Frozen Yogurt Cookies

Posted in Simply Delicious, Sweet | No Comments »

Frozen Yogurt Cookies were born after a friend of mine was disappointed that my last blog entry didn’t include a recipe. These are easy to make and add a special finishing touch to any meal.

Raspberry Lemon & Lemon Spice

Choose thin, yet sturdy cookies to carry a spoonful of yogurt. A sturdy cookie is important, so that the yogurt’s moisture doesn’t soak through it. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of the yogurt and freeze the assembled cookies on an uncovered tray. They’ll be ready to eat in about 1 ½ hours.


Yogurt Praise!

Posted in Gluten Free, Sweet | No Comments »

So, I’ve been extremely busy for the last 4 months as a dietetic intern. My experience working in the hospital has been wonderful so far, but my culinary creativity has suffered somewhat. I realized that my cooking is mostly inspired by the people I love, but they are home in NYC. Grocery shopping here is also not as great as it is in NYC. I miss the overflowing variety! But today, I found a fairly new grocery store that made me feel more like I was at home. There was an assortment of foods at this market that made me feel that I might discover something exciting and new.

Cascade Fresh yogurt grabbed my attention at 89 cents for every 6 oz. cup. After looking over the ingredients and nutrition facts, I happily welcomed the yogurt into my shopping basket.  I applaud Cascade Fresh for making yogurt with only about 16g sugar per container of fat free yogurt. They use fruit juice to sweeten their yogurt and are able to create a product with much less sugar than most yogurts, which have about 26g sugar.

The first flavor that I’ve enjoyed has been Green Apple Pie. If Cascade Fresh is not available where you shop, but you also want to lower your intake of added sugar from yogurt, try mixing plain yogurt with flavored yogurt. I was doing that for years. For more information, check out


Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Posted in Gluten Free, Savory, Simply Delicious, Vegan | 2 Comments »

Looking for a new side-salad? Try this salad of raw zucchini ribbons tossed in an almond butter dressing. If you don’t have almond butter, try peanut butter as a substitute.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad 

  • Serves 4

1 garlic clove, crushed

5 tsp. red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. almond butter

kosher salt, to taste

2 small zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise

1. Add the garlic clove, vinegar, oil, and almond butter to a large bowl and mix together until smooth. Season with salt.

2. Use a peeler to make zucchini ribbons about 1/2 inch wide.

3. Remove the garlic from the dressing. Add zucchini and toss to coat.

Tres Leches Cake

Posted in Sweet | No Comments »

A jewel from a small Mexican Bakery in Ridgewood, Queens!

My birthday cake was perfectly moistened with three milks: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk or cream and filled with a layer of whipped cream, strawberries and peaches.

Tofu Parm

Posted in Savory | 1 Comment »

If you like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and breaded cutlets, you’ll enjoy my father’s recipe for Tofu Parm. The tofu takes on classic Parmigiana flavors — a great way to introduce tofu to those who have never tried it.

It’s a good idea to incorporate some tofu into your regular diet. When tofu is used to replace meat, it can lower a person’s total calorie, fat, and cholesterol intake. It’s also a source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, and B12.

A winner in my Experimental Foods class!

Tofu Parm Serves 3

1 lb. extra-firm or firm tofu*, drained

½ tsp. powdered chicken bouillon (optional)

¼ c. flour

1 egg, lightly whisked

½ c. flavored breadcrumbs

Canola oil, for frying

½ c. tomato sauce

1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella

1.  Cut tofu lengthwise into 6 slices and press extra moisture out of the tofu slices with paper towel. Very lightly sprinkle powdered chicken bouillon over both sides of the tofu. Lightly coat tofu in flour, dip in egg, and coat in breadcrumbs.

2. Heat pan with a small amount of oil. Fry tofu until golden brown on all sides, adding additional oil as necessary. 

3. Preheat broiler. Top tofu with sauce and mozzarella. Broil about 4 inches from the flame for 2 minutes.

*I often use lite firm tofu to save on calories. Lite tofu has 40 calories, while extra-firm and firm tofu have 70 and 80 calories, respectively.

I hope I’ve gotten you curious about tofu. If that’s the case, you might consider enrolling in Tofu U at for more tofu recipes and tips. What’s more, participants are given coupons and a “graduation present” to encourage cooking tofu at least once a week for a month.

Now that I’ve completed my dietetics major at the City University of New York, I’ve enrolled in Tofu U for the fun of it! Why don’t you join me!

Pumpkin Bread

Posted in Sweet | 1 Comment »

Do you remember that pumpkin I bought in October? It’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for 5 months. This past weekend, I finally cooked, pureed, and froze it for future use. However, I did set aside one cup of puree to make pumpkin bread. March is definitely not the season for pumpkin bread, but that didn’t stop me from baking one of my favorite autumnal treats. I love the warm flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in pumpkin bread, but I decided to use less of these spices because it’s springtime!

