January 28, 2013

Pad Thai with Tofu

about 1/2 lb shrimp (add more as you like)
1/2 container of tofu
1 handful of shredded cabbage
1 handful of shredded carrots
2 eggs scrambled
1 lime (cut into wedges for garnish)
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
2 handful of peanuts (as you like)
1/2 bag of rice noodles

Ingredients for sauce:

2 Tbs sugar (brown if you have it)
3 Tbs lime juice
3 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 Tbs fish sauce
about 2 Tbs tamarind
1/2 Tbs red curry paste (add for spiciness)


1. soak rice noodles in warm to hot water (not scorching)
2. make sauce, de-vein shrimp, cut tofu, set all aside
3. scramble eggs & set aside in bowl
4. using little oil or butter, saute shrimp, set aside in bowl
5. with a little oil & drop of soy sauce- fry the tofu, set aside
6. fry cabbage & carrots in little oil
as vegetables are cooked, add tofu/shrimp,
scambled eggs & peanuts (stir in pan)
throw noodles into pan
(without the water it was sitting in)
7. add sauce
add the cilantro & cook until everything is mixed
& make sure the noodles are done
(noodles will be very limp, soft & saturated in the sauce)
8. garnish with a lime wedge
(squeeze lime at table for best flavor)

These noodles are great with Chicken Satays and a chilled or hot Thai Tea!

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

January 20, 2013

Gift of Life House Dinner

Let's Cultivate Food decided to donate a charity dinner to a great place and cause...
"Gift of Life House" located right here in Philadelphia- 401 Callowhill Street to be exact.
Gift of Life House is a donation run foundation where 5 area hospitals connect with for
patient care. Patients and their families stay here during and after their surgeries from being an
organ transplant donor or recipient. Let's Cultivate Food came in to cook a dinner for these awesome
heroes that stay at Gift of Life House.

I started the early afternoon off by checking my ingredient list and getting some
orange infused green tea ready.  I will say.... this green tea is the best sweetened green tea EVER!
I infused fresh oranges for this dinner but another favorite is infusing basil and strawberry but
that's usually more of a favorite during the warmer months.

The salad was "Soba Noodle Salad" which consisted of Soba noodles, romaine lettuce,
grape tomatoes and green and red seedless grapes all cut in half.

Here is a closer look at the healthy freshness.

Of course we had to make some dumplings. Can't have a dinner without some form of dumplings!
The 2 dipping sauces were soy and apricot sauce. (both home-made of course)

We also had "World Peace Noodles" I gave this dish the name world peace simply because
it is a mixture of many different types of noodles... getting along together happily and peacefully
all in one big bowl/tray. The veggies this time around consisted of red, yellow and orange bell peppers,
baby portabella mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions.

  The noodles were: linguine, spinach noodles, wheat linguine and vermicelli noodles.

 We also had buffalo chicken mac and cheese as a last entree.

We had some cupcakes... not just any cupcakes but psychedelic cupcakes...

And the giddy jello wedges... always a crowd favorite!

 Some "melted snowman" drinks...

One of my awesome helpers was.... not only a pharmacy resident at a local hospital
but one of the best and kind-hearted people in the medical field that you will ever encounter!

Another hero, who helped out is a local locksmith by day... volunteer firefighter by night...
yes, I wasn't just throwing the word hero in there for no reason!

Top curriculum supervisor and leader of charter school in Philadelphia is joined by
her adorable 3 year old son who helped out as well.... (he had the cutest apron on too)

Master marketing genius and one of Philadelphia area's best high school coaches
joined Let's Cultivate Food with decorating the cupcakes along with so much more.

This is me and top curriculum supervisor of Philadelphia charter schools 
(we go waaaay back to making our first dumplings as 9 year olds in 4th grade.) 

Coaches are always focused not just during games but in whatever they do... to get it done right!

Here is our group for Let's Cultivate Food's first small charity dinner after we quickly made food
for about an hour and a half before serving the food. (some are more excited than others to be done!)

To tie in a slight winter theme from the drinks of melted snowmen... I wanted to have little felt scarves
around the napkins and forks.

Sometimes having good soap helps with the cleaning... but in Let's Cultivate Food's case...
it was truly the awesome people who helped volunteer their time and energy on a Saturday night!

Thanks again guys!!! You know who you are!

