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It’s been a long time since I posted! Shame on me! This tasty recipe for baked egg rolls is super delicious, easy and very healthy. My five year old helped me “roll” the egg rolls, and both my kids loved the end result. The green onions are the only ingrediant that requires chopping. Everything else is just opening packages. I found egg roll wrappers in the produce section by the tofu, and oyster sauce is in the Asian food aisle. Get your kids to help and have fun! (Yes my daughter is pictured below still in her jammies at dinner time. And yes she’s wearing Christmas jammies in April.)

Crispy Baked Egg Rolls

2 tbsp. olive oil
16 oz. bag cole slaw mix (cabbage or broccoli slaw)
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 tbsp. white wine (vermouth or sake)
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 eggs (optional)
1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
20 egg roll wrappers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium to medium high heat. Add coleslaw, green onions, bean sprouts, wine, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Stir- fry until cabbage is wilted, 3 – 5 minutes. Push contents of pan to the outside leaving a well in the center. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add to pan. Let the eggs cook for about 1 minute then stir until soft scrambled. Mix everything together. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp. cold water and stir into cabbage mixture. Stir for about 1 minute until sauce is thickened.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place a 1/4 cup of the mixture in center of egg roll wrapper turned like a diamond.

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Fold the bottom corner up over the filling. Fold in both sides, then roll upward. Put a dab of water on the top corner to seal the roll. Place on baking sheet seam side down.

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Repeat with remaining mixture and wrappers, about 20. Egg rolls can be placed close together on baking sheet but cannot touch. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and Chinese hot mustard.

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This recipe is a great dish for a Meatless Monday or as a side dish.  I adapted it from The Gourmet Cookbook which has the rice topped with deep-fried onions.  Even though the thought of some onion rings sounded yummy, I don’t think this dish needs them.  On its own the lentils and rice make a hearty and healthy dish.  If I could figure out how to make saag paneer I think I could make my perfect vegetarian meal.  I might even become a once a week vegetarian on a regular basis.  Happy lentils!

Lentils and Curried Brown Rice

  • 1 cup lentils picked over and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Combine lentils with cold well-salted water to cover by 2-inches in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook lentils at a bare simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain in a sieve and gently rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add curry and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups water, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook uncovered for about 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more.  All the liquid should be absorbed.  Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.

Transfer rice to a bowl and fluff with a fork.  Add lentils and parsley and toss well.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Serves 6 as a side dish.

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Don’t be afraid of the parsnip!  Think of the parsnip as carrot’s pale cousin.  Parsnips are not only tasty, but they are loaded with potassium and are a good source of dietary fiber.  They also add a lovely texture to pureed soups.  This soup combines parsnips and sweet potatoes for a savory and slightly sweet flavor.  I used chicken broth in mine, if using vegetable broth the soup may turn out slightly darker.  To make this a one pot meal add the optional chickpeas.  This goes great with fresh crusty bread.

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 leeks, including light green parts, finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 parsnips peeled and sliced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, about 1 pound total weight, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (for garnish)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil.  Add the leeks and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsnips, and potatoes and saute about 3 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stock.  Partially cover the pan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 – 30 minutes.  Add the chickpeas if using and heat 3 minutes longer.  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Puree soup in a blender or food processor or process with a handheld blender until smooth.  Return soup to pan and reheat gently.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with remaning parsley.  Makes 4-6 servings.

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This stir fry is flavorful, colorful and simple.  Hoisin sauce can be found near the soy sauce at the grocery store, and is a great addition to many Asian inspired dishes.  If you are serving kids omit the the chili garlic sauce and add it at the table.
 
Chicken, Shiitake, and Broccoli Stir Fry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 12 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or 3 – 4 large dried mushrooms)
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Florets from 1 crown of broccoli (about 3 cups)
  • 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chinese five spice powder

 If using dried mushrooms, place the mushrooms in a microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes and let mushrooms soak until ready to use. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan.  Add ginger, mushrooms, broccoli and onion.  Stir fry 5 minutes.  Move the vegetables to the outside of the pan and add the chicken to the center. Cook stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through.  If you like a lot of sauce add some of the mushroom soaking liquid now.  Add hoisin, chili sauce and five spice.  Cook about 2 minutes more and remove from heat.  Serve with hot steamed white or brown rice.

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Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods.  Its is rich and cheesy and delicious.  It does take some time to prepare, but the preparation is relatively simple and well worth the time.  Served with a green salad or other vegetable it makes a complete meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded colby-jack or mozzarella cheese
  • Paprika (optional)

Cook macaroni according to package directions (be sure to add salt to water).  Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven over low heat: add flour, stirring until smooth.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually add milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  This can take about 10 minutes.  Stir in salt and cheeses, stirring until cheese melts.

Stir cooked macaroni into sauce and pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.  Bake uncovered at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe can be halved and baked in a 2-quart or 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

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This quick salad is a great side dish for chicken or is great all by itself.  It’s fresh, light and satisfying.  Be sure to eat it the day its made or the next day because the yogurt separates and looks a tad unappealing. 

Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint

  • 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups sliced peeled cucumber (about 3 medium)

Combine yogurt, mint, salt, cumin and pepper in a large bowl.  Add cucumber to yogurt mixture, and toss gently to coat.  Cover and chill one hour.  Makes about four one cup servings.

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I found this chicken recipe on epicurious a few months ago and just got around to trying it last week.  It’s fairly simple, the chicken has to marinate for at least 4 hours or preferably longer, and the mashed potatoes are very easy.  If someone in your house is lactose intolerant, like my husband, try using chicken broth in place of the milk in the potatoes.   

 Fragrant Orange Chicken

1 chicken cut up  (I can always find this at the grocery, sometimes it’s called “pick of the chick”)
Zest and juice of 3 oranges
1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro

Place the chicken in a large bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients and coat chicken. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours.  Remove chicken 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Arrange chicken in a shallow roasting pan.  Pour 2/3 cup of the marinade into the pan.  Bake chicken for 1 hour.
Transfer to a platter. Serve with Scallion Mashed Potatoes.

Serves 4 – 6

 Scallion Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds russet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces on the diagonal (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)

Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.  Place in a large saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain well, then mash with the butter and milk.
Season with salt and pepper. Stir in scallions. Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

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