Friday, January 30, 2009

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad
  • 1 pkg shredded cabbage
  • 1 pg Ichiban noodles, broken
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 pkg bean sprouts
  • 2 cups chopped green onions
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ pkg chow mein noodles

  • 1 soup seasoning from ichiban noodles
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 – 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

In a large bowl, mix the first 9 ingredients until they are well blended. In a jar, mix the next 7 ingredients, shaking very well. Pour dressing over vegetables in bowl and toss them thoroughly to make sure all vegetables are coated. Refrigerate until needed. Toss gently before you serve. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fried Rice and Easy Chow Mein

So tonight was Fried Rice and Easy Chow Mein!

(I would call this a very very easy meal!!)

Fried Rice
  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Egg - beaten
  • Salt & Pepper
1. If you think of it a head of time cook the rice the night or two before. After cooking it try to leave out with a lid off while it is cooling down to dry out the rice.

2. Melt the butter in the oil a medium or large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the sliced green onion and diced white onion. Cook until the white onion is soft. 

3. Add the rice to the pan and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add the frozen veggies (and meat if you choose), Soya Sauce and steam for 2 minutes.

5. Beat the egg in a container with salt and pepper.  Pile the rice in the center of the Pan and then stir in the egg. Make sure that you stir the rice while adding the egg otherwise you will have scrambled egg.

Chow Mein
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 can water chessnuts (drained)
  • 19 oz bean sprouts
  • 1 can Mini Corn on the Cob (drained)
  • 1 can Mushrooms (with juice)
  • 2 cups Cooked Meat (chicken/beef/pork)
  • 2 cups Chopped Celery
  • 1 cup Diced Onions
  • Fried Noodles
1. In a 10-cup Microwave Safe Dish dilute the cornstarch in Soy Sauce and the juice from the can of mushrooms.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients into the dish.

3. Microwave for 10-12 minutes.

4. Let Stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef & Chickpea Curry

So tonight we did the Crockpot Beef Curry stolen from "Definitely Not Martha"

I really liked this recipe and agree th
at it is truly very easy!

In attempting this recipe a LOT of people I spoke to are very anti-curry. Upon furthering questioning the reasoning was usually how spicy curry is, the smell or the general taste.

Well in making the recipe I used Patak's Curry Paste however - I used the Most mild one that I could find.  Surprises of surprises our house did not stink, the taste was rather mild and it was not spicy. In making this again I would do a few things differently:

  1. Use more curry paste (if using mild) or use a medium heat one;
  2. I would skip the nan - don't get me wrong I LOVE naan. I even bought a Tandoori one that tasted amazing. However, they were roughly 300 calories per piece, and the wraps are also high in calories. So in the future I would serve it with brown rice. It tasted amazing!
  3. I would NOT use the juice of a whole Lime.  Either because I am really good at squeezing fruit juice (not likely) or I had an abnormally large lime (this) the sauce was overwhelmed by the lime flavor. 

I won't post the recipe here so check out the other blog.

Here are my pictures!
Right out of the crockpot:

Here it is finally all boiled off (it really only took 20 minutes and it took that long to prepare the rest of the food anyways!)

Here is the delicious supper!  As you can see I am having it with the Thai Noodle salad!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quiche Lorraine-ish ... or something along those lines anyways...

So I decided I wanted to make Quiche this week. Why? because last time I tried I failed miserably AND I had an extra pie crust left in the freezer...yes I don't make my own yet I buy frozen... (Tenderflake - trust me they are the best.)Unfortunately I decided I like two different recipes and wanted to see if I could combine parts from both..the result was LOTS of quiche but it was VERY tasty!

Quiche Lorraine-ish (enough to make two pies worth - or one large)
  • 10 slices pre-cooked bacon
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 12 oz milk (I used 2% because that is what I had)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (only because I had it...)
  • 1 frozen pie crust (although in hind sight I should have had 2)

1. Take the frozen pie crust out, and place it on the counter for 10-15 minutes while you get everything else out.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

3. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork (for those who don't know - like all over the place) and place it in the oven for 10 minutes. take it out when done and set aside.

4. Place a medium skillet on the stove over medium heat. While it is heating throw the bacon in the pan to crisp up and get warm. Once done remove the bacon, set it aside and drain any oil from the pan.

