Category: Easy


General Tso Chicken

Still on my Asian kick. Tonight’s super easy dinner was also yummy!  Boneless chicken breast baked in General Tso sauce while veggies cooked on the stovetop and rice cooked in the rice cooker.

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For the sauce (most jarred sauce have tomatoes so are a no-no for me):

2 Tbsp. oil

6 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. minced ginger

1 c. sugar

3/4 c. soy sauce

1/2 c. rice wine vinegar

1/2 chicken stock

Cook garlic and ginger until fragrant.  Add in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened.  Pour over boneless chicken breasts and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Bake 350F 40- 45 minutes meanwhile cooking rice and sauteeing stir fry vegetables.  I used chop salad, my go to for stir fry.

When chicken is done, cut into bite size pieces and toss in sauce.  Add rice to sauteed stir fry.  Serve chicken over rice.

 

 

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I bought a jar of sauce at Aldi and it sounded like it would pair well with meatballs.   It did!  Plus I tried a new method of making baked potatoes making this a stress free night.

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Regular readers of my blog know I often prepare, bake, and then freeze meatballs ahead.  I prepared these the same night I cooked burgers.  My meat mixture included pesto, bacon jam, sweet pickle relish, an egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs.   The meatballs were baked at 375 for 40 minutes and then I poured the sauce over them and refrigerated them.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to make my baked potatoes in the crockpot, so I tried a new method.

I put olive oil and salt in a bowl and rolled  the washed and dried potatoes (sweet and russet) in it.  I placed them on a sheet pan lined with foil and poked them with a fork.

They took 45 minutes all told at 425F.  I put the meatballs in for the last 20 minutes.

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Having spinach and feta on hand for the lasagna I made the other night inspired me to make these yummy burgers.

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2 lb. ground turkey

1/2 c.  Onion and spinach, chopped and sauteed

1 egg

1/2 c. oats

1/4 c. crumbled feta

Combine ingredients and shape into patties.

Place on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil

Bake at 350F 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 165F.  Serve topped with cucumber, onion and carrot matchsticks marinated in rice wine vinegar, water, and sugar.  Ratio – 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/2 c. water.

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As you can see, I’m still on the Asian food kick!  I had some leftover pulled pork from the Banh Mi meal, and decided it could use a Korean BBQ sauce and be recreated into an, as it turned out, quite delicious casserole!

Korean BBQ take 3

3-4 C. pulled pork (chicken and ground meats would work well for this too)

3-4 C. cooked rice (I used a wild and brown mix that was – oh yeah – leftover)

1 can Cannelloni beans (always in my pantry, but any beans such as garbanzo or black beans would work too!)

2 C. assorted vegetables (I used celery, carrots, and onions, that I softened in a little oil, butter, and garlic and had in the fridge ready to use.  They also freeze well.)

1/4 C. Korean BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought) – a mix of soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile.

1 C. shredded cheese (I used mac and cheese mix for one dish and Daiya shreds for the other, since I have a son who can’t have dairy.

Combine pork, rice, beans, vegetables, and Korean BBQ sauce.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with cheese or shreds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until cheese is golden, meanwhile roasting any vegetables you want to have on the side!

We used “Pickled” cucumbers, onions and carrots as a topping – also from the Banh Mi meal.  (Mostly cucumbers, since my kids and grandkids attached the onions and carrots first!)

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Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on the side were prepared by my cousin, who came over with my 90 year old uncle for dinner.

 

I ran across a killer sale on some Asian sauces and chicken at Target.  Jackpot!  Super easy dinner in no time.  My grandsons got a kick out of eating the chicken off the skewers.

I marinated the chicken in store bought sauce and then baked in a jelly roll pan while rice cooked in the rice cooker.  Since the rice takes about 45 minutes,  I cooked the chicken at 300F and turned it off after 30 minutes.

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I cooked a pork butt in the crock pot that had been rubbed with eelsauce and 5 spice.  Yum.  I pickled cucumbers carrot matchstick and thinly sliced onion in 1 c. Rice wine vinegar mixed with 1/2 c each water and sugar.  The only disappointment was the bread which had to be toasted as it was not crunchy enough.  It was a great success!  I can’t wait to try non pork alternatives.

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Pickle the veggies about 30 minutes ahead of serving.  Spread sirracha aioli on bread and assemble.  Enjoy!!

