Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spicy Tuna (Ahi) Bowls

Fresh ahi
We loved this recipe.

As mentioned in an earlier post, we made spicy ahi (tuna) bowls for the male half of this couple's birthday.   The way we've always made spicy ahi has been with a little bit of Japanese mayonnaise (which seems creamier) and chili oil. Since it was his birthday, we decided to turn it into a Celebration meal and have it the way we usually make it but using low fat mayonnaise.

You can substitute fat free mayonnaise if you can find it in your local market.  Omit the chili oil if you are wanting it to be closer to a Dukan recipe and use just the cayenne pepper.

This is a recipe we usually don't measure, we just add stuff, then taste, add more if needed, etc.  We will try to do our best in guesstimating what we normally use.

Serves 2

3/4 - 1 lb. of raw fish (tuna, salmon, etc, make sure it's fresh) usually feeds the two of us (one eating the fish with rice and the other just eating it without rice or wrapped up in nori or seaweed
cayenne pepper
Spicy Ahi
mayonnaise (Japanese, low fat or fat free)
chili oil

Sauce for rice:
soy sauce (low sodium)
water (only if you want to water your soy sauce down like we do)

Cut fish into desired size.  Sometimes we do small cubes and if we have time we sort of mince the fish, add to a bowl.  Sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper on your fish, if you love spicy food, use more cayenne pepper, but keep in mind you will add chili oil too.  Mix fish and cayenne, let sit for a few minutes.  In the meantime, prepare your mayonnaise/chili oil mix.  We normally make 1 T. at a time since we don't like our fish with too much mayonnaise.  Take 1 T. of mayonnaise and mix well in a small bowl until creamy.  Add a couple splashes of chili oil, mix well and taste add more chili oil is desired.  We like ours hot, so we use quite a bit of chili oil.  Add mayonnaise mix into fish.  Make and add more mayo/chili oil mix if desired.  Once you have the spicy taste you want, put your spicy fish mixture into the refrigerator.

If you're eating this over rice, we usually mix soy sauce with water and dab the soy sauce mixture on the rice before placing the spicy fish mixture on the rice.  The amount you use depends on how much rice you are eating and how many people you are feeding.  For two bowls, we normally use 1 - 2 t. soy sauce and 1 t. water.

Since it was his birthday, the male half of this couple got some avocado cubes added to his bowl!

Enjoy...we always do!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dukan Korean Turkey and Veggie Bowl

Korean Turkey and Veggie Bowl
We loved this recipe.

We wanted to try bibimbap for the longest time, but knew we had to make some changes to make it a Dukan friendly recipe.  Although time consuming, this is a very easy dish to prepare. Bap means rice in Korean and we've usually seen this served with white rice...that we replaced with quinoa.  We used less oil for the veggies and used olive oil spray when stir frying the turkey and veggies.

This was a great light dish although it took a while to prepare.  Almost an hour!  It looks pretty when you put your bowl together, but you end up mixing everything up.  Next time, to save time, we'll probably cook certain veggies together.  For example, the cucumbers, carrots and mushrooms we'll cook together instead of individually.  The only time we'd cook them separately is if we were making bibimbap and banchan.  This dish can also be made as a vegetarian dish, omit the ground turkey and add more veggies.  Also, lean ground beef, chicken or pork can be substituted.

The garlic and sesame are what makes this dish tasty.  Not recommended for Cruise.  Eat in moderation during Consolidation.  If we were in Cruise, which we may go back to in January, we might make this dish without quinoa and very little sesame oil.  Sesame oil is very strong, a little bit can flavor up your dish a lot!

Serves 4
Prep Time: 40-50 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 lb. ground turkey, lean
1 carrot (small), sliced into strips
1 cucumber (small), sliced into strips
1 1/2 c. bean sprouts
1/4 c. - 1/2 c. hydrated shiitake mushroom pieces (or your favorite type of mushroom), thinly sliced
soy sauce (1 t. for the cucumbers or whichever green veggie you use, 2 t. for the mushrooms, 1-2 T. for the ground turkey)
garlic cloves, minced (1 for the bean sprouts, 1 for the green veggies, 6-8 for the ground turkey)
sesame oil (you'll use a splash or two for each item)
kosher salt (1 or two pinches for the bean sprouts, 2 pinches for the green veggies)
natural sweetener (1 - 2 t. for the mushrooms, 1 T. for the ground turkey)
pepper, a dash or two for the ground turkey
4 uncooked eggs
gochujang or chili paste (it also tastes just fine without the hot sauce)
platter to hold all the cooked ingredients
4 bowls to eat from, you'll want to use larger bowls since the dish is usually mixed up

Usually each item is cooked separately.  We will show you how to put this together how it usually is cooked, then how we would cook it next time (and how our Korean Aunty told us she cooks it when she doesn't have time).

