Healthy Recipes

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Canh Kho Qua (Bitter Melon Soup Recipe) Recipe

Khổ qua ("bitter melon" in English) is a truly unique vegetable. Its warty, pale-green color could scare even a veteran foodie away. However, it’s actually a very forgiving and versatile veggie! In Vietnamese cuisine, it's often served with pork or shrimp; I filled it with soybean stuffing instead to imitate the meat and served the bitter melons in canh (Vietnamese broth).

I love this dish because it's so flavorful and the texture of the soybeans is dense and very similar to meat. I also flavored the filling with fresh wood ear mushrooms for a more meaty texture. If you're trying this dish for the first time, I have to warn you that bitter melon, as its name indicates is, well, bitter. But really, you have to try it at least once. It's a love-it or hate-it kind of vegetable, but who knows, my might get struck by Cupid's arrow!


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Tofu Stir Fry Recipe Recipe

Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

01.25.12 by Jackie

Catering to a large crowd of vegetarians in my house, I often find myself cooking a lot of lentils (or any legumes) and tofu dishes. I realized I haven't cooked any tofu in quite some time, so I made my quick and easy tofu stir fry this evening. I sautéed a bunch of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, straw mushrooms, zucchini and red bell peppers) that I had on hand and mixed them with the tofu.

My husband loves this dish and says he could eat the same thing every day. I usually serve it with brown rice and a bowl of canh (Vietnamese broth). It's a complete, flavorful meal, plus it's healthy! What else could you ask for?
 


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Bun Rieu Cua Recipe (Vietnamese Crab Noodle Soup) Recipe

This soup, called bún riêu, is typical Vietnamese comfort food. It's paired with the usual Vietnamese aromatic herbs and topped with other vegetables and fried tofu for a complete meal.

Just thinking about this seafood dish makes my mouth water! Tomorrow, my cousin Tri and his wife Tran are coming over to greet us for the Lunar New Year. So I spent today making a delicious, though a tad time-consuming (but oh-so worth it) soup dish for them. Bún riêu cua is a briny crab rice noodle soup garnished with feathery-like crab cakes in tomato and fermented shrimp (called mắm tôm) broth. Once you're ready to serve, shredded lettuce and mint finish the dish for added crunch along with lime and a drizzle of nuoc mam. 



If you love crab, this dish is ideal for you. If not, you could always try the veggie version (bún riêu chay) I make for the rest of my family members who are vegetarian. Either way, what a great way to start the year!


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Tau Hu Chung: Vietnamese Vegetarian  Pate Recipe Recipe

Tàu hũ chưng is one of the many vegetarian equivalents you can find to Vietnamese meat dishes. As I mentioned last week, Tết is coming soon (January 23rd), and you're supposed to eat vegetarian for the days just before and after the Asian New Year. Usually, I would make mắm chưng thịt (Vietnamese-style meatloaf). This dish is similar, using ingredients such as mushrooms, bean thread noodles and cilantro, but paired with mashed tofu.

The mixture is first steamed, then baked for a few minutes in the oven so the top is slightly golden and dried out. It's almost like a tofu pâté that can be enjoyed with rice and a bowl of canh (soup) on the side.


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Chao Chay Recipe (Vietnamese Vegetarian Rice Soup) Recipe

We just stored all the holiday decorations and a new celebration is already upon us. Tết, the Asian New year is coming up in two weeks! I haven't bought cherry blossom flowers yet or decorated the house with red, but I’ll get to it soon. The other thing is that at the beginning of the year (Lunar calendar), it is auspicious to eat vegetarian food (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of New Year. I recently made a delicious cháo bò (beef rice porridge), and I’ve created a vegetarian version to serve to the family.

Rice porridge is a typical Asian comfort food. I made this dish with tofu, carrots, daikon radishes, beech mushrooms and peas. Not only is it vegetarian, but it's also very healthy, which fits my New Year's resolution perfectly. I'm still trying to shed the extra baby weight! I'm going to be sharing a few Asian vegetarian dishes for you to try over the next few days, so come back soon!


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