Broccoli, Kale, Winter Squash & Egg Breakfast Brunch

Good morning to a healthy 2019!

Hearty breakfasts like this Broccoli, Kale, Winter Squash with Egg should be done more often. Truth is, there is hardly any time to prepare so many ingredients (kitchen war zone evidenced below) before 7am.

But the breakfast spirit should live on, regardless of time. So I prepared THAT many ingredients and made breakfast-style lunch!

The trick to this dish is not to over-do the greens, yet give a little more to the potatoes and hard winter squash.

For those who prefer grains in place or potatoes/squashes, try Broccoli, Kale, Quinoa with Egg.

The war-zone I was talking about – as it takes time to cut/chop/slice all the ingredients.

To complete that skillet of potatoes, squash and greens, top with an egg (for us, a sunnyside-up with runny yolk does the trick) to make it more complete and nutritious.

Pan-Fried Potatoes, Squash with Kale, Broccoli and Bell Peppers
1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small to medium size organic potato, cleaned, skin-on, diced
1/2 small kabocha squash, diced
 4-5 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or crimini mushrooms), diced
1/2 organic red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 organic green bell pepper, finely diced
2 cups organic kale, roughly chopped
1-2 cups organic broccoli florets
Pinch of ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sea salt

Directions: In 1 tbsp cooking oil, aromatize the spices and shallots and garlic, add the potato and squash, allow the potato and squash to brown a little, add the mushrooms, pinch of sea salt and allow this mixture to cook for about 10-15mins till mixture is cooked through. Add in bell pepper, give it a good mix, then broccoli, cover the pan and allow the pan to cook the mixture for about 5 minutes. Add in kale last and allow the steam and heat of the mixture and pan to cook the kale. Pinch of sea salt to taste

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Golden Milk

As the name implies, this milk has turned golden with the use of turmeric. It has also turned “golden” because milk is now more precious, worth many anti-inflammatory benefits.

An Ayurvedic tradition – Golden Milk is a tonic that is meant to be nourishing, and good-tasting at the same time. Do you know that the compound – piperine found in black pepper enhances the absorption of turmeric? Don’t forget its black pepper partner in harmony the next time you use turmeric in curries, pilafs, or even a salad dressing.

Golden Milk
adapted from Whole Foods

2 cups organic whole milk
10-15 thin slices fresh turmeric, gently pounded in a mortar and pestle
8-10 thin slices of fresh ginger, gently pounded in a mortar and pestle
Dashes of fresh ground black pepper
1 cinnamon

Directions: Gently simmer everything in a pot for about 15 minutes or more and you will notice the milk changing color to yellow. Keep the heat low (and do not allow boiling) so that the milk does not curdle. When done, sieve out the “solids” (strain the milk from the other ingredients). Serve the milk warm.

There are many ways to prepare Golden Milk – some recipes use ground spices while some use fresh whole spices.

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Avocado, Shrimps, Tofu, Veggies Pasta Bowl

This pasta bowl has no sauce, and it is not missing any.

The garlic-cilantro oven-roasted shrimps, and the roasted zucchini and bell peppers  (alike Oven-Style Ratatouille and Vegetable Tian) are all good components of flavors to the pasta. Add in buttery avocado and roasted tofu to make it a balanced meal of complex carbs, lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables’s healthy fiber, vitamins and essential minerals.

Roasted Shrimps and Vegetables Pasta Bowl with Avocado and Tofu
10 shrimps, shelled, marinate with 1 clove garlic that is minced, and 1tbsp finely chopped cilantro, 2 tsp curry powder. Set aside for at least 30 mins.
1 organic zucchini, sliced to bite-sizes
1/2 organic red bell pepper, sliced to bite-sizes
1 cup cauliflower florets (option to roast with zucchini, bell peppers but I prefer my cauliflower steamed)
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
3-4 pieces of oven-roasted tofu (Oven-Roasted Tofu recipe). If you like it spicy, try Korean Spicy Chilled TofuKorean Spicy Baked Tofu
1 hard-boiled egg
1/2 avocado
Cooked pasta

