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Sauté Sweet Potato Leaves

This is a very simple yet healthy dish using sweet potato leaves…you only need olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper…super delicious!

I have been super busy lately…we had a new addition to our family…a furry puppy! His name is Mochie and he came to us when he was about 8 weeks…we had him for almost 7 weeks and has been a lot of joy for both of us. It is true that having a young puppy is a lot of work, especially for the first two weeks…now Mochie is potty trained and has been sleeping throughout the night.

Mochie is a Morkie, Maltese mom and Yorkie dad…he was only 1lb and 13 oz whe he came to us, now he is a bit over 3 lbs. He loves to play in the backyard and he nibbles on the sweet potato leaves…besides all the stuff he finds on his way.

Now…back to the sweet potato leaves…

– Can you eat sweet potato leaves?

Definitely, they are 100% edible, much like spinach…it can be cooked by sautéing, stir-fried, added to soup or salad. Moreover, sweet potato leaves can be used as a spinach substitute.

– Where can I find sweet potato leaves?

Well, I grow them in the backyard…and they are super easy to maintain…a small area with good soil and lots of water.  The leaves grow almost vine like plants…

Other option is to get them in Asian grocery store or farmer’s market…I actually started growing sweet potato leaves after I bought one bunch from the farmer’s market and made cutting with the main stems…once the roots start to grow in water I transplanted into the soil, and now I have endless sweet potato leaves.

– How do sweet potato leaves taste?

The leaves taste like spinach, maybe a bit chewier and they do not leave the weird “spinach teeth” film from the high content the oxalic acid found in spinach.

The simplest way is to sauté them with garlic and olive oil just until they’re wilted…no secret at all…

– Are you ready to give these green leaves a try?

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch sweet potato leaves
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fish sauce (optional)

Method:

Pinch the stem attached to the leaves from the main steam.

Wash and rinse many times, making sure to remove all the unwanted particles and drain the excess of water.

In a wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and stir until slightly golden and aromatic.

Add the sweet potato leaves and turn the heat to high.

Stir fry, add salt and pepper to taste and fish sauce if using. If using fish sauce add less salt. Stir constantly until all the leaves are wilted.

Serve hot.

– Looking for more easy vegetable dishes…check these out…

Did you know that sweet potato leaves are very nutritious and rich in antioxidants? When compared to leafy greens sweet potato leaves contain more dietary fiber. Moreover, they are rich in Vitamin C, A, thiamin, niacin and folic acid.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Garden Tomato Salad with Shiso

This salad is loaded with freshly harvested tomatoes from our garden and spiked with shiso, super fragrant with citrus notes.

This summer my vegetable/fruit garden grew very well, since we had to stay home, I spent a lot of time in the backyard, watering, trimming and “talking” to the plants.

I have never had tomato bushes reaching the roof, herbs grew so large that resemble little trees, and fruit trees/vines were exceptionally fruitful…

Somehow when you make food with your harvest, they taste special. Today, I am sharing a very simple and yet refreshing salad using tomatoes and shiso leaves from my garden. Shiso leaves pair very well in salad especially when citrus flavors are added…in this recipe I used ponzu which is a citrus seasoned light soy sauce.

– Have you ever heard of shiso?

Shiso is very popular in Japanese cuisine paired with uni (sea urchin), sashimi, sushi, in salad or as a wrap. Moreover, shiso can be used in stew as well.

– How does shiso leave taste?

I found that shiso is like cilantro for many people, either you love it or you hate it…shiso has a pretty strong flavor, it is minty with hints of cinnamon, citrus, basil, cilantro and other flavors…very hard to describe. Once you had it you will never forget its flavors and fragrant.

– Is it hard to grow shiso herb?

Not at all, they are pretty much self-seed, and come back every year. The plant like sun, at least half of the day and does not require any special treatment. You can grow from cutting too, by placing in water until the roots come out and plant in well-drained soil after.

– Are there more varieties of shiso?

Yes, green and red, both are very similar in flavor, although the red ones seems to have a stronger flavor as compared to the green ones.

– Are you ready to try this recipe?

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Shiso leaves
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Method:

Slice tomatoes and cucumber, about ½ inch and place in a bowl.  Add the cubed avocado and mix gently.

