Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

I didn't get a picture taken but this is DEFINTELY a do again so I will get one the next time...and if I am lucky I will even get to have rice with it!

As usual in the quest for low carb things that I can eat stuff like Chinese take out is not on the list. I could mourn for days over that sad fact but occasionally I am moved to action.

My mom used to do a stir fry when I lived at home that had chicken, broccoli, and carrots in it. I was thinking about that as I was throwing things together and I think that the result was a pretty darned good psuedo take out meal...if only there were rice...but I digress.

Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry

1/3 c. soy sauce
2 T brown sugar (I used brown sugar Splenda)
1 clove garlic crushed
1 t. ginger grated fine
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 tsp arrowroot (if you don't have arrowroot use cornstarch)
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
1 T. canola oil
1 large head broccoli (approx 3 cupsish)
1 lg onion
8 oz water chestnuts, sliced

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Mix chicken in sauce well and let marinate for 10 minutes. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken in small batches to prevent crowding and stir fry until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add broccoli, onion and water chestnuts to hot skillet. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add 1/4 c water, cover and steam for 3 minutes or until broccoli is crisp tender. Add chicken and heat through stirring constantly.

Serve over rice.

*this doesn't give you a thick sauce like you get with actual Chinese food. If that is your goal add another tsp of arrowroot.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 348; Total Fat 11.2g; Total Carbohydrates 24.7g; Dietary Fiber 1.9g; Protein 36.2g;

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Caramel Apple Pie

This is all that's left!

This is the second of the four pies I made the other day for Relief Society. I didn't get pictures of the other two this will have to do. Maybe I will remember on Thanksgiving...hey, it could happen!

The original recipe for this pie is from one of my favorite websites. I've made several of Ree's recipes but this one is my favorite by far. The original recipe can be found here and her picture is beautiful! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/12/scrumptous-and_i_do_mean_scrumptous-apple_pie/

Caramel Apple Pie

Pastry for 1 crust pie
6-7 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith Apples
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup sugar
4 T. flour
¼ tsp salt
½ c flour
1 ½ sticks butter
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. quick oats
¼ tsp salt
½ c. pecans
½ jar caramel ice cream topping (I like Mrs. Richardson’s)

Mix peeled apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside.

Cut butter into the flour, add brown sugar, oats and ¼ tsp salt. Stir together.
Pour apples into prepared pie shell and top with crumb topping. Cover crust edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and back for another 30 minutes.

Chop pecans, and when 5 minutes of baking time remains sprinkle them over the pie.
Remove from oven and ½ jar, or more if you like, caramel topping over the top

Pumpkin Pie for Bri

I'm not really a pumpkin pie fan. Something about the texture icks me out, too slimey or something but Bri really likes it. This is the recipe that I found that makes pumpkin pie bearable. It has an extra egg to help it bake up a little bit firmer so it's not so jiggly, some brown sugar to give a hint of molasses and I never have evaporated milk so it's got whole milk with some heavy cream to add some richness. It's good enough that even I will eat it. Who knew?

Pumpkin Pie

Pastry for 1 crust pie
3 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin
½ c. sugar
¼ c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ c. whole milk
¼ c. heavy cream

Beat eggs, add pumpkin and stir well to combine. Combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir spice mix into the pumpkin. Mix in milk and cream.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While oven preheats let filling sit so that is can come closer to room temperature. This will help it to bake more evenly.

Pour into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes; shield your crust. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Take the foil off the edges at approx the 30-40 min left point.

Perfect Pie Crust, yes really!

Pies. For the first 15 years of my marriage my pies consisted of pies made with Pillsbury crusts because I just couldn't figure out how to make a good one without having 2 extra people there to help me. The whole "don't knead it too much but knead it enough" and the rolling it onto the rolling pin to get the thing to the pan was more than I could figure out. So I just didn't do it. Cause really, how do you know when it's "too" much?

Then a couple of years ago I decided that I was being ridiculous and surely it couldn't be that hard. I started to try different crust recipes and some were terrible but they gradually got better. Then I had a totally "aha!" moment watching Food Network one day. Roll the crust out inside a gallon bag...you can cut it apart and set an inverted pie dish onto the crust, slide your hand under the whole thing and flip it over. Then peel off the other layer. Oh my gosh a whole world opened up that day. It was the perfect crust! Light and flaky and best of all easy!

So here it is.

Perfect Pie Crust
(3 crusts)
1 ½ c. Crisco
3 c. all purpose flour
1 egg
5 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl work Crisco into flour with either a pastry cutter or a couple of knives until it resembles a coarse meal (you can also use your food processor). In a small bowl beat egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour mixture. Add 5 Tbsp cold water, 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough ball into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Using your rolling pin gently flatten the ball into a disc shape that is about ½ inch thick. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. If using immediately chill for about 15-20 minutes).

When you are ready to use the dough take the bag out of the freezer. Place a damp paper towel on the counter and put the bag on top of it (this will help hold it still while you roll). Unseal the bag and roll the dough to the edges of the bag. Measure with your pie dish to make sure it’s rolled out enough. Slit the sides of the bag and peel off the top layer of plastic. Position an inverted pie dish over the dough, slide your hand under the plastic and flip the whole thing right side up. Peel off the remaining plastic; trim and shape.

*If baking prick the bottom with a fork and place a piece of tin foil on top of the crust. Add pie weights or dried beans to hold it down and bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove weight and foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

It seems that we have found ourselves on yet another diet at our house. I think sometimes that I have been hungry for half my life. I remember in Notting Hill when Julia Roberts character says she's "been hungry for the better part of a decade". I can relate.

So in my quest to find foods that fit the narrow criteria of acceptable and also palatable I decided to do some lettuce wraps. I loved Chili's version of lettuce wraps and was so sad when they were removed from the menu. These are surprisingly not a bad substitute.

I did use Splenda in place of all the sugar and cut the oil way back. The next time I make these I am going to add carrots for some color but overall these were a definite do again. Don't let the long list of ingredients and instructions intimidate you...these are really very easy and not too bad timewise.

The NI is figured using sugar instead of Splenda as that is what I will use more frequently.

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup water chestnut
2/3 cup mushroom
3 Tbs chopped onions
1 tsp minced garlic
4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs hot mustard
2 tsp water
1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
3. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
4. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
5. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
6. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
7. Brown turkey and break up into pea sized chunks
8. Remove turkey from pan and drain well
9. As turkey cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
10. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
11. With the pan still on high heat, 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
12. Add turkey, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
13. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce "cups".
14. Top with"Special Sauce".

Servings: 4

Calories 272.71; Total Fat 4.49g; Total Carbohydrates 39.58g; Fiber 2.45g; Protein 23.97g