Tag Archives: Asian

Quinoa Stir Fry

On the occasion I’m partaking in some form of physical exercise, which is pretty rare these days considering the heat, I plan ahead and eat things that will work to my advantage when I need them. For example, my body runs well on protein, like chicken, eggs and beans; steamed veggies; and rice. If I’m participating in a race, I’ve learned that lots of water, black coffee and a banana are the way to go. As much as I prefer to eat for sheer pleasure, I’ve learned a thing or two about properly fueling my body with the things I put in it.

Quinoa Stir Fry

Quinoa Stir Fry

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Crunchy Asian Slaw

Due to learning to plan ahead, “Can Can” sales at Shop Rite, and maybe a dash of impulse, the canned and dry-good section of my kitchen cabinets is stocked. I justify most of them as emergency items, but I can’t really foresee a crisis occurring that can only be saved with the power of canned sauerkraut or evaporated milk. Until I’m actually forced to utilize my “fallout shelter” of products, I enjoy finding alternate uses for them in recipes.

One of the items we constantly buy, and actually eat as opposed to allowing to pile up, are Ramen noodles. Not only are they irresistibly cheap, they are extremely useful. In their intended form (that is, boiled noodes with a powdered flavor packet), they are a quick, small meal. The fact that this version almost tips the sodium scale has led me to utilize only the noodles (without the flavor packet) in various Asian dishes, adding vegetables and a protein to get more miles out of the recipe. Never did I think, though, that they would work perfectly as a salad topping.

Several years ago, I was drawn to an Asian cabbage slaw recipe from the archive on the Kraft Food’s website. Everything about it seemed right up the alley for what I was looking to bring to one of my best friend’s wedding shower: a cool, light salad with fresh ingredients and a ton of flavor. The Ramen noodle topping, though, was what prompted me to commit – strange, but intriguing, I wondered if the slaw was going to be a hit or a bust.  Read More…

Pork Wontons

Just a quick ride on the el or a short drive to University City, lies the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. The Penn Museum is home to about 1 -million artifacts covering existence anywhere from Ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire, Native American tribes and everywhere in between. Though the most intriguing items are viewable to the public behind glass cases, Museum researchers and scholars are involved with research projects all over the globe that could, literally, dig up something new for the Penn Museum visitors.

In addition to the intriguing permanent collections, the museum regularly features special exhibits. Until March 28th, the exclusive, and highly anticipated, Secrets of the Silk Road exhibit is open to the public. Through artifacts, relics, and even well-preserved mummies, the exhibit tells the story of life in the Tarim Basin desert, located in Central Asia. Spanning from Europe to Eastern China, the Silk Road is a network of trade routes connected through this region, responsible for modern trade, cross cultural exchanges and the growth of many items we still use today.

The Penn Museum has designed interactive components for visitors of all ages, further exploring the language and textiles of those who lived in the Tarim Basin region. Additionally, visitors can experience the Silk Road from the perspective of a princess, merchant, entertainer, or horseman of that time period by participating in an activity provided at the beginning of the exhibit; with a paper map in hand, participants discover more about their chosen character by unlocking answers with a decoder throughout the exhibit.

The interactive nature of the exhibit continues with lunch at The Pepper Mill Café, inside the museum. Until June, menus focus on a specific country along the Silk Road, rotating weekly. From China to Vietnam, to India and Greece, the catering staff spent two months researching and developing traditional foods of the region. The exhibit itself shows visitors what the people in the Tarim Basin ate; displays include an ancient, excavated wonton, spring roll and fried dough. Free recipes available inside the exhibit allow visitors to experience the Secrets of the Silk Road at home.  This recipe, for wontons filled with pork, probably tastes a little bit better than its thousands-of-years-old version in the exhibit. Read More…

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