Sunday, September 8, 2013

Recipe: Whole Wheat Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

This has (since all of last week) become a staple for breakfast in our house. Lana loves them and she doesn't realize they're actually sort of healthy with whole wheat and oats. I modified the recipe from the one on King Arthur's website. 

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt 

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg. Line muffin pan with cups or spray with butter. 
2. Whisk all the dry ingredients together. Add the blueberries and mix in. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk vanilla, oil and yogurt together. 
4. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour liquid ingredients in. Stir only to combine. It's ok if there are spots where the flour isn't wet or fully mixed (over-mixing will make the muffins tough/dense).
5. Spoon batter into muffin cups (using an ice cream scooper is perfect). Fill them all the way to the top - the recipe makes 12 big muffins. 
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick or fork inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

recipe: rice balls (주먹밥)

these rice balls are an easy way to get kids to eat their veggies. each time i make these i increase the ratio of veggies/meat to rice, and so far lana's still eating them. we'll see how far i can get before she decides enough is enough. ;)

ingredients (none of these measurements are exact - i'm just estimating):
about a cup and a half of rice (i mix white and brown)
3 tsbp of each of the following: carrots and broccoli (you can also use zucchini, onions, potatoes, chives, basically any vegetable that is able to be finely diced)
3 tsbp of finely chopped meat (i used turkey hot dog here, but you can also use steak/beef, ham, crabmeat, ground meats - if you use steak/beef/ground meat, marinate first in a little soy sauce and minced garlic so it has some flavor)
1 tsbp of olive oil
1 tsbp of sesame oil
salt, to taste
(makes about 5 small rice balls - lana (who's 2) can eat about 3 of these for a meal)

1. chop finely the carrots, broccoli and meat.

2. turn on stove to medium heat, add olive oil and saute the veggies and meat till soft. make sure to keep an eye on them - they are finely chopped so they burn very quickly.

3. put the rice, veggies and meat in a bowl. add sesame oil. 

4. mix everything together. add salt if desired.

5. once the rice balls are cool, get a piece of plastic wrap, put a heaping spoon of the rice mixture in the middle, then cover and twist until you have a tightly-formed ball that can hold its shape.

6. enjoy! it gets a little messy with the oil but lana loves eating these with her hands. in the future (whenever i get around to it, you know, with all the free time i have) i want to chop up the veggies/meat in huge batches and then freeze them so that as long as i have rice made, i can make these rice balls pretty quickly.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

recipe: soft tofu soup (순두부 찌개)

any mommy of a toddler knows how hard mealtime is. it's so hard to consistently feed your toddler healthy and nutritious meals, without 1) feeding them the same thing 3x a week or 2) giving into their desires for pancakes and sausages and gummy bears every meal (a few of lana's current obsessions). lana's a pretty good eater, but one of the things that is constantly on my mind (and literally keeps me up at night) is the feeling that i need to continually find new recipes to expose her to a variety of foods.

i generally like to feed lana korean food. i think it's healthier (for the most part), and when armed with a set of basic ingredients, i can use them in different combinations/ways to come up with a wide variety of meals. recently, i've started googling in korean to come up with ideas for her meals. my korean reading skills are not very good so it takes about 5 minutes to read one blog post, but thank goodness for pictures. :)

one of my favorite things about korean food is the soups. you can make so many different kinds of soups with just a handful of ingredients, because they are all variations on the same basic thing. you usually start with a seafood or beef broth (or both), season with soy sauce/garlic/sesame oil, add some veggies, maybe an egg, and you got yourself a soup. lana loves korean soups so it has become my default for her dinners. it's also an easy way to get lana to eat veggies. it's easier to have her eat a piece of radish or spinach when it's nice and soft and has taken on the flavor of the broth than making her eat a piece of steamed broccoli.

today i made soft tofu soup. lana is ok with tofu, but doesn't love it. i don't think i've ever fed her soft tofu though, which is much softer than the regular block of tofu that we usually eat. here's the recipe:

one pack of soft tofu (looks like this):

3-ish cups of water
one piece of kelp (about 3" x 3")
2 oz of beef, cut into small cubes
diced zucchini (not sure how much, just a small bowl-full - so helpful, i know!)
diced onion (same small bowl-full)
one clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
salt, to taste

1. put water in a pot with the kelp. boil about 15 minutes or so until the water takes on a yellowish tint. 

2. throw kelp out, pour stock into a bowl.

3. chop up the beef and veggies.

4. on medium-high heat, add the oil to the pot and saute the beef, zucchini, onions and garlic until beef is cooked through and veggies are soft.

5. add back the stock and add the soy sauce and sesame oil.

6. take tofu out of packaging gently (don't want to mush it up too much).

7. add tofu, bring to a boil. then simmer for a little bit until the flavors meld together. add salt if necessary. there might be some beef fuzz at the top - you can just skim it off with a spoon. if your toddler doesn't want it, you can always add some red pepper flakes and make it spicy for yourself. :)