Asian Fusion

When I first started this blog I told you a tidbit (which I’m sure you remember) about cilantro and my new food processor changing my world.  I would officially like to add sesame oil to that list of life changing kitchen goodies.  It’s amazing and makes everything so tasty!  Lately I’ve been jumping at every opportunity to use it in new dishes.  The payout is always good and every once in a while I get to use it alongside cilantro, and that really makes my day.  Here are 2 recipes that I made, devoured and loved, but took pictures of first to share with you.

Lettuce Wraps

The original recipe for these lettuce wraps come from IowaGirlEats and she was apparently channeling P.F. Chang’s versions of this tasty dish.  I’ve only had the pleasure of P.F. Chang’s once and I don’t particularly remember what their leafy cups tasted like, but, if they were anything like this they are wonderful!

Whatcha need:

Serves 2-3

1 lb ground chicken breast

1/2 medium onion, minced

salt & pepper, a dash of each

2 large cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so I double this)

1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled & minced

1 Tablespoon sesame oil (<3)

2 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 Tablespoon water

1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter

1/2 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or more if you like it hotter)

dash of fresh pepper

3 green onions, chopped

1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

10-12 large outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry (I use iceberg)

Whatcha Do:

  1. Add chicken, onion, salt and pepper to a large skillet on high heat.  Cook until chicken is almost done, stirring frequently to break into small pieces.  Add minced garlic and ginger and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. While the chicken cooks (and your kitchen begins to smell oh so yummy) mix the beloved sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar and chili sauce in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 20 seconds and stir until smooth.
  3. Once chicken is fully cooked add in sauce and stir to spread evenly.
  4. Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
  5. Scoop contents into a bowl and place firmly in the center of the table, next to washed, dried, cold lettuce cups.
  6. Enjoy!

These are seriously amazing.  It takes a little bit of time to chop everything up but it is worth it.  If you are having a small dinenr party or a date night i would reccommend making these.  They are a serve yourself, social dish and your guests will be very impressed.

Asian Chicken Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

Recipe originally found on TheGirlWhoAteEverything… sound perfect for me, right?

Serves 4; 12 Meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs

1/4 cup Panko crumbs
1-1/4 lbs (20 ounces) ground chicken
1 egg
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil 🙂

—————————————

Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce 
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 chopped fresh scallion


Steps to take so your taste buds will smile  😀
  1. Preheat the oven to 500°
  2. Mix ground chicken, panko crumbs, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 Tbsp sesame oil… best method, hands.  Get on in there, it’s messy but fun.
  3. Since you’ve already used your hands to mix, use them again to form 12 meatballs, about 1/4 cup each.  Place the formed meatballs on a greased (cooking spray) baking sheet.
  4. Bake about 15 min or until meatballs are cooked through.
While the meatballs are in the over whip up the dipping sauce.
  1. Mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil.  Give the mixture a good whisk and then add scallions.
Drizzle the cooked meatballs with 1 Tbsp of the sauce.

See the drizzle...

Plop the meatballs on a bed of rice and serve.  There will be a lot of left over sauce and trust me, you will want to use it.  I put it on the table and we all seasoned up the meatballs to our own desire.  One of my roommates, Matt, made up some delicious asparagus to go along with the meatballs.  It was a good match.  If you have leftover cilantro sprinkle some on top or place a bowl on the table, along with the sauce, for everyone to grab as they please.
These meatballs were surprisingly easy to make and took no time.  The flavors on the other hand make it seem as though you slaved away in the kitchen for hours.  It’s a nice trick, I know.  They would be great as an appetizer as well… just make the individual meatballs smaller (I’d cut the size in half) and serve with toothpicks.
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Just Can’t Get Enough

I heard this song, Emmylou by First Aid Kit the other day and I swear, I haven’t stopped listening to it since!  I just love it!  So here it is for you to enjoy.

I’ve also been really diggin’ “Flaws” by Bastille.   I think they have potential to  be an upcoming favorite band of mine.

Oh!  Jon made a really kick ass video this week as well.  We are big fans of the show Breaking Bad in our house but the show intro needs some serious work!  Living with designers, editors and the sort will really make you see television differently… I now know what edit breaks looks like in shows like the Bachelor.  It’s a real eye opener.

Even if you don’t watch Breaking Bad check out his alternate intro, it’s well worth it! (And no, I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend and it will make him love me more… but he is, and it might 🙂 )


One more… this SNL skit is one of the funniest I’ve seen in awhile.  Watch Beyonce and JayZ’s new baby, Blue Ivy, welcome celebrity guests of all types.  Hilarious!  My personal favorite is Bon Iver.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/WpZoR-QhYLh17WQL_0tkkQ

Have a wonderful weekend, thank goodness Friday finally decided to show up, right!?

Guilt… In the Name of Love

The intent of this blog is to share loads upon loads of healthy, delicious meals that make your body smile.  Of this I am aware… but, sigh… she won… she pounded on my stomach walls and she won.  Inner Fattie took over for Valentine’s Day.  I have to say… I’m guiltily glad it happened!

I peruse pictures of decadent, chocolatly, masterpieces daily on pinterest but generaly I minimize the window and let my will power kick in.  Not so on the big day of hearts.  I was scrolling through, eyes half glazed over and then… Chocolate Chip Cookie Lava Cakes… get out!  I held no power against these little nuggets!    How could I not run home, make and scarf them down?  Exaclty, I couldn’t.

See… !

