something to graze on  

Edamame (Fresh Green Soybeans)
Spiced Almonds
Bite-Size Vegetables with Two Dips
Sweet and Sour Baby Carrots
Glazed Baby Onions
Spicy Shrimp Cocktail
Roasted Asparagus with a Garlic Dressing Crisp Scallion Pancakes
Herbal Pestos on Grilled Flatbread
Jesse’s Favorite Crispy-Baked Potato Pancakes
Gingery Scallops with a Maple Syrup Glaze
Mom’s Barbecued Chicken Wings
Hoisin-Glazed Spareribs
Teriyaki Beef
LILIAN CHEUNG: “Eat Well and Keep Moving” Program
I’ve always loved to nibble at several small dishes of food, rather than eat large, multicourse meals, even as a little girl. Western nutritionists, by tradition, tend to frown on this habit, but once you’re hooked, it’s hard to give up.
I was thrilled to discover, when I went to Asia to live, that snacking is a way of life there. All Asians, especially the Chinese, love to snack, but perhaps the most notorious are the Cantonese, who have elevated the practice to a fine art. They sit in dim sum parlors at least once a day sipping tea and nibbling on nuts, pickled vegetables, dumplings, and all kinds of savory and sweet pastries. It’s my idea of snack heaven. Most of these foods are not only delicious but quite healthful—a far cry from the processed potato chip–and–cheese curl fare many Westerners gorge on.
These days it’s encouraging to see that grazing, or the idea of creating a meal from small dishes, is becoming more widely accepted in the United States. Tapas from Spain and mezze from the Middle East are featured now in restaurants and are part of the repertoire of many home cooks.
I’ve incorporated this eating style into our meals at home mainly because there’s a simplicity and an informality about these dishes that is in keeping with the way I live. I’ve also tried to encourage my family, especially my teenage son, to snack on more wholesome foods (not an easy task).
As you’ll see, many of the recipes in this chapter are quite simple and basic, using fresh, top-quality, seasonal ingredients. Many can be prepared conveniently in advance, reheated briefly, or just served at room temperature or chilled. And quite a few don’t even require silverware or chopsticks: Your hands, along with a generous supply of napkins, will do.
grazing menus
The following recipes can be served by themselves as nibbles or snacks. I often group some of them together to make satisfying meals. For instance:
Spicy Shrimp Cocktail
Roasted Asparagus with a Garlic Dressing
Herbal Pestos on Grilled Flatbreads (or steamed rice or crusty bread)
Mango Lassi

Edamame
Mom’s Barbecued Chicken Wings
Sweet and Sour Baby Carrots
Crisp Scallion Pancakes
Gingery Peach-a-Berry Cobbler
Gingery Scallops with a Maple Syrup Glaze or Hoisin-Glazed Spareribs
Bite-Size Vegetables with Two Dips
Steamed rice or crusty bread
Roasted Winter Fruit with Ginger and Port Wine
Teriyaki Beef
Glazed Baby Onions
Jesse’s Favorite Crispy-Baked Potato Pancakes
Spiced Pears in Red Wine
For dessert, I might serve fresh fruit in season, such as sliced oranges, or indulge in one of the desserts from the “Light and Sumptuous Sweets” chapter.

Edamame (Fresh Green Soybeans)
NIBBLES FOR SIX
Edamame are a wonderful snack. I also like to serve them as hors d’oeuvres with drinks. I keep a bag in my fridge to nibble on in the late afternoon when I get hungry. They are available frozen in Asian markets and many health food stores. I prefer those still in the pod, but you may also buy the beans without pods.
INGREDIENTS
1-pound bag frozen edamame or soybeans in pods
2 teaspoons salt (sea salt preferred)
FIRST Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the edamame into the boiling water, stir, and return to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for 1 to 1½ minutes, then taste. The edamame should be slightly crisp but tender; if not, cook another ½ minute, then drain in a large colander. Refresh the beans under cold running water, tossing by hand so that they cool evenly. Drain thoroughly.
SECOND Transfer the cool soybean pods to a large bowl and add the salt. Toss lightly to coat evenly, and serve. To eat, simply suck the soybeans out of their pods.

Research has shown that soy foods reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. The FDA recommends 25 grams of soy protein a day, but recent research suggests that consuming just 20 grams (or two to three servings) produces benefits. Soy also contains phytoestrogens that help to reduce symptoms of PMS and perimenopause and may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer.


Spiced Almonds
NIBBLES FOR SIX (ABOUT 4 CUPS)
Both adults and children love crisp spiced almonds. The nuts freeze beautifully, so I prepare them in large batches and freeze them in plastic bags to have on hand. We sneak handfuls in late afternoon when we need a little snack and don’t want to spoil dinner. To serve, just defrost them at room temperature or reheat briefly in the oven.*
INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon virgin olive oil
1 pound raw, skinned almonds (or walnuts or peanuts)

2 egg whites, lightly beaten
½ cup sugar
1½ tablespoons five-spice powder, or a mixture of 1½ to 2 teaspoons ground allspice and 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
FIRST Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with the oil.
SECOND Put the almonds in a bowl. Mix the egg whites with the almonds and stir to coat. In a paper or plastic bag, mix the sugar with the spices and salt. Drain the almonds in a strainer and drop them into the bag. Holding the bag shut, shake it to coat the almonds with the spices and salt.
THIRD Spread the coated nuts in a single layer on the greased cookie sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and crisp. To test for doneness, cut an almond in half and make certain the inside is opaque and crisp. Let cool, then transfer to a serving dish. (These will keep for up to 1 week in a tightly covered container and indefinitely in the freezer.)
*To recrisp the nuts, bake them in a 350-degree oven until crisp (about 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally) before serving.
Although almonds are high in fat, it is monounsaturated, so they help to reduce cholesterol. Almonds also contain impressive amounts of vitamin E, which can prevent heart disease, and they’re a rich source of calcium.
   Cinnamon and star anise, which are included in five-spice powder, are prescribed by Asian physicians to improve digestion and soothe the stomach.