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Happy New Year… Let’s eat more veggies and fruits in 2023

Happy New Year to you, my friends! I am still gobsmacked by the fact that it is already the year 2023! Seems like 2020 was just yesterday when I was counting down the days to fly across the world to see my friends and family. The plan was ultimately canceled at the very last minute. DISAPPOINTING!

No matter what happened in the past, it has become our past, let us look forward and do better starting today! In 2023, let’s make every meal count by adding some fruits and vegetables to each meal we eat. Fruits and vegetables are incredibly important for our health, they are not just well-known for their high fiber content, but they are also packed with lots of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). If you are new to me here, I like to kinda give you a heads-up here about me, I am the kind of person that you can take meat/animal products (any type) away from my plate, but I will have a “fight” with you if you try to remove fruits and vegetables!

More than a decade ago, I used to find vegetables very difficult to cook with (at least in my mind), but I am very lucky to have a very good friend of mine, who is my vegetarian recipe guru, who inspired me to incorporate vegetables in many different dishes! I believe that learning to eat new food (veggies and fruits) takes practice and a little bit of an adventurous mind! One failed attempt (we are talking about a bad recipe/trial) does not set us up for failure, just keep trying until you find something (recipes) you fall in love with. BE BRAVE AND BE PERSISTENT, MY FRIENDS!

Over the last 5 years, I have shared tons of delicious and interesting recipes. Today, we are going with more adaptive recipes (you will find these recipes, that I am about to share, very flexible with the ingredients).

Epic Gimbap (Kimbap): It is a Korean-inspired sushi roll recipe. I made this gimbap several times in the past, and every time I wrapped it with different ingredients. This time when I made this gimbap, I chose to follow the recipe exactly because I happened to have all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe. But seriously feel free to modify the recipe with whatever you like. These gimbap are so easy to make and perfect for picnic food or school/work lunch. They are not just delicious, but also very filling! For the recipe, please refer to SeonkyoungLongest’s blog.

Korean Vegetable Pancakes: Do pancakes always taste sweet? Not necessary! These pancakes are usually eaten at lunchtime or during dinnertime. These savory Korean pancakes are packed with flavors and are very highly adaptable. One thing I’d suggest is adding more vegetables, which will definitely help enhance the flavor and overall appearance of the pancakes. The recipe is inspired by Marion’s Kitchen.

Healthier Crunchwrap Supreme: This is a delectable crunchwrap recipe! I made my crunchwrap with ground turkey, and accidentally added “slightly” too much cayenne pepper (but it still tastes fabulous!) Romaine lettuce and diced tomatoes are incorporated in this wrap! If you would like to try something different, you may also try to incorporate some grilled vegetables into your crunch wrap! The recipe was adapted from Half-baked Harvest.

Pineapple fried rice: it is such a flavor-bomb fried rice recipe! Because I added some Thai chili pepper (bird-eye chilies), the fried rice has a little bit of a kick (Helps to clear out your sinuses). I made several modifications to this fried rice recipe. Cooked brown rice was used instead of white jasmine rice. I also added some frozen shelled edamame (for additional fiber and protein). I highly recommend this pineapple rice recipe, it is great for weekday lunch and/or dinner! If you are interested in making this pineapple rice, please refer to SeonkyoungLongest’s blog.

Japchae (Stir fried glass noodles with pork and vegetables): This is a Korean-inspired noodle dish. It is a simple but delicious noodle dish! I highly recommend you add more vegetables and meat to the dish, which helps to add flavor to the dish! The type of noodles used for this dish is sweet potato noodle. I used shredded pork loin, thinly sliced onion, shredded carrots, shredded red bell pepper, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, spinach, and eggs. The recipe is adapted from Korean Bapsang.

Thai Chicken Meatballs Khao Soi (Chicken red curry noodle soup): A simple, foolproof creamy curry noodle soup recipe that will work for those who have a busy schedule during these colder months. I would recommend using low-sodium chicken broth instead of the regular chicken broth (which is mentioned in the recipe), otherwise, you will have very salty noodle soup to serve. If you don't have low-sodium chicken broth, just simply substitute more than half an amount of chicken broth with water. The recipe is inspired by Half-baked Harvest.

Vegetarian drunken noodle: It is a spicy Thai stir fry noodle dish that is commonly available in most of Thai restaurants. Because we will make it at home, we have full control of the heat! Also, we can add whatever ingredients we love to this noodle dish. Like in my case, I added choy sum (Chinese broccoli), regular broccoli, a few shredded carrots, and marinated tofu to my stir-fried rice noodles. *NOTE: (1) If you are having a hard time finding shallots at the grocery store, feel free to use red onion instead. (2) if you can’t find vegetarian fish sauce/regular fish sauce, substitute it with soy sauce. The recipe is adapted from SeonkyoungLongest’s blog.

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