Celebrating New Year in Taipei

Dear readers and fellow bloggers,

I know I’ve been MIA for almost two months now; I’ve been enjoying and settling into local life in Taipei, travelling a bit within the country, meeting new local friends, participating in community events, volunteering etc. Of course learning Mandarin at the university is taking up a lot of my time; the course load is heavy, despite the part-time hours, and the pressure from my professor to perform at my best is intense. Within 4 months I progressed from Level 1 to Level 3. It’s definitely quick acceleration of learning. I hope to write about my Mandarin learning experience at some point this year when I complete it!

Since Christmas is not really celebrated in Taiwan (don’t be fooled by all the Christmas decorations displayed all over town especially inside or outside of department stores in Taipei; it’s all commercialized) I decided to fly over to Hong Kong for a few days to be with family when I found out that they would be there! 🙂 I’ve always heard that the Christmas lights are the best in Hong Kong and it’s a must-see (yes, it’s also commercialized like Taipei but hey, I’m with family during Christmas there!), so I’m thrilled that I finally got to see it in person and check that off my bucket list. The epic Christmas lights and decorations in Hong Kong did not disappoint at all.

2015-12-25 22.46.27

Night View of Christmas lights at Tsim Tsa Tsui Waterfront

 

Now that you’re updated on why I’ve been missing, I hope you’re all off to a phenomenal start this year already! 🙂

I would like to share with you two special New Year things I did in Taipei, and I think you should definitely add it to your own bucket list if you ever come! 😉

 

1. New Year’s Fireworks at Taipei 101

To welcome 2016, I checked off another bucket list item, which was to see the spectacular fireworks explode from Taipei 101 at the stroke of midnight. There are so many places throughout the city that you can see it (near Taipei 101 where a special free countdown concert is being held, hiking up a mountain to see it or just standing in a corner of a street with a good view etc.); it all depends on your preference: to see it far or near. Instead of waiting for hours outdoors like I did in NYC last year, this year I decided to join my new friends to see the fireworks from their apartment rooftop. It was definitely less crowded. The perspective was different but still very beautiful as I could see the whole city.

Tip: My friends and I discovered that the MRT Station Daan, exit 4 (street in front) has a very good view of Taipei 101.

Rumour (I also read it in the news) has  it that there will no longer be a fireworks extravaganza at Taipei 101 for next new year; however, according to locals I spoke to, they say this rumour happens every year and then there’s fireworks. I guess only time will tell…

1451618301467 (1)

My cell phone camera does not take night time photos well especially if it’s far, so this photo of Taipei 101 fireworks close up is not mine. It’s shared graciously from a friend of a friend who saw it closer than I did.

 

After the fireworks ended, my friends and I decided to walk towards Taipei 101 (Xinyi area) to experience the crowd. To our delight, the party was still going on strong. Of course the bars, lounges and cafes were full to its capacity so they did not accept any newcomers. In fact, to our surprise, some places were closing down “early.” However, a lively night market was set up and it was fun to walk around to feel the crowd atmosphere and to buy some Taiwanese snacks (小吃) to eat. We stayed around the area till around 3:30am because we were extremely exhausted from a long day of school and then countdown. When we left, I can honestly tell you that the locals were still wide awake and socializing in every corner of the streets in this area, from sitting on available benches to just sitting on the ground.

2016-01-01 02.05.55

The night market by Taipei 101

2016-01-01 02.18.44

The sea of people roaming the streets after the fireworks, by Taipei 101

 

The city of Taipei did a very good job with security, cleaning up (we saw many cleaners on the streets cleaning) and providing public transportation. The MRT (subway system) was running for 24 hours that day to ensure everyone could go home. Other options to go home were using taxis, walking and using YouBikes. I used YouBike to go home with two very sweet friends who made sure I arrived home safe and sound before they headed home themselves. A big thank you to AE & CK, for starting my 2016 off on a positive and happy note, a reminder to always be kind, caring and thoughtful! ❤

 

2. Receiving Spring Scrolls from Xingtian Temple (宮) 

Many older locals tell me that the western New Year (January 1st) is only celebrated by the young people, which is evident from what I saw on the streets on January 1st. However, according to them, Lunar New Year is an integral part to Taiwanese culture so everyone celebrates it from young to old.

