Category: Product Review


I bought wrappers in a hurry yesterday, intending to make potstickers when I got home, without realizing I had grabbed egg roll wrappers instead of won ton wrappers.  I googled to see if I could make potstickers out of the egg roll wrappers.  Conflicting information as to how well it would work to use egg roll wrappers to make potstickers made me decide to make egg rolls instead.  I had already made the filling mixture for potstickers, so the filling is more meat and less veggies than I would have used if I’d planned egg rolls from the start.

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1 package Nasoya egg roll wrappers

2 lb. ground turkey

1 large sweet onion, chopped finely

1 package chop salad

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. salt

1tsp. five spice mix

Cook onion in oil until softened.

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Sprinkle with salt and five spice.  Add in chop salad.  Cook over low heat until softened.

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Place veggies in colander lined with paper towels to drain off excess moisture.

At this point, I added the veggies to the meat and stirred in the ginger and soy sauce for the potsticker filling and refrigerated it.  Then I realized I was going to make egg rolls instead, so I cooked the meat mixture and broke it up and cooked the turkey through.  I drained the meat and refrigerated it to cool enough to make the egg rolls.

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I used my mini ice cream scoop and put two scoops on each wrap.  I followed the instructions on the package of how to fold it.  Point down, place filling on center.  Place bottom point up over the filling, then fold in the sides, and roll.  I placed them on a baking sheet brushed with oil.

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Spray top of the egg rolls with cooking spray or brush with oil.   Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden.

These were great!  Not as much work as potstickers either.  Daniel said they were like potsticker egg rolls.  Makes sense.

These would be a good way to use up leftovers.  The wraps are flaky and crispy.  I have another package and can’t wait to try another variation!

 

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I’m always on the lookout for sauces to try that are somewhat healthy.  I marinated boneless skinless chicken  thighs in Sharwood’s Thai Green Curry Sauce.  We loved it!!

Bake at 350F for 40-45minutes.  Perfect timing to make brown and wild rice in the rice cooker.

 

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I bought some fresh Mahi Mahi yesterday and brought it home and marinated it in Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade, to which I added some lime zest and balsamic glaze.  I only used about half the bottle.  The other half is marinating some boneless chicken breasts for another night.  The sauteed Swiss chard, carrot, with Cannelini and Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice mixed with brown and wild rice were the perfect accompaniments.

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Put the fish in the marinade as soon as you bring it home.  Start the rice about 40 minutes before you want to eat.

For the rice:

1 box Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. brown rice

1/2 C. wild rice mixture

5 C. Water

2 Tbsp. butter

Place ingredients in rice cooker and cook.

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For the fish:

1 – 1 1/2 lb. Mahi Mahi filet, skin removed

1/2 bottle Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade

Drizzle balsamic glaze

Marinade fish at least 30 minutes.    Bake at  350F for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness.  So ideally, this gets put in the oven about 15 minutes in to the rice cooking.

Gourmet Whse Key Lime

As soon as you put the fish in, start your veggies.

For the sauteed veggies:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 pouch frozen Swiss Chard (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 pouch frozen multicolor carrots (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 can low sodium Cannelini beans, drained

Saute frozen carrots over low to medium low heat, till thawed and beginning to cook, about 10 minutes.  Add in chard and cook another 5 minutes  Add in beans and stir.  Heat through about 5 minutes.

 

 

I again made a batch of veggie burgers and veggie meatballs in anticipation of Molly and Lein coming for a visit.  We had the meatballs in General Tso sauce over vegetable fried rice/quinoa.  Adding kimchi and/or banh mi veggies on top gave it a nice crunchy fresh texture.

Gen Tso Meatballs

The veggie burgers and meatballs are quite a bit of work, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort!  This is a double recipe to make two night’s meals of either burgers or meatballs.  I more or less doubled the original recipe I found.  The variations are endless, but basically, I use a grain (rice or rice mixture), oatmeal, beans, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and then a liquid, like the balsamic glaze and vinaigrette last time.  This time, I had some beet chutney on hand, and that served as the liquid.  This is the variation I tried this time.  Remember – this is a big batch – enough for 2 meals.

