FB Plugin

Monday, May 30, 2011

Broccoli Salad

This is a creature I had not encountered before moving to the Midwest.  I am not going to engage in culinary anthropology and draw the sweeping conclusion that this is therefore a Midwestern dish (as my lack of exposure may derive merely from a vegetable-deficient upbringing rather than geographical particulars), though there is clearly a link between the Midwest love of mayonnaise-covered fruit and most broccoli salad recipes.

I have discovered a superior dressing recipe (originally for pasta salad, thanks again Cooking Light!) that is ideally suited to a vegetable salad such as this.  It doesn't break (as many a typical mayo-and-vinegar broccoli salad dressing does), but stays creamy even when made a full day in advance.  It also employs buttermilk which significantly reduces the fat content of the dressing versus a full mayo dressing.  And it's got a little zing from chili (or chile) powder.  This dressing works well for other vegetable salads as well, including coleslaw.

I am using chive flowers right now b/c 1) I'm just so tickled you can eat them, 2) they've got only another couple of days before they dry up in the garden, and 3) they're really pretty in the salad.  Use 1/4 cup chopped chives or red onion instead, if you want.

Pin It

BBQ Lasagne with low-carb barbecue sauce & Minced pork platter

First of all, I think this is pure genius, though I also doubt I'm the first person to think of it.  All the delicious, drippy goodness of a pulled pork bbq sandwich in a casserole.  Hellah good stuff. 

In case all the low-carb talk
disturbs you, focus here!
Since I'm preparing the lasagne for someone who has a medical need to significantly limit carb intake, I've done a thing or two I might not ordinarily do (and feel free to undo them, if you choose).  I made my own low-carb bbq sauce because I wasn't happy with how much sugar commercial barbecue sauces contain.  If you have a favorite bbq sauce recipe or product, by all means use that.  But my low-carb recipe follows. 

My low-carb sauce is a hybridization of two recipes--Better Homes & Gardens and South Beach--that reduce sugar by different means, one with artificial sweeteners (in the form of commercial low-carb ketchup) and the other with unsweetened tomato puree.  The two recipes are comparable in terms of calories and carbs per serving.  The ketchup-based recipe, however, is far higher in sodium than the puree-based recipe, but was also determined to have far better bbq sauce flavor by an Expert Jury of Tasters (my and my hubbie).  So a mash-up it is.

I also replaced one layer of lasagne noodles out of the usual three with a shredded cabbage/carrot mix, that is, undressed coleslaw.  This is actually a great idea for making lasagne more nutritionally dense and getting more veg into one's day.  Roasted slices of eggplant or zucchini work great for many lasagnes, but I kept with the barbecue theme and picked coleslaw.  If you prefer, use a full box of lasagne and make the middle layer noodles.

For the minced pork, I oven-braised a 2 lb. uncured pork leg roast ("fresh ham"), minced it in the food processor, served half for dinner with some of the aforementioned sauce and reserved the other half for this recipe.  The recipe for that dish will follow as well.  You could also use pulled pork shoulder ("pork butt") or finely chopped pork loin.  If you wish to serve the low-carb bbq sauce with the minced pork platter supper, make an additional half-recipe of the sauce.

Lastly, nutritional info calculated using Sparkrecipes.com for the lasagne follows the recipe.  And I forgot to take pictures...sorry!...but you all have seen a lasagne before, right? ;-)

Pin It

Friday, May 27, 2011

I feel like chicken (and waffles) tonight!

Chicken and waffles is usually compromised of fried chicken over sweet waffles with gravy.  I like making a pot pie filling (freezing it ahead) and serving that mixture over savory yeast waffles. 

The waffle batter needs to be started in advance by several hours, so it's definitely a prep-ahead recipe.  Either start them the night before or the morning of Dinner Day (obviously start them the night before if you plan to make them for regular ol' breakfast). 

If you want to make the waffles and freeze them in advance, that makes the fastest dinner prep ever...just reheat the filling and thaw the waffles.  But if your family is like mine, you have to find time to make waffles in secret if you don't plan to serve them immediately.

Here is the recipe I use for pot pie filling (you can use shredded leftover chicken and butter instead of chicken fat if you're not doing the whole chicken shebang).

Here is the recipe I use for yeast-leavened waffles from Better Homes and Gardens.  Using oil instead of butter makes the waffles fluffier and less prone to becoming soggy.