Cook your quinoa in a rice cooker with 1 1/4 c. chicken broth (use more liquid if you prefer your quinoa softer, we prefer ours the same texture as tabouleh).  While the quinoa is cooking start on the other ingredients.  Bring bean sprouts to a boil in about a cup or two of water, add 1 t. salt and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain water, add 1 clove garlic (minced), a pinch of salt and a small splash of sesame oil.  Mix and set on your platter.  Depending on what kind of green veggie you are using, either boil it (if it's something like spinach) or saute it if it's cucumbers or zucchini.  We sauteed our cucumber slices in a pan with a light bit of non stick spray.  Remove from pan and mix with a pinch of salt, 1 t. soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and a small splash of sesame oil.  Set cucumbers on your platter.  Saute carrots in a pan with a little bit of non stick spray if necessary, set on the platter.  Stir fry mushrooms in a pan with a little bit of non stick spray, add 2 t. soy sauce, 1 - 2 t. natural sweetener and stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add a small splash of sesame oil, continue to stir fry for another minute, then transfer to your platter.  Cook ground turkey in a pan with a little bit of non stick spray, 6-8 minced garlic cloves, 2 T. soy sauce, 1 T. natural sweetener, a little bit of pepper and a splash of sesame oil.   Transfer to platter.  Cook eggs, each person will get one egg for their bowl - either over easy or sunny side up.  We've seen people eat this with a raw egg too.  We suggested heating up your bowl of food before mixing in a raw egg to the dish.  Add desired amount of quinoa to each bowl, build bowls to each person's liking, top with an egg, mix it all up, then enjoy!

Shortcut way - next time, we are taking a shortcut.  We'd boil the bean sprouts along with any veggies that we would normall boil (i.e. spinach), saute all the sauteed veggies together, cook the ground turkey separately, cook the eggs, then build bowls.

Enjoy...we sure did!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Pig Out

Along the way to Ka'ena Point (it was very windy)

Wow, we tried to be good this weekend, but it lasted all of about 3 hours!  We had a busy but great Christmas weekend.  We haven't had time to post recipes, but we did manage to cook a couple of dishes this weekend.  This week will be another busy week with friends in town (lots of friends), then we're doing some neighbor island hopping for New Years to see family.

We intended to cook a healthy dish on Friday night, but at the spur of the moment we decided to drive out to Ka'ena for a sunset hike.  The hike lasted about an hour and we walked quickly due to the sun the good part, we got in exercise.  It was VERY windy.   The bad - to get there from town, the drive is over and hour and with holiday traffic, even longer. It's nothing compared to driving on the mainland United States, it's really the amount of cars on our island that makes driving so long.

It was getting late and we were driving around a town called Kapolei looking for a restaurant to eat at but nothing called out to us.  Finally, starving, we decided to stop at a place at a pizza joint near the airport (still about 20 minutes from home without holiday traffic).  Celebration meal for the week.  The pizza was tasty (closer to deep dish), but too doughy for us.

The next day (Christmas Eve), we decided lunch needed to be a healthy dish since we had already planned our Christmas Eve Pasta Night like we usually do.  Ended up trying a dish called Konbu Maki, an Okinawan dish made with pieces of pork rolled in seaweed and simmered in a soy flavored sauce.  Asian families usually eat this during New Year's took a long time to make, we can see why our families don't have this regularly.  Will post the is a healthy dish and you can make a bunch of the rolls for a few meals.  Every Christmas Eve we make some sort of pasta dish, this year we made a Baked Rigatoni which was a cross between our lasagna and baked ziti recipes.  Will post this recipe too.  We considered it another celebration meal, even though we had a celebration meal the day before but we used whole wheat pasta and low fat cheeses.
Ka'ena Sunset

On Christmas Day, another celebration meal.  Uncle's family brought over a Korean feast - nothing was Dukan.  Chap Chae - a Korean stir fried noodle dish with definitely a lot of sesame oil, kalbi  - Korean grilled short ribs, fish jun - battered and deep fried fish, and seafood pa jun - or seafood pancake.  Everything was delicious, but as mentioned, not Dukan!

