Archive for August, 2009

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Moo Shu Chicken

August 26, 2009

I have a soft spot for take-out, especially Chinese food.  One of my top choices at a Chinese restaurant is moo shu anything.  It’s a great veggie + meat stir fry dish with a thick sweet sauce and floury little pancakes.  I love it, and it makes the best leftovers the next day.  So naturally I tried to make my own version.  Even my roommate thought it came out pretty darn tasty!

Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken

You’ll need:

  • About 3/4 lb chicken breast, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pkg (12-16 oz) coleslaw mix (this is pre-chopped red and green cabbage plus shredded carrots, so you could do it yourself if you want)
  • About 1/3 of a cup of hoisin sauce
  • 3 T tamari soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Handful of bean sprouts (optional)
  • Tortillas

Here’s what you do…

  1. Heat the sesame and vegetables oils in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and chicken, and brown.  Season with a little salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cabbages/carrots and stir.  Let cook until just softening.
  3. In a small bowl, combine hoisin and soy sauces.
  4. Pour into skillet and stir well.  Add scallions and sprouts.
  5. Serve with warm tortilla!
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Citrus Garlic Shrimp

August 25, 2009

This is one of my favorite easy dinners.  I’ve had it over linguine a lot, but this time I had it over couscous.  If you’ve never tried couscous, do it!  It’s super quick and easy to cook; just boil the water and let the couscous sit in it, covered, for 5 minutes…then serve!  The shrimp is also a great staple dish.  It’s all tangy from the citrus, and not at all what you expect from a pasta dish.  Sometimes I add a pat of butter to the sauce before serving over the linguine, but tonight I just grated some fresh Parm on top.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bag frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 4 limes, juiced and zested
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Pasta & Parmesan cheese

To make it, you…

  1. Combine citrus juices, lime zest, garlic, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Add shrimp and let marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high.  Reduce heat to medium and toss in the shrimp with the juices.  Cook until pink and tender.
  3. Serve over pasta and with cheese (if you want!).  If you want some veggies, you can add some peas or whatever strikes your fancy!
Cirtus Garlic Shrimp

Cirtus Garlic Shrimp

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Cashew Chicken Salad

August 18, 2009

This is another “Ultrametabolism” recipe that I found.  It’s light and refreshing and perfect for the summer — and totally tasty!  In fact, I made it for an evening out at Wolf Trap.  Nothing like sitting on the lawn, enjoying some homemade picnic food and listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash!

You’ll need…

  • 4 oz dry rice noodles (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 T cashew butter
  • 2 T plain unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 4 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 t minced fresh ginger
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 t lime zest
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 c cooked diced chicken
  • 2 c shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 sliced scallions
  • 1 c sliced carrots
  • 1/2 c sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 fresh orange, cut into chunks
  • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 T chopped cashews
Cashew Chicken Salad

Cashew Chicken Salad

Then you…

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions.
  2. Combine cashew butter, vinegar, lime juice, ginger, garlic, lime zest, sesame oil and olive oil in a small bowl and stir vigorously until smooth. (I like to put my dressing ingredients in a small jar, cover and shake to mix).
  3. Place salad ingredients in a medium salad bowl along with the rice noodles and mix well.
  4. Pour dressing over the vegetables and noodles.  Garnish with cilantro and cashews.
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Peach Quinoa with Flax and Nuts

August 17, 2009

Looks like peaches won out on this poll of tasty ingredients.  So…ready for Ultrametabolism takes advantage of the summer?  This recipe mixes together quinoa with flaxseed, hazelnuts and FRESH PEACHES.  Could there be a more perfect time of year to try this out? It’s a breakfast dish, but you could definitely use it as a snack.  Just as a heads up, it’s not particularly sweet, but it was certainly tasty! I made it the night before I wanted to eat it, since I’m a little slow in the morning.

What’s quinoa you ask?

Originally from South America, it’s considered a “pseudocereal.” The seeds are becoming more and more common in the market, because it has a very high proteincontent; is a great protein source, as well as a good source of dietary fiber, phospohurs, magnesium and iron; and is gluten-free making it easy to digest.

Peach Quinoa

Peach Quinoa

You’ll want…

  • 1 c quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 2 c soy milk (I used vanilla…because, well, why not?)
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 2-3 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and diced, or 1 1/2 c frozen peaches
  • 2 T flaxseed, ground
  • 2 T chopped hazelnuts

Then you…

  1. Place the quinoa, soy milk, allspice, and peaches in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Cover pan and simmer on low heat for approx. 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender.
  4. Top with flaxseed and hazelnuts.
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Coconut Dal with Steamed Broccoli & Brown Rice

August 14, 2009

Since my surgery, I’ve been doing some research on how thyroids impact your metabolism and what (if anything) I can do to help keep my metabolism active without any medications.  It’s an interesting topic to read up on, because there’s lots of fluff out there — and I’m not talking about the marshmallow kind!

I recently picked up a book on Ultrametabolism, which is supposed to be built on the study of how food, your lifestyle, and your genes interact.  The author also published a few cookbooks to go along with the texts, so I figured why not try it out?