I learned a cool tradition and activity that you can do if you’re in Taipei before the Lunar New Year starts. Many locals go to the temples to receive free Spring Scrolls which they use to decorate their home for Lunar New Year. They are called “Spring” scrolls because Spring is the season that represents growth and a new beginning. Hence Lunar New Year welcomes the beginning of Spring.

One of my classmates told me about Xingtian Temple and that the Spring Scrolls were beautiful. As a result I went there with my language exchange friend to check out the temple and receive the scrolls.  According to both of them, many people line up to receive the scrolls, especially on weekends. True to their words, it seems as if the people entering the temple was never-ending. Although the line may seem long, it moves very fast; I think we only lined up for about half an hour before we got our scrolls.

To avoid the crowd, you can go during a weekday. They give out Spring Scrolls daily from 8:30-19:30 during this period before Lunar New Year.

It is very easy to get to Xingtian Temple. It has its own MRT station on the yellow line. It only takes about 10 minutes to walk to the temple from exit 3.

Below you’ll find some photos and descriptions of how I collected the Spring Scrolls:

2016-01-09 11.20.24

2016-01-09 12.04.17

The long line to get the Spring Scrolls

2016-01-09 11.19.24

Temple volunteers ask each person which Spring Scroll they want, and you collect the ones you want from table to table, until you reach the end.

2016-01-09 12.20.22

I took some Spring scrolls that hold meaning for me; for example the one word on the red square piece of paper means “Spring” and the two words below it mean “peace”.  In the end a patient temple volunteer rolled all the scrolls for me and put them into a plastic bag for me to take home. According to my landlord, it is a nice gesture to leave a small donation before leaving the temple, as a token of appreciation, since the temple took time and effort to produce so many beautiful scrolls to give to everyone for free.

2016-01-09 12.21.28        2016-01-09 12.21.38

Thank you for reading my long New Year post!

I’m looking forward to celebrating Lunar New Year in Taipei and will share with you how it’s celebrated here next month! 🙂

With love and gratitude, Violet

My Top 10 Must-Eats in New Orleans

I believe one of the greatest pleasures in travelling is trying and eating foods from places I’m visiting. In my opinion, New Orleans is definitely a foodie’s paradise. Its rich history and diversity of cultures makes its food unique and mouth-watering whether it’s Cajun, Creole, Southern or a mix with other ethnic cuisines.

Before going to New Orleans (NOLA), I asked friends and family members who have been to New Orleans what are the must-dos there. Everyone’s response was this: “You have to EAT A LOT while there.” By the time I finished talking to everyone, I had a long list of food I had to try in NOLA.

Below, I would like to share with you my favourite top 10 picks of New Orleans food that I tried this July. You cannot leave the city without eating them at least once! 😉

1.Red Beans and Rice

I’ve always loved eating red beans and rice and when I was in NOLA, where it was invented, I could not stop myself from gorging on it almost every single day! From fast food shops to pubs to fancy restaurants, I ordered it off the menu and no matter how each place made it, whether eaten on its own or paired with some kind of meat, I loved it!

2015-07-27 11.36.34

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

2015-07-28 18.02.05

Mike Anderson’s Seafood at Riverwalk Outlet (food court): Red Beans and Rice

2015-07-30 13.29.33

Muriel’s Jackson Square: Wood Grilled Pork Chop with New Orleans Red Beans and Louisiana Popcorn Rice 

 

2. Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Because I’m allergic to certain seafood, I could not try the seafood gumbo. Instead, I ate the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Since I really like sausages especially chorizo, I ate this flavourful dish a few times. This stew tastes amazing especially with white rice in it. 🙂

2015-07-27 11.27.36

Eaten at Oak Alley Plantation Restaurant

 

3. Jambalaya

This popular Louisiana Creole rice, meat and vegetable dish is also a must-eat; it’s simply delicious!!

2015-07-30 16.57.53

I made this with my friend F.Y. at Crescent City Cooks, a really good culinary school! If you have time, I highly recommend signing up for a hands-on culinary class here where you not only learn about making several dishes but also get to eat them at the end of class. It was so fun!

 

4. Muffuletta

Trying this ginormous classic sandwich is a must, and you have to get it from its’ original place, Central Grocery Co. on 923 Decatur Street.

2015-07-28 10.15.18

This round type of Sesame bread is layered with Italian salami, olive salad, Italian ham and freshly minced garlic. At this deli, they cut the big round bread into 4 quarters, and sell them either in half or whole. A whole muffuletta can feed 4 people.

