Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tomato Soup

I really like Tomato soup .....But I am pretty picky about soup ....
Grego would agree the word picky can barely describe how ridiculous I get when we are talking about Asia's food choices...this man is seriously the MOST patient person on this planet! 
I dont mind store bought the kind you buy in the nice tetra packs in the Natural Food section of the grocery mart...Organic Carrot Cashew Ginger...or Butternut squash 
These are passable...but when I flip the carton to inspect the ingredient list and sugar is up there as the second ingredient or something ridiculous like that...sometimes its a deal breaker and it never makes it into my cart
Carrot soup is just TOO easy to make and costs so little 
Tomato soup I am picky too 
I dont want soup that tastes like tomato sauce icky and acidic 
or loaded with sugar...cream ...or thickeners 
I want smooth and velvety perfect ripe pretty Roma tomatoes 
This soup works 
quick to make 
and if you want you can put a bit of milk or cream...or cashew cream (cashew butter and warm water) 
to create a thickness that some just gotta have when it comes to Tomato 

This recipe has Sun dried Tomatoes, just a bit of Tomato paste, and just a lil bit of cinnamon
that gives a crazy boost of flavour and warmth to make you feel cozy 
I made some Rice cookies too for a bit of an easy grab and go carb for this weeks soup lunches 
They are kinda boring but I think will do the trick for me ...they are just 2 cups of rice flour mixed with 1/2 Cup warm water then shaped into little cookies and squished with a fork.  Baked @ 400 for 20 mins.

  • Olive oil – 1 tbs.
  • Garlic, minced – 4 cloves 
  • Onion, chopped – 2
  • Tomato paste – 2 tbs.
  • Diced tomatoes, drained – 2 28 oz. can (I like Muir Glen)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – 8
  • Chicken stock or vegetable broth – 3 to 4 cups (In my picture this is what is thawing in   the mason Jars...homemade Veggie broth)
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp.
  • Cream or Milk (optional) –  1/2
Make it :)
  1. Heat a Large Pot or Dutch oven over med-high heat.
  2.  Add olive oil and then minced garlic to heated oil. Once you can smell the garlic, add the onions with a pinch of salt and the tomato paste. Saute for 3 minutes. The sugars from the tomato paste helps to caramelize the onions, creating extra sweetness
  3. Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tsp. salt, and enough stock to cover all ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil and then simmer covered for 10 minutes
  4. Let the soup cool and then puree.  Stir in cinnamon, season to taste with salt and pepper, and top with cream if using
You can also repurpose this soup as a sauce if you like.
Great for Bodo pizza's 
OR with pasta with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan 
Maybe even throw some cooked Chicken in there too
Pretty great soup
Pretty great sauce too!

Asia Girl 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Invention??? Low GI Tortillas !!!

Today....I declare is Tortilla TUESDAY
Because ToDAY
I think I invented something!!!

The reason I (ahhhemmm I THINK) invented it is....
You see my friends .......I like Carbohydrates
I DO know the best ones to eat....
Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Yams
They are all low glycemic
AND that of course is what I want to support all my hard work!
Waking up at 5 am to destroy the weights in my Young Gun Gym
Rocking the latest ZWOW in my living room
But not all carbs are low GI
I love Tortillas! 
I love that they are a great bread alternative
Great for toasting for breakfast to pair with my poached eggs
Or with soup
Great al by themselves or smeared with yummy nut butter or honey far as GI goes they are sorta like sugar
lets invent a better corn tortilla !
This is what I whipped up this afternoon and was happy when it was a success
I realize I havent done much to the original recipe but I think it is enough to change the GI
I added leftover oatmeal from this mornings breakfast
The results I think is a lower GI Tortilla
BONUS.....the stickiness that the oats offer makes a less crumbly mix
that is MUCH easier to work with
They toast up great, they taste great...
AND friends I am positive I am experiencing crazy slow burning healthy carb energy here!
What do you think????