For this recipe, you will need…

  • 2 c yellow split peas
  • 1 (14 oz) can lite unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 c low-sodium organic vegetable broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger
  • 2 t ground turmeric
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 4 T chopped fresh cilantro (if desired)
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli, trimmed and steamed
  • 1 1/2 c raw brown rice, steamed
  • Fresh lime wedges

Then you…

  1. Rinse the split peas.
  2. In a large saucepan, place the split peas, coconut milk, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, and salt.
  3. Simmer over medium heat until peas are soft, approx. 30 min.
  4. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top (if desired) and serve over rice with steamed broccoli and the lime wedges.
Coconut Dal

Coconut Dal

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Spicy Vodka Pasta with Meatballs

August 13, 2009

When I go home, I almost always make some lasagna.  It’s become one of “my” dishes, and my parents love it when I leave at least one in the freezer for later consumption.  This time I felt like making something new for them and, with the help of my sister and her boyfriend, we settled on a pasta dish with meatballs.  To make it extra special, I decided to make a spicy vodka cream sauce to top it off.  We had it with a green salad and roasted garlic bread, plus tiramisu for dessert.  I (lamely) forgot to take a picture of the dessert, but I promise to remember next time!

Spicy Vodka Pasta

Spicy Vodka Pasta

You’ll need…

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 T dried oregano
  • 2 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small crown of broccoli, chopped up
  • Approx. 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 T crushed red pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 bag frozen Italian meatballs (or make some from scratch!)
  • 1/2 c vodka
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup cream (I’ve used both light and heavy; take your pick)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh pasta

To start…

  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and garlic.  Stir occasionally as they soften and begin to brown.
  2. Mix in the spices and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and heat through.  Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice; mix well.
  4. When simmering, add broccoli and mushrooms.  Stir in the pepper flakes.
  5. Add meatballs and return to a simmer.  Frozen meatballs will take between 5 and 10 minutes to thaw and heat through.
  6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.  Drain.
  7. Add vodka to the sauce and bring to near boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cream.
  8. Roughly dice fresh mozzarella and chop the fresh basil. (I like to drizzle the mozzarella with some balsamic vinegar, but you don’t have to).
  9. Toss the pasta with the sauce and meatballs.   Gently stir in the fresh mozzarella and basil.
  10. Pour spicy vodka pasta into a serving dish.  Garnish with fresh basil and grated cheese, if desired.
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Ellisville Scampi

August 11, 2009

There’s something about being able to see the ocean that makes me all the more excited for seafood.  You are able to get such fresh fish, because it comes from right outside!  Being home means a chance to get lobsters, scallops, shrimp and more right from the boat.  It’s wonderful.

Melvin, the Lobster

Melvin, the Lobster

A year ago (or so) my parents moved from the house I grew up in to one just 23.2 miles farther south.  The new house sits high up on a bluff, overlooking the Atlantic and Cape Cod.  It’s a place where all you want to do is sit outside and relax.  During one of my first visits, we christened “Ellisville Scampi” after hunting down some amazing seafood.  This past weekend, I recreated the dish in honor of a visit from my college friend, Snap.  Here you go!

Prepped Ingredients

Prepped Ingredients

You will need:

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, depending on your preference
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • Handful of asparagus
  • Handful of capers
  • Mix of fresh seafood; I used one 2-lb lobster, 1/2 lb large shrimp, and 1/2 lb sea scallops
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat linguine)
Cracking the Lobster

Cracking the Lobster

Let’s get started…

  1. If you are using a lobster, cook it first.
  2. Add about 2″ water to a large stock pot.  Then heavily salt it and bring to a boil.
  3. Place the live lobster in the pot and cover.  You’ll steam a 2-lb lobster for about 20-22 minutes, after the water comes back up to a boil.  The shell will be a nice, bright red.
  4. Remove the lobster from the boiling water and place in an ice water bath.  This stop the lobster from cooking more…nothing’s worse than chewy, overcooked lobster!
  5. Once the lobster is cool, crack it open to get the meat out.  It can be a bit messy, but grab a friend and have some fun!  If you’ve never done it before, check out http://video.about.com/homecooking/How-to-Eat-Lobster.htm.  Don’t worry if you don’t have the shears or cracker…we used a hammer and our hands (see above)!
  6. Prepare your other ingredients.  Chop the onion and dice the garlic.  Remove the shell on the shrimp and cut the scallops in half (if desired). Chop the asparagus.  Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl or cup.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Stir frequently until they soften and begin to brown.  Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  8. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil for the pasta.  Cook pasta as directed. Drain.
  9. To the onion and garlic mixture, add the diced tomatoes with their juice, the asparagus and the capers.
  10. Add the shrimp, scallops, and white wine to the sauce.  Cook through until the shrimp are pink.  Toss in the lobster and lemon juice.
  11. Combine the drained pasta with the sauce.  Serve hot!

I added a Caesar salad and some garlic toasts to the round out the meal, plus some grated Parmesan in case anyone wanted it for the pasta!  Delicious!

Ellisville Scampi

Ellisville Scampi

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