Vegetarian Spring Rolls: Bi Cuon Chay Recipe Recipe

For this dish I made a traditional  bì chay with jicama, tofu, a protein element and soy sauce dipping sauce. Then I wrapped the tofu mixture in rice paper disks, forming tasty and healthy spring rolls. Rice vermicelli noodles, shredded lettuce and cucumber were added to form the rolls as well.

Once you master forming the spring rolls, you can experiment with many different combinations of noodles, vegetables and protein. Just try to maintain the same ratio of ingredient types as in this recipe. 


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Zucchini Tart with Mascarpone Recipe

Zucchini Tart with Mascarpone

07.02.12 by Jackie

I'm still cooking through the vegetables from our garden. Today, my husband Lulu and the girls picked dozens of zucchini and crook-neck squash. I stuck to one of their favorite meals and made a savory tart. I pan-fried slices of zucchini and squash as the topping for the tart and made a filling with leeks and mascarpone cheese. The girls followed the directions for my homemade savory crust and I let them assemble the dish. Served with a dried sour cherry and cherry tomato relish, what more could one ask for?

In my opinion, getting children involved in the kitchen and in our everyday tasks in general (the girls' chores include watering the plants daily, for example) is the best way to teach them healthy habits. They understand what is on their plate and the effort it took to get it there!

Zucchini Cheese Tarrt Wih tPicture


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Healthy Green Drink Recipe Recipe

Healthy Green Drink Recipe

06.29.12 by Jackie

A few weeks ago, fresh rambutans were on sale for only $0.69 a pound and we bought several pounds. I figured flight tickets to Vietnam are so expensive, it wouldn't be so bad to splurge on the tropical fruits instead of a trip to Asia!They're called chôm chôm in Vietnamese. After a few bags, my family eventually got sick of them, so I ended up making fruit  purée and storing it in the freezer. I already had in mind a specific drink recipe I would make. I prepared a flavorful but healthy drink with a vibrant green color. In addition to the rambutans, I used spinach,  kiwis, lemon and lime juice. 

The result was delicious. I loved the acidic taste of the kiwis, lime and lemon that balanced so well with the sweetness from the rambutan purée. 


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Mushroom Polenta: Savory Napoleon Recipe Recipe

Napoléons are usually pastries made of three layers of puff pastry and two crème pâtissière layers with a fondant topping. I made a savory equivalent using layers of grilled polenta slices, portobello mushrooms, cheddar cheese, grilled asparagus and tomatoes from our garden. 

It's finally tomato season! My husband planted 19 different plants of various tomatoes, which means I'm going to be cooking a lot of tomatoes until the fall. Lulu gathered a large basket of cherry tomatoes that I roasted in fresh thyme and served as garnish. We also happened to find some asparagus Lulu planted several years ago that we were never really able to harvest. It was a nice surprise, so I grilled them too, and added them to the Napoléon layers. I was very proud of how the dish ended up looking: colorful and pretty.

In my opinion, Napoléons have to look gorgeous before being eaten. We eat with our eyes first and I'm confident these savory Napoléons will satisfy the pickiest eater.


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Cucumber and Yogurt Salad Recipe Recipe

I'm still working on using the cucumbers from our garden. I know my husband Lulu spent a lot of time planting all the vegetables so I try my best to make flavorful dishes using the results of his hard labor. 

Today I used Marketmore cucumbers and served them as a first course. The dish was composed of seeded, sliced cucumbers, finely chopped pickled grape leaves and diced red bell peppers. I tied the flavors of the salad together with a dressing made with yogurt, mustard and olive oil.

I understand that the process of planting, watering and caring for the vegetables requires a lot of work, so I definitely feel responsible for creating unique dishes that showcase the quality of the ingredients. Love you Lulu! Don't we make a great team?


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