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Monday, May 16, 2016

Recipe Review from 5/9/2016

Let's talk about the weather.  A week ago Friday we hit 90*.  As I write this a week later, it's 31*, with a windchill and snow showers.  My consolation is, at least we don't have to deal with tornadoes.

And I think my seedlings on the porch are officially frozen.   Good thing seeds are cheap and grow fast. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftover soba bowls   (S)  Udon Noodle Bowl
Mon (yoga)  Udon bowl
Tues - Udon bowl
Wed -Udon bowl
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri -  Out
Sat (L) leftovers  (S) BBQ Chicken with Slaw

Lunches - (Husband) sandwiches
                (me) Kitchari

Slow Cooker Ramen Bowl  (Ckng Lght, May 2016) 
Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list or the directions.  This was amazingly simple!   I will say, tho, best left for the weekend so you don't feel rushed getting home from work.

One significant substitution - I used one package of dried udon noodles instead of the fresh ramen called for.  Seriously Cooking Light!  Not everyone has access to an Asian store or even a well-stocked co-op!  Rawr! I love udon noodles so no biggie.  I prepared according to directions on the package, adding the eggs after the appropriate time and everything was done at once.  Drain noodles, toss in broth.  Proceed.

I also skipped the nori and the sesame seeds.  More of a garnish than anything and I didn't want to putz or buy nori.

The flavors on this are very fresh and bright, but I will note that I felt this was almost bland from the freshness.  I will probably add a bit of siracha to my leftovers.

I would absolutely make this again, maybe even with some variations and modifications - there should be a reasonable method to make this vegetarian and still retain the flavors.   Highly recommended! 

This made four meals for two of us - though I did skip the egg in subsequent meals.  Very filling.

photo from cooking
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (2-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 onions, peeled and halved horizontally
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
4 cups water
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 (7 x 3-inch) piece kombu
1 (2-inch) piece peeled ginger, cut into 6 slices
12 ounces uncooked fresh Chinese noodles (or brown rice fresh ramen, such as Lotus Foods)
 1-8 oz pkg dried udon noodles - prepared according to directions and added to soup
8 large eggs
3 green onions, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

1 sheet nori, cut into very thin strips 
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add pork; cook 12 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 6-quart slow cooker. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions, cut side down, to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until charred; transfer to slow cooker. Add stock, 4 cups water, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to slow cooker. Remove stems from mushrooms; add stems to cooker. Reserve caps. Cover; cook on LOW for 7 hours.

2. Remove pork from cooker. Let stand 5 minutes; shred. Strain liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Return liquid to slow cooker; increase heat to HIGH. Thinly slice mushroom caps. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, mushroom caps, sesame oil, kombu, and ginger to slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 20 minutes. Discard kombu and ginger. Add noodles to slow cooker; cook 5 minutes.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Carefully lower eggs into water; cook 6 minutes. Place eggs in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes; peel and halve lengthwise. For each serving, place 3/4 cup noodles in a wide bowl; pour 1 cup broth over noodles. Top with pork, mushrooms, green onions, and chiles. Place 2 egg halves toward one side of bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nori.

Grilled Hawaiian Bowl  (Ckng Lght, May 2016)   gluten free, vegetarian option**
Dinner doesn't get much easier and tastier than this.  For ease of prep and for a better "fried rice", cook the rice the night before.  This is a very versatile dish, interchange veggies and meats and build the dish to taste. 

For a vegetarian option, drop the pork and increase the veggies, saute some tofu, or both.

For the meat peeps, try subbing Spam.  

NOTE:  This makes one serving.  Double/triple accordingly.   Although, I didn't double the sauce recipe for the two of us.  That made plenty for the rice mixture for both. 

photo from
2/3 cup cooked brown rice (I used 1 pkg Uncle Ben's instant)
2 slices (1/4-inch-thick) grilled fresh pineapple
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced grilled red onion
1/2 cup grilled sliced zucchini
3 ounces grilled pork tenderloin 
Honey-Soy Sauce:
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1. Top cooked brown rice with pineapple, red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, and grilled pork.

2. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, canola oil, and crushed red pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over bowl.

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Slaw (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free. 
Easy Peasy!  Seriously, a good meal doesn't get simpler and easier than this.  Well...perhaps not a home cooked one. 

My usual notables:  I did make the coleslaw earlier in the day to save time at dinner.  I also used turkey tenderloins instead of chicken because the turkey is less expensive than the chicken at the co-op, and the co-op doesn't always carry chicken thighs.   And I used brown sugar instead of white in the sauce for extra flavor.   I think a dollup of molasses or honey would be a flavorful addition as well.

This does come together quickly, so have everything ready mise en place before you start.   This made two meals for two of us.  Recommended. 

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
photo by
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1.25 lb turkey tenderloin
1 tablespoon chili powder, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
3/4 cup unsalted tomato sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
1 1/2 tsp sugar (cole slaw)
1 tbsp brown sugar for sauce 
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns

1. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon chili powder. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. shred chicken into large pieces with 2 forks.

2. While chicken cooks, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. stir in chicken; keep warm.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 cup onion, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and coleslaw. top bottom halves of buns evenly with chicken mixture, slaw, and top halves of buns, or serve slaw on the side.

Kitchari  (Banyan Botanicals: Elements of Kitchari)   vegetarian, gluten free, vegan
This may be a new favorite lunch dish or "comfort food" option.   Easy to throw together, can be varied, delightful flavors, easy on the tummy and would be great for after antibiotics or coming off the flu or head cold.   In the Ayurveda tradition, this is a known to be a high protein healing meal. 
You can tailor this to your tastes as I did:  I cooked the rice separate from the mung dal, then combined.   Like it more as a soup?  Add more water.  Like it thicker?  Use less water.  Change the proportions of rice and dal.   Many options.  Follow the link above for other ideas. 

This makes four to five one bowl servings, depending on any added veggies.   Recommended! 

• ¼ tsp black mustard seeds
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
photo from
1 small pinch asafoetida (hing) powder  (couldn't find in area)
• ½ tsp turmeric powder
• ½ tsp cumin powder
• ½ tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp rock salt
*Note: You can use 1 Tablespoon of Kitchari Spice Mix instead of the above.
• 2-3 TBS ghee (clarified butter)
• 1 cup split yellow mung dal, rinsed well, soaked overnight and drained
• 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed well and drained
• 4-5 thin slices of fresh ginger root
• 6 cups of water

1.Using a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the ghee on medium heat.

2.Saute the Kitchari Spice Mix or just the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida.

3.Add the drained mung dal, turmeric, and salt and stir until the mix almost starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

4.Add the rice, water, cumin powder, coriander powder, and ginger.

5.Bring the mixture to boil on high heat, then cover the pot and turn the heat down and let it simmer until both the rice and dal are mushy (approximately 30-45 minutes). Add water as needed to prevent scorching. The consistency should be that of a thick vegetable stew.

6. You may have to experiment with the amount of water you use to find the right consistency for you (the more water, the thinner the consistency).

7.You may also choose to add some of your favorite vegetables half way through the cooking process.

8.Serve hot. Enjoy!

Recommended garnishes - Coconut, Cilantro, Lime

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