Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lulu's take on Pad Thai

So last week some family from the mommy's side crossed the Atlantic Ocean and came to visit. It was an interesting week filled with a lot of food (mostly out) and a lot of excuses of why I didn't want my uncle to cook for me (polite excuses). I'm sorry, but there are very, VERY few men in my family that can cook. Well, let me rephrase that, there are very few men in my family that can cook well. Its why they're all married. 
ANYWAY, on our last day we went to this Thai restaurant in midtown Savannah called The King and I. I ordered the pad thai w/ tofu (without the egg) and LOVE IT! Well, honestly, it was the first time I ever ate pad thai so I'm sure there's better out there, but I really enjoyed my meal and cleared my plate. I have to admit, it was a little sweet (even when I asked the waitress to ask the chef  to make it hot) because I think there was quite a bit of brown sugar and peanut butter. Eh, still enjoyed it enough that I decided I would try and re-create the dish at home. So the moment we left the restaurant I pulled out my trusted iPhone and started Googling (yeah, I just don't care for Bing, sorry) and found a pad thai recipe from vegetariantimes.com. Well, I went to the store, bought the ingredients, but for some reason it just didn't taste right when I made it last night. It was missing that PA-POW!. So I made the dish again tonight, but made a few changes and HELLO! we had success. I hope you guys enjoy my version of the original.

Tofu Pad Thai
8 oz of rice noodles
2 tsp olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 thinly sliced bell pepper
1 cup of halved grape tomatoes
4 oz of snow peas
4 oz of tofu (firm)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp natural crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp pickled chili (from the Indian grocery)
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp sliced green onion
chopped cilantro
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 oz mung bean sprouts

Bring a pot of water to boil and add rice noodles and cook to soften. While the noodles are cooking, in a hot skillet (unless you've a wok) add the olive oil. Add the garlic and bell peppers and cook until soften. Next add the tomatoes, snow peas, and tofu and stir fry them. Add the soy sauce, peanut butter, and pickled chili, and lime juice and stir well. Cook for  203 minutes. Add the rice noodles and mix well. Turn the heat off and add the green onions, cilantro, mung sprouts, and almonds and toss well. Divide the pad thai into four bowls and serve. 

The King and I
7098 Hodgson Memorial Drive
Savannah, GA 31406

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake

So its my puppy's first birthday and I wanted to make him a beautiful birthday cake for us adults to enjoy :o) but its ok, my baby got some treats and presents to enjoy. So I decided to make a cheesecake since it seems to be the cake of choice in my family. I thought at first, how about Hershey's website for a cake recipe? I LOVE chocolate. I wanted to make a chocolate cheesecake. There was one, bit it looked a lil' too simple so I thought: GODIVA! And that's where I found a beautiful chocolate cheesecake recipe. Well, my family members have some dietary restrictions so I decided that I would take the liberty to adapt this recipe to my family's needs. For instance I made a few changes to the crust, I used Splenda (R) instead of sugar and a few other minor changes. In the end, I got a beautiful, HEALTHY version of the Godiva Cheesecake.

Godiva Cheesecake
1 cup dates
8 Enjoy Life Double Chocolate cookies
2 packages of fat free cream cheese
1/2 cup coffee
1 cup Splenda
11.5 oz Godiva Milk Chocolate chips melted
1 cup egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Greese a springform cake pan (mine is 10") and wrap the bottom in aluminum foil. In a food processor, mix the dates and cookies into a paste and then pat into the bottom of the cake pan and refridgerate. In the processor beat the cream cheese. Slowly add the sugar while mixing. Add the egg whites. Dissolve the salt into the coffee and then add the coffee to the cream cheese mixture and mix again. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and mix well. Pour the cream cheese chocolate mixture into the cake pan and place the cake pan into a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water so that its half way up the cake pan and then bake 60-70 mins (when cake is set). Turn the oven off, hinge open the door and leave the cake alone for an hour. Remove the cake from the oven and cool. Once cooled, cover the cake with foil and refridgerate at least 6 hours.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Soy Delicious