I am crazy about Asian food.  Last night we had Korean Barbecue Chicken and a Rice Melange.  It was delish!

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3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in Korean BBQ sauce

Sauce:

1 C. soy sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. each ginger and sesame oil

1 Tbsp. each water and corn starch (in a slurry to thicken)

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add slurry and turn down to low.  Slowly simmer till it thickens.  Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  (I have bought a bottled Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi Bulgogi) from a company called Ajumma Republic and it is really good).  You can marinade the chicken overnight or even freeze it in the sauce for future use.  Once defrosted, bake for 35-40 minutes.  Chop into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears, stir around in sauce, and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Rice Melange:

1 box Near East rosemary garlic brown rice and quinoa (I have found that one packet of seasoning from these boxed rice mixes goes a long way, so no additional seasoning was added to the rice)

1 c. Lundberg Wild Blend Rice

1 c. brown rice

3 c. broth (I used unsalted chicken)

2 1/2 c. water

3 Tbsp. butter

Place in rice cooker.  The rice cooker knows its done when it runs out of liquid, so unplug and remove from heat as soon as the rice cooker clicks over to warm.  Add into the cooked veggies to serve.

Veggies for Rice Melange:

Heat oil of choice in large pot with a little butter.

Saute veggies of choice over low heat.  I used what I had on hand:

1 bag riced cauliflower

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow squash, diced finely.

1 can Cannelloni beans, low sodium

1 tsp. seasoning blend of choice.  I used an Asian inspired one to stay on theme.

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After about 25-30 minutes over low heat, add in one can of beans.  I added Cannelloni because they are our favorite and I always have them on hand.  This way, anyone wanting to stay vegetarian (if you use veggie broth instead of chicken) can eat the rice melange.

 

My cousin cooked a great meal for Christmas that included turkey breast, green beans with carrots, and some gravy.  The leftovers begged to be made into a pot pie!  I added in some squash from Christmas Eve and refrigerated biscuits.

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1 c. leftover shredded turkey breast

1 1/2 c. leftover gravy

2-3 c. leftover vegetables

1 tube honey wheat biscuits

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine leftover turkey, gravy and vegetables in 13 x 9 ceramic baking dish.  If you don’t have enough leftovers, supplement with convenience products like frozen veggies or low sodium canned gravy.

Cut biscuits into quarters and top turkey mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip biscuit pieces over to crisp up bottom side.

Bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden.

 

 

My sister, who has been eating gluten free for five years, was here for a visit.  What better reason to try out a gluten free banana bread mix I’ve been eyeing at Lucky’s?

King Arthur Gluten Free Banana Bread mix is amazing!  Below is how I modified the directions on the box to make it my own.  We enjoyed warm, delicious banana bread that we couldn’t believe was gluten free!

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1 box King Arthur gluten free banana bread mix

3 eggs

1 c. milk

1/2 c. melted butter

2 mashed bananas

1/2 c. chopped cashews

Mix eggs, milk and melted butter and add into mix until well blended.  Add in mashed bananas and nuts.

Bake at 350F for 50-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

We all love empanadas at our house.  With my new no nightshade diet, I decided to search for sauces that are safe.  Korean BBQ Sauce from Ajumma Republic fits the bill.  Soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, pear, pineapple, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, all adding up to yum!

empanadas

1 lb. ground meat

1 lb. hot sausage, casing removed

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. oil (I used avocado/sunflower blend)

2-3 Tbsp. Korean BBQ sauce

2 Packages frozen empanada dough (large size) – this thaws at room temperature in about an hour.  We prefer El Sembrador brand, but any will do

1 egg for egg wash

Brown meat and onion in oil.  Break up into small pieces.  Add BBQ sauce and simmer 5 minutes.

Thicken with a little bread crumbs.  I used about 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray two large cookie sheets with coconut oil.  Assemble empanadas right on the sheet pans.  Place 2 heaping Tbsp. of filling on dough.  Wet edges with water to seal.  Press with a fork.  Brush with beaten egg.NOTE:

It will take about 30 minutes to assemble 20 of these.

Bake 10 minutes, switch racks.  Bake 10 minutes more.  They are ready when they are golden.

The filling gets really hot, so let them sit about 5 minutes before serving, and be careful not to burn your mouth!

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