Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eat your sea vegetables!

Since it's been a while since my last post, some highlights of my summer whirlwind: 

-Randomly did field visits to hospital in Brooklyn Heights for my internship
-Wrong direction of 7 train brought me to Queens (instead of Port Authority to the bus home)
-Drenched by crazy rain uptown after ballet and jumped through the rivers along the street curbs
-Bought a ticket to go away to Israel and visit friends and family
-Rode the Cyclone (87 yr old wooden roller coaster) in Coney Island.
-Enjoyed a raspberry rhubarb ice pop in Chelsea Market with friends
-Saw my brother from Cali and finished my internship
-Cancelled ticket to Israel (too messy with the war)
-Sick with some sort of flu for a week…..

And this morning I went to ballet class, so I'm back to being a normal person and feeling better. I thank my sea vegetables (started eating them yesterday and then started getting better). Many times they're overlooked when people talk about greens, but just because they're from the ocean and a little slimier than typical leafy greens, no reason to stay away from them…..

I was started reading "The Joy Luck Club" yesterday morning after walking to the library (and judging books by their covers), and they were talking about oriental food, which inspired me to incorporate some sea vegetables with my lunch. After researching seaweed for some hours yesterday (day six at home, what else was I supposed to do with my time?!?), I was able to classify it as Wakame seaweed. It's got lots of Omega-3 fatty acid, niacin, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iodine, and even some protein.

Wakame Salad:

Ingredients: 1 serving wakame (about 3 oz), tsp sesame seeds, tsp sesame oil, tsp rice vinegar

1. Pour the wakame into a bowl of cold water and let sit for 30 minutes (I bought a 10 oz bag of fresh salted wakame so it was extra important to let it sit and get the salt out)

2. Rinse with water again and then put in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds

3. Pour it all in a pasta strainer and press out the water

4. Add tsp sesame seeds, tsp sesame oil, and tsp rice vinegar and mix it up

Friday, June 27, 2014

Surreal Broccoli Salad

The first thing that came to mind when I ate this dish: This is not broccoli.
And what I imagined... here, I'm sharing it with you:

…My altered version of Magritte's The Treachery of Images. I remember learning about this piece in my high school art class while learning about surrealism. The painting really was meant to initiate questioning of what seems real and what is real...but that's only what my 14 year old self understood so maybe there's more to it..
The Treachery of Images
I've actually been too busy interning/dancing/exploring to cook- but in luck that my mom made this for dinner!

ANYWAYS, it looks like broccoli, but tastes TOTALLY NOT LIKE BROCCOLI! It's a reminder that different combinations bring out different flavors that are worth trying. Combining the broccoli with pineapple and mushrooms transforms it! And tossing it all into a salad is perfect.

Makes a few portions 
Ingredients: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 2 heads chopped broccoli, 16 oz diced pineapple, 22 oz baby bella mushrooms, paprika, salt, tbsp olive oil, rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 390F

2. Add mushrooms and diced pineapple along with the juice of the pineapple to a large cooking tin

3. Add the salt, paprika, olive oil, and rosemary to the tin and mix

4. Put in the oven

5. After 15 minutes add in the broccoli

6. After another 15 minutes, (total of 30 so far) take the tray out of the oven and let cool

7. Add to a salad of romaine lettuce with some balsamic vinegar, or just eat it by itself!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Salat Michal

I'm having a great time interning in the city, and contrary to what people think, that being in the city everyday can drain you of energy, I feel that it actually fuels me! It's so exciting to find new adventures each day and to be surrounded with a bunch of people who are rushing to take on their next ventures. Not to mention, I always look forward to going to ballet class(es) after work on the upper east side, and the commute is always interesting. Running in a green flowy dress through the subway station is my favorite.....

Plus, on the way to class I found THE BEST gate to central park:

...then I got really excited about it and drew it.....and I hope to eventually live near it!

This is definitely going to be a really memorable summer, and even though I'm missing Israel (where I usually spend some of summer), there are ways for me to incorporate my Israeli habits into my American repertoire: like eating this salad at any time of the day (even breakfast, which is totally normal in Israel)!