Pin It

Salmon Pastrami: Condiments

Salmon pastrami on a cracker with
crême fraîche and raw capers
My preferred combination of toppings for Salmon Pastrami rolls is sour cream, caramelized capers and blanched onions.  Crême fraîche, pickled onions, caramelized onions, raw capers and chopped chives are also good choices. 

Blanching onions takes the raw, heartburn-y bite out of them, but leaves their flavor and crunch.  While briny, raw capers cut the richness of salmon, caramelizing capers transforms them into a sweet-but-tart condiment with a caviar-like pop in the mouth.  Crême fraîche is a milder cousin to sour cream, but is often hard to find (and expensive when you do).  Making it at home is a snap with buttermilk powder.

Pin It

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Salmon Pastrami

This is desert island food for me.  As in, if I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one thing to eat, this would seriously be it.  The recipe is adapted from the cookbook from the world-famous, but currently-defunct, NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green.

This is technically a kind of ceviche, as the salmon is cured by the acid from the vegetable-lime juice mixture.  The "pastrami" part of it is the peppery crust you build on top with layers of molasses and coarsely crushed spices.  It's a process that takes days to finish, but is so worth it.  You can freeze it at just about any point once the curing is done: you can freeze the cured, uncrusted fish and apply the spice crust later, you can apply the spices and freeze it whole, or you can freeze it sliced.

Which piece to use
You'll need a fairly large piece of salmon (fussing with pre-cut "fillets" makes slicing it later a pain in the patoot).  You can do a whole side of salmon, but that does make a LOT of pastrami.  If you want to use a smaller piece, I suggest cutting (or have the guy at the fish counter do this) the piece outlined on the picture at right.  The "tail" piece behind it is too thin to slice nicely, and the rest of the fillet ahead of it tends to be wider than a standard knife, which makes carving the finished pastrami difficult. 

It's also best to use fish that's not been previously frozen.  Fish, like fruit, is very delicate at the cellular level and a freeze-thaw cycle makes the flesh mushy.  When you carve the finished pastrami, the firmer it is the better. 
How to slice finished pastrami
It's hard to write instructions for proper slicing of the finished pastrami (at least for me it is).  You want to slice thin slices on the diagonal, kind of like cutting a beef brisket, without cutting through the salmon skin.  Use a knife that's at least 2" wider than the fish.  Hold the knife parallel to the front edge of the fish and angle it diagonally in the vertical plane (like a forward slash if you're looking at it from the side, and you're right-handed).  Saw the knife gently toward the skin following the diagonal line, and then lift at the last millimeter to cut the flesh away from the skin. This -->     picture illustrates the angle of the cut pretty well.

And then there's serving the finished pastrami.  You can put a single slice on a cracker with a pinch of sour cream for an appetizer, or serve it rolled in a flatbread with capers, blanched onions and sour cream (my favorite) or put it on rye toast for a faux Reuben.  You can put a little or a lot of work into preparing the extras for a salmon pastrami sandwich, so I'll have a separate post regarding my preferred condiments.

And now...the recipe:

Pin It

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Broccoli Rice Salad

I spent part of a summer in France many, many moons ago, and to be expected, my culinary world was transformed by the exposure to French foods and French cooks.  However, not so expectedly, my favorite foods from this trip are the French gastronomic equivalents of PB&J (which they do NOT have in France)...ham and butter sandwiches, grilled sausage served in split baguettes instead of hot dog buns, salads made of a single perfectly ripe and lightly dressed vegetable, fresh-picked plums (oh the plums!), and rice salads. 

I was one of about a dozen volunteers, both French and de l'étranger , and we took it in turns to cook for the group.  Several times we had salads composed of rice mixed with leftover meats, black olives, chopped fresh onion and peppers, summer corn, and just about anything else that needed using up.  Like I said, it's not fancy food, but it was revelatory for me.  I had no idea leftovers could be, well, delicious!  It holds at room temperature very well, too, so it's an excellent potluck/pitch-in/picnic dish.

The transition between the tough, outer
layers and the tender, light green "meat"
is clearly delineated.
As implied, you can make a rice salad out of just about anything on hand.  A few cups of rice (even that can be a leftover), a couple cups of cooked chicken, beef, pork, canned tuna, salmon mixed with a couple cups of vegetables (fresh or leftover), any herbs that are handy, some olives or pimiento and a little bit of salad dressing is all you need. 