This pumpkin bread is so delicious and moist; no one would ever know there was whole wheat flour and flax seed meal in the mix! If you don’t have whole wheat flour and flax seed meal, just use 1½ cups all-purpose flour and 6 tablespoons of canola oil. However, this is a good recipe to start introducing fiber-rich whole wheat flour and omega-3-full flax seed meal into your diet.

Pumpkin Bread

¾ cup white whole wheat flour

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/3 cup milk

½ tsp. vanilla

5 Tbsp. canola oil

3 Tbsp. flax seed meal

1¼ cup

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together first 9 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine milk and vanilla.

2. In a large bowl, beat canola oil, flax seed meal, and sugar until mixed well. Beat in one egg at a time and then mix in pumpkin puree. After each addition: one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk mixture, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour mixture, beat on low speed until just combined and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in ¼ cup raisins.

3. Pour into the loaf pan, sprinkle the remaining raisins on top, and gently press raisins down while spreading the batter evenly. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before taking it out and cooling completely on the rack.

Mexican Rice with Chicken

Posted in Gluten Free, Savory | No Comments »

During my high school years, my best friend and I enjoyed eating a bowl of Mexican Rice for lunch when it was on the menu. It was tasty and healthy in comparison to the standard fried chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, shoestring chicken, chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, and of course French fries! My recipe for Mexican Rice is made with brown rice and chunks of chicken, which I recommend serving with a green salad on the side for a well-rounded meal.

Mexican Rice and Chicken

  • Serves 4

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ c. onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

¼ c. carrot, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 c. brown rice

2 ½ cup chicken broth

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into large chunks

¼ tsp. kosher salt

 1. Heat oil in a 4 qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

 2. Mix in the rice and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stir once, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Then, sprinkle salt over the chicken pieces and add them to the rice. Stir once and simmer, covered, for 20 more minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

Chicken and Sesame Dumplings

Posted in Savory | No Comments »

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I developed for EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine. It was inspired by the comforting garlic-ginger flavors of the Filipino soup “Arroz Caldo” and the breadcrumb dumplings that simmered in my Sicilian grandmother’s chicken soup on Sunday mornings.  

Chicken and Sesame Dumplings Photo by Kana Okada

Simply Delicious: Chocolate Oatmeal

Posted in Simply Delicious, Sweet | No Comments »

“Simply Delicious” signifies a recipe that uses only 3 to 5 main ingredients. 

Chocolate Oatmeal is a breakfast that my mother made often when I was growing up. Her inspiration was Filipino chocolate rice porridge, champorado. She made her oatmeal with spoonfuls of Nesquik chocolate powder, but I make mine with a packet of hot cocoa.  

Chocolate Oatmeal

  • Serves 2

1 ¾ cup water or milk, plus warm milk for pouring

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 packet of hot cocoa mix (preferably without hydrogenated oils)

In a medium saucepan, bring water or milk to a boil over high heat. Add the oats and hot cocoa mix. Stir until hot cocoa mix dissolves and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with warm milk for pouring over the top.    

 Enjoy it plain for a quick breakfast.

Have a little more time? Add toppings.

Try adding chopped semi-sweet chocolate, toasted almonds, and strawberries. I think it’s a perfectly tasty and healthy breakfast for this coming Monday — Valentine’s Day!

A couple of tropical fruits

Posted in Gluten Free, Sweet, Vegan | No Comments »

A few weeks ago, I was enjoying the warm weather of the Philippines and many of the sweet flavors of the tropics. There I was introduced to a new fruit – Chico

When I first tasted Chico, I was surprised by its slightly granular texture and wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue eating it. However, I took another bite and delighted in its unique flavor – a combination of ripe pear and brown sugar. I liked it so much that I encouraged my sister to try one!

I also had the opportunity to taste fresh Jackfruit for the first time. Any time I’ve eaten Jackfruit in New York, I’ve had it coated in syrup from a can or a jar. I always liked it, but I knew Jackfruit would even be better fresh. So when I saw the large fruit being sold at a roadside fruit stand, I bought a piece of it. When I got it to the hotel, my mom and my aunt helped to remove the yellow flesh from the seeds.

This Jackfruit had a slightly crisp texture with a flavor that some people describe as banana-like. I enjoyed the fresh fruit, but what I liked even more were Jackfruit chips! They were crunchy, light, sweet, and not at all oily. Here’s a link to the fruit chips that I tasted in the Philippines:

They’re expensive to order on! One day, preferably when it’s not snowing, I’ll hunt for them in Chinatown so that I can taste them again and share them with friends.