Friday, December 31, 2010

Vegetarian West African Stew

My friend, Jayme, sent me this recipe last week. It had been handed down to her, and she thought of me and passed it along. I was immediately skeptical about this recipe, because it calls for peanuts. Kevin have always been less than thrilled with nuts in his food, despite the fact that he likes nuts. In the past, when I've crusted things with almonds, or thrown cashews into the rice, he has shown obvious dislike. That being said, I've been anxious to try cooking with peanuts, and Jayme assured me that it didn't have a peanut-heavy flavor.

Anyway... Fast forward to Tuesday evening, when I whipped up this stew. First of all, this is so easy to prepare. Even grinding the peanuts is fun, though I'm sure you could just use organic peanut butter in its place (I think if you use JIF, it would be a little too sweet and salty for the stew). The end product is positively delicious. It has a smokey, salty, sweet flavor, and the peanuts lend a subtle, nutty flavor. The stew definitely doesn't have a strong peanut flavor, but the peanuts are absolutely essential to the deep flavor. The other thing to note about this stew, is that it makes a TON of food. We have leftovers scattered throughout the fridge, and every time I open it, I am excited to see more chickpeas. Weird? Perhaps. But I guess that's the sign of a good meal, right?

Make this! It's a delicious, vegetarian, super healthy meal, that will last a week! 4.5 Bowls (it takes a lot to be a 5 Bowler, know what I mean?)!

Vegetarian West African Soup

This hearty one-dish meal is packed with fiber and can be ready in less than an hour.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

2/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
6 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)

Place peanuts in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saut� 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add peanut butter, potato, and next 6 ingredients (potato through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until potato is tender. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

CALORIES 477 (18% from fat); FAT 9.4g (sat 1.3g,mono 3.5g,poly 3.3g); IRON 3.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 110mg; CARBOHYDRATE 89.7g; SODIUM 904mg; PROTEIN 13g; FIBER 13.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2002

Thursday, December 30, 2010

White Chicken Chili (Again)

I made this White Chicken Chili several months ago. It was one of my first blog posts. We loved it back then, but it was even better the second time around. It is also a super easy recipe, and most of the ingredients are household staples (for us, anyway). You should try this one. It is tasty, and my kids adored it. Just a flavor tip - use Cholula hot sauce, instead of Tabasco. Mucho gusto.

Make this. It's a winner. 4.5 Bowls!

White Chili

This white chili recipe uses hot pepper sauce made from jalapeƱos; it's milder than the red hot pepper varieties. Stirring frequently toward the end of cooking time prevents the bean-thickened broth from sticking to the bottom and scorching. Serve with Spicy JalapeƱo Corn Bread.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup chili, 4 teaspoons yogurt, and 1 teaspoon green onions)

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 Red Bell Pepper (I added this! Just saute it with the onion)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
5 teaspoons green hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons stone-ground cornmeal
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt (Omitted)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (about 1)
Lime wedges (optional)

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth, hot pepper sauce, salt, and chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove chicken from broth mixture; cool.

2. Add cornmeal and beans to broth mixture, stirring with a whisk; simmer 15 minutes. Mash about 1/4 cup beans against side of pan. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken to pan; simmer 5 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring frequently. Top each serving with yogurt; sprinkle with green onions. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

CALORIES 198 (19% from fat); FAT 4.1g (sat 0.8g,mono 1.7g,poly 1.2g); IRON 1.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 63mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.3g; SODIUM 456mg; PROTEIN 24.8g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2008

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

These cinnamon rolls were so gorgeous, and the sound of them coming out of the oven, was just plain musical. I had to take a video...

Anyway, I took this recipe from 101cookbooks, but the author of that blog (Heidi), took it from a Lotta Jansdotter cookbook, called "Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style." Anyway, we were having company on Christmas Day, and this recipe really spoke to me. I am a sucker for baking yeast breads, and I had just bought cardamom at Penzey's... So, apparently, I couldn't help myself. These cinnamon rolls are good. Really good. But who cares? They just LOOK so beautiful, it kinda doesn't matter how good they are. Well, I guess it does, but you know what I mean. Anyway, these rolls are so much fun (and easy) to make, and they actually make 2 batches, one of which you can freeze before baking. So, I have another batch, all rolled and ready to bake, sitting in the deep freezer, just begging to be popped into the oven. Mmmmmm... My house smelled so good.

