Category: Breakfast

Happy Mother’s Day

It’s May 14th and AP exams are finally over. More importantly, it’s Mother’s Day! My mom is amazing. My brother bought flowers; dad made congee; I decided to make mom breakfast. Unfortunately, I didn’t have flour, butter or sugar at home 😦 However, we did have bread, yogurt and lots of eggs. French toast it was. Of course, any ordinary french toast wouldn’t do, thus, behold:

Baked French toast sandwich with Nutella.

French toast seems simple, but there’s more than meet’s the eye. Don’t believe me, check out this Serious Eats article (click here) The article goes into great detail about ratios and such. I never paid that much detail or did that many experiments; however, I learned a few tricks:

  1. Instead of using only cream or milk, add a bit of flavoured yogurt. Yogurt makes the custard thicker, creamier and more flavourful. I suggest a 1:1 ratio of yogurt to milk or nix the milk altogether. When using yogurt, cut back on sugar since most flavoured yogurts have more than enough sugar
  2. Soak the toast for at least 5 minutes or until the custard penetrates the entire thickness of the bread( chop the crust off for best results). While soaking for as long as possible may seem like a good idea, over soaking will compromise the structural integrity of the toast and make the french toast floppy and flat. Unless you’re using day’s old and or very crusty bread, don’t soak for more than 30min.
  3. Speaking of bread, any bread will work, but please stay away from very dense or very airy breads. For example, either pure white breads or those whole wheat health breads aren’t the best. I used semi- whole wheat bread, but some good Challah would’ve been better.

Without further ado, here’s a basic recipe for french toast. Feel free to customize:


Basic French Toast

  • Servings: 4 slices (about enough for 2 people or 1 very hungry person
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tbsp of flavored yogurt
  • 4 tsp sugar, additional for sprinkling and caramelizing
  • a splash of milk, no more than 1/4 cup
  • Oil, butter or cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preferably in separate bowls, beat each egg with 1.5tbsp of yogurt, 1 tsp of sugar and a splash of milk.
  2. Dip and let the bread soak for a minimum of 5 min (refer to tip 2). Flip ever so often so all sides are covered. Optional: sprinkle both sides with a thin layer of sugar
  3. Heat a pan to high heat and sear for 1-2 min/side or until a crust forms, then turn the heat down and cook for 1-2 more min/ side. Garnish as wanted!

Alternately, for a baked version

  1. follow steps 1 and 2
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C and bake for 10-20min, depending on the thickness of bread
  3. Garnish as wanted, serve and Enjoy! optional: turn on the broiler or sear for a crust

Don’t have a sweet tooth? Check out this recipe for savoury toast (click here)Anyways, have a great Mother’s day and Enjoy some toast!

 

French Toast Sandwich

Hi!!!! It’s been a very long time since I posted, but I’m back. Things have just been pretty busy lately. Anyways, yesterday morning, I finally had the opportunity to cook again. My brother was finishing up a math class and a boring steam bun just wasn’t going to cut it, so I offered to cook: Savoury French Toast Bacon Sandwich . It’s really simple, so here’s the recipe

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French Toast Bacon Sandwich

Ingredients

  •  2 slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • a splash of milk
  • salt, to taste
  • 2-3 slices of raw bacon

Directions

  1.  Beat an egg, add a splash of milk and some salt and soak a slice of bread in the mixture until there are no dry spots ( 3-5 min) Remember to flip and adjust for even soaking.
  2. Repeat step 1 with the other piece of bread
  3. Heat a pan on high and sear the bacon for about 30 sec/ side, until it begins to crisp.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking until the fat is completely rendered. There should be no squishy white parts. Remove and drain
  5. With the rendered oil in the pan, cook the bread on medium- low heat until puffed up and golden (1.5-2 min/side). Drain
  6. Make a sandwich with the bacon and bread. Enjoy!!!!!!

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There, easy and delicious. Next week is SHASMUN, so see you!

