Hearty Hot and Sour Soup

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My gosh this soup has so much flavor! With this recipe you’ll expect tons of veggies, tons of spice and such a savory broth. Don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping up every last drop of this stuff. I had started getting tired of the traditional vegetable soups. You know the usual culprits – barley vegetable, summer vegetable, root veggie puree. We desperately needed something different so I turned to my recipe companion, Pintrest. I fall so hard into the Pintrest web but have climbed my way out with some killer recipes, this being one of them. The original recipe does include tofu and mushrooms, but there are just some things I cannot stomach and those are two of them. So if you want to make this soup even more hearty then you will want to visit the original recipe posted at http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com.

Serves: 8     Calories: 200/serving     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (Add an extra one if you really like it hot)
  • 1lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6-8 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, ginger, and jalapenos Cook for a few minutes, stirring.
  2. Add in the carrots, and cabbage. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, cold water, and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the zucchini, and bell peppers to the pot. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the soy sauce mixture and stir until the soup thickens, about 8 minutes. Add in the bok choy and tomatoes and bring the soup back to a simmer. Stir in the sesame oil.
  5. Dish and Enjoy!

*Photo and video are originals belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com

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Pork Potstickers

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I don’t always need a big dinner to satisfy my cravings. Actually I am quite happy with substituting a bit of “finger foods” for a whole meal. That is what we did with these. I made a large batch and froze what we did not immediately use. This worked out great because not only did we get more dinners out of it but it also hit the spot when we wanted a late night snack. Just fry up a few of these and you’re good to go! This recipe offers a blast of flavor. It is sweet, salty and spicy. The pork is tender with crispy bits of cabbage an onions all wrapped in a crunchy pan fried shell. I’ve always find these as a treat when we go out to eat but I am happy that now I am able to have a stock in my freezer to enjoy whenever I want.

Serves: approximately 36 potstickers     Calories: 65/potsticker     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more if you like it hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 36 circular wonton wrappers,
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper.
  2. Place a wrapper on a clean and dry work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Gently rub the edges of the wrapper with a little bit of water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal. Continue this process with wrappers until you run out of mixture.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce, additional sriracha sauce or any sauce you like and Enjoy!
  5. If you want to freeze your overstock of potstickers line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay the potstickers in a single layer. Freeze for an hour or two before transferring to a Ziploc bag. We do this to keep the potstickers from sticking together and breaking apart when you reheat them.
  6. When reheating the frozen potstickers defrost them and cook according to step 3.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://damndelicious.net

Peanut Sauce – ★★★★★

11029640_10205879874614123_4164395445143186072_nI know people who are extremely picky and almost snobby about their sauces. I hate to admit that I have become this way with my peanut sauce. I used to love going to the local Thai Restaurant to feast on chicken and beef satay with a few extra sides of peanut sauce. However, once I learned to make my own peanut sauce I developed a hate for the recipe offered by our local spot. Once you get your hands on a recipe that has a beautiful base and you learn to tailor it to your own tastes it is extremely difficult to have anything but your own. This stuff is good with satay (naturally), egg rolls, rice, veggies, pita and of course on its own by the spoonful. A batch of this stuff doesn’t last long in our home. It is savory and creamy with a nice finishing kick. There are a few ingredients that can be a bit pricey (sesame oil and rice vinegar) but think of them as pantry staples because I guarantee you’ll be making more of this sauce. Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

Kelsey has been developing her peanut sauce since she learned how to make chicken satay years ago. It feels as though every time she makes this stuff it gets better and better. I asked her to write down the exact ingredients and measurements because it was so excellent. She advised me that this time she finely chopped peanuts in our blender to mix in giving it a crunchy texture and an even nuttier taste. The spice at the end is great. It isn’t too overwhelming but it does heighten the experience that is this sauce. I call it an experience because I cannot stop eating it until I dip everything I can find in the fridge in it. Creamy perfection!”

