Quinoa Bibimbap (Vegan)

Quinoa Vegan Bibimbap 111215-3

Vegan. Quinoa. Bibimbap.

Love. Love. Love.

Who needs rice, right? Rice (bad carbs) is so in the past.

Quinoa Vegan Bibimbap 111215-2

I made this dish when I am hungry but want to have a dish that is satisfying the taste bud and not go hungry later.

It was unintentional to make it a vegan style, but Walt (a meat-lover) totally couldn’t stop scooping it off the bowl. It was THAT comfort and soul satisfying. Vegan style.

If you prefer to have it with an egg or 2, or wonder what other veggies to add, click on this recipe on the blog.

Quinoa Vegan Bibimbap 111215-5

This 1-bowl recipe is everything.

Tons of veggies
Low carbs
Lean protein
Spicy (just enough)

You will find yourself licking the bowl to the last piece of quinoa. And then tummy rubbing. Ahhhh, so satisfying.

This is Zara approved (see her hand above?). This is holiday-watch-your-waistline approved. This is weight loss challenge approved. This is definitely a 21 Day Fix approved. Yay or nay? (Autumn Calabrese, what do you say?)

Tip: Try eating it with a long handle, stainless spoon (like the one in picture). Something to be said about it making the dish extra soul satisfying.

Let me know if you give this recipe a try. Tag #abeautifuldayblog on Instagram or Facebook. Or leave a comment below.

Quinoa Vegan Bibimbap 111215-7

Quinoa Vegan Bibimbap

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serving: 2 large bowls

1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 box firm tofu, cubed
Pinch of salt
Pinch of grounded black pepper
1 small carrot, sliced or julienned
1 small bell pepper, julienned
4 shitake mushroom, julienned
1 cup of bean sprouts, washed
2 cups spinach, washed and drained
1 persian cucumber, sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbsp seasame oil
1 tube of bibimbap red sauce

Optional Toppings
1/4 cup black bean (store bought)
1/2 cup seaweed (store bought)
1/2 cup store bought marinated daikon
Toasted sesame seeds

Pat dry cubed tofu with paper towel. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. On high heat, drizzle 1/2 of coconut oil to a frying pan. Wait for the pan to heat, add tofu. Stir fry for 5 minutes, or till dry and golden brown. Set aside.

Drizzle the other half of coconut oil into frying pan. Add carrot. Add bell peppers. Add mushroom. You can either section them out in the pan or stir them together. Both ways yield equal deliciousness. Cook for a few munutes, or till soft. Set aside.

Stir fry bean sprout for a minute. Set aside.

Add spinach to the heated pan. Turn off immediately. Let spinach sit in the pan till it shrinks. Set aside.

Plate 1/2 of the cooked quinoa in the center of a bowl. Decorate the different veggies and tofu around quinoa. Drizzle some sesame oil and bibimbap sauce on top. Serve

Blog Signature-3

Posted in Dinner, Food & Drink, Korean, Low Carbs, Lunch, One Dish Meal, Quick Meal, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Orange Almond Flourless Cake 

We all have sweet tooth cravings from time to time. Okay, all the time, like me. Eating healthy shouldn’t stop us from having cake. Because cake could be as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal. I have found THE cake that loves your waistline, your heart, and your skin.

Never have I thought flourless cake could taste soooooooo good and be soooooooo moist. With the healthy lifestyle we are maintaining (after doing the 21 Day Fix challenge), it felt right to bake a carbs, sugar and gluten free cake for Zara’s birthday. After all, Walt and I will be eating it, most of it. In fact, we did and it is all gone by the time I finish this post.

Orange Almond Flourless Cake-31

If healthy mean I can eat cake, everyday, sign me up. Oh, yes! (hands raised).

Everything about this cake is organic. All NATURAL.

I am a novice when it come to baking. Often I would do something wrong during the process that the end product is not like what it supposed to be (Guilty! Not very good at measuring and following instruction). Hah, this one is easy as a piece of cake (no pun intended), there’s no room for error. No fluffing, no whipping, no handstanding. And did I mention the ingredient list is short? Yup, that’s right. Wooohoo! Some love for the wallet!

Orange Almond Flourless Cake-21

Can’t say enough, it’s one of those healthy cakes – that loves your waistline, your heart and your skin (injected with Vitamin C). Top it with desired fruits to make it all colorful, pretty and happy. (Only because it’s Zara’s birthday, I added Nutella and M&Ms candies leftovers from Halloween as those are her favorite chocolates.)

This cake is made with love and filled with happiness. From my kitchen to yours.

Orange Almond Flourless Cake

adapted from SBS’s Food

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours + 50 minutes
Serving Size: 10

2 orange
6 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Shredded coconut
Almond flake/crushed
Anything desire

Wash the oranges. Place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Drain the oranges, set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. Use a blender to puree the skin and meat (not so much of the juice) till it becomes a paste. This step could be done ahead of time.