2015-07-29 11.17.43

I bought half of the muffuletta and ate one quarter for lunch, and then saved the other quarter for dinner. Each quarter is huge!

 

5. Bread Pudding

New Orleans is known for this scrumptious dessert!

2015-07-27 11.52.29

 

6. Pecan Pie

When I think of New Orleans, I also think of pecan pie and honestly, almost every local I spoke to while here knows how to make it or has someone in their family who knows how. Pecan pies are so delicious!!

2015-07-30 16.29.06

These mini pecan pies were made at Crescent City Cooks too. 🙂

 

7. Pralines

If you have a serious sweet tooth, these sugary and creamy candies filled with pecans are for you! I highly recommend trying the original flavour.

2015-07-29 11.46.38

These original flavoured pralines are from Southern Candymakers.

See:

http://www.southerncandymakers.com/index.php/pralines

 

8. Praline Bacon from Elizabeth’s

Elizabeth’s is located in the Bywater district in New Orleans, and it claims to have invented the Praline Bacon in 1998. Since it’s famous, I had to give it a try here, even though I rarely eat bacon anymore. I had my first bite and I was hooked. It’s sinfully delicious…a perfect combination of salty and sweet.

2015-07-29 13.57.47

 

9. Boudin Balls in Creole Mustard Sauce

These flavourful Cajun style deep fried pork and rice sausage balls are to die for!

2015-07-29 13.57.54

I had them at Elizabeth’s too. They were sooooooooooo good!

Thanks so much to the best bike tour I did in the city, the Confederacy of Cruisers, I learned about Elizabeth’s! 🙂

See: 

http://confederacyofcruisers.com/

http://www.elizabethsrestaurantnola.com/

 

10. Beignets and Cafe au Lait at Cafe du Monde

I think a true authentic New Orleans culinary experience cannot be complete without visiting Cafe du Monde and treating oneself to its famous French style beignets (square size donuts dusted with powdered sugar) and cafe au lait. 🙂

The Cafe du Monde on 800 Decatur Street (French Market location) is open 24 hours a day and only closes on Christmas.

2015-07-29 11.02.54

2015-07-29 11.00.35

2015-07-29 10.38.34

Beignets are served in a plate of three; they are quite huge so can be shared.

Life in Taipei: 5 Lessons Learned So Far

I have now been in Taipei for two months, and I feel like I’m finally settling into this beautiful and dynamic city, after going through some minor culture shock, as any person would as they move into a new country.

Many of you have asked me what life is like here and are interested in hearing about the everyday life of the locals and how I’m adjusting. I’m happy to share with you all as seen through my own personal lens.

To make it fun, I’ve made them into lessons I’ve learned about living in Taipei and my impression of it so far. 🙂

5 things I’ve learned so far…

Lesson #1: The umbrella is my best friend.

I am not kidding when I say this. The weather is unpredictable at times, and I’ve found out that it rains a lot especially during summer and autumn. After all, it is typhoon season. Thus it’s super handy to have an umbrella on me at all times because it might rain after a few hours of sun, or vice-versa.

I used to scoff at the idea of people especially ladies carrying umbrellas while it is sunny. The main purpose of carrying the umbrella is to protect their face from the sun. Guess who is doing that now? Me. The sun is extremely strong here and even with sunblock, it doesn’t protect my face from the sun properly. I get freckles easily from the sun so in the interest of having as little freckles as possible on my face, I have now resorted to using the umbrella like the locals. Frankly, I feel quite at home doing it. I guess this saying is true: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” 😉 Well, in this case, do as the Taiwanese do!

2015-08-29 15.23.56

Locals use the umbrella for rain or shine too.

 

Lesson #2: Mosquitoes are my enemies!

Since day one of my arrival, I’ve been pestered by these little bugs. In my naivete, I thought there would be hardly any mosquitoes in Taipei since it’s a big city. Well, how wrong I was. It seems that they are everywhere and they love me a lot. Almost every day when I come home, I have a new mosquito bite mostly on my legs but sometimes in very interesting places that I’ve never had while in Canada.

One of my aunts shared her secret recipe of keeping mosquitoes away since I really didn’t want to apply any chemicals on my skin anymore. I’m looking into more natural or organic skin products these days. She told me all I had to do was dab a few drops of sesame oil onto a cotton pad and then apply it onto my wrists, ankles and neck. I personally vouch that this method works! 🙂

 

Lesson #3: Taiwanese people are really friendly and helpful.

