Homemade Fried Rice

I know I’ve posted before about a healthier alternative to fried rice…but I thought I’d share this recipe with you all that’s been passed down from my childhood days when my mom used to cook it! It’s nothing like the takeout fried rice, and it can be pretty healthy if you’re mindful of the ingredients you use. I decided to keep it simple with just white rice and mixed vegetables, but you can definitely customize and add meat if you wish! My mom’s version of fried rice always included diced pieces of chicken teriyaki ūüôā

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Ingredients (makes about 3-4 servings):

  • 2 cups of white rice (or brown rice, or any other rice you have on hand)
  • 1.5 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
  • soy sauce (I used light soy sauce)

Steps:

  1. Use a rice cooker and cook your desired amount of rice, about one phalanx (which basically means if you put one finger into the rice, add enough water to reach the first joint), add water to the outside of the rice container, and wait for your rice¬†to be fully steamed.¬†**If you don’t have a rice cooker, don’t fret! You can put rice into a non-stick pot, do the same thing with the finger measurement for water + extra, and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your preference for texture**
  2. Heat up a frying pan and add some cooking oil. Throw in the vegetables to have them defrost, and add the rice in and stir it all together.
  3. For flavor, add some soy sauce to taste! If you aren’t a fan of soy sauce or are allergic, you can use chicken boullion powder or salt and pepper to taste.

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3-Ingredient Quinoa

Need a quick meal-prep idea?¬†This recipe is very simple and can be easily customized with whatever vegetables you’d like to add. Think of this as a healthier alternative to fried rice, except with quinoa and other diced vegetables! I used meat in this recipe, but you can easily leave it out and include other greens!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • ground meat (optional)
  • soy sauce
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • any other vegetables you’d like to use

Steps:

  1. Take about a fist-sized amount of ground meat and add seasonings or soy sauce as you see fit! Make sure you mix the meat thoroughly with the soy sauce/seasonings, and cover it and put it in the fridge for approximately 10-15 minutes. **I normally add just enough to color the meat or cover the bottom of the bowl**
  2. Pour 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a boil. When it’s started boiling, lower the fire and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until you see the little quinoa “tails” show and shut off the fire.
  3. I only had 1 bell pepper left in my refrigerator, so I rinsed it, and chopped it up into diced pieces, and added it into the quinoa.
  4. Heat up a pan and cook the meat until it’s thoroughly done.
  5. Add the meat into the quinoa and bell pepper pot and mix it allllll together and you’re done!

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Simple Veggie Soup

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s been a surprisingly warm winter thus far, but that never stops me from craving soup ūüôā As you probably can tell by now, I’m a huge fan of soup because my mom always made¬†soup for my family at least once a week.¬†This one is a pretty simple recipe that is versatile depending on what you have on hand. Enjoy!

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Ingredients (makes approximately 3 servings):

  • chicken boullion powder
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 mushrooms (I used Chinese mushrooms but you can use baby portobello mushrooms or white mushrooms, or any mushrooms really!)
  • napa cabbage (or another veggie that you have on hand)
  • miso paste (optional)

Steps:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in about 1 tbsp of chicken boullion (or to taste).
  2. While your water is heating up, chop up your onions (you can julienne them or dice them).
  3. Soak the mushrooms and then cut them up into slices.
  4. Throw both the onions and mushrooms into the heated water and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse your vegetable and chop them up into bite-sized pieces and add them into the pot last and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. For me, I like to add miso paste (it’s super healthy and tasty, too!) to my soup, so I turn off the fire (the recommendations say not to boil miso paste, but to add it into soup when you’re done cooking it), and add a spoonful and mix it in until it dissolves.

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The PERFECT String Beans!

Being away from home makes me long for my mom’s wonderful cooking, especially her delicious saut√©ed string beans. They are soft, but crunchy, and have just a tad bit of charred flavor that elevates her entire dish; and when she adds ground meat, it tastes even better!

While I can’t measure up to her level of cooking expertise, I make do with the resources I have here in Baltimore. I brought some string beans back from NYC so I could have plenty of greens in my diet, and wanted to share the way I cooked it this past weekend because surprisingly, it came out super flavorful even though I only had four ingredients added to the string beans :O (Amazing, I know)

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Ingredients:

  • string beans
  • chicken boullion powder
  • sugar
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic

Steps:

  1. Unless you like fibrous string beans, I would recommend you peel off the ends of the string beans to get rid of that tough, stringy seam that seals the pod. Break off any imperfections from each bean and toss (or compost, if you can!)
  2. Dice your garlic and your onion into fine pieces.
  3. Start your fire on medium heat and when your pan is hot enough, add some oil.
  4. Add the peeled string beans, and about a teaspoon of chicken boullion powder (remember, you can always add more to taste, but you can’t take out the excess if you add too much!)
  5. Stir in the onion and garlic and cover the pan for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add a pinch or two of sugar (my mom’s trick: it keeps your greens looking vibrant and green) and stir it all in.
  7. With the lid half-covering the pan, let the string beans cook for another 2 minutes (or longer, if you prefer them soft).

