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Kimchi Cauliflower Fried 'Rice'

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice by SeasonWithSpice.com

The day after I learned about the link between pregnancy & Type 2 diabetes, I was in my kitchen processing cauliflower into rice

Oh, how the health of our bodies can turn our kitchens upside down!

I was helping a friend a few years ago, who during her second trimester, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  She was a very healthy eater already, but the doctor advised her to cut down on carbohydrates like cereal and rice to regulate her blood sugar.  Rice was a staple of her diet, so she asked me for help to find her a substitute.  So a day later, I was busy chopping and transforming cauliflower into rice.

Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Cauliflower as an alternative to rice?  I was skeptical that it could stand in for fluffy rice.  But to my surprise, cauliflower ‘rice’ turned out to be delightful, and I started to incorporate it into more of my meals like in this recipe for spicy, tangy Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice.

Tomato & Shrimp Curry

Tomato & Shrimp Curry recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

I love it when customers tell me how pleasantly surprised they are to try out a recipe that may look complicated, but turns out to be simple to pull together.  Today’s recipe – Tomato & Shrimp Curry - is one of those that is full of big, bold flavors yet easy enough to master.

Tomato & Shrimp Curry recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Juicy, succulent shrimp, cooked gently in a tomato base, spiced with aromatic shallots, ginger, and garlic, along with our handcrafted Sweet & Spicy Curry Powder.  All those wonderful flavors meld in the hot skillet to achieve that sweet, tanginess with a hint of spice.

Slow Cooker Hoisin Five-Spice Beef with Broccoli

Slow Cooker Hoisin Five-Spice Beef with Broccoli recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Beef & Broccoli is a classic combination in Chinese cooking.  Usually it’s stir-fried, but for a healthier version, I like to steam the broccoli and use a slow cooker for the beef.  You use less oil and the beef gets so melt-in-your-mouth tender. (You’ve probably tried beef & broccoli from a take-out before and had a hard time chewing through the tough, stir-fried meat.  Not something you have to worry about if you are slow cooking the beef at home).

Slow Cooker Hoisin Five-Spice Beef with Broccoli recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Radish, Asparagus, and Edamame Stir-Fry

Radish, Asparagus, and Edamame Stir-Fry by SeasonWithSpice.com

Only 2.7% of Americans have a “healthy lifestyle”, which contributes to a “lower risk of cardiovascular disease as well as many other health problems, such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.” 

That’s according to a recent study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  Researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi examined adults and evaluated them on four basic criteria: 

1. Healthy diet 
2. Moderate exercise (150 minutes/week) 
3. Body fat percentage 
4. Non-smoker

The results – “A total of 71% of adults did not smoke, 38% ate a healthy diet, 10% had a normal body fat percentage, and 46% were sufficiently active. Only 2.7% of adults had all four healthy lifestyle characteristics, while 16% had three.”

The results will probably surprise us all in one way or another.  I was disappointed to read that 30% of adults still smoke, but I was actually encouraged to see that almost 40% of adults are eating a healthy diet.  I’m sure that trend has been moving up recently with so much more information about the foods we consume and how they affect our bodies. 

I’m happy that the researchers listed a good diet as the first metric since that is definitely where a healthy lifestyle begins.  If you are already eating a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains, then it is natural for you to start changing other aspects of your life – from quitting smoking to exercising regularly to getting more sleep.

Radish, Asparagus, and Edamame Stir-Fry by SeasonWithSpice.com

Japanese-style Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms

Japanese-style Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

I wasn’t sure at first why my Japanese friends kept taking me for Italian food at chain restaurants like Saizeriya or Capricciosa, or one of the many Italian style cafes dotting Tokyo.  I just assumed they wanted to play it safe and bring me somewhere I would be familiar with the flavors.  When I suggested more local restaurants, they would oblige, but soon they stopped asking and we would just end up in front of an Italian restaurant at dinner time.  They would smile, hold the door for me, and wave me in with an enthusiastic “Dozo” (please go ahead).  I would bow my head slightly, and then embarrassingly say at the wrong time, “Itadakimasu” (Let’s eat).

It didn’t take long after for me to realize that I was having the exact opposite effect than what I initially thought.  Take me out of the picture, and they were eating more Italian food!

Japanese-style Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms by SeasonWithSpice.com
Japanese Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup (Dairy-free)

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup (dairy-free) recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

While we are patiently waiting for the bounty of spring produce to start brightening up the tables at our local co-op and farmers market, I’m still enjoying soup season on these lingering chilly days with this creamy, lightly spiced Roasted Cauliflower Soup.

roasted cauliflower for soup recipe

Blended garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are the secret ingredient to making this creamy, buttery soup dairy-free.  They also add a good source of protein and fiber, and give some bulk to the soup, so you can enjoy it as a full meal.

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce by SeasonWithSpice.com

2 simple ways to get anyone to like tofu?  Pan fry it and smother it in a spicy Korean sauce.

If you are working toward a more plant-based diet, or if you are just looking to incorporate something new and fun into your family’s dinner that is both healthy & delicious, try out this Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce (dubu buchim yangnyeomjang).

Pan Fried Tofu with Spicy Korean Sauce recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

As I’ve mentioned before, keep a few blocks of tofu in your kitchen.  I like to keep a mix of firm & extra-firm regular tofu (refrigerator), and silken tofu (cupboard) for different recipes.  It’s great to have access to a delicious plant-based protein whenever you need it for a quick dinner.