The following salad uses up raw broccoli stems and is a vegetarian/vegan (depending on the exact ingredients of your salad dressing) dish.  To peel the broccoli, cut the bottom inch or so of stem off.  Stand the stem on its "floret" end (after removing the florets for another use), and use a knife to slice the woody peel away.  Then shred the broccoli using a food processor or hand grater. 

Pin It

Berry Good Smoothie

"It smell delicious!" says my almost-3yo.  He has no clue there are beets in it...shhhh!!  This is my latest attempt to slip more vegetables into my kids' snacking routines.  You can use whatever combo of berries you wish, just be sure to get about 3-4 cups of berries total.

This recipe makes a lot of mix.  I needed 4 full ice cube trays to stash it all.  It also has a high mess/stain factor, and I'd use paper towels or a red dish cloth to mop up after yourself.  Be prepared.

Pin It

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lewd Crockpot Beef

I went shopping today without a real meal plan...not unprecedented, but definitely not common.  I picked up a few cuts of meat that were on manager's special (sounds better than "bargain bin beef", doesn't it? LOL) and figured I'd figure out what to do with them when I got home. 

So Surprise Dinner #1: Crockpot Chinese Looed Beef.  Looed is pronounced "lewd", much to my husband's giggly delight.  Looing is, according to the Frugal Gourmet, a Chinese method of cooking wherein meat is slowly simmered in a flavorful cooking liquid which can be reused for subsequent looing sessions.  Sounds like a perfect recipe for the crockpot to me. 

Star anise is a vital ingredient in this sauce. It is really an unmatched flavoring agent in Chinese cooking. It isn't quite the same as aniseed or fennel seed, though they are similar in flavor. If you can't find whole star anise, use 1 tsp of ground anise or 1 tsp of five spice powder.

Pin It

Tofu Broccolini Salad with Udon Noodles

Another try-out from Cooking Light May '11.  The picture is so mouth-watering, I immediately picked up ingredients for the recipe before really reading through the steps.  Oops.  Incredibly step-heavy.  A lot of last-minute cooking.  So not how I roll.

The majority of my changes to this recipe are in preparation timeline and combining separate steps to produce a more streamlined, make-ahead friendly dish.  The one major ingredient change I made is to use WAAAAYYYYYY less sriracha than the recipe calls for. Ginger brings its own heat, radishes typically have some zing and you just don't need to blow the roof of your mouth off with an additional half tablespoon of liquid fire, thankyouverymuch.

There are 4 main components to this dish, and almost all of them can be done up to a day ahead.  Store each element of the salad separately, boil the noodles (and broccolini, if desired) last minute and toss everything together. 

Tofu under a paver
You need to press the tofu as it's full of water which will prevent the tofu taking in the marinade.  You can wrap it in paper towels and press it under a weight (I use a fluorescent yellow paving stone) overnight, all day long or for as little as 30 minutes, though the less water you press out of it, the less marinade it will take on later. 

Pin It

Cucumber Chive Flower Salad

I have recently discovered that the pale purple flowers topping chive stems are edible.  They're toothsome without being cronchy and are perfectly onion-y.  Pull the florets off the puffball of the flower and sprinkle them into salads (like the one below) or pilafs or on burgers or burritos.  If you don't have flowering chives growing in your garden, substitute about 2 tablespoons of snipped chives, sliced green onions or chopped red onion.

I use Splenda in the dressing rather than sugar as it dissolves better in the vinegar, but feel free to use an equal amount of sugar instead.

Pin It

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mixed Grain Granola

We've hit the time of year that if I need to turn on the oven for dinner, I'll go ahead and make something else that requires the oven at the same time.  If you're going to heat up the house, you might as well make the most of it and avoid doing it again later.

Since I had to bake tofu for dinner tonight, I decided to make some granola too.  This is a recipe from Martha Stewart's Favorite Comfort Foods (gotta say, she and I have really different ideas about what constitutes a "comfort food" in general).  I change ingredients to use what I have on hand and I always make a double batch and freeze half.  It's like the oven...if you're going to the trouble, you might as well get twice the use out of it.  It's yummy eaten like cereal with milk, sprinkled into yogurt or eaten out of hand as a snack.

