Obsession with Asian Stores!

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Banh Mi ( Vietnamese sandwich) and eggroll

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International Sauces Galore!

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Instead of using MSG, many Asian people have switched to that yellow chicken powder. o

This may sound crazy or weird, but one of the most important factor when it comes to me deciding if I want to move to a city is whether or not they have Asian grocery stores!  Since I absolutely love cooking, being able to have access to Asian stores is a MUST for me. This Vmart in Providence has everything I need for cooking a variety of Asian food. This may not be the nicest store I shop at, it is pretty affordable so it’s good enough for me. My only complaint is that the stock guy did not know much about Asian food when I had asked him where some things were. Poor guy he felt bad for not knowing what I was asking for. Since he didn’t know where the padek was, I looked for it myself!

Lao-American meal!

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Salmon with Lao cucumber salad

Mark Twain once said, “Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” He is so right! When it comes to eating, I always cater to my cravings! At times what that means is I may want American food and Lao food and since I could make both, I do! This particular meal a couple of weeks ago definitely satisfied my craving for fish and something spicy. When it comes to food , I’m  not afraid to do some cultural mix and match!  Like they say, ” Food is a celebration of life!” And if that is the case, the food we serve should showcase that!:)

 

Treat yourself!

1010734_10151923279693386_65784973_nThis is my second week on that “military diet” and I have to say, I don’t look as bloated. I will weigh myself at school tomorrow when I go in to work. The first three days I had only lost 1 pound. As for my appetite, it has been pretty manageable but today I did have a major craving for my curry dish! I might make some this weekend as  my “treat” meal. I’m not going to call it my “cheat” meal because I don’t call living life  ” cheating”.  We should savor our food and enjoy it without feeling guilty!

Cinema Cafe

According to the National Coffee Drinking Trends 2010, National Coffee Association, ” 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee.”  And based on the ever increasing numbers of coffee houses, cafes, and  lounges, it is safe to say that people are drinking their coffee somewhere else other than their homes. Coffee houses or businesses have become a meeting place for friends and lovers. People just don’t just go drink coffee for the sake of getting their coffee fix . They are spending time doing homework, chatting, hanging out, and relaxing. One of the beauty of living in Rhode Island is the specialty coffee houses or cafes like the Cable Car Cinema Cafe in Providence.  What’s cool about this coffee place is that  you can get your chai, coffee, a sandwich  and watch independent films as well. If you happen to be in Providence, make sure you stop by and check out this quaint little place. Here’s the link to the website for showings, Cable Car Cinema

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Easy Falafel

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The ingredients. It took time to chopped these by hand!

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Putting all ingredients in food processor to blend.

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I decided to use wheat bread crumb as a coat so it will not fall apart. I dipped Falafel balls in egg white then coat it with the bread crumbs.

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I used Olive oil to fry.

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I got the wrap from the Middle Eastern store as well as the cucumber sauce, tzatziki 20151220_202722

Amazing egg plant hummus the Oasis restaurant and grocery store.

My daughter and I went to this amazing tea house last month and while we were there we had some amazing Falafel wraps!  So, later on when we were craving it, I decided to find a recipe and make my own. I have to admit that it took me a total of 2 hours to prep, clean, and cook everything. Also, I went to the local Asian store to buy the cardamom, and coriander and cumin because it was way cheaper than at the regular grocery store. It was a $5 dollar difference for each!

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I doubled the recipe because since it was time consuming to make I decided to make a big batch and freeze the left over. You can freeze it for up to a month and cook it later. For the first time making it, it turned out great. The aroma is fantastic as you process and cook it. Also if you can not find any tzatziki, you can use the cucumber and cilantro dressing from the local grocery store. Comparable taste. Here is the Easy Vegan Falafel I had used to make this, Easy Vegan Falafel

 

Military Diet

military diet

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Last week my daughter and I did the 3 day military diet to jump start our health and fitness commitment. When we started this, we did not expect to lose anything even though it says you can lose up to 10 pounds on the diet. After three days, I only lost one pound and that is without cheating. My daughter cheated but she didn’t weigh herself. As with any diet, it depends on the person and the commitment. Before starting any diet it is best to go to a primary care provider and get your blood work done so you know what shape you in. A blood work is good to do because according to the website, Everyday Health, ” … [A ] common blood test is the basic metabolic panel to check your heart, kidney and liver function by looking at your blood glucose, calcium, and electrolyte levels. And to check for heart disease risk, you may have a lipoprotein panel that measures levels of fats in your blood, like good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides.” All these are important to know and have so that you can see if you have made any improvements in your health during your diet and fitness commitment. Sometimes, we get so obsessed with the numbers on the scale that we forget that the pounds may not drop as fast as we want but we may have gotten healthier. Like they say, your blood work don’t lie.

Here is what my daughter and I have learned from our three day experience. We noticed that the military diet, helped us become more cognizant of our portion size. We also realize that we didn’t miss all the salt and sauces so much that we would normally put on our food.  And we both agree that during the week while we are at work and school, we will stick to the breakfast and lunch suggestion. We may change it around for variety. For example, we may have toast with peanut butter and an apple instead of toast and an egg.

Here an example of breakfast.

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Here’s lunch!

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And dinner samples. I used Nathan’s reduce fat hotdogs!

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This small steak, fruits and green beans was filling

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And yes you can have ice cream!

If you would like to read the full article about blood work, here it is: 10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Blood Work