I have been planning for a while to post a delicious recipe using my smoker or a grill. Summer season is here so you can make this over and over again during beautiful summer evenings and enjoy it with your family and friends. Also, 4th […]
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Are you getting caught up in the Olympic games? I am hooked big time. We just cannot stop watching. In between the breaks I prep food, and then cook something quick so we could munch while watching. So, that’s how these quick and delicious wraps […]
Sweet Pumpkin Porridge is one of those perfect comforting foods during cooler weather.
Ah, don’t you just love the smell of cooler weather approaching, beautiful Autumn scenery and comfort food?
Alright, perhaps we look forward to comforting holiday food more than anything else, but fall weather and scenery is up there, too?!
I just love going to mountains this time of year and breathing fresh air, enjoying gorgeous nature and looking at trees that look like man-made color placements.
To be honest, there is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a quiet time in nature. I worked so hard this year that I need one more short weekend getaway, preferably with my hubby only. Just two of us!
Well, to be honest, I’d miss my kids and kitties way too much. Needless to say, the weekend getaway does sound like a dream right now.
Let’s talk more about this tasty and sweet pumpkin porridge. It is a simply delightful comfort with every spoon you take.
I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea, nevertheless, it is so delicious and above all fulfilling as well as healthy.
Since it is Pumpkin season I wanted to share pumpkin recipes and some of its health benefits.
- Pumpkins/squashes are not only delicious but like I said healthy; they relieve stress, they’re good for weight loss, good for eyes and skin, it boosts the immune system and helps the digestive system and yes, they could reduce risk of cancer. I believe it is in the category of super-foods!
When I was growing up, rice porridge was usually offered to the kids. Which is not as flavorful.
However, it was mostly eaten when we felt sick and needed something light just to keep us going, and through the days of illness.
Any porridge is good for the digestive system because it’s light and texture is easy to digest.
I made a twist, a huge one on Korean traditional pumpkin porridge called Hobaak Jook (juk). I am not saying that Korean pumpkin porridge is not delicious, on the contrary, it is very comforting, especially if you like pumpkin.
First, instead of boiling, I roasted pumpkin. The best one for porridge or even soups is winter squash such as Butternut, Lakota, Kabocha, Buttercup squashes/pumpkins. My favorite is Kabocha, which I found in Trader Joe’s.
Pumpkin is naturally sweet, but the winter squash that I wrote above is just a little sweeter. I like to mix different pumpkins as it gives better and different levels of flavor.
Also instead of sugar, I used organic honey, and spices such as ground ginger, cinnamon and pumpkin spice which made a huge difference. With all the changes and twists you are increasing the flavor as well as health benefits.
Comparing rice that you granulate yourself vs. sweet rice flour in pumpkin porridge, I like granulated rice because even though that coarse rice is cooked it still gives you little nuttiness.
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If you make my Sweet Pumpkin Porridge, please tag me on Instagram. @sandraseasycooking with hashtags #sandraseasycooking. I would love to share your creations with everyone. Thank you so much in advance!
Sweet Pumpkin Porridge is one of those perfect comforting foods during cooler weather
- 3 lb pumpkin or winter squash (Salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar - Few pinches on each slice)
- 1 cup Sweet Mochi Rice/Glutinous Rice (or Flour)/Water, enough to cover over the rice for soaking
- 1-1.5 cup water, for cooking
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Pumpkin Spice
- Organic Honey, to taste /or other sweeteners
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish, or any nuts
- Wash the rice 3-4 times and soak in a big bowl for about an hour.
- When the rice is soaked at least 1 hour (although, it's the best if you soak it for a couple of hours) place rice into a food processor with a bit of water and puree until it gets completely granulated. READ NOTES
- Preheat oven on 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pumpkin Prep: Slice the pumpkin into thicker slices (be careful), take out the seeds and reserve for later; Season pumpkin with few pinches of salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste. Rub all over and place in baking pan. Roast until the pumpkin slices are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Once done, separate skin from the pumpkin flesh (be careful it could be still hot) and Puree in a food processor, and add a little bit of water so it's easier to puree. I ended up with little more than 2 cups of pumpkin puree.
- In a large pot add 1 cup of water and pumpkin puree. Stir until it bubbles, then start adding the rice puree, keep stirring and add pumpkin spice, salt, and honey.
- Stirring is very important because it can stick to the bottom of the pot very fast. Lower the heat on simmer, and slowly just stir for 5 minutes. Add more water when porridge becomes too thick, and cook for 20 more minutes on simmer. It's done when rice becomes smoother and cooked. Taste the porridge and add more sweetener to your taste preference.
