Kitchen Chronicles : Soy Pasta with Spinach and Grilled Eggplant

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

I've gained a LOT of weight last year. I've mentioned in several posts that I've totally let go of taking care of my body at one point and I just ate whatever I want regardless of the amount of weight I've put on. I'm not usually like that, but since I was under a lot of stress last year, I just didn't care anymore. I was having horrendous acne breakouts and I felt that I deserved every treat I got.Every time a new pimple would appear on my face, I felt going to an all-you-can eat buffet place was the answer since I was being tormented inside and out. And now, I'm suffering the consequences. 

I've never been the type of person to take care of my body. I smoke and drink a lot. I don't like water, I don't exercise and I have the worst sleeping pattern. In the past, I only controlled the type of food I ate so as to create some sort of balance since I was being unhealthy in so many ways unimaginable. Turns out the acne breakouts I had last year wasn't because of my skin nor the several skin products I've been using. I was having an internal problem. Before taking my Christmas vacation last year, i vowed to change my eating habits to see if something would change. True enough, I started having less acne pop up on my face. I also started taking vitamins and chelated minerals to help me detoxify. I've been drinking a lot of water and I've been trying to make sure I get to have breakfast every single day. 

With that, I started resurrecting my super old 2015 resolution. A few years back, I started this project called Baon Series. I would chronicles the food that I bring to work every day. I loved the fact that people would comment how I can make my meals healthier; I also got tips how to pack properly so I don't spill anything on my lunch bag. Early last year though, I stopped because I got too lazy preparing my own meals and as mentioned, I didn't really care if I got fat or whatever. This year though, I've been consistently bringing my own meals to work. I get to choose what I eat and I also have a say on the amount I bring. I can't necessarily say I've saved a lot of money since healthy eating is pricey in the city. But I can attest to the fact that this has decreased the breakouts I've been having and I've also been feeling great even if I have been doing this for just 3 weeks. Today, I'll share one of the most requested recipes from that series. Let's begin!


INGREDIENTS
Fusili Pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp Water
Spinach leaves
Eggplant
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds
Butter
Garlic
Gochugaru (Red Pepper Flakes, optional)

PROCEDURE
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain then set aside.  
2. Heat pan on low heat. Add butter and garlic.
3. Let the butter and garlic sit for about 10 minutes to infuse the flavors. 
4. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, oyster sauce, fish sauce, water and red pepper flakes.
5. On a separate pan, fry the eggplant. I prefer not to use any oil for that grilled effect. If you have a griller, you can also use it to cook the eggplant. 
6. Add the eggplant to the butter and garlic. 
7. Add the sauce and let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes, still on low heat.
8. Add the pasta and combine thoroughly with the sauce. 
9. Toss for about 2 minutes then add the spinach last. 
10. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes for added spice. 

NOTES
If you want to make this vegetarian, you can substitute the honey with Beefree, butter with vegan butter and oyster sauce has a vegetarian version too made of mushrooms. Aside from eggplants, you can also choose whatever topping you want to add. I've personally tried button and oyster mushrooms in the past, and watercress too! If you're not fond of spicy food, you can totally skip the Gochugaru. You can also add fresh chilies if you like!

And that's it. The whole process usually takes me 20-30 minutes. Sometimes a little longer but only because I love infusing the butter with the garlic flavor. You can also have this dish as is, without any toppings at all. I promise you it'll taste as great. The taste is very reminiscent of Yellow Cab's Charlie Chan Pasta. Before I would just add mushroom and a handful of crushed peanuts. But either way, it tastes awesome. This has been my ultimate go-to pasta since you can store it and just heat it after a while. Easy peasy!

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What's your favorite pasta recipe?

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