Friday, February 25, 2011

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This week has been something else...I finally finished my annotated bibliography and turned it in after hours and hours of hard brain frying work, so naturally what do I want to do for the rest of my week? Look at food blogs and cook up a storm!  Wednesday night there was suppose to be a huge snow storm, my roommate and I desperately wanted a snow day on what did we do? We acted like we both didn't have to work the next day (ie staying up late watching episodes of many things and yes drinking a fair amount of wine).  Needless to say the next day was not a snow day and I felt a little under the weather if you know what I mean.  My brain function was not at its prime and I was grumpy from little sleep, so what do I do when I'm drained and unmotivated to do anything? Spend endless hours gawking at food blogs.  I knew I had chicken I needed to use up but I wanted to make something different (here is my branching out and being creative thing again) and I seriously started becoming frustrated when it seemed as if people only made roasted chicken, drumsticks, seasoned chicken breasts, Parmesan chicken, chicken skewers, or some sort of stuffed chicken.....these were the main recipes for pages upon pages of chicken meals.  I was ready to give up on chicken until I found this recipe and its very tasty.  I made this meal last night for my wonderful friend Turner (who also has an awesome blog) and I so that we could make it through putting together a 40 minute discussion for our class that we have all weekend.  So here it is.

Adapted from This Week for Dinner
Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 large chicken breast, diced bite size
5 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1/8 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
 4 romaine heart lettuce leaves
olive oil

The Process
1.  Heat up olive oil over medium-high heat in wok (or skillet), when hot add chicken and onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through.

2.  Then add garlic, water chestnuts, mushrooms, sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar, hoisin, ginger, and soy sauce.  Stir and reduce heat to medium heat and cook for about 3 more minutes or until ingredients are semi-soft.

3.  Put chicken mixture romaine lettuce leaves, roll, and eat.

I also served brown jasmine rice with soy sauce and nori komi furikake.  This is also a very healthy meal with protein and veggies.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marinated Eggplant

I love eggplant and one of the rad things about eggplant is it acts like a potato and meat.  Its like a potato because it doesn't have tons of flavor to begin with but loves to absorb flavor that seasons it.  Its like meat because its chewy and hardy, the way I like things to be.  It is not often that I buy eggplant because its not the cheapest and it doesn't have amazing amounts of nutrition like the green leafy vegetables I usually eat.....But I have been trying to branch out in my grocery shopping.  It is SO easy to just get in a routine and habitually buy the same food all the time.  Don't get me wrong I always buy cheese and bread...and coffee..and....and exactly my point, so with this need for change and creativity in cooking I bought an eggplant (I totally feel pathetic narrating my inner "lame" thoughts but hey whats a blog? exactly that).  Anyways while my friend so honestly said "wow that looks like poop" it does, eggplant marinating in brown liquids....not so attractive but it tastes sooo good, not like poop.

Adapted from Amateur Gastronomer
Serves 3 (as a side salad or appetizer)

The Ingredients
1 medium to large eggplant, chopped into large bite size chunks
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, chopped coarsely
black sesame seeds (as garnish, optional)

The Process
1. After chopping eggplant, steam for 6 minutes, or until slightly soft

2.  In medium bowl mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, and ginger.

3.  Add eggplant to mixture and stir.  Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 24 hours. (the longer it marinates the better it tastes.

4.  Serve with garnish of black sesame seeds.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Petite Sirloin Steak

Have I been slacking on my blog? yes. Why? Because school is running my life.  Have I been eating and cooking lots of great food? yes.  This post is dedicated to my "I gotta eat way more protein" motto I'm living by right now.  So here is something simple but delicious that I made a couple weeks ago for my dear friend Elisa.  When it comes to steak rarely do I actually follow a recipe, because what I know is that I like it rare....really rare...and who can't figure out marinades? Anyways this is by yours truly.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
Two (about 7oz) petite sirloin steaks
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce (any)
olive oil

The Process
1.  In a large ziploc bag mix Worcestershire sauce, garlic, pepper, steak sauce, and add steak to marinate for at least 1 hour.

2.  When done marinating, heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium high heat.

3.  Cook steaks about 4 minutes each side and yes this makes them very rare.

These steaks were accompanied by some really good red quinoa and slightly sauteed collard greens, great combination.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Faux Chicken Pho

This is the types of thing that I make when I have almost no food in my entire house (kitchen).  I've been holding out on buying food because I have to save money so I am  refusing to go the grocery store...which is obviously a losing battle because people have to eat.  So this no spending money kick must end, but until then I have resorted to my faux pho.  This is my recipe and its damn healthy.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups mushrooms (I used a variety)
4 oz chicken (breast or tenders), poached (boil about 6 minutes) and cubed
1 cup rice noodles, cooked (follow package directions)
1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

The Process
1.  In soup pot bring to boil broth garlic and ginger, then reduce to simmer.

2.  Add mushrooms, chicken, broccoli, fish sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, let heat for about 2 minutes.

3.  Take soup off heat and add rice noodles last, stir and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Late night baking? Apparently I'm good at it.  So as I have mentioned no I don't like to bake and I'm not fantastic at it (ie milk dud cookies)....BUT this bread turned out really well.  It was inspired by very ripe bananas and a need to distract myself from homework.  This is a pretty healthy recipe considering the other ones I was looking at.  I found a simple recipe (that I adapted) that did the job, so here it is, also I will mention it is not a super sweet banana bread...but that is personally how I like it anyways.

2 loaves
Adapted from Food Network Recipe

The Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 very ripe bananas, smashed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 350, and grease two 9x5 bread pans

2.  Mix together in medium bowl: salt, baking powder, baking soda, and whole wheat flour

3.  In large bowl cream together sugar and eggs

4.  In a separate medium bowl add smashed bananas, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon, mix well.

5.  Add banana mixture to egg and sugar mixture, mix well.

6.  Slowly add (in 4ths) the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring very well.

7.  Put equal amounts in each bread pan and bake for about an hour or until done