Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw

Who’s ready for a loooong Labor Day Weekend?

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

Me and this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw certainly are.

Well, not really. I’ve been jamming on a few work projects and fun social media takeovers coming up (be sure to follow @bloglovin_food on Instagram and keep an eye out for my takeover this weekend!!!) and also keeping busy on the social scene. Last night I attended a fun “Year of the Mule” cocktail competition in anticipation of Santa Barbara’s Fermentation Festival coming up in a couple of weeks here, and boy did I get to try some tasty mules! It certainly motivated me to get a mule cocktail recipe up on this here site, as I realize that I haven’t posted on yet!

In any case, I’m finally (just now) starting to think about all of the foods I want to eat over this three-day weekend. Not going to lie, I feel like Labor Day weekend is the quintessential “end of summer,” even though in Santa Barbara the summer never REALLY ends and I know deep down that I’ll be enjoying beach days for many months to come. But, I still get the urge to grill out and gobble up all of the at-its-peak, end-of-summer produce in sight. Anyone else feel me on this?

Anywho, the other week when I was making this delicious Whisky Gravlax, I started thinking about what else I could make that would go nicely with this in a summer-y, outdoor picnic-type spread, and I immediately started thinking about some sort of coleslaw. Here’s the rub though, folks, I’m not really that big of a coleslaw fan. Maybe it’s because I grew up associating it with tons of mayo and wilted vegetables, or just because there were too many watery tasting vegetables involved in general, but it was never quite my thing until I started enjoying the real good stuff garnishing delicious, non-vegetable foods like pulled pork sliders.

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

So, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m willing to branch out and find at least SOME version of coleslaw that is (a) healthy and (b) tastes good enough that it does not need to be served with tons of juicy barbecued meat and smushed between a burger bun. Enter, this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw.

I’m super-pumped about this recipe because I’ve managed to overcome my two main objections to “just-your-average coleslaw.” The first being that this version uses NO MAYO. That’s right folks, we’re talking a simple dressing of miso, Greek yogurt, rice vinegar and honey. So healthy, and sooooo refreshing. (BTW, miso is one of my favorite additions to a Greek yogurt dressing to make it just a little bit more interesting…I also used it for these Asiago Chipotle Shrimp Toasts.)

The second objection I’ve been able to overcome is the inherent wateriness of most typical coleslaws. I’ve conquered this by using even amounts of the typical green cabbage and heartier purple cabbage, plus some shredded carrots for extra heft and good measure. But I couldn’t stop there, I had to throw in some of the crisp, fresh sugar snap peas that I had lurking around in my crisper drawer. No wateriness here! And tons of crunch….winning!

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

The other great thing about this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw? It comes together incredibly fast. Let’s be honest, we all know that we don’t want to spend the majority of a three-day, end-of-summer weekend slaving in the kitchen all day. We’ve got to enjoy this pool and beach weather while we can! So grab all of your ingredients and whip this up in less than 20 minutes. No heat, no cooking time, no worries. We are going to take these last few days of gorgeousness by the horns and #weekend like the professionals we all know we are.

And, don’t forget! I’ll have a fun and frosty cocktail up for you on Friday, plus this weekend I’ll be putting together a BONUS post featuring all of my favorite Labor Day-appropriate recipes on the blog!

As always, thanks for reading and supporting my little corner of the Inter-webs! XO

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw
Prep Time
15 mins
 
A lightened up, Asian take on the classic coleslaw recipe. Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, honey and miso add a tangy flair and sugar snap peas up the crunch factor of this popular cookout dish.
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, miso, rice vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both cabbages, carrots, snap peas and green onions.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture over cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. For best results, place (covered) in refrigerator for at least a half hour (up to two hours) before serving to let all of the flavors meld.

*This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Get on up in this vegetable-y deliciousness.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn

Popcorn = life.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

We’re back in the states and I’m feeling serious vacation hangover. I wish we could have stayed in Belize for just a little while longer! I just keep reminding myself that we took a shorter honeymoon so we can take some more big vacations later this year…It will all have been worth it in the end!