Make these. You'll be so proud. 4 Bowls, but only because they aren't quite as good after they're cool.

Cinnamon Rolls

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm whole milk (105F to 115F / 40C to 46C) (I used skim - it was totally fine!)
3/4 cup / 100g light muscovado or brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup / 125g unsalted butter, barely melted
1 tablespoon ground cardamom (I used 1/2 a tbl, because my Penzey's cardamom is known for being super strong)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 cups / 600g all-purpose flour


1/2 cup / 60g light muscovado or brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup / 125g unsalted butter, softened

Glaze: (I didn't glaze mine)

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

large grain raw sugar or pearl sugar for sprinkling OR you can make an icing to spread on the rolls after baking (recipe below, not pictured)*

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk in a large bowl. Add a pinch of the sugar and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for a few minutes or until foamy.

Add the remaining sugar, the egg, melted butter, and cardamom. Stir until smooth. Stir the salt into the flour, then gradually add the flour to the bowl, a bit at a time, incorporating the flour after each addition. Transfer the dough to a floured counter top and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn it to coat with oil, and cover with a kitchen towel or equivalent. Let the dough rise in a sunny or warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Cut the dough in half on a floured counter top and form each piece into a ball. One at a time, roll each piece into a rectangle 12 inches/30cm and 1/2 inch/12mm thick. See the photos up above if this is confusing.

For the filling, start by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Spread half of the butter evenly over one rectangle of the dough. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture evenly across the butter. Roll the dough up tightly lengthwise, then turn it so that the seam side is down. Cut the roll into 12 equal slices, a serrated knife works best. You can bake these, cut-side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet, in cupcake liners, or in a buttered baking dish. I used a well-buttered standard pie dish. Unless you are using individual cupcake liners, you want to arrange the slices about 1/2-inch from each other on the baking sheet or in the baking dish. They rise and expand, and end up nice and snuggly in/on the pan. Repeat with the remaining rectangle of dough and filling. You can freeze any slices you aren't going to bake at this point.

Cover the rolls you are going to bake with a dry towel and let rise in a sunny or warm spot until doubled, about an hour. The timing is pretty flexible here - you can go a few hours depending on what is convenient.

Heat the oven to 400F/ 205C with a rack in the top third. Brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if you like. Bake the buns until golden brown, roughly 15-18 minutes. Don't over bake, the buns will dry out = not as good. Remove from the oven and serve warm if possible, plain or with a slather of icing* on top of each bun.

*Icing recipe: as I mention up above, this is the icing I also use for these hermit cookies. I like to spread a bit on each individual roll before serving or serving the icing on the side with a palette knife for individual spreading. Whisk 1 cup / 3.25 oz / 100g sifted powdered sugar, 4-5 tablespoons heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy together in a small bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then adjust with more sifted powdered sugar if you want a stiffer icing. I'm going to do a creme fraiche version of the icing on Christmas - trading out the heavy cream for creme fraiche.

Adapted from the Cinnamon Bun recipe in Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style by Lotta Jansdotter.

Prep time: 150 min - Cook time: 20 min

Monday, December 27, 2010

Terrific Turkey (or Chicken) Chili

I know. I've posted a LOT of chili recipes. Don't worry. I'm sure I'll post more. Seriously, I love a good chili recipe, and now that I'm obsessed with Penzey's spices, I am constantly buying new spices, and finding chili recipes where I can use them. So, this past week I paid 2 visits to Penzey's, and left with their Taco Seasoning, Chili Con Carne seasoning, and Coriander. Then, I found this chili recipe on allrecipes, and since it boasted so many excellent reviews, I decided it must be worth a go. I absolutely loved this one. It has terrific flavor, it was super easy to make, and it was really hearty and healthy. I made a lot of modifications, but it was nothing major. This will definitely go into my arsenal of chili recipes. I hadn't made Mexican food in a while, and this was so good, I am now on an official chili kick. Mmmmmmm.