Ingredients: 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, diced bell pepper, juice of half a lemon, tbsp green olives, diced cucumber, hard boiled egg, tsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, tsp zaatar

1. Add 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, diced bell pepper, tbsp green olives, diced cucumber, and hard boiled egg to a large salad bowl

2. Dress with juice of half a lemon, tsp olive oil, dash of salt and pepper, and a tsp zaatar

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pelletier's Salad

One person who would definitely appreciate this salad is Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (back when he was alive, of course), the French chemist who isolated chlorophyll. Making a salad high in chlorophyll content is not usually the intention that people normally have when cooking….but recently I was inspired after a daring, bold city experience:

My friend Caraline and I went to take ballet classes and saw an interesting place called "Organic Avenue," so we went in. Tiny shot-sized bottles of different colored liquids (looked like one of my chemistry labs actually) lined the shelves of their fridge area. It took us a pretty long time to choose which to try. It was like when I was younger and my mom would allow my brother and I to each choose 4 pieces of candy from the candy store (one gummy bear equalled one piece, so the bag was maybe .00126% full when we went to weigh it…), and we were so indecisive. But this was a healthier candy store. We decided to be brave and take a shot of chlorophyll after class… Tasted very strange, but for all of the benefits (including a green mouth), it was worth it: blood cleanser and producer, maintains pH balance, protects against cancer, antioxidant rich, oxygenates cells, and so much more… I made this chlorophyll-rich salad! (And red bell peppers used to be green, so that counts!)

Ingredients: 1 diced bell pepper, 1/2 cup dark red kidney beans, 1 cup romaine lettuce or mixed greens, 1 cup spinach, handful basil, juice of 1 lime, tsp sesame seeds

1. Add cup of lettuce and spinach to large salad bowl and top with diced bell pepper, kidney beans, and basil

2. Add tsp sesame seeds and lime juice to dress it

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lemon Mint Quinoa

Since today is a holiday, I finally have a moment to blog! It's been a busy and exciting week for me, and it will continue to be busy and exciting for me for the rest of summer. Evenings still include ballet, and on Monday I started my summer internship at an engineering firm in NYC. I'm learning a lot and adventure around the area during my lunch break. While I walk, I eat my lunch, and had a thought-provoking encounter. I was making my way through Bryant Park eating this from a little container when the leader of some yoga or tai-chi group approached me and told me to sit down and eat and that walking with food was bad. After doing my research, I've found that especially in places including Japan, Brazil, Quebec, Italy, it is bad etiquette to eat while walking, or even in a place not designated for consuming food. Japan seems to be the most displeased by this, so if you are headed there, take note! Anyways, since I'm in New York, I think I will continue exploring/walking/eating simultaneously...

For 1 serving:
Ingredients: 1/4 cup dry quinoa, 1/2 cup water, dash of marjoram, small handful fresh mint leaves, 1/4 lemon, dash of salt and pepper, 1/2 diced bell pepper

1. Rinse quinoa with water and then put in saucepan with 1/2 cup water

2. add the herbs (marjoram, mint leaves, salt, pepper) and diced bell pepper to the saucepan

3. Cook on medium to high heat until the quinoa absorbs all of the water (should take 15 minutes)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Treats from Drury Lane

The spirit of the muffin man is unmistakeable in our house these days… a large batch of healthy breakfast muffins for my dad are baked in our kitchen on a weekly basis, and here I am trying to make my own version. I guess this could count as a summer-version of a chemistry lab. It's tough to figure out how to get a muffin-like consistency without common ingredients, and these didn't come out the way I expected them to. Still, they're unique. They have a gooey center and a chewy outside, plus they're blue on the inside. I named them: Gooey Center Blueberry Banana Muffins.

Makes 10 small-medium muffins:
Ingredients: 2 ripe bananas, 1 cup oats, tbsp cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp olive oil, tbsp flax seeds, 1/6 tsp baking soda, [tbsp sugar if you must….]

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. Add 1/2 cup boiling water to 1 cup oats and stir in a large mixing bowl

3. Mash bananas and beat eggs in separate bowls

4. Add the mashed banana and beat eggs to the mixing bowl and stir it all

5. Add in tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/6 tsp baking soda [and a little sugar if you can't live without it] and mix!

6. Pour into muffin tins and sprinkle cinnamon on top

7. Bake in oven for about an hour- check after 30 minutes and periodically keep checking until the top is crisp, and the inside is gooey but cooked.

