New and Improved Mushroom Risotto

Boy, did I get risotto wrong for all these years, I am so embarrassed! About a year ago we invited some friends over for dinner and I made the mushroom risotto recipe I have on this site, and just cooked it forever, until it was mush. Luckily the flavors were still good, but the consistency was all wrong — I now know!  I always read in recipes here in the US to stir the risotto constantly which also I now know to be untrue. So there I was stirring continuously for what seemed like hours while our guests stood in the kitchen drinking and hungrily watching the risotto that seemed like it would never finish cooking. Not good. 

This summer we vacationed in northern Italy and took a cooking class. The chef taught us to make risotto the real way, the Italian way. What a difference. It turns out that risotto is a quick little side dish that requires very little stirring or care! Who knew?

Give this a try. Add whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand, it is a terrific blank canvas for seasonal ingredients.  

New and Improved Mushroom Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

A simple and basic risotto recipe that can be personalized with vegetables or proteins of your choice.

Ingredients

  • About 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 sweet onion, cut into a small dice
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • about a Tablespoon fresh sage, cut in a chiffonade
  • about a Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing

Procedure

  1. Warm the broth in either a pot or if you are lazy like me in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (one less pot to clean).
  2. In a large deep dutch oven or skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, until softened.
  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. You should see a little white dot in the rice when it has been toasted enough.
  5. Add the wine, give it a little stir and let it cook over medium heat until the wine is absorbed, about 2 or 3 minutes minutes.
  6. Add about 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture, give it a good stir and cook until nearly absorbed (don’t constantly stir while the rice mixture is absorbing the broth). Repeat adding the stock about 1 cup at a time and just giving it one stir after each addition of broth to get the broth and the rice mixed until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, for about 12 minutes (you may not use all the stock). Taste the risotto at this point. If it is cooked al dente (fully cooked but still slightly firm to the bite) at this point, you are finished cooking it. If not, add a little more broth and check again after it is absorbed.
  7. Turn off the heat and add fresh spinach, a little black pepper and parmesan. Taste and add salt and more pepper to your liking.
  8. Serve immediately, topping each potion with a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Note:  I has some small cherry tomatoes lying around, so I added them half-way during step 6. My husband also sauteed a little lobster tail in olive oil, butter, sage and garlic, and we mixed that in during step 7. Other times we have kept it simple and subbed in  some tomato sauce for the last cup of broth. The possibilities are endless.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 7, 2019

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Turkey Vegetable Chili

So yesterday was mushroom barley soup and today is turkey chili, I am full-fledged into autumn now…except this is Northern CA and it will feel like summer again in a few days, but that keeps things interesting. I have made this chili recipe a few times and it is dramatically different from my beef and chicken sausage chili I posted a few years ago. I think this is lighter and brighter, not quite a rich as my other chili recipe, although both are pretty light calorie-wise. I lightened-up this Food & Wine recipe by omitting the lager (didn’t want to buy a 6 pack of beer to use only one bottle to make this chili), using two pounds of ground turkey breast meat instead of three (!) pounds of turkey, added some additional vegetables among other small tweaks. I hope you enjoy it!

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Turkey Vegetable Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Adapted from Food & Wine's Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili - a light and vegetable-laden chili for a cool autumn day.

Adapted from Food & Wine’s Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili  

Ingredients

  • Safflower oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in a small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in a small dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut in a small dice
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of low-sodium chopped tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cans of low-sodium cannellini beans (or great northern or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed

Procedure

  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot on Medium-high. Add a small amount of oil and coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onion, carrots, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chile powder, black pepper, and salt  to the mixture and stir for one minute until well-mixed and fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock/broth, cider vinegar, and the beans. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally.
  4. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or onions if desired.

NOTE: This also works well to follow recipe up to step 3, then once you add the beans put the mixture into a slow cooker, set on medium and leave it to cook for the day. I do this in the mountains, so it is about 45 minutes preparation and then dinner is ready when I come home from skiing! 

