Welcome to my blog about a subject I am very passionate about: food.
Growing up in a health conscious family, I constantly heard my parents telling me to shed some pounds. I never listened to them because I didn't think that there was anything wrong with my weight. During my 16 year physical check up, the doctor told me I was becoming overweight. That was the wake up call that I desperately needed. For the first time, I looked in the mirror and saw my body. Seeing my reflection, I vowed to reach a healthy weight, which I accomplished through exercising and changing my diet. Along my weight loss journey, I learned many things about food, which I hope to pass onto my readers and inspire them to lead a healthy life.
How do I come up with my recipes?
Let's get this straight: I have no experience in the kitchen whatsoever. I just cook for fun because I love seeing how food takes on different tastes and textures when combined with different ingredients. Now on to the question. I like to take popular foods such as pancakes and pizza and make the healthiest version possible, using fresh and nutritionally packed ingredients. My goal is to create food that I will not regret eating once the plate is clean. Provided that I have some of my favorites food such as cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and oatmeal always stocked up in my house, you will most likely see at least one of these ingredients in my recipes. I will admit that it does take a while to come up with recipes because I try to eliminate butter, which is found in almost all recipes especially desserts! Foodgawker is definitely the website where the whole thinking process begins.
What does Eat to Nguyen mean?
My friends tease me about being healthy. They always tell me that my lunches are "foreign" to them because they consist of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Since my last name is Nguyen, which sounds like the word win, one of my close friends came up with the title Eat to Nguyen for a future cookbook. Because I cannot cook a decent meal, I just decided to use it for the name of my blog.
Some people are just so creative. While watching Foodcrafters, I saw an unbelievable recipe for cheesecake. Instead of containing cheese, it has blended cashews, which has a wonderful, creamy texture. Neat, right? Interested in this raw food creation, I typed the words “cashew cheescake” into a search engine and stumbled upon this recipe. I wished that I had some coconut oil to add to my filling, but unfortunately I did not have any. The filling still turned out nicely! Be sure to adjust it to your taste level. Also, if you have fruits on hand, top the cashew cakes with them to make a fruit tart.
Servings: 13 mini cashew cakes
1 1/3 cups dried dates, pitted
2/3 cups raw almonds, soaked for 2 hours
1 1/3 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours
3-4 tbsps lemon juice
2-3 tbsps honey
1/2 cup water
2-3 tbsps unsweetened coconut flakes
Rinse and drain the cashews and almonds.
Pulse the almonds with the pitted dates.
Line the mini muffin tray with parchment paper and press the mixture into each cup. The recipe that I found did not require any parchment paper, but I just used it to be safe.
Pour the cashews, honey, lemon juice, and water into a blender. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Add in the coconut flakes and blend for a few seconds.
Pour the mixture into each mini muffin cup.
Place the tray in the freezer for about 2 hours. When ready to serve, allow the tray to thaw.
If you offered me bread two years ago, I would have flat out refused. At that time, I had drastically reduced my consumption of carbohydrates, thinking that they caused weight gain. Well, that is not the case anymore. Over the weekend, I found this no-knead bread recipe, which shocked the culinary world due to its sheer simplicity. Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery is a genius. I took his recipe and made a few tweaks to it. While the bread was baking, the house was filled with the wonderful aroma of a little bakery. However, that is not the reason why I am writing this post. After I removed the bread from the oven and allowed it to cool down, I was left with a good looking, but most importantly scrumptious loaf of bread. Do you see the holes in the slices? Not bad for my first attempt at making bread. Let’s just say that this loaf did not last for more than a day in my house.
2 1/2 cups bread flour + more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsps fine sea salt
1 tbsp + 2 tsps ground cinnamon
3/4 cup dates
1/4 cup grounded flax seeds
Chop up the dates and set aside.
Pour the first five ingredients and chopped dates into a bowl and mix well.
Slowly pour the water into the bowl. Use yours hands to mix everything and form a dough. It should be “shaggy” and sticky.
Cover and let it rest for 20 hours at a warm temperature of about 70 degrees.
Dust a surface with flour, then place the dough on it. Fold it over itself once or twice, then cover it with a plastic wrap to rest for about 15 minutes.
Use just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface and shape it into a ball. Coat a towel with some of the grounded flax seeds. Place the dough on the towel and sprinkle the rest of the seeds on top of it. Cover the dough with another towel and let it rest for 2 more hours.
At least a half-hour before the dough is ready, heat oven to 450F with a heavy covered pot in it. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hands under the towel and turn dough into the pot. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
I can’t believe that I had enough time in the morning to prepare breakfast! This is the second day in the row. Well, if you are a fan of rice pudding like me, then you will love this recipe.
2 1/4 cups brown rice, cooked
1 3/4 cups unsweetened soymilk
5 tbsps dates, pitted and chopped (7 dates for me)
1 tsp cinnamon
Pour all of the ingredients into a pot.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer for 35-50 minutes. Stir often. When the mixture becomes rich and creamy, remove from heat. Allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. During this time, the mixture will thicken up some more. Scoop out contents for serving, then refrigerate the rest.
It looks like a log with moss on top. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Moving on now. This is the best thing that I have made up to date. I am salivating as I type up this post. Some words to describe this creation are fudgy, rich, chewy, and perfect. Now wait for it. There are only three ingredients! It is literally too good to be true.
1 3/4 cup whole pitted California dates
1/2 cup pistachios
2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
Process pistachios into small pieces. Remove some to be used for the coating.
Add in the cacao powder and process one time.
Add in the dates and process until a batter is form.
Remove the batter and roll into a log.
Add in the remaining pistachios into the food processor and process until they become a powder.