- Garnish with roasted and peeled pumpkin seeds OR chopped nuts. Serve on room temperature.
- You can skip the part of soaking the rice and instead use sweet Glutinous rice flour ..just make sure to mix it into a smooth texture (with water). You can find videos regarding this type of porridge. When you are using flour, it will be more smooth. I like the texture of granulated rice in porridge. You can also make it thick or thinner just by adjusting it with water. When you taste that rice is cooked take it off the stove and cover. It's all in the taste senses, so use them!
- For pumpkin seeds, I wash them, dry with kitchen paper towels and then toss on the newspaper then outside to air dry completely. Preheat oven on 400F then put sea salt, I used actually sriracha salt and it was fantastic. Bake until they are toasted. However, if you going to garnish porridge with pumpkin seeds, of curse peel them.
- For baby food, I would definitely either make rice cooked with adding more water or use flour because it gives you a smooth texture. If the baby is not at least year and a half please do not use honey, and add some other natural sweetener. Of course, you got to keep it a notch down because babies can't handle sweet like adults.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Hello, Sandra’s Easy Cooking Peeps,
You landed on the page “about me, and my blog”. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy reading all about me!
BLOG AND RECIPES:
I focus on budget-friendly recipes that are very easy for anyone to prepare. I started Sandra’s Easy Cooking in September 2010. Well, I wanted to show how easy it is to prepare home cooked healthy and balanced meals and still enjoy quality time with the family.
I started this for fun, but a year into it, I noticed that it could be more than just fun or a hobby. I sat and learned about anything and everything there is to know about blogging; from coding, marketing, advertising, photography, cooking, writing etc
Soon after it became my full-time job, where I dedicated the first 3 plus years working like a mad woman, 12-14 hours every single day. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. 7 days a week. It became a HUGE part of my life, my routine, plus I have a really supportive and understanding family, so I’ll blog until I feel I have the strive to inspire and passion for continuing doing what makes me happy
Now I sound like I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I am ready to retire. Do not get me wrong, I am still working every single day, doing different things connected to my blog; maintaining, updating, re-shooting old pics from years when I started blogging or re-writing content that is poorly written so many times. I absolutely love working with brands as their ambassador.
It is such a supportive community, but it is a tad competitive too, so don’t get discouraged if you are at the moment not doing well as someone else
Here on my BLOG, you can find over 600 recipes from all over the world and everything is done by me. I take pride in what I do on a daily basis.
I enjoy not only Cooking and Photography part, but also creating something out of nothing and sharing with the people around the globe. I eat and cook a lot of Asian influenced meals for my family because we love the flavors, however, any cuisine is very much welcome
Generally speaking, I was never a picky eater, so food represents comfort and enjoyment to me, as well as for my children
I want them to grow up eating and experiencing different aromas, textures, and flavors, so the point of my blog, my deepest wish is that you can feel the passion and love that I have, and for you to see that my blog spread the love of food from all over the world.
We do not need to limit ourselves and only cook what we are comfortable cooking and eating, but I encourage you to experiment and see what else is out there that you might like.
Cooking is a form of art in my opinion. Some people love to follow the recipe and that’s fine, but when I don’t use a recipe for my blog I do not measure anything. All my meals come from the heart, using all my senses.
The very important thing is to TASTE your food and go with your taste buds regardless of what the recipe says.
This blog gave me the opportunity to work with great brands, agencies, and companies, and I will be forever grateful for that blessing in my life. One advice that I could give to a new blogger:
1. Stay true to yourself! Meaning: Do not promote on your blog for $10, $20 or whatever and ruin your reputation. Don’t sell yourself cheap because you are worth more than that. Stay in your niche, and work with brands that you really enjoy.
2. Do not rush, or you will get burned. Nothing comes overnight, and do not expect a herd of people coming to your blog right away. It takes time! Trust me.
3. If you feel stressed, or overwhelmed: Take a break, a breather, recharge and continue. Your readers, followers, we will wait for you and welcome you back with open arms.
4. Learn, learn, learn… How do you accomplish something, complete tasks on your own? Lesson learned! Let me tell you downside: NOT ONE BLOGGER will tell you everything; how much they earn, how they migrated from Blogger to WordPress, which networks they are working with, and so on… Believe in yourself and learn about everything if you wish to continue to become a successful blogger.