Here is MY recipe (yay)

* 1 1/2 Cups Masa Harina
* 1 Cup Warm Water
* 1 Cup Cooked whole Oats (cooled)

So First put your Masa into a pretty big bowl and mix in your warm water.  Stir with a wooden spoon to mixed.
Next add your oats and stir it up.
Use clean hands to really combine the mixture and create a large ball.
Cover your ball with a damp paper towel and let rest for 30 minutes

After 30 minutes roll into golf ball sized and squish with a Tortilla press
Roll with a rolling pin between 2 sheets parchment paper
Cook in a dry frying pan till nicely toasted

I like to throw mine in my toaster just before I am going to eat them
This makes them warm & toasts the edges nice and crispy
also if you shape them into a Taco shell shape as soon as you pop them up they sorta stay that way
so you can load them up with goodies
What I built in my picture today was what I had in my fridge:

* 0 Fat Greek Yogurt
* Purple onions (why do they call these red onions when they are clearly purple?)
* Slices of Yellow pepper
* Left over BBQ Salmon
* AND Fresh baby Arugula

This Was SO good
I am happy
Have a wonderful Tuesday Friends
Hope you try low GI Tortillas ;)

Asia Girl

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pizza For Bodo's School Lunch

Bodo loves Pizza
I LOVE making and packing lunches everyday :)
To make this easier I do a little bit of pre cooking planning and I am set up to make pizza
Every week
Even whipping up a freshie first thing in the am to pack that day
HOW do I do it ???
I pre make the dough and freeze it in balls
I pre make the sauce and freeze in silicone muffin cups
Then you just need to grab portions from the freezer...thaw...and make
saves you from buying pizza cheese sticks from the Deli (way overpriced!)
plus you get homemade sauce and that makes them delish
Boden declares that his mummy's pizza is the best and begs me to make it instead of ordering Panago
I am Awesome 

Here are the two recipes I use :)

Kids Plain Tomato Sauce from scratch:

Blend a 26 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes in a blender
Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat
ADD: A handful of finely chopped onion, 1 crushed Garlic clove, and a pinch of salt & pepper
Cook 5-6 mins till onions are soft.
Add Tomatoes & 1/2 Cups water  & a spring of Basil
Simmer sauce till it thickens and season with more salt & pepper if desired.

Once cooled I freeze this yummy homemade sauce in my silicone muffin cups.
Once frozen I pop out of the muffin cups and store in a large ziplock freezer bag.

Simple Flat Bread / Pizza dough 
This is a great lil bread recipe that is versatile enough to become pizza dough OR easy dinner bread

* 3 1/2 Cups all Purpose Flour, plus more for kneading
* 2 tsp instant yeast
* 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
* 1 1/2 Cups Luke warm water
* 2 TBSP Olive Oil, divided plus more for brushing

In a bowl Mixer bowl mix together flour, yeast and salt with a whisk
Add the luke warm water & 1 TSBP olive oil mix together just until dry ingredients have absorbed wet

Attach the mixing bowl to your mixer fitted with a dough hook.
With the mixer on medium speed kneed the dough for 5 mins
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and finish kneading with floured hands
Knead just until dough is smooth and elastic & springs back when poked.
If the dough is really sticky you can knew in more flour but keep in mind more flour = tougher bread

NOW coat a large bowl with olive oil put your dough in and give a few turns to coat with oil.
Cover with plastic wrap & let rise about 45 mins or until dough has doubled in size

Meanwhile pre heat oven 475 (If you are going to bake on that day)

Punch dough down and divide into 4 balls.
Shape each piece into a ball and place onto a flat surface and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them
Let rest 10 minutes
At this point you can freeze your dough in balls on a silicone covered cooky sheet
when frozen put portions into a large freezer bag
Defrost in fridge when you are ready to use
If you are making bread knead less = more air bubbles & more height
If you are making pizza knead more = flatter :)
To BAKE:  lightly brush bottom of a dark coloured baking sheet with olive oil.
Stretch to flatten for pizza
slightly flattened balls for bread
BAKE in the middle of your oven 10 - 15 mins