Wash the shiso leaves, dry and cut into small strips (julienned), and set aside.

In the bowl drizzle ponzu sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Toss in the salad mix the julienned shiso leaves.

Serve cold.

– If you are looking so simple and refreshing recipes for the summer, you might want to check on these…

Did you know that shiso leave has anti-inflammatory properties? Moreover, shiso contain antioxidant and anti-allergy properties as well. Shiso leaves are rich in calcium, iron and vitamin A.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Kabocha no Nimono

This is a super easy side dish that can be served cold or warm, not to mention that is healthy and loaded with vitamin A and dietary fiber.

My parents had a lot of Japanese influence when growing up as Taiwan was dominated by Japan.  In Brazil, we grew up eating a variety of Taiwanese, Japanese and Brazilian food and most of the time I did not even know the name of the dishes. This recipe of kabocha no Nimono, meaning boiled or simmered kabocha was one of them.

Kabocha is one of my favorite pumpkin and besides, making soup, air-fry, roast, in bread dough, I love the no Nimono recipe as it is very practical.

If you get to try this simple and easy recipe please be careful when cutting the kabocha. Somehow, they are hardy and very hard to cut as compared to the other pumpkins. And yes, you can eat the skin…

– What is kabocha?

Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin, and its texture is denser than the other species. It carries a sweet touch., and the flesh is dark orange.

– That is no Nimono?

“no Nimono” in Japanese means simmered…and is a classic Japanese dish. The pieces of kabocha are simmered in a broth that is savory and sweet. And they taste better when it’s made ahead and stored in the broth for a while, so each piece is loaded with the broth flavor.

The kabocha has a very distinctive texture as compared to the other pumpkins, once cooked is very creamy and rich despite of the hard texture when raw.

– Are you ready to try this very simple and yet so tasty kabocha?

Like all the recipes I share, it is up to you to add a bit more of salt or sugar, it all depends of your liking so please feel free to experiment.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium kabocha, a little more the 1 kg (2 lbs)
  • 500 ml of water
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (if you like sweeter, add 1 extra tablespoon)
  • 5 tablespoons sake
  • 5 tablespoons mirin

Method:

Wash the kabocha by scrubbing the skin. Cut into approximately 3-4 cm (1.5 inch).

In am medium pan add the kabocha, and all the listed ingredients. Bring to boil and lower the heat to a simmer, leaving the lid slightly ajar (to let the steam escape).

Simmer until the kabocha softened, approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Cover and let the kabocha sit in the broth until cool.

Place in the refrigerator once cool.

Serve cold or reheat to serve.

– Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Check these out…

Did you know that kabocha, like all the pumpkins are a rich source of vitamin A and C? Not only has low-calorie, the kabocha squash is rich in iron, vitamin B, beta-carotene, copper, magnesium, many antioxidants, also contain dietary fiber.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Plant-Based Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce uses a plant-based protein which mimics ground beef “looks” and texture, and yes, it can easily pass as the “real” ground beef.

I am not a vegetarian but got very curious about the cooking with plant-based protein that mimics ground beef, so here I am, when I saw the product, I could not pass the opportunity to try it.

I understand that there are many companies making plant-based ground beef and of course they all claim theirs to be the best in the market…I plan to try others just out of curiosity…

I believe that plant-based ground meats are not target to vegetarians…as vegetarians would not have the crave for meat or poultry…is that right?

– Have you ever tried plant-based ground meat?

I did once in the restaurant where I was served Beyond Burger, and I must admit…I was very impressed with the texture and flavor…and could be easily fooled as the real burger made with ground beef.

– What is the plant-based ground meat made of?

The plant-based ground beef “want to be” can be made from all sort of plant proteins such as soy, mung bean, pea, lentil, brown rice, coconut flour, flaxseed meal and so on and mixed with fat like coconut oil, canola oi, sunflower oil and cocoa butter.

– How should I cook plant-based ground meat?

Practically the same say you would cook “real” ground beef, by substituting the “real” ground meat for the plant-based ”fake” ground meat.  Okay, I think we better go to the recipe…

Ingredient:

  • 1 lb plant-based ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 8 oz mushrooms (any kind)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil and cheese for garnish

Method:

In a pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until slightly brown and aromatic.

