Parade.com: 22 Healthy Tips for Road Trips and Roast Coriander Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Grilled Chicken Salad

Roast Coriander Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Grilled Chicken Salad

“Over the river, and through the woods…,” I hum as we leave the comfort of our apartment for a road trip lasting a few hours. For those of us who aren’t hosting a Thanksgiving meal in their home and traveling long-distance to friends or a relative’s house, packing for a road-trip is a feel good alternative to feeling bloated and heavy from fast food restaurants at rest stops. Here are a few ‘lighter’ fare ideas for traveling and below is a recipe for Roast Coriander Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Grilled Chicken Salad that packs well in a cooler or over frozen water bottles. If serving the salad as part of a Thanksgiving dinner, omit the chicken. It’s contrasting crunchy texture in a Thanksgiving menu with mushy dishes would be a welcome addition.  Continue reading Parade.com: 22 Healthy Tips for Road Trips and Roast Coriander Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Grilled Chicken Salad

When Stress is too Much and Sleep is too Little

Kale and Friseé Salad, Seared Tuna, Croutons and Matcha Green Tea Vinaigrette

As this is being written, it’s almost 2 in the morning. There’s a major deadline at work. A major deadline at home. There was a major deadline missed on Monday. Taxes are due in April. And, I’m trying to maintain what’s left of my sanity. My body aches every time I wake up in the morning. It begs for a few days of sleep. Normally, when waking up in the morning, I reach for a bold cup of coffee to feebly add a little energy to my tired body. This time a generous cup of The Republic of Tea’s u·matcha Green Tea Latte (recipe here) is whisked into a foamy drink. Matcha is green tea leaves grinded into a fine powder, and it has more caffeine than whole tea leaves. The amount of caffeine doesn’t cause my nerves to become jittery like coffee. Instead, the matcha (as with most teas) steadily increases my energy in an unnoticeable calm manner. With a banana, whole wheat toast slathered with butter and marmalade, I calmly start the day to weave in and out of crowded subways to walk up numerous stairs that lead into work.  Continue reading When Stress is too Much and Sleep is too Little

Show Thy Body Some Love

Orange and Yellow Beet Salad with Kalamata Olives and Oregano

Ummmm… expecting chocolate? Yes, Valentine’s Day is this week. And, I delivered a salad with oranges and yellow beets. Ha… the ingredients aren’t aphrodisiacal, too. Well, I have other thoughts on my mind. Such as establishing a workout regime in my schedule. I shamefully stopping working out sometime in 2012, and I had the audacity to indulge in any and all pastries without guilt (ohhh… chocolate cake, where are you now?). Last year was an extremely good year, and we celebrated hard. The down side to the happy time, is a first-time in my life struggle with extra weight gain. And, it’s not a happy sight to see… or feel. Damn be anyone who tells me to love my body the way it is. I refuse to accept it, if I’m not working out.

Here’s my excuse: I had two separate foot injuries, dealt with a difficult cough the first few months of 2012, started a new job and running bored me. This week, I finally joined a gym. Instead of being mad at myself for stopping my workout routine, I ended my first day of class by saying, “I’m proud of you.”  Continue reading Show Thy Body Some Love

Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Star Anise Quinoa with Oranges and Smoked Duck Salad

As a graphic designer, I want my ‘brown bag’ lunch to taste and look visually delicious. Otherwise, I’m likely to toss it in the garbage and pay for a fresher option from a restaurant. Such actions eventually add up to plenty of regret and an empty wallet. Learning to pack lunches take time and practice. When lunch containers reveal a salad of crispy lettuce and colorful, layered ingredients or a fragrant soup waiting to be heated in the microwave, my wallet stays full.

The initial inspiration for packing lunches come from bento boxes with separate containers or compartments. The separate containers help maintain the freshness of the meal (good for hot and cold recipes). Another bento-style lunch is creating a meal in one bowl, in which the ingredients harmoniously enhance each other. Continue reading Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Adriana’s Tamale Party with Watermelon and Queso Fresco Cheese Salad

My cravings for Mexican food come from Mom’s Southern California background. The flavors and spices of the dishes bring comfort to my heart. Some people might say my love for Mexican food isn’t authentic, because it’s actually “Tex-Mex.” It could be true. After all, I didn’t grow up in predominantly Mexican community, nor is the culture and language part of my ancestral background.

Some time ago, Nicole Taylor of Hot Grease, organized a private dinner honoring Dr. Jessica B. Harris and cookbook author, Bryant Terry. Among the invitees were Adriana Valez, a writer for The Stir and CreoleMag.com. Naturally, the conversation centered around food. Somehow Adriana and I talked about Mexican cuisine and how her family held tamale parties. I eagerly asked her to organize one in Brooklyn, New York. She happily agreed to my request. Continue reading Adriana’s Tamale Party with Watermelon and Queso Fresco Cheese Salad