Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sesame Beef and Asparagus

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
water, for boiling
3 Tbsp. sesame oil, separated
1 1/2 lbs. steak, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, minced
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice powder
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
black pepper, lots
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
sesame seeds
hot cooked rice

First blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Immediately run very cold water over the asparagus for a minute or two. This retains the color of the asparagus. Set aside.

Heat a wok or skillet to high heat. Pour in 2 Tbsp. of the sesame oil. Cook the beef until most of the pink is gone. Remove the beef from the wok/skillet. Set aside.

In the same wok/skillet, add the ingredients for the sauce: garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, 5 Spice, rice vinegar, pepper, brown sugar, and the remaining 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat.

Mix together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Pour into the sauce. Stir constantly for a minute or two while the sauce thickens.

Add the beef, asparagus, and water chestnuts to the sauce. Stir to coat it all. Let it simmer for several minutes so the beef, asparagus and chestnuts can get heated through.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over hot cooked rice. Delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe I used:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shrimp Monica

1 lb. farfalle pasta
Cream sauce cooking
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. water + 1/2 tsp. cornstarch, mixed
1 lb. shrimp, frozen, peeled
6 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Uncooked shrimp
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
3/4 c. Parmesan

Cooked shrimp
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Return to pot. Toss with the olive oil and cornstarch slurry. Cover to keep warm.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the shrimp until they are pink all the way through. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add in the onion, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and all the seasonings. Stir and cook about 1 minute.

Cream sauce, almost done
Add in the white wine, turn the heat to high. Cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated. When it's ready, turn the heat down to low for a minute or two, stirring occasionally. Add in the lemon juice, then the cream. You don't want to put the cream in when the temperature is still high because it can curdle your cream. Heat through.

Add in the green onions and cilantro. Cook for a minute or two.

Add the pasta and shrimp to the cream sauce. Toss to coat all the noodles and shrimp. Cook until everything is heated through, which should only be a few minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve hot.

Shrimp Monica!
I served this with a side of french bread. Definitely a recipe I will come back to.

Here is a link to the original New Orleans recipe I adapted:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Skinny Banana Chocolate Muffins

3 bananas
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. applesauce
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Line a muffin tin with muffin papers. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash up the bananas. I used a handheld beater for most of it, then switched to a fork to mash up the few chunks that were left.

Add the sugar, egg, and applesauce to the bananas. Mix together.

Working with 1/4 of a cup at a time, add in the flours and cocoa powder, stirring after each addition. Add in the salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Stir just enough to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. You can fill the cups all the way to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes a dozen muffins.

Here's a link to the recipe I used. One of my favorite blogs:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southwest Chicken and Rice

1 c. rice
2 1/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. paprika
Rice after cooking
1/2 tsp. chipotle tabasco (or more if you want it)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin (at least)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
two dashes coriander
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
15 oz. black beans, drained
15 oz. whole kernel corn, drained
1 1/2 c. chicken breast, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 c. pepperjack cheese, shredded (I recommend Tillamook)

Adding ingredients
In a large pot, combine the uncooked rice, stock, paprika, chipotle, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let it cook for 22-25 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, cook up the diced chicken over medium heat. Make sure it is cooked through. Set aside.

When the rice is done, add the remaining butter, beans, corn, chicken, garlic, onion, and cilantro to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ready to eat
Add in the pepperjack. Stir to combine. Leave on the heat 1 more minute so the cheese can melt. Serve hot.

You will not be disappointed. There were no leftovers at my house.

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eggplant Bake

2 eggplants
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
Cooking spray
16 oz. tomato sauce
Before baking
garlic powder
onion powder
dash of cumin
dash of coriander
1 tsp. sugar
pinch or two of thyme
1 1/2 c. skim ricotta
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
3 eggs
1 c. Parmesan, divided
1/2 c. mozzarella

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Slice the eggplants into 3/4 inch rounds. Place on 2 baking sheets. Brush each round with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flip them over and repeat the process. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the rounds, and bake for 10 more minutes.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cumin, coriander, sugar, thyme, and more salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a different bowl, whisk together the ricotta, cilantro, eggs, a little bit of oregano, more salt and pepper, and 1/2 c. of Parmesan.

After baking
Layer 1/3 of the eggplant rounds on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer 1/2 of the tomato sauce mixture on top, then half of the ricotta mixture. Layer another 1/3 of the eggplant rounds. Layer the rest of the tomato sauce mixture. Layer the last 1/3 of the eggplant rounds. Layer with the ricotta mixture. Top with the mozzarella and the rest of the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: