Thursday, May 28, 2009

All-seasons sesame chicken

All-seasons Sesame Chicken

1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into strips or bit-sized pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 T ginger, grated
1 T dry mustard
1 tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 T sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients besides chicken in a large bowl. Add the chicken and let marinade in fridge for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Add everything to a large pan and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Drizzle juices over rice.

We had it with snow peas and watermelon. Everyone (even the almost-one-year-old) was a fan.

bread machine bread

I've been making lots of bread in the bread machine. So easy. I'd love to make it completely by hand, but why? And when am I going to do this? I'll leave you with some bread machine recipes that we've been making the past couple of weeks (all for 1 1/2 lb. loaves).

simple Whole Wheat Bread

1 cup milk
3 T water
4 tsps honey
1 T margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 tsps salt
1 tsp active dry yeast

oatmeal bread

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 T margarine or butter
2 1/2 cups bread flour
3 T packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp active dry yeast

Banana Walnut Bread

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1 egg
2 T margarine or butter
3 cups bread flour
3 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (opt.)
1 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Greens in Peanut Sauce

If you are at all interested in healthful, seasonal eating the one cookbook you need is "Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook", by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. My thanks go out to my friend Becky every time I use it, which is at least weekly. It is such a resource as well as a great read.

This week we tried Greens in Peanut Sauce which we served, as suggested, over baked polenta. Possibly my favorite attempt at veganism so far.

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic minced

In a large soup pot saute in 1 TBSP oil

1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Add, cook, and stir 2 minutes.

1 lb. kale or collard greens (I used turnip greens--about 8 cups.
1/2 cup water

Add and steam until greens are soft but not mushy. Avoid overcooking. Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices.

2-3 TBSP chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp hot water
Combine and add to greens at cooking time.

***I also added a can of red kidney beans at the end just to up the protein factor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

weekly meal plan 5/18-5/24

Monday-- tacos with lean ground beef, taco sauce, romaine and spinach, onions, cheddar cheese and light sour cream, blue corn chips with bean salsa, rice, grapes

Tuesday-- whole wheat pancakes, scrambled eggs, home fries, the last of the facon, grapes

Wednesday-- tuna buns, tomato soup, oranges

Thursday-- homemade pizza with onions and red and green peppers, salad, carrots and watermelon

Friday-- Some recipe with tilapia, green beans, roasted potatoes, cranberries, whole wheat rolls

Saturday-- Chicken artichoke pasta, salad, garlic bread, watermelon

Sunday-- Grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade minestrone, fried apples

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mississippi Caviar

Made some of this yummy chip-dipper this past weekend.

2 16 oz. cans black eyes peas, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup drained, shopped pimento
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt- to taste
tabasco sauce, to taste

Combine peas, bell peppers, onion, pimento and garlic. In separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and mustard and pour over the bean mixture; mix well.
Season to taste with salt and Tabasco sauce. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the bean mixture slightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Drain well and serve with tortilla chips. I ate the last 2/3 right out of the bowl with a spoon. What?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Veganism--Week One

We've been attempting veganism for just about one week and here are our initial observations. But first, a review of our ground rules:

1) We're doing this as a two-week experimenting simply in order attempt another method of healthy living and to see if the claims of "more energy through vegan diet" are true. In general, we're comfortable with our own "flexitarian" diet, but are intrigued by other possibilities.

2) Since this is an experiment, rather than a staunch cause we're following, we are keeping the kids' diets fairly similiar. They eat the vegan entrees we make, but eat meat and dairy sides, (i.e. cow's milk to our rice milk, etc.).

3) We haven't been eating at restaurants during this time, but when we are at other people's homes, we eat what is served in order to be gracious guests.

4) Yes, we are carefully monitoring our protein and calcium intake. Not to mention considering the baby growing inside of me.

So how's it going?

Overall, well! We've sampled some yummy new vegan dishes. My wonderful husband whipped up some fantastic Indian chickpea appetizers. We've substituted soy products for sandwich options and eaten lots of peanut butter in various forms. Lentils seem to go well with anything, including a new recipe for rice bread in the bread machine.

Believe it or not, cost can actually be be prohibitive. We both have good (okay, huge) appetities and have needed to be re-fueled regularly. While beans, rice, and lentils are super-cheap, products like rice milk and veggie burgers aren't. We also have found that we need to keep up a good stock of fresh fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, and healthy granola bars as snacks.

Dairy might just be the hardest to give up. I haven't found a good substitue for eggs while baking and yogurt is generally a staple in our diets. We use plain yogurt regularly as a topping in place of sour cream and also for dessert smoothies. And I do miss cheese. Of course, there are soy versions that can replace those products, but until I do more research, I'm not comfortable in using soy for every part of our diet (i.e. soy burgers with soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy milk--doesn't seem "balanced" enough).

Filling up nutritous, whole foods definitely makes a difference in feeling healthy. I've noticed a lack of junk-food cravings because my body's needs are taken care of. We both feel energized, even with the normal demands of toddlers and life in general.

We're on to the next week, although our schedules won't let us eat completely vegan over Memorial Day weekend. Still, I'm excited to continue as such the next few days and learn what we can incorporate from this in the future. Suggestions welcomed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Experimenting=(sometimes) yummy

I keep trying to experiment with different recipes-- though it usually happens on its own because I don't have all of the ingredients to certain recipes, and I'm not a fan of measuring. Anyway, I made this fish the other night (substituted for what I was planning on making Friday night), and it was delicious. Of course, it was pretty simple, so I couldn't go too terribly wrong.

In a large bowl, I mixed some soy sauce (about 3 TBSP), some Tabasco sauce (about the same) and a dash of white cooking wine all together. I put the fish fillets (4 in all) one at a time into the mix, coating them well. Meanwhile, I heated some olive oil over med. high in a skillet then added the fish, cooking about 3-4 minutes on each side. I set the fish aside and added some onions to the skillet (though I maybe should have added them with the fish). Once they were translucent, I added a can of diced tomatoes, some garlic powder, salt and pepper and let everything cook a little longer. Serve the sauce over the fish. Voila.

Served with baked sweet potatoes, green beans and whole wheat rolls.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weekly meal plan- 5/4- 5/10

Monday-- dinner- Pad Thai with Asian Vegetables

Tuesday-- lunch- leftover hotdogs, hamburgers and fried apples
dinner- (made up of stuff we needed to get rid of!) baked potatoes with cheese and light sour cream, green beans, garlic bread, blueberry raspberry salad (Mike's mom's recipe)

Wednedsay-- lunch- pbj on whole wheat, apples and pears, chips and corn and blackbean salsa, carrots
dinner-- Taco salad with lean ground turkey, black bean soup, oranges

Thursday-- lunch- Cheese and onion quesadillas, apples with peanut butter
dinner- pasta with marinara vegetable sauce, salads, garlic bread

Friday-- Baked citrus tilapia, brown rice, sweet potatoes, broccoli

Saturday-- lunch- Chicken salad sandwiches with grapes, tomato soup
dinner- we have our monthly Teams meeting to go to

Sunday-- dinner- Caramalized garlic chicken, brown rice, spinach salads, watermelon