brain cells).
What I’ll sometimes do is pour one serving of the smoothie into a screw top jar (just an empty jar of coconut oil that I’ve washed and cleaned out) and keep it in the fridge to drink later in the day. It’s a filling smoothie and drinking this is usually satisfying enough that I can walk by the wall of chocolate candy at the grocery store and not crave any of it.
The apples, strawberries and pineapple give the smoothie a lovely sweetness, but if you want the smoothie a little sweeter, you can squeeze in a little honey to taste.
Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie
Makes 2 generous servings
1 1/2 fuji apples, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, but into 1/2 inch slices (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup canned pineapple + 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice*
8 strawberries (fresh or frozen) about a scant 1 cup
*If you don’t want to use canned pineapple, Trader Joe’s sells pineapple juice in a carton which tastes great. You can just add a few splashes of that to the smoothie instead of the canned pineapple for sweetness.
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into cups and serve.
If your blender isn’t that great at blending frozen things, you can let the strawberries thaw for 15-20 minutes before blending.
I hope that this colorful smoothie brings a little joy and sunshine to your day!
I know that it’s healthy, but like most people, I didn’t grow up eating it. So quinoa lacks that sense of nostalgia and comfort that many of my favorite foods have. It doesn’t have too much of a flavor, and to be honest I’m still sometimes at a loss as to what to eat with it, or lack ideas on how to make it more exciting.
I know that people say that you can swap quinoa out for rice, but honey, it ain’t the same.
Making sushi with quinoa doesn’t work that well, and when you’re eating something like Lou Rou Fan (Taiwanese Braised Pork with rice) or Taiwanese Style Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Green Onion, you want rice. I can eat brown rice with both of those dishes and not feel like I’m missing out, but I don’t want to eat those dishes with quinoa.
But this is a recipe that I love to eat. This recipe makes quinoa taste (imagine Oprah saying this) amazing! I love the brightness of the lemon juice with the freshness of the mint and parsley. The quinoa has a lovely texture that really works well with this dish, and gives the tabbouleh a lot of good protein. This tabbouleh is also full of different colored vegetables and herbs, and it’s a very nutrient dense salad that just tastes great.
And it doesn’t feel like another boring old salad, it looks and tastes exciting.
So if you’re ever stumped as to what to do with leftover quinoa, make this dish and see if you don’t just eat the entire portion yourself in one sitting.
I like to make this dish a day in advance so that the lemon juice has time to mellow out the sharpness of the onion. It’s also nice to have a batch of this sitting in the fridge so that there’s always something healthy to snack on when you’re hungry.
Makes 2-3 servings
1 diced Roma tomato (about 2/3 cup)
½ cup diced white onion
¼ cup finely chopped parsley, loosely packed*
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint*
¾ cup cooked quinoa**
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice***
¼ level tsp sea salt
¼ level tsp black pepper
*For tips on how to keep your excess herbs fresh, here’s a link to a post that I wrote about that.
**If at all possible, buy the quinoa in the store that doesn’t say to rinse it on the package instructions. Quinoa can be difficult to rinse if you don’t have a fine enough strainer, and life is easier if you can just scoop the dry quinoa out from the container, add it to a pot with some water and cook it in the rice cooker and not have to think to hard about it.
*** If you have any excess lemons, you can freeze them.
Stir all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Taste it the next day, and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Lunar New Year is always an exciting time of year. It’s a time when we all get together and eat lots of amazing food.
Every Asian culture celebrates Lunar New Year a little differently, but growing up Chinese American, we always made sure that we ate fish (for prosperity), noodles (for long life), oranges (for wealth), and tang yuan during the Lunar New Year feast.
“Tang” means soup, and “yuan” means round. “Yuan” also signifies a family gathering around a table, so this is why tang yuan are eaten at Lunar New Year.
Tang yuan are chewy sweet rice balls. They can be filled with anything (there are peanut butter ones, taro ones, and black sesame ones too) but these are filled with sweet red bean paste, which is one of my favorite fillings.
These tang yuan are easy to make, and refined sugar free but still taste just like the ones I grew up eating.
My family eats them with red bean soup, and this is the perfect thing to warm you right up during cold weather that we’re having.
I hope that you eat these tang yuan surrounded by lots of loved ones this Lunar New Year.