We finally did get a healthy dish in last night, will post this recipe too...we used a Kung Pao Chicken sauce recipe, Dukan'd it and used thin slices of pork.  It was great, we didn't miss the oil normally used in stir fries.  This recipe was inspired by Flamidwyfe's blog...she always has sliced beef stir fried with garlic and scallions or cilantro, it made us hungry for stir fries!

We did gain a pound each and now we're going on vacation!  Yikes!  Luckily the vacation will include some neighbor island hiking.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Busy in the kitchen, but not with cooking!

The other day was the male half of this couple's birthday.  He doesn't get excited about food (it's just fuel to him) but whenever the female half of this couple asks him what he wants her to make for him (special days) he always wants either spicy salmon bowls or baked ziti.  We decided to save the baked ziti for our Christmas Eve dinner.  We were ready to head over to Marukai, our local Japanese store for some toro salmon or fatty salmon and tobiko (fish eggs) when our local fish guy called us...he had fresh ahi (tuna).  Oh my.  Although we love spicy salmon bowls, our local fish guy gets his fish right from the fish auction which means very fresh fish at a fraction of the market prices.  We picked up our pound and a half from the fish guy and decided to not fight holiday traffic to pick up the tobiko.

The spicy ahi bowls were a success and the rest of the time in the kitchen this week was spent making Christmas gifts for family and friends.  We've been in the kitchen from pau hana time (after work time) until 1AM every night this week!  No time to cook.  We did bake some lower fat pineapple cupcakes though.

We will post the spicy ahi bowls, pineapple cupcakes and bibimbap recipes soon!  There won't be a lot of cooking this weekend also since we have family coming in from Maui and we decided to have a Korean feast for Christmas lunch :-)

Side note: yesterday we had another holiday get together with a bunch of friends at the Prince Court Buffet at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki.   If you're a Marukai Wholesale Market member, take your membership card for a 20% discount for up to 6 people.  The buffet is huge (we forgot our camera).  There were many Dukan or close to Dukan dishes to choose from including a shabu shabu bar where you boil your meats and veggies and use a soy based or sesame based sauce to dip your food in.  The beef on the shabu shabu bar was too fatty for us to eat, but we did have some fresh spinach, oyster mushrooms and a little bit of tofu.  The made to order sushi bar was more than happy to make handrolls minus the rice!  Awesome!

Just a few more holiday gatherings, then it's probably back to Cruise or even some PP days (mini Attack Phase) for us. :-)

In case we don't get to blog before Christmas, hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UPDATED: Dukan Korean Style Bean Sprouts

Photo from Wikipedia.  We forgot to take a pic of our bean
sprouts, but we didn't add carrots or green onions.
We both loved this...well, we've always had bean sprouts at Korean restaurants and loved them, but we never made them at home until last night.  Super easy, very healthy...we'll be making this as a side dish often!

Walk into any Korean restaurant, whether it's a sit down or takeout restaurant, you'll always be served banchan.  At some sit down restaurants, banchan is all you can eat, all you have to do is ask for a refill.

Last night we made some bean sprouts which fall under the namul category.  If you're in the Cruise Phase, omit the sesame oil although we really just used a tiny splash and our bean sprouts were very flavorful.  We amending this post - since bean sprouts are technically a seed, those on Cruise may want to wait until Consolidation to consume bean sprouts.  We ate it regularly during Cruise without any weight gain, but if you're sticking to Dukan strictly, wait until Consolidation.  Thanks flamidwyfe for catching that!

The bean sprouts from this recipe can be used as a side dish or as part of a bibimbap dish.  We'll post our Dukan Bibimbap recipe soon...although we can't really call it Bibimbap since bap means rice and we replaced the rice with quinoa.   Bibimquinoa?  ;-)

Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 1/2  c. bean sprouts, cleaned
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. water
1 t. soy sauce (we used tamari)
1 clove garlic, minced
a pinch of kosher salt
a splash of sesame oil

Clean bean sprouts (we usually remove all the brown parts) and soak for 5 minutes in cold tap water.  Drain.  In a pot, add water, 1 t. kosher salt and bean sprout.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, combine the soy sauce, garlic and pinch of kosher salt in a bowl.  After bean sprouts are cooked, drain and add to the soy sauce mixture.  Add a splash of sesame oil (omit if you're in the Cruise Phase) and mix.  Serve hot or cold (most Korean restaurants serve this cold).  If you like spicy food, add some chili paste or chili flakes.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Under the weather

The flu bag attacked again!  The flu and the stomach flu have been making it's rounds in both our offices as well as many other offices in Hawaii.  We spent the last week or so having mostly soups and comfort foods.  Plus we've been trying to keep up with the holiday gift making/sending.   Whew!