Directions: Steam (about 5mins) or blanch the cauliflower and edamame. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare zucchini and bell pepper on a tray/sheet pan, season with salt and pepper. Prepare the marinated shrimps on a separate tray/sheet pan. Roast the shrimps for about 15-20 mins (refer Oven-Roasted Shrimps), vegetables about 20-25mins (depending on size of vegetable bites). When done, mix in cauliflower, edamame, roast zucchini, bell peppers with cooked pasta. Layer the pasta+veggie combo with tofu, egg, avocado and oven-roasted shrimps.

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One-Pot Noodles with Veggies, Egg & Chicken

There is nothing special about this pot of udon noodles. Though prepared with quite the basic everyday ingredients that you find in a working kitchen, this simple homecooked one-pot noodles is still very flavorful and satisfying that you slurp till the very last strand of noodle.

It does not have to be special. It just have to be pure comfort. A bowl of noodles with tender-cooked vegetables in light fragrant broth is absolutely warm comfort in the chilly months of winter.

With some “help” from advanced meal prep. e.g. dicing the carrots and celery, choosing the “easier” onion i.e. green onions to slice, this pot of noodle can be put together very quickly, start to finish in one same pot!

One-Pot Udon Noodles with Vegetables, Chicken, Egg
1 green onion, bottom white portion and top green portion finely chopped but keep the white and green separated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp organic ground chicken (optional, or omit if making vegetarian)
2 tbsp thinly sliced organic carrots
Half celery, thinly sliced
Some enoki mushrooms, slice to match-sticks length
1 egg, lightly whisked
Handful (1-2 bowls/servings) leafy greens, blanched/steamed and then chop/slice the stems and leaves (I have used Gai ChoyChinese Mustard Greens; option to replace with Bok Choy, Gai Lan, Yu Choy)
1 pack frozen udon, prepare and cook according to package instructions (use the same pot of water that was used to blanch the vegetable, to cook the noodles. Set the noodles aside after cooked, and discard the water – do not re-use the water)
Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste

Directions: Heat a little oil in the pot, fry the ground meat, breaking them up to smaller bits in the process of frying. After almost cooked, dish out, set aside (omit this step if vegetarian).

There will be some oil left in the pot, add the chopped bottom white parts of green onions, carrots and celery, garlic and fry for 2-3minutes, add the enoki mushrooms, cooked meat (optional), cooked vegetables, mix well.

Add some water and allow the entire mixture to come to light simmer (Note: This is not an entirely soupy dish but also not totally dry like fried noodles. Therefore, not a lot of water is added. You can refer to the images and notice that the noodles are sitting in a small quantity of (very flavorsome) soup/broth. If you want it to be noodles soup, add more water however remember to adjust the seasonings appropriately). Gently and slowly stir in the egg. When the egg slowly cooks, add the cooked noodles, mix well, salt and ground pepper to taste, and when it comes to a light simmer again, garnish with greens of the green onions, turn off heat. Drizzle few drops of sesame oil if you prefer. Cover the pot and let it stand for about a minute.

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Chicken Salad Sandwich/ Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Leftovers from Tandoori Chicken Salad? The leftovers can conveniently be used as fillings for sandwiches and wraps; and especially when making sandwiches using pita bread, this Tandoori Chicken Salad can easily be stuffed into the bread pockets.

What if you did not make Tandoori Chicken Salad? Don’t worry, this Easy Chicken Salad made from leftover rotisserie chicken will also do the trick.

YESsss, yes, and yes! Of course, leftover turkey works perfect and in fact, so appropriate after all the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

Easy Chicken Salad
2 cups salad greens (e.g. lettuce, baby spinach)
6-10 thin slices organic cucumber
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded chicken or bite-sized chicken pieces (from leftover rotisserie chicken)
1-2 slices of pita bread, each slice split into half and open them up into pockets
[Dressing]: 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, pinch of ground black pepper

Directions: Add vegetables in a bowl, add chicken, drizzle dressing over vegetables and chicken, then toss well. Stuff the chicken salad into the bread.