Enjoy your pizza
Asia Girl

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beef Stew for Da By's

My guy is like seriously 270 pounds of muscle man
That makes me pretty proud
The flip side to this is feeding that 270 pound muscle man
Ok so we eat dinner as a family
I clean up the kitchen
and honestly 10 minutes later he is looking in the fridge and states that he is starving
This is a dilemma since to make a strong muscle man he needs to eat a lot of food but
It also needs to be clean high protein quality food
I make huge batches of Chicken Soup, Chilli, Spaghetti, and stews to satisfy the crazy hunger
I like to think the fact that he can bench 500 pounds for sets has at least something to do with my efforts in the kitchen :)
Grego sez I can make one mean stew
I studied blogs till I came up with a combination that I thought sounded good
THis is the recipe:


  • Olive Oil 
  • Flour 
  • 2 Lbs Stewing Beef cut into 1 1/2- 2 " Chunks
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed 
  • 1 Medium Onion Cut into 1/2 " Chunks
  • 4 Large Carrots Cut into 1/2" Chunks
  • 4 Celery Stalks Cut into 1/2" Chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Red wine
  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 Cups Beef Stalk 
  • 2 Bay leaves 
  • 2 Thyme Sprigs 
  • 15-20 peppercorns 
  • Mushrooms cleaned & quartered 
  • Potatoes cut into Big bite sized chunks 
Make the stew:
You are gonna need:
Your big crock pot out ready to receive your ingredients after you sear 
A Large Plate with a generous layer of flour on it and another large plate for seasoning afterwards
A Large skillet 

To start you are going to dredge your beef chunks on the first plate with flour 
I like to do this step with the big plate placed in my sink so I can really cover each piece with flour without making a crazy me this is the only way to go.
You are also going to want to work in batches 
Shake off any excess flour and place on your seasoning plate. 
On this plate you will season the chunks with salt and pepper.
Heat your Large skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  When it is nice and hot sear your meat.  When it it nicely seared on all sides move the pieces into you waiting Crock Pot .
Something I do that works nicely is I have this gigantic Tupperware bowl that I put everything in BEFORE I transfer it to the crock pot
This way I can mix it all up 
and if there is too much for the pot to handle (always happens!) 
I put the excess into a zip lock, pop in into the fridge and do a second batch the next day.

WHen you have finely seared all your meat it is time to sweat your vegetables.  
Add your veggies to the same skillet with a bit more oil.  Sweat until onions are translucent and smell amazing.  Now add your 1/2 cup of wine and scrape up all the bits on the bottom of the pan.  
DUmp it all into the crock pot.
Add your crushed tomatoes, worcestershire, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, potatoes, and stock.  
Turn your cooker on low cook for 8 hours.
The Glory of prepping this before you head out in the morning 
coming home to dinner already made
I seem to always overdo this recipe and make too much for my crock pot to hold 
I end up doing two batches and freeze as much as I can in washed out yogurt containers.
This is one of those things that takes a lot of work and makes a huge mess in your kitchen
with huge payoff when a great meal is just in your freezer.
Asia Girl

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chickpea Rice Kale Soup Dairy Free!

I think I say it every week on my blog
I love soup
I love trying new and different soups
I have this tendency to want to puree all the soups I make
I dont know why this is ...I love pureed carrot soup!
But I am trying to branch out into chunkier style

This is a terrific soup that I hope you try
It looks like it has a cream base but only achieved by using cashew cream
Something I have never tried before and I am so stoked on
Please give this soup a try I promise you will not be disappointed
I left out the rice but I think this might make it even Thicker
But as is it is like a thick veggie stew that definitely satisfies


3/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours or overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 cup rice, rinsed (make sure to adjust cook time to ensure rice is completely cooked)
3 pieces of Celery, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, diced chunky
5 cups vegetable broth
1 24 oz can Organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups chopped kale
Make your soup!
Drain the cashews and place them in a blender with one cup of fresh water
Blend cashews till completely smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor with a spatula occasionally to make sure you get everything. This could 1 to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.
In a Large soup pot heat olive oil.  Saute onion with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes.
 Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and saute a minute more.
Add rice, celery and carrots and then pour in the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer, add the chickpeas, and let cook for about 15 (about 30 mins for brown rice or wild rice) until rice is cooked and carrots are tender.
Add the cashew cream and kale, and simmer until kale is wilted, 3 to 5 more minutes.
You may need to add water to thin the soup if it seems too thick. It thickens as it cools, so if you have leftovers, just thin with a little water when you reheat.

xoxo Asia Girl

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Spiced Red Lentil Tomato & Kale Soup

Fabulous Easy Winter Soup!