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October 3, 2019

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chopping the onion
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cooking the turkey and the vegetables
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finished product!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Today actually felt like autumn, so I decided to make soup. I had a hard time coming up with the right soup that both my son and I would eat and I finally decided on mushroom barley soup. It is a vegetarian version, I remember loving my aunt’s mushroom barley soup as a kid, but I remember it having beef chunks in it. Since I decided to make this vegetarian I made a side of homemade meatballs to add some extra food for the growing teenager. We were both happy this way and there was plenty of leftover soup for lunch tomorrow and for freezing for future meals.

Mushroom Barley Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Fairly quick and healthy vegetarian soup for a chilly day

Credit: Mushroom Barley Soup from Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of Vegetable Stock or Broth (or Beef Stock if you aren’t making it vegetarian)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, cut in a small dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Heat a large saucepan with a little safflower oil. When hot, add the carrot, fennel, and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and saute 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, oregano and thyme, and saute one more minute.
  4. Add the stock or broth and barley.
  5. Bring to a boil, stir and then cover and simmer over moderately low heat for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve in bowls. Enjoy!

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October 3, 2019

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Ginger Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

It is officially Fall, but since the temperature hit 96 degrees today I really wasn’t feeling it! I went to the market with only a vague plan, cook something that requires little heat, fairly light and easy. I was thinking some juicy late summer tomatoes would be nice, maybe with some fresh mozzarella and add some pasta for my son. It was just the two of us tonight, so I was trying to make both of us happy and avoid the oven. Turned out my market had a terrible selection of heirloom tomatoes, so I had to come up with a new plan on the fly…I bought some shrimp, baby bok choy, and snow peas. Smallest market trip in a long time! I am really excited about this recipe since it was pretty fast and easy and you can put in any vegetables you happen to have in the fridge if you don’t feel like shopping. And the flavors are simple but delicious! Thank you again Woks of Life for the inspiration for this. I love your recipes!

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Ginger Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and healthy Chinese shrimp and vegetable dish.

Credit: Scallion Ginger Shrimp Recipe from The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • light oil such as safflower or canola
  • 1/2 sweet onion, large slices
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 large mushrooms, cut in large slices
  • 2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of broccolini, cut in large pieces
  • 1 cup of snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • small pinch of sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Procedure

  1. Brine the shrimp by mixing 2 Tablespoons salt with 1 cup of water. Stir well and add shrimp. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare vegetables while shrimp is brining.
  3. Drain shrimp and dry on a paper towel.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add 1/2 the ginger and stir for about 30 seconds in the hot oil. Add the onion and carrot to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, add the bok choy and broccolini, cook another minute and then add the snow peas and cook another minute or two or until the vegetables are all tender but still a bit crunchy. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add a little more oil and when heated add the rest of the ginger. Add the shrimp and let sear for 30 seconds, then stir and add the vegetables and the wine, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until well combined and coating the ingredients. Remove from heat and place stirfry in a bowl.
  6. Serve with rice in bowls. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • I bought bok choy and snow peas for this and then used the vegetables in my refrigerator – carrots, mushrooms, onions, and broccolini, and it was delicious. I think the vegetables you use are pretty flexible, good dish to make to clean out the produce drawer.
  • The pictures are 1/2 recipe since I was only cooking for two people when I photographed the recipe, so don’t be alarmed if you have a lot more vegetables.
  • Brining the shrimp is optional, but I find that it makes the shrimp a lot firmer and less fishy when you are using generic farmed shrimp because that is all one can access.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

September 25, 2019

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Heirloom Tomato, English Pea and Farro Salad

I went to the farmer’s market this past Sunday and there were piles of beautiful plump english peas. I kept looking and commenting on them even though they were not on my shopping list. Finally my husband suggested I just buy a bag of them and figure out what to do with them in a day or two –what a good idea! Sunday I made the fresh corn soup with crab for my mother-in-law’s birthday because she really likes that soup, therefore Monday was my day to use the peas. I searched the Internet for a good recipe for them but couldn’t find anything. So what to do now….they were calling me, you know? I had two ripe heirloom tomatoes on my counter, and a big bunch of basil from the farmers market as well so I eventually came up with this salad and added some farro to make it a little more filling for my family. We all really enjoyed it, the flavors were just bright, fresh and summery. I hope you enjoy it!