Right now all I want to do is sit on the couch with a big bowl of this Healthier Hurricane Popcorn and sift through all of our wedding and honeymoon photos. Do I really have to adult today?

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

Regardless of whether or not we have to face the real world again, I’m definitely going to be popping up some of this deliciousness today. Who here has ever even heard of Hurricane Popcorn? If you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time in Hawaii (or just gone to see a movie while visiting), you’ll likely have heard of Hurricane Popcorn. It’s essentially extra-buttery popcorn tossed with furikake (one of my absolute favorite Asian ingredients made up of nori, sesame seeds, and other seasonings) and arare (a.k.a. Japanese rice crackers.)

If you’ve never heard of or don’t have any idea where to find things like furikake or arare, have no fear. Both are available on Amazon (as is everything else under the sun.) So there really are no excuses not to stuff your face with this Healthier Hurricane Popcorn right away!

Seriously, this stuff is like crack. Once you start eating it, you’ll hardly notice that 5 minutes later you just MIGHT have eaten the whole bag. And you have the buttery fingers to prove it. Now aren’t you glad I’ve come up with a healthier version for you?

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

It’s a SUPER easy swap: I simply used coconut oil instead of butter! Not only is it healthier, but it adds an extra-tropical touch to a recipe that’s already associated with warm weather and humidity.

Here’s how we do it:

We pop up some plain popcorn in a pan and use coconut oil to pop instead of the usual peanut or canola oil one might use.

After the corn is popped, we add just a little more coconut oil and the furikake and give it a good toss.

Lastly, we toss in the arare and eat up all of the Healthier Hurricane Popcorn immediately!

Pretty easy, right? Healthy, delicious, addicting…This is the perfect “I can’t adult today recipe.” Now, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting on the couch with a giant bowl of this and putting off any work I should be getting done today.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
A healthier take on a popular Hawaiian snack: popcorn popped in coconut oil and topped with furikake and arare. A delicious movie treat!
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: healthy, popcorn, snacks
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil liquid state, divided
  • 6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon furikake
  • ½ cup arare
Instructions
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a couple of unpopped popcorn kernels to the pan. Once they pop, add the rest of the kernels.
  2. Cover pan with a lid and shake gently over heat to ensure as many kernels as possible get popped. Once you no longer hear popping, remove pan from heat.
  3. Add 1 more tablespoon of coconut oil and furikake to the popped corn. Toss to coat.
  4. Finally, stir in the arare.

 

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirlCooking.com

Feed me.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos

An easy, fun, and healthy recipe for homemade sushi-ritos featuring fresh vegetables, spicy ahi and smoked salmon. Not your average sushi!Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Hello from the friendly skies! How is everyone? How was your weekend? Ours was crazy and SOOOO amazing! First of all, we got married!! Yes, I am now officially a “Mrs.” It was an amazing day that I will never forget and I will most definitely share more photos as soon as I get them in my hot little hands. We spent Saturday and Sunday unwinding, wine tasting, eating all the delicious food and sharing quality time with our families. It was so great to have all of our nearest and dearest surrounding us on our special day and we will cherish the memories that were made for a lifetime.

Now, Chris and I are on our way to Belize for our honeymoon! We are so excited to lounge on the beach, do some fantastic snorkeling, eat the local food and drink delicious drinks. It’s going to be amazzzzzing. But while we’re en route, I wanted to hop on here and share these super-tasty Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos with you. I made these last weekend and, boy, I will say that they were the perfect, easy, light dinner after a long day spent in the sun finishing up some wedding projects. Chris and I were both exhausted by the end of the day and we devoured these sushi-ritos in no time.

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

I’ll have to admit I was a bit intimidated to give these a go at first, but learning new things is half the fun of cooking, right? I am no sushi rolling expert by any means and hesitantly pulled out the sushi rolling mat my mother-in-law had given us the last time she was cleaning out her kitchen. I was actually amazed at how easy it was to use and how little the sushi-ritos fell apart, even as I kept pushing the limits of how much filling each one could hold (because we can never have enough fillings, right?)