Add the plant-based ground meat and sauté until brown breaking the pieces, first into large pieces and then into smaller pieces.

Add the tomato sauce and mushrooms, let it boil and turn the heat to low and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over your favorite pasta and garnish with chopped basil and cheese if you like.

– Want to try other vegetable dishes? Check these out…

– Interested in more dishes with vegetables? Check these out…

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Stir Fried Potatoes with Shishito Peppers

These crunchy strips of potatoes are amazing, especially mixed with thin cuts of shishito peppers…super easy to make.

 

The first time I had this dish in a Chinese restaurant I was amazed to find out that the almost transparent strips were potatoes…since then I went in search for the recipe, and to my surprise apparently stir-fried shredded potatoes is a very common dish in China.

I decided to make my version by adding strips of shishito peppers instead of hot peppers such as jalapenos or red chilis.

– Why the potato strips are crunchy?

Because the potato starch is removed before cooking.

– How do I remover the starch from the potato strips?

By soaking in cold water, rinsing until the water is no longer turbid.

– Are you ready to try this exquisite and simple recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size russet potatoes
  • 6 oz shishito peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Chili oil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

Peel the potato and cut into julienne or use a mandolin.

Place the shredded potato into a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes. Gently revolve the strips occasionally. Drain and rinse the potato strips until the water comes out clear. This process will remove the start from the potato strips.

Drain the potato strips and pat dry with paper towel the excess of water.

In the meantime, cut the shishito peppers into thin strips and set aside.

In a wok or frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil under medium heat and stir fry the strips of shishito pepper. Once the peppers are blistered remove from the heat and set aside.

In the same pan add the remaining oil and add the finely chopped garlic until golden brown and fragrant. Add the well-drained potato strips and turn the heat to high and stir-fry to about 30-45 seconds. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, salt and pepper and add back the shishito peppers. Stir-fry all together for another minute or so.

Remove from the heat and serve.

– Looking for more simple and easy side dishes? Please check on the following…

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Air-Fried Sweet Potatoes

These slightly crispy air-fried sweet potatoes are super easy to make and they are great as side dish or as a healthy snack in between meals.

Before I go on with the post, sorry for not “visiting” you lately…we were on vacation and just got back a couple of days ago…we visited part of Croatia in a small ship through the Adriatic Sea, it was a lot of fun, met great people and enjoyed fantastic food…sharing some pictures are at the end of the post in case you are interested…now back to the post…

– Why air-fried sweet potatoes are healthy?

Air-fried sweet potato fries are made with less fat than traditional fries, so they are a healthier version with less fat and calories for you when craving for conventional fried potatoes or sweet potatoes.

– Very easy, almost no work

You will need only a few ingredients and very small work for these air-fried sweet potatoes.

– Seasoning?

I like it almost plain…just a bit of salt after air-fried…the contrast of the sweet and savory is magical…but feel free to coat with your favorite herb or any dip you like. The possibilities are endless…

– Air-fried sweet potato tips?

Yes, for even cooking try to cut the sweet potato as uniform as possible, either thin or thick…and place them in one single layer or close to it…that’s it!

– Thin or thick cut?

It all depends, sometimes I like it thin for extra crispness and sometimes I like it thick, so the middle is soft and moist, contrasting with the crisp layer on the outside.

– Are you ready for the sweet potatoes fries in the air-fryer

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Any seasoning if using

Method:

Preheat air-fryer to 400oF.

As stated above, try to cut them as uniform as possible.

Toss with olive oil, salt and/or any herbs.

Cook in batches, without overcrowding the basket.

Cook for approximately 8 – 10 minutes if the fries are thin and around 14-16 minutes for thicker cuts.

Make sure to flip the basket half way.

Serve warm…with or without your favorite dipping sauce.

– If you enjoy this super simple recipe using an air-fryer you might want to check on these…

Did you know that sweet potatoes contain soluble fiber? Moreover, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. Since sweet potatoes come with all variety of colors they are loaded of nutrients, especially the purple and orange.