Hawaiian Grill Salad

Between my "summer" beginning, my brother traveling to Hawaii, Mother's Day weekend, and nice weather, the idea to grill some seafood, and pineapple came to mind. However, I'm not great at barbecuing- my experience goes up to cooking bananas and marshmallows at campfires (and there is a possibility that some may have caught on fire)… So, since I can't barbecue and my dad is a master, he grilled skewers with shrimp, pineapple, and red bell pepper. I merely set out a bowl of lettuce and threw in what he grilled!

For a large salad (but alter depending on how much you want)
Ingredients: 3 cups romaine lettuce, about 10 shrimps, 3/4 cup pineapple chunks, 1 bell pepper cut to chunks, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. Arrange the chunks of pineapple, shrimp, and bell pepper on skewers

2. Grill on barbecue until the shrimp is ready (a few minutes on each side)

3. Take chunks off the skewer and add to salad bowl with 2 cups lettuce

Friday, May 9, 2014

Not Tomato Sauce

One thing that I never realized how much I would miss with this diet is tomato sauce! So versatile and yummy, it is great on pasta, homemade pizza, over cooked veggies, and in special dishes.

I used some fresh purple basil from our garden!
I challenged myself to reproduce the flavor of tomato sauce with what I can eat, and to my surprise it worked out well! Check out my "Not Pizza" recipe which uses this "Not Tomato Sauce!"

To make 1.5 cups:
Ingredients: 2 cups chopped bell pepper, 1 diced lemon, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, tsp olive oil, herbs/seasoning (pinch of each and fresh if you have): oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, basil, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, basil, salt, peppercorn, 1/2 cup water

1. Add all ingredients into blender and blend!

2. Pour into saucepan and cook on low to medium heat for 30-60 minutes depending on the consistency desired

3. Store in the fridge

Not Pizza

Not Pizza, 2014 style
The last time I remember eating pizza (or some version of it) with actual tomatoes and wheat, was in the summer of 2010. This was a few years before being diagnosed with wheat allergy and fructose malabsorption, but back then I was already dairy free. It was at surfing camp in Herzliya, Israel, and for lunch that day we each made a mini pizza with dough we made, tomato sauce, olives, and cheese (no cheese for me). This was actually pretty healthy- no grease and pretty natural. I remember having a hard time explaining to my friends [in Hebrew] that I couldn't have milk, so I would not be having cheese on my pizza. The counselors were confused as well, and wouldn't call my creation "pizza," so I gave in and called it "not pizza." I even found some pictures from camp on Facebook (I'm wearing a black rash guard):

(Summer 2010 Herzliya, Israel)
Definitely gave us some energy (I'm on the right)!

Now that I can't have wheat or tomatoes, I should call this recipe not not not pizza, but for simplicity I'll just leave it at "not pizza." Check out my "Not Tomato Sauce" recipe to help make this delicious "Not Pizza!"

To make 4 small slices:
2 Slices tolerated bread, topping of choice (I used olives and peppers), 3 tbsp "Not Tomato Sauce", tsp olive oil

1. Cut each piece of bread in half and lay on aluminum foil

2. Drizzle tsp olive oil over the pieces

3. Spread 3/4 tbsp of sauce on each mini piece

4. Put topping as you wish

5. Put in a convection or toaster oven until bread is crisp- I put it in on 350F for about 4 minutes in a convection oven

6. ENJOY!!!

7. Go surfing?!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pina Kale-Ada

A few weeks ago in the school cafeteria, there was no fruit except for pineapple, and I needed
something sweet, so I looked up the fructose content (seemed okay to have a few bites) and got some. It's been a very, very long time since I've had pineapple, and when I tried it, it was so delicious, so I had a little more. Turns out that my body can handle the fructose-glucose ratio in a little bit of pineapple, but my mouth could not! There was a tingling sensation in my mouth, which then turned into a giant burn, which made it hard to eat and talk.

I was worried that this was another allergy, so I did some research and found out that the plant protease enzyme, bromelain (which breaks down proteins), causes the burn. So, if you haven't had pineapple in a while and would like to preserve your taste buds, don't have more than a few pieces, and make sure that it's ripe! This recipe has just the right amount!

Ingredients: 1/2 cup RIPE pineapple, 1 cup kale, 2 tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 cup ice

1. Pour all ingredients into a high speed blender with some water

2. Blend!

Sushi Core

It's been over a week since I've posted, and I owe that to final exam culture...
Before I give you my recipe, I've got to give a recap...
The desk across from me at library
Check out that kettle!