5. Last, but not least: Picture is worth 1000 words, as they say. Learn about photography, food styling, especially if you are a food blogger. There are so many amazing sources. Investing your time is necessary to be successful.
Photography is something that I loved my whole life. I wanted to pursue it as a career when I was much, much younger, but was discouraged and I just gave up. NEVER give up people, no matter what they tell you
If you have a burning desire, a passion, no matter what is it just go for it. I’ve continued to keep my passion alive, and I am so glad that I did. I call myself a photographer who is never done learning more to become better
I told myself even if I do not earn a penny from it, even if it did not get me anywhere, I would still do it, because I love it that much. It makes me feel like I am doing something for myself, makes me calm, makes me happy, and it completes me. I take pictures of food, animals, people, nature, etc., every single day. You can check my other Instagram, mostly nonfood related content.
I just like sharing photographs in more artistic way.
I started this food blogging journey with Sony NEX 3 with 55-200mm, 55-210mm, and 18-55mm lens, then upgraded from 18-55mm when I first started to now 55-200.
In 2014, I started using a Canon EOS 60D with several different lenses, as well as Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera. Also, I have been enjoying iPhone 8 plus cam very much, so lately I am using it on my Insta.
Pictures on my blog are all done mostly under natural light with photo/silver reflectors that are balancing the light and gives you a more natural picture.
However, from time to time lighting equipment is necessary, especially on those dark, gloomy days. For the editing, I am pretty satisfied withLightroom Classic.
To a certain point…
It is only appropriate that I update about page. Lots of things changed in the last 8 years since I started this blog. I have changed, I have grown up a little, and I came to think my views about who I was and who I am, became clearer
Where to start is the question? I could write a novel about me and my life. It is extremely difficult to narrow 39 years down to a short paragraph. I love writing, but really hate talking about myself.
Take into consideration that I am different in so many ways that you can’t imagine, so I will write whatever comes to my mind… Bear with me! Here we go, folks… People often ask me who am I?
Since I am the most private person, with the hint of shy, I’d never talk about my past, present or predict a future. I’d go with a flow and talk about the weather…It looks like we are going to have a rainy day tomorrow, eh?!
Seriously, when you get to know me, I am the easiest going person there is, but if you gonna hang out with me expect following: embarrassing moments, jokes that are only funny to me, sarcasm and accept my snort laughter.
- I had a big dream when I was a kid, on the other hand, I was always a dreamer. I lived in many places, moved many times, but in the end, I haven’t seen the world just yet with my open eyes. The first part of my life began living on a farm, more like the suburbs with small farms around, but my real recollection of the best days was in my teens when I began high school in the big city called Belgrade. Belgrade was, and still is in my heart, and it will always be there. By high school, I’ve changed 5 different schools; and it’s not ’cause I was the Army kid, or bad kid and had to change schools, ’cause I was neither – we just moved a lot for different reasons, job-related mostly. I’ve been always that new girl, dressed in baggy dark clothes and cheap converse, listening to heavy metal, smiling from the back of the classroom (if I was not sleeping) trying not to be in anyone’s way, to make it more clear for you to understand, I hated the attention, and I still do. I like to blend in like a chameleon.
- I hate to judge people, maybe because I judged before and it slapped me right in the face. All of the sudden, I was that person on the other side feeling miserable because they’d judged me by my appearance, my views and opinions and the way I do certain things, or listen to certain music or hang with a certain crowd, so now, I expect whoever is friends with me not to judge. Who am I to decide or judge what you will do with your life. I can advise you, but in the end, you’re digging your own grave if you want to go the wrong way. I never divided people based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, religious views or the way they look. I have been always friends with anyone who has a heart and good intentions, no matter who they are. We live in a colorful world, and everyone should be happy about it. #LOVE
- I don’t like social gatherings, never felt comfortable mingling with people, especially with people that I never met before… Which in a way makes me a weirdo. I am not a complete introvert, but I am not far off and that’s ok as long as you accept yourself for who you are and be happy. I am far better now open up or start a conversation, compared to a few years back, where I just answer a question if anyone asks. I try my best, I truly am.
- It’s kind of scary to share some things out loud. My life has been a crazy ride many times, but we all have those ups and downs, it makes us who we are. We learn to fight, to survive, we move on because life has to go on. I believe that it made me stronger as a person, made me look at things differently, made me appreciate life more in general, but at the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. I do not dwell on the past any longer, I don’t look back on those that made me feel small or not worth it – negativity is a mood killer, so I embrace positivity.