Spinach Oatmeal Pancakes

Hi!!! It’s been a while since I last posted, but school started so it’s crunch time again. I personally love going to school, but school means I’m stuck with eating oatmeal and egg everyday for breakfast. I love oatmeal, but it’s nice to change things up. Since it’s the weekend, I decided to get a bit creative and came up with….. Spinach Oatmeal Pancakes!!!.

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I know spinach, oatmeal, and pancake aren’t words that sound appetizing together, but trust me, they were AMAZING!!!! They were so fluffy and rich, I couldn’t tell they didn’t have flour or dairy. I couldn’t even taste the spinach (I managed to sneak in an entire serving’s worth)

Frying the Pancakes
Frying the Pancakes

Anyways, some useful tips:

  1.  Wait until the pan is extremely hot before putting the pancakes on the grill, that way they’re less likely to stick
  2. Wait for the edges to firm up before flipping. If they aren’t the pancake will break, not pretty
  3. For maximal height and fluffiness, cook the pancakes as soon as possible. More “still” time means more of the baking powder is reacting in the batter, not leavening the pancakes
  4. If it takes more than 1 batch to use all the batter, regrease the pan and turn the heat down when cooking to prevent burning.
  5. Serve as quickly as possible

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Spinach Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  •  1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup spinach, cooked
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg or 2 small egg whites
  • sweetener or spices, optional
  • 1/2 cup water, scant

Directions

Measure out all the ingredients except the spinach and place in a blender. Finely chop the spinach, put into blender, and blend until all ingredients are completely blended. Add oil or cooking spray to a pan and place on high heat until smoking hot. When the pan is hot, drop the batter in 2 tablespoons rounds. When the batter bubbles and the edges are firm. Serve and Enjoy!!!!

Healthy Breakfast Pizza

Hi!!!  Winter break finally started, which means I finally have the time to make my own breakfast. YAY!!! So this morning, I started off with my own original recipe: Healthy breakfast Pizza

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It’s soooo delicious, but also healthy and simple. Onto the cooking!!!!

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For the crust, just mix together the ingredients, spread them on a baking surface and bake for 10-15min. It should have the consistency of a thick cupcake batter and be relatively pourable

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Then, add the  toppings and broil for another 5-10min. Done!!!!

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The best part of the “pizza” is the toppings so I suggest playing around with them. For mine, I made a simple sauce by cooking tomatoes with some spices. I also put on cooked spinach and a slice of ham for protein. I don’t like cheese so I skipped that, but feel free to add it (I mean what’s pizza without cheese).

Tips:

  1.  Cook all veggies before putting them on the pizza. The broiler really sucks away moisture so you will end up with partially burnt “chips”. Also raw veggies tend to be voluminous, which makes it hard to put other toppings on
  2. Wait to put the sauce on. If you put it on too early before broiling, it soaks into the crust and forms a soggy layer on top. Putting the sauce on top of the cheese is another good idea to avoid sogginess.
  3. Do not try to keep the pizza warm by leaving it in the oven after baking. It will turn out like this

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Healthy Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 3tbsp water
  • 1 small tomato
  • salt and spices
  • toppings of choice (optional)
  • 1oz mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and grease a cooking sheet or pan. In a bowl combine the flour, egg white, baking powder, water and stir until completely smooth. The mixture onto the prepared pan and bake for 10-15min until cooked. While the crust is baking, start the sauce. Finely chop the tomato and cook in a saucepan with the spices and salt until extremely soft. Then transfer into a blender and blend until the desired consistency is reached. When the crust is done, remove from the oven and turn on the broiler. Once the broiler is done preheating, add the sauce, toppings and cheese and broil for 5-10min. Serve and enjoy!!!!!

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Hi!!! It’s December 12th, semester finals are over and only 3 days until Winter break !!! One of my favorite parts of the winter holiday is visiting my grandparent’s place at Xiangtan University. What makes it so awesome? 1)Relatives!!! 2) the scenery and (most importantly for this blog) 3) THE FOOD!!!!! My relatives are some of the best cooks around. So, for the next few posts, I’ll be sharing  some of my favorites from their place. First up: Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes

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Pumpkin pancakes are very common in Southern China and sold literally everywhere from fancy restaurants to alleyway stalls. Unlike western style pancakes, they’re made of glutinous rice flour and hence sticky. Despite being good, restaurant pancakes are normally chock full of sugar, chemicals and fried in mystery oil, but my grandparents’ recipe bypasses all of that. It was SOOOO good

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The pancakes are also extremely simple to make. Just gather the ingredients- steamed or canned pumpkin and flour. We used glutinous rice flour, but feel free to substitute.