At Lehigh, finals week = students residing in the library 24/7. This includes pillows, blankets, crying, coffee, coffee brewing machines in laptop outlets, hot water kettles in laptop outlets, moving out of dorms to move into library, etc.

So I came home for a little to study in a more relaxed environment. My study guides came with me to ballet class uptown, the Great Lawn at Central Park (and they got to see Belvedere Castle), and then witnessed the creation of this "sushi core" in my kitchen at home. My study guides are definitely less stressed out here. They also had a great time sightseeing and getting culture. Not to mention, I had fun, too.
study guides in hallway at ballet
May flowers...

belvedere castle

Makes about 5:
Ingredients: 10 small nori seaweed sheets, 1 red bell pepper, 1 avocado, tsp sesame seeds, 5 sheets rice paper

1. Slice 1 red bell pepper into strips and 1 avocado into wedges

2. Put sheet of rice paper under warm water and add 2 sheets nori onto it. Then add some avocado and pepper and wrap it up.

3. Continue making rolls until there's no more avocado and pepper

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mint Forest Meets Fudge!

The greatest surprise when I came home this weekend was that our mint forest in our back yard started to bloom! And I do mean forest- pictures to come soon when it blooms a little more. Anyways, I wanted to make something sweet, so I made my favorite carob cocoa fudge and spread it on rice cakes with some mint leaves for an artistic representation of our awesome backyard garden! Had them to refuel after ballet class today and I'm definitely re-energized. 

Ingredients: 1/4 cup favorite carob cocoa fudge, 6 rice cakes, small handful freahmint leaves, tbsp tehina, tsp sesame seeds

1. Spread an even amount of fudge on each rice cakes

2. Sprinkle some mint leaf pieces onto each

3. Drizzle tehina and sesame seeds over each piece

Favorite Carob-Cocoa Fudge

My first carob encounter was during a summer adventure. I was in Israel and on a trip with a group; it was a hot day (typical) and we were hungry and tired. Our leader said to try taking a bite of this dry, long brown bean looking thing, and since at the time my judgement was probably impaired due to the heat, I took a bite. And then another... It was good, and my normal self would have never tried it. This fudge recipe is inspired by this encounter (and also because everyone needs some chocolate, even if you can't really have it...)

*I do use a tsp of raw brown sugar in this recipe, which should only be used if it can be tolerated with a low fructose diet. If not, use a quarter of a mashed banana.

To make 1/4 cup of fudge:

Ingredients: 1.5 tbsp carob powder, 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp raw brown sugar (or 1/4 mashed banana), 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl

2. This should be more watery than the final product

3. Microwave for 40 seconds or cook on stovetop until desired consistency is achieved

4. Enjoy! (But don't eat too much; may possibly give you too much energy)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When in the Cafeteria...

In the Lehigh cafeterias, with my restrictions I am limited to making my own salad from the salad bar (where I control what ingredients go in), fruits from the fruit basket (oranges, bananas, and peaches if they have them), plain brown rice, and steamed broccoli. So many times when they don't have these things I ask for them anyways...

That Annoying Girl at the Salad Bar:
I guess that was me today (and most days)- I wanted to make a colorful salad but there were no bell peppers or eggs. I asked, but they said not today. I asked if they had spinach; nope not today. Instead, I made a green and black tuna salad and went to the fruit baskets to get an orange and a banana... but there were only oranges and apples; no bananas! I asked the man in charge of the dining hall if there were any bananas- he said he would check for me. I started eating my salad, got some more, and when it was time to leave I happily left with a banana in each hand! It was worth being Annoying Girl.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup tuna chunks, 2 cups romaine lettuce, tsp olive oil, 2tsp balsamic vinegar, cucumber slices, tbsp kalamata olives, orange, 2 bananas, cup of water