Ok, so I never product reviewed before, but its food so I'm gonna talk about it. I LOVE THIS STUFF! Wow, so I was craving ice cream for a very long time, but I knew buying a tub I'd just sit there with a spoon and temporarily have portion control amnesia so I decided to go with an ice cream bar. Well now there are TONS of choices when it comes to ice cream bars, but this one caught my eye as it was only 70 calories and 3.5 grams of fat and, umm, COCONUT! I love coconut (is it because I'm brown?). Yes, the coconut flavour is strong, but with the mild chocolate coating on top, its just the perfect balance of sweetness. Give it a try, I'd love to know what you think.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tofu with Pineapple and Cilantro Sauce

Umm, so I decided to give vegetarianism another try. This time I am NOT going vegan and I am NOT wasting my money on "fake meat". As I am starting my new job in July and will end up with TONS of expenses (rent, student loans, dog food, my food, cable, utilities...) I decided I needed to cut out certain things in my life to save money. I found that I really do spend a lot on meat considering I eat a lot of goat and lamb (ehh, chicken really isn't my cup of tea). So I found this lamb dish from Claire Robinson's show 5 Ingredient Fix called Lamb with Pineapple Mint Sauce and decided to change it to a vegetarian version. The outcome was very tasty and I think veg people out there will enjoy it.
Tofu w/ Pineapple and Cilantro Sauce
1 package of firm tofu
1 pineapple chopped into tiny pieces
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1/2 cup water
two cloves of garlic minced
olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Heat a olive oil in a pan. Season the tofu (make sure you've drained off the water with a paper towel so no oil splashes when it hits the pan) with salt and pepper and place it on the hot pan and allow to brown. Flip over and brown other side. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
While the tofu is baking, add a little bit more oil into the pan and add the garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and then add the pineapple. Stir the pineapple around to make sure its well coated w/ the oil and add the cilantro and water. Reduce the heat and cook down the pineapple. It will take about 30-40 minutes. You'll now its ready because the pineapple will be very soft.
Take the tofu and with a very sharp knife slice it and arrange it on a place. Pour pineapple cilantro sauce on top. I took my tofu and served it with some spinach and pearl barley.
Bon appetit!

Ele Fine Fusion

So like two weekends ago my friend P stopped me in the middle of the street while I was walking my dog on a scortching Saturday afternoon (well, actually she saw me walking puppy and texted me). Her friend was having a birthday party at an Asian fusion restaurant on Wilmington Island called Ele Fine Fusion.
The restaurant is actually a very beautiful building. With a glass floored entrance above water (lol, I was a little hesitant to make the first step thinking I was going to fall into the water) and interesting layout- one side regular diners sit in individual closed off booths while the other side is the party room. We, of course, were in the party room. Large and lovely, the room's walls had paintings on the wall that had a modern flair as well as a wall of wine bottles.
Ok, so the food. Well, first of all, you better bring a fat wallet if you plan on having dinner here. The prices are definitely on the higher end- which actually I expected considering what was on the menu and how it was presented. The menu had everything from lamb, vension, mahi mahi, king crabs, bbq chicken.... well I had the mahi mahi special which was pan-seared and served with organic vegetables. The mahi mahi was then stuffed with fresh pulled crab meat. Overall, the dish was beautiful, but I have definitely had better at local seafood restaurants (so remember, expensive doesn't necessarily mean better). The fish itself was actually cooked really well, and the vegetables were really nice. I found that the crab was kind of dry and the overall dish was too oily (which isn't good for someone like me who eats very healthy and isn't used to such oily food). P, her sister, and I also ordered the sampler plate of appetizers which included sauteed beef, tempura shrimp, and dumplings. I stuck to the beef because I don't eat pork or deep fried food. The beef was tasty; however, we all noticed that the peanut dipping sauces were definitely on the sweet side.

Anyway, if you're in Savannah and you decide, "Hey, I want to go to Wilmington Island for dinner and Uncle Bubba's is too packed, AND I don't mind spending the $$" then by all means go to Ele. The food was decent.

Ele Fine Fusion
7815 East Highway 80
Savannah, GA 31410
(912) 898-2221