Cobb salad – Salad Mĩ

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This week has been crazy for me as my stomach has felt upset every evening. Maybe I ate too much of beef that over supply the demand of meat of my body. Thus, I think of some salad that helps me balance the crazy stomach.

Cobb salad is an American salad that usually consists of Romaine lettuce, bacon, hard boiled egg, avocado, tomato, roasted chicken breast, blue cheese and red wine dressing. This salad takes you only 15 minutes to prepare, including boiling the egg and frying the bacon. In my version, I skip the bacon because I have eaten too much meat for this week and the dressing here is not 100 percent handmade. I mix a store-bought sweet Dressing and red wine. This is the fastest way for someone that does not have enough ingredients like garlic, herbs but still wants to enjoy this salad. In addition, I used assorted vegetables instead of only Romaine lettuce to satisfy my need for vegetables for this week.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
– 1 avocado, pitted and diced
– 1 roman tomato, seedless and diced
– 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
– 1 big chicken breast
– blue cheese, crumbled as much as you like. I use only 1 tbsp for each person.
– vegetables for salad
– 8 tbsp of sweet dressing and 1 tbsp of red wine
– salt and pepper

Method
– Slice the chicken breast into 2 thinner pieces then season both sides of each with salt and freshly ground black pepper
– use 1 tbsp of olive oil to fry the chicken. Each side needs 4 minutes to cook. Don’t over cook chicken breast or it will be very dry
– slice the chicken breast
– divide all the ingredients, except the dressing and red wine, equally into 2 dishes. Arrange vegetables at the bottom and other ingredients on top to have a beautiful decoration
– combine red wine with dressing then drizzle into the salad 5 minutes before serving.

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Ratatouille

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I’m  sure that you know the famous cartoon mouse Remy with his unlimited passion for cooking. In case you have no idea about that movie, you should know this aromatic and elegant French dish. I love to inhale the fragrant flavor on the air from the baked vegetables each time Ratatouille runs out from the oven.

The only thing to succeed in this simple but delicious dish is that you should prepare a sharp knife to make sure you have the homogeneously sized sliced vegetables. Well prepared veggie would help the baking more evenly, and of course, yield a better eye catch to someone who thinks meat is the only one that can give us a good dish.

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Ingredients: (fit 9 inch round shallow pan)

– 1/2 smallish eggplant

– 2/3 smallish yellow squash

– 2 Roma tomatoes

– 1/2 zucchini

– 1 cup tomato puree

– 1/2 cup red onion, chopped

– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

– 1/4 tsp oregano

– 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt

Method

– Use a mandolin, or a superb sharp knife (as I used here) to slice the vegetables very thinly.

– Mix the tomato puree with chopped red onion and garlic. Sprinkle salt over the sauce.

– Arrange the thinly sliced vegetables on top of the tomato sauce into a way that each can overlap each other and you still can see the color from each’s edge of the veggie. Start arrange from the outside edge of the shallow round pan and continuously toward the center.

– Sprinkle 1/4  tsp salt + oregano over the well arranged vegetables.

– Cover the veggie by a parchment paper.

– Bake at 375 F for 45 – 50 minutes. The veggie should be well cooked but still keep its shape.

Serve

  You can serve itself or top a dollop of goat cheese or swiss cheese if you feel your Ratatouille is so lonesome. My hubby suggests that Ratatouille be served with swiss cheese works best.

Simple pickled vegetables – Dưa góp

Pickled vegetable tastes good only when it’s fresh and especially healthy for us if there is no alum (phèn chua) added. Actually, refined crystal of alum with a proper amount is okay with our health. However, the point comes from the customers, who usually require crunchy pickled veggie. That’s the reason why merchants use lots of alum, most of that alum used are not refined and thus, harmful to our health.

If you live in Vietnam, you can see that pickled vegetable is everywhere in every meal. Look at Nuoc cham (fish sauce) of Bun cha (Grilled meat dish in Hanoi) or of the most famous springroll, you easily find these pickled carrots and papaya. The sour and sweet flavor of pickled vegetables help the foodie balance the taste of the oily meat. IMG_5686

Ingredients

– 1 medium papaya

– 5 medium long carrots

–  1 bulf of garlic (you can decrease the garlic to 2 cloves, however the garlic would not so strong during the fermentation)

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup rice vinegar

– 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp fish sauce

– 2 tbsp salt

– Chili pepper (optional)

Method

– Use a mandoline, slice the papaya and carrots into thin slices. You can use a knife instead, but your knife has to be sharp.

– Sprinkle salt on the vegetables and sit them for 1 hour.

– After 1 hour, squeeze all the excess water from the vegetables. Put them in a clear bowl.

– Combine all the seasoning (with chopped pepper if you like) and pour the seasoning mixture in the vegetables. You finish your action here.

– Let the vegetables sit in room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. After 1 day, keep the pickled vegetables in the refrigerator. The pickled vegetables would be sour fast in a hot day.

– Papaya and carrots can retain their crispy for 10 days without using any alum.