We've been trying to eat healthy here and there, but this coming week will be another non-cooking week. We've got two birthday dinners and family coming over from neighbor islands for the holidays...yay!  We can't believe Christmas is less than a week away.  Is everyone ready?!  

Last night we finally had enough energy to cook dinner and it was great.  We made a healthier version of bibimbap, a Korean dish usually made with rice, seasoned veggies and meat.  We made ours with quinoa, ground turkey and seasoned veggies.  We'll post the recipe soon!    The seasoned veggies are referred to as banchan.  Very simple to make.  Will post a bean sprout banchan recipe too.  It calls for sesame oil, but we just used a tiny splash and it was enough to flavor the bean sprouts. 

We're looking forward to catching up with everyone's Dukan blogs!  Being on Consolidation has been working out great for us.  The male half of this couple is feeling healthy and the female half of this couple is almost back to her pre-vacation weight!  It has been tough with tons of cookies, cakes, and other sweets being delivered to our offices and given to us by family members.  

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dukan Pollo Guisada

Pollo Guisada
We loved this recipe.

This dish was very tasty.  It originally was a "Carne Guisada" recipe from, but since we planned on having beef the following night, we made this dish with chicken.  The recipe is very, very similar to the Chicken Sofrito Stew recipe we posted (which also came from skinnytaste) - we probably should have tried this with beef instead.

We intended to make the aji picante mentioned in skinnytaste's recipe but habanero peppers are $10.99 per pound at our local Safeway and they looked a bit wrinkled.  Next time, if they go on sale.  The other adjustment we made the recipe (besides the type of meat) is replacing the 2 small tomatoes with crushed tomatoes to accomodate the male half of this couple's dislike for tomatoes.  We did make this recipe with red potatoes for the male half of this couple, which he loved.

Serves 2-3
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 + hours

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fat removed, then cut in half)
1 c. green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or 2 small tomatoes, chopped)
2 T. cilantro, minced
1/3 c. light beer
1/3 c. water
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 tsp. adobo seasoning (or salt)
1/2 t. sazon (or achiote, if you can't get either, leave it out)
1 bay leaf
kosher salt to taste
2 small baby red potatoes, quartered (optional, but not allowed during the beginning phases of the diet)

In a large pot, turn stove to medium heat.  Spray pot with a little bit of olive oil spray.  Add green onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, cilantro and a pinch of salt.  Cook another 2 minutes, stirring.  Add chicken (patted dry) to pot along with beer, water, cumin, adobo, sazon, bay leaf and a couple pinches of salt.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hours.  Add potatoes and cook until soft, 20-30 minutes.

Enjoy...we sure did!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Brunch

Oh boy, Sunday Brunch was great!  We went in with the mindset that it would be a Celebration meal, but if the female half of this couple didn't have dessert and asparagus, it could have been a PP day!   There were actually enough great tasting low fat choices on the buffet line to keep it Dukan.
Very fresh sashimi (raw fish)

The brunch was at the Halekulani Hotel - $57 per person, a bit pricey since they no longer include champagne nor did they have any shrimp cocktail.  The quality however is excellent.   To get our money's worth (and to eat just enough and not stuff ourselves), we decided to plate up some of the more expensive items like the sashimi or raw fish which was very good, poke, and salmon.  Threw on a few veggies then saw the Eggs and Crab Benedict and decided we needed to split one!  Wow, it was so good!  The 1/4 English muffin (from the eggs benedict) was actually the only carb we ate that day!

Desserts available
There was a roasted pig and prime rib available.  We decided to avoid those items - too fatty.

There were popoever muffins, banana muffins, cheeses, breads, strawberry butter, etc. available but we didn't crave it one bit.  There was also an omelet station which we decided to forego (since the line was always so long).

Ice cream/sorbet bar
No, we didn't eat all the desserts on this plate!  The dessert spread sat on an 8' table, all mini desserts, very beautiful.  There was also an ice cream/sorbet bar (the lilikoi or passion fruit sorbet was our choice).

We didn't think we ate that much, but the sugar in the sorbet must have made us get what local people call "kanak attack".  It was a nice holiday treat for us and nice to spend time with some friends.  No more buffets for us unless they are at a wedding.