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Mix them until fully combined and grill . Onto the recipe!!!


 

Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • Servings: 3-4 people
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g cooked or canned pumpkin
  • 150g flour of choice
  • Sweetner (optional)

Directions 

Mix the ingredients together until fully combined. Lightly grease a pan and fry until fully cooked, flipping once in between. Remove from heat, serve and Enjoy!!!!

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Epic Kitchen Hack and Sweet Potato Tortilla Española

As it turned out, it was actually a good thing that I didn’t make pancakes yesterday. I forgot to get cooking spray, again. So I walked down to CityShop to get cooking spray and…………… there was none:( Back to square 1. I looked around the kitchen for some inspiration and found baking sheets.

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Basically, I just used my pan, traced a circle on a some baking paper, cut it out and put it in the pan. It worked beautifully, I used it to make some very untraditional tortilla española, using sweet potatoes (recipe below)

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Caveat: The baking sheet will need some water to make it stick to the pan and does shrink a bit under heat. It moves around so flipping will require 2 spatulas. Also, the paper will need to be greased slightly and flipped if you plan on using it multiple times
The sweet potato really doesn't react well to oxygen. I guess the blue color is kind if cool
The sweet potato really doesn’t react well to oxygen. I guess the blue color is kind if cool

They were sooooo delicious. 🙂 Who needs cooking spray!!!!!


 

Sweet Potato "Tortilla Española"

Ingredients

  •  1.5-2 medium small sweet potatoes (1 cup chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs or egg whites
  • spices, optional
  • sweetner, optional

Directions

Chop the sweet potatoes into small, thin peices and cook in the water until there is no liquid left and the potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and in a bowl, mash well with the eggs, spices and sweetneer (if using) until fully combined. Cut out and lightly grease a baking sheet and place it flat in a pan. Pour in the potato mixture and cook for 1-2 min on each side. When cooked, plate and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mung bean Sweet potato Porridge

This morning, I went into the kitchen, planning on making pancakes, but instead found my mom already in there, preparing to make mung bean porridge. I was soooooo happy. I LOVE it.

Mung bean porridge is very traditional and common all over China. The Chinese say it has cooling properties ,but besides that, its packed with nutrients, fiber and even protein. Basically any healthy eater’s dream. Read more here and  here (I don’t think I need to mention how healthy sweet potatoes are). Bonus, its simple to make so onto the details!!!

20150911_211905_resized Obviously, first gather the ingredients, but after that:

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soak the mung beans, Job’s tears and lillybulb overnight or at least until they have absorbed most of the water.

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Wash peel and chop the sweet potato into little pieces

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Put everything into a pressure cooker with 1.5l water and cook for 30-40 min.

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Serve and enjoy!!!!!! The pressure cooker stopped working 20min in so the porridge came out a bit watery, but it was still amazing.


Mung Bean Porridge with Sweet Potato

  • Servings: 6-7 very large servings (1.5-2 cups)
  • Print

Ingredients:

  •  3/4 cup dried mung bean
  • 1/2 cup Job’s Tears
  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes, any type
  • 1 lillybulb
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rice
  • dried dates, optional
  • sugar, optional

Directions

Place the mung bean, Job’s Tears, and dates (if using) in a bowl and fill it with water. Thoroughly wash the lillybulb and peel apart, discarding any discolored pieces. Put in the bowl and allow the ingredients to soak 8hr or overnight. After soaking, wash, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into little chunks. Place all the ingredients into a pressure cooker, fill with 1.5l water and allow to cook for 30-40 min. Remove from fire, serve and Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

More ingredient ideas: white  tremella, lotus seed, dried goji, millet, foxtail millet, glutinous rice. Be Creative, explore the Asian food store!!!

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