Recipe: Vegetarian Dumplings

Hope everyone in the Northeast US stayed safe from the bomb cyclone this past week! Those of us in NYC experienced heavy winds and snow, and temperatures that felt like it was below 0 degrees Fahrenheit 😦 These record cold temperatures and extreme weather events we’ve been seeing over the course of 2017 are likely due to climate change and humans’ neglect for the role we play on our planet. But I’ll save that spiel for another time…

Vegetarian Dumplings

Since my family and I were stuck indoors, we decided to make some homemade veggie dumplings! When I was in grad school living away from home, I had already moved towards a less meat-centric diet, but when I lived in Mexico and Cambodia, I found it very difficult to regulate my diet when I was living with a host family and also living on a budget. Now that I’m finally (mostly) permanently back home in NY, I’m introducing more vegetarian-friendly meals in the household and sharing some of the benefits of eating less meat i.e. so we can eat healthier and make a lesser environmental footprint as a family.

Ingredients (quantity of each is up to your preference–we had an equal proportion of carrot, tofu, lettuce, and mushroom):

  • carrots
  • extra firm tofu
  • lettuce
  • Chinese mushroom
  • dumpling skin
  • 1-3 eggs (as a binding agent for your dumpling filling)
  • corn starch


  1. Soak the Chinese mushroom in water. As the mushroom is soaking, scrub the carrots realllly well.
  2. Shred the carrots and lettuce using a grater.
  3. Dice up the tofu and mushroom into small pieces, approximately the same sizes as the grated carrots and lettuce.
  4. Mix the carrots, tofu, lettuce, mushroom, and eggs together to make your dumpling filling 🙂
  5. Lay out some plates and dust them with corn starch.
  6. Pour some water and corn starch together (they act as the sealing agent for your dumpling skin).
  7. Lay the dumpling skin open in your hand and put a small dollop of filling in the center, dip your finger into the corn starch water and trace the edges of the skin, and seal the dumpling.
    **Tip: You can seal it by making folds by hand and overlapping each fold, or you can cheat and take the easy way out by folding the skin precisely in half and using a fork to press the edges firmly until it’s completely sealed!
  8. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all of your filling or skin. You can save the filling to make some stir-fry dish with noodles or soup! Depending on how many dumplings you’d like to cook, you can put the rest in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
  9. Boil a small pot of vegetable stock and throw in your dumplings and keep an eye on the pot, stirring occasionally so the dumplings don’t stick together. When you see the skin start to become transparent, you’ll know they’re ready! Since they are fresh, unfrozen dumplings, they should take approximately 3-5 minutes to cook.

You can now enjoy your healthy, homemade veggie dumplings in vegetable broth on a cold winter day 🙂



Recipe: Dry-cooked Noodle Soup

Despite the consistent 90+ degree weather in Agua Caliente, I was never able to give up my love for soup! My host sister prepared this really simple noodle soup and it only took 3 ingredients: onion, tomato, and pasta noodles!


I WISH my pasta looked this good!


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 tomatoes, depending how tomatoey you want your soup to be
  • pasta noodles
  • 1 touch of cooking oil
  • salt

Making this soup is so easy that I think it’ll be my go-to whenever I’m craving a quick and easy noodle soup made with readily available ingredients while I’m here.


  1. Dice your onion and tomatoes into small little cubes.
  2. Heat up your pot and add a bit of oil.
  3. Throw your pasta noodles into the pot and let it turn golden brown while you stir it so it’s evenly tanned.
  4. Add the onions, tomato, salt into the pot and stir together with about 1-2 cups of water, depending how much soup you want when you’re done.
  5. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat, stirring every 5 minutes.


Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Ever since getting back from Mexico, I’ve been wanting to eat less meat and go back to my old routine I set for myself at school eating as little meat as possible. This past weekend, I was craving some mixed greens with quinoa, topped with a honey mustard dressing that my bf had learned to make. It tastes pretty good and can be pretty filling with the quinoa, if you’re afraid you don’t have enough protein in your meal.

quinoa salad

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • a box of mixed greens
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 bell peppers
  • a box of cherry tomatoes
  • a box of white mushrooms
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 tbsp honey **use agave syrup for a vegan alternative**
  • 4 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, mixed greens, and bell peppers and drain.
  2. Use one cup of quinoa and two cups of water and bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the honey, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste to make your dressing.
  4. Slice up your bell peppers and mushrooms and set them aside.
  5. Dice the avocado into small pieces (cut one for two servings).
  6. Put a bed of mixed greens and top it with the peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, and quinoa (decide how much you want since it’s a LOT).
  7. Drizzle the dressing and you’re good to go; a perfectly healthy and vegan meal ready to enjoy 🙂

Recipe: Sope (Savory Mexican “Pancakes”)

I promised to introduce more Mexican recipes, so here’s another one! Here is a recipe to make sope, which I can best define it as a small savory Mexican pancake made with masa (dough). You can put toppings on each sope, and from my understanding, these are always savory! I visited one of my participants who demonstrated how to make sope and incorporated Moringa in the dish! It was deeeelish 🙂

Sopes with Chicken and Moringa (con Pollo y Moringa)

Ingredients // Ingredientes :

  • to make chicken broth infused with Moringa // caldo de pollo con Moringa
    • a handful of Moringa leaves // hojas de Moringa
    • 2-3 chicken breasts // pechuga de pollo
    • 2 tbsp dried oregano
    • 1 onion // cebolla
    • salt // sal
  • to make masa
    • blended poblano peppers (optional) // chile poblano liquado
    • chicken broth // caldo de pollo
    • flour // masa de harina
  • to season the chicken
    • black pepper // pimiento negro
    • 3 cloves of garlic // ajo
    • a pinch of saffron // azafrán
    • cumin // comino

Steps // Proceso :

  1. Boil water and add the chicken breast, Moringa leaves and let it cook until the chicken is fully cooked. // Hierve agua y pone pechuga y hojas de Moringa.
  2. Add oregano, onion, and salt to taste. // Pone oregano, cebolla, y la sal hasta que le gusta el sabor.

