Video: Demystifying Produce at an Asian Market

I love shopping at Asian markets because you can find so many cool different kinds of vegetables, starches, and fruits. But even for me being Filipino, I can find Asian markets intimidating or confusing because there is SO much selection there. I find it mind boggling how many varieties of bok choy there are which is awesome because bok choy is one of my favorite greens.

As another example, have you heard of Banana blossom? There is something inside the plant that is like hunting for Saffron. The leaves are also wonderful for use in salads.

This is a really good video with Chef Mike of Green Vegetarian Cuisine taking us on a tour of an Asian market where the owner of the market describes many of the fresh foods you’ll see and what kind of dishes each is traditionally used in or can be used in. For example, she’s made empanadas using Ube, a purple yam used in traditional Filipino dishes. Now I want to make Ube dessert empanadas.

One of my favorite points that Vanessa, the co-owner, makes is that Asian cuisine is loaded with greens for health because taking pills for health issues is not a big thing in Asia. So true! Better to eat from the Farmacy to prevent the need for visits to the Pharmacy for food related health issues.

So, load up on the greens because it’s better for your health and the planet!

Meal Idea: Plant-based Szechuan Beefless Strips with Pan-fried Padrons, Squash Noodles and Fried Brown Rice

This meal is something you can easily make for dinner because it doesn’t involve much prep. Thankfully, there are plenty of plant-based alternative meats available to choose from.

My favorite Asian beef alternative is  Gardein’s Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips . The texture of these beefless strips reminds me of a crispy sweet and sour pork like you get at Chinese takeout places.

I cooked the strips per the instructions and sprinkled some flax seed on top for extra protein and Omegas. The sauce Gardein uses to flavor the beefless strips is amazing! I wish they would bottle that stuff up because I would buy a whole bottle of it. It tastes like a sweet, soy stir-fry sauce.

Recently, I bought a Veggetti Spiralizer for like $10, and I’ll be honest because of this gadget I have become addicted to spiralizing vegetables, mostly zucchini or yellow squash. The Vegetti makes some real fun thick and thin veggie noodles.

To make the noodles, I used organic Zephyr squash which is one of my favorite squashes because of its fun yellow and green stripes. Use any of your favorite squash like zucchini or yellow squash. No need to cook the noodles because they actually taste better raw.

I love Padron peppers! Definitely try them if you haven’t. Padrons are a Spanish pepper and only about 3″ long. They have an earthy, sweet, nutty flavor and are mild 99% of the time. Occassionaly though, a couple in the bunch will be hot. It’s like playing roulette. In all the years I’ve eaten this pepper, only twice have I gotten a hot one.

If Padron peppers are not in season or available in your area, try other sweet peppers like Shishito or Jimmy Nardello.

Quickly pan sear a handful of chopped Padron peppers with olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder and pinch of sea salt.

Mix the cooked padrons in with the raw Zoodles and some chopped red onion.

The fried rice is simply pan-fried pre-cooked brown Jasmine rice with organic carrots, corn, edamame, and a little soy sauce for flavor.

Product Review: Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites

One of the many reasons I love Gardein is that they make it possible to have plant-based Asian food right at home. Sweet and Sour pork used to be one of my favorite Chinese food dishes, and now I can enjoy that flavor once again.

I have to admit I was a little skeptical of these Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites at first because just from the picture on the bag they look puffy like the Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips which is not in my top faves.

As soon as I took a bite of the cooked Porkless Bites from my plate, all that skepticism disappeared. These Porkless Bites are a good way to transition from eating real pork. For a plant-based version of sweet and sour pork, these bites are pretty darn delish and they have 13g of protein per serving which is awesome!

 

 

The Porkless Bites are best when you pan fry them in some oil so you get that nice crispy outside similar to the crispy outside you get when ordering real pork sweet and sour at a Chinese restaurant. I love that crispiness!

I use avocado oil for pan frying.

And speaking of Chinese restaurants, I added some carrots, onions, and red pepper to my Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites to make it restaurant style. So good! The sauce comes in a separate packet so if you do not like the sauce that comes with the bites or you want to try another sauce like an orange sauce or Peking sauce, you can totally do that.

The recipe for the whole meal pictured here is in our app.

Product Review: Hodo Soy Sesame Yuba Noodles

Hodo Soy became famous when Chipotle chose them to make their special recipe Sofritas option. Hodo Soy has an incredible line of ready-to-eat products they sell in retail.

One of my favorites is the Hodo Sesame Yuba Noodles which is organic and gluten-free.

 

 

What exactly is Yuba you ask?


From Hodo Soy’s website, here is more details on how Hodo makes Yuba, and here in a nutshell is what Yuba is.

“Yuba is a delicacy.   Fresh Yuba, or in Japanese, Nama Yuba, is a category of fresh “tofu skin” harvested from rich and creamy soymilk.  Hodo is the only maker of fresh, organic, non-GMO, fresh yuba in the US marketplace.

A delicacy made from only soybeans and water, yuba is the thin veil that forms on the surface of soymilk as the cream and protein rise to the surface.”

You can see in the photo of my Ginger Sesame dish above the strips of Yuba among the brown rice noodles. I like the texture of the Yuba noodles which feel like flattened firm tofu with a little spring to it. The Yuba takes on the flavor you add to it.

The Yuba strips are basically a new way to experience eating tofu and it’s fun!

The recipe for the meal pictured here is in our app.

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