Something interesting I learned at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school.  He asked “how do you know what size to dice something if the recipe doesn’t specify?”  The answer – it depends on how long your cooking time is.  The longer it will cook, the larger the pieces so they don’t disintegrate.  Which makes perfect sense.  The veggies in this recipe are going through a meat grinder.  I used a medium dice on the onion and celery.

6 cups cooked brown rice/wild rice mixture (I can’t wait to try other grains!)
1 cup packed oatmeal
1 can black beans (I will soon be trying this with Cannilini)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cups diced onions
1 small can cubed beets
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 small jar beet chutney  (The original recipe called for sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
3. Portion into patties or balls, shaping them how you will be baking them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed with olive oil in the fridge and refrigerate at least overnight. I used my standard ice cream scoop.  (I’ve kept them up to 5 days and they were still delicious).  This keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)  If you don’t have an extra fridge like I do, you might want to put them in a tupperware with waxed paper between layers.

Bake in 400F oven 40 minutes for the burgers, 25 for the meatballs, if you are going to bake them a second time with a sauce, like I do.

I used a bottled sauce (Fusia brand), which was surprisingly low in sodium and  delicious.

After the meatballs are baked, I placed a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil, and then topped them with the rest of the sauce.  I then baked them for another 15 minutes

The fried rice was actually rice cooked in a rice cooker that I tossed with some stir fried broccoli slaw.  No egg this time.

 

I bought some Hidden Valley Lime Cilantro Ranch dressing that was not a hit.  It languished in my fridge not appealing to anyone.  Imagine my surprise that a dish made for tonight’s dinner transported that off-the-mark dressing into an amazing marinade!  I came home from the market with some bone-in chicken thighs, wondering what marinade to create.  I took the Hidden Valley dressing and, since there was not quite enough of it to coat all the thighs, mixed it with a little balsamic vinaigrette I had on hand, and the result was one of the most delicious chicken dishes we’ve had in a while!

Lime Cilantro Ranch Chicken Thighs

8 Chicken Thighs

1/2 c. cilantro lime ranch dressing

1/2 c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine dressings and pour over thighs.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight or freeze for future use.

Bake in 425F oven for 45 minutes.

I cooked baked potatoes next to the chicken, and put in the broccoli and squash for the last 20 minutes.  Yum Yum Yum.

There was a bit of juice left from cooking the chicken.  I saved it and am using it to make tomorrow’s chili by cooking the meat and veggies in it for the cilantro lime flavorings.  It smells amazing and hopefully will be perfect!

 

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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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 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!

I am avoiding nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes) as part of a diet geared toward reducing inflammation and pain from my psoriatic arthritis.  I know that I should also limit dairy, gluten, and processed foods, but I’ve had such great results already, I know nightshades are the real enemy.  Besides, I love chicken apple sausage and thought I’d see if it has an impact.  It  has only been a little over a week, and already I know without a doubt that the nightshades are no longer for me.  My pain decreased almost immediately, even though the information on pain management websites indicated it could take a while.  I used to take ibuprofen every day and night to manage my pain.  Since starting this experiment a little over a week ago, I have only taken it twice.  Both times  I had “cheated” and had tomato.  Absolutely not worth it.  I’m sold on eliminating nightshades.  An added bonus is that my psoriasis outbreak is going away.  On top of that, I feel more energetic and younger!  Tonight’s dinner was delicious, albeit a bit sweet from the sausage.  Adding hot sauce, pepper flakes, or cheese would likely take it to another level, but the kids liked it sweet!

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3 packages al fresco chicken apple sausage

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, cubed

2 small yelow squash, cubed

3 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. sherry

3 Tbsp. pesto sauce

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

2 boxes orzo, cooked according to directions

  1. Cut up sausage and veggies.  Toss with oil and cook over medium low heat, stirring regularly in large skillet until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo and drain.
  2. Add in sherry and pesto.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in breadcrumbs to thicken sauce, if needed.  Simmer another 5 minutes.
  4.   Toss with orzo and serve immediately.  Top with a little parsley or basil for color, if desired.

The variations of this are endless.  Any vegetables or beans you like.  Different sausages.  Tofu or Tempeh in place of the sausage.  Cut up boneless chicken.  Yum.

 

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