Heirloom Tomato, English Pea and Farro Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Best of summer's sweet heirloom tomatoes combine with fresh sweet english peas and nutty farro for a filling but healthy summer vegetarian salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked farro (whole grain)
  • 1 pound of fresh english peas, shelled (about a cup when shelled)
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into a large chunks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus a little more for garnishing
  • handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

Procedure

  1. Cook the farro according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the farro cooks, saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil. Add the peas and a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the peas soften and sweeten. (Optional to add a little butter if you want some extra richness. A splash of white wine would probably add some dimension as well).
  3. Remove the peas and set the pea mixture aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and turn the heat to low. Add the tomatoes and a little salt and pepper and just warm them up a bit. A few minutes and a stir or two will do. Turn off the heat, add the basil and stir.
  4. When farro is cooked add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup of the parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  5. Spoon a layer of the farro on a plate and top with tomatoes and then the pea mixture. Garnish with a little cheese. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    August 20, 2019

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Fresh Summer Corn Soup with Crab

I have made this recipe all summer and it is really delicious! It is like summer in a bowl. It is a recipe from the New York Times Cooking site and I have modified it slightly by leaving out the cream, butter and jalapenos, and adding crab. It has a pretty short list of ingredients and is very light and healthy. I will say that shucking 12 pieces of corn can take some time, so it isn’t quick, but healthy natural food is often not quick, but worth the extra time.

Fresh Summer Corn Soup with Crab

  • Servings: 6+
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Fresh corn, crab and summer in a bowl

Credit: The New York Times Cooking – I can’t post a link because you have to pay for their website now, so I no longer have access to it 

Ingredients

  • 12 ears of corn
  • 1 sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, small dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of fresh crab, shelled
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade them

Procedure

  1. Remove the husk from all of the corn.
  2. Cut the corn off the cob and put the cornless cobs in a large stockpot. Fill the stock pot with 16 cups of water, bay leaf, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium and lightly boil for 30 minutes.
  3. While the corn cobs are boiling, cut the vegetables.
  4. Saute the onion and bell pepper with a little oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot until it is soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the corn and saute for 10 more minutes.
  5. Add 6 cups of the corn stock to the corn mixture (avoiding the peppercorns and bay leaf). stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Puree about half the soup, so it turns creamy, but you still have a lot of vegetable chunks. Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh crab and basil. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    August 19, 2019

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Chicken and Vegetable Japchae

The usual quandary of what to cook tonight was worse than normal…I felt really stuck today! I think this was because we came back a week ago from our trip to Japan, which was amazing, but we ate so many gourmet and LARGE Japanese meals, and then on top of that this past weekend we went to Sonoma and ate an incredible 11 course meal at Single Thread, I just feel stuffed and want something light but also teen son friendly. Uninspired, I took my daily trip to the grocery store and bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, since I have mostly been eating fish (a lot) and beef.  I really had only a vague idea of what I was going to do with them, maybe some generic asian marinade, leftover brussel sprouts and rice? Not exciting by any means. Then a delicious Korean recipe popped into my inbox from The Woks of Life.  I made a few changes, such as doubling the recipe, exchanging chicken for the beef, using the vegetables in my refrigerator, and using shirataki noodles instead of the traditional dangmyeon (sweet potato starch noodles).  We all really liked it and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

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Chicken and Vegetable Japchae

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: pretty easy
  • Print

Fairly quick and healthy Korean vegetable, chicken and noodle dish.