Martha calls for oatmeal, soy flakes and wheat flakes.  I don't think I've ever found soy flakes, but I've used quinoa flakes, barley flakes, wheat flakes and "mixed grain cereal".  It's all basically like oatmeal, but made with grains other than oats.  You might need a trip to a natural foods store to find alternate grain cereals, or you might find them in the natural foods or "special diet" section of your grocery store.  You can just use all oatmeal, but the mixture of grains brings nutritional variety as well as different flavors.  Just be sure to get 6 cups total of grains.

If you plan to freeze part or all of this recipe, try not to break the granola up too much as you bag it.  I don't recommend using a vacuseal bag as the pressure of the vacusealer will smash the granola into near-dust.

Pin It

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easy-Easier-Easiest: Beets

Fresh beets are such different creatures from the pickled beets you find in salad bars.  And a nice seasonal break from more ordinary root vegetables like potatoes and yams.

As you work with them, they will hemorrhage burgundy juice and can turn your cutting board, knives and sink into a veritable operating theater, so be prepared.  Moisturize everything permeable that the beets will contact (wood cutting boards and hands, particularly) so the dark juice doesn't stain quite so badly.  Wear vinyl or latex gloves for extra staining protection.  Warn family members not to be alarmed.

Easiest: Again, though roasting or grilling veggies may not seem like the easiest method of preparation, the fact that the recipe calls for virtually no ingredients beyond the fresh veg itself and requires no babysitting (especially if preparing a main dish using the same cooking method) earns it a gold star in my book. 

Roasted Beets
Makes 4 servings

1 lb. fresh beets
1 tbsp olive oil or walnut oil
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp balsamic or raspberry vinegar (optional)

Peel and chop beets into 1/2" chunks.  Toss with olive, thyme, salt and pepper and spread on a sheet pan.  Bake at 400F for 40-45 minutes, or grill in a foil packet for 50-60 minutes.  Toss finished beets with vinegar, if desired.

Easier: The tricky part of making chips is getting the beets cut thinly enough.  Once you've got a good thin slice though, the next hardest part is not scarfing them all down before you serve them. 

Beet Chips
Makes 4 servings

1 lb. fresh beets
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Peel beets and slice them as thinly as possible, preferably using a mandoline slicer.  Alternately, cut the beets in half if needed and slice using a food processor fitted with a slicing blade.

Toss slices with oil.  Lay slices in a single layer on a sheet pan or two.  Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes (more or less depending on how thinly you sliced), turning once.  Toss finished chips with salt, if desired.

(Microwaved beet chips here)
Easy: Just delicious.  A nice change-up on potato salad, especially for cold wintry days.  If you don't have an assortment of red-orange root veggies readily available, just use more of whichever ones you do have.

Warm Root Vegetable Salad
Makes 4 servings

1 large beet root, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2" slices
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp mustard

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add beet cubes and boil 10 minutes.  Add carrots and boil 5 minutes.  Add sweet potato and boil 7 minutes.  Drain vegetables well.  Mix mayo and mustard in a bowl.  Toss vegetables in dressing to coat thoroughly and serve warm. Pin It

Twice Baked Broccoli Potatoes

I do love a Bennigan's/TGIF/Buffalo Wild Wings type of potato skin, but it's one of those recipes that I'll only make if I do up a bunch all at once to freeze ahead.  Baking, then scooping, then mixing, then refilling isn't hard exactly, but it is fussier than I am willing to do usually...unless I can load the work on the front end and do next to nothing on the back end.

If you make these to freeze, be sure to freeze the potato halves on a tray first, then bag them.  You can pull out the whole batch if you want or just cook a couple.  If you cook these from their frozen state, put a small pat of butter or margarine on the top before baking.  The freezer tends to dry food out, so you need a bit of food moisturizer (i.e. butter) when you bake.

Pin It

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pantry Puttanesca

This is one for which you can have all the ingredients lounging in your pantry/freezer any time, or at least until the canned goods expire.  The only need-to-shop-now, fresh additions might be a handful of chopped fresh herbs or a couple cups of leftover roasted/grilled/sauteed veggies.  I wouldn't go out of my way to cook anything special for this recipe, but if you've got some leftover zucchini or eggplant, this is a great way to use it up.

A traditional puttanesca sauce uses anchovies, black olives, capers and tomatoes for its base.  If you think you don't like anchovies, think again.  Anchovies are the major flavor ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, giving it the full, rich, salty, umami quality that Worcestershire sauce brings to your favorite marinade (which makes Worcestershire sauce not vegetarian, for anyone who cooks for vegetarian types). 

