March 4, 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!

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!

Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Toum

My sister had an addiction.  Drugs?  Alcohol?  Gambling?  No.  She was addicted to toum.  Toum is the thick, creamy garlic sauce she was eating at her favorite Mediterranean restaurant.  She talked about it.  She bought tubs of it to take home and put on home-cooked food.  And when she moved to a different city, she craved it.  She just sent me a recipe for it on Facebook this week, and I decided to try it.  I present to you Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce!

The original recipe is here, and there is a lot of information and background on the sauce.  Unfortunately, the recipe makes a huge quantity, and I didn’t want to commit to using 4 cups of oil on a recipe I’d never tried before.  So I made my own, much smaller batch, which is what I’m listing here.  There are only four ingredients, and you probably have all but one in your house right now.  Use fresh cloves of garlic, fresh lemon juice, sea salt or Kosher salt (not iodized table salt), and grapeseed oil.  Grapeseed oil is readily available and not expensive.  It is very pale in color and has a very mild taste.  (Some comments in the original recipe mentioned that olive oil can make a bitter sauce, so I think it’s best to avoid it.)

As you can see, I made it by hand with my mortar and pestle.  Whew, what a workout!  If you have a small and powerful blender, use that.  I have a large food processor that is great at mixing up dough, and not good at making small batches of anything.  Either way, it’s all about technique:  just like when you make mayonnaise, you MUST add the oil a tiny bit at a time, or else your emulsification will break and you’ll have a sad, oily mess.

This sauce is friendly and gets along with all savory foods.  Yesterday I took a spoonful, shook it up with another spoonful of olive oil, a little lemon juice, and a drop or two of honey and made a delicious salad dressing.  Last night I made a wrap with grilled chicken and lettuce, and used the garlic sauce instead of mayo.  This morning I put a dollop of this garlic sauce in my breakfast bowl of fried eggs and roasted broccoli.  Right this minute I am eating the last of the batch of garlic sauce, mixed in with leftover quinoa, chicken, and vegetables.

Quinoa with Toum

…and now it’s gone.  I think I see why my sister buys it by the tub!

Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

  • six large cloves of garlic
  • half of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil

Directions:

  1. Cut the hard root end off the cloves of garlic, and cut out any bruises, brown spots, or sprouts.  Get the prettiest cloves of garlic you can find!
  2. In a mortar and pestle, mash them up.  If you are using a small and powerful blender or food processor, mash them up!
  3. Add a sprinkle of salt and a little squeeze of lemon and mash some more.  Then add about a teaspoon of oil.  If you are using a blender, you can keep the blender running as you let the oil in the top, in a very fine trickle.  If you are using a mortar and pestle, add a teaspoon and mash until it’s blended in.
  4. Take it slow.  Add a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a touch more oil.  Alternate oil with salt and lemon.  Slower!
  5. Eventually, it should all come together into a creamy, fluffy blob of sauce.  If it just won’t come together, or you feel like you have too much oil, you can add another clove of garlic and another squeeze of lemon.  But if you take it slow, you’ll get it.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

In the dead of winter, there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup.  With this Stuffed Cabbage Soup, you get all the flavors of a delicious, labor-intensive meal, without all the hard work!

I based this soup on a dish your Polish grandmother might make—called galumpkis—meat, rice and vegetables rolled up in soft cabbage leaves and baked in a savory tomato sauce.  Don’t have a Polish grandmother?  Never fear!  This soup comes together in half an hour and is very forgiving.  No green onions?  Garnish with dill!  Don’t eat rice?  Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt!  You can use ground beef, pork, or even turkey here.  Or do what I did and use leftover meatloaf or hamburgers.  See?  Easy!

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  •  2 cups water
  • 1 pound cooked ground beef (I used last night’s leftover meatloaf and broke it into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seeds (or use ground fennel or anise)
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • rice, to serve

Directions:

  1. In a very large pot, sauté the minced garlic in the oil for one minute.  Add the sliced cabbage and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and the water.  Crumble the meat into the soup and add the carrots.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes, paprika, and ground fennel.  Turn the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. To serve:  Ladle soup into a big bowl.  Add a scoop of rice and sprinkle with minced green onions.  Eat hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

 

 

Southern Cassoulet

Southern Cassoulet

I know, it’s a weird title – French and Southern food together?  But this dish makes sense once you eat it.  Black-eyed peas are a good luck food for the New Year in the South, so why not dress it up a little with this interpretation of a French classic?  I present to you:  Southern Cassoulet!

Authentic cassoulet can take several days to prepare, and involves making a duck confit.  Too expensive and time consuming for me!  Chicken thighs sub in nicely.  Cook the black-eyed peas during the day (or use canned).  To make this even quicker, use two cans of white Northern beans.  I used just plain smoked sausage, but try out a pound of whatever kind of sausage you like.  Did you get a big Le Creuset pot for Christmas?  Now’s your chance to put your new enameled Dutch oven to the test!

Southern Cassoulet

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (or use two cans of other beans)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3  stalks celery, chopped (use the leaves too)
  • 20 whole cloves of garlic (optional, but I thought they were delicious)
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary, minced (or use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 4-6 large chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the beans in plenty of water until tender.  This can take two hours or so.  If you are using canned beans, skip ahead.
  2. In a very large enameled Dutch oven, cook the sausage.  Add the carrot, celery, garlic cloves, and rosemary.  Add a little olive oil if things start to stick.  Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Take the pot off the heat.  Drain the beans and add them to the sausage and vegetables, and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  On top of the bean mixture, place the chicken thighs, skin-side up.  Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Bake at 400*F for at least an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through with crispy skin.
  5. Good luck and have a Happy New Year!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Polish Sandwich

Polish Sandwich

Ladies, I’m not proud of this entry.  I mean, I AM proud of it, because this sandwich is seriously delicious!  It’s my attempt at copycatting a recipe from a hot dog chain in Southern California called Der Wienerschnitzel.  It comes pretty close to the original Polish Sandwich, with melted Swiss cheese, snappy sauerkraut, and tart pickles.  I haven’t been to Wienerschnitzel in years, yet I still found myself craving one of these babies.  (Sometimes you just gotta scratch that itch.)

But seriously, I am going to eat better next year.  No—really!  Bread will become a special treat, sugar will become verboten, and my veggie uptake will increase!  So as we finish out this year, I decided to give in to the desire for a Polish Sandwich, as a farewell to some not-so-healthy habits.  These sandwiches easy to make, and so satisfying.  You can use hot dogs or any kind of Polish-type sausage you like.  Try yellow or spicy brown mustard.  Find some good rye bread and make this sandwich.  You’ll take one bite and say Danke!

Polish Sausage

For each sandwich you will need:

  • a 5-inch piece of Polish sausage, or hot dogs, cut in half lengthwise
  • pat of butter
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Sauerkraut, warmed up
  • 1 large dill pickle, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • yellow or brown mustard

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage or hot dogs until done and hot all the way through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the pat of butter.  Put both slices of rye bread down in the butter.  Top one slice of bread with the Swiss cheese.  Cook over low until the cheese melts and the bottoms of the bread are lightly toasted.
  3. To assemble:  Place the plain (non-cheese) slice of bread on the bottom and squirt with mustard.  Top with two halves of the sausage (or three halves of the hot dogs, cut side down.  In between the sausage, place as many of the quartered pickles as you like.  Cover the sausage and pickles with hot sauerkraut.  Top with cheese-y slice of rye bread.  Cut in half and eat hot.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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