Credit: Japchae: Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry from The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 2 – 7 ounce packages of shirataki konjac pasta (I used Miracle Noodle brand that I bought at Whole Foods)
  • About 3/4 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced very thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 teaspoons of coconut palm (or whatever kind you prefer) sugar, divided
  • ~1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 7 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
  • oil of choice for cooking (a neutral oil is best, like safflower oil)
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 medium carrots, julienned
  • 3 stalks of celery, julienned
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • handful of lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced into thin strips
  • 5 scallions, cut into 2-inch long pieces and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Procedure

  1. Rinse the noodles in water and cook according to the package directions. Drain. Mix together 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour onto the noodles and mix well. Set noodles aside.
  2. Mix 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a medium bowl. Add the sliced chicken, stir well and set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add the carrot, celery and onion to the skillet and cook until tender but still a bit crunchy. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add a little more oil and cook the mushrooms until browned. Remove from pan and place in bowl with carrot mixture.
  5. Add a little more oil and cook the bell peppers until tender but crunchy, add the remaining garlic, kale and scallions. Cook until kale is wilted, then remove from pan and add to the carrot mixture in the bowl.
  6. Turn the heat up to high, and add a little more oil if needed. Cook half the thinly sliced chicken until slightly browned, then add to the bowl of vegetables.  Cook the other half of the chicken and add to the bowl.
  7. Add the noodles and sesame seeds to the bowl.
  8.  In a small bowl whisk together 4 teaspoons sugar, 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 4 Tablespoons soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon sesame oil. Pour into the vegetable, noodle and chicken mixture and stir well.
  9. Serve in bowls. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • I made this with the vegetables in my refrigerator – carrots, celery, kale, cremini mushrooms and brussel sprouts, and it was delicious. I think the vegetables you use are pretty flexible, good dish to make to clean out the produce drawer.
  • This traditionally is made with dangmyeon – which are sweet potato starch noodles. I made this with Shirataki noodles, feel free to use what you like and experiment.
  • This also is traditionally made with a little thinly sliced beef, I really enjoyed it with chicken though. I think it would also be delicious vegetarian as well (maybe add tofu or egg strips).

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

April 17, 2019

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Update July 2019:  I made this with beef and vegetables and it was quite good.  Here is a picture of the vegetables I had that day and the finished dish.

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Lemonade Layer Cake

This has been a family favorite since my children were small. One of the few baked items I can successfully make but I forgot about it for the last few years and just bought cakes for birthdays. This year for my son’s 15th birthday I made it, not once but twice! He somehow has celebrated his birthday three times this year – once when his grandmother was at our house, second the day after his birthday because he went skiing on his actual birthday and again today with his friends. Lucky kid! Lemonade Layer Cake is based on an old Cooking Light recipe. I have always been troubled with the frozen lemonade concentrate in the original recipe, so I have finally changed that part and added some lemon extract and fresh lemon juice. Totally delicious, cuts down on the sugar and eliminates whatever artificial and strange unpronounceable ingredients that might be in frozen lemonade concentrate. I also reduced the sugar in the frosting by a whole cup, and my whole family still loved it! I honestly think 3 1/2 cups sugar in the frosting would be way too sweet.

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Lemonade Layer Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Light and delicious lemon layer cake with a rich and creamy lemon cream cheese frosting.

Credit: Lemonade Layer Cake by Cooking Light/Ann Taylor Pittman

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (one lemon juiced)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • cooking spray

Frosting:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (one lemon juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, set aside.
  3. Beat together at a medium speed the sugar, butter, lemon rind, lemon extract and lemon juice until well blended.
  4. Add eggs and egg whites one at a time to the mixture and beat well after each egg addition.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, stir with a whisk.
  6. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.
  7. Pour batter into the two round pans, sharply tap pans on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pans 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Prepare frosting by placing butter, lemon rind, lemon juice, lemon extract, vanilla extract and cream cheese in a bowl. Beat until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed just until blended – do not overbeat. Chill one hour.
  10. Frost the first layer, top with the remaining layer and frost the top and sides of the cake. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

March 23, 2019

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Vegetable Lo Mein

 