Red Lentils are a nutritional Power house!!!
They provide vitamins, minerals and protein, and mega fibre with virtually no fat and very low calories.
Red lentils can replenish your stores of folate, Magnesium, and Iron.

Folate...which is a B vitamin helps produce and maintain new cells

Magnesium....helps builds STRONG bones and regulates blood sugar levels 

Iron....helps to transport oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, making you feel tired and decreasing your immune system functions. 
Does this sounds familiar January February????

Lentils are especially great because they're loaded with fiber: 1 cup provides about three-quarters of your daily recommendation.  Pregnant, lactating and menstruating women require more that would be all of us ! 
Red meat is also an excellent iron source, red lentils provide the iron without the added calories and fat.
Both protein and fibre have satiating properties that help you stay fuller for longer.  This can mean you will eat less feeling full longer....
More energy ...more vitamins...feeling satisfied 
you are gonna feel great 
added bonus they are inexpensive and do not require pre soaking like other beans
they cook within about 20-25 mins right in your soup pot!
On with the soup recipe!


* 1 tsp coconut or other cooking oil
* 2 Large Garlic Cloves 
* 1 Sweet Onion, diced
* 3 Stalks Celery, diced
* 1 Bay Leaf
* 1 & 1/2 tsp ground Cumin 
* 2 tsp Chili Powder
* 1/2 tsp ground Coriander
* 1/4 tsp smoked Paprika 
* 1/8 tsp cayenne Pepper (careful this can make it hot...then no kid will go near it)
* 1- 14 oz can Deiced Tomato's 
* 5-6 Cups Veg Broth 
* 1 Cup Red Lentils, rinsed and drained 
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* 2 Handfuls of torn kale or spinach leaves 

Make the Soup:

1. In a large pot saute onion & garlic for  about 5-6 mins on medium heat.  Add Celery saute a bit more.
2. Stir in Bay leaf & spices
3. Stir in tomatoes and juice, broth & Lentils.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for       20-25 minutes until lentils are soft.
4. Stir in Kale or Spinach.  Season to taste ...maybe a bit more cayenne to make you spicy!!!

Asia Girl 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homemade Tortillas

Do you make your own ?
Homemade versions of most foods that we buy are often SO different than store bought
Tortillas are a perfect example
These are SO SO yummy
A total staple at my house since Bodo and I don't eat bread
I toast tortillas in the morning to eat with my poached eggs
Bodo makes toasted nut butter snacks with them
they are great with soup,
toasted and cut into strips on salad
OR Fish tacos, enchiladas THEY ARE GREAT!

All you need to make your own is Masa Harina flour & water
A tortilla press makes pressing them much easier but if you dont have one you can easily improvise and use a rolling pin and two pieces of parchment paper
When I set out to make these I go gangbusters and get two pans going
I make stacks of them and freeze them.
They go from freezer, to toaster, to plate in no time flat
Maybe some would disagree but I think making these is pretty fun
Bodo is often the press guy as I make the balls to squish

What you will need:

2 Cups Masa Harina Flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups warm water
thats it!

Make them:
Add flour into large bowl
Add your water kneading until incorporated.
Cover and let rest for at least 30 mins.
Next its time to roll into golf ball sized balls for the squisher!
At this point you may need to add a bit more water until you get your dough to the right stickiness.  Sometimes it turns out too crumbly to work with this will tell you you need a bit more water
...and if you add too much just adjust with a bit more flour :) You will get use to what works
Using parchment paper is a TOTAL must!
I use it on my tortilla press otherwise the lil suckers just stick!

Simply heat your frying pan on medium oil needed.
2 - 3 mins per side until toasty
stack em and cover with a clean damp cloth
Eat immediately or freeze