Fusion Spaghetti for Morning Sickness (or a Light and Healthy Meal for Anytime)

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Nothing says fusion food like shiso on spaghetti! Or in this case my substituted mint.

This post was written originally way back in February or March, when I was in the early stages of pregnancy. But, since it was early, I wasn’t keen on posting about it on the internet. This week I’m at 33 weeks, so no more worries about everyone knowing!

So, the other day I was browsing around the bookshelves at my local Japanese bookstore. And by local I guess I mean all the way downtown in the somewhat Asian part of town. Anyways, while I was browsing I stumbled upon a guide in Japanese for pregnancy. It was so cute! It had tons of cute illustrations and color coded bullet points. But what most impressed me, was that it had specific recipes aimed at pregnancy tummy troubles such as morning sickness, bloating, and constipation.

This really impressed me because all What to Expect When You’re Expecting has to offer is a suggestion to eat 6 times a day healthily. A search of the internet turns up all sorts of wacky things for morning sickness food: steak, mac and cheese, ice cream. And while food aversions can vary greatly from person to person, I find it hard to believe that the puking women out there really want a giant steak for dinner. However, obviously I can’t know, since I only have my own experience to go on.

This recipe starts really simple for the super sick feeling (the original recipe from said pregnancy book), but you can build it up and add more depending on how much and what kind of food you can handle (or for the non-pregnant people in your life). I have nausea, but no barfing (so far), so my stomach may be able to handle more than yours.

Fusion Spaghetti

serves 1-2, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Basic version:

spaghetti for 1-2 people

salt

pepper

Extra virgin olive oil (be careful that it hasn’t gone rancid!)

Fresh shiso, mint, or basil chiffonade (aka thin strips)

1 Fresh beefsteak tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces

Optional add ons:

Black olives

Seasoned tuna:

1 can of tuna packed in oil (138 grams or 5 ounces. My can listed 2 weights, this is the “fish” weight)

1/2 Tablespoon mirin

1/2 Tablespoon white sugar

1 Tablespoon usukutchi soy sauce (can substitute 3/4 Tbs. normal soy sauce)

First: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain immediately. In a mixing bowl add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Top with tomatoes and shiso (or your chosen herb).

If you want more substance: Open the can of tuna and try to press as much excess oil out of the can as possible. Heat a frying pan to medium and add the tuna directly (no need for extra oil). Add the mirin, stir it around, and let it sizzle for a while. When it starts to look a little flaky, and less like a big wet mess, add the sugar and stir. After 30 seconds to a minute, add the soy sauce. Cook until it looks a little bit flaky and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat. Add desired amount of olives and tuna to your spaghetti. Bon Appétit!

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Nutritious and light! In hindsight I probably would have used less olives 🙂

Avocado Toast

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Yummy brunch! A slice of avocado toast and a tuna-leftover concoction!

Can you believe I’ve never tried avocado toast?! I absolutely love it! Super easy with an awesome play of acid from lemon, salt, and fattiness from avocado. And probably takes one minute to put together! Hello breakfast/light lunch with lots of vegetables and nutrients!

Avocado Toast

Makes 1 slice time: 1-2 minutes

Ingredients:

1 slice of multigrain bread, toasted (I also tried this on a whole wheat English muffin and it was great!)

1/4 of a ripe avocado

squeeze of lemon juice (1 tsp or to taste)

sprinkle of salt and pepper

sprouts

flax and chia seeds OR sunflower seeds

Directions:

Mash pieces of avocado onto the slice of bread until it looks like a spread. Squeeze lemon juice on top and add other ingredients to taste. Done. It’s just that easy

Original recipe from Cooking Light: Avocado Sprout Toast

Dubu Buchim: Korean Fried Tofu

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Dubu buchim: Fried tofu with a tasty sauce!

So today I experimented with making my own tofu (details to come later). It went mostly well, except I ended up with firm tofu instead ofsilken! So my dinner menu needed a quick change and I ended up making dubu buchim. All the blogs I looked at translated it simply as as “Korean fried tofu side dish.”

Anyways, this was DELICIOUS! And super fast. The thing that makes this so fantastic is the sauce. It just has that perfect balance of tangy, sweet, and I don’t know…general yumminess? Frying the tofu also provides a nice contrast of textures.

Even though this is typically a side dish, I think this would make a wonderful main dish. Just make sure you have lots of other dishes to add some more calories and bulk.

Ingredients note: I like to put gochugaru in mine. What is gochugaru? They’re Korean pepper flakes that taste sort of like cayenne and paprika. They’re really spicy though, so leave it out if you don’t like spice. You can also substitute red pepper flakes.

Dubu Buchim

Serves 2-4 as a side dish (2 large helpings, or 4 really small ones)

Ingredients:

Firm tofu

Vegetable oil (or similar)

For the Sauce:

2 Tablespoons green onions, sliced thin

2 Tablespoons red onion, minced

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 Teaspoon sesame seeds

1 Teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 Teaspoon gochugaru or red pepper flakes (optional)

1 1/2 Teaspoons honey

First: Slice tofu into 5mm thick (1/4 inch) slices. Place on paper towels and gently press with your hands. Allow to dry out in paper towels while oil heats. Add oil to a depth equal of half the tofu thickness (1/8 inch or 2.5 mm).

Second: Gently add the tofu to the oil. If you drop them in violently, you might get splashed! Allow to fry until a light yellow, about 1 minute. Flip and fry the other side for 10 seconds if it has not browned. Remove from oil to a paper towel to drain.

Third: Mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Lay out the tofu in nice overlapping lines, and drizzle the sauce over the top (or alternatively, leave it on the side for dipping).

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This sauce is so full of things that it’s almost more of a salad!

Most of the blogs out there have pretty similar recipes, but I think my version is most similar to this one. Many thanks Food52!