I know I’m quite directionally challenged, but before leaving Canada I was determined that while living in Taipei, I’ll work on my own navigational skills and REALLY learn how to read a map. I mean, come on, everyone knows how to read a google map right? Well, apparently not. On my first day of using google map on my cell, I was extremely unsuccessful. Instead of arriving at said place which was about 5 minutes from my location, as indicated by google map, I was getting further and further away.

As a result, I decided to go back to my #1 method of finding a place which is by asking people. Since I tend to get lost a lot, even in my own city or when travelling, I’m not shy in asking people for directions. This is the first city where almost every time I ask someone how to get to a place, they would personally take me there! It has happened to me more than five times now. I’m really touched by the warmth and helpful spirit of the locals here. 🙂

 

Lesson #4: Taipei’s subway (MRT-Mass Rapid Transit) system is amazing!

My home is right next to a subway station and I have to tell you that I’m simply amazed by how the MRT runs. Like clockwork, I can rely on it consistently. There are screens located throughout the station telling passengers when the next train will arrive. It’s really high-tech, in comparison to the subway system in my home city. And you can go almost everywhere in Taipei using the subway system as many main attractions have their own station name, and each station has at least 4 exits where the places and streets you want to go to are clearly labelled, so you know which exit to take to reach your destination.

2015-09-16 13.14.10

A clearly detailed map showing commuters which exit to take to reach their destination

 

2015-09-16 13.13.48

There are 5 subway lines

 

2015-09-16 13.13.15

Love the screen indicating when the next train/subway will arrive and the clear white outline on the floor allowing commuters to line up in an orderly way!

I’m also amazed by the good manners of the commuters. Since I’ve been here, I’ve only seen everyone abiding by the rules of the MRT. For example, the priority seating on the subway are colour coded in blue; and no one occupies it unless they are elderly, pregnant, handicapped or with very young children. When you get off the subway, no one is rushing off; there’s almost a zen like atmosphere, where people follow one after the other to go on the right side of the escalator and wait patiently for their turn to board it to go up. Even people walking on the left side, are walking calmly, as if they have all the time in the world.

Here are some photos of rules that remind commuters how to behave on the MRT:

2015-09-05 19.29.09

2015-09-16 13.15.06

2015-10-18 19.59.06

Here are photos of the very well-behaved commuters:

2015-08-31 07.40.21

I take this extremely long escalator to go to university every day. It’s always calm and quiet.

 

2015-08-31 13.09.05

Each subway station is generally very large like this and really well organized and clean!!

 

Lesson #5: Taipei is extremely bike-friendly!

In almost every big intersection I walk to, there are bikes that I can use to go anywhere when I don’t feel like walking. I simply have to use my EasyCard to rent a bike and off I go. These bikes, known as YouBikes, are owned by the Taipei city government and it’s for public use. The government wants to encourage its citizens to use these bikes as a greener alternative to improve the quality and environments of its city.

The EasyCard works on the MRT, Bus, YouBike and even some convenience stores and coffee shops!! I love using it, it's really convenient.

The EasyCard works on the MRT, Bus, YouBike and even some convenience stores and coffee shops!! I love using it, it’s really convenient.

2015-08-23 01.34.11 (1) - Copy

 

Another form of transportation that I see a lot of locals use is the motorcycle or scooter. According to locals, a motorbike or scooter is fast, convenient and cheaper than owning a car. I have to admit I was shocked when I first saw this scene on my first day to university, as there are more cars on the road where I come from:

It seems like there are more motorcycles on the road than cars. Usually I see only motorcycles at the front behind the traffic lights; cars are behind.

It seems like there are more motorcycles and scooters on the road than cars. Usually I see only motorcycles/scooters at the front behind the traffic lights; cars are behind.

 

Most police officers ride a motorcycle on while on duty!

Most police officers ride a motorcycle on while on duty!

Now I’m so used to seeing many motorcycles and scooters on the road; it’s just a form of transportation and way of life here.

Some might think that Taipei might be a bit too bike-friendly as bikes and motorbikes/scooters are allowed on the sidewalk with pedestrians. At first I was scared of being run over by the bikes and/or motorcycles/scooters as I’m walking on the sidewalk but after a few weeks, I got used to it. Plus, the cyclists or motorcyclists are quite experienced in navigating on the sidewalk.

