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Chicken, Dinner, Dressing, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Veggies

Chinese Chicken Salad

June 19, 2017

Chinese Chicken Salad

There are a number of stories told about the origins of Chinese Chicken Salad and it appears that none are definitive although most agree that it all began in the ’60s.  Wikipedia states that it became especially popular after Cary Grant asked the chef at Madame Wu’s in Santa Monica to add it to their menu after Grant had the salad at another restaurant. Whatever the case might be, it is one of my favorite salads too.  Now, there are so many variations on this salad you could make a different version every day for months.  Some poach their chicken breasts, others use rotisserie chicken. Some use mandarin oranges (no thanks!) or nuts such as peanuts and almonds.  I prefer to use leftover Granny’s teriyaki chicken and when we make it for dinner we plan for leftovers.  The salad ingredients and dressing are quick to put together, and though it does take 15 minutes or so to fry the won ton strips, it is worth the effort.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, won bok, however it’s labeled it’s all the same cabbage.  It has beautiful ripply leaves, a crunchy texture and mild cabbage flavor with just a hint of pepper.  Whatever other ingredients you choose to use in your Chinese chicken salad, please don’t leave this out.

Blanched Snow Peas

I love crispy snow peas.  All they need for this salad is a quick 10 second blanch in boiling water. Drain in an ice bath and pat dry before slicing.

Chinese Chicken Salad Vegetables

Won Ton Pi

There are many brands of won ton pi at the markets. I just grabbed this locally made brand at Foodland.  Since you won’t need the entire package for the salad, slice the extra pieces up into larger strips and fry them up for a snack.  They are a favorite Island treat.

Fried Wont Ton Pi Strips for Salad

Fried Wont Ton Pi Chips for Snacking

I used the extra won ton pi for chips. Some of them puff up as they fry, making them light and crispy.  Salt the chips as you take them out of the pan.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 2 grilled teriyaki chicken breasts, sliced thinly (or baked teriyaki chicken)
  • 8 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 ounces snow peas, blanched and sliced thin (optional)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • won ton pi cut into thin strips about ⅓" wide (I used about 4 ounces from the 10 ounce package for the salad and the rest I used for larger chips)
  • Dressing:
  • ⅓ - ½ cup rice vinegar, depending on how tangy you like your dressing (unseasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mirin
  • 2½ tablespoons soy sauce (not light or less sodium)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ground black pepper to taste
Preparation
  1. Toss together the shredded napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, sliced snow peas and green onions. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use (either in a bowl or Ziploc freezer bag).
  2. Deep fry the won ton strips until golden brown. I use a medium-sized pot and fry the won ton strips in batches. They cook quickly so watch them closely. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt over each batch. The won ton strips can be made a day in advance (store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator).
  3. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
  4. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the vegetables with some of the dressing. Divide salad into 4 bowls placing chicken strips to one side. Scatter won ton strips over the salad. Serve with extra dressing.

 

Beans, Dinner, Dressing, Italian, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

June 5, 2017

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

This salad is one you will never get bored with.  Crunchy lettuce, tart pepperoncini, wholesome chickpeas, and savory peppered salami, all tossed together with a refreshing oregano vinaigrette makes this a perfect lunch.  I love serving it with slices of hearty sourdough bread or avocado toasts.  There are many fine chopped salad recipes but this one created by Nancy Silverton and published in The Mozza Cookbook is by far my favorite.  This beautiful salad will bring much satisfaction to whomever you share it with.

Iceberg Lettuce, Radicchio, Pepperoncini, Onion, Chickpeas, Tomato, Salami & Cheese

Peppered Salami

There are so many different types of salami however I always reach for the peppered version. The slightly peppery crust adds an extra level of flavor to the salami.  Leftover slices are perfect in a sandwich or served with slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Oregano Vinaigrette

Don’t hesitate to use lots of dried oregano in the vinaigrette. It really makes the dressing stand out and goes well with the chopped salad.

