Wine Pairings with Asian Cuisines

Many people criticize the difficulty of pairing wines with Asian cuisines compared to pairings with their European and American counterparts. Alcohol has been a mainstay in Asian countries. Yes. However, the difference is that traditional wines evolved alongside European cuisines. There is a harmonic balance between wine and food in European cooking, and a complementary wine is always taken into consideration when designing a dish. In many cases, the wines and dishes come from the same regions and pair naturally. It’s not impossible to pair wines with Asian cuisines though. The general consensus is that lighter whites and sparkling wines are complementary to the strong spices and textures of Asian cuisine, while “power” wines like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon that are low in acid tend to clash.http://www.asianpalate.com/sites/asianpalate.com/files/imagecache/slideshow_image/ClubRougeJuly2012slider.jpg

Here is a breakdown of a few Asian cuisines and their respective wine pairings:

Chinese – Chinese cuisine cannot be compartmentalized into a specific characteristic because each region has its own unique style, but Rieslings, with their high acidy and medium body, tend to balance well with most Chinese food. They retain their identity amongst the range of flavors and leave a rather refreshing feel.

Japanese – In terms of sushi, champagne is the easy choice because it goes well with wasabi and also cleanses the palate, an important feature when enjoying the different types of fish. Because high-quality fish has natural sweetness, overly sweet wines should be avoided. Reds are not popular for the same reason, the taste overpowers the milder tasting fish.

Korean – Korean food is a great cuisine to enjoy with reds, especially red meats like bulgogi and golbi. Korean food is often garlic and spice heavy, so a wine like Australian Shiraz with its peppery flavor complements the food well.

How Healthy Eating Can Help Cancer Patients

Dealing with cancer can be one of the most difficult things you do in your life.  If you were recently diagnosed with cancer or are dealing with mesothelioma treatment side effects, it is important that you look at any and all options available to you to better your health.  Obviously, you will want to seek traditional treatment advised by your doctor.  However, incorporating good food and healthy nutrition into your life can also help in the healing process.  A healthy diet is not a cure for cancer, but it can greatly improve the way you feel and are affected by treatment.

One thing to remember about a healthy diet is that it does not have to be boring.  Incorporating more delicious fruits and vegetables into your day will provide much-needed vitamins that your body craves.  These vitamins will help cell repair during the healing process so that you can feel more energetic.  For individuals who are undergoing traditional cancer treatment, having more energy from the good foods that you eat will help you to push through the treatments that you face on a regular basis.  There is nothing more beneficial than a healthy diet.

Switching to eating healthy and clean foods is a good choice for just about anyone, but it is even more beneficial to those who are dealing with cancer.  The vitamins and minerals that healthy foods contain will help to improve your body’s ability to heal while increasing energy levels.  This simply means that you will have more energy and less pain after you go for your traditional treatments.  It is important that you make gradual changes to your diet so that your body can adjust to the new foods that you will be eating each and every day at home.

You should also speak with your primary care physician before making any major changes to your diet.  With cancer, every choice you make concerning your body needs to be a healthy one.  You should talk to your doctor about incorporating more healthy foods into your life and how much of this food you should be eating.  Your doctor will more than likely keep you at a strict calorie count throughout the day so that you do not have to deal with extreme weight loss.

Being able to live happily while still dealing with cancer is possible.  You should incorporate a healthy diet into your daily routine so that you can reap the benefits that this food has to offer.  You will experience an increase in energy as well as a greater sense of wellbeing.  You will love being able to feel alive and vibrant each day despite having to go for traditional cancer treatments.  Be sure to speak with your doctor before making any major decisions or changes to your diet.

Article By: Jillian McKee 

Refreshing Summer Soups: Avocado Soup

Friday Soup:

There is no fancy history to the origins of avocado soup, but what many people do not know is that avocado is quite healthy for you despite its buttery texture and delicious taste. It is known that avocado helps protect against prostate and breast cancer. Avocado is also rich in many vitamins and minerals, helping to regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Avocado is a fruit, and considered one of the healthiest. Excessive amounts of avocado are not going to cure all your health problems, but a healthy amount in your diet can have great results.

Here is one of our favorite recipes for avocado soup (4 servings):

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tomato – peeled, seeded and diced

Instructions:

  • Puree avocado in a blender or food processor until smooth. Sautee chopped shallots in olive oil until tender but not brown; set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together avocado with chicken stock, heavy cream and shallots until smooth. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg; adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Chill for at least half an hour before serving. Garnish with diced tomato.

Avocado Soup

Refreshing Summer Soups: Vichyssoise

Thursday Soup:

The true origin of vichyssoise [\ˌvi-shē-ˈswäz, ˌvē-\] soup is disputed. A more flavored version of the story is that King Louis XV of France enjoyed potato soup for dinner frequently. His paranoia led him to order a number of his servants to taste his food before he ate it. By the time the potato soup finally reached King Louis, the soup had already gotten cold. He liked it that way, and that’s how the French came to eat cold potato soup.