Make this. It's some darn good chili. 4.5 Bowls. At least.

Terrific Turkey Chili

Serves 6, and takes about an hour.


* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
* 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (I used ground chicken - only a pound)
* 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix (I just measured my own)
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth (I used chicken)
* 1 (7 ounce) can salsa
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
* 1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 1 green bell pepper, diced
* 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (I skipped this)
* 1 bunch green onions, chopped
* 1 cup sour cream (skipped!)
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (skipped!)
* Can of chickpeas (I added this, since I didn't have enough ground meat, or zucchini)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
2. Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
3. While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer.
4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the zucchini to the chili, reduce heat, and continue cooking 15 minutes more. Again, adjust the consistency with water as needed.
5. Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Make these. They are great for a party, and the leftovers are a great substitute for a sandwich at lunch. I give them 4 bowls. Kevin gives them 3, but he isn't into pastry crust. Insane, you say?? Hmmmm...

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Mild sweet potatoes and black beans take on smoky, spicy tastes from cumin and chiles. These pies are great served hot at a party; leftovers also make a tasty room-temperature snack.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)

9 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 poblano chile
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine canola oil, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and egg in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Place poblano on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chile; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop.

4. Preheat oven to 400°.

5. Cook the cumin seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted, stirring constantly. Place cumin in a clean spice or coffee grinder; process until ground. Combine cumin, poblano, sweet potatoes, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth.

6. Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons poblano mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut 3 diagonal slits across top of each empanada. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.

CALORIES 209 ; FAT 8.4g (sat 0.7g,mono 5g,poly 2.3g); CHOLESTEROL 18mg; CALCIUM 32mg; CARBOHYDRATE 29g; SODIUM 359mg; PROTEIN 5.1g; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 2.3mg

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sesame Red Lentils

I'm not really sure I should have been writing about this recipe, because it tasted remarkably similar to most of the things I cook. Had I followed this recipe exactly, I think I would have loved it. Unfortunately, I used brown lentils instead of red, and vegetable oil, as opposed to peanut. I think those substitutions didn't make this a unique recipe. It should have had a uniquely Asian, sesame flavor, and the flavor was way too subtle to detect. I still loved this dish, but it was sort of boring, and left me wishing I had made one of my go-to lentil soup recipes, instead. It's certainly a solid recipe, but it wasn't particularly memorable, in comparison to other lentil dishes in my repertoire. If this sounds good to you, you should definitely give it a try. Made the right way, I'm sure it's delicious. Made my way, it was only "good." But hey, some dinners are only... good. Right?

Maybe you should make this, and actually follow the recipe. 3 Bowls, with the potential for 4!

Sesame Red Lentils

Lentils and sesame seeds combine in this savory, nutty side dish to provide about 10 percent of daily magnesium needs.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 4 medium)
2 cups dried small red lentils
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Heat oils in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add lentils, 1 1/2 cups water, soy sauce, salt, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in green onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

CALORIES 210 (14% from fat); FAT 3.3g (sat 0.4g,mono 1g,poly 0.9g); IRON 3.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 45mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.5g; SODIUM 310mg; PROTEIN 14.3g; FIBER 7.7g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Garam Masala-Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Real gingerbread cookies? With real chopped ginger? Yes, please!

This a really interesting recipe, by Aarti Sequiera, winner of "The Next Food Network Star." I've been wanting to try her recipes, since we love Indian food, and I thought this one might be a fun starting point. Well, these cookies were really tasty, not to mention beautiful. They don't taste much different than regular chocolate gingerbread cookies, despite some unusual ingredients, but maybe I just don't have a very discriminating palate. I didn't try the "Royal Icing," which supposedly makes these amazing. I didn't have powdered egg whites, so it wasn't an option. I did the chocolate icing instead, and found them delicious. I would love to try the royal icing next time, though. I would really recommend trying these. They are really flavorful, with just the right amount of gingery spice. The icing hardens nicely, so they stay pretty and taste great for several days.

Make these. They are gorgeous and delicious. A tad spicy, so only make 'em if you like ginger! 4 Bowls!

