What You’ll Need:

1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon water
1 pinch sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Olive oil, in a mister
1 scallion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 package firm tofu (about 210g), very well drained
1 tablespoon very finely chopped parsley

What to Do:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients for the seasoning — nutritonal yeast, turmeric, cumin, paprika, water, salt, and pepper — and set aside.
  2. Mist a frying pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat to warm up.
  3. Once hot, add the chopped scallion and garlic, and sautee until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Crumble the tofu into the pan, breaking it up with your fingers.
  5. Pour the seasoning (which should resemble a bright paste) over the tofu and mix it well, trying to color as much tofu as possible.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes or until tofu is hot throughout. Toss in the parsley and continue to stir for another 1-2 mins.
  7. Once cooked, serve with your favorite sides and toppings: Sliced avocado, whole-grain crackers or toast, sliced tomato, bacon (regular, or meat-free!), salsa, and/or hot sauce are all great options.

Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon and MORE

Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

For 4-6

[Leaf Parade. Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.]


  • 4 pieces of uncured bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ~6-1/2 ounces cooked chestnuts (I used a vacuum-sealed package from Trader Joe’s that measured about 1 cup)
  • Sea salt + cracked black pepper
  • ~1-1/2 cup hard apple cider (a bit less than 1 bottle)


In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy. Set the bacon aside and drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan and reserve for another use.

Add the garlic and saute for just a minute, until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts and a big pinch of salt and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the sprouts begin to brown just a touch. Add the cider and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and braise the sprouts and chestnuts uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the sprouts are fork tender. Add more cider as necessary. Crumble the bacon and add it back to the pan, mixing all the ingredients together until the bacon is warm. Serve as a side or as a poached egg-topped entree.

Stir-fry rice with shrimp, vegetables & soy lime sauce

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 16 pieces shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas
  • 5 cups steamed white rice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. Over medium heat, in a wok or large saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil.
  2. After about 2 minutes, add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and green peas. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and mix well.
  5. Add the soy sauce, sugar and lime juice. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Garnish with the parsley.
  7. Serve warm.


Prawn and Cashew Vindaloo


500g prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup cashew
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, ground
2 tsp chilli powder
6 pcs green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 red onion, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro, to garnish


1. In a pan add oil and then cook onions until soft.
2. Add the turmeric, mustard seeds and chilli powder, continue to cook until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut, honey and green chillies, bring it to a boil then simmer for two minutes.
4. Add the prawns and cashew then simmer until prawns are cooked, it will take roughly around 5 minutes.
5. Add vinegar then season with salt. Turn heat off then serve garnished with cilantro.

Mulled Wine


  • 1 bottle of Cabernet Savignon (or your favorite red wine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup brandy (more or less to your taste)


  1. Zest the orange skin (by using a vegetable peeler or knife) into thick slices.
  2. In a medium sized pot, add the orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and sugar together.
  3. Pour just enough wine to cover everything (in a medium pot, this was a little less than 1/4 of the bottle for me).
  4. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 8-10 mins while stirring occasionally. This will thicken it a little bit and create a flavorful syrup.
  5. Bend head over mixture and smell..it smells like winter!
  6. Once the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low. Add the rest of the wine. Squeeze the juice out of the orange you zested earlier into the pot.
  7. Let the wine slowly warm up. You must do it at a low temp so that the alcohol doesn’t burn off.
  8. Once it’s warm enough, add the brandy and serve immediately.


Quick Crockpot Fondue


  • 3 cups dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1.5 lbs processed Swiss cheese, shredded or finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg


  1. Plug in a small slow cooker (such as a Crockette) and set it to the “warm” setting.
  2. Place the white wine, crushed garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. After five minutes, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the processed swiss cheese into the slow cooker and cover with the lid.
  4. After the wine has reduced for 10 minutes, pour it directly over the cheese in the crockpot (you may want to remove the crock from the heating element before doing this, so you don’t spill liquid over the electric parts).
  5. Use a whisk to combine the cheese with the wine mixture. It will seem like it is not working at first, but it will soon come together. If after a few minutes there are still large chunks, turn the heat up to high and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Serve with pretzels, sourdough or rye bread, or sausage.

salsa chicken casserole

salsa chicken casserole


  • 1 cup uncooked rice $0.33
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) $0.52
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans $1.39
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder $0.10
  • ½ tsp oregano $0.03
  • 2 large (1.5 lbs.) chicken breasts $2.99
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.94
  • 2 whole green onions, sliced $0.17


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain and briefly rinse the black beans. Add the dry rice, black beans, corn, salsa, chicken broth, chili powder, and oregano to an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into three pieces each. Push the chicken pieces down into the rice salsa mixture in the casserole dish. Try to push them down as far into the liquid as they’ll go. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake for one hour.
  3. Take the casserole dish out of the oven, test the rice with a fork to make sure it is tender. If it is not, recover the dish, return it to the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes more. When the rice is tender, sprinkle the cheese over top and return the casserole to the oven for a few minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Add the sliced green onions on top after baking and serve hot.

