Purple Power Salad 紫色養生沙拉

I love foods that have deep colours, and some days I just crave for a particular colour. This is a salad that I made one day when I was in the mood for something purple (yes, purple is actually one of my favourite colours!). I wanted something very nutritious and hearty, yet light in terms of taste. It'll help boost your immune system and lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer. It turns out to be a truly satisfying meal that I can have again and again without getting tired of it. Besides all the health benefits, it tastes really delicious and looks beautiful, too! It has become one of my all-time favourite salads, and this is why I want to share this special recipe with you. Perhaps it'll become one of yours as well!


Homemade Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 自製藍莓巴薩米可醋沙拉醬

The intense, sweet flavour of balsamic is probably what makes it one of my favourite vinegars. Since the flavour pairs so well with fruits, you often find different flavours of fruity balsamic vinegars/vinaigrettes in stores, but if you look at the ingredients from their labels, cane sugar is usually among the first few ingredients. To make a fruity vinegar is quite easy (see my Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette). You don't need many ingredients or thickening agents, and it tastes much more natural.  With just a touch of maple syrup, real fresh blueberries, balsamic vinegar, and a good extra virgin olive oil, you can make your own vinaigrette that tastes better than just about anything you can find in a store!


Gluten-Free Cheddar-Scallion Potato Scones 巧達起司蘇格蘭馬鈴薯煎餅

When I think of Irish food, besides the cabbage, the beef stew, the Guinness beer, I think of potatoes. For St-Patrick's Day last year, I made some potato scones for my Instagram that were adapted from a recipe at Martha Stewart. I added some parsley and extra cheddar cheese in the recipe. Since the scones were so yummy, I thought I'd make them again this year with a different twist.


Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Crunchy Granola 巧克力花生醬香蕉蛋糕

My husband and I both love banana bread, but when it comes to peanut butter, we're not quite on the same page. As a typical American, he naturally loves anything that has to do with peanut butter - from peanut butter and jelly, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, he loves them all! As for me, peanut butter wasn't something I grew up with in Taiwan. In my childhood memory, peanut butter wasn't as popular at the time and the Western food was just starting to come into the market. I don't recall that we had much peanut butter at our house. Therefore, I guess I never quite developed a palate for it, but occasionally there are some peanut butter flavoured things that I like. For example, any peanut butter cereal or cinnamon flavoured peanut butter, and this bread here is also one of those rare occasions where peanut butter becomes my good friend.


Red Bean Tang Yuan in Red Bean & Black Glutinous Rice Soup 紅豆湯圓與紫米紅豆湯

Growing up in Taiwan, I naturally ate a lot of tang yuan (glutenous rice balls or sticky rice balls). Traditionally, we eat them on both the Winter Solstice Festival (Dong Zhi) and the Lantern Festival (Yuan Xiao). There are two kinds of tang yuan: smaller balls without filling and lager ones with filling. At home, my mom would either make it herself or buy them freshly made from the farmers market. After moving to New York alone, I would buy the frozen packages in Asian markets. Of course it wasn't ideal, but it was good enough to fulfill my craving and my homesickness during the holidays, until one day, I saw my roommate making some homemade tang yuan, and it made me very curious. She was always a good homemaker and she loved making everything herself. I, on the other hand, wasn't such a good cook at the time, and thought that it would be good to learn how to make them from her.

Sugar-Free Sweet Red Bean Paste 無糖紅豆餡

Red beans (the name is directly translated from the Chinese name - Hong Do 紅豆) are also called adzuki beans. In Asia, we use a lot of red beans in desserts, and traditionally, red bean paste is made with red beans, water, and sugar. Red beans are a very good source of protein, fiber, and potassium, and are low in calories, but when you add the sugar, it starts to become less healthy. I thought it would be great to make a healthier version of it, so I don't need to feel guilty eating it. You can use it for your bread, toast, pancakes, tang yuan, mochi, or other desserts. It's a great recipe and a good thing for you to have in your freezer!