And here I have some pictures of our cruise through Adriatic Sea where we visited many Croatian islands, small part of Slovenia and Venice…

Sorry for the long post…

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Mango Salsa

The sweetness and a bit of tart from fresh mango in this super simple salsa is just amazing, great with chips, on fish, chicken and even steak…cannot go wrong with this spring color salsa.

Here I am again, with a super simple recipe, or better, no recipe for mango salsa.  This salsa is super fruity as you can imagine…loaded with mango, a bit of onion, handful of cilantro and a splash of fresh lemon or lime…that’s it. If you like a hint of heat, add finely chopped jalapeno and make sure that the mango is not over ripe, you do not want to end up with a mushy sauce.

This fruity salsa goes really well with any kind of pan fried, grilled, roasted fish, chicken and steak…and you will taste a burst of spring.

– So, what is salsa?

According to Wikipedia, salsa in Mexican cuisine is a kind of sauce mainly composed of tomato, onion, chilies, herb and some sort of acid.

But in reality salsa can be made of any kind of fruit, vegetable, herbs and so on…

– How you serve fruit salsa?

With whatever you like specially grilled meat, chicken and fish. Somehow the sweet and a hint of spice is a perfect match for smoky food by refreshing it. I enjoy fruit salsa with fish, scallops, shrimps…somehow a perfect complement.

– Ready to look at the recipe?

Oh, by the way, this recipe was based on this recipe. Please adjust the amount of each ingredients to you taste.

Ingredients:

  • Almost ripe mangoes, cut into small cubes
  • Sweet onion, finely chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • Lime or lemon

Method:

Place the chopped sweet onion into an icy bowl of water and let it rest for 15 to 20- minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel. If you do not mind the strong smell and taste of onion, please skip this step.

In a medium bowl add all the ingredients and squeeze lime or lemon juice. Mix gently.

– Looking for more simple recipes? Check these out…

Ready to serve.

Did you know that mango is low in calories but loaded with nutrients? Mango is high in fiber and rich in vitamin A and C.  Vitamin C helps your immune system and collagen formation as vitamin A is essential  for bone and vision.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Air-Fried, Twice Cooked Potatoes

Yes, you read it right…twice cooked potatoes, first boiled and then air-fried…the texture is amazing, creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside…

Despite being cooked twice there is not a recipe to follow…just boiled the potatoes in water with a bit of salt, drain and then toss some olive oil and freshly chopped rosemary or whatever herbs you are up to…place them on the air-fryer and voila…

These potatoes are delicious, slightly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside making them perfect as a side dish. In this recipe I used the golden and red small potatoes.

– What is an air-fryer?

As the name suggests, it uses air, hot air to cook and yes, it mimics the deep oil fryer, well, almost…the air-fryer will not work when using wet batter, with that said, it is amazing with all kind of dry coat food.

– Why use an air-fryer?

Air fryer required non or very little oil. In my experience when cooking food that contain fat naturally such as chicken, there is no need to add any oil. As for vegetables, a spray of oil will do.

– Why you should try this recipe…

Well, this is almost a no-recipe post…no secret and super easy…

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes (as many or as little you want)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary (or any herbs you like such as oregano, thyme, or a combination)

Method:

Bring enough water to boil to cover the potatoes. Carefully add the potatoes and salt. Bring the water to boil again and lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender and easily pierce by a fork.

Remove them from the heat and drain the water.  Let is cool and peel the skin off.

In the meantime, preheat the air-fryer to 375oF.

In a bowl add the potatoes, drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and the fresh chopped rosemary.  Toss gently.

Place the potatoes in the air-fryer basket and “fry” until golden brown. Gently shake the basket in between to accomplish even color.

Serve hot.

– Would you like more air-fryer recipes?  Check these out…

Did you know that potatoes are rich in vitamin C? The controversial about potatoes being unhealthy lays totally on the method of cooking. Potatoes are healthy food when cooked properly and contain other vitamins such as A and B, also minerals.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Black Bean, Cuban Style

This simple black bean recipe is based from Cuban cuisine with a touch of sweetness and delicious over rice and staple food in Latin countries.

Like many of you I am trying to incorporate more legumes and substituting meat for other sources of protein.