Garam Masala-Chocolate Gingerbread

Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira

Prep Time: 30 min
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 3 dozen (3-inch) cookies


  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus for dusting
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend available at specialty shops)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows
  • Royal Icing, recipe follows
  • Toasted fennel seed, dried rose petals and gold or silver dragees, for garnish


Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and garam masala in a large bowl. Set aside.

Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat on medium-high speed until the butter is smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and ginger; continue to beat over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg until fully incorporated. Add the molasses and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour in 2 batches and mix on low until combined and forms a sticky dough. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and pat into 2 (1/2-inch thick) rectangles. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the bottom and top half of the oven. Line 3 to 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour.

Roll each portion of the dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle (if the dough becomes soft, chill for a bit in the refrigerator). Cut the dough with 3-inch cookie cutters, lay on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart, and chill for 10 minutes. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Decorate, as desired, with Chocolate Glaze or Royal Icing. Garnish with toasted fennel seeds, dried rose petals, or silver dragees.

Chocolate Glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

Combine all the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cook until the chocolate melts, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir to smooth out and combine.

Royal Icing:

1 1/2 tablespoons egg white powder

3 cups confectioners' sugar

4 tablespoons water

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer over medium-high speed until it forms thick and glossy peaks, about 6 minutes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chapchae (Noodles with Beef and Mixed Vegetables)

I cook with beef so seldom, but I went to a great meat market the other day, so I decided to bite the bullet, and create a beef dish. Kevin loves all things stir-fried, so I figured a beef and noodle dish would be well received. Well, I was right. My family sucked this down, and wanted me to make it again immediately. The only thing I changed in this recipe,was that I used non-fried ramen noodles, and I used all the veggies I had on hand, as opposed to mushrooms and spinach. It was a winner. If you haven't made a stir fry with noodles, you need to go for it. Rice is a thing of the past!

Make this. 5 Bowls.

Chapchae (Noodles with Beef and Mixed Vegetables)

Chapchae is the most popular noodle dish in Korea and features cellophane noodles stir-fried in sesame oil with beef and vegetables. This version weighs in at less than 400 calories per serving and just over 10 grams of fat.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

1 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces eye of round steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sambal oelek or Thai chile paste
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1 (3.75-ounce) package uncooked bean threads (cellophane noodles)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces mushrooms)
1 cup (2-inch) diagonally sliced green onions
1 cup (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach
Remaining ingredients:
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

To prepare beef, sprinkle cornstarch over beef; toss to combine. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and next 4 ingredients (1 tablespoon soy sauce through 3 garlic cloves); toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Remove mixture from pan. Cover and keep warm.

To prepare noodles, pour boiling water over noodles; let stand 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain. Snip noodles several times with kitchen shears.

To prepare vegetables, wipe skillet or wok clean with paper towels. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil and vegetable oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add red pepper and 5 garlic cloves; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrot; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add half of spinach; stir-fry 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach; stir-fry 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add beef mixture and noodles to pan, stirring well to combine. Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over noodle mixture; stir well to combine. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

CALORIES 372 (26% from fat); FAT 10.9g (sat 2.2g,mono 4g,poly 3.6g); IRON 5.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 51mg; CALCIUM 102mg; CARBOHYDRATE 41.3g; SODIUM 1020mg; PROTEIN 26.1g; FIBER 5g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2003

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Espresso Chip Meringues

Can we agree, that meringues are the least evil, of all the cookies? I mean, they are made of egg whites and sugar, so the fat content is significantly lower that that of a typical cookie, right? Okay, so now that we have that bit out of the way, let me tell you about these lovely, giant Espresso Chip Meringues, courtesy of Giada. These light, puffy, sweet clouds are a great gift. They are really gigantic, and look gorgeous in a cellophane bag, stacked and ready to hand out to friends or teachers. The only issue, is that they are quite delicate, and aren't meant to sit in a lunch bag all day, among bags of chips and sandwiches. Kevin took them for lunch on several work days, and brought them home, completely crushed. Oh well. Anyway, another thing to know about these cookies, is that Giada has the temperature all wrong. She claims that these meringues should be baked "low and slow," but her temp is way too high, and would result in a burnt cookie. Therefore, it's important to keep your oven about 25-50 degrees cooler than directed. Next time, I'm going to make these cookies smaller. I think they'll be a perfect cookie, when bite sized. This was my first stab at meringues, and I'm quite pleased!