Serves: 12+     Calories: 102 per 1 tbsp serving     Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, unsalted if you can help it
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce (add more or less to your taste. I you don’t like heat don’t add it. If you like a little kick add a fraction of this amount. Tailor it to your taste.)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Grind the peanuts in a blender or food processor so that they are finely chopped. It will feel like a paste to the touch but look like grainy sand to the eye. Remove from the blender/processor and set aside
  2. Blend/process the peanut butter, ginger, chicken broth, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic, and chili sauce until smooth.
  3. Hand mix in the chopped peanuts until evenly mixed.
  4. Garnish with red pepper flakes and serve.
  5. Enjoy with anything you can get your hands on 🙂

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Lemongrass Chicken Pot Stickers – ★★★★★

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Every time we go food shopping and pass frozen pot stickers I think “those would be fun to try and make at home.” I’ve literally been thinking about it for months and finally mustered up the courage to give it a try. These are pretty easy to make and taste phenomenal. I had some extra sweet chili sauce on hand in case the recipe was a bust but we didn’t need it since the flavor was just right. The most time consuming part was constructing all the little dumplings, so if you have kids that like to help in the kitchen this might be a great way to get them involved. Perry gave this one full stars and here is why:

These will make your kitchen smell so good. The end result was awesome. The bottoms were crunchy but the rest was a nice soft steamed dumpling. The flavor was spot on and we didn’t even have to use any extra sauce. Actually, using extra sauce would take away from the great flavor. We had these for a few days and they reheat really good. I’ll be requesting them again fairly soon.”

Makes: 24 potstickers      Calories: 45/potsticker        Time: approx. 45minutes-1hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, minced
  • 2-3 stalks of lemongrass, finely minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 3-4 tsp chili sauce (depending on your taste)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg round pot sticker wrappers (24 wrappers)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, divided
  • water

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, bell pepper, green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, and salt.
  2. Scoop 1/2 tbsp of the chicken mixture in the center of a pot sticker wrapper. With a moist finger, wet the outer edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the top of the pocket to seal. Working from the two ends inwards, create folds and seal eliminating air pockets as you go.
  3. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot add your pot stickers leaving room between each one. Fry until the bottoms start to brown. Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and immediately cover with a lid. (you may want to use an oven mitten when doing this because the hot oil will pop and burn your skin if you aren’t fast enough). Let the pot stickers steam for about 10 minutes. Once they are cooked through remove the lid and continue to cook until all the water has been evaporated from the pan.
  5. Do this process once more with the second batch
  6. Serve with sauce and/or hot sake and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe was found at http://www.picturetherecipe.com

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice – ★★★★★

ImageSomething Perry has been craving lately is fried rice. We don’t get take out often and hardly ever visit Chinese Restaurants to eat (my almost 3-year-old won’t allow it) so I had to whip something up at home. I’ve never been any good at cooking rice so I had to search for an easy recipe with good ratings. It did not take me long to find this five star recipe, and believe me it is worth all five stars 🙂  I did not use “ham” but instead I used bacon. If you follow my lead I would cut the added salt down by half because the bacon adds a lot of its own salt. Other than that the recipe is super easy, fast and delicious. Perry gave all five stars and here is why:

I’ve had a hankering for fried rice so when Kelsey asked me what I wanted to eat this week that was all I had in mind. The recipe she found was a really good change from the more “traditional” fried rice. Ham and pineapple always go together but I would have never thought to throw them in fried rice. I loved this dinner and it was even better the following day. I give five stars for flavor.”

Serves: 5-6      Calories: 330    Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced including tops
  • 1 cup ham, diced (we used bacon)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (If you use bacon cut this in half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. (Mine took about 18 minutes. just peek on it and go with your gut but don’t let it burn)
  2. Spread cooked rice out on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cooled, about 20 minutes. (Do not skip this step! It is crucial)
  3. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook and stir the green onions, ham, and peas in the hot oil until onions have softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir the pineapple chunks into the skillet; cook until pineapple begins to darken, about 2 minute.
  6. Push ingredients to the side of the wok, and pour beaten egg in the center. Cook until egg begins to solidify, about 30 seconds. Stir together all contents of the skillet.
  7. Mix the cooled rice, sugar, salt, white pepper, and garlic powder into the skillet; stir constantly to keep from sticking. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the rice with the soy sauce, and stir to combine.
  9. Dish and Enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me

 

Bok Choy Garlic Skillet – ★★★★✩

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This recipe, while tasty, is made to be a side and not a main entree. Next time I make this as the main course I will add chicken, beef or pork to make it a little heartier. I have no complaints about the flavor and it was very easy to prepare. There is a nice variety of textures with crunchy bell pepper and soft bok choy. It really comes together nicely. Perry enjoyed it and gave it four stars. Here is why:

I like the idea of this recipe but wish it had a little more. Kelsey suggested adding a meat to it next time she makes it. I think that would be great because honestly I was still hungry after eating my first serving. That is my only suggestion. All in all this dish had a nice light flavor.