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Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato Vegetable Tian


Does saying it in French makes it more sophisticated? Simply, it is traditional oven-roasted vegetables layers in an earthenware.

Here, a not-so-traditional approach has been adopted for the vegetable tian; or more accurately, it should not be even called a tian since I did not use any earthenware. Instead, a roasting tray with parchment paper is used so that there is no tray or dish to wash after cooking: fuss-free, mess-free. Call it vegetables tian catered to the (lazy) home-cooks.

The only similar action done to mimic the vegetable tian is to prepare and slice the vegetables pretty and layer them pretty. Tian and ratatouille might share similarities in their origin being Provencal French, and both being centered around vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions; but tian is a layered roast while ratatouille is a diced-up stew.

Vegetable Tian
adapted from Martha Stewart

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 long Chinese eggplant, thinly sliced (option to use other eggplant variety)
2 Roma tomatoes, thiny sliced
1/2 onions, thinly sliced
Handful of cilantro (or any fresh herbs), roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven 400F. Brush organic canola oil on the parchment paper. Start layering the vegetables. Dash of salt and black pepper over the vegetables, then sprinkle half of fresh herbs on to the vegetable then roast for about 40-50mins. When cooked, sprinkle remaining fresh herbs to the roast, then add 1-2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil across the roast. More salt and black pepper to taste if required.

Serve as side-dish to roasted fish (e.g. Herb-Roasted Whole Trout) or chicken (e.g. Herb & Garlic Roasted Chicken).

I have made ratatouille-inspired vegetable roast previously, and today, this tian-inspired vegetable roast. In addition to the steaming-method, these roast options can also load up a lot of vegetables at one-go of cooking.

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Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Mushroom Rice

With its bright orange flesh, kabocha squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene that can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for healthy white blood cells, good immunity and for vibrant, healthy eyes, skin and hair. To boost fiber content, you can cook them with their edible green skins. I bought a whole kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) with a plan to cook Pumpkin Rice ???.

This Pumpkin Rice a pumped-up version of this Garlic Pumpkin Rice and fits a one-pot one-dish meal perfectly.

There is more proportion of ingredients (mushrooms, vegetables) used instead of rice. Therefore, the dish was cooked over the stove instead of in the rice cooker, to allow better control of cooking.

For more fiber intake, cook the kabocha squash skin-on. This also saves the effort of slicing off the skin which means cutting down prep. time. However, the skin was sliced off in this recipe for the dish’s texture to be consistent with the fluffy rice.

Kabocha Squash/Pumpkin Mushroom Rice ??????
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tbsp dried krill/shrimp (omit if vegetarian)
4-5 fresh small-medium cap-size shiitake mushrooms
1/4 squash, slice to 4 wedges, then diced to cubes, remove skin
1/4 wedge of small head cabbage, sliced to bite-size
2tsps soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions: Saute the shallots, then add krill or dried shrimps to make it fragrant, followed by garlic. Then add the mushrooms, a little soy sauce and saute till mushrooms are slightly tender. Add the pumpkin, then cabbage, a few tbsp of water to moisten the mixture, cover the pot, and simmer for about 5-8 minutes till flavors are married. Add in rice, give it a good stir, then add water just enough to submerge the entire mixture. Cover the pot, and cook the rice at medium-high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, turn down to low-medium heat and simmer till the rice is cooked. Anytime you find that the water has completely been absorbed by the rice, just sprinkle in some water to keep it moisten and continue to cook the rice. As the vegetables will release moisture in the process, adding too much water will yield over-soggy rice.

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Pumpkin Squash Veggie Salad Bowls

If there is any fancy pumpkin squash to try this pumpkin season, let it be the Delicata. It is also a budget-friendly produce item to add to your autumn/fall grocery list.

