Healthy Vegetable Fried “Rice”

9 Oct

 

Sometimes a girl just needs some fried rice. Here’s what went into this goodness:

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked “rice” (brown rice, bulgur, quinoa)

2 tbsp. oil (vegetable, walnut, sesame…more on that later)

4 eggs (or 8 egg whites)

2 tbsp. soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, diced

Veggies! (green peas, carrots, snow peas, broccoli, etc. etc.)

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Step by Step (& my tangents):

Confession: This meal was inspired by my need to use up some bulgur I had cooked several days ago. I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing out another full tupperware container and was simultaneously craving some Chinese inspired dish. That being said, I had pre-cooked bulgur all set so I skipped the step of making the “rice”. I think that was an advantage. Less moisture means more control when it comes to making rice-type dishes. But do what you gotta do. I’m not worried about you. You’re smart. And hungry. It’s all gonna work out in the end.

1. Cook bulgur/quinoa/rice. Set aside. You can use bulgur, like I did, or quinoa, brown rice, white rice, whatever! I trust you. You’ll totally figure this out. If you don’t know how to cook bulgur or rice or grains: do not panic. I have a really great link for you right HERE.

2. In a wok (or if you’re like me and have only two regular skillets, in one of your regular skillets) over medium heat, add one tbsp oil. I used walnut oil. I admit, I used it because I told myself it was healthier because it wasn’t vegetable oil. Is walnut oil healthier? I have no idea. You should google it if you’re really interested because I base things on my own form of made up logic. Anyway, heat your oil up. Add the chopped garlic. Let it cook until it’s tender.

3. In the meantime, mix 1 tbsp soy sauce in a small bowl with eggs. We’re prepping them like you’re making scrambled eggs. I’m assuming you know how this works.

4. Add the egg mixture to your tender, delicious smelling garlic. Push it around with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Repeat that until it looks scrambled egg-like, but not cooked so much yet that you’d want to eat it as is. Slightly under-cooked, I guess. We’re not taking it off the heat yet so it’s going to cook more whether we like it or not.

5. Throw your veggies in. Tonight out of sheer desperation, I used about a half a bag of frozen veggies. It was a medley. I love when they call it a medley. It was mixed veggies. Also add your “rice”. Add one more tbsp of (your choice of) oil.

Stir it around until it’s heated through. Add a splash more soy sauce to taste along with the sesame oil. Toss and serve!

Makes around 5 servings.

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Orange Ricotta Cookies!

25 Jun

Helloooooo deliciousness! I love you but my muffin top doth not approve!

Last Christmas-time my friend Rachel threw a holiday cookie party where we all brought our favorite cookies and then swapped with the other guests. I, naturally, ate my weight in sweets and one of my very favorites of the night were these Orange Ricotta cookies with chocolate drizzle on top. Waiting six months to try making these myself was a challenge to say the least. Anyway, that being said, I’ve had about 13 cookies in the last hour so before I head into a diabetic coma, here is the recipe:

Orange Ricotta Cookies

(Yeilds 4 dozen)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 orange, zested

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice

optional: baking chocolate for drizzle (my nizzle! – forgive me.)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are combined. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and the sugar. Beat the until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, orange juice, and orange zest. Beat to combine.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients. Spoon the dough (about 1 tablespoon for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

5. To glaze the cookies: combine the powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let glaze harden for about five minutes. Drizzle cookies with dark chocolate and let the cookies set up.

6. Melt small amounts of chocolate in the microwave according to packaging instructions (I used Baker’s semisweet baking chocolate which is found at most grocery stores) and drizzle over cookies with a spoon. I only did this step on half the cookies and used two squares only.

Hope you enjoy! And hopefully not as much as I did because mama might have given herself a little tummy ache. Oopsie.

Pancake Bowls

24 Apr

A little breakfast goodie my mom and I like to make. It’s a German pancake but we’ve taken to calling it pancake bowls for obvious reasons.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons sugar

3 cups sliced strawberries

Powdered sugar

Divide butter equally between 2 ovenproof frying pans (cast iron skillets work best), each 8 to 10 inches. Set pans in a 425° oven until butter melts, 3 to 4 minutes; tilt to coat pan.

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, whirl flour, milk, eggs, and sugar until smoothly mixed.

Pour batter equally into hot pans; bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve from pans, or loosen with a spatula and slide onto plates. Accompany with sliced strawberries and powdered sugar (or syrup, blueberries, fruit compote…whatever!). Makes 2 generous or 4 regular servings.

Snicker Snacks

23 Apr

Straight from the textbook, “How To Get Fat, Fast”:

This spin on the classic Rice Krispie Treats is a recipe my Aunt, cousin and Mom started making in the early 90’s. There was a short-lived version of Chex called Frosted Jr. Chex and this recipe was on the box. Hellooooo, calories! Slap the good ‘ol “family tradition” label on a recipe like this though, and you’ve got your self a free pass to gluttony. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1 (10 oz., about 40) pkg. regular marshmallows or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Corn Chex cereal
6 Snickers bars, chopped
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted, add half of the chopped Snickers. Remove from heat.Stir in the Chex cereal and the remaining chopped Snickers coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture.

Using a buttered or silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper.

Cut into squares when the mixture cools.

Makes 24 squares.

Apple Tart with Custard & Orange-Apricot Glaze

6 Mar

For this recipe which I found here, I substituted Gala’s for the green apples. Aside from that, it’s just the way she made it. Granted, mine wasn’t quite as perfect as hers, but it was delicious. I will say, for my very first tart, and I think what was my very first crust, I did alright. I’ll say this, my roommate and I were able to force some down.

Crust recipe:

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

2 tbsp. light sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place flour, butter and sour cream in food processor and pulse to combine. When the dough has formed a ball, pat with lightly floured hands into the bottom and sides of an ungreased tart pan with a removable bottom and 1/2 -inch sides, or a round au gratin dish. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Let cool while preparing the filling.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Apple filling recipe:

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sugar

Directions:

Peel and slice apples then place in bowl. Coat and toss apple slices in cinnamon and sugar. Arrange the apple slices in overlapping circles on top of crust, until it’s completely covered. Overfill the crust, as apples will shrink during cooking.

Custard filling recipe:

3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Combine the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar and flour and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture over the apples. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 350 degrees, until the custard sets and is pale golden in color. Cover with an aluminum foil tent if the crust gets too dark. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove from pan.

Glaze recipe:

1/2 cup apricot preserves or jelly

2 tbsp. Simply Orange orange juice, pulp-free

Homemade whipped cream, for garnish

Directions:

Combine the preserves or jelly and orange juice. Spread with a pastry brush over the top of the warm tart. Serve the tart warm, at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with whipped cream and mint, if desired.

Yankee Oatmeal Cookies

22 Jan

This is my Gammy’s recipe which basically translates to “Southern, Full Fat, Full of Love Deliciousness”. When my mom and her siblings were young, my grandmother would make double or triple batches (there were eight of them!) and put the rolls in the freezer. That way she could make fresh baked cookies for school lunches and snacks. Enjoy!

 

Yankee Oatmeal Cookies

 

Prep time: 10 min., Total time: 35 min.

Cream together in a mixer:

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

Add

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

Separately sift together:

2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

Stir in

Flour mixture and 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

Stir in

3 cups Quick Cooking Oats

 

Divide dough into equal parts and roll in wax paper.

Chill until firm. (Freezer for 15 minutes) Slice thin. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.

Cook at 350º for 7 – 10 minutes.

Cool on racks.

Rolls freeze well, wrapped in wax paper stored in zip lock bags, for weeks.

Yields 5 dozen.