Monday, April 27, 2009

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

Oh I guess you could say I've been on an "Asian" kick lately..... but I'm not getting any complaints! I got the idea for this from my local health food store's website (Harvest Health). Mine ended up being a bit different...but still very tasty.

Quinoa is chock full of protein and fiber- and can be a great substitute for rice. So when I came across the Shrimp Fried Quinoa Recipe, I had to try it. The recipe went together very easily, and my husband ate peas!!! We all really enjoyed this- much tastier than the "fried rice" you get at the take-out places. I will definitely make this again, and will be putting it on file as one of my go-to meals, for when I just don't know what to make! You could definitely use different vegetables as well. (or chicken!)

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed (I used half inca red and half regular, for color)
2 cups water
Dash of salt
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 small carrots, sliced thin
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp Canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger Root, minced
1 1/2 cups thawed pre-cooked shrimp, tails removed, and chopped
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce (I love the stuff!!!)
1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1/8 cup white wine

1. In a saucepan, combine salt, quinoa and water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes (until the water has been absorbed). Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and white wine. Set aside.
3. Heat a wok on medium high heat (6-7) add the oil, ginger, garlic, onion, and carrot. Saute until tender, but not mushy. Add the peas, and the shrimp.
4. Add the quinoa, and the sauce, distributing, saute until the shrimp and peas are warmed through- make sure your peas aren't still frozen!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicken Stir Fry

I never used to like doing stir-fry until I started making my own sauces. The bottled ones just don't do it for me, I never know what they are going to taste like, and the powdered ones, well let's just not go there. I usually do beef for stir fry, so I thought I'd switch it up a bit and do chicken today. This is another sauce that we like- adapted from Recipezaar. Add your own meats, veggies, sesame seeds, sprouts, and make it a meal, served over rice or pasta. Yum!

Brown Garlic Sauce

2/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1/3 Cup Rice Wine (I just used white wine)

3 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

1/4 tsp. Pepper

2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic

1 Tbsp. Minced Ginger

2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water

1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, broth, wine, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper.

2. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup water.

3. Heat a pan over high heat, add the cooking oil, add the garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

4. Add the soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 1 minute.

6. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring until the sauce boils and thickens.

7. Add to your stir-fry!

Tip: I used chicken breast for this (about 3/4 lb. for my family, which gave leftovers for lunch), sliced thin, and poured a little soy sauce and oyster sauce (left over from my other stir fry recipe!) and let it sit for maybe 5-10 minutes before cooking. As usual, I cheated and steamed my veggies over the rice, while cooking the chicken, then added the veggies to the wok, added the sauce, and stirred until thickened. This sauce recipe makes quite a bit, but you can refrigerate the other half for another use (or if you like saucy stir-fry- use it all!)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Chinese Take-Out"

This is a recipe I make very often. I have adapted it from meals matter. The sauce reminds me of the beef and broccoli sauce you would get from chinese takeout. I never have any complaints when I make this meal for my boys. The flank steak is great as a "stir-fry" meat. I have also included our favorite way to make basic rice, the stock adds a little more flavor.

Beef with Vegetables in Oyster Sauce

1 Lb. Flank Steak

3 Tbsp Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp Dry Red Wine
2 Tbsp Chicken Broth

6 Tbsp Oyster Sauce (I use Kikkoman Brand)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
2 tsp Cornstarch

4 Garlic cloves, minced or "microplained"

1 Inch Piece of Ginger Root, minced or "microplained"
2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks

1 small head of Broccoli, cut into florets

Handful of Green Beans, halved

1. Trim the Flank Steak of any excess fat. Cut into 1 inch strips with the grain, then slice across the grain into 1/8 inch thick slices. Put the Steak in a bowl, add the soy sauce, and let marinate in the fridge for about an hour.

2. Whisk the chicken broth, oyster sauce, red wine, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch together in a bowl. Combine the garlic and ginger in a separate bowl.

3. Heat some oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the steak in batches, until browned on each side and around the edges. Set the steak aside.