Thinned-skin, Delicata Squash is also much easier to handle and slice, and cooks relatively quickly (compared to the other bigger thicker-skin pumpkins), in about 20 minutes roasting time.

Steamed Kale, Yellow and Purple Cauliflower, Cooked Beets, Roasted Squash, Shredded Chicken

During autumn/fall season, this pumpkin squash has become the fiber-boosting, nutrient-dense “carb” in place of sweet potatoes or potatoes or corn on the cob in these healthy and nutritious salad grain bowls.

Delicata Squash Salad Bowls
1 Delicata squash, sliced 3/4 -inch thick
About 3 servings of mixed vegetables of your choice e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, snow or snap peas, beets
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss squash slices with olive oil, dried oregano, salt and ground black pepper. Arrange on baking sheet and roast about 25mins until fork tender. Halfway roasting the squash, start steaming the vegetables – steam with garlic for about 5mins. Layer the base of the salad bowls with colorful steamed vegetables and topped with roasted pumpkin squash.

Steamed Kale, Mutli-Colored Cauliflower, Snap Peas and Zucchini with Roasted Squash (Vegetarian) 

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Tomato Egg Soup ????

Instead of making tomato egg-drop soup (similar to Bitter Melon Egg Drop Soup, Chive Egg-Drop Soup) in which the egg is gently stirred into the soup towards the end of cooking, to create pretty, soft and silky egg swirls and ribbons;  I switched the sequence a little – first, by frying tomatoes with egg (Tomato Scrambled Eggs recipe), then adding the tomato scrambled eggs to a vegetables-based broth, making the soup of today – Tomato Egg Soup.

The sweet tomatoes impart natural umani flavors to this soup and it is absolutely delicious. Soup season is here! A comforting and satisfying one-dish noodle soup is definitely a keeper in the cooler months ahead.

Tomato Egg Soup ????
3-4 medium size tomatoes, divided use (2 tomatoes sliced to wedges, 2 tomatoes chopped to bite-sizes)
3 organic eggs, lightly whisked
1 shallot
2 green onions, finely chopped, separate the white and green portions, divided use
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock or vegetarian stock (or water)
1 celery thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 organic green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Directions: Fry the tomato wedges and eggs with 1/3 of white portions of green onions in 2tbsp cooking oil (refer Tomato Scrambled/ Fried Eggs recipe). Dish out and set aside. Fry the shallots and remaining white portions of green onions in 1tbsp cooking oil, then add garlic and lightly saute till shallots turn slightly translucent. Add the stock or water and let it come to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and celery and let it cook in the simmering broth. (Note: Celery and bell peppers are optional. I added them because I had them in the fridge, and wanted to add some vegetables to complete my one-dish meal). Return the tomato and eggs back to pot, pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle in 1-2 tsp of sesame oil. Turn off heat. Cover pot and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, allowing all the flavors to come together. Serve as soup base to noodles.

Not only do we share similar tastebuds and cooking styles, both of us coincidentally made this similar dish quite at the same time –  Noobcook’s Tomato Egg Noodles (is that telepathy?).

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Apples, Grapes, Watermelon Radish Salad

This autumn-worthy fruit and vegetables salad complements with roasted salmon, herb-roasted trout, spiced-roasted chicken or any of these sandwiches and wraps.

Enjoy the burst of juice from the grapes and crunch from the apples while the salad is being enjoyed. The grapes, apples and tomatoes adds natural sweetness and tang to the salad, perfectly balanced with the sharper-pungent garlic and onions, salad greens, mild peppery spicy watermelon radish and sweet bell peppers.

 Apple, Grapes, Watermelon Radish Salad
4-5 oz organic salad greens
1/2 wateremelon radish, thinly sliced
1/2 organic red bell pepeprs
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Organic apple, thinly sliced
Organic red grapes
Organic sugar plum tomatoes
[Dressing]: 1 tsp minced garlic, 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ground black pepper

Directions: Lay the salad greens as the base, top with red onions, bell peppers, radish, tomatoes, grapes and apples. Drizzle dressing over the mixture.

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