- I came to the USA 20 years ago from former Yugoslavia (Serbia), and I can only say LIFE is GOOD because it gave me a great family, it gave me amazing kids, new chapters, and adventurous journey to look forward to every single day!
- My kids are my world, I live for them and for their “better” future. I want them to be fighters, to find what they love to do and to embrace it and not what others expect them to do, especially if they don’t like it, I want from them to find their own right path, to believe in themselves, to be confident, stronger and leaders rather than followers. I believe that I have done a pretty good job so far, however, hubster Nebs (made up nickname) is there to give me a push when the push is needed, helping me in every way, supporting and encouraging. Funny story, I made him a huge pot of spaghetti and sauce on our first “official” date and that was it, my guy has been stuck with me for 19 years. He’s been there when I needed him the most, my rock to lean on, the best dad ever, so he is definitely a keeper.
- We have 3 kids; Aleks, Anna, and Daniel -three years apart and they are such a beautiful and unique three individuals with amazing talents for many things, and when I say many things I mean it. My boys are amazing in the art (freehand drawing), music and sports, but they like to cook, too. My girl loves to cook, especially make sweet and delicious desserts, music is a big part of her life too, and she can write a story or a poem like a pro. I really want to publish her beautifully written stories, but we’ll see.
- We also adopted a beautiful Tabby Kitty in September (2017), and we absolutely fell in love with her. In April of 2018, we decided to give a little sister to Luna. Out beautiful Chantilly-Tiffany, Nala was born 6 weeks ago, so March 2018 and Luna is now almost 10 months. After 48 hours they were already getting along. Now, they are inseparable!
- I am a very shy person in general. Most of the time I confuse myself when I talk, but that’s only when somebody cuts me halfway into the sentence and tells me “pardon me or excuse me”, squinting their eyes, like they don’t understand. You know what I mean, right?! I have an accent, alright, and I can get self-conscious, but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand or speak, cause I have been studying ENG since 4th grade, but can’t get rid of the damn accent… So when a person doesn’t want to even attempt to understand what I’m saying, I see red and all I want to either punch them in the face or turn around and walk away. 😀
- I cannot live without music. Ever since I was little, maybe five or six years old, my radio was turned on all day, and many nights, now I carry my iPod/iPhone everywhere… Hello Spotify!!! Sounds of music from my old radio woke me up and put me to sleep. Then MTV came in my neck of the woods, and I was literally glued to the TV. I am a shower singer if you know what I mean, but if I am being honest which I am, I DO NOT have singing talent whatsoever. I sing for my soul, so who gives a shit, right?! Joke on the side (it’s not a joke, though), music is my therapy, it is healing my heart and soul, so I need that fix daily.
- I’ll take a Coffee over any drink… Although I love TEA and my peaceful 5 minutes (when kids are sleeping (finally)). I really need a soundproof office. My little boss is on the drums as I write this! I am distracted, again :/
- I love pencil drawing, especially portraits. I think I got rusty over the years since I had kids.
- I am a bookworm, and yes, I am history, philosophy, and psychology junkie.
- Favorite dishes… It’s hard to pick because I love food and pretty much open to taste anything, however, Korean and Italian cuisines are my favorite. Mix them together, and it’s like HEAVEN on earth!
- I have been cooking for 20+ years… Pretty much more than half of my life. I still stand behind that homemade meals are the best meals, and it takes you 30-40 minutes to make that magic in your kitchen.
- Favorite dessert… You bring Nutella and I’ll bring the spoons… Ahem, big scoops. But real dessert, HM! I could never ever pass on the tiramisu or creamy pie; coconut, banana etc.!:)
- Spring is my absolute favorite season, although every season brings beautiful scenery and different aromas in the air.
- I don’t talk about religion, there is no point because my views and beliefs are no one’s business.
- I was never, ever ass kisser to become somebody or to be noticed, and I’ll never become one as long as I live. If somebody like me for me, for what I do, for what I have to say and for who I am, I’ll accept it, but I’d never purposely ask for attention or lie to get it. I heard time after time “Life is sometimes unfair” -No shit! Learn to accept teacher’s pets and just move on.
- One big thing for me is that If I can do it by myself, I’ll do it, if not I will learn until I improve.
This brings us kids to the end, however, it’s never the end with me, I keep adding and deleting as I think of something else. This is quite a lot for somebody who hates talking ’bout herself, but it might answer some of your questions who I AM. I’ve been told before I am too RAW, but that’s who I am, take it or leave it.
