Fried rice with Chinese sausage and thin sliced egg

fried rice

This probably is one of my favorite recipes.  While a lot of fried rice is more of a mix of ingredients that are stirred together, I am going to show you guys a less traditional recipe. I’m also going to incorporate some small nuances of Vietnamese cuisine in this recipe since this is how my mother makes it.

I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of xoi, but it is a Vietnamese rice dish. Sweet sticky rice is often piled up with a variety of toppings like crumpled mung beans, coconut, sesame seeds, Chinese sausage or fried garlic. It can be made both sweet and salty (sometimes both) and it features sticky rice. Unfortunately when I had a xoi craving come up a while back, I did not have any sweet rice on hand. But I did have short grain, glutinous rice that would lend a similar texture. With that idea in my head, I decided to simplify the average xoi recipe into an easy fried rice recipe you guys could work with. Now on to the recipe!

*You can find all of these ingredients in an Asian grocery store, but if you have trouble finding Chinese sausage, bacon would work well instead.


  • 2 whole Chinese sausages, sliced
  • 3 eggs, scrambled with a little water
  • 2-3 cups cooked white, short grain rice (you can change this amount if you have a strong carb craving)
  • 2 whole green onions, sliced, soaking in mix of 1 tbs sesame oil and 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • sprinkling chopped cilantro for garnish
  • sprinkling fried garlic for topping

Step 1: Heat a large frying pan on high. Add a good amount of oil, brushing the pan with a napkin to ensure there is an even coat of oil. When the pan is hot enough, add the scrambled eggs, rotating the pan to create an even, thin layer of egg. Reduce the heat to medium and place a lid on the pan so that steam can cook the surface of the eggs. Cook until they are solid.

Step 2: Roll the eggs up in the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into thin, half-centimeter thick ribbons. Use your fingers to shake the rolls so the ribbons separate and fluff up. Set aside.

Step 3: In the same frying pan (you don’t need more cooking oil for this step), cook the sliced Chinese sausage on high until they release their own oil and crisp up. Scoop the sausage out of the pan and into a plate, set aside. Keep any remaining oil in the pan, it will be used to season the rice.

Step 4: With the pan still heated, add the rice. Use chopping motions with a wooden spoon to separate the rice and cover the individual grains in a thin layer of oil. This motion will prevent you from squishing the rice, keeping the grains whole. When the rice is warmed and slightly toasted, add the oiled green onion. Stir the onion in and remove the pan from the heat.

*quick tip, the oil in the green onion helps wilt the leaves and mellow their sharp flavor.

Step 5: Now its time to assemble the plates. Put a bed of rice at the bottom of the serving dish. Top with the egg ribbons, Chinese sausage, cilantro and fried garlic.

fried rice

Shrimp and grits with kale and cilantro purée

shrimp and grits

Comfort food time! Only this time I made it (semi) healthy. Though honestly, in the food blog world, anything with the addition of kale makes a dish healthy.

However this time I took things to the next level. In case you guys haven’t heard of shrimp and grits before, it is a common food in the south that mixes creamy grits and grilled shrimp. In this recipe, I overload the grits with cheese and I top the dish with a drizzle of lemon cilantro purée to lend a little acidity. Last, I gave the shrimp a smokey dry rub of chili powder and cumin to help mellow everything out.

Now on to the recipe!



  • 1 cup instant grits plus enough water (according to the package instructions) to cook it
  • 1 cup cheese
  • 1 cup defrosted frozen whole, raw shrimp (the bigger the better for this – no one wants wimpy shrimp for this kind of recipe)
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1-2 tbs low flavor olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Blend the cilantro, lemon juice and zest and olive oil in a food processor until you have a smooth liquid. Add more olive oil as needed to help the blending process along. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Cook the grits according to package instructions, I made it in the microwave. Add the cheese. If the grits are too thick, thin it out with a little milk until the grits have the thickness of mashed potatoes.


Step 2: Preheat a large pan on high. In a large bowl, rinse the raw shrimp in water. This will remove any excess fishy taste or salt. Drain the water from the bowl and pat the shrimp with a paper towel.

Mix the defrosted shrimp with the chili powder, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until they turn pink and are firm to the touch. Push the shrimp to the side of the pan and add the kale. Season the kale with salt and pepper. Cook until the kale develops a deep green color and softens slightly.

shrimp and grits

Step 3: The plating! Start with a healthy dollop of grits. Make a small indent in the middle of the grits to make room for the toppings. Then, add the kale on top and then top with a few of the shrimp. Drizzle a tablespoon or two of the cilantro sauce.

Egg-stuffed mushroom sandwich with avocado slaw

mushroom sandwich

After creating my quail egg-stuffed mushrooms recipe, I thought that I should super-size it so that it could be a meal option.

It is important that you toast your bread well so that any moisture from the mushroom does not soak through. The avocado slaw recipe is comes from a post I released earlier and is a healthier option to traditional coleslaw as the dressing is made mostly of avocado.


