March 31, 2015

About Dana Kim

Dana Kim – Blog Contributor
Dana currently lives in Hollywood, California, with her husband and two children. She is currently learning to cook traditional Korean food, to teach her daughters about their heritage and culture. She loves trying all different kinds of recipes and is happy to share those recipes here!

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

I found this recipe on a website called PaleOMG.  I love their photos on Instagram, and they have great ideas for healthy snacks and things to give your kids.  I changed the recipe a bit, just subbing a few things here and there, and now I present to you:  Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars!

That’s a mouthful.  These PBBBBs are just like banana bread, but not cloyingly sweet.  They are made with almond flour and whey protein powder, so you’re getting a good dose of protein in your sweet treat.  These were easy and delicious!  I’m storing mine in the fridge, and hope there is enough left for me to enjoy one with my morning coffee tomorrow!

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup whey protein (vanilla, but I used cinnamon!)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs (I used mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used sesame seeds)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease an 8×8 square pan.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together, except for chocolate chips and almonds.  Then fold in cacao nibs or chocolate chips.  Pour into the prepared pan, and cover the top with the almonds or sesame seeds.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the middle is set.  Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
  4. I cut mine into 1″x4″ bars, so I had 16 servings.  Store in the fridge, covered.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Bacon B.O.M.B. Jam

Bacon BOMB Jam

You read that correctly:  B.O.M.B.  This stuff will blow you away!  Bacon Onion Maple Bourbon Jam is an out of this world condiment you will want to smear on everything!

This is easy and amazing.  I ate some of this bacon jam on my baked salmon.  Next I’m going to try it on a cracker, maybe with a little goat cheese, or as part of an olive and cheese tray.  And I may just go off the rails and slather it on bread with cheddar and sliced apple and make the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had!  This recipe yields a cup and a half of jam.  Let’s see how long it lasts!

Bacon B.O.M.B. Jam

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound bacon (I used 7 slices), diced
  • 2 large onions (try sweet onions, if you have them), sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/4 cup coffee (or use water if you like)

Directions:

  1. In a heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat.  You want all the fat to render, but you don’t want the bacon to get really crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan, and pour out all but one tablespoon of bacon fat.  (I keep mine in a jar in the refrigerator, and use it to pan fry.)
  2. Add the sliced onions to the bacon fat in the pan.  Cover and cook on medium low for 15 minutes.  Stir, making sure nothing is burning, and cook another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon, maple syrup, bourbon, and coffee; stir, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan (use a wooden spoon).  Cover with the lid, cook another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.  I sort of mashed the jam with my wooden spoon to get a smoother consistency.  You can do that or you can leave it chunky.  You could even put it in a food processor and pulse a few times to get it even smoother.  Taste it and see how you like it.
  5. Refrigerate the leftovers and eat within a week.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Chimichuri Sauce

Chimichuri Sauce

Here’s the thing:  You probably cook for your family a lot.  Or maybe you’re cooking a chicken breast for one.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is:  Sometimes, you overcook the meat.  I know, it happens to the best of us.  (Okay, especially me, since I have a fear of giving my kids undercooked meat that gives them food poisoning.)  So what do you do?  Trash the whole thing?  NO WAY.  I’m frugal.  I scrape the black off toast.  So when you get dry chicken – or fish or beef or pork or even tofu – you sauce that thing.  Enter Chimichuri Sauce.

It sounds spicy, right?  It’s not.  It’s a milder, slimmer cousin to pesto.  Aside from being healthy for you (olive oil, parsley, garlic, and vinegar are all great for your health) – this sauce is mild enough to dress up any protein, and macho enough to save the day.

This photo is of my Chimichuri Sauce over chicken thighs.  (Yes, I cook A LOT of chicken thighs.)  Try it on beef (like the Argentinians do), chicken breasts, or the salmon filet I may or may not have just overcooked in the oven for dinner …

Chimichuri Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (or just dried oregano)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (or use lemon juice in a pinch)
  • optional:  hot sauce, diced jalapeño, or chile powder, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients.  That’s it!  Serve cold or at room temperature over protein of your choice.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Easy Chicken Mole

Easy Chicken Mole

The first time I had mole (say moe-lay) it was at a small but very well-regarded Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, La Loteria.  I had heard of mole poblano before and decided to take a chance.  Que rico!  What a glorious taste!  It was rich, a tiny bit spicy, a little bitter, and a little fruity.  It was really a savory fiesta in my mouth.  However, when I went home with the intent to find out more about this magical dish and how to make it, all the recipes I saw were 40 ingredients long and took days to make.  No me gusta – I just didn’t have time to mess with that.  So after some more research, I came up with this recipe – my Easy Chicken Mole!