Tang Yuan (Sweet Rice Balls with Red Bean Filling)
1/2 cup sweet rice flour – 90 g (I used the Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour)***
1/4 cup warm water – 60 g
* 3 – 4 Tang Yuan per person should be ok if you’re eating a big meal for Lunar New Year, but my family usually eat a lot of them. Some people want 8 tang yuan in their bowl, some want 5, so it’s a good idea to make some extra ones just in case. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if need be, and it’s nice to have some extra tang yuan on hand in the winter months when you want a sweet warm snack.
**Make the red bean soup first, then use those some of those red beans in this recipe. drain about 1 cup of beans and liquid before you measure the 1/2 cup. You want the 1/2 of beans to be almost all beans with very little liquid. Press the red beans lightly with the back of a spoon while the red beans are in a sieve so that you get as much excess liquid out of the beans as possible. You can save the liquid and add it back into the red bean soup, or keep it to the side to and eat it with a drizzle of maple syrup if you don’t want to make the red bean soup thinner.
*** I recommend weighing the sweet rice flour if possible for the best results.
1. Add the drained red beans into a food processor with the 1/8 cup of maple syrup (I know that it doesn’t seem like much sweetener, but it gives just the right amount of sweetness to the tang yuan) and blend until smooth. It will look like this when it’s done.
2. Cook the mixture in a small saucepan on medium high for 7-8 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. It should be a similar texture to jam when you’re done.
3. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. The mixture should be reduced to just over 1/3 cup of red bean paste. Lay plastic wrap over a plate, and scoop a 1/2 tsp amount of the red bean paste into your hands and roll into a ball. Place the ball on the plate and repeat until you use up all the red bean paste. You should get about 12 little balls of paste in total. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour until solid.
4. When the red bean balls are frozen solid, add the warm water to the sweet rice flour and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough is formed. Knead the dough together with your hands for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
5. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and keep the pieces of dough that you’re not working with covered with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out.
Take the red bean paste balls out of the freezer. If you’re working with a double or triple batch, take about 12 red bean paste balls out of the freezer at a time, that way that don’t defrost before you cover them in the dough. It’s much easier to wrap the red bean paste in the dough if the red bean paste is frozen solid.
Wet your hands, and flatten each piece of dough into a small disk in your hand and pinch and fold the dough together to cover the red beans paste and roll until the ball is smooth.
If you’re a visual learner, this video shows how it’s done starting at the 2:30 min mark.
The first time I tried covering the balls in the dough, I did it with dry hands and it was much more difficult to work with than when my hands were wet. When I tried it again with wet hands, I made a double batch and only had trouble covering about 4 out of 24 of the tang yuan.
If the dough is too dry, it won’t stick to the red bean paste. You can peel off the dough and knead in a few drops of water before trying to cover the red bean paste again.
If the dough is too wet, it also won’t stick to the ball of red bean paste, but it will stick to just about everything else. In that case, just knead it with your hands for a little bit until it dries out a little and try again. Don’t worry if you can see little flecks of red bean paste on the outside of the tang yuan. No one will notice once they are in the soup.
If you get an air bubble around the red bean paste and the dough is not sticking to the ball, pull all the dough off of the ball, wet your hands, knead it the dough a little and try covering the ball again. This technique works better than trying to squeeze the air out which tends to make the rest of the dough pull away from the ball as well.
Once you’re done rolling the tang yuan, put them onto a plate lined in plastic wrap and cover lightly with another layer of plastic wrap and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the tang yuan into an air-tight container and stash in your freezer until you are ready to cook them.
When you want to cook them, warm up some red bean soup (or you can also eat the tang yuan in the water that you cook them in with a little maple syrup drizzled over for sweetness).
Then bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the tang yuan (cook a few extra in case a few break open while cooking), cover with the lid and turn the heat down to medium low. Let the tang yuan cook until they float (about 6-8 minutes) lifting the lid to check on them occasionally. Once they are floating, put the lid back on and then set a timer 3 minutes let them continue cooking over medium low until the timer goes off.
If some of the tang yuan break open, don’t worry about. Just ladle those ones into your bowl (cook’s treat, you can also ask if anyone else wants the extras) and they will taste just as good as the whole ones.
