Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rockin' Recipe -- Teriyaki Chicken

Another recipe from Jessica Seinfeld and this one was just as good.  Thumbs up from Big Mama, both Little Mouths and Grandma, Aunt Krista and Aunt Betty, too.  I made Aunt Krista's with fake chicken...

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup carrot puree (I used baby food)
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, cut in half
2 green onions, cut in thirds
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced (no need to peel)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cook until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the garlic, onions, and ginger.

Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper and paprika. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, until both sides are golden.

Off the heat, carefully pour in the teriyaki sauce. Slide the skillet into the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Soup-er Salad Sunday - Mandarin Chicken Salad

Spring has officially arrived with the time change, so today I decided to go with salad, instead of soup.  Especially since I have a frig full of lovely greens from my CSA box.  This salad was inspired by the Asian Greens we received this week.

4 oz. Asian Greens
Diced Leftover Chicken Teriyaki  (Recipe to Follow)
Crispy Chow Mein Noodles
Onion Chips
Mandarin Oranges


2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Vinegar of your choice, I used Balsamic
1 Tablespoon Honey
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Orange Zest

Whisk together, toss all ingredients and serve!  Thumbs up from everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rockin' Recipe ~ Pork Lo-mein

One of my favorite things about the Nook I got for Christmas, is the ability to have EVERY cookbook IN THE WORLD at my fingertips. The other cool thing, is if you are from Fort Wayne, you have a great selection available through our public library system, for free.

This week I checked out this new cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld:

Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives

I own her first cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, and while I have used some of her tricks, I found the work involved in preparing all of the purees a little more than I have time to do.

While this new cookbook does utilize purees from her first cookbook, I have used Stage 3 baby food for the squash and sweet potatoes, and that seems to work just fine. This recipe is straight from her cookbook, I just added the bok choy from our CSA basket and some Chow Mein noodles for crunch and to entice the kids past the green stuff. However, I got home from work late and the kids had already been fed, but for this Big Mama, who never met a green veggie she would eat, LOVED IT. I ATE BOK CHOY and not only lived to tell about it, I loved it and hope it's in next week's box as well.

Two or three years ago, when my niece first moved into her own apartment after college, I bought her a wok. So did her mother and since the wok matched my pots and pans, I put it in my pan cupboard and there it has rested for a long, long time. Tonight. I. Used. It. I was nervous, but it was amazing. My first stir fry. What a night!

Pork Lo-mein
1-12 oz box whole wheat spaghetti
11/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil (roasted)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions (white ends only), thinly sliced
4-6 oz center cut pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut across the grain into 1/4" thick slices
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1/2 cup chicken broth, sweet potato puree, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (or wok) over MED-HIGH heat. Add the garlic, green onions, and pork. Cook until the garlic and onions become fragrant and the pork begins to brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the soy sauce mixture and spaghetti to the skillet. Reduce the heat to LOW. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring well, until a thick sauce forms and coats the noodles. Add the remaining chicken broth if the sauce is too thick. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CSA Week One

It was so excited.  I pulled up to the little farm in my little Honda with the rest of the fuel efficient cars. My little car was so happy to fit in after being dwarfed by all of the SUV's at work all of the time. 

I wasn't quite sure what to do, but I saw some people in the barn and I went in there.  I checked my name off the list and got a bag of veggies out of the cooler. I got to choose two herbs from a nice large selection.  Since I'm normally too cheap to by too many fresh herbs in the winter time I was happy to find just some basics and got Rosemary and Chives this week.  There were several herbs I'm not quite sure how to use and I will save them for a week I need to shake things up.  A nice, big bunch of fresh Rosemary is a treat that I will use with the fingerling potatoes I got at Trader Joe's and will be serving with steak and Aioli later in the week. 

I also was given a new cookbook as a new member gift.  All in all, a very cool experience.  This is what I found in the bag when I got home. 

2 bags of mixed baby lettuces
2 bags Asian blend lettuce
2 bags spinach (will use in smoothies)
4 baby bok choy

We already ate one of the bags of lettuce for dinner with a creamy ranch dressing, turkey bacon and cheddar.  There's a huge difference in the flavor and the Little Mouths were a bit put off by it.  It's not your regular iceburg, but I have high hopes.  Tonight I used two other items I'll share in tomorrow's recipe.  All of it was SO good. 

The only negative thing is that when the Little Mouths were checking out the veggies and I was telling them what each thing was, the Littlest Little Mouth thought I said, b*tt choy instead of bok choy so now he giggles everytime his sister or I say bok choy.  Crazy Little Mouths.  Gotta love 'em!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Monday Link up!

This is our CSA week and while they've told us what to expect in each bag, we won't know exactly until the day I pick it up.  I do know that there will be two 4 ounce bags of lettuce, two 4 ounce bags of spinach and two 4 ounce bags of one other green. This may be arugula, asian greens mix, kale or swiss chard. We will also receive 2 herbs and one other item which may be pea shoots, tomatoes, peas, potatoes, baby bok choy or some other item. All vegetables are harvested the day we pick it up. 

I was challenging to make a menu for this week without knowing what will really be there, but I threw in a couple of old favorites and a couple of new recipes as well.  I figured I could throw anything into a stir fry, so that was good thing for this week. 

Monday        Little Mouths Favorite - Roasted Tomato Chicken Enchiladas  Salad

Tuesday        Pork Lo-Mein  (Recipe to Follow) and Asian Greens

Wednesday   Perfect Alfredo Sauce with the cutest little pasta sachet-looking things with prosciutto, Caesar salad and garlic and cheese focaccia.

Thursday       Teriyaki Chicken with Veggied up Rice Pilaf (Recipe to Follow)

Friday           EAT OUT!

Saturday       Sirloin Steak, Fingerling potatoes with Kid-safe Aioli and Salad

What did you come up with?  Link your menu to mine, below!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coming in, next week!

I’m SO excited! Next week will be the beginning of our CSA! I pick up the first box on Monday night, then I’ll be posting the contents on Tuesday morning.

But what an adventure all of this preparation has been. I’ve eaten at least 10 things I’ve never eaten before. I have changed my morning routine, broken my MAJOR (and lifelong) coffee addiction and gotten excited about cooking again.

And the BEST news:  My blog has gained several thousand readers, and for that, I thank you all!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ranch Pork Chops and Rice

Today was a super busy day and one in which I was in need of a good make ahead meal.  This was inspired by an email from Kraft or Campbell's...I can't remember which one.  I added the extra punch of a few pureed veggies for the littlest mouth's benefit.

I did think it was a bit on the salty side.  Next time I'll use a bit less of the Ranch Dressing Mix, but this was a thumbs up from Big Mama and the Little Mouths, too.  

Ranch Pork Chops and Rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
3/4 cup milk
1 package (1 ounce) ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup rice of your choice

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until well browned on both sides.Stir the soup, milk and 1/2 package salad dressing mix in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Heat 2 1/4 cups water and the remaining salad dressing mix in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.  Stir in 1 cup uncooked rice and cook according to the package directions.
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