The two ingredients that most moles share to give them such depth of flavor are dried chiles and chocolate.  Really!  Buy the darkest chocolate you can find.  You can use baker’s unsweetened chocolate, but that will make it bitter, and you’ll probably want to bring it back around with some added honey or brown sugar.  I used bittersweet chocolate, 63% cacao.  I think it worked well, and next time I might even add a little more.

As far as the chiles go, it gets a little confusing.  Oftentimes a chile will have one name when it’s fresh and a different name when it’s dried (I guess kind of like grapes vs. raisins.)  To be honest, I think I bought ancho chiles, but I’m not sure – there were two kinds and neither were labeled!  You want chiles that are a very dark reddish-brown—like the color of dried blood—and about fist-sized.  I used two but I may use three or even four next time.  I removed the seeds, and that’s where the heat resides, so you only get the smoky, fruity flavor of the chiles and not the spiciness.

Try this recipe.  If you’ve never had mole, this is a great place to start.  If you are a mole aficionado, go ahead and tweak my recipe to get the taste you like.  Either way, I bet you’ll say, Que sabor!  (Or if you don’t habla espanol, ‘So tasty!’)

Easy Chicken Mole

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 dried chiles (use ancho, pasilla, or guajillo)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (or use pepitas, peanuts, or almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or use breasts, up to you!)
  • diced avocado, cilantro, sesame seeds to serve
  • rice or tortillas to serve, optional

Directions:

  1. Put the dried chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Put a plate over the bowl and let the chiles soak for about 15 minutes.  When they have softened, remove the stem and seeds and roughly chop.  Discard the stem, keep some seeds if you want some heat.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, cook the onion in the butter in a very large pot or Dutch oven.  Stir to make sure they don’t burn.
  3. Add the chopped chiles, minced garlic, and sesame seeds.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chocolate, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and oregano.  Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and coffee.  Crumble in the bread.  Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. CAREFULLY transfer sauce to a blender and blend until pretty smooth.  You could use an immersion blender, too.
  7. Return the sauce to the pot and add the chicken thighs.  Tuck them into the sauce and stir.  Make sure the chicken is covered in sauce, then cover with the lid.  Let simmer for about 25 minutes.
  8. The chicken is done when you can shred it with forks.  To serve, ladle the chicken and lots of mole into a bowl.  Garnish with lots of avocado, cilantro and sesame seeds.  You can also eat this in tortillas – just serve with less sauce if you are making tacos.  You can also serve it over rice to soak up the sauce.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Strawberry-Shortcake-Whole-300x199This is a recipe I shared here on GCH 2 years ago.  I love it and plan on making it soon.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me, and I look forward to farmer’s markets brimming with fresh berries!  If you can’t wait either, read on for my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry-Shortcake-Cut

 

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more, if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional – 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar (I didn’t use them, since my berries were really sweet. If your strawberries aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add the sugar to the whipping cream)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and then cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of each pan, and grease that too. (You can do this without parchment paper, but you will need to be really liberal with the coconut oil / butter / cooking spray on the bottom of the pan. The cake stuck the first time I made it, so the next time I used parchment paper, and it was perfect!)
  2. In a very large bowl, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in the softened coconut oil and milk, blending well. Mix in the honey, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Beat until foamy again.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Then, a little at a time, blend the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
    Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. When a toothpick comes out dry, remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans, and finish cooling on a rack.
  4. While the cake is cooling, place the beaters of your hand mixer and a metal mixing bowl in the freezer for half an hour. Slice the strawberries and put back in the fridge until ready to use.
    When the beaters and bowl are very cold, beat the whipping cream with the vanilla (and optional sugar) until stiff peaks form. To decorate: spread a very thin layer of whipped cream on the top of one cake. Make concentric circles of strawberry slices (use half the strawberries, saving the other half for the top), then cover with a thick layer of whipped cream. Place the other cake on top of this, cover with the rest of the whipped cream and the rest of the strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is not a very sweet cake, since it relies on the berries for sweetness. If your berries are not sweet enough for your taste, you can add more honey to the cake, and the optional sugar to the whipped cream.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

 

I remember my Mom made a version of this dish probably 25 years ago, and it was FANTASTIC.  It was one of those things that was so rich and luxurious that the memory stayed with me for a quarter century!  I asked my sister, who is now in possession of my mother’s recipe box, to find the recipe, but to no avail.  After some hunting online, I think I found something close.  As is my modus operandi, I tweaked it and made it my own, and now I’m sharing with you:  Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup!

