How do you get your ‘happy’ on? For me it is quite simple, sharing a meal with my family. My Dad was born in Shanghai so Northern Chinese food is what our family gravitates towards, much to the chagrin of my husband and my sister-in-law (not Kale) who are not used to the carb heavy foods that are characteristic of that part of China. The first time my husband joined us for Shanghai food, he joked that it would take him a week to digest all the noodles and breads that made up most of the meal.
What can I say, I love carbs, and so do my family. One of the dishes that we always order, and is snapped up as soon as it arrives at the table, is the beef roll. Even my husband and sister-in-law love it too, which says a lot about how good it is! It is a fairly basic dish, but it is the flatbread that makes it great and holds it together, literally.
I probably had my first taste of Mexican food when I was a child and our family took a road trip to Mexico. Although we were barely past the Mexican border on that visit, it was still exotic. It was like going back in time to a land out of the dark ages, or so it seemed to me as a 9 year old. Dirt roads were the norm, mangy dogs roaming around aimlessly rooting for food. Old, rusty cars were sprinkled about like confetti. My Dad revelled in it! He tends to gravitate towards places that are more gritty and edgy. We must have stopped for lunch, although I have no recollection of what we would have eaten but it was probably some sort of taco. Any memory of what we ate was overshadowed by the colourful landscape and locals that we saw.
Tofu is the Meryl Streep of the food world. I love Meryl Streep so this is not an insult at all. Meryl’s brilliance is her ability to lose herself in any role. I remember watching her as Julia Child in the movie Julie & Julia and there were moments when my mind would shift back and forth – “It’s Meryl on the screen as Julia Child, no it’s really Julia Child, no it’s Meryl…” Tofu is just like Meryl in the way it can completely take on the flavours that are added to it. I have grilled tofu and served it with a satay sauce, put it in a broccoli cheese dip, added it to lasagna, and all to great success.
Gung Hei Fat Choy! I love Chinese New Year! Lots of eating with family, friends, lucky money, special treats, and new clothes (on the first day of the New Year you should wear new clothes to give yourself a fresh start). But I also love that Chinese New Year for me is where I get to have a “do over”. If there were any resolutions made on Jan 1 that haven’t started, then I can try again. And, to all of you who also had good intentions to ie. give up sugar, start a new workout, read more, floss every day, and/or eat more superfoods, well, don’t be discouraged as you can try again in the Lunar New Year….even if you aren’t Chinese!
My Chinese New Year recipe is quite unconventional, in that the ingredients aren’t your standard New Year’s fare. Because, frankly, most of the “special” dishes eaten at this time are not delicious to my North American palate, such as dried oysters, black moss (looks like a clump of black hair), jai (vegetarian gluten dish). Doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it? But I hope this Gung Hei Fat Prawns does! And, it’s loaded with superfoods.