I choose to use sardines here because I'm currently hot for them, dietarily speaking, for the reasons outlined here.  You can use tuna or the traditional anchovies, if you prefer.  If using tuna or sardines, you can choose to leave them quite chunky (so as to be easily picked around) or flake them up quite a bit before adding to the sauce so they become more of a flavorful ghost in the machine rather than an upfront protein.

Pin It

Friday, May 13, 2011

Crockpot Ham and Bean (or Bean and Ham) Soup

Another post-Easter/Christmas perennial.  My husband's grandfather, to whom this blog is dedicated, often made much of the distinction between "beef and vegetable" soup and "vegetable and beef" soup...the former being made when you have more beef than vegetables on hand, and the latter when you have more veggies than beef.  In this case, it depends on how much meat is left on your hambone whether you have "ham and bean" or "bean and ham" soup. 

I can't not have something green in a meal, so I add veggies at the end of cooking.  I add frozen peas right to my kids' plates to help cool them faster.  In just a few minutes, the heat transfer softens the veggies and cools the soup.  If you want to use fresh greens or want more fully cooked veggies, add them when you add the tomatoes.

Believe it or not, you can mess up making bean soup in a crockpot (I screw up so you don't have to).  Because a crockpot cooks more gently than a simmering pot on the stovetop, beans can come out cronchy and undercooked without proper handling.  It is tempting to put every ingredient you'll use in the crockpot at the start of cooking, but acid (as from tomatoes) will interfere with proper bean cooking, so they must be added 30-60 minutes before serving.  And because little liquid is lost in crockpot cooking (as opposed to the reduction process that occurs on the stovetop), there is a risk of coming out with watery, thinly-flavored soup.
Pin It

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No-cook leftover make-over, and purple cauliflower

It is 86F and HUMID.  I try very hard to avoid creating extra heat in the house when the weather gets like this (so for 3 solid months, I try not to turn on the oven).  So for dinner we had no-cook steak salad, electric kettle-blanched cauliflower and microwaved rice. 

If a salad has chunks of steak in it, it's a manly salad, right?  Leave out the lettuce and only use toothsome veggies, and it's really manly (as well as being as perfect vehicle for no-cook cookery).  Since there's no lettuce to wilt, this salad can be prepared and even dressed well in advance.
Blanching the cauliflower using water boiled in an electric kettle saves energy, heat and anti-oxidants...colored cauliflower (orange, green or purple) should be cooked very lightly, if at all, to preserve the color and nutrients that the unusual color brings to the party.

Pin It

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"OK, everyone has to take some ham home with them..."

I have a whole section of my recipe clippings dedicated to recipes that use up holiday dinner leftovers.  Ham salad is always on the menu the week following Easter and Christmas (our ham holidays).  You can substitute green onions for the chives, and add more jalapeno if you like.  I like to hand-chop the bell pepper to keep a bit of crunch in the mix. 

Made-up ham salad can be kept in the fridge at least 2 or 3 days, but due to the mayo content, probably doesn't freeze so well.
Pin It

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gasp! I didn't prep ahead for dinner tonight!

Here's how my dinner prep went tonight (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)...

Stella de Oro daylilies

5:38pm Get back inside after dividing and transplanting gifted daylilies (Stella de Oro, for those who were interested)
5:39pm Scrub fingernails
5:41pm Draw water for pasta and start it boiling
5:43pm Head upstairs to change out of dirt-covered clothes
5:49pm Return downstairs; water not boiling yet 5:50pm Zest orange, put half of zest into citrus zest freezer bag
5:52pm Slice bologna
5:54pm Realize we have no cream or half-and-half, only milk and sour cream
Pin It

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crockpot Braciole

For anyone living under a rock who hasn't heard Rachael Ray talk about this stuff (like my husband), it's pronounced "brah-ZHOL".  It's round steak rolled around a filling and braised in tomato sauce.  Delish, as the Rach would say.
I am a big fan of putting this puppy in a crockpot instead of babysitting a pot on the stove for 2 to 3 hours.  Freeze-ahead and crockpot-friendly, oh jah.

I found that it's easiest to pound out the steak on a cutting board on the floor.  The countertop absorbs too much of the energy from each blow (and is ridiculously noisy), but the concrete slab underlayment in my kitchen doesn't give a millimeter.  Hard on the feet, great for pounding steak.
Pin It

Salmon Stuffed with Spinach Pesto

Eat more fish.  And spinach.  It's good for you.  And tasty if you do it my way.  What else can I say?