Today I managed to navigate myself around pedestrians, other cyclists and motorcyclists on the sidewalks on my way home with my youbike. I’ve finally gained a vital survival skill in Taipei. Not bad for someone who just came 2 months ago! 🙂

Flowers drop from trees here, instead of colourful leaves like my home in Canada. Happy Autumn! :)

Beautiful flowers drop from trees here during Autumn, instead of colourful leaves like my home in Canada. Happy Autumn, my dear readers and fellow bloggers! 🙂

Stay tuned for the next 5 lessons as I continue living in my new home city, Taipei! 🙂

Rice Cooker Recipe #1: Vegan Noodle Soup (Gluten-Free)

My globetrotting friend Karen once told me that the rice cooker was her best investment while living abroad in London, England. And you know what? She is absolutely right about the rice cooker!

It’s my third week in Taipei, and I’m quickly discovering that I love using the rice cooker! As mentioned numerous times previously in my blog, I’m not really a cook. However, when using the rice cooker, I can be a great creative cook. 😉 The rice cooker is quite versatile: I can make simple, quick AND healthy delicious meals with it.

I’m so excited to share the following vegan recipe with you. I’ve made it a few times this week and it’s definitely going to be one of my go-to recipes from now on.

I call it my comfort food recipe, as it was created when I was not feeling well a few days ago. I think it’s comparable to chicken noddle soup, except it’s a vegan gluten-free version with a Taiwanese influence as most of the ingredients were bought in a local vegetable market and organic grocery store in Taipei. 🙂

So happy to have found these organic buckwheat noodles in a nearby small local organic grocery store. They're so yummy! :)

So happy to have found these organic buckwheat noodles in a nearby small local organic grocery store. They’re so yummy! 🙂

 

Serves: 1

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: approximately 50 minutes

Total Time: approximately 60 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2 cups filtered water

1 tomato, cubed

1 teaspoon ginger, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

a pinch of sea salt

a pinch of ground black pepper

a handful of shiitake mushrooms (or more if you like)

a handful of snow peas (or more if you like)

1/2 cup tofu, cubed (or more if you like)

a handful of buckwheat noodles (or more if you like)

 

Instructions:

1. Put water, tomatoes, ginger, sesame oil, sea salt and black pepper  into rice cooker. Allow this soup base to cook and simmer for about 40 minutes.

2. After 40 minutes, put the remaining ingredients into soup base and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

3. Put vegan noodle soup into a big bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top if you like.

4. Bon appetit! 🙂

IMG_20150920_180607

The Power of Positive Affirmations

This summer I traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana to get my kids yoga teacher certification. One of my favourite moments during training was a 20 minute drawing and breathing activity where we reflected on who we are in an authentic honest way.

It seems we are constantly surrounded by noises, chaos and the hectic pace and demands of our daily lives whether it is from our family responsibilities, work tasks etc. I find it especially true in the twenty-first century whereby technology or social media plays a really big role in most people’s lives. In the process of meeting the demands of this pace of life where we just live on “autopilot”, we lose ourselves, the core of who we are. There is no time to really think about who we are and what we want to do in our lives to be truly happy. It can be so dire, that some people experience mental, physical and emotional burnout and depression overtime.

This drawing and breathing exercise reminded me once again how important it is to really “pause”, whether it is for a few minutes or one hour out of our daily lives to simply breathe and connect with ourselves and think positive thoughts. Remember: “You are what you think.” These positive thoughts are essentially positive affirmations that help us to realize and actualize our potential and dreams.

One of my dance instructors once shared with us her positive affirmation. She said that every morning when she wakes up, before she does anything, these are the words she utters: “I am happy. I am healthy. I am blessed.” We all thought it was a beautiful way to start the day. As part of her class, we made it into our routine to end the class with these words. I truly felt these words and believed it about myself as I continued my everyday life.

Here are my positive affirmations from my yoga drawing and breathing exercise which I truly see and feel as my true self:

Butterfly_affirmations

I have this on my cell phone that I look at as a daily reminder. 🙂

What are yours?

They can be as short and simple as my dance instructor’s or as long as mine or anyway you want them. It only matters that you are finding time to pause, breathe, reflect and believe in the power of these two words: I AM.

Go and try it, and see how powerful your own positive affirmations can have on your life to achieve genuine happiness!

Greetings from Abroad!

20150827_123824

Hello from Taipei!

