16 June 2009

Light Sesame Chicken

So Chinese food is by all means my favorite take out food/hungover food but I hate how horrible it is for you. I love looking for healthier versions of my favorite Chinese dishes. My all time favorite is wonton soup and while I've found a recipe I have yet to make it. One of my go to main dishes is Sesame Chicken but I hate that Chinese places fry the chicken first. I saw this recipe and I had to try it. It was AMAZING! It tasted so much like the take-out version and it was 12 times healthier. I did take the advice of blog I found this from and doubled the sauce. It took a little while for it to thicken up so keep that in mind when you're first cooking the chicken. I think I could have cooked it a little less in the beginning since it had to cook another 3-5 minutes to thicken the sauce. I boiled some broccoli (couldn't find my steamer) and had some leftover rice with it. It was great. I literally had to stop myself from eating it so I didn't gorge myself. If you like Chinese Food, try this! Wonton soup is on my list to tackle next. :)

Light Sesame Chicken
Found on Mrs. D Loves to Eat but from Martha

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and flour. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until golden and opaque throughout. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
Return all chicken to skillet. Add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat. Serve over steamed broccoli and white or brown rice.

Taco Pasta Salad

Yum! We went to Noah's Ark the other day for Red Arrow day and Hannah's birthday. Since it was a brigade function the FRG set up a a pavilion and we had to bring a dish to share along with the hot dogs. I wanted to bring something that Erin and I could use as a main dish since neither of us like hot dogs. I saw this on Cara's blog and thought it'd be perfect. I picked up a Rotisserie Chicken (my fav go to thing to buy) so that I could add some chicken to it so it was a little more hearty. This salad turned out great! It was healthy and filling which was perfect for spending a day in a bathing suit. I used a bottled salsa in it and I think next time I will try to use more of a pico de gallo salsa as it'll give it a little more crunch. Also, I'd love to find some Wagon Wheel pasta since that's what it calls for but of course my grocery store doesn't have any. I think this might become my go to pot luck dish.

I don't have a picture of this one since I made it in a tupperware to be taken to the water park so I'll just link it directly to Cara's website. You all should definitly make this! Here is the recipe.

Crock Pot White Bean and Sausage Soup

The crock pot is one of my favorite things. Especially during the week when I'm busy after work with working out and getting the dog exercised. I made this over the weekend so that I could have leftovers during the week. I had made it once previously when I was moving and it was great as leftovers! I think that, as a rule, soup is almost better as leftovers! This soup is the easiest and it's pretty healthy. This time I made it even easier by using frozen mixed veggies as I didn't have any fresh on hand. I also used some previously made and frozen homemade veggie stock mixed with boxed chicken broth. It turned out great and it actually looks much fresher with the frozen veggies I used. Also, the recipe calls for the hot turkey sausage but my grocery store never has that. Both times I've used the sweet turkey sausage and it turns out fine. I do think it'd be better with the spicy turkey sausage so next time I see it I'll be sure to stock up!

I love the website that this came from. She uses the crock pot everyday to make her food. I have found a ton of different crock pot recipes from her and I'm hoping to be able to use the crock pot once a week! Here's the recipe with my changes!

White Bean and Sausage Soup
From: A Year of Slow Cooking

--1 can white kidney beans
--1 can pinto beans
--1 can garbanzo beans
--1 t thyme
--2-4 spicy chicken or turkey sausage (I used three and I took it out of the casing and broke it up into the broth as there was no direction of what to do with it and this made the most sense to me)
--1/2 chopped yellow onion (I used more than this)
--1/2 cup leftover rice pilaf (if you want to use raw rice, you should have enough liquid to add 1/4 to 1/3 cup without losing soupiness)
--2 cups chopped fresh vegetables (I had broccoli, carrots, asparagus--as I said above I used frozen mixed veggies)
--1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (I used half homemade veggie broth and the rest boxed chx broth)

The Directions.

Drain your beans (I didn't rinse, for no reason other than sheer laziness -- I rinsed 'cause I'm a sodium freak) and throw them into your crock. Chop up whatever vegetables you are going to use in tiny pieces. Break up sausage and add.
Cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The soup is done when it's heated through and the vegetables are tender, but it's not going to hurt anything to cook it longer and give the flavors more time to meld. (This time I cooked on high for about 5 hours but last time I let it cook on low all day. I think it was a little better cooked on low all day)

Tangy Tilapia with Zucchini Boats

So I've been trying to eat healthier again. The past month has sort of been on and off with making food and eating out. Sometimes I just get convinced by the ease of ordering in, especially when it's just me! Anyway, I love fish and it's so good for you. When I went to the store Tilapia was on sale so I bought two bags of it. I saw this recipe on a great cooking blog and thought it sounded great. It goes along with the asparagus soup I made before in that it uses cottage cheese as a filler. This was very good. Only problem was that I made the whole bag of Tilapia which was about 6 pieces. Since it was just me, after the fourth meal of this I was tired of it. I did end up throwing a little bit of it away, horrible I know! It was great though, just make the actual portion size below or make it for more than one person!