Serves: 4       Calories: 182

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided (I did not use all 4 tbsp because there was always enough oil left in the pan for the next step. You decide)
  • 6 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 carrot, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced into thin strips (or minced… those things are a pain to slice thinly)
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Transfer to a plate
  3. If there is not enough oil left in your skillet add 1 tbsp and heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot, and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown (Do not let it burn)
  4. Add the snow peas and cook for 1 minute longer or until the snow peas begin to turn bright green.
  5. Add the bok choy, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and (if desired) the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and cook until the bok choy is heated through.
  6. Dish and enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to The Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

**Photo is an original belonging to me.

Baked Eggrolls – ★★★★★

263983_10200250275437662_815732732_nMy newest obsessions are eggroll and wonton wrappers. They are so easy to work with and you can fill them with virtually anything. It is a great way for me to trick my son into eating veggies and my husband loves every single bite. I was a little unsure if I should try making eggrolls because they just seem like a lot of work.  In my mind lots of things could have gone wrong. As per usual the only thing that was wrong was me haha! These are not only tasty but also guilt free at only 150 calories per serving. So to my friends out there who love chinese takeout but are counting calories here is the answer to your problem! I loved that these were crispy without all the grease and the veggies tasted ultra fresh which was also a plus. I was satisfied after 2 of them and had lots left over. They keep well but I would suggest reheating in the oven to keep them crisp. Perry gave them a full ★★★★★ and here is why:

“I didn’t expect a baked eggroll to be as crispy as a fried one so I was a little unsure how good these would taste. They actually came out better than the fried ones because they were still crispy without needing a lot of napkins to clean greasy hands. I thought he veggies were also better than you would get at a restaurant because Kels hand chopped them fresh. All in all I feel these were 100% better than the ones we get at the restaurant.”

Serves: 8        Calories: 150 for 2 eggrolls

Ingredients:

– 2 cups grated carrots

– 1-14.5oz can of bean sprouts

– 1/2 cup of chopped water chestnuts

–  1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper

– 1/4 cup chopped green onion

– 1 clove of garlic, minced

– 2 cups finely diced cooked chicken

– 4 tsp cornstarch

– 1 tbsp water

– 1 tbsp light soy sauce

– 1 tsp canola or olive oil

– 1 tsp brown sugar

– 1 pinch cayenne pepper

– 16 eggroll wrappers (You can get these at your regular market usually either by the refrigerated gourmet pastas or where they keep vegetarian foods next to tofu)

– nonstick cooking spray.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly spray a cooking sheet. (Don’t go crazy with the spray.. Remember these are baked eggrolls not fried eggrolls haha!)

2.) Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium. Add the carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, green pepper, green onions, and garlic. Cook for approximately 3 minutes (You want the veggies to be a little crisp). Stir in chicken and cook until heated through (approximately 3-5 minutes).

3.) Combine cornstarch, water, soy sauce, 1 tsp oil, brown sugar, and cayenne in a small bowl. Stir into chicken mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Constantly stirring, cook until the sauce is thickened (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.

4.) Spoon 1/4 cup of chicken mixture onto the bottom 1/3 half of an eggroll wrapper. Fold the sides towards the center and roll tightly. Place seam side down on your baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the wrappers.

OPTIONAL: If you want a little extra crisp very lightly spritz the tops of the eggrolls with cooking spray.

5.)  Bake until golden brown (10-15 minutes)

6.) Serve with soy sauce or spicy mustard and enjoy!

*Original recipe can be found at http://www.allrecipes.com

**Photo is an original taken by me