I know that it has been a long while since I’ve been here and you may be wondering why the complete silence. So, let me explain…

For the past 6 months, I’ve been busy preparing for my year abroad, from researching, getting paper work completed to finally packing! I feel blessed that my profession allows me to take time for myself to rest, reflect, rejuvenate and grow.

I’m really excited that I’ll be combining my love for travelling, meeting new people, and embracing new cultural experiences with my passion for learning during my sabbatical. To be precise, I’ll be learning Mandarin and getting deeper into yoga! In fact, my travel abroad adventure began in The Big Easy (New Orleans) last month already where I completed my Kids Yoga Teacher Training with an amazing Canadian trainer, Aruna Kathy Humphrys of Young Yoga Masters, and a wonderful supportive like-minded group of American classmates. Sightseeing in New Orleans and eating tons of mouth-watering Southern food has always been on my bucket list, and I’m happy I checked that off!

Fast forward to now, I’m currently living in Taipei. I flew here a week ago and am slowly getting over jetlag and settling into my new home. I’ve enrolled in a university program to learn Mandarin for foreigners at the National Taiwan University, and am looking forward to beginning class next week!

While Taipei will be my home base for the next 12 months, I also have some travel plans for New Zealand, Australia, Bali and other places that I’ve yet to decide on.

Quite a few people asked me before I left if I’m afraid to be travelling solo and not know anyone in any places I’ll be going to, and to be honest, there are moments when I doubt myself and get scared. However, for the most part I’m absolutely thrilled to embark on this adventure of a lifetime and to fulfill some of my dreams. I only think of the positives. I had a beautiful memorable time in New Orleans and met friends whom I know I’ll keep in touch for life. The beginning of my travel adventure in New Orleans was definitely a promise of yet more wonderful things to come. 🙂

One of my good friends shared this quote with me: “To travel alone is to get lost on purpose, in order to be found.” I hope this quote will inspire me to find my own true path as I travel physically, mentally and spiritually throughout some parts of the world.

I can’t wait to share my everyday travelling/learning adventures and bucket list with you and thank you for being part of my journey here!

Stay tuned!

XO, Violet

Some very thoughtful items I've received from dear colleagues and friends (THANK YOU!), or I bought on my own for my year abroad that I've packed with me. :)

Some very thoughtful items I’ve received from dear colleagues and friends (THANK YOU!), or I bought on my own for my year abroad that I’ve packed with me. 🙂

 

 

A Quick & Healthy Chinese Recipe: Vegetarian Fried Rice

One of my favourite easy home-cooked meal is finding whatever is in the fridge and putting them together in less than 30 minutes. It definitely comes in handy when one is starving! I know I can always count on my vegetables and my go-to main staple, leftover brown rice, to make a yummy bowl of fried rice for dinner.

I am by no means a superb cook (as I’ve mentioned many times already; I’m more of a baker!) but this bowl of fried rice is quite satisfying, if I say so myself. 😉

In honour of Lunar New Year a.k.a Chinese New Year in my world, I am excited to share this simple and quick vegetarian fried rice recipe, à la Violet style, with you. The beauty of this recipe is that any rice and veggies will work!

I hope you will add this recipe as your go to when you need to make a quick and healthy meal within 30 minutes! 🙂

Happy cooking!

XO, Violet

Fried Rice

 

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

Oil (I like to use grapeseed or avocado oil) for stir-frying

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

1 cup leftover cold cooked rice

½ pound of broccoli , chopped stalks and florets

1 tomato, chopped

1-2 tablespoons light soy sauce

Toppings: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts (almonds/walnuts) and/or raisins

 

Instructions:

1. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 1 tablespoon of oil or less (according to your preference) over medium-high heat and when the oil heats up, add in the egg. Cook and stir until the egg is lightly scrambled, not too dry. Remove egg from wok/pan and place in a separate plate/bowl for now.

2. If needed, add a little bit more oil into the wok/pan and add the garlic and ginger; briefly stirfry until they just show signs of changing colour or until fragrant.

3. Add the rice and stirfry it for a few minutes, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon, to break it apart.

4. When the rice is heated through, add the broccoli and tomato, and cook, until the broccoli is crisp-tender.

5. Stir in the soy sauce as desired and add the scrambled egg back into the wok/pan. Mix thoroughly and quickly.

6. Serve hot in a bowl, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.

 

Special Note:

-If you want to add other ingredients, or serve more people, simply double or triple the recipe.