A Tastier-than-Takeout Asian Flavor Invasion

My parents live in Orlando, about 15 minutes away from Disney World (tough break, huh?), and I recently visited them over Memorial Day weekend. No, for real…seeing my parents was the main motivator. Not my fault the Happiest Place on Earth shares their same zipcode!

Anyway, during that visit, we made reservations at Morimoto Asia—a new Eastern fusion restaurant in Downtown Disney (I’m a nonconformist Disnerd who refuses to call it “Disney Springs,” by the way). I ordered their signature menu item Korean Boribap, a traditional half-rice/half-barley dish mixed with kimchi, bean sprouts, sushi grade fish and egg yolk.

And now…I want boribap for like every single meal. Damn you, Morimoto. Chinese takeout has lost its appeal for all eternity. So, what’s a girl to do when these random boribap cravings hit? Create my own riff on the original. Duh.

In this version, I swapped out the kimchi for kale, made it vegetarian by opting for mushrooms instead of meat, then tossed in radishes for some color and texture. Also, for the sake of convenience (read: laziness), I just used rice. Let’s call the finished product Boribap 2.0—a healthy weeknight “quick fix” when you’re feeling Asian but can’t bear the sight of another to-go carton loaded with MSG. Yep, this recipe’s a game changer!

meatless marvels korean boribap


2 cups Baby Kale

2 Eggs (cage-free)

1 cup Jasmine Rice

1/2 cup Mushrooms (sliced)

1/2 cup Radishes (sliced)

2 tbsp. Sesame Oil

2 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low sodium)

1 clove Garlic (minced)


  1. Pre-heat a stockpot on the highest stovetop setting, pour in 1 1 /2 cups Water and bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the Jasmine Rice, reduce the heat to low, cover the stockpot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the rice to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed.
  3. Pre-heat a skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil and stir in the Kale, Mushrooms and Radishes, then sauté the vegetables until they soften.
  4. Pre-heat another skillet on the medium stovetop setting, coat the bottom with cooking spray, crack the Eggs directly into the skillet and allow them to pan-fry until the yolk sets.
  5. Whisk together the Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Garlic and remaining tbsp. of Sesame Oil in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Pour this mixture on the rice, stir thoroughly to combine and portion out the rice into 2 serving bowls.
  7. Distribute the vegetables evenly over the rice, then top each bowl with a fried egg for some hearty protein.
Korean Boribap

that yolk though…mildly foodgasmic.


Cooking with Couscous: Comfort Food Gone Global

Sorry, all you Paleo proponents out there, but this post is basically a love letter to grain. Couscous, to be exact. What…did I already give that away in the title or something? Silly me.

couscous grain spotlight

Anyway, this traditional North African staple, made from semolina then steamed until fluffy, pairs fabulously with a diverse range of flavors. From robust winter vegetables to zesty spice blends, it’s the perfect canvas for vegetarian and carnivorous dishes.

My latest kitchen creation features this ingredient as the base for an effortless weeknight meal loaded with colorful veggies and plant-based proteins, plus a sweet and savory seasoning mashup. Just watch: everyone at your dinner table will become couscous converts!

This recipe yields approximately 4 servings, and leftovers are guaranteed. So, you’ve also got a ready-made lunch the next day. #Winning.

warm butternut squash and couscous salad


1 c. Dried Couscous (I used Moroccan, but Israeli works too)

1 c. Butternut Squash (peeled & cubed)

1/2 c. Chick Peas (drained & rinsed)

1/4 c. Raisins (natural & unsulfured)

1/4 c. Raw Almonds (chopped)

3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tbsp. Ground Cumin

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to-taste)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the Couscous with 1 cup Water and 2 tbsp. Olive Oil, then place the pan on a stovetop burner and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  2. Turn the heat down to a low setting and allow the couscous to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water has been absorbed — about 10 minutes.
  3. While the couscous is simmering, coat the bottom of a skillet with the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, then place the skillet on another stovetop burner and turn the heat to a medium setting.
  4. Add the Butternut SquashChick Peas, Raisins and Almonds, then  sauté, stirring frequently, until the butternut squash has softened — about 15 minutes. 
  5. Transfer this mixture into the couscous pan and season with Cumin, Cinnamon, Sea Salt and Pepper, then thoroughly combine all the ingredients together.

couscous recipe

Serving Suggestion:

Although I’m a fan of eating this salad as a stand-alone meal (Meatless Monday, anyone?!), it’s also a versatile side dish for grilled fish, baked falafel or another Middle Eastern-inspired protein.

Quinoa & Edamame Burgers (a.k.a. Your Dinner Table’s Next Meatless Marvel)

Trivia Question: how does a self-proclaimed foodie, who really really loves veggie burgers, cope on Friday night when her boyfriend ditches her (but all is forgiven, Broski!) for some old-school Nintendo 64?

By creating a kickass recipe to satisfy said veggie burger cravings! Obvi.

I’m not vegan, but I do have a healthy appreciation for vegan cooking. So, that’s exactly what we have here — veggies, whole grains, and plant-based proteins.  Pure, nutritional deliciousness! And I can assure even the most committed carnivores out there that this burger hits the spot.

Nope. You won’t miss the meat.

Don’t believe me? Alrighty, then. Make it yourself. (I’ll just be over here, chanting: “told ya so!”)

  • Ingredients:
  1. 1/4 cup Quinoa (cooked)
  2. 1 tbsp. Mushrooms (diced)
  3. 2 tbsp. Roasted Red Peppers (diced)
  4. 2 tbsp. Edamame
  5. 2 tbsp. Rolled Oats
  6. 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

veggie burger ingredients

  • Preparation:
  1. Preheat a small saucepan on a medium-high stovetop setting, then cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
  2. Preheat a small skillet on a low stovetop setting, then saute the mushrooms and roasted red peppers for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Puree the edamame in a blender or food processor until coarsely mashed, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Puree the mushrooms and red peppers in a blender or food processor until they reach the same consistency as the edamame, then transfer to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the quinoa, rolled oats, and mustard into the mixing bowl, then stir until the ingredients combine to form a slightly “mushy” texture.
  6. Mold this mixture into patties (I made 1 large patty, but you could just as easily make 2-3 small patties), then transfer them to another skillet and turn the stovetop setting to medium.
  7. Cook the burgers for approximately 5 minutes on each side, then remove from heat and allow them to cool slightly before serving.

veggie burger before

  • Serving Suggestion:

Play off the Asian-inspired flavor of the edamame by wrapping your veggie burger in a Nori sheet (dried seaweed) instead of a traditional bun. Not only will the crisp saltiness please your palate, but it’s also a much healthier swap-out.

In fact, while we’re at it, why not continue this plant-based theme we’ve got going and substitute cheese for cashew cream? It’s a snap to whip up and makes a tasty topper for our veggie burger.

Simply soak 2 tbsp. raw cashews in 1/4 cup water for 1-2 hours (feel free to skip this step if you’re pressed for time), then drain and toss the cashews into a blender, along with 1 garlic clove, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt. Puree these ingredients until smooth, then spread the cream on your patty.

veggie burger after

 Aaaaaaand….Dinner is served!