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

So here’s what goes into these bad boys: sushi rice (obvi), cucumber, carrot, microgreens, avocado, spicy ahi and smoked salmon. Now, you may remember I’ve made a more “detailed” version of spicy poke in this Ahi Poke Salad with Macadamia Nuts, but this is a simpler, more “dumbed down” version. Soy sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek (aka Korean chile paste) and that’s it. No worries here because we’re going to jazz it up with all of the other ingredients in these ritos.

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Our first step (after whipping up some sushi rice) is to toast our nori sheets to get them “cooked” and ready to roll. Once we lay the toasted nori on the sushi rolling mat, we carefully pile up the other ingredients in a long, straight line along the bottom edge of the nori.

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Then it’s all about the tuck and roll! You want to keep it as tight as possible while you’re rolling to ensure a well-structured sushi-rito when you go to cut it and bite into it. No mess here! At the end of rolling, we simply dab a little H2O on the edge of the nori and press it to itself to form a seal. I cut my Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos in half for photography purposes, but there’s certainly no need to. Dig in right away and dip your ritos in soy sauce for good measure. Didn’t I tell you they’d be delicious?

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirl Cooking

Have a great week everyone…I’ll check in with you on Wednesday from the beautiful country of Belize! XO

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
An easy, fun, healthy recipe for homemade sushi featuring fresh vegetables, spicy ahi and smoked salmon.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: dinner, healthy, lunch, seafood, sushi
Servings: 5 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked sushi rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 3 ounces sushi-grade ahi
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 5 sheets of nori
  • 1 Persian cucumber cut into strips
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup microgreens
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 3 ounces smoked salmon
Instructions
  1. First, make the sushi rice according to package directions. Stir in rice vinegar at the end, once rice is cooked. Set aside.
  2. While rice is cooking, make the ahi. Mix the fish with the soy sauce, sesame oil and sambal oelek. Set aside.
  3. Now it’s time to assemble your rolls. Place sushi rolling mat on the counter next to your stove. Take one nori sheet and toast it over the flame from a gas stove, just until it starts to turn more green and slightly crisp. Be careful not to burn it as nori burns easily. Once the nori is toasted, place the sheet on the sushi rolling mat.
  4. Place a long, neat line of the sushi rice along the bottom edge of the nori, then top with cucumber, carrot, microgreens, avocado and finishing with either the ahi or the smoked salmon (I alternated fish types with each of my rolls.)
  5. Once all ingredients are stacked, begin rolling your sushi-rito. Starting at the bottom, hold the nori sheet with the sushi rolling mat and, using your fingers as well, hold the toppings in tight as you roll up the sheet, guiding it with the mat.
  6. Once you reach the end, dip your fingers in a little bit of water and run them along the edge of the nori to seal. Press gently if needed. If desired, cut sushi-rito in half, or just eat it whole. Serve with soy sauce.

 

Ahi and Smoked Salmon Sushi-Ritos | CaliGirlCooking.com

Let’s rock and sushi-roll!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cashew Shrimp: An Easy Weeknight Meal

This Cashew Shrimp is a delicious, easy weeknight meal. Fresh shrimp are tossed in a classic Asian sauce with noodles and zucchini.

Cashew Shrimp | CaliGirl Cooking

Happy Chinese New Year! Did you know it was this super sneaky holiday? I’m very thankful that my cousin (and bestie, and co-MOH) reminded me of it because I have the PERFECT recipe to share with you that you are going to want to make as soon as you get through reading this post – today we’re talking Cashew Shrimp!

I’m not a HUGE expert in Chinese cooking (unless you count Spicy Poke Bowls, because I’ve got those on lockdown) but I definitely enjoy eating it. And this Cashew Shrimp recipe is my go-to when I’m craving something with an Asian flair. Plus, it’s super easy. You’re only a few ingredients away from an incredibly delicious weeknight dinner that will be on the table in no time. You ready?

