Throwback Thursday – Spot Dessert Bar

This year I have visited a restaurant that focuses on desserts.  This place has become my favorite go to places if I have a sweet tooth. The unique Asian fusion flavors and elaborate presentations has been recognized by NBC, Zagat and Examiner. 

Each dessert is served to share and it’s $10 per dish.  It’s ideal to go with groups and order the tapas set. I was with a group of girls and we ate at the original Spot Dessert Bar in the East Village.  We ordered a 3 tapas set costing $27.  Below is the three tapas we ordered:

The Harvest

Golden Toast

Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake

Another perk of Spot Dessert Bar is their punch card; so for every $10 or every tapas set ordered a stamp is placed. If you collect 9 stamps, you get a free dessert.  The quickest way to the free dessert is to order the tapas set. I’ve eaten here three times at all the locations and ordered the 3 tapas set each time, which resulted in 9 stamps entitling me to a free dessert tapa on my next trip.  Stay tuned for more….

Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday – Pork Dishes Filipino & Thai style 

Today’s first Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday post of 2017 is a double duo, filled with cultural and food experiences that I can identify with – Pork. 

Although pork is forbidden in some cultures, it is also one of the most popular types of meat in eastern Asia especially in the Philippines and Thailand. 

Pork, the product of the pig comes in a variety of forms and there are many ways of preparing them for consumption. 

In the New Year, one of the lucky foods to consume is pork because the pork is said to be rotund, which signifies prosperity. Since it is derived from the pig, the animal itself “roots forward” symbolizing progress.  Not only pork brings good luck it is also healthy. 

Health Benefits of consuming pork include: 

– Protein for growing and maintaining muscle

So, given this information for the occasion I decided to turn back time to several posts here as well as my own experiences to attempt a healthier yet authentic version of the Filipino adobo and Thai grilled pork (moo ping).  Better yet the cost to make both of these dishes was under $10 and it serves 4 people plus leftovers. 

Pork Belly Adobo

The pork belly was sliced and marinated in 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of tamarind sauce, 4 tablespoons of datu puti, garlic, onions, ginger and bay leaves. The only addition added was star anise. The dish was marinated for 3-3.5 hours at room temperature.  The dish was prepared as described in one of my earliest post: Chicken Thigh Adobo

Moo Ping – Thai grilled pork

One of father’s favorite Thai dishes is moo ping, translated in Thai for grilled pork. Inspired by one of the best pork dishes at Ayada, I attempted to replicate the dish while keeping it healthy. 

Pork shoulder was sliced and marinated in garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar for 3-4 hours prior to grilling. Normally this dish is prepared in skewers. 

So today we covered a throwback recipe and a flashback dish at a restaurant to make two lucky cultural pork dishes for the New Year. Hopefully this double duo will help Tablespoonsandteaspoons progress to bigger and better 2017. Cheers! 

Flashback Friday – Ayada

Happy Friday, after a week of planning and cooking healthy meals on a budget for Cinco de Mayo, it is time to head to one of my favorite Thai restaurants to date.  Ayada Thai is a neighborhood gem and a great place to eat with a group of friends.  I usually take my relatives from out of town here and even have held small birthday parties here.

Ayada Thai is located in Elmhurst, Queens.  The restaurant offers authentic, affordable and tasty Thai food that will feed an entire family.  The restaurant received a lot of press and awards for their amazing cuisine.  They have been covered by ABC NewsNew York TimesVillage Voice, New York Magazine, and even was voted as one of the best Cheap Eats and best Thai Restaurants in Zagat.  More importantly they received recognition of  Bib Gourmands by Michelin Star.

I can definitely testify to Ayada’s success by the food portion and quality of food that is provided to us.  Below are images of my family and my personal favorite dishes:

BBQ Pork $10

BBQ Beef $10

Satay Chicken $7

Shrimp in a Blanket $5

Crispy Chinese Watercress Salad $15

Crispy Catfish Salad $15

Shrimp Pad Thai $11

Chicken Pad Thai $9

Beef Pad Cee Eiw $9

Fried Banana (only sold on Saturdays)

Thai Ice Tea $3

20160428_175704

1) BBQ Pork 2) Beef Pad Cee Eiw 3) Fried Banana (sold on weekends), 4) Crispy Catfish Salad, 5) BBQ Beef and BBQ Pork 6) Chicken Satay and Shrimp in a Blanket, 7) Crispy Watercress Salad, 8) Shrimp Pad Thai

Best times to go is during lunch and early dinner before 7pm.  I have not tried their lunch special yet because I work on the weekdays.  Given that half of my heritage is Thai I can testify to the authenticity and taste of the food.  Food is overall consistent and I will definitely return for another family meal.

Traditional Thai Dish – Kra Prow

Happy Songkran!! Happy Thai New Year! Today is the new year and to celebrate, I want to post a traditional Thai dish.  This Thai dish consists of only five ingredients and if you want a sixth ingredient add a fried egg.  Anyways, this dish is not only healthy but cost effective.  The dish I am writing about is called Kra Prow, which is translated into Holy Basil.

Kra Prow is a popular Thai dish throughout almost all restaurants in NYC.  The dish can be made with any meat stir fried with vegetables, but it has to have garlic, fish sauce and most importantly holy basil or basil.