4. I usually steam my vegetables (especially carrots and green beans) a bit over the rice (while it is simmering) to give them a head start on getting tender, then I transfer them to the wok with a little oil, and saute until tender crisp.

5. In the empty wok, add a tablespoon of oil, and your ginger and garlic, saute over medium- low heat for about 3 minutes, add your vegetables, and saute over medium heat until tender but crisp, add the steak, add your sauce, and mix well, sauteing until the sauce has thickened. Serve over Rice.

Basic Rice

2 cups Chicken Broth

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup white rice (long grain)

2 Tbsp Butter

Add all ingredients in a sauce pan, Bring to a boil, boiling until little tunnels form, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Quick Easy (Yummy) Meal!!!

I have always loved polenta, and it has been awhile since I made any. This recipe uses the pre-made polenta, which you can find in tubes in the refrigerated section, or in the pasta/italian
food isle. The shrimp turned out to be my take on "scampi", and the Green Beans my husband prepared went quite nicely.

Fried Polenta Rounds with Shrimp

- serves 3-4 -

1 tube of Polenta, I used a garlic-basil flavored

1/4 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce

Raw Shrimp, thawed 4-6 per person
(depending on size)
2 Tbsp Butter

Dash of Lemon Pepper

2 Squirts of Lime Juice

Dash of Seasoned Salt

Dash of Garlic Powder

Dash of Dried Oregano

Parmesan Cheese for Sprinkling

1. Slice the polenta tube into 1/4 inch thick slices (about 12 slices)

2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, (I removed the tails as well for easier eating).

3. Add the spaghetti sauce to a small sauce pan to heat on low.

4. In a large saute pan, heat the butter mixed with some olive oil over medium heat (6). Add the polenta slices and fry, until one side begins to brown and crust, then flip and fry the other side until golden brown and crisp. This takes about 7 minutes per side.

5. Remove the polenta rounds to a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the oil. Turn down the heat to medium-low (4-5).

6. In the same pan, with the same butter/olive oil, add the shrimp, you may need to add a little extra oil and/or butter. Season the shrimp with the seasoned salt, lemon pepper, lime juice, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook until no longer pink, then flip and cook the other side until no longer pink. This takes only a couple minutes on each side!

7. To Serve, Place 3 polenta rounds (or more) on each plate, top with spaghetti sauce, and then top with shrimp. Sprinkle parmesan if desired.

Asian Green Beans

- serves 2-4 depending on your portion size -
(we try to make your veggie portion larger than our meat portion)

1/2 Lb Green Beans, washed but not cut

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

Dash of Garlic Powder

Dash of Cumin

Dash of Ground Ginger

Splash of Lime Juice

In a wok, heat the Olive Oil and Soy Sauce. Add the garlic powder, cumin, ginger, and lime juice to taste. Saute the Green Beans until slighty tender, but still crisp.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My first loaf from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day" !!!

My brother, Matthew, and sister-in law, Kathy (both at A Good Appetite), turned my Mom onto this book called "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day". My mother then turned me onto it, and my husband picked me up a copy a few weeks ago. All I can say is "WOW" this system makes it so easy to have fresh bread whenever I want it! Make enough dough for a few loaves, and keep it in the fridge! No kneading, no long rising, no big mess! I made my first batch of the "Master Recipe" dough this morning, and baked my first loaf tonight before dinner! It had a great crust, and a light chewy center. (I had to show off a picture of my first loaf- above- I am proud of it). I would definitely suggest this book- for all you people who don't think they can make bread (me)! I've never had the greatest luck at bread baking (besides banana bread, which doesn't require the kneading and rising). In the past trying to make my own bread seemed to take up most of my day (which is very hard having a 6 year old and a 1 year old...), and it never turned out quite right.

Now I won't have to hear the "a nice piece of crusty bread would be GREAT with this...." anymore.... the dough will be there- no fuss!

Thanks Matthew, Kathy, and Mom for the great suggestion!