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
 
Adapted from Nancy Silverton's Chopped Salad Recipe
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed + 1 small garlic clove, grated finely
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • Salad:
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce cut into ribbons ⅓" wide
  • 1 small head radicchio cut into ribbons ¼" wide
  • ½ small sweet white onion cut into thin strips
  • ¾ pounds diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 6 ounces yogurt cheese sliced into ¼" wide strips (you may substitute with provolone)
  • 6 ounces peppered salami sliced into ¼" wide strips
  • 5 medium pepperoncini sliced into rings
Preparation
  1. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss the lettuce, radicchio and onions together. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese, salami and pepperoncini. Spoon dressing over the salad and toss well so that all ingredients are well seasoned with the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more vinaigrette. You will not need all of the dressing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a week. Serve the salad with some good sourdough bread on the side.

 

Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

May 22, 2017

Baked Sour Cream Donut with Chocolate Frosting

Homemade donuts in 30 minutes?  With no deep frying involved, these baked sour cream donuts are incredibly easy to put together.  It takes less than 10 minutes to mix up the batter and pipe it into the donut pan, 10 minutes for the donuts to bake, and 5 minutes to dip them into a delicious chocolate frosting.  A tasty homemade donut brings a smile to everyone’s face.

Sour Cream Donut Batter

I bought my Wilton donut pan from Amazon for less than $10 and have put it to good use.  I have already placed an order for another pan so that I can make a dozen donuts at a time. The donuts freeze beautifully which means I am able to have a sweet treat any time.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts

Even though this is a non-stick pan be sure to coat it with non-stick cooking spray because the wet batter has a tendency to stick to the pan.  Once baked, the donuts will be lightly browned on the bottom with a very light golden color on top.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Sprinkles add color and a bit of crunch to the donuts however if you prefer a smooth chocolate frosting you can skip the sprinkles.  I make some of each and let everyone choose their favorite donut.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting
 
Donut recipe adapted from the Semisweet Sisters blog Frosting recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the doughnuts:
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup Green Valley lactose free sour cream (or regular sour cream)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or regular butter)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 6-cavity donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, sour cream, egg, vanilla extract and sugar. (Measure the oil in a 1-cup measuring cup then transfer it to the bowl. Use the same measuring cup for the sour cream. The oil coats the measuring cup so the sour cream releases easily). Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine ingredients well.
  3. Transfer batter to a quart sized bag. Snip a very small piece off of the corner of the bag. Pipe the batter into the donut pan filling each cavity about ¾ full. You may not use all of the batter. If there is too much batter in the pan the donut holes will close up as they bake. Bake for 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If the donuts need to bake longer set your timer for another 1 -2 minutes. The donuts will be browned on the bottom side and very light golden on the top. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Combine all of the frosting ingredients in a pan and heat over medium-low heat until everything is melted. Whisk the frosting to ensure it is smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl, just wide enough to dunk the donuts in. I usually let the frosting cool for about 15 minutes before I frost them. You may also melt all of the ingredients in the microwave (stop and stir often).

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Amazing Whole Grain Muffins

May 8, 2017

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

These little beauties are my favorite mid-morning snack.  They are 100% whole grain muffins that have the perfect texture and flavor.  Sometimes I add dried tart cherries to the batter but they are just as good without adding any additional ingredients.

White Whole Wheat Flour & Wheat Bran

Whole wheat flour and additional wheat bran make this a very nutritious muffin.  I take one to work each day and enjoy it with my morning cup of coffee. They are low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and just plain delicious.

Apple Bananas

A very ripe banana helps to moisten the batter as well as improve the flavor. These are not tall domed muffins.  The batter makes just enough to fill a dozen standard 12-cup muffin pan.  Use a spoon to fill each muffin cavity 1/2 full then divide any leftover batter between the 12 cups.

Whole Grain Muffins

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

I love to split the muffins and toast them until they are nicely browned and crisp around the edges. Slather some Earth Balance Buttery Spread and homemade lilikoi jelly over the warm muffins and serve them for breakfast with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon.