Recipe can be found at Cara's Cravings. Check out her blog, it's great!

02 June 2009

Rachel Ray's Buffalo Joes

This is one of Micah's fav dishes and it's so easy to make. I made it the other night quickly before taking the dog for a walk and then just re-heated it when I got back. The recipe says to put blue cheese on the top but we found that a little over-whelming. However, we may have gotten skunky blue cheese. I used feta this time because feta is good with everything. I put the pickles on this time as well and it was nice. Added a little crunch. I do add a little extra hot sauce, and I'm a heat wimp so I think anybody else who makes this definitely should. The recipe also calls for turkey but I use chicken. I halved the recipe this time but when Micah's here we easily go through the whole recipe in a couple days.
Here's the recipe as I made it:

Buffalo Sloppy Joes:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped or grated
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 8 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 cup Feta crumbles
  • 2 large dill pickles, chopped


Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile sloppy Buffalo filling onto buns and top with blue cheese and chopped pickles.

This is the best side dish for it too: Mashed Potato Skins
It's from a Rachel Ray episode of guiltless pleasures. I used turkey bacon in the potatoes. Enjoy!

Wilton Cake Class

So I took the first Wilton cake decorating class. It was a lot of fun to learn and now I am the official "cake baker." Haha. For our first cake we had to bring in our own design so I drew one up. It turned out really nice I think. I tried to re-make our wedding cake with it. It was chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and raspberry filling. I didn't have just raspberries so I used mixed berries. The cake was really good. Again, for times sake, I used a cake mix but my cake tasters didn't seem to mind. I'm really just posting this to brag a little bit. I think I did pretty well and I can only get better from here. :)

Last weekend, for multiple birthdays - including Brewers - I was asked to re-create this cake. My aunt wanted chocolate frosting instead of the white frosting. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which is one of my favorite blogs. Everyone loved it but I thought it was a little rich. I also think that I may have overcooked the cake layers as they weren't quite as moist as I would have hoped for. I just don't think I can do the chocolate on chocolate. I still think it's best with buttercream! I didn't get a picture of the before (probably for the best since I misspelled birthday) but here it is after.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

I'm always looking for healthy ways to make things that aren't always that healthy. This recipe is one of those. Instead of using cream to thicken the soup you use cottage cheese that you blend in. I have to admit, I was quite skeptical at first because I don't like cottage cheese, but this was so good. I did add some garlic toast which made it even better. I think it might have been better the next day. When I took it to work I put a little parmesan cheese in it and it gave a sort of salty, nutty flavor.

Asparagus Soup
From: Cara's Cravings

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-lb bunch fresh asparagus
freshly ground salt & pepper
1 tsp Greek seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
6oz low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat milk

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard. Chop asparagus into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add asparagus, salt & pepper, and seasoning and stir to combine. Add chicken broth; this should be enough to just cover the vegetables in the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Blend together the cottage cheese and milk in a blender or in a separate container using an immersion blender, until completely smooth. Set aside.

Remove the soup from heat and process until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by transferring to a food processor or blender. Return to medium-low heat and gently stir in cottage cheese mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1-2 minutes to let it fully thicken.

I found the most luck using a regular blender. My immersion blender didn't seem to work very well.

Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 158.8
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 11.9 mg
Sodium: 882.8 mg
Total Carbs: 18.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.1 g
Protein: 15.4 g

Happy Mother's Day

For Mother's Day I was responsible for most of the food. I had a blast making all sorts of different kinds of food for our brunch. The day before Hannah, Maddy and I made our own edible arrangements as gifts for our grandma and my mom. They turned out really well and we had a blast making them I recently started a cake decorating class so I also wanted to make something fun for dessert. I made devil's food and vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate raspberry frosting. They were so yummy. I also made a candy flower to go on top. I used ***gasp*** cake mix for the cupcakes but here's the frosting recipe.
I also made this quiche with a hash brown crust. Instead of goat cheese I used cream cheese and I also added some turkey bacon. It was pretty yummy. Lastly, we made Monkey Rolls. So amazing. I didn't manage to get a picture of these before they were devoured. Make these, they're amazing!
It was a great day of great food.