My Recipe

Tofu Knots with Soybean and Vegetables


1 pack (8 oz) frozen tofu knots 百页结
4 oz frozen soybean
5 (1½” caps) dried Chinese mushroom
4 oz broccoli florets
2 oz carrot (1/4″ thick rounds)
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp ginger (minced)


1 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp mushroom seasoning
1-1/3 Tbsp vegetarian stir-fry sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1½ cup water

Thickening Solution:

2½ tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water


  1. Thaw frozen tofu knots in refrigerator overnight. Rinse and drain before using.
  2. Give mushroom a quick rinse. Soak in a covered bowl for 1½ hours or until softened depending on the thickness of the caps. Rinse mushroom between gills to remove dirt and grit. Squeeze out water and cut each cap into 5 or 6 slices. Mix with 1/2 tsp sugar and 3/4 tsp sesame oil.
  3. Rinse frozen soybean with cold water. Drain.
  4. Mix seasoning ingredients and thickening solution in separate bowls.
  5. Heat wok and add 1 Tbsp oil. Stir-fry broccoli and carrot for 30 seconds. Remove.
  6. Add another 2 Tbsp oil to wok. Sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add mushroom, stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 1 tsp wine and toss for 30 seconds. Add tofu knots, soybean and seasoning ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Return broccoli and carrot to wok. Cook for about 1 minute. Add thickening solution. Keep tossing until seasoning reboils and thickens. Remove and serve.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 245, Fat 15.4 g, Carbohydrate 13 g, Fibre 3 g, Sugar 4 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 527 mg, Protein 17 g.

Food Pairing: Grapefruit – Duck – Yuzu – Honey

The ‘Asian Crispy Duck’ salad, once enjoyed at the Michelin-starred Hakkasan Restaurant in London, triggered me in combining grapefruit and duck.

Whereas the Crispy Duck Salad of the Hakkasan uses honey-varnished Peking duck, this more simplified salad works with pure baked duck and a honey dressing.

Starting from grapefruit in the Inspiration Tool, baked duck appears as a good match. Sharing their fruity aromas, grapefruit and baked duck form a great flavor pairing.

Yuzu highlights the citrus-floral side of grapefruit and honey deepens the honey-green notes.

Ingredients (4 persons)

2 duck filets
1/2 grapefruit
10 g honey
5 g rice wine vinegar
5 g ginger cordial
5 g yuzu
15 g olive oil
150 g salad mix
25 g Sakura® cress


Duck filets

Opposite to traditional ‘Peking Duck’, our filets are prepared unvarnished and pure. Season the duck filets and fry medium rare.


Preferably the less bitter pink grapefruit is used for this salad because its flavor strikes a perfect balance between sweet & sour. Peel the grapefruit à vif, remove the slices and cut into smaller pieces.

Oriental Vinaigrette

The same sweet & sour balance of the grapefruit is reflected in our vinaigrette, while ginger adds a spicy touch. Mix the rice wine, ginger cordial, yuzu and honey.

Salad mix

Sakura® cress with its daikon-like pepper flavour will add crunch and spiciness to your dish. Mix the salad with the sakura® cress and add some vinaigrette according to your taste.

Source: Food Pairing

Better Midlife Fitness May Slow Brain Aging

People with poor physical fitness in their 40s may have lower brain volumes by the time they hit 60, an indicator of accelerated brain aging, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.

“Many people don’t start worrying about their brain health until later in life, but this study provides more evidence that certain behaviors and risk factors in midlife may have consequences for brain aging later on,” said Nicole L. Spartano, Ph.D., lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine.

A subset of 1,271 participants from the Framingham Offspring Study participated in exercise treadmill testing in the 1970s, when their average age was 41. Starting in 1999, when their average age was 60, they underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their brains as well as cognitive tests. The participants did not have heart disease or cognitive problems at the beginning of the study, and none were taking medication that alters heart rate.

In individuals with low fitness levels, the blood pressure and heart rate responses to low levels of exercise are often much higher than in individuals with better fitness.

“Small blood vessels in the brain are vulnerable to changes in blood pressure and can be damaged by these fluctuations,” Spartano said. “Vascular damage in the brain can contribute to structural changes in the brain and cognitive losses. In our investigation we wanted to determine whether exaggerated blood pressure fluctuations during exercise were related to later structural changes in the brain.”

The researchers found:

  • People who had a lower fitness level or greater increase in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) or heart rate a few minutes into the low-intensity treadmill test (2.5 miles an hour) had smaller brain tissue volume later in life.
  • People who had a larger increase in diastolic blood pressure during low-intensity exercise also performed more poorly on a cognitive test for decision-making function later in life.
  • Poor physical fitness could be associated with accelerated brain aging.

“For every 3.4 units lower exercise capacity, every 7.1 mm Hg higher exercise diastolic blood pressure, and for every 8.3 beats/minute higher exercise heart rate in midlife, these effects are approximately equivalent to an additional 0.5 years of brain aging,” Spartano said.

Apart from the exercise tests, a higher resting systolic blood pressure (top number) at age 40 was associated with a smaller frontal lobe volume and a greater volume of white matter hyperintensity (an indicator of loss of blood flow with aging) on the later brain MRIs.

Promotion of midlife physical fitness may be an important step towards ensuring healthy aging of the brain in the population, researchers said.

“It will be interesting to follow up with these participants in another 10 years to determine how many developed dementia, and if that may be related to their fitness or exercise blood pressure or exercise heart rate in midlife,” Spartano said.

Source: American Heart Association

Steamed Assorted Vegetables


3 small artichokes, quartered
3 carrots, cut into slices
24 green beans
1 lb broccoli,
cut into florets
3 zucchini, cut into slices
3 yellow crookneck squash, cut into slices
roasted pepper sauce (see recipe below)


  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 inches water to a boil. Insert the steamer basket, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and steam the vegetables—in batches, if necessary—until just tender: artichokes, 30 minutes; carrots, 12-14 minutes; green beans, about 10 minutes; broccoli florets, 5-6 minutes; zucchini and squash, 5 minutes. Cool to the touch.
  2. To serve, mound the vegetables on a large platter. Serve with the sauce.

Makes 6 servings as starter.

Roasted Pepper Sauce


2 cups roasted sliced red bell peppers
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the peppers, yogurt, vinegar, oil, mustard, and pepper. Process until smooth.
  2. Add the oregano and process a few seconds longer. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Serve now, or refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 3 days.

Makes 2 cups sauce.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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