This recipe is deceptively simple, but I was amazed at how pure the flavor was. It wasn’t too savory, and it had just the right amount of crunch (FYI: the longer you cook your veggies, the more nutrients you cook away!). Hope you enjoy ūüôā

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5 Quick Tips to Declutter Your Home

 

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I was¬†kept pretty busy back at home cleaning up my house since my family is moving, and I wanted to share five quick tips for decluttering your abode. ūüôā

  1. Work on one room or space at a time. You’ll get overwhelmed if you try to tackle the entire floor of your home at once, especially if you have¬†years of clutter that has built up over the years.
  2. Have a ton of large plastic bags ready. Focus on three types of garbage bags: one for regular trash, one for recycling (separate the plastic/glass/metal from the paper), and one for donations.
  3. When you go through your items, organize them based on a common theme!¬†I came home for winter break to help my family move, and I had over 20 years of clutter to sort through (imagine my shock of the endless amount of items I was looking at). We had items such as stuffed animals, arts and crafts, kids’ toys, etc. I organized them into categories such as these, and for the items that were good enough to be donated, I set them aside.
  4. If you’re in a time crunch and need to clear your home quickly, Craigslist is going to be your best friend. Within days, and sometimes hours, I was able to donate bags of assorted items to people who [I hope!] will put them to good use for their families.
    • if you do have the time, you can definitely list items for sale on Craigslist or eBay, but since we needed to move things out FAST, listing them for free was the most efficient way to go!
  5. When you go through your clothes, look at each item and decide if it’s something that “sparks joy”, as the KonMari Method¬†describes.¬†I really like this article that describes the importance of joy when going through your closet and picking out the clothes that bring you joy. The article describes how there are different ways to bring joy, and that the initial joy in purchasing the item can wear off and it is okay to let it go.

If you haven’t seen, used, or thought about the item you happen upon while you’re decluttering your home, chances are,¬†you don’t need it! That’s the best advice I can offer you after going through three floors and one basement’s worth of stuff x_x

What are your methods of decluttering your home?

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Women’s March: Reflections

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Hey everyone! Hope everyone’s January has been going alright. ūüôā I like to keep my blog mostly positive, but I do want to share my thoughts and hear yours regarding the events that occurred this past weekend. It’s been a rough first month of 2017¬†for me personally, as the US is now officially under the rule of someone who has demonstrated over and over that he is not capable of helping move us forward as a nation, and instead is sending us backwards from all the progress we’ve made under President Obama. Sometimes I think I’m in a really bad dream, and if I will myself to wake up, we would have a different outcome, but sadly, this seems to be the reality of today… ūüė¶

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Women’s March this past weekend, but it flooded my feed on every news and social media outlet I’ve looked at. I wish I was there to feel the energy from the crowd, witness the love and acceptance of the people who were at these marches, and stand in solidarity with them and for what they are fighting for. I’m trying to stay positive and after viewing so many speeches from the Women’s March that took place across the globe, I have some hope that we have changemakers amongst ourselves that will continue to fight for equal human and civil rights for all individuals. From women and men, old and young individuals alike, it’s heartening to witness so much solidarity amongst people¬†of all ages and backgrounds come together to fight for equality and send a message that we will not accept bigotry in our country :’)

I hope that you all, no matter what country you’re in, will support this movement to prevent the US from regressing and help us by being vocal, and volunteering for civil rights organizations in your cities.

Here are some of the best signs that were seen at the Women’s Marches all over the world!¬†I love their creativity and the message they are sending that females will not be oppressed, and neither will all the other groups that have been put down and ridiculed by the elected president.

Also, I just came across this post in response to a woman on Facebook who claimed that she didn’t need the Women’s March. Pretty good read and some reflection for females who thought that the march was unnecessary… take a look if you’re interested!

Note: If you are reading this, and you do not agree with my opinions, I respect that. I respect that we may be different and share different ideologies, so if you feel the need to unfollow me, that is your choice.

New Year, New You: Featuring SHINE TEXT

As we enter the new year, we’re leaving behind negative energy and things that made us feel not so great in 2016. Many cultures consider the new year as a fresh start and a clean slate, and many people like to set New Year’s resolutions and try to stick to them for as long as possible. I for one was never really successful with setting New Year goals (heh) because it didn’t feel very organic and natural. However, behavior change experts believe that the best time to introduce new habits and behaviors is during rites of passages or holidays, and the New Year is the perfect time! Have you set some goals for yourself this year?

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I came across a Huffington Post article that featured a¬†texting app called Shine Text¬†which sends you a daily text reminder to increase happiness¬†and productivity throughout your day. It’s free of charge if you have an unlimited text messaging plan, and you can customize the themes of messages you’d like to the following options:

  • joy & presence (I’m currently trying this one out!)
  • health
  • confidence
  • productivity
  • creativity

When you want to switch it up, all you have to do is text back “REAL” and you can change which theme of messages you’d like to receive. I love that they personalize it by using my name, and I love ¬†how the text is sent in the morning¬†to set a positive¬†tone for the rest of my day ūüôā

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My first text from Shine Text: I renamed their number to “Shine Text” (with a sun!) so I always know to look forward to their messages ūüôā

We¬†could all use a confidence boost every once in a while, and a CNN article¬†featured Shine Text, saying that this text messaging service “addresses negative thought patterns” especially when our minds are idle. It may not be accurate for all females, but it also mentions that many women struggle with confidence, and that this can be an effective means to tackle this issue and help women achieve their goals and be more self-assured of their abilities and what they want to do in their workplaces and in their lives.

If you know of anyone who could use a little bit of positivity in the morning, or if you’d like to test it out, GO FOR IT! I’m really looking forward to evaluating how I view my days ahead the more I use Shine Text.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year, and best wishes for sticking to any resolutions and goals you may have set for yourselves!