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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Glass Noodle Chicken Salad



This is a light - yet hearty - summer dish. Sorry the photos aren’t great quality; the camera settings were awry and dusk was approaching.

Glass Noodle Chicken Salad

Ingredients

1 package uncooked mung bean threads (cellophane noodles)
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 ½ tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. red chili flakes
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
½ cup grated carrot
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup chopped cashews

Preparation

1. Cook noodles and edamame as per package directions.

2. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Stir well. Combine chicken, edamame, carrot, and cilantro, tossing well.

3. Drain and rinse noodles with cold water; drain well, squeezing to remove excess water. Snip noodles several times with kitchen shears. Combine noodles and chicken mixture, tossing well to combine. Drizzle noodle mixture with vinegar mixture; toss well to coat. Top with cashews.

Notes:
• This salad truly is better the next day. In fact, I’d recommend letting the noodles “marinate” in the sauce overnight, then throwing the chicken/veggies on top the next day to serve.

• The measurements are approximate. Play with the sauce so it fits your liking.

• You could use fish sauce instead of soy, granulated sugar instead of honey, peanuts instead of cashews, add different veggies (grated zucchini, sliced red or yellow pepper, radishes, etc.), or spice it up with chili paste.





Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato Scones



This is a ridiculously easy recipe. Throw a scone or two in with lunch for a snack, or serve with brunch. Mmm.

Sun-dried Tomato Scones

Ingredients

2 cups buttermilk baking mix
¼ cup shredded parmesan
1 ½ tsp dried basil
2/3 cup milk
½ cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup chopped green onions

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450° Combine baking mix, cheese, and basil. Stir in milk, tomatoes, and onion. Carefully mix until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Notes:

• I originally made these to go with dinner, but they are also pretty good for breakfast. I had a leftover scone with some eggs and it was just perfect!



Strawberry Shortcake



One year I volunteered at the Bellevue Strawberry Festival. The strawberry goodness inspired me, and later that weekend I made strawberry shortcake.

These photos are old, but remind me of a very happy afternoon.

Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcake

2 cups All-Purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup cream + 3 Tablespoons

Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Strawberries

A couple pints of sliced strawberries, sprinkled with sugar.

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in the butter, and combine with the flour until the dough becomes the consistency of a coarse meal. Add the almond extract and cream and mixing by hand for until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Place on a floured countertop and roll until 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Cut into circular pieces, about 2" in diameter (I used the round open end of a drinking glass, because I couldn’t find my biscuit cutter). Brush each piece with milk and top/garnish with a sprinkle of raw sugar. Place on a buttered baking sheet and bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In another bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.

Take a shortcake and remove the top. Place a dollop of whipped cream on the bottom layer and a spoonful of strawberries. Place the top of the shortcake back on, and top with another dollop of whipped cream and spoonful of strawberries. Serve.

Serves 8 – 12





Thai Beef Wraps



I’m on a quest to find/create healthy, yummy recipes that I can pack into a lunch.
I keep telling myself that I will get better about packing lunches to bring to work, but for whatever reason I always end up grabbing something from the cafeteria, heading home and making lunch there, or subsisting on whatever I can find in the bottom of my “snack drawer” at the office. It’s a bad habit and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to break it.

Last night I threw together a wrap for dinner. As I munched away I thought that maybe…just maybe…it might be a good recipe to use for on-the-go lunches. Hmm.

Thai Beef Wraps

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. honey
Tortillas
Lettuce
Thin-sliced deli roast beef
1 medium carrot, grated
Sesame seeds
Cilantro

Preparation

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place tortillas on a work surface; brush lightly with 2 teaspoons juice mixture. Arrange lettuce on each tortilla; top with beef. Combine carrots and cilantro; arrange carrot mixture over each serving. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Drizzle each serving with a little of the remaining juice mixture; roll up. Serve.

Notes:

• Feel free to use sugar in place of honey. I used honey because I preferred the consistency.

• Use up to 2 tsp. soy sauce, if you’d like. I’m not a fan of too much saltiness, so I used just 1 tsp. of low-sodium soy sauce. Your mileage may vary.

• Mint can be used in lieu of cilantro, or just omit altogether.

• You may want to cut up your carrots into matchsticks, but I find that tedious. I like to “grate” my carrots with a vegetable peeler. The carrot slices come out nice and thin and easier to pack into a tortilla. (I use this trick for salads, too…carrots are so heavy and always fall to the bottom of the bowl. If they’re sliced with the veggie peeler, I don’t have this problem.)

• This would be good with some finely chopped cashews or peanuts sprinkled inside. I didn’t have either on hand, so I went with the sesame seeds instead.

• I gobbled this down with a few potato chips and a plum. A serving of roasted veggies on the side or some veggie fried rice would also pair well.





Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins



While visiting family at home, I made Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins. They didn’t last more than about 2 days. My folks are both diabetic, so I reduced the brown sugar to ½ cup. No complaints!

Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh blueberries
Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.

Add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats in bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

Combine buttermilk, oil, rind, and eggs in small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Gently fold blueberries into the batter.

Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

• If you opt to use frozen blueberries, toss with 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour before adding to the batter mixture. This will keep the juices sealed in and your muffin batter won’t turn purple.

• For a slightly sweeter muffin, sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of the filled muffin cups before placing in the oven. I like to use Sucanat or Turbinado sugar, but regular ol’ granulated will work just fine.