Banoffe Cupcakes


1 cup mashed bananas

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

85g unsalted butter

1 cup of sugar

1 extra large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup of buttermilk (or milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar)


combine lemon juice and bananas set aside

combine flour, baking soda, and salt – set aside

in a large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth

add the egg and vanilla

alternately add the flour and buttermilk in turns 1/3 of flour mixture — 1/3 of buttermilk repeated 3 times

add bananas

fill cupcake lined tin, each cup filled to the top.

bake for 1 hour at 125C

cool completely

Toffee Topping

cover a closed can of sweetened condensed milk with water — boil the can, always submerged in water for 90-100minutes

Allow to cool completely

the center of the cupcakes will sink a bit as they cool, put a spoonful of topping in the center and spread around

place a slice of banana and shake unsweetened cocoa powder on the top

Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas


(Makes 3-4 servings or 6-8 appetizer servings, recipe adapted from one found in From Julia Child’s Kitchen.)
1 globe eggplant, about 8 ounces and 9-10 inches long
about 1 T salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
about 2 T olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
about 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting
10 large basil leaves, cut in chiffonade strips (optional)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella blend
hot red pepper flakes for sprinkling finished pizza (optional)
Sauce Ingredients:
2-3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 can good quality petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. dried oregano (use Greek or Turkish oregano)

Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut it into 3/4 inch thick slices (trying to make them the same thickness!)  Put the eggplant pieces on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt.  Let the eggplant sit with the salt on it for about 30 minutes to draw out the liquid.  (After the eggplant sits for 15 minutes, turn on the oven to 375F/190C.)

While the eggplant sits, make the sauce.  Heat 2-3 tsp. olive oil (depending on your pan) and saute the finely chopped garlic just until it becomes fragrant.  (Don’t let it brown.)  Add the petite diced tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning, and dried oregano and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks.  (Add water as needed, a few tablespoons at a time as the sauce cooks, keeping it hot by simmering at very low heat until it’s needed for the eggplant slices.)

After 30 minutes, wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels (this also removes most of the salt.)  Spray a roasting sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray, lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning.  Roast the eggplant about 25 minutes (but “not so long that the slices become mushy and lose their shape” as Julia says.)  

While the eggplant roasts, thinly slice the fresh basil leaves (if using) and combined freshly grated Parmesan and low-fat mozzarella blend.  After 25 minutes or when eggplant pieces are done, remove eggplant from the oven and turn oven setting to broil.  Spread a few tablespoons of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, sprinkle with thin basil slices (if using) and top with a generous amount of cheese.  Put pizzas under the broiler until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.  (This took 6-7 minutes for me, but I was using a toaster oven and in a more powerful broiler it would probably only take a few minutes.)  Serve hot, with red pepper flakes to sprinkle on pizza if desired.

– See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/08/recipe-for-julia-childs-eggplant-pizzas.html#sthash.FBJQVfLm.dpuf

Creamy Avocado Dressing

A cool and creamy avocado dressing with tangy buttermilk, fresh cilantro and lime juice along with some spicy jalapeno pepper.



  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small jalapeno*
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk**
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (completely optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Puree everything in a blender until smooth. Store in fridge and finish within a few days.

* Leave the seeds in for more heat or remove them for less.
** Use more buttermilk to make it thinner or less to make it thicker.

Summer Salad 1: corn and chickpea fiesta salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette

corn & chickpea fiesta salad - ateaspoonofhappiness.com


2 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, canned….whatever you prefer, but if you’re using canned corn make sure to drain and rinse it)

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about a 1 pound container)

1 green pepper, diced

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 English cucumber, chopped


3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 tbsp lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Refrigerate until serving or at least for a half an hour to let the flavors blend.

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake


The feeling of spring is in the air.  I feel it, and I can’t wait for the warmer days ahead.   This means I need to eat a bit lighter as the clothes get a bit skimpier.  I hate saying no to dessert.  Well of course you know that.  I have a blog devoted to desserts.

I hate the feeling of depriving myself so as I prepare to wear my cute tiny dresses and swimsuit this summer, I need to still feel like myself.  So I have started playing around with new recipes that are a bit lighter.  This cake is one of them but it is so delish you won’t even know its light.

The base of it is olive oil and greek yogurt (yep no butter or sour cream or buttermilk in this baby).  This was so tasty and full of tart lemon flavor that I had to remind myself that the only way it is bad for me is if I overindulge and eat the whole loaf!  

So I guess in addition to creating some healthier recipes for desserts, I also need to practice so level of self control.

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake

For the Cake
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1 cup of honey or maple syrup)
3 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Lemon Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoon milk or fresh lemon juice for more lemon flavor
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, granulated sugar, lightly beaten eggs, greek yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon extract.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture while whisking together until well combined.
Add lemon cake batter to a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean (mine baked in about 52 minutes).  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from the loaf pan to finish cooling.
Once the cake has cooled completely, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and milk or lemon juice and pour over the cake.  Let the icing set and then enjoy!

Yun Nan Style: Fried Beans

昨晚小云南的一聚非常欢乐。可是臭小子从饭桌到回家的路上一直念念不忘Fried beans. 无奈无人响应他的馋虫,最后他只能咽下口水了。





Red Kidney Beans:250G

Starch:2 TBS 

Salt:1 Ts

Pepper powder:1/4 TS


1、Soak kidney beans for 2 hours, untill soften. Boild in the water with 1/2 Teaspoon salt for 15 mins.

2、Get the beans out of water, dry a bit, then stir the starch in to cover the beans.

3、Heat the oil in the pan, fry the beans till goden, then take them out.

4、Sprinkle salt and pepper, cool and serve.

Pasta & Bean Soup

Need to try this next week! Yahooo


1½ cups dried beans*
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot (or 2-3 small), thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 quart (32 oz) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
sea salt to taste*
¼ tsp black pepper*
½ tsp chili powder*
¼ tsp cayenne pepper*
¼ tsp ground mustard*
1 cup small gluten-free pasta, such as cavatelli or elbow macaroni
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded, leaves sliced*

Place dried beans in a large bowl with 6 cups of water. Let soak overnight. (Optionally, you can quick soak the beans by placing the beans and water in a heavy pan, bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, then cover, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.)

Drain and rinse the soaked beans and transfer to a large pot. Cover by 2 inches with cold water and bring to a boil; skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in drained beans, broth, 2 cups water, tomatoes and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in kale and simmer about 5 minutes longer. If soup is too thick, add water a cup at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust seasonings as needed.