Below is a healthy and cost effective version of Kra Prow.

Ground Turkey Kra Prow (serves 2)

1/2 lb. Perdue Ground Turkey = 160 calories/serving = $2.99/lb. at Stop and Shop

2 tablespoons minced garlic = 38 calories

2 tablespoons olive oil = 120 calories/serving

3 tablespoons fish sauce = 27 calories/serving

15 snow peas = 15 calories = 0.99/lb = H Mart in Flushing

2 cups of basil = 12 calories = $2.00 = Asian Supermarket

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Meatless Monday – Mung Bean Pudding

Happy Monday, technically Tuesday.  Well, this week there is no game plan because, I had an accident working out and I am recovering from the aftermath.  Therefore, since this week is Songkran aka Thai New Year, I will dedicate this week to posting healthy Thai recipes and recent places I have eaten at.

Therefore, the first of two Thai recipes for the week is meatless for Meatless Monday.  This dish is a Thai dessert, which personally can be versatile and be served as a meal.  The meal can be made with two ingredients or up to four ingredients.  The star ingredient of the dish is Mung Bean, a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine and it is very nutritious and detoxifying.

Health Benefits of Mung Bean Consumption:

Contain high soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol

Contain protease inhibitors, which block the copying and reproducing of tumor and cancer cells especially breast cancer

Contain isoflavones that regulate hormones, estrogen, in particular, which helps women with post-menopause.

Low glycemic making it diabetic friendly.

High in protein

Recently, an article was published at the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggesting the possibility that the extract of mung bean sprouts can serve as a potent antiviral property.  The extract’s potency can economically and effectively fight against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Herpes Simplex virus −1 (HSV-1).

Tau Suan – Mung Bean Sweet Dessert/Pudding

This dish is very easy to make and it cost effective.  Total cost of the dish can range between $5-$10 at most Asian supermarkets.  This dish serves two people.

8 tablespoons of dried mung beans = 361 calories/2 servings

2 cups of water = 0 calories

4 tablespoons tapioca starch  = 84 calories/2 servings (optional)

4 tablespoons sugar =186 calories/2 servings (optional)

5 tablespoons coconut milk = 100 calories/2 servings (optional)

  1. Boil beans in water for approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Mix tapioca starch with water, keep stirring so nothing sticks in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add sugar (optional)
  4. Warm coconut milk but do not heat it all the way (optional).
  5. Pour warm coconut milk to the lentil dish (optional).

Personally I have made this dish several times, using three ingredients and performing only the first two steps because my father does not eat sweets.  Recently I have made this dish using all the ingredients listed to obtain the sweet and creamy texture.

Cheers to better health! Off to the next recipe.  Stay tuned.

Meatless Monday/Traditional Tuesday – Vegetarian Cee Eiw

Happy Presidents Day Weekend and Post-Valentine’s Day!! Welcome to the second Meatless Monday post and deciding to “knock two birds with one stone”, this post will discuss a traditional Thai dish that is usually made with stir fry wide noodles with soy sauce called Pad Cee Eiw.  In the attempt to create a vegetable stir fry dish using the ingredients from the Sunday Game Plan posted on SuperBowl weekend, I decided to make it my own.  This vegetarian stir fry consists of ingredients that I grew up eating with on my Filipino and Thai dishes.

Almost all Thai menus and noodle dishes in the US have misinterpreted the title of “Pad Cee Eiw”.  Pad Cee Eiw is a Thai noodle dish of Chinese origin and are relatively recent additions to the Thai culinary universe.  The dish is often made to accommodate Chinese clients and is considered a “street food” dish.

“Pad” in Thai means “stir fry” and “cee eiw” in Thai means “soy sauce”.

This is a very quick dish, but one important thing is to make sure that the wok is very hot.  Also, this dish can be gluten free if the sauces used does not contain gluten.

No Carb Pad Cee Eiw

Number of calories provided by My Fitness Pal

1 tbsp olive oil = 120 calories

2 tbsp chopped onions = 8 calories

3 cups (48 tablespoons) kale = 68 calories

1 cup spinach = 7 calories

1 cup broccoli rabe = 9 calories

1 tbsp Healthy Boy Black Soy Sauce = 40 calories

1 tbsp Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce = 10 calories

1 tbsp Datu Puti Native Vinegar (any vinegar will work) = 0 calories

1 jumbo egg, scrambled = 90 calories

Total cost of fresh ingredients: $5 (broccoli rabe, onions, spinach and kale) and the rest was on my pantry.

20160210_072544

Ingredients

20160210_073102

Add olive oil and stir fry chopped onions. Saute chopped onions for 2 minutes.

20160210_073251

Add chopped kale and spinach.  Saute until vegetables are wilted about 2 minutes.

20160210_073326

Add broccoli rabe and stir fry for another two minutes.

20160210_073553

Add soy sauce, black soy sauce and vinegar.  Stir and let the mixture boil until the sauce starts to thicken.

20160210_073639

Push vegetable and soy sauce mixture to the side and spray empty space with cooking spray.  Add egg and stir to scramble.

20160210_073756

Combine eggs with the vegetables.

20160210_074018

Transfer to the plate and serve.