    Caldo de pollo con Moringa
  3. Take out the chicken breast and shred them. //Saca el pollo y hace trizas.
  4. To make the dough, add the flour and the chicken broth and knead until it’s like dough. // Para hacer masa, añade harina y caldo y mezcla.
  5. Heat a pan and add enough oil to submerge the dough in order to fry it. // Calenta una sartén y pone aceite para sumergir la masa para freír.
  6. Roll the dough into small balls, flatten them and place them into the pan. // Hace bolitas con la masa, aplana las bolitas, y pone en la sartén.

    Sopes con Moringa!
  7. Use a blender and blend chicken broth, black pepper, garlic, saffron, and cumin to make a sauce for the chicken. // Mezcla pimiento negro, ajo, azafrán, comino,y el caldo para hacer salsa.
  8. Heat another pan and add the chicken and the sauce. // Calenta una otra sartén y pone pollo y la salsa.

    Adding the sauce onto the chicken breast
  9. When the sopes are golden brown, take them out and let them drain of extra oil. // Cuando los sopes estan dorados, sacan y secan.
  10. Put the chicken on top of the sope and enjoy! // Pone pollo encima de los sopes.¡Buen provecho!

Recipe: Vegetarian Ceviche

Hey everyone 🙂 I learned another recipe from my host family this past week: ceviche de coliflor, otherwise known as vegetarian ceviche. This recipe replaces seafood with cauliflower florets shredded into fine pieces and is great as a meal when the weather is suuuper hot! My host family likes to prepare this because it’s really quick to prepare and because my host brothers are even willing to eat this despite the lack of carne (meat) in the dish haha.

Making ceviche de coliflor3


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • (optional) 2 cucumbers
  • 1-2 limes


  1. Chop off the leaves from the cauliflower head and break it apart into smaller than fist-sized florets.
  2. Soak them in salt water to disinfect for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Shave the skin off of the carrots and use a grater to get fine carrot strips.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for cucumbers if you have them.Making ceviche de coliflor2.JPG
  5. Peel the outer layer of the onion and dice into fine pieces.
  6. Dice the tomatoes into fine pieces.
  7. After the cauliflower has been soaked thoroughly, drain the water and grate the florets. You can also grate the stalks or save them for cooking something else (avoid food waste)!
  8. Mix all of the vegetables together and squeeze the lime juice into the mix and add pinches of salt to taste.

Ceviche de coliflor


Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The farmers’ market is BACK and I’m so excited! This past weekend, I did a mini-haul and stocked up on produce for the week, including sweet potatoes. I’m normally not a fan of sweet foods as part of a meal (unless it’s breakfast or dessert) but I decided to be adventurous and try it out…not to mention sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, potassium, and dietary fiber!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Since I usually don’t eat baked potatoes, I figured I probably wouldn’t eat baked sweet potatoes either. I decided to make sweet potato fries since it would last for a few days and they would be more “fun” to eat haha.


  • 3-4 sweet potatoes
  • diced garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Scrub and rinse your sweet potatoes.
  3. Slice them into french fry slices, or in wedges if you prefer!
  4. Line a baking tray with oil and spread your fries evenly across the pan.IMG_7405.JPG
  5. Sprinkle any seasonings you want to add extra flavor–less is more in this case!
  6. Pop them into the oven for 30 minutes and you’re done!

Now you have a healthy alternative to greasy french fries with this recipe! Enjoy 🙂

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Recipe: 4-Ingredient Lentil Stew

Happy spring, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted a recipe… my apologies! I haven’t experimented with any new recipes lately so there wasn’t much to update you on, but here’s another quick and simple soupy recipe (can you tell I LOVE soup and stews yet?)

This tomato-based lentil stew is surprisingly filling and tastes pretty good, and I love how you can customize the flavor to your liking.

Photo Credit: New York Times


  • 1.5-2 cups of lentils (this will give you about 4 meals worth, depending how large your portions are!)
  • 1/2 can (or 12oz) of pasta sauce **I would definitely recommend you use fresh tomatoes and mash it up so it’s a richer flavor, but pasta sauce works just as well**
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5-6 white mushrooms


  1. Sift through your dried lentils to make sure there are no rocks!
  2. Rinse your lentils, and then soak them overnight.
  3. The following day, pour your lentils and about 1 cup of water into a pot and wait for it to boil.
  4. Rinse and dice your onion and mushrooms into fine pieces.
  5. After the water has boiled, add your onion, mushrooms, and pasta sauce into the pot and lower the fire.
  6. For seasonings, I used paprika, oregano, garlic salt, seasoning salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes. You can customize to taste so you get enough salt or spice in your stew.
  7. Let it simmer for about half an hour, and it’ll be ready to eat!