Just out of curiosity, the female half of this couple weighed herself as soon as we got him and weighed about a pound more than before we went to brunch.  (The female half of this couple can get a little carried away with the weigh ins).  It's been two days since the brunch and no weight gained!

The photos featured here came from a friend who also went to the Halekulani Brunch but at a different time (we forgot our camera!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dukan Asian Chicken and Bamboo Stir Fry

Asian Chicken and Bamboo Stir Fry
(it really did look appetizing in person!)
We loved this dish, even though it was a bit salty for us.

Originally we wanted to make a Thai recipe called "Moo Pad Prig No Mai" but we have quite a few packages of chicken tenderloins in the freezer from Costco and we didn't have time to shop in Chinatown this week for the Thai paste and kaffir lime leaves.  We did however have some bamboo shoots in the fridge we wanted to use up.

This is by far our favorite way of cutting our chicken tenderloin, it really ended up nice and moist.  Slice your chicken tenderloins very thin and at an angle.  It'll look like most Thai dishes.   If you don't like spicy food, you may want to leave out the chili pepper flakes and use only one tablespoon of chili paste.  Also, if you aren't watching your sodium intake, go ahead and use an entire tablespoon of soy sauce (we used 1.2 T. low sodium soy sauce and 1/2 T. water).

We probably would've eaten this during Cruise even though it has oyster sauce and the sambal oelek, just not often.  This dish was quick and easy!

1 lb. chicken tenderloin, washed, patted dry and cut into thin, flat strips
1 c. bamboo shoot strips, canned
2 T. sambal oelek
1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 T. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 T. water
2 T. oyster sauce
1/2 t. natural sweetener

Mix fish sauce, soy sauce, water, oyster sauce and natural sweetener in a bowl and set aside.  Heat wok over high heat.  Spray pan with a little bit of olive oil spray.  Add sambal oelek and chili pepper flakes.  Stir until fragrant.  Add chicken and stir fry 4-6 minutes or until chicken is cooked.   Add bamboo shoots and  stir fry for a minute.  Add fish sauce mixture and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy...we sure did!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Following Us By Email

Wow, we just realized (thanks to Flamidwyfe) we didn't have an "Follow By Email" feature on our blog! Yikes!  We love this feature on all our other favorite blogs.  Sorry we didn't have one on there, but now we do!

On another note, today is our office building's holiday luncheon but since we are going to Sunday Brunch  and have dinner with friends from Florida soon after that, we're saving our celebration meals for then.  We're not sure what's being served today, but if it's typical local Hawaii food, there probably are a lot of carbs, fried and sugar loaded foods.  Yikes!

We're still undecided on what to do about Sunday Brunch...some days we (meaning the female half of this couple) wants to just eat proteins and veggies at brunch, then other days we decide maybe it'll be a celebration meal and we'll have a dessert and champagne.   This will be the second buffet we're going to since we started the Dukan diet (the other was a family wedding, but there were so many food choices we were able to put together a plate of raw fish, green salad, meats and roasted veggies.

Will try to post photos from the Sunday Brunch, it's been voted the best in Honolulu!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hot Hula - similar to Zumba

Not sure if all of you have heard of Hot Hula, but it was on our local news the other morning.  A local Hawaii woman created a polynesian version of Zumba!   The clip we saw on the news looked like mostly slower Tahitian dance moves (as a former Tahitian dancer, the female half of this couple agrees Tahitian dancing is really a workout).  According to the founder, she incorporates both Tahitian and Hula dance moves in her routines.  Gee, why didn't we think of that?!    Come to think of it, when the female half of this couple did dance Tahitian, she was in way better shape!

The male half of this couple probably won't take up Hot Hula any time soon, but the female half of this couple is going to dig out her old Tahitian routines from college and add this to her exercise list.  Here are some you tube videos of Hot Hula:

Not sure if the female half of this couple can bring herself to dancing Tahitian moves to hip hop music (as fun as it sounds), she is a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Polynesian dances!

If you're interested in trying Hot Hula, I highly recommend following along with the you tube posts before you invest in a DVD of routines to decide if it's for you.  You don't have to become an advanced dancer.  The female half of this couple has taught slower Tahitian numbers to students in Japan and it still gets your heart rate going and makes you sweat...a lot.

If you have any questions about Tahitian dancing (we're not experts, but have learned several routines over the past 20 years), please feel free to email us at  We also don't mind helping you get started via a Skype lesson or two.