Toasted Whole Grain Muffins with Lilikoi Jelly

 

Whole Grain Muffins
 
Adapted from Cooking Light
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1⅓ cups)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted
  • ¾ cup plain 2% lactose free yogurt
  • ¼ cup lactose free sour cream
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries, optional
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (I use a non-stick pan lightly buttered)
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine ingredients.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons melted Buttery Sticks, yogurt, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups (fill each cup ½ full then divide the remaining batter between the 12 cups)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

April 23, 2017

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Before the last of our avocados disappeared for the season, I decided to make a quick lunch using the creamy and rich Green Gold fruit.  Nothing could be easier and more satisfying than avocado toast.  All you need is good bread, an avocado and salt and pepper.  And maybe a dash of hot sauce too.  But if you want to take it up just a notch, scatter some crispy bacon over the avocado and top it off with a jammy egg.

Green Gold Avocado

We have two varieties of avocados in our garden, both of which are winter bearing.  The Sharwil is very popular here in Hawaii. It produces beautiful fruit, rich and creamy with small seeds.  The Green Gold’s flesh is dense, rich and creamy, perfect for guacamole and avocado toast. I love both of our trees however, the Green Gold is a bit more dependable in producing a large crop each year.

John's 9-Grain Bread

John makes 9-grain bread that is perfect for avocado toast.  It’s hearty and full of flavor from all of the grains that go into the bread.  Whatever bread you use for avocado toast, make sure that it has structure and is not the airy, flavorless type you might find on some supermarket shelves.

Daily's Bacon

One of the best supermarket brands of bacon is Daily’s. Use the best bacon that you can find.

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 - 4 pieces of good bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 - 4 pieces of crispy bacon, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • chives and Italian parsley, chopped
Preparation
  1. Cook the eggs: Bring ½-inch of water to a boil over medium high heat in a small pot (one with a tight fitting lid). Using tongs, gently lower eggs into the water and cover the pot. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Remove the eggs from the pot and run under cool water to stop the cooking (or place in an ice bath for a minute or two). Peel the eggs and set aside.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on the toasted bread. Place avocado slices on the bread and mash lightly with a fork. Season with a little coarse salt and black pepper. Scatter bacon pieces over the mashed avocado. Slice each egg into even pieces, enough for each avocado toast. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Scatter chives and parsley over the top.

 

Beef, Dinner, Italian, Pasta, Recipes

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells

April 12, 2017

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are my new favorite pasta dish.  It has many flavors in common with lasagne bolognese.  Yet unlike bolognese sauce that simmers for a several hours, this meat sauce is ready in less than 30 minutes and is equally delicious.  Another time saver is to use a good store-bought pasta sauce such as Rao’s Basil Tomato Sauce. Because it is particularly tasty, I stock up when it is on sale.

Barilla Jumbo Pasta Shells

Barilla makes beautiful pasta shells that are just the right size for this recipe.  Check the box for broken pieces before purchasing it.  If the box shows signs of being damaged, the shells may be fractured and once cooked can fall apart and be unusable.

Meat Sauce for Shells

Ground sirloin is the perfect choice for the meat sauce.  It is flavorful yet lean.  However if you are unable to find ground sirloin, lean ground beef is a fine substitute.

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells

I use cottage cheese in the recipe however you may substitute ricotta.  The cottage cheese is light and mild in flavor but adds a creaminess without adding too many calories. I love how it melds together with the meat sauce and becomes a luxurious filling.

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Beef Stuffed Shells
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Meat Sauce:
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin (or other lean ground beef)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 24 ounce jar Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce, divided
  • Pasta Shells:
  • 20 - 24 jumbo pasta shells (Barilla Jumbo Shells 12 oz. box)
  • Cheese Mixture:
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese (I use Lactose Free)
  • 6 ounces (2 cups) coarsely shredded yogurt cheese (or mozzarella), divided
  • 3 ounces (1 cup) coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9x13" casserole dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the ground sirloin and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until meat is no longer pink. Season with ¾ teaspoons kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add fresh parsley, dried oregano and marjoram. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat and mix in 1¼ cups of Rao's sauce. Spread the remaining sauce in the casserole dish.
  3. Cook shells in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, drain on paper towels.
  4. Combine cottage cheese, ¾ cup yogurt cheese, and all of the cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Mix in beaten egg. Add beef mixture to the bowl, stir to combine well. Spoon the filling into the pasta shells and arrange over the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1¼ cups yogurt cheese over the shells. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

 

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