5. Throw the diced onion and leek into the skillet. Give them a good amount of salt and pepper.

6. Stir until nicely soft and almost caramelized.

7. In a bowl beat the 8 eggs and then add the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and then the finely grated cheddar cheese (we didn't finely grate it and I would suggest it would work better).

8. Now in the bottom of the pie crust add some bacon and the leek and onion mixture.

9. Add the egg mixture until it is almost at the top of the pie crust.

10. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the center is firm.

11. Remove from the oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: So I ended up with a lot of egg and onion mixture and not enough room for the pie crust - so if you are lazy (like me) and don't want to handle the pie crust, or you are looking to cut carbs, or just plum forgot the crust... you can try doing what I did: I just got out a small glass pan (about 6 x9) and made sure it was greased (rub it with some butter). Then i just added all my ingredients without a crust (I could just say it was my gluten free recipe which it is but this was rather just a fluke...)
Anyways - this was kid approved! My daughter ate almost a plate full! I mean if your kid likes bacon and/or eggs this is a great meal item! You could also change up the veggies in it if you wanted to (I forgot because I was more panicked about having extra egg and no where to put it...)

Alternatives: leave out any bacon, or make it in a spring form pan so you can skip the crust and just make one larger dish.

Final thoughts: Quiche is not a quick thing to make - so I would probably not do it again on a week night. However, I am told that it reheats really well - so it might be a good weekend make& save (meaning make it on a sunday and then use it during the week as a meal saver).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shepard's Pie

SO one of my favorite meals from being a kid is Shepard's Pie.

I still love it to this day for several reasons:
  1. it is super easy to make;
  2. it has all the basic components (veg, meat, starch);
  3. it freezes very very well so good for extended meal preparation;
  4. it has many ways to add more veggies to it!
It is really easy to double, triple or even quadruple the recipe for future freezing

Shepard's Pieingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp minced ginger (in the jar if you have it)
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp of beef bullion powder (alternatively use stock instead of the water and mix)
3 cups of frozen corn (or peas, broccoli or anything really - even a mix)
6 medium potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 (unless you are preparing this for freezing)

2. Put a medium pot of water on the stove;

3. Peal the potatoes, and quarter them, then place in the pot on the stove;

4. Add a few pinches of salt to the water;

5. Heat a little oil in a medium or large skillet on the stove over medium heat (or use non-stick);

6. Dice the onion and Celery and put them in the hot skillet - give them a good dose of salt and pepper;

7. Cook the onion and celery until soft;

8. Add the Garlic and Ginger to the skillet and give it a good stir;

9. Put the ground beef in the skillet and cook until brown making sure to break up any clumps of meat. I also add more salt and pepper at this point and any other spices you want for a kick (e.g., thyme, oregano) (NOTE: if you
 are using frozen meat and don't want to defrost it - put the meat in the pan first and break it up then add in the onion and celery).

10. Add the bullion to the boiling water (or heat the stock) and then whisk in the flour until mixed well and not clumpy.

11. Add the flower, and stock mixture to the frying pan. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer until it is a very thick gravy like sauce.

12. Once the meat mixture is simmering (or before if necessary) check the potatoes and once they are soft, drain them.

13. Add some butter, salt, pepper and milk to the potatoes and mash. You don't want the mixture to be too soft - you want it a little bit on the dry side as they will get softer from the moisture during cooking.

14. Once the meat mixture and potatoes are ready place the meat mixture in the bottom of a glass pan (I use a lasagna pan 8x11 I think) and then put the frozen veggies on top of that. Then layer with the mashed potatoes.

15. I then add a little bit of pepper to the top.

16. Pop in the oven for 50 minutes and serve!

TIPS for freezing: potatoes usually never freeze well (or so I'm told). I have frozen them when preparing for my daughter to be born and found that the best way to have them hold up is cook them a little harder then normal and then if making something like mashed potatoes keep the mixture much dryer than you normally would. Then when reheating you can add a little butter or milk ontop and they will get a nice texture.

Alternatively you can also make a cauliflower puree to go on the top of this to keep it healthier. Also you can add more veggies to the meat mixture - like mushrooms, green pepper, diced carrots. The key is to keep them on the smaller size (think the size of a kernel of corn or smaller).

Lastly, if you don't know how to make mashed potatoes let me know and I'll actually measure what I use and then post the directions on here!