For the Miniature Tang Yuan – You can also make little (non-filled tang yuan) as well, and those are even easier to make.
Stir together 1/4 cup (45g) sweet rice flour with 1/8 cup warm water (30 g) and knead until smooth. Roll the dough into a long snake and keep cutting the dough in half until you have 32 little pieces of dough about the size of a centimeter. Roll each little piece of dough into a ball and place them on a plate lined in plastic wrap. Over lightly with another piece of plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
The cooking instructions for the little tang yuan (no matter if they are freshly made or frozen) is to bring a pot of water to the boil. Add in the little tang yuan, cover, and set a time for 3 minutes.
When the timer is up, scoop out the little tang yuan with a slotted spoon and add them to the red bean soup. Ta-da! Extra adorableness for Lunar New Year!
To Serve – Ladle the red bean soup into bowls, top with your tang yuan and drizzle over some maple syrup.
What I do when I eat this soup is I’ll drizzle over about 1 tbsp of maple per bowl and don’t stir it in. That way, each time you take a bite you get a little hint of sweetness and you use less sweetener overall in the soup.
I hope that you and your family have a lucky, wonderful, safe and prosperous Lunar New Year!
Red bean soup is a recipe that my family makes often. Red bean is a very popular flavor in Asian desserts (there’s red bean ice cream, red bean filling in mochi, and even red bean popsicles), and I’ve grown up eating this soup all my life.
This soup is a sweet soup that warms you up in the winter, and it goes great with tang yuan, which are a traditional chewy sweet rice balls that signify family togetherness and are eaten at celebrations like weddings, and especially at Lunar New Year.
This soup is normally made with a lot of cane sugar, but I make the soup with maple syrup instead. My trick for using less sweetener when eating this soup is to drizzle about 1 tbsp of maple syrup on top of each bowl, and to not stir it in.
That way each time you take a bite, you get that little hint of sweetness and you end up using less maple syrup overall.
Another good way to cut down the sweetener in red bean soup is to cook the soup in a slow cooker. The beans taste sweeter when cooked this way, and with a few tang yuan and a drizzle of maple syrup, I promise you that you won’t miss the cane sugar version because this one is amazing.
If you need to cook red bean soup in a hurry, you can do this on the stove top in about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. The texture of the beans won’t be quite as soft and tender as the slow cooker red bean soup, but the stove top version will still be very good.
If you’re expecting to serve this to more than 6 people for Lunar New Year, I recommend making two batches of this soup. If you have extra, you can send it home with people and everyone will be extra happy for Lunar New Year.
Sweet Red Bean Soup Recipe
Makes 4 – 6 servings (if you use some of the red beans to make tang yuan, 6-8 servings if you don’t).
1 lb Adzuki Beans (aka Red Beans, preferably organic)
10.5 cups of filtered water
– maple syrup for serving
Slow Cooker Directions
1. Give the beans a good rinse. Add them to a large pot and cover them with 1.5 inches of cool filtered water. Bring the beans to a boil, then set a time for 2 minutes and let the beans boil until the timer goes off.
2. Drain the beans and add them to a slow cooker along with 10.5 cups of filtered water. Cover, and let the beans cook on high for 9-10 hours until the beans are very soft and tender.
Stove Top Directions –
1. Give the beans a good rinse. Add them to a large pot and cover them with 1.5 inches of cool filtered water. Bring the beans to a boil, then set a time for 2 minutes and let the beans boil until the timer goes off.
2. Drain the beans and add them back into the pot along with 10.5 cups of filtered water. Cover, bring the beans to a boil again, then turn the heat down to medium low and let the beans cook covered for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the beans are soft. Give the beans a stir every now and then, and if the water looks a little low, add a little more water. The soup is done when you can easy smush a bean between your thumb and forefinger.
If after an hour and a half of cooking the beans are still firm (older beans sometimes take longer to cook) turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 30-45 minutes and the beans should be soft by then.
Green onions are used in lots of Asian recipes, and they are actually super simple to regrow on your windowsill from the trimmings that you would normally compost.
I cut the green part off the green onions so that there’s about 1.5 – 2 inches of the white part attached to the roots. Then put the green onion roots in a little jar (old spice jars seem to work well for this) and add about 1.5 inches of cool water into the jar. I put a little piece of folded paper towel under the jar when I put it in the windowsill so that no watermarks stain the wood.