Preheat oven at 350F.

Line a spring form tin or 9″ round tin with baking paper. Set aside.

Whisk together 6 eggs and honey in a bowl until well combined and honey melted. Add the orange puree and stir to combine. Mix in the almond meal, baking powder and baking soda. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, till top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Decorate with fruits or any topping desire. Serve!

Have a beautiful day!

Blog Signature-3

Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Best Omelette Cupcake

Egg is my best friend when it comes to protein as well as quick easy meals for muscle recovery. Our household could go through 48 eggs in less than 2 weeks (including the little one)!

Me and WT have been doing this 21 Day Fix challenge. Yup, the one and only, 21 Day Fix with Autumn Calabrese. We are 5 days in our round 2. To pump it up, WT went out of his way to get the extreme version. They are not kidding with the added word “EXTREME”. The workouts are kicking butts. I don’t lightly say this. It is TOUGH!!! Very TOUGH!!!!! But so happy, so sore after each workout each time. For fuel, we turn to eggs as our source of protein and for a easy quick fix meal.

I have always love eggs. So this egg diet is quite easy to adapt too.

I love them sunny side up (as a dip with toast).

I love them boiled (with oozing yolks).

I love them scrambled (fluffy with ketchup).

I love them omelette. 1 egg omelette? Is that possible? And in cute little cupcake? No way! Yes way! Don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen chopping and cooking, look no further.

This savory cupcake light on the stomach but heavy on flavor without any artificial seasoning. This savory cupcake is moist and fluffy, even hours later. All right, even overnight. Yes, you heard it right. Overnight. Just pop them in a oven toaster the next morning and it will moist and crispy again.

Omelette Cupcake 102115-20 

Double the ingredients and make extra. Otherwise, you will regret that you didn’t. Like I did.

     Omelette Cupcake 102115-21

Perfect for breakfast. Ideal for snack. Easy for lunch. Time-free for dinner. And did I forget to mention that toddlers and kids love them? Oh yes, they do!

Omelette Cupcake

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 + 3mins
Serving: 4 (8 cupcakes)

8 large eggs
3 cups spinach (packed), chopped
3/4 cup mushroom, sliced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp lite shredded cheese
Coconut oil spray
8 medium sized cupcake/muffin liner or tin

Preheat over at 375F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy (Tip: Foamy = fluffy and airy cupcake).

Mix in spinach, mushroom, onion, garlic, green onion, salt and pepper.

Spray cupcake/muffin tin or liner with coconut oil. Fill each holder with egg mixture.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, in middle rack, till is set. Take it out and sprinkle a small pinch of shredded cheese on the top of the cupcake. Put it back into the oven and broil on high for 3 minutes, till is brown.

Serve. Drizzle with some hot sauce is a personal preference. 

Blog Signature-3

Posted in Appetizer, Breakfast, Food & Drink, Snack, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Thai Beef Stew Noodle 

The weather has gotten a tiny bit cooler and gloomier in the morning. Well, maybe because I have been waking up super early (an hour before sunrise) by Zara. She is an alarm clock; everyday at the same time, she rolls on my tummy and slaps lightly in the face to make sure I wake up to feed and play with her. Yup, she is ready to play by 6am, and that is on a good day.

There’s nothing better than to have a bowl of warm noodle soup for breakfast. Especially on a cold morning, a bowl of Thai Beef Stew Noodle sounds so delicious. Just to switch things up. Do you know in Asian countries, noodle soup is often one’s favorite breakfast choice? My dad used to take my brother and I to go have Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle) on our way to school when we were young living in Vietnam. We believe starting the day with a warm meal keeps the stomach all cozy and fuzzy, which the body would then feel nice and warm. The night before, I would cook a big pot of this Thai Beef Stew to eat as dinner with rice noodle. And would have leftovers to eat as breakfast the next morning.

I don’t often cook with lemongrass. Just because it is not always available at the supermarket. But I love dishes with lemongrass, like this dish which I stumbled upon Bon Appetite one day. I love the aroma it gives off to the dish and the house while the beef is simmered. In this dish, because the lemongrass is processed into a paste, you won’t need to chew on the pieces of lemongrass, which sometimes feel like chewing on grass when the lemongrass is tough and dried.

Note: when select lemongrass, make sure that the color is greenish and smell fresh. To lengthen its shelf life, wrap lemongrass in paper towel or newspaper and store in a dry place in the fridge.