Julia Child calls vichyssoise an American invention. Why? Because Louis Diat, chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York is credited with creating the cold potato leek soup in 1917. Presumably, anything that is invented in America is considered an “American invention” no matter the race or ethnicity of the creator. Louis Diat told the New Yorker magazine in 1950:

In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.

Regardless of who invented it, vichyssoise is a delicious soup. A classic and refreshing soup. Here is a recipe from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced leeks, whites only
  • 4 cups diced potatoes old or baking potatoes recommended
  • 6 to 7 cups cold water
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup or more sour cream, heavy cream, or crème fraîche, optional
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or parsley

Instructions

  • Bring the leeks, potatoes and water to boil in the saucepan. Salt lightly, cover partially, and simmer 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup if you wish. Taste, and correct seasoning. After chilling the soup, you may wish to stir in a little more cream. Taste carefully again, and correct the seasoning. Top each serving with a sprinkle of chives or parsley.

Vichyssoise Soup

Refreshing Summer Soups

When it’s hot outside there are so many things you can do to cool off. Beach, sprinklers, cold drinks, ice cream, popsicles, fruit. The list goes on. As we know, bubble tea is also on that list. Most of these foods that come to mind are sweet and cold. What if you don’t have that sweet tooth or you are trying to stay away from high sugar foods?

Cold summer soups. Here is something that is both filling and nutritious. It is perfect for the summer because most recipes require little to no cooking. Who really wants to stand next to the stove on a hot day?

The three types we’ll cover this week are gazpacho, vichyssoise, and avocado soup. There are many others like squash, asparagus, cantaloupe, and cucumber soups which need little more than ingredients and a blender.

Wednesday Soup:

Gazpacho is a classic cold soup that that can be made smooth or chunky. It originated in Spain and Latin America. Tomatoes are the staple of almost every gazpacho recipe, but there are plenty of ways to cater it to your own tastes. Gazpacho is generally jam packed with antioxidants because of the use of raw fresh vegetables and tomatoes (a fruit!). Because the soup is not cooked, the vitamins and minerals are retained.

Here is a classic gazpacho recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper (available in jars)
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Instructions

  • Cut 1 tomato, 1/2 cucumber and 1/2 onion into 1-inch pieces and transfer to processor. Add bell pepper and puree. Transfer to bowl. Add tomato juice, cilantro, vinegar, oil and hot pepper sauce. Seed remaining tomato. Dice remaining tomato and cucumber and onion halves and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Serve well chilled.

Gazpacho Soup

Bubble Tea

Trying to find new ways to cool off during the hot humid days of the year? Sick of drinking iced coffee every time you need that cold drink fix? Get your hands on the some bubble tea, a drink that has become wildly popular throughout the world.

If you’ve never heard of bubble tea perhaps you may know it as boba tea, pearl tea, or tapioca milk tea. Don’t let these unusual names turn you off from the delicious, yet simple combination of tea, sugar, milk, and tapioca pearls. The black tapioca pearls are marble sized and have a chewy consistency, but don’t forget to pick up one of the colorful fat straws otherwise you’ll never get them out of the cup!

There are tons of tea shops specializing in bubble tea around the country, and many more opening up because people who try it are instantly hooked. Nowadays, most tea shops have a variety of flavors (popular ones include taro, honey, passion fruit, lychee, and coffee), and offerings like slushes and smoothies. If it is your first time at a bubble tea shop or stand, you might be intimidated by the numerous options on the menu, but the safest bet is to get the original: a sweet, refreshing, and somewhat filling bubble milk tea!

No bubble tea shops near you? Local specialty or Asian markets are sure to have tapioca pearls, so you can make it at home. Just add it to your favorite chilled tea, add some sugar and milk, and voila, instant bubble tea.

Help, I can’t eat out, it cost too much!!

Think eating out is too expensive, and too costly? Well, guess again. What was once accepted as true is now becoming a myth.  Eating out can actually be almost around the same price as cooking at home, and the best part is there are no dishes to clean.

We made a bet and sent one person home with a mission to only cook all 3 meals a day for a week, and another to eat out all 3 meals a day for week while using BiteHunter. What we found out was quite amazing.

The total bill for the person cooking at home came out to $95.06, and the total bill for the person eating out came to $120.13, making a price difference of about 25% more to eat out than to stay home and cook.  This may seem like a lot, but we were actually surprised as most of us thought eating out would be at least double, if not triple the cost of cooking at home. We also learned that the person who ate at home was so tired of eating the same thing everyday (he bought his groceries in bulk and cooked in bulk which cut costs, but sacrificed variety in his diet) and was tired from the time spent cooking and cleaning.

Based on our little study, we are quite convinced eating out a couple of times a week will not put a major dent in your wallet, and might actually help to reduce your stress (no cleaning and cooking means more time for leisure, friends, and family).

We would love to hear you stories about saving money on your dining adventures. Send us an email or post us a comment on our blog and let us know how much you’re saving!!