Make these, but read my notes, and they'll be better! We'll call them 3.5 bowls. (Gotta take off some pointage, for being crumbly, and the recipe being "off-temp.")

Espresso Chip Meringues

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 12 meringues



*Can be found at specialty cooking stores

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt until frothy, about 1 minute. With the machine on medium-high speed, gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, about 2 hours.

Store airtight in a plastic container for up to 4 days.

Cook's Note: The meringue mixture can also be placed in a pasty bag fitted with a large, plain tip (recommended: Ateco # 9808) and piped onto the baking sheet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tandoori Chicken Sate with Broccoli Saute

I am a big fan of one pot meals. Usually, we eat something that incorporates veggies and grains, and mix it all together, in one, big, comforting bowl of warmth. On Monday night, I decided to create a meal that didn't consist of a bowl of mush. What a concept! I started, by buying a giant box of sweet potatoes at Costco. We never eat baked potatoes, so I was excited to make them. I also marinated chicken breasts in a yogurt marinade. The chicken was supposed to be cooked on skewers, but I didn't have any on hand, and honestly, unless I am entertaining, I don't really see the point. This marinade is really delicious. It's not exactly like the type of tandoori chicken you get at an Indian restaurant (which I adore), but it is definitely tasty and unique. I have a feeling that the tandoori you eat at a restaurant has sugar in it, and this recipe is spices, ginger, garlic, and yogurt. I wonder if adding a pinch of brown sugar, would transform it into the tandoori chicken of my favorite Indian hot spot - Taste of India, in West Hartford. It was really a hit among my whole family.

dMake this, but keep your eye on the broiler! It easily gets tough! 4 Bowls!

Tandoori Chicken Sate

Yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 skewer)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chopped peeled gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove
6 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Vegetable cooking spray
Lemon wedges (optional)
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Place the first 11 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides of processor bowl once. Combine yogurt mixture and chicken in a large zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag. Seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Remove chicken from bag, and discard marinade. Thread chicken strips onto 24 (6-inch) skewers. Place skewers on broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and broil 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Arrange skewers on a serving platter, and garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

CALORIES 27 (20% from fat); FAT 0.6g (sat 0.1g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.1g); IRON 0.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 12mg; CALCIUM 5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 0.2g; SODIUM 27mg; PROTEIN 5g; FIBER 0.0g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 1995

The funny thing about this meal, is that the biggest star, was the sauteed broccoli. I was going to roast it, but then I realized that my oven would be baking potatoes and broiling chicken, so I wouldn't have enough space. I searched for a recipe that involved broccoli on the stove top, and I found this Food Network recipe, that had gotten excellent reviews. It is pretty basic, but tastes absolutely delicious - nutty, spicy, sweet, light. I will definitely be making this again. It's kind of a mix between sauteed broc, and steamed broc. If you are a broccoli lover (like me), you'll love this one.

Make this! Easy peasy, and 5 Bowls!

Sauteed Broccoli

* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
* Pinch red pepper flakes
* 1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
* 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a large skillet of medium heat until fragrant and garlic begins to brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in broccoli and cook until the broccoli is bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper and cook until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Double Chocolate Crackles

My mom used to make these chocolate cookies, that we would roll in powdered sugar before baking. I LOVED them. This is a similar recipe, from Food Net Magazine, but the outcome is a crackly cookie, that retains its rolled shape. These looked really pretty, when wrapped in cellophane bags, and given as gifts. They have a really delicious chocolate flavor, and, when fresh, they are quite a uniquelly crunchy, rich cookie. After a week, however, they have a sort of dusty flavor that isn't so great. Okay. Lesson learned. Eat cookies when they are fresh. Good to know.

Make 'em. Eat 'em quick. 4 Bowls.

Double Chocolate Crackles


* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar


Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted butter and eggs until combined, then stir in the white chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls, then roll in the confectioners' sugar until well coated. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

Bake until the cookies are puffed and the tops are cracked, about 10 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.