Cashew Shrimp | CaliGirl Cooking

The key to this recipe is some big, fresh, juicy shrimp. You can certainly use frozen shrimp, but let me tell you, fresh is so much better. It’s worth the trip to your local seafood counter. Aside from the shrimp, you need a couple of other key ingredients, all of which are easily found on trusty old Amazon. Order some of these, some of this and some of this and the only other ingredient you will need is some fresh zucchini and green onion. We might also throw in some of Sambal Oelek if you want to spice up your life (because it’s totally my jam.)

Cashew Shrimp | CaliGirl Cooking

Have I convinced you yet that Cashew Shrimp is the easiest Chinese food recipe of all time? I personally have been working all weekend (keep your eyes out for a special surprise coming very soon!) so I am going to keep it short today and leave you with this Cashew Shrimp. Trust that I’m taking care of all of your Chinese New Year needs. Because we’re always looking for a reason to celebrate, right?

Cashew Shrimp | CaliGirl Cooking

Cashew Shrimp
A quick and easy version of one of the tastiest Chinese food recipes around.
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces Nanka Seimen Chow Mein Udon Noodles
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil separated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled, tail on
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 large zucchini cut into half-circle slices
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • ¾ cup cashews toasted
Instructions
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add noodles. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until noodles are al dente. Drain noodles and toss with 1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil to prevent them from all sticking together. Set aside.
  2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute or so, then add shrimp. Once shrimp have taken on their pinkish hue, add zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add oyster sauce, hoisin, Sambal Oelek (if using) and sesame oil. Toss until all ingredients are combined and incorporated, then add green onions and cashews, making sure everything gets thoroughly combined.
  5. Turn heat to low and add cooked noodles, toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Wine Pairing Note: Because we have such savory umami flavor (and a little bit of spice) going on with this dish, it would pair fabulously with a slightly off-dry white wine that still has plenty of acidity. A Gewurtztraminer or Riesling would be a great bet! (Just make sure they’re not too sweet.)

 

Cashew Shrimp | CaliGirl Cooking

Gung hay fat choy!

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork and Kimchi

Some of my favorite Hawaiian flavors are rolled into one delicious weekend breakfast with these Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork and Kimchi.

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

Sunday = Funday = Brunch Day. That’s how I feel at least. I adore brunch. It is my favorite meal of the day by far. Perhaps because most of us only take the time to enjoy it on the weekends or for special occasions, when our schedules are not packed full of work, errands and appointments. Brunch is a time to connect in a fairly intimate setting with our friends/dining partners. We’re not out in a loud bar or trying to keep our eyes open over our dinners. We’re not hurrying through a weekday breakfast, drinking our smoothies as we’re rushing to get ready for a day at the office, or skipping the meal altogether.

Brunch has no time frame. It can go on for hours and bleed well into the afternoon. It has no stuffy parameters and can take any form with many different types of foods, and in my opinion is most always enjoyed with wonderful people. I have a special surprise in store for you all soon to share my affinity for this increasingly trendy meal, but for now I wanted to leave you with a delicious, different, and some would call “exotic” brunch dish I dreamed up.

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

As soon as I came across My Name is Yeh’s fabulous recipe for furikake latkes, my recipe development wheels started turning. You see, being raised by a father that grew up in Hawaii, the Asian seaweed and seasoning combination has been a favorite of mine ever since I stopped ordering JUST grilled cheese at every restaurant we ate at whenever we were visiting the islands. Typically used as a seasoning for rice, I quickly found whatever uses I could for it and starting using it to top any and all of my Asian-inspired meals (like my Spicy Poke Bowl.) Once I saw the latke recipe, I realized my creativity had been severely lacking in the furikake department recently.