I am a strong believer in Karma, so treat others like you’d like to be treated, ’cause karma is a bitch only if you are. Also, never let dreams chase you, instead, chase after your dream. In all seriousness, if one door closes the other one will open. Be happy, keep smiling and enjoy life… Because being unhappy is not worth it. Take care, thank you for reading and for all your support!
Please, keep in mind that I am working hard to test these recipes and to shoot my images so please ask before taking the pics from my BLOG, and of course always link back if you do take my images. I really don’t have any problems if you are using my recipes or images and posting on your blog/website BUT do add where you saw it, and do not take the watermark off
Thank you very much, I appreciate your understanding!
For business inquiries, please contact me at
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You would be quite surprised how tasty this is. Baked Tofu with Mushrooms slow-cooked in Roasted Pepper Sauce is such an easy meal to make.
I know this might be unusual to see, but trust me because this was really delicious.
Sometimes I want to make one thing and end up making something completely different. This recipe actually came out of a pure experiment.
I wanted to make crispy tofu for my salad, but then when I opened that box of tofu, I thought why not try this.
That’s cooking for me, always experimenting, trying something new and if it’s good I make it again and watch the reaction of my taste testers.
If you are following me, you know that both of my boys dislike mushrooms, but Aleks loves Tofu so four of us enjoyed it except for Daniel, my youngest one.
I believe that you could add other vegetables, like cauliflower, peas, green beans, carrots, leafy greens, etc.
For broccoli, I would suggest adding them the last like 5-7 minutes unless you like mushy broccoli.
I went with just mushrooms because I love them and they enchase the flavor of this dish.
Now, if you’ve never tried tofu, I know hard to believe that somebody never did. However, you’d be surprised how many times I was asked in the store how does it taste?
Tofu might look like a block of softer cheese, but it does not taste like cheese whatsoever. It does not have any flavor that I could point my finger at the certain food.
That’s why it is amazing with other flavors because it absorbs whatever you are using.
For example, if you are going to add to some spicy soup, it will pick up all that spicy flavor of the soup, in this case, it absorbed the aroma and the taste of roasted pepper sauce. It was rather amazing.
If I am making something like this, either baked or smoked tofu, which I will post in the near future, I prep my tofu. I use organic firm or extra firm tofu because it holds the shape better.
I will explain in the recipe how I prep my tofu and of course, how I make this dish. It is super easy!
If you try my Baked Tofu with Mushrooms recipe, please tag me on INSTAGRAM. @sandraseasycooking using hashtag #sandraseasycooking.
Thank you so much in advance!
This sauce is absolutely amazing! You just want to dip the tofu in that sauce and enjoy it fully.
- 1 pack organic firm or extra firm tofu
- 1/2 lb organic baby Bella mushrooms or any on hand, (approximately 1/2 pack)
- 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 1 1/2 cup roasted pepper pasta sauce (marinara sauce would do it too)
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 Sprigs lemon thyme optional, I used fresh
- 1 1/2 cup cheese shredded (I used aged Provolone Cheese + Sharp Cheddar); You may use any that you like or have. Dairy-free would do if you do not consume dairy.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Tofu Prep: In a large bowl add about 3 cups of warm water and 2 tbsp Salt (I used sea salt); Stir. Take Tofu out of the package and place it in the salted water for about 10 minutes. Take it out after 10 minutes, and press lightly tofu block with either heavy skillet or a heavier pot to remove excess water (you can use tofu press if you have one). You can keep it under heavy pot/skillet for an additional 5 minutes. Using kitchen paper towel pat try tofu.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Using a smaller baking dish, Add about 3-4 tablespoons of Roasted Pepper sauce.
- Place Tofu in the middle, and drizzle about half of the sauce over the Tofu and around the baking dish.
- Gently clean mushrooms and cut them into halves, peel garlic cloves and crush them.
- Add Mushrooms and garlic around tofu and add chili flakes, salt, pepper, and herb. Arrange nicely and equally all around tofu and mushrooms and garlic. Then add the rest of the sauce over it. Spread and move around tofu and mushrooms so everything could get at least partly coated with the sauce.
- Shred cheese, if it’s not shredded already and drizzle a bit of olive oil all over the ingredients.
- Bake on medium-low for 30-40 minutes. It depends on your oven. Mushrooms should be completely cooked and cheese melted with a deep golden hue. Just keep your eye on it after a 30-minute mark.
Any leftovers, cover, and place in the fridge.
If you do not eat dairy, try one that is dairy-free (Daiya makes vegan/dairy-free cheese).
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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