Replace the water everyday (that way the water doesn’t get slimy as quickly). I’ve been able to successfully regrow a trimmed green onion root about 2-3 times. After that, they get a little too slimy around the roots and it’s time to compost them and wash out the jar.
The picture shows about a week of growth, and you can trim off what you need to add to dishes.
You can also plant the trimmed green onion roots in some soil, and they should regrow a few more times than if they were simply regrown in water.
I hope that this tip helps you save a little money! Let me know how this trick works for you. What would you make with your regrown green onions?
I love hummus, and this dip originally started out as a black bean hummus, but I kept adding more lemon juice and more green onions until it became something slightly different, something even better.
It’s thinner than store bought hummus, but still wonderfully creamy and has an incredibly bright happy flavor from the lemon juice, which works well with the flavors of the garlic and green onion (which sort of prance around in the background and bring even more joy to the party).
It’s better if you make it a day ahead, that way the lemon juice will mellow out the sharp flavor of the garlic and the dip will be extra delicious.
I hope that you give this dip a try!
Creamy Lemon Garlic Black Bean Dip
Makes about 2 -3 servings
7 tbsp + ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 can black beans, drained
4 tbsp. + 1 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp finely chopped green onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
If you like things more lemony you can add another 1 tbsp of lemon juice, or more to taste.
Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Serve with tortilla chips or cut veggies, and if you’d like you can sprinkle over some finely chopped green onion for color and extra crunch.
These little muffins are wonderfully spiced and perfect for when you’re craving pumpkin bread. They have a better texture the next day, so I usually bake them the night before, set them out on a plate on the counter and cover them with a paper towel. The next morning they have dried out a little, and the texture and flavor are even better than they are fresh out of the oven.
When you take them out of the oven, they will be nice and puffy, but the will flatten as they cool. Don’t worry about this, as they will still be delicious. They are wonderfully creamy in the middle and taste just like your favorite pumpkin bread.
You can either bake them as 6 full sized muffins, or as 9 snack sized (flatter) muffins. I normally prefer to bake them as 9 instead of 6 muffins, as it’s harder to wolf down 9 muffins in one sitting than 6 muffins, (trust me on this, I know). Either way, they taste amazing! I hope that you like them.
I’ve included the measurements for 12 muffins below, just in case you need them.
Pumpkin Bread Muffins Makes 6 full sized muffins – or 9 snack sized ones.
¾ level tsp ground cinnamon
¼ level tsp + 1/8 level tsp ground ginger
1/8 level tsp ground cloves
1 cup oat flour (I just grind the oats in a blender until they become a fine flour)
4 ½ tbsp. melted coconut oil (or a neutral flavored oil)
¼ cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease and flour the muffin pan using coconut oil (or neutral oil) and oat flour. Here’s my trick to doing this.
3. In a large bowl, sift the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, oat flour, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin puree, water, apple cider vinegar, oil, eggs and maple syrup.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until well combined.
For 6 muffins – divide the batter evenly between 6 muffin cups, and use the back of a spoon to smooth down the batter in each muffin cup so that the tops of the scoops of batter are flat.
Bake for 30 min at 350, then turn the oven down to 300 for another 10 minutes.
Let them cool in the pan. To remove them, run a butter knife around the edge of each muffin and pop them out and set them onto a plate.
For 9 flatter muffins – divide the batter equally between 9 muffin cups. Use the back of a spoon to smooth down the batter in each muffin cup so that the tops of the scoops of batter are flat.
Bake for 30 min at 350. Let them cool in the pan. To remove them, run a butter knife around the edge of each muffin and pop them out and set them onto a plate.
Note – I made the little decorative leaves from the extra scrap dough from making the tart shells. I used a small paring knife to cut the shape of the leaves and the tines of a fork to make the little indentations. Bake the leaves at 375 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
For 12 muffins
1 ½ level tsp ground cinnamon
¾ level tsp ground ginger
¼ level tsp ground cloves
2 cups oat flour
¾ level tsp baking soda
2 small pinches of salt
1 ¾ cup pumpkin puree (or sweet potato puree)
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
9 tbsp melted coconut oil (or a neutral flavored oil)