My mind immediately wandered to one of my favorite Hawaiian breakfast dishes, kimchi fried rice (specifically the version that one of my favorite Oahu restaurants, Big City Diner, makes.) I decided to combine the idea of using furikake to season potatoes (like the latkes, but this time in hashbrown form), a crockpot version of Hawaii’s classic shredded meat, Kalua pork, and some homemade kimchi to really add that acidic kick I love so much in Big City’s Kim Chi Fried Rice. Oh, and to really make it “brunch” (rather than lunch or dinner, of which it could easily be either) of course I had to top it with a fried egg.

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

This recipe doesn’t take too much time to put together the morning of, but it does require a little bit of prep work the day before (and a food processor, unless you know how to make shredded potatoes otherwise!) But that’s okay, because we’re talking Sunday brunch here which means you’ll have all of Saturday to get things organized. I prepped the kimchi a day in advance (using this quick kimchi recipe from Food & Wine) and put it in a mason jar to let it sit overnight. Before we went to bed that night, I got this Kalua pork recipe going in the slow cooker. The next morning, the kimchi was marinated, the meat was done, and all I needed to do was make the hashbrowns and the fried egg and pull it all together.

I realize that these are all fairly unusually combinations and flavors for anyone that hasn’t grown up eating Hawaii’s amazing foodstuffs, but just trust me on this one. If you’re a fan of savory breakfasts, with a little bit of salty, a little bit of savory, and a little bit of acidity (and lots of protein!) these Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi are for you.

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

Now please, please, please get on the phone with all of your closest friends and invite them over for brunch tomorrow. Whip up some of these or these to whet everyone’s palates when they arrive, and they will be clamoring for these bad boys as soon as they smell everything wafting through the air.

I, myself, am going to continue to enjoy this amazing town of Vancouver for a couple more days, but you can bet I’m looking forward to whipping up a brunch as soon as I get back!

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
A Hawaiian-inspired breakfast recipe featuring a twist on the classic hashbrown, delicious pulled pork and tangy kimchi.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: breakfast, eggs, Hawaiian, kimchi, pork, potatoes
Servings: 4 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe of Fresh Cabbage Kimchi you will have leftovers to use in other dishes
  • 1 recipe of Kalua pork you will also have leftovers of this
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons butter divided
  • 4-6 tablespoons furikake
  • 6-8 eggs
  • Sriracha optional
Instructions
  1. Prepare Fresh Cabbage Kimchi as directed. Place in mason jar for storage and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Prepare Kalua pork as directed. In the morning, once the pork has finished cooking (and is still on the “warming” phase), shred the pork in the crockpot using two forks. Let sit in its own juices for about 20 minutes, then remove from crockpot and set aside.
  3. Using the shredder attachment of a food processor, shred the potatoes. Immediately remove from food processor and place on a plate or in a shallow bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. This will prevent the potatoes from turning brown before you cook them.
  4. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, spread out potatoes evenly in a thin layer on the pan. Let cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until bottom side of hashbrowns become golden brown and crispy. Flip hashbrowns over and cook for another 8-10 minutes to brown and crisp up the other side. Remove from pan onto large plate, and place in microwave to keep warm.
  5. In the same skillet that you used for the hashbrowns, heat another two tablespoons of butter. Once butter is melted and pan is hot, crack eggs directly into pan. Let cook on one side until the whites turn opaque and the yolks begin to harden. Flip over to finish cooking and then turn off the heat.
  6. To assemble the plates: Start with a layer of the furikake hashbrowns, then add the Kalua pork. Top the pork with the fried eggs and then with the kimchi.
  7. If you’d like to add a little more “heat” to the dish (I did!) add a little drizzle of sriracha.
Recipe Notes

Wine Pairing Notes: Since we’re talking brunch, we might as well talk about a good alcoholic beverage pairing. I’d highly recommend an Italian Prosecco with this dish (orange juice optional.) Prosecco tends to have a slight off-dry flavor, which make it the perfect pairing for a spicier breakfast dish with lots of different flavors going on.

Furikake Hashbrowns with Kalua Pork & Kimchi | CaliGirl Cooking

Is anyone else’s mouth watering yet?