Today's I Screw Up So You Don't Have To: I added olive oil to my pesto and it was more "sauce" than "paste" and didn't want to stay stuffed inside my salmon fillets.  My recipe is altered to give a thicker result, though my pictures show the runny attempt.

To cut "pockets" in the salmon fillets, try to buy salmon from a counter rather than in freezer packages so that you can try to find the thickest fillets possible.  Use a small, very sharp knife and cut into the thickest part of the fillet.  Work the knife in a fan motion (moving the tip while keeping the "butt" of the knife as stationary as possible at the front of the fillet) to cut as far into the fillet as you can without creating a gaping hole up front.  If you don't want to bother or can only find thin fillets, just slather the pesto on top of the fish to bake.
Pin It

Cleaned up Freeze-Ahead Meal Page

Ack, I finally got around to straightening out the formatting craziness on the Freeze-Ahead Meal page that resulted from cutting and pasting an Excel spreadsheet directly into this blog publisher.  Shan't do that again.  Easier reading and better organization, too! Pin It

Lime-Herb Tilapia

Chives and Sage
This is a spin-off of a South Beach Recipe that calls for a quick marinade of the fish in lime juice.  To make it freezer-friendly, I use zest instead of juice as lime juice goes from marinade to ceviche in about 3 or 4 hours.  Tasty, but not what we're after here.

I love that this recipe uses fresh tarragon and chives, two of my garden's early risers.  Well before you can get parsley or thyme starts in the ground, these two are up and at 'em, ready to snip and cook.  If you garden and cook at all, a little bit of space for perennial or self-seeding annual herbs is well worth it.  Sage, tarragon, and chives will come back year after year with no effort on your part, and annuals like savory and basil require very little encouragement to drop seeds and pop up the following year. 
Pin It

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zucchini Tomato Frittata

I betcha you haven't thought about freezing eggs before.  They're so easy, why bother...right?  Because they do expire, and they do run out, and if you want something more than plain ol' fried, you need to have other stuff on hand. 

In other words, it saves a trip to the grocery store on those days when you decide to get dressed at 9am and don't have a chance to do it until noon (that was my first day home alone with two kids under 2, about a week after the birth of Boy-o #2) or during weeks where you try for 3 days straight to put more toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom and just can't manage to do it (that was last week).  If you don't have days and weeks like this, congratulations, here's your trophy, now scram.

A frittata is started on the stovetop and finished in the oven.  I do it under the broiler as my pans are broiler-proof.  If yours aren't because they're non-stick pans, you can bake the frittata at 400F for about 10 minutes to finish it.  If only the handle is not broiler-proof, you can wrap the plastic handle in foil and still put it under the broiler.
Pin It

Horseradish Pureed Cauliflower

Pureed cauli was probably the one serious mainstream thing to come out of the faddish no-carb/low-carb diets.  It's delish, though can be a little chunky, soupy or bland (or high in sodium, if the chef is compensating for the lack of flavor with a heavy hand on the salt shaker).  MY recipe is none of those things, so enjoy!
Pin It

Asian Chicken and Veg Packets

I'm back from a delightful family wedding in a beautiful part of the country I'd probably not otherwise have visited.  Gorgeous!  Splendid time!  Hiatus explained, now back to work.

I'm still posting recipes from the "carb-conscious" freezer meal kit assembly-fest I did before my trip.  Probably the suckiest part of "anything-conscious" eating is portion control.  You can eat low-carb, low-sodium, low-fat, low-whatever and find delicious and healthy things to have, but in the end, if you're eating it by the bucketful, it's not healthy any more.  Enter South Beach Chicken and Veggie Packets.  Each serving of this recipe is HUGE, and it's tasty, low-carb, low-fat and relatively low-sodium (use lightly steamed fresh veg to help reduce sodium content and swap no-salt broth for soy sauce).

A lot of my notes on this recipe involve how to pack it for freezing.  Because foil is the most leak-proof wrapper you could do (and can be grilled as well as roasted), I recommend using it.  BUT if you plan to freeze these guys, I'd use heavy-duty foil and put a layer of parchment paper (not waxed paper) on the inside to protect against tears from frozen cooking liquid.  Store them seam-side up in the freezer and be sure to defrost them that way, too.
Pin It