Thai Beef Stew Noodle
modified from Bon Appetite 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 
Servings: 6

4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, tough outer layers removed, thinly sliced and minced
6 cloves garlic chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar
4 medium shallots, quartered
3 carrots, peeled, diagonally sliced
1 bag of fresh rice noodles
Basil (for serving)
Green onion (for serving)
Lime wedges (for serving)

Throw lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and 2 chiles into a food processor. Blend until a fine paste forms.

Season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef, turning occasionally, until browned. If necessary, work in batches till all the beef is cooked. Transfer to plate. Set aside. 

In the same pan, cook lemongrass paste, stirring often, until lemongrass is beginning to soften, 5–8 minutes. Mix in star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, beef with any juice, and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beef is tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 2 – 2.5 hours.

Add shallots and carrots to stew and cook, partially covered, until vegetables are soft and beef is falling apart, 35–45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.

Divide noodles among bowls and ladle stew over. Top with basils and green onions. Serve with lime wedges.

Blog Signature-3

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Miss You

Hello Everyone! You are so so so so so missed!!!!!

I am back. After taking a loooooooooong vacation (2 1/2 year?) from blogging. During my off time, I was really embracing the experience of motherhood and enjoying every second I have with my family. And I still am doing that. There’s nothing in this world that I would want to swap my job with.

Zara Eating Madeleine

Meanwhile, I’d learn to cook some really really delicious recipes and ready to add to my repertoire. Looking forward to sharing them with you!

Dreamy Pink Peony

Blog Signature-3

Posted in Food & Drink, Lifestyle, Motherhood | Tagged , | 8 Comments

The Sweetness of a Matcha Latte

Matcha Latte

Instead getting a dose of my usual boba milk tea, I opted for a matcha latte this afternoon.

It had been a while that I have had in my head to make a matcha latte. I made a trip to a Japanese market to load on matcha powder. I am fond of tea and milk and mixing them together seem so fitting for an afternoon drink.

Matcha Latte

Matcha is both a stimulant and a relaxant, perfect for focusing on work, meditation, exercise or play. It is an antioxidant wonder  (17 times of wild blueberries) which is great for health.

Matcha Latte

This drink is great to add a little honey to sweeten the taste and bitterness of the matcha. It is also a great refreshment for a nice little gathering with friends.

Matcha Latte

Matcha Latte

Serving: 1 cup

1 tsp matcha powder
2 tsp water
8 oz milk, soy milk, or almond milk

Mix together matcha powder and water in a cup, until powder all dissolve.

Bring milk to a boil in a small pot on medium heat. Stir frequently.

Pour hot milk to matcha mixture while stirring.

Add honey to sweeten the drink.

Blog Signature-3

Posted in Drink, Food & Drink | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta with Vodka Sauce

This gallery contains 5 photos.

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”- Albert Einstein Fun time with great companies and … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

A Nostalgic Affair: Sardines + Egg Baguetti

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Good afternoon, Everyone. It’s a gloomy and wet Thursday. These are the kind of days when I’m lost in nostalgia. I fixed myself a sardines + egg baguetti for a much-needed dose of childhood sentimental affair. Iberia or Marock’s canned … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Dining in Coziness

This gallery contains 24 photos.

To me, beside as a place where delicious meals are consumed, silly jokes are laughed at, and wonderful memories are made, a cozy dining space means outdoor, lots of natural light, soft color palettes, handmade hanging candle chandeliers, plushy chairs, … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DIY Anti-Acne Mask

This gallery contains 2 photos.

As a runner, skin care needs special attention and could be a daunting task during warmer weather condition. That means increased blemishes or acne from sweats, sun-block lotion, UV light (that’s me!), etc., that clog up pores as well as … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 104 Comments

Fuel After a Run: Spring Vegetarian Bibimbap

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Nothing beats a bowl of spring vegetarian bibimbap after a 18-mile training run, for lunch. It surely leaves you feeling refueled, recharged, and refreshed. To those who are suffering rising body temperature from the heat of the sun, refueling the … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Walk the Neighbor

This gallery contains 20 photos.

What a super duper nice day! Hope the weather on your side is as pleasant. This warm and sunny weather awaits for us to get out (even if it is for 30 minutes) and walk around. Plaid and gray skirt … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Fish Tacos

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Hubby had been talking about fish tacos for a while, mainly because he missed the ones we had from this one restaurant, Orale Fish Tacos in Campbell, CA, which we usually would have for lunch after our long run on … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Morning Delight: Fig Goat Toastini

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Good Afternoon, Everyone! Out of the ordinary, I slept for only 6.5 hours (2 hours less than I normally do) and still woke up feeling energetic and happy. It was 7am. Birds were chirping. The air was freshly crisp. My … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Rainbow Salad

This gallery contains 9 photos.

I love to make salad. It’s simple and fast, not to mention efficiency which I like. Another favorite reason is a way for me to clean out the fridge. Especially vegetables that I sometimes buy one too many, which we … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments