Friday, May 25, 2012

Spicey Cashew Ginger Chicken

At one time we were a big stir fry family. My kids used to take stir fry leftovers for their lunches several times a week.  At the end of every student teacher conference the new teacher would always want to know how we got our kids to eat veggies. Well, they grew up from the time they could eat real food on stir fry. To this day it is one of the hits in the family.
However through the years it seems to have faded to the wayside until I was browsing Carolyn's site: All Day I Dream About Food and decided to go for it. I have of course thrown my own spin on it and was met with oh's and ahs from my husband and of course the "why haven't we been eating this"? So dust off the WOK.... here we come
Stir fry over Quinoa


Ingredients:

Sauce
4 TBS soy sauce
2/3 cup water
1tsp xantham gum
1 tsp red pepper flakes

set aside, it will thicken while it sits. If it needs to be a bit thicker, add a touch more xantam gum




Stir Fry
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 white onion slivered
1Tbs fresh ginger-grated
1 red pepper-slivered
3 cups broccoli florets-slightly steamed
1 cup crimini mushrooms-sliced (or your favorite)
1/2 cp cashews-toasted

 Preparation: In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients.
Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet on med-high. add chicken and cook on each side. 3 to 5 min. Remove & set aside.
Add remaining oil. When hot add vegetables except mushrooms and cook stirring frequently, 3 to 5 min until slightly tender.
Add chicken, mushrooms & cashews. Stir sauce, add to pan. Stir to coat, simmer to thicken a bit more up to 1 minute.

        Serve over Quinoa simmered in chicken broth instead of water
(makes it much more delish in a savory dish)

My other Recipes using Quinoa:
  Stuffed Peppers
  Chicken Quinoa Tabouli

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meetballs over Sauted Cabbage

Spaghetti is one of my husband's favorite meals. When you add meatballs...he wants to marry me all over again. When I want him to know he's still #1 in my book I whip out Spaghetti with meatballs or Meatloaf. Since we have been doing a LC lifestyle I have to be more creative and still get the same effect.
I was thrilled as could be when I gave Lisa's 
"Meatballs Roma" a try out of her 24/7 Low Carb Diner Plan E-book. I purchased it some time ago and have been enjoying cooking and tweaking may way through it. I printed it out, put each page into plastic sleeves and binder. If you don't know how to get started on a Low Carb lifestyle, Lisa's E-book is a great way to launch and the recipes are common daily food that are converted to Low Carb...Five Stars from my family.
Of course I tweaked Lisa's amazing recipe a bit just because I can't control myself....
I serve the Meatballs over "Sauteed Cabbage". This is so great that you will never miss the pasta... really!!!!
Ingredients
Meatballs
1 1/2 Italian sausage-bulk
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup dry minced
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (the can)
2 eggs
 Sauce
1 15oz can tomato sauce
2/3 cup water
2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup equivalent sweetener of choice (Splenda, Swerve, Zsweet)
 Preparation: In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Get right in there with your hands. Make into meatballs, (I make ping pong ball size).
Bake 375 for 20-25 mins.
 While meatballs are cooking, make sauce by adding all ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer on low until meatballs are done.

*Lisa's version of this makes twice as much and then you are able to serve now and freeze some for later. I have done this many times and it freezes great.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Bacon & Leek
I have to tell you that this soup makes the most AMAZING base for a cream soup. All by it's self it was a classy hit even for company. Statements like...."this could be on any high priced restaurant menu". But when you begin messin with it and adding this or that.... it morphs into a completely new wonderful delight.
I have made cream of cauliflower soup many, many times but I must say none has ever tasted as amazing as this one. I think the difference is that it is simmered for 90min on the stove before trying to blend it all together.     
WHAT A DIFFERENCE.
I have now made it 3 times and I made enough to be eaten for several meals. Each time I cook the left over soup, I make a different variation of it by adding various things.

I love using finishing oils and salts. Just before serving I add a drizzle of oil such as Lime Olive Oil and a couple pinches of finishing salt such as Smoked Garlic Sea Salt. OVER THE TOP. Fun to experiment.

Now these finishing oils and salts are not cheap by any means but just a few drops and pinches turns a good homey food into an exquisite chefs gourmet special.

Have I said we loved this soup????? I think you get the picture.

I have loved cream soups especially with cheese. Many however usually use some sort of high carb thickener to get that thick creamy feel. This one does not need any at all and has the most creamy thick consistency.

Ingredients
2 cps chicken broth
1 lg  head cauliflower-cut in large pieces
1 stalk celery, chunks
1 carrot-chunks
1 lg onion-chunks
1 cp whole cream
1 cp water-or more to desired thickness
1 1/2 cp shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

garnishes: finishing oils/salts of your choice, crisp bacon, thin sliced leek, parsley,
optional: bacon,broccoli, kielbasa
                          the options are limitless

Bacon & Broccoli
Preparation: Add all ingredients except cream, cheese and water to a large pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer for 90 mins. Ladle mixture into blender and process until very smooth. (May need to do this in 2 batches).
Return pureed mixture into saucepan and stir in cream and water to desired consistency. When hot stir in cheese.

 I have added bacon, broccoli, mini meatballs, kielbasa. All were amazing.

adapted from: framedcooks.com