  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • 1 portabella mushroom, stem and gills removed (the dark fiber-y part)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water for steaming
  • knob of butter for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avacodo slaw

Step 1: Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium high. Add the mushroom, cap-side down. Cover the pan. Cook until mostly soft, adding water to the pan to steam and prevent from overcooking/burning.

Step 2: Add the egg into the mushroom cap. Add more water to the pan and cover. Cook until the egg white is cooked. The yolk should still be runny. Pull the pan from the heat.

Step 3: Stack the sandwich with the bread first, then the mushroom and then the slaw.



Coleslaw with soy avocado dressing

avocado slaw

This will be a quick post. The inspiration for this recipe came from some food photography I did for the American Heart Association. I styled a kale salad with avocado dressing to accompany an article that urged people to eat more vegetables. I wanted to create a meal that was made almost entirely out of plants – which is where the avocado comes in.

Easily puréed into a smooth texture, avocado is an awesome main ingredient in my salad dressing. Crave the creaminess of ranch? Grind an avocado with a little oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. However this time, I wanted to have something Asian-inspired. Sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar mix with avocado to create a tangy, creamy dressing that pairs well with crisp vegetables.


  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot

Step 1: Take the sliced onion and soak it in a bowl of water. This will reduce the sharpness of raw onion, making the flavor more mild. Massage it in the water with your hand until the liquid turns

Step 2: Scoop the avocado into a food processor. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Step 3: Drain the water from the sliced onion, squeezing to ensure there is no excess liquid. Mix the onion with the cabbage and carrot. Add the dressing and mix to combine.

Butternut squash pasta with walnuts and gorgonzola


Butternut squash is a cheap vegetable that can be used in a variety of recipes. Since it is naturally sweet, it needs to be balanced out with savory flavors so that it does not overpower your food.

This is a very delicate dish that is light in flavor. Steamed butternut squash is ground into a purée and added to a white sauce. This is what gives the pasta it’s bright yellow color. Similar in appearance and creaminess to macaroni and cheese, this is a great recipe for those looking for lighter pasta alternatives.

To add texture and a little tart saltiness, I top the pasta with roasted walnuts and melted Gorgonzola.


  • 1 cup butternut squash purée (I made my own by steaming butternut squash cubes and blending them in the food processor)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (flexible depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box dry pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Step 1: Cook the pasta to your preferred texture. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Melt the butter in a frying pan heated on high. Cook until it is bubbling – this will deepen the flavor, making the butter aromatic. Add the flour and stir well. Then add the milk slowly. The butter flour mixture will first thicken into a taste. Gradually add more milk in to thin the sauce out until the sauce is liquidy, but still shows the bottom of the pan in streaks when you stir. Then add the butternut squash purée. Mix well.

Step 3: Pour the sauce-coated pasta into an oiled baking dish. Top with gorgonzola and walnuts. Bake in a 350 degree heated oven until the cheese is melted. Top with fresh parsley.


pasta with butternut squash sauce


Roasted curry cauliflower with lemon yogurt sauce

curried cauliflower

Ever since I found a stray jar of curry powder sitting in the back of my pantry, I have been dumping the stuff in everything.

It really it a miracle spice. Why? Because it can make anything taste good. Not that I am saying cauliflower doesn’t taste good. However I do think that curry has so much flavor that you wouldn’t mind going meatless for a meal because of it.

Which is why I picked it for this recipe.

This is another dish I made with the idea in mind that people are currently trying to cut down on unhealthy food. Like the last post I did on cheat chocolate pudding, I wanted to make something so rich in flavor that you wouldn’t realize that it was pretty good for you.

Still want protein? That’s what the greek yogurt sauce is for. Also, I would not be against frying an egg or two and throwing them on top. In the end, this is a good way to increase your vegetable intake.


Roasted cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, this helps boost the color
  • 2 tsp ghee, which is an Indian-style clarified butter. You can equally use generic unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 individual cup of plain greek yogurt (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp finely shopped parsley or mint
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Melt the ghee or butter. Add the curry powder, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper.

Step 2: Put your cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Pour your ghee mixture evenly over them. Mix well and let sit to marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Give your cauliflower another good mix. Pour onto the baking sheet and distribute evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the baking sheet out and turn all of the florets over, return to the oven. Bake another 10 minutes.

Step 4: While the cauliflower is baking, make the yogurt sauce. Mix all ingredients well, set aside.

Step 5: When the cauliflower is cooked, pull the baking sheet from the oven. All the florets should be tender and have patches of mild toast/burn marks. (It’s hard to tell if everything is golden brown because the cauliflower will already be yellow from the spice mix)

Step 6: Serve warm with yogurt sauce. Also, if you happen to have any Indian simmer sauces on hand, add a dribble. Hot sauce works just as well – a little extra heat is awesome in this recipe for those that like it.