It’s a very simple recipe, and of course, I always encourage you to make it how you and your family will like it best.  Feel free to add more vegetables to the soup.  This recipe is pretty basic, but please keep the zucchini, lots of onions and garlic, and the garbanzo beans.  I guess you could sub in another bean – Great Northerns would work – but I like the firm texture of dried garbanzos that have been cooked just to al dente.  Do NOT skip the wine in this recipe.  You only need half a cup, but it adds so much flavor.  As for the cheese, I used a combination of cream cheese, goat cheese, and a very sharp white cheddar.  You use what you like – maybe some Asiago would be nice, and Fontina would definitely be delicious.

This is not diet food, but a small bowl will fill you up, so it’s okay!  Eat this for lunch with a green salad and enjoy!

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dried garbanzo beans (or use one can of garbanzos)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with peppers, and it added a welcome spicy kick!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (or use a combo of dried oregano and basil)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ounce goat cheese (or more!)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar or other cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, gouda, asiago…)

Directions:

  1. If you are using dried garbanzos, pour them into a pot, cover with a  few inches of water, and simmer for about an hour.  If you are using canned, skip to step 2.
  2. In a large pot, cook the onions in the butter for about five minutes until soft.  Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Drain the water from the beans and add to the vegetables.
  3. Add in the can of tomatoes and the dried Italian herbs.  Add the wine, cover the pot and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and cheeses. Stir to combine and cover, over medium low heat.  Let simmer for five minutes, then stir again.  Don’t let the cheese stick to the bottom of the soup!
  5. I like it thick, but you can thin this out more with either milk or wine.  Serve hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

 

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

What’s Valentine’s Day without some chocolate?  This is pretty healthy stuff though, so as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting, you can have a treat and not be naughty.  Almond Joy Chocolate Bark is the way to go!

I love dark chocolate and I use the darkest I can find in the grocery store.  Here I used a bag (11.5 oz) of 63% cacao Guittard chocolate chips, but feel free to use whatever dark chocolate you like.  I also used roasted, salted almonds because that little bit of salt really offsets the sweet and makes the flavors pop.  If you want a sweeter bark, you can use “Angel Flake” coconut that has sugar added.  I used unsweetened coconut flakes and it’s quite yummy!  I also used 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  I like that it makes the chocolate a little smoother, and I think it tastes great too.  You can leave it out if you don’t have it.

Give some to your sweeties, treat your friends at work, or just nibble on this chocolate bark and enjoy some quiet time.  Happy Valentines Day!

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (use the darkest chocolate you can find, with the highest percent of cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole, roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  1. In an oven-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and coconut oil together for 30 seconds.  Stir very well with a rubber spatula, then microwave again.  Keep doing this until your chocolate and coconut oil are smooth and blended.  Mine took 3 blasts of 30 seconds each.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with plastic wrap.  Pour in 1/3 of the melted chocolate and spread over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Spread the almonds over the chocolate layer and sprinkle with coconut.
  4. Pour the rest of the chocolate over the almonds and coconut and lightly spread to cover.  Put in the freezer for about 2 hours until solid.  Cut or break into 2″ pieces.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Napa Cabbage with Peas and Prosciutto

Napa Cabbage with Peas and Prosciutto

Punxatawney Phil, that old son-of-a-gun, just declared there would be six more weeks of winter.  Growing up in Southern California, it didn’t mean much to me—maybe a day or two of drizzle, or a heavier jacket if the temperature dipped into the fifties at night.  Now that we’re in Texas, winter is FOR REAL!  There are no good farmer’s markets, no fresh produce for cheap.  So when it’s the dreary days of February and you can’t plant your garden yet, it’s time to make the most of what you have.  This recipe for Napa Cabbage with Peas and Prosciutto can’t bring spring, but it can warm up your belly!

