Store marinaded meats

pesto chicken
Pesto chicken from PCC

Uncooked carne asada, pesto chicken, kebabs, meatballs etc are too easy and delicious. I pick them up once in a while when they become available. This pesto chicken mmmMMM… Just buy it, shove it in the oven for an hour and a half to bake at 400Β°. I cannot for the life of me remember what the side was.

This is a bit messy but the roommate and I finished it in one night. Β It must’ve costed me $10~11. What a deal!

Pro Cooking Tip 7: Grab your favorite marinaded meat ASAP!


Get the most out of a Mongolian grill

I enjoyed this lovely meal with my roommate. We’re dating. We met on Tinder. Long story. Anyways, back to the point. I read several reviews online and him complaining ‘the bowls are too small‘. Yes, they are indeed tiny but the ingredients are not liquid. Let me share some tips on how to stack this-all-you-can-eat do-it-yourself business.


  1. Choose Noodles – Pick either rice or chow-mein. Taste if you are not sure. Fill 1/3rd of your bowl with this. Make sure the heap is flat on top.
  2. Continue stacking the vegetables of your choice (5-10 pieces) evenly. You can top them reducing the area of the layer on top gradually and make quite a big heap.
  3. Spices – I like hot spices. So I took 2 tbs of the chili oil sauce. You want as much garlic too so this doesn’t taste like a salad. A little ginger (1 tsp) is good too but not too much. I avoid tangy veggies. I can add vinegar later if I want to make it sour.
  4. Meat – Seafood goes better with rice noodles and meats go better with chow mein IMO
  5. Sauce – I chose the Thai peanut sauce to compliment the spice in my grill.
  6. Rice – I went with the fried rice. But I regret it. Too greasy. Should have gone with plain.

I was full but I still had leftovers.

A relatively unrelated pro-tip I’d like to share:

Pro Cooking Tip 6: Mild flavors go better with seafood and strong flavors go better with meats

Good luck at the grill πŸ™‚ Be careful you don’t spill!

Food animals: Bagel and lox

There are more ways than taste to make food fun!

BeFunky Collage.jpg
Bagels and lox

Look at these cuties! It’s the usual bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon PLUS the guests of honor onions, capers and avocado. This was a great Saturday breakfast with the girls. The healthiest thing about this is having breakfast at all on a Saturday morning. Good friends, good food and good time πŸ™‚

Pro Cooking Tip 5: Dress it up and share

Celebrate your food!

Kaari and rice

This is a very traditional dish from my community, Bohra, and very easy to prepare.


This one of my staple foods. My mom stocks me up with the spice when I visit India but it’s also available here. I keep it refrigerated. Fancier version of the recipe is here.

  1. Fry 4 tbs of this spice with oil on medium flame for one minute
  2. Add a can of coconut milk slowly while mixing the spices
  3. Add Β 1/2 a can of water to the mixture
  4. Add ~2 dried red chili peppers (available at Mexican stores). Skip if you don’t do a lot of spice
  5. Add ~1.5 lbs of skinless chicken (I prefer thighs)
  6. Cook for ~20 minutes
  7. Add lemon and salt to taste
  8. (Optional) Add cilantro/lettuce strips for garnish

What I like about this simple recipe is it offers a unique taste and flavor and is very good value for time. It works with various subs. I could swap out the chicken for boiled eggs if they are about to go bad. I could add corn to the recipe. I could make a vegetarian version with mushroom, baby corn and bamboo shoots. The garnish in the picture is spinach – not ideal but I needed to work some leftover greens in.

It goes well with boiled rice or sweet bread like potato bread.

Pro Cooking Tip 3: White sauces need not be fatty

See why I weigh about a 105 lbs? πŸ™‚

Ghetto Kitchen

I’m an unmarried working professional. I love to go out, eat healthy but not spend my paycheck on it. This IS possible. My credentials are maintaining the same weight for 12 years through exams, break-ups, deadlines, lay-offs and weddings. So let me share some of my dirty ghetto cooking tips as I perfect them.

Pro Cooking Tip 1: Though shalt not waste

See the assortment of meat and veggies in my picture. I had no idea I was having that for dinner till I opened the fridge. I go to a store and pick healthy good food that looks good to me. I rotate, sure. That night, it looked like I would have to use the meat and chip away on the veggies before they spoil. I even asked my roommate if he had veggies that would spoil soon.

Lamb chops – Seasoned only with Trader Joe’s lemon pepper, red meat’s best friend
Onion – Sour cream (past expiry but not not smelly or moldy, just watery)
Red Snapper – Sour cream and chopped garlic
Mushrooms – Sour cream and Thyme

I grilled the above for 25 minutes and ate out of the tray. The tray is elegant. Its not like eating out of a pan. Boom dinner is done!