Friday, October 30, 2015

Thai Chicken Salad

Who loves Thai Peanut Sauce?!?!?!?  If so, this recipe is for you!!  A local restaurant used to have a Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap on the menu . . .but they removed it.  It's been a few years now . . .and I still crave it.  So, I finally buckled down and decided to try and recreate the dressing and make it into a salad (instead of a wrap).  Succulent grilled chicken, crisp lettuce, crunchy red pepper, cool cukes and let us not forget about that divine peanutty salad dressing!  

Thai Chicken Salad
Serves 2

6-8 oz Grilled Chicken Breast
4 Cups Romain Lettuce
1/2 Cup Diced Cucumber
1/2 Cup Diced or Sliced Carrot
1/4 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
4 Green Scallions, Sliced
1/4 Cup Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles (optional)
3 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
2 TB Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dried Cilantro
1/4 Teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce (aka Sirracha)
1 Teaspoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Drop Coconut Extract
1/4 Cup Water

Step 1:  Create the Thai Peanut Salad Dressing.  To do so, in a small bowl - combine the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, cilantro, soy sauce, coconut extract and chili garlic sauce.  Mix together until well blended.  Add the water and stir until well blended.   Set aside.

Step 2:  Prep your salad by dividing the lettuce among two plates.  Top each bed of lettuce with chicken, carrot and cucumber.

Step 3:  Drizzle the dressing on the salads and then top with remaining ingredients (scallions, red pepper and crunchy noodles).

Enjoy! This may make more peanut dressing than you need for the salad.  If so, store in a covered container and place in the fridge for later use.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Seared and Roasted Cabbage

Cabbage.  Most people either love or hate it.  I am on the LOVE IT bandwagon.  Seriously, a good slaw can make or break lunch.  No joke.  But, let's talk about cooked cabbage . . .seared in a hot pan until the edges char a bit, then add a little broth or water and place in the oven to roast until tender.  SO YUMMY.  Once you make this, it will definitely go into your vegetable rotation.  It pairs excellently with a great roast.

Seared & Roasted Cabbage
Serves 4

1 Small Head of Cabbage (Red or Green)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
Nature's Seasoning (or salt and pepper)
1 Cup Chicken Broth or Water

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  For this recipe, you will be using the stovetop and the oven, so you will want to use a pan that can be transferred from the top of the stove and then into the oven.  
Step 2:  Prep your cabbage by washing it and then very carefully cut it into 4 wedges.  Leave the core in!

Step 3:  In a heavy duty fry pan, skillet or small dutch oven - heat the oil to medium.  Once heated, add in the cabbage.  Cook on one cut-side until deeply browned.  Turn the cabbage to the other cut-side and brown that side as well.  Once both sides of the cut wedges are browned, add the butter to the pan along with the broth (or water).  Season the wedges on all sides with the Nature's Seasoning or salt and pepper.

Step 4:  Place the pan in the oven, uncovered - and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Crab and Cucumber Salad

In a quest of always trying to be a little more healthy, check out this delicious and refreshing, Asian-inspired crab salad.  So crisp and tasty with lettuce, succulent imitation crab and a little zip from a homemade vinaigrette dressing.  Perfect for a luncheon.  I originally found the recipe from Loius Kemp.  I have modified it just slightly by using romaine lettuce and powdered ginger.  I also thought this would be even better if I had topped it with some crunchy chow mein noodles . ..but I was all out.  So, I added them to the recipe regardless.  YUM.

Crab & Cucumber Salad
Serves 2

8 oz. Imitation Crab Lumps
4 Cups Romaine Lettuce 
1/2 Cup Cucumber, seeded and diced
2 Green Onion or Scallions, sliced
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds (white or black)
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Powder
1 Teaspoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles (optional)

Step 1:  Create the dressing.  In a small bowl, add the honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger and sesame oil.  Mix together until well blended.  
Step 2:  Assemble the salad.  On two large plates or salad bowls, divide the lettuce.  Top the lettuce with the cucumber and crab.  Drizzle the dressing onto the salad.  Top with the sesame seeds, scallions and chow mein noodles.  


Friday, October 9, 2015

Baked Oatmeal Bars

In my never-ending quest for new oatmeal recipes, I have stumbled upon this one from here.  They are packed with healthy stuff (whole grains, nuts, fruit) and fairly low-calorie and definitely low-sugar.  You know me, always struggling to be healthy.  The thing I liked about this recipe is the mix n match of ingredients.  I used what I had in the house - which happened to be walnuts, sesame seeds and prune.  It doesn't sound that appetizing, but it truly is yummy;  they have a chewy, cakey texture that I absolutely love.  I think these would be very good with apricots/coconut and cannot wait to try them again going that route.  

Baked Oatmeal Bars
Serves 9

1 and 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts of Choice (almonds, walnuts, etc)
1/2 Cup Dried Fruit of Choice (apricot, raisin, etc)
1/4 Cup Seeds of Choice (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, etc)
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 and 1/4 Cups Skim Milk
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease/Spray a 9x9 baking dish and set aside.
Step 2:  In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, fruit, seeds, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.
Step 3:  In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, egg and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
Step 4:  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.
Step 5:  Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 40 minutes.

A.  The only sweetness is from the dried fruit.  If you feel this needs sugar, add about a 1/4 cup to the dry ingredients.
B.  These will likely only last about 3-4 days sitting on the counter or in the fridge.  Wrap individually and freeze for extended life. 

Update:  I've found my ultimate combo!! I use unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs and dried apricots.  AMAZING!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Butter Rum Apple Bundt Cake

Gotta love fall and everything that comes with it . . .especially all the great apples that are ready to be harvested!  Here is a great bundt cake that you are sure to enjoy.

Butter Rum Apple Bundt Cake

1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Rum Extract or 2 Tablespoons Dark Rum
2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
8 Oz. Sour Cream
2 Med/Large Sized Peeled Apples - chopped fine (use 3 small if necessary)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Walnuts

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour your bundt pan.  Prepare the topping mixture by adding the 4 ingredients into a small bowl and stirring with a fork until combined.  Set the topping mixture aside until Step 6.  
Step 2:  Place the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl and cream it.  Add eggs and beat until well combine.  Add the rum and mix to incorporate.
Step 3:  Next, in a separate bowl - combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir to combine.  
Step 4:  Add 1/2 the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and combine.  Add the sour cream, mix to combine.  Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix again until combines.
Step 5:  Fold the apples into the batter.
Step 6:  Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 the topping mixture.  Add the remaining batter to the pan and top with the remainder of the topping. 
Step 7:  Bake for 50 minutes at 375 F until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions:  Add the butter to a saucepan and cook over low heat until browned.  Stir in the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Mix until smooth.

To Assemble Cake:
Turn out the bundt cake onto a plate or platter of choice.  Drizzle the the cake with the icing.  Enjoy!