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

January 14, 2013

Scrumptious Shrimp Appetizers

Do you love shrimp?
Do you like easy to make PLUS  looks good  PLUS tastes good type of appetizers?
Of course you do....right?

This appetizer is great for many reasons.
Easy to make --- check!
Inexpensive --- check!
Looks and tastes healthy --- check!
Takes very little time to make --- check!
Good for people watching their weight --- check!
Great for office parties, friends and family dinners, treat yourself because you're awesome---check!

Shrimp  (the medium size (21-26-ers) 
(These were the med-large ones and I think they are a little too big.)
1 large cucumber
1/4 of a ripe avocado
2 small red radishes or 2-3 slices of a small red onion (garnish)
Mayo (about 3 TBSP)  +  Wasabi paste (1 tsp) (sauce and gluing agent)
sprinkle of garlic powder (to your liking)
1/2-1 TBSP of butter to cook shrimp in (optional)

First peel, wash and de-vein the shrimp. 
(leaving the tail on or off is your choice)
Add a little butter (about 1/2-1 TBSP) or olive oil in a pan and 
saute your shrimp. When the one side turns pink, turn it over, 
turn the stove off and sprinkle some salt and pepper. You can also 
just steam them. (sea salt gives the best flavor if you have it)
Once both sides of the shrimp are pink... take the shrimp out and
let it cool on a plate/cutting board.

Cut your cucumber into slices. (Keep in mind you don't want 
the slices to be too thin) Mix you mayo & wasabi together. 
Lay your cucumber on a plate and dab with a paper towel if it's too wet.
Spoon a little mayo-wasabi sauce onto your cucumber, 
lay your shrimp on the sauce (works like a glue) and lay the little square-ish 
shape of avocado in between the tail and head of shrimp. Add your finely diced 
red radish or onion on top at the end as a garnish and THAT'S IT! You're done!

This simple one bite appetizer is filled with crunchy crispness from the 
cucumber with the wasabi mayo making the shrimp and avocado a little 
creamier with the sharp taste of the radish garnish finishing the appetizer 
in our mouth wanting another one and leaving your stomach happy, 
calm, not heavy and fresh!

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

January 3, 2013

Ravioli Lasagna in ONE

When the new Wegmans in KOP opened, there were many things that were free!....
....including frozen items.  I seldom buy frozen things simply because we have access to
fresh things most of the entire year. So after a little winter cleaning of the freezer I
remembered having a package of  little 5 cheese raviolis.

I also had taught an Italian style cooking class and had some fresh mozzarella cheese on hand.
I wanted to use up the ravioli but also kind of wanted some lasagna as well---so it hit me and I
decided that I wanted to try and make ravioli and lasagna....together... BOTH!
Why not... it's kind of like double duty!?!!

Because the ravioli wasn't hand made from scratch---this entree took no time to make!
I took one medium onion, sliced it up and sauteed it with some olive oil.
Once the onions had cooked down I added a small can of diced tomatoes along with
salt, pepper and some dried basil seasoning.

I started the bottom of an oven-safe pan with the onion and tomato mixture.
I then added the mini raviolis that I boiled in a pot of hot water for about 7 minutes.

Next was the fresh mozzarella that I cut in half. Although I said this was ravioli lasagna---
You can see how it's not layered like a traditional lasagna.

I then made another layer of the onion & tomato mixture, then ravioli followed by cheese
and another sprinkle of the dried basil seasoning along with some Panko bread crumbs to top it off.  

Lastly, I baked it in the oven on 350 for about 20 minutes or basically until your cheese is melted.
So 2 Italian favorites in one! Bellissimo!

You know how traditional lasagna is better the next day once everything has settled...?
Well, this ravioli lasagna was both good right when it was made and the next day as well!

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food

January 1, 2013

It's not always the way it looks

As a Korean child growing up, rice was always a staple food and eggs were commonly
associated as a quick and easy banchan. (side dish)

As an adult now... making food art makes me giddy at times.  For this one...
I simply took some rice and shaped it into a teddy bear's head. I added American cheese
for the inside of the ears and nose while carefully adding good ole seaweed for the eyes
and triangle nose. (You can simply use kitchen scissors for that)  Then use your best egg
frying skills and just lay in on top of some more rice. (the body of the bear- under the "covers")
It's pretty self-explanatory.  Total giddiness!

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food