Mid-March and it is like spring here in the SF Bay area! I am really loving the weather since we have had a very rainy winter here, yes, we needed it, but I am really over it by now. Since it is so warm and beautiful I started to plan a salad for dinner, but then I decided a vegetable stir fry dish is similar, lots of fresh vegetables, but more likely to be accepted by my teen.  I made this last week with shrimp, like the original recipe was written, but today I feel like something vegetarian, maybe because we celebrated my son’s birthday yesterday and had a very meat and pasta-centric dinner out? Thank you The Woks of Life for the recipe, it is delicious! I made a few changes, such as doubling the sauce, using shirataki noodles  instead of traditional lo mein noodles, and lastly adding more vegetables, 2 eggs and some tofu. If shirataki noodles are not your thing, and I am still learning about them, then use lo mein noodles or whatever noodles taste good to you. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Lo Mein

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and healthy Chinese vegetable and noodle dish.

Credit: Shrimp Lo Mein Just Like Chinese Takeout by The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 2 – 7ounce packages of shirataki konjac pasta (I used Miracle Noodle brand that I bought at Whole Foods)
  • 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or whatever you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of white pepper
  • oil of choice for cooking (a neutral oil is best, like safflower oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin
  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 8 ounces extra firm high protein tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 2 scallions, split and cut into 2-inch long pieces

Procedure

  1. Rinse the noodles in water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil and white pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the two eggs with a dash of soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add the egg and cook. I like to make it a flat omelet and then slice it into long strips. Set the egg aside.
  5. Turn the heat up to high, add a little more safflower oil and cook the garlic for about a minute.
  6. Add the mushrooms, carrots and water chestnuts and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour in the mirin and add the cabbage. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  8. Add the noodles and stir it into the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add the sauce mixture and stir for 30 seconds.
  10. Add the tofu, egg, snow peas, bean sprouts and scallions. Mix well for about 2 more minutes.
  11. Serve in bowls. Good with a little chile sauce!

Note: You can make a chile sauce with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon each of Chinese chile sauce, hot water, rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

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March 18, 2019

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Shirataki noodles
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sauce on the right and the eggs with soy sauce and sesame oil

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Cooking the vegetables

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Soboro Donburi – Gingery Ground Beef and Mushrooms with Fresh English Peas

I am going to Japan soon and have become a bit obsessed with cooking Japanese food lately. My most recent find is this crumbled beef and vegetables over rice dish. Pretty quick and easy to make, and the flavors are really nice how they work together and add quite a bit of depth to this simple dish. It passed the family test, everyone liked it and said I should add it to the cooking rotation, so that is good. This dish is traditionally crumbled chicken or beef or any kind of meat , sometimes with eggs and served over white rice. I made it more healthy by adding mushrooms for some of the beef, and adding kale and fresh english peas. I also used a wild rice and whole grain brown rice blend instead of white rice to boost the nutrition.  I actually came up with the idea for this dish when I was shopping and I came across fresh local english peas, and I thought, what can I make with fresh peas… then I found a Food & Wine recipe that this is based on.

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Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef and Mushrooms with Fresh English Peas)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Quick and simple Japanese rice bowl with added vegetables to make it lighter and more healthy.

Credit: Soboro Donburi by Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon palm sugar (or whatever you have)
  • 1/4 cup dashi (or beef broth if using beef, chicken broth if using chicken, etc)
  • oil of choice for cooking
  • 3/4 pound lean grass-fed ground beef (or ground chicken)
  • 8 ounces chopped mushrooms (either cremini, shiitake or white button)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh peeled and grated ginger (or jarred)
  • fresh lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup fresh english peas shucked from pod (or frozen if that is all that is available)
  • hot cooked wild and whole grain brown rice
  • chile sauce if desired on the side

Procedure

  1. Mix together the sake (if you don’t have any, just use mirin), mirin, soy sauce, dashi or broth and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add the ground meat to the pan and cook through.
  3. Drain grease from cooked meat and then add the chopped mushrooms, ginger and kale to the meat in the pan, cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add the peas and the sake mixture and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is greatly reduced, but meat is not dry.
  4. Serve in bowls over rice and garnish with chile sauce on the side if desired.

Note: You can make a chile sauce with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon each of Chinese chile sauce, hot water, rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

February 22, 2019

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