I had half of a head of cabbage left after making a batch of Stuffed Cabbage Soup and needed a recipe for it.  If you haven’t searched through Epicurious.com, please do.  I used the search function to find recipes for Napa cabbage, stumbled onto this one, and tried it.  Fantastic!  I followed the instructions, except I replaced prosciutto with bacon.  Warm, smoky, sweet, and salty.  Try it tonight!

Napa Cabbage with Peas and Prosciutto (recipe courtesy Epicurious)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 small napa cabbage, trimmed and sliced crosswise
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, chopped (I substituted 3 slices of bacon, minced, cooked, and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add peas, cabbage, prosciutto, and zest and cook, stirring, 4 to 5 minutes, or until cabbage is wilted and tender.
  2. Remove skillet from heat and stir in lemon juice, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Veggie Burritos

veggie burrito

Despite what restaurants would have you believe, a burrito (or taco, for that matter) doesn’t have to be the same boring combo of meat, rice, and beans.  Believe it or not, you can make burritos or tacos with whatever you have.  I have a great cookbook by Rick Bayless, who despite his gringo name, is one of the preeminent Mexican chefs in America.  His book has recipes for mushroom tacos, squash tacos – you name it, you can make it into burrito or taco filling.  Following his lead, I steered clear of the meat-rice-beans set-up and created my own version of the Veggie Burrito!

Of course, you can use whatever veggies you like, and please feel free to add or subtract vegetables from my recipe.  This one features toothy black beans (instead of the heavy refried beans you usually find plastered to the inside of a tortilla), onions, chopped mushrooms and sautéed kale.  Then get crazy with the accoutrements:  salsa, cheese, diced avocado, sour cream (or Greek yogurt in my case).  Need something a little more filling?  Replace the boring rice with quinoa!  You get more protein that way.

If you have leftover veggie mix, you can just heat it up and serve with a fried egg on top for a healthy breakfast, or make a burrito bowl:  veggie mix, quinoa, avocado, salsa – basically everything but the tortilla!

Veggie Burritos (Makes 2 burritos)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped kale, washed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (white or cremini), sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tortillas
  • salsa, grated cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, chopped avocado, cooked quinoa – your choice of any or all

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan with a lid, add the butter, salt, and chopped onion.  Cook over medium for about five to ten minutes to get a little color.  Don’t let them burn!
  2. While the onions are cooking, prepare the kale – wash and spin it.  It doesn’t need to be dry, since a little water will help it steam and get tender.  Slice the mushrooms.
  3. Stir the washed kale into the onions in the frying pan and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Then remove the lid and add the mushrooms.  Cook for five to ten minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are cooked through.  Add the black beans and stir for another minute.
  4. Put the two tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp dish towel.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then fill with a heaping scoop of the veggie mix.  Top with salsa, cheese, et cetera, and fold tortilla to close.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

GF Brownies

GF Brownies

Guilt-free?  Gluten-free?  Girl friends?  Yes, all the above!  As usual, I have taken a recipe, tweaked some things here and there for my family, and made a treat that’s gluten-free, nearly guilt-free, and sure to please all your girl friends!  Here are my GF Brownies!

The three ingredients you’ll need to shop for are coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut oil.  You know what?  You can even trade in the coconut oil, if it’s not your thing, for half a stick of butter.  Now just pick up some coconut and almond flours, use what you need, and store them indefinitely in the freezer.  Frugal!

These are fudgy but not pasty.  There’s a difference!  They’re chewy but they don’t become glue in your mouth.  Super easy.  Let’s go!

GF Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips – the higher the cacao percent, the better!  (These were 64%)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or use butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or you could use brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • butter or coconut oil to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease an 8×8 square pan.
  2. In a large pot, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat.  Whisk in the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat the four eggs together.  Slowly whisk them into the chocolate mixture (make sure it’s cool enough so you don’t make scrambled eggs!)  Whisk in the maple syrup.
  4. A little at a time, whisk in the almond and coconut flours.  Whisk thoroughly, so you don’t have lumps.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased pan.  Bake at 350*F for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.  Slice into 16 squares (2×2 each).  Hide the pan from your kids!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!