Growing up in Brazil, rice and bean was a staple food in every meal…therefore I really take pleasure and a mix of nostalgia when I eat rice and bean. As you might be aware bean dishes are cooked in so many ways according to its Country tradition. In Brazil, we have the famous “feijoada” which uses black beans with all kind of meat in it, super tasty and flavorful…on the other had we have the “feijao”, meaning beans, which is serve daily for lunch and dinner over rice and much simpler flavor.

Today, I am sharing another bean stew, which I learned after searching the internet and realized why the Cuban bean dish taste so different from the Brazilian one…bell pepper and a bit of sugar. It is amazing that just by adding these two ingredients the flavor of the bean is totally altered.

The creamy bean stew over rice is so good…plain and simple and yet so satisfying. This recipe was adapted from here with some changes.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb dried black bean
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Wash and soak the beans overnight, changing the water a couple of times in between.

Rinse of the water and place the beans in a pot with approximately 5 cup of water and bay leaf.

Let it boil and then simmer for approximately 60 minutes until the beans and cooked throughout. Remove the suds when the beans come to boil and add more water as needed, making sure that the beans are covered.

Alternatively you can use a thermo cooker by adding the beans, bay leaf and water. Let it boil, remove the suds and place the pot in the thermo cooker overnight or until ready to add the other ingredients.

Once the black beans are cooked, in a large pan heat the oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.

Add approximately 1 cup of beans to pan. Using the back of spoon smash beans against the wall of the pan, or alternatively use an immersion hand blender.  Add remaining beans, oregano, sugar, vinegar and water as needed.

Simmer until mixture thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice as side dish with chicken, meat, ham, fried egg or with anything you wish.

– For more Latin America cuisine dishes, please check these out…

Did you know that beans are an excellent source of protein, very low in fat and exceptionally high in fiber? They are also a very good source of calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.

 

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Air Fried Bean Curd Sheet with Vegetables

This is a very simple and yet fulfilling Asian inspired dish using air fried bean curd sheet, a great alternative for substituting meat.

– Where can you find bean curd sheet?

Since we moved, every time I go visit my mom I have to stop by an Asian grocery store and stock up with lots of fresh vegetables, refrigerated and frozen food. It is true that we have Asian market in the area, but I always feel that it is not as abundant and fresh as in the areas where are more populated by Asians, supply and demand…

One of my favorite item is the fresh bean curd sheet, which is found in the refrigerator section…I discovered that it can perish fast and a great way to preserve is by using the air fryer. Once the bean curd sheets are “baked” in the air fryer and the moist removed it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for much longer time.

The bean curd sheet is so Asian, what I mean without any discrimination is that you need to acquire the taste for it…and I was so surprised that my husband really enjoys it…the texture is very different from the regular tofu, and I am not talking about soft, regular or firm…the bean curd sheet is somehow stretchy, slightly chewy and can absorb a lot of flavor.

I hope you get a chance to try it…you will find it very different and interesting.

– Let’s start cooking…

Ingredients:

1 package fresh bean curd sheet

1 inch fresh ginger cut into thin strips

2 cups water

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Red pepper flakes to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Pat dry the bean curd sheet and cut into 1 inch wide. Randomly separate the layers and place in the 325-350F preheated air fryer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the bean curd sheets are golden brown and crispy. Shake the basket every so often to prevent the sheets from sticking together.

Once the bean curd sheets are ready, remove from the air fryer and set aside. Place all the other ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to boil then add the air fried bean curd sheet. Bring to boil and turn the heat to simmer.

As the air fried bean curd sheets absorb the sauce it will shrink. Simmer for about 15 minutes, if needed add more water, salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat.

At this point, it can be served as it is or added to any stir-fry vegetable.

 

 

– More recipes with soybean curd?

Yes, if you enjoy this simple and easy vegetarian item, you might want to take a look at Tofu Fa recipe which is a dessert made with soft bean curd.

 

Did you know that bean curd sheet is a film form from boiling soy milk? The film is similar to the film formed when boiling milk. The soy milk film is then accumulated and dried acquiring a yellowish color, unlike the soy milk. Bean curd sheet is also called bean curd skin or tofu skin.

Thanks for visiting Color Your Recipes, have a colorful week!