Tomato Chana Dal Spiced Curry Recipe Recipe

Tomato Chana Dal Spiced Curry Recipe

09.09.13 by Jackie

I rarely make this dish because Daddy, my father-in-law, prefers chana dal without tomatoes. But today, I made an exception and prepared the gram lentils with the remaining San Marzano tomatoes we harvested from our vegetable garden. The weather has been incredibly hot lately in the Bay Area and a few tomatoes are still peaking daily. 

First, I boiled the soaked chanal dal until softened. Then I prepared a gravy using the tomatoes, mixed chopped onions and a bit of ginger. The marriage of the natural sweetness from the onions with the tanginess from the tomatoes works well. Once the thick sauce is ready, I added the chanal dal, drizzled a bit of water to thin the texture of the dish and added the signature Indian finishing touch of garam masala. Lulu and the girls absolutely loved it! Hopefully Daddy will come around as well.


Full Recipe...
Crepe Soufflee Recipe Recipe

Crepe Soufflee Recipe

09.06.13 by Jackie

I make crêpes very often. I've done it so many times since I was a kid that I bet I could prepare this batter with my eyes closed. The only difference in today’s recipe is that I made them thicker and fluffier. A crêpe soufflée is basically a regular crêpe batter folded with egg whites. This couldn't be easier!

I flavored the dessert with fig spread, fresh figs and a dollop of whipped cream. To provide a great contrast of texture, I sprinkle crushed honey-roasted peanuts on top. Give this simple French sweet treat a try; I promise you'll be in heavenly dessert bliss!


Full Recipe...
Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe Recipe

Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe

09.05.13 by Jackie

Lala, my husband's youngest sister, helped to maintain our vegetable and fruit garden all summer. She definitely has a green thumb and has been so good watering our tomato plants and keeping them alive (even when I was out of town for the Banh Mi book promotion in Houston last week). Lala has just started 4th grade this month. She's a very witty girl, full of energy and such a foodie. She told me she didn't want to have to eat the school lunches this year and would prefer eating homemade food for her back-to-school lunch (click on the link for more back-to-school lunch suggestions).

I told her it would be possible only if she helps me in the kitchen once she's done with her homework. She started a chart with the menu of the week and she seemed so thrilled! I couldn't be more excited because these are more precious moments I get to  share with my munchkin, plus it's about sharing my passion for cooking. 

So this evening, we gathered a few San Marzano tomatoes, basil flowers and Brown Turkey figs. You're probably wondering what we made with all these fantastic ingredients? Pasta sauce! I sweetened the tomato sauce with a hint of maple syrup and tossed medium shell pasta into the delectable sauce. It’s sweet without being overpowering, and the figs give it a wonderful new dimension.


Full Recipe...
Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe

09.04.13 by Jackie

Delicious food doesn't have to be heavy or rich in calories. Selecting ingredients wisely is the key to making these flavorful phyllo cup appetizers. Instead of using calorie-packed mascarpone cheese, I strained plain yogurt and combined the thick mixture with green and kalamata olives, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, lemon, curly parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added tuna and an anchovy filet for extra brininess (you could omit them for a veggie version). The warm pan-seared Nabulsi cheese helped tie together the Mediterranean flavors of these fancy bites.

My philosophy is if you have to sacrifice flavor by using low-fat products, then don't eat it. I'd rather eat in small portions or not eat at all. Of course, eating the way we eat in our home means having to stay active all day. Juggling between my everyday tasks and my wonderful 21-month-old daughter gives me plenty of occasions to spend these calories. 

baby
21-month-old Aria going grocery shopping


Full Recipe...
Vegetarian Fried Rice Recipe (Com Chien Chay in Vietnamese) Recipe

Vegetarian Fried Rice Recipe (Com Chien Chay in Vietnamese)

09.03.13 by Jackie

Yesterday, we had a lot of relatives over and after dinner there was leftover steamed jasmine rice. I wasn't going to let the rice go to waste; I usually make cơm chiên chay ("vegetarian fried rice" in Vietnamese). That way my husband Lulu and his sisters who are all vegetarians, can make it disappear!

I also happily discovered that baby Aria absolutely loves fried rice. I’m thrilled because this dish is super easy to prepare. Once you know the tricks to keep the rice from turning soggy and mushy, you can make it as often as it pleases you, with whatever veggies you have on hand.

For this version, I mixed carrots, peas, corn, red and green bell peppers, green onions and diced fried tofu with the jasmine rice. I didn't add any egg so the rest of the family could enjoy it as well.

As a child, Maman would always tell us kids not waste food; it's "tội chết" ("dreadfully sinful" in Vietnamese). As an Asian mom, I'm definitely keeping the family "tradition" and teacingh the same ethic to my daughter Aria. 


Full Recipe...
 
Return to Full Site