1. Go to the salad bar and add 2 cups of lettuce to bowl

2. Add some cucumber slices and tbsp black kalamata olives

3. Add 3/4 cup of tuna

4. Dress with tsp olive oil and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

5. Get a cup of water!

6. Grab an orange and 2-3 bananas (friends may ask if you're a monkey, but it's okay...)

7. Get more if still hungry!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kale Spaghetti!

If I didn't have to follow a low-fructose diet, my spaghetti creations would probably be similar to Buddy the Elf's ridiculously sweet breakfast, lunch, and dinner spaghetti meals (from the movie Elf). However, sugar is a limit in my case, so I have to replace the marshmallows, M&M's, and maple syrup with kale and oregano... and it tastes pretty good! The best part is that this takes 10 minutes to make and will fuel me for running around classes (actually mountain climbing) at Lehigh today.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup chopped kale, 1 serving (about 2 oz) spelt or rice spaghetti, asparagus spear, dash of dried Italian herbs and spices: oregano, thyme, marjoram, salt, pepper, tsp olive oil

1. Bring a pot of water to boil

2. Add 2 oz spelt or rice spaghetti and cook for about 8 minutes

3. While pasta is cooking, steam 3/4 cup of chopped kale and asparagus spear

4. Add Italian herbs and spices to the pasta and a tsp of olive oil

5. Drain pasta, pour in bowl, and mix in the kale and asparagus topping

Elf image from

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Garden Salad

When I was gathering the ingredients for this salad, I realized that with the help of my family and their backyards, we can even make this without the supermarket! The herbs and greens AND RASPBERRIES can come from my grandma's garden along with the farm in her town. Extra emphasis on the raspberries because I have many fond memories picking them and would rather be doing that than studying... The eggs can come from my cousins/aunt and uncle who have chickens. We have some herbs in our backyard that can contribute, and in Israel and California we have family with lemon trees. Maybe next time I'll try to use my resources better :)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup raspberries, 2-3 celery stalks, 1/4 cup parsley and dill, 1/2 lemon, tbsp balsamic vinaigrette (or 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and tsp olive oil), 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce, hard boiled egg

1. Dice 2-3 celery stalks and 1/2 lemon, and prepare 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2. Add chopped romaine lettuce and 1/4 cup parsley and dill to a large salad plate or bowl

3. Add 1/2 cup raspberries, sliced hard boiled egg, and diced lemon and celery to the salad

4. Dress with a tbsp light balsamic vinaigrette or make your own with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and tsp olive oil

Do you incorporate local produce into your recipes? Any ideas or favorites?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kidney Bean Summer Roll

It's a rainy day, but I'm home for the weekend and had some time to make something different today... this morning went to Bikram yoga with my dad and needed some hydrating, refueling food after class. The summer roll rice paper wrap, fresh veggies, and kidney beans seemed to be appropriate.

Ingredients: 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 cup dark red kidney beans, tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, 2 rice or tapioca paper sheets

1. Cook 1/2 cup kidney beans (different packages or raw require different preparation)

2. Wet the rice paper sheets and spread out on flat surface

3. Add shredded lettuce, pepper strips, and kidney beans inside each rice sheet

4. Roll up the rice wraps

5. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Berry Sesame Oatmeal

If you have 3 minutes in the morning, try this awesome and balanced breakfast! Gathering the ingredients did echo the "eating like a bird" theme, but if seeds and berries fuel them to fly, I think this will be energizing enough.

Ingredients: 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1/3 cup dry oats, 2/3 cup mixed berries, tsp cinnamon

1. Add 2/3 cup water to 1/3 cup dry oats and either cook on stove or microwave for about 2 min.

2. Add 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 2/3 cup mixed berries, and tsp cinnamon

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Green Eggs and... Avocado!

If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, I think Dr. Seuss would be proud of this recipe! And it's healthier than what Sam-I-Am tries to convince the other character to eat (ham). I think that if he was served green eggs and avocado, he would definitely eat it. Who would pass up on all of those B vitamins and potassium? Anyways, this is a nice omelet-type dish and very easy to make!

Ingredients: 1/2 cup spinach, 1 egg, tsp olive oil, nonstick cooking oil spray, 2/3 bell pepper 1/3 avocado, tbsp lemon juice, pinch of marjoram and oregano, parsley, salt and pepper to taste

1. In a pan on stove top, sauté the 1/2 cup of spinach in 1/4 cup of water and tsp of olive oil

2. Whisk an egg in a bowl and add in the sautéd spinach to it. Mix well

3. Add in oregano and marjoram and pour mixture into pan

4. Dice the 2/3 bell pepper and 1/3 avocado and save on side for after cooking

5. Grease pan and cook egg mixture on low heat

5. When ready, take off of heat and add fresh diced pepper and avocado to top it along with tbsp lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste