Food: Paella

Paella in a …paella pan.

PAELLA:

Pronounced: Pie-ay-yah (the two Ls, are pronounced like a y)

Paella is a Spanish dish (specifically Valencian) that consists of rice (calasparra or bomba), saffron, and olive oil. Most Paella is found with seafood mixed in – shrimp, mussels, lobster, etc. However, Paella can also be made with vegetables such as tomatoes and red bell peppers. Below are a few combinations you can try to make Paella with:

Seafood:

Since this was my first time making Paella myself, I pulled a recipe off of Food Network:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/seafood-paella-recipe.html

I can’t say it’s my “authentic” invention, however the recipe does work well! I made a few subtle changes such as more shrimp and less saffron (I was running out..).

vegetarian:

ALSO pulled off of Food network, I made this for a foodie party:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/vegetarian-paella-recipe.html

I can’t say I like it as much as the seafood Paella – I couldn’t get as strong of a taste – but it was still alright. The few changes I made to the recipe was less asparagus (half a bunch), more zucchini (a cup and…a quarter), and a pinch more paprika. Note that these changes are suited to my tastes and not to yours so experiment until you find your ideal taste!

chicken/non-seafood:

To be completely honest, I made the Chicken Paella just by replacing the seafood/shrimp in the above Seafood recipe with Chicken. It actually turned out quite delicious so it’s worth a try!

Have a delicious Paella adventure 🙂

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Food: Chia seeds

A spoonful of Chia seeds packs a powerful punch!

meeting the chia seed:

Chia seeds are small, but they contain a multitude of healthy benefits. Ranging from high levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to bountiful amounts of antioxidants, the seeds bring the phrase “Don’t judge food by its appearance” to a whole new level. Listed below, are just some of the few health benefits Chia seeds provide:

  • High in Antioxidants – Helps prevent an increased risk of cancer and aging
  • Omega 3 – This healthy fat helps lessen high cholesterol
  • Fiber
  • Minerals
  • Gluten Free!

eating the chia seed:

Chia seeds can be used in MANY recipes since they are small and can be digested whole, they usually “blend” into the food. Below are a few delicious methods of eating this nutrient loaded food:

Yogurt:

Sprinkle a spoonful of Chia seeds into your yogurt! Not only will this enhance the texture, but it’ll also make a healthy snack even healthier.

Oatmeal:

Oatmeal and Chia are a great combination! It’s best to add the Chia after the oatmeal is done cooking, however you can add the Chia while the oatmeal is cooking too.

Salads:

Spice up your salads and dressings with Chia seeds! Similar to the yogurt, this will add more nutrients and also spruce up the texture.

Cookies:

Dots? What dots?

A lot easier than sneaking in spinach or vegetables into your kids’ food – nutrients and great tasting food!

 

There are many more ways to eat Chia; I just listed a few. Have fun experimenting and enjoy!

Food: Dango vs. Mochi

People commonly get dangos and mochi mixed up – I can’t blame them. Dangos are related to mochis however the two are completely different:

Dango:

Dangos!!

Dangos are sweet dumplings made of Mochiko a rice flour. Dangos are usually served with tea and can be found year round (though there might be different varieties during different seasons). Traditionally, three to four dangos are placed on a skewer (as shown in the picture above).

Mochi:

Mochi with red bean paste filling.

 

A mochi is a Japanese rice cake. They can be any shape (molds are sold for specific shapes) and are usually eaten around the time of the New Year. The texture of mochi is sticky and there are usually fillings inside the mochi (usually red bean paste and taro). However, mochi isn’t always made of sticky rice! Ice cream mochi is another variety:

Ice Cream Mochi

 

 

Food: Oatmeal

The sight of oatmeal is enough to invoke shudders and nausea for those who do not appreciate bland healthy food in the morning. Not only does oatmeal look unappealing, the taste is also quite …tasteless. As someone who doesn’t enjoy breakfast much less oatmeal, a pile of gray slime is the last thing I want to have for breakfast. However lately, there have been many articles detailing the pros of having oatmeal for breakfast – lower the risk of heart disease, decrease cholesterol, weight control, and much more. Thus, I have decided to find some ways to spice up this boring breakfast item and spread the benefits of oatmeal.

Dried Fruits:

Dried fruits are a quick and delicious way of adding taste to oatmeal. Add whatever fruit you like!

nuts:

Nuts are a great way of getting healthy fats so why not combine it with oatmeal to make a delicious nutrient packed meal?

FRESH FRUIT:

If you’re feeling up to a slightly more time consuming breakfast, use fresh fruit! Though preparation time might be longer, you’ll definitely get more taste than dried fruit.

There are many many more ways to spice up your oatmeal (granola will work too!) so try a few on your own!

Food: Onigiri

I recently discovered the magic of onigiri. Onigiri is a Japanese food that’s made of rice, salt, and usually nori (seaweed) although there are other types of onigiri too. Onigiri can be found in any shape or form though it’s usually depicted as a triangle.

The “magic” of onigiri lies in that it’s a fairly low fat snack – definitely less than the bags of chips you dote on everyday – and can easily be made at home. I found my onigiri recipe online (link given below), but I usually add some other ingredients/seasoning to it.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Onigiri