Recipe: My Trainer Alex’s pH Balancing Anti-Inflammatory Tonic

My awesome trainer, Alex, shared his pH balancing/anti-flammatory tonic recipe with me. Although he didn’t spell out the exact proportions, I decided to take the plunge, make it my own, and see what happens.

This tonic came at the perfect time. I was not only fighting an allergy/cold, but recovering from spraining my foot. (I was wrestling with the vacuum hose while cleaning the stairs, and the hose won.) As much as I was tempted to nurse my wounds and ill-health with a fruity martini, I opted to try Alex’s pH balancing tonic instead. Wow.

I think it helped me recover from my injury and illness sooner than expected. I also felt less congested after drinking the tonic. It helped break up the gunk in my respiratory system.  Continue reading


Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Healthier Tex-Mex Corned Beef Hash (Dairy-Free)

One of my food challenges that my trainer has for me is to come up with new breakfast ideas that incorporate protein and veggies, is low in sugar, and has no grain involved. It’s tough because most of my breakfast go-to’s involve grain or fruit. Though most people would consider my choices healthy, they haven’t been helping in my efforts to get back down to my ideal weight, which is about 15 pounds away.

MamaSoph_CBeefHashRawI love corned beef. It was a grown-up discovery and not something I grew up on, but it was an instant love. My daughter loves corned beef, too, which is strange because she doesn’t like boiled beef.

In any case, I had made some corned beef in my slow-cooker recently and had some leftovers, along with fingerling potatoes. I thought why not add some vegetables and make it into a Tex-Mex corned beef hash skillet with a fried egg on top. To make it Tex-Mex, I served it with medium-spicy salsa, and it was so good, I didn’t mind the vegetables that happened to be there. ;-P

What I like most about this dish is that it keeps me full with the protein and fiber. Plus, I’m getting some veggies in without too much effort.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Healthier Tex-Mex Corned Beef Hash (Dairy-Free, Grain-Free)
Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts (for the Reluctant Veggie Eater)

MamaSoph_RoastedBrussSproutsConfession time: I never had a Brussels sprout in my life until last year. First, my mom never made it while I was growing up. Second, I never had the compulsion to try it because I associated it with a chorus of kids complaining, “Brussels sprouts—ewwww!” (Note: these are the same brats who think tuna salad is disgusting, and I adore tuna salad. Lesson: one should pay no attention them.)

A day came to pass as I walked through the produce section and wondered, “Could I make Brussels sprouts and have my family enjoy them?” And most importantly, “Could it be easy to make?” Miracles of miracles, I found the answer to be “yes.” Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lasagna

The Princess is not a fan of meat sauce for spaghetti, but when it’s in lasagna, that’s another story. She can literally finish half a pan in one sitting. Lately she’s been in a lasagna feeding binge, requesting it for dinner each week. I’d like to believe it’s due to my culinary prowess, but she could also be undergoing a growth spurt.

One of the challenges in being a dairy-free household is finding substitutions for ingredients that are not readily accessible. I keep telling myself to stock up when I see a sale on our favorite dairy-free staples or happen to find a hard-to-find ingredient, but sometimes I forget my good intentions. This has been the case for Tofutti’s Ricotta.

Yesterday, when the Princess requested lasagna for dinner, I ended up having to wing it because my go-to store didn’t have any Tofutti’s Ricotta in stock. I used firm tofu that I had on hand, nutritional yeast, and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.

Fortunately, it turned out fine. Evidence—Princess was inches from licking her plate.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lasagna

Continue reading

Recipe: Grandma Lee’s Hobak Jook (Kabocha Squash Porridge with Mochi)

Grandma Lee's Kabocha Squash Soup

Grandma Lee’s Kabocha Squash Soup

Jook, otherwise known as Korean porridge or congee, is a major staple in Korean cuisine. It is often served for breakfast or when someone is sick and needs something comforting and easy to digest. Because of the labor involved in its preparation—between the chopping, stirring, and constant attention to make sure things don’t burn—one can consider it a food of love.

Hobak jook, or kabocha squash porridge, is an example of Korean food with medicinal properties. It helps people who are dealing with fluid-retention, and it is also good for weight control. 

I like hobak jook for its slightly sweet and tummy-comforting taste. It’s sweeter than butternut squash but not quite as sweet as a sweet potato or yam. Some people like it with black beans, but I prefer it with mochi (rice dumplings). Weight watchers might opt for the black beans instead of the mochi, or omit both altogether and just enjoy it as a comforting fall/winter soup.

This recipe is very quick and easy to prepare. Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Koreanized Pork Tacos

SRoe_PorkTacosYum_lrLast night, not unlike most typical weeknights, I was stumped on what to make for dinner. I had some pork tenderloin in the fridge that I was originally planning to make into tonkatsu (panko-breaded pork steak), but I held off knowing that the Princess wasn’t too keen on it. Then it occurred to me—why not a simple pork stir-fry for her and pork tacos for HB and me?

Thankfully, the Princess loved the pork stir-fried with onions only, which I served with rice and her favorite green beans sprinkled with sesame seeds. She even asked for extra rice, which is unusual for her.

HB and I enjoyed the pork tacos—so much so that there were no leftovers. We had fun mixing and matching the different sauces.

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Koreanized Pork Tacos
Continue reading

Recipe: Mama Sophia’s Lemon Blueberry Loaf (Dairy-Free)

Mama Sophia's Dairy-Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Mama Sophia’s Dairy-free Lemon Blueberry Loaf

I never knew this until recently, but HB really likes sweet loafs. I myself have always been more partial to the easy-to-serve, smaller-portioned muffins/cupcakes, or the unique-shaped bundts. Don’t get me started on bread pudding…mama mia!

HB found a recipe that he wanted me to try out, Sweet Pea’s Kitchen’s Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf. The result—a rich, moist, tart and sweet treat reminiscent of bread pudding.

I’ve modified the recipe slightly: replaced the dairy products with dairy-free products, reduced the amount of sugar used, and opted not to use the lemon glaze because the loaf seemed sweet enough with the lemon syrup by itself.

Mama Sophia’s Dairy-Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf Recipe

Continue reading