Chocolate Chip Cookie Lava Cakes (of Love)

Ingredients

Serves 8

1 roll Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie dough

20-30 Pretzels, crunched into 1/2 inch pieces

8 teaspoons Cocao Almond Spread (Nutella or dark chocolate chips work equally well)

Vanilla Ice Cream (for topping)

Steps to Take

  1. Open cookie dough.  🙂  If you are more ambitious than me… or your Inner Fattie allows you to healthy up this dessert, whip up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I personally think oatmeal Chocolate Chip would be divine!
  2. Break off half of the dough and smash it flat on cutting board.
  3. Fold half of the crunches pretzels into the flattened dough.  (This gets messy but it was the best method I could find.)
4.  Break off spoon size chunks of dough, flatten and place in a greased cupcake pan.  (I used Olive Oil Cooking Spray).  Press dough down to conform to pan.
5.  Place a teaspoon dollop of Cocoa Almond Butter in the center of each cookie filled cupcake tin.
6.  Repeat steps 2-4 to form the cookie tops.
7.  Cook on 350 for 13-15 min or until cookie tops are golden brown.
Let these babies cool for 3-5 min (you want the inside to stay gooey).  I will tell you… don’t lay the pan upside down… they will start to fall out and apart… not good.
When they are cooled, plate ’em and put a scoop of ice cream on top.  Sit down… I know, it’s hard not to eat them immediately, dig your spoon in and smile with delight!
They are best when shared… that way your Ooh’s and Ahh’s are accompained by others.  I shared mine with Jon and my beloved roomies…  Inner Fattie is a pig but she’s not stingy.  🙂

So are you already grabbing your keys, purse on arm, heading to the store?  If you’re not, good for you.  Keep that Inner Fattie at bay.  But, do make these for some occasion… they are worth it and everyone deserves a sweet dessert from time to time!

Oh Lookie Lookie, Hearts!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Also, I’m not renigging on my earlier post and overal sentiment towards smartphones….

BUT, for all you iPhone owner I have one request.  Please send this to someone you love today!

Please!

You should all be happy that I don’t have one or you would all be asked “whale you be my valentine”.  Well, whale you?

Orangey, Creamy Goodness!

I actually cooked something last night!  Like really stood in the kitchen, concocted and… get this, took a picture!  I had seen “Heatlthy Sweet Potato Skins” on pinterest a few weeks ago and have slowly been gathering the fixin’s.  It was just a matter of time before I put them in the oven and when I did, oh man, they did not disappoint!

 

These are delicious!

 

Twice Baked Sweet Taters*

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium or large sweet potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach (subject to preference)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steps to Take

  1. Bake sweet potatoes at 350 for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. (I did mine in the micro… either way works just get those babies cooked through.)
  2. Cut sweet potatoes in half and let cool for 5-10 minutes. While they cool saute the garlic with a drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray over medium heat until fragrant. Add fresh spinach and heat for 2-3 minutes, until spinach has cooked down. Set aside.
  3. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a thin layer inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own.
  4. Place empty skins on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes to get a crisper outside.
  5. While skins crisp, mash the innards with cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in chickpeas, spinach, and salt and pepper.
  6. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and fill each skin with the mixture. Top each with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake again for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.
  8. Plate, serve, enjoy!

 

Right out of the oven!

 

These make a perfect side dish for chicken, steak or fish but can also stand alone.  Last night I served them up with simple garlic sautéed chicken and steamed broccoli/cauliflower.  Today, had I not forgotten to grab it from the fridge, I would have eaten one for lunch.

One tip:  They are filling (because they’re loaded with greatness) so use medium taters if you are serving one per person.  If you want leftovers use largies and cut the halves in half… also a good way to double the recipe.

Happy Friday… Happy Eating!  🙂

 

*I changed the name from the original recipe due to the portion sized… potato skins are appetizers, these would be monster-izers!

Peanut Butter Banana Popsicle…

Smoothie!!

I know, I know… all I have blogged about, food wise, is smoothies.  You would think since embarking on a seemingly liquid diet my fattie inside must be dying.  Not true.  She is still kicking and pounding on my stomach walls, screaming for french fries on the hour, every hour.  Truth be told, I simply haven’t been adventurous in the kitchen lately.  Alana has taken the reigns while she tries to enjoy her working hiatus.

Aside form that I, with 99% of the American population, made a New Years Resolution to shed some pounds and am convinced these liquid concoctions can help get me there.  I will say that they have been semi-quenching my sweet tooth while filling me up with lots of secret spinach.  So, I continue to blend and mix and eat out of straws.

Growing up my mom would make homemade popsicles that were amazing!  Alana and I’s favorite was the peanut butter banana… they tasted so decadent!  So imagine my surprise when I made a smoothie, full of spinach with only a tiny plop of PB to find nostalgia!  If I hadn’t been alone in my car I might have screamed “Eureka!”  Or… maybe I did scream but you will never know because I was alone in my car… hm.

I have uncovered the best smoothie that tastes like a little sip of heaven AND it’s good for you.  Eureka!  🙂

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup chocolate Zico Coconut Water
Spinach to the top (I usually use 2-3 cups)
1/4 cup water

Add all of the ingredients to the blender (except the water).  Fill the blender to the top with spinach, loosely packed.

Liquify. Ice Break. Pulse. Blend.  Push spinach down with a spoon.  Liquify.  Add water as needed to control thickness.  Blend.  Pour.  Sip.  Sigh.  Love!

While I was looking for a picture (Since I am still too lame to have taken my own.  I know.  Sorry!)  I found this version of a banana popsicle!  Seriously going to make them asap.  Looks amazing.  Banana Pospsicles

Smoothie Mania

This week I have been on a monster smoothie kick.  I don’t know if it was the necessity of a breakfast on the run (since forming a habit of snoozing into the late morning) or the endless pictures of interesting mixes on my pinterest page… but I fell.

I have always been a little anti-smoothie.  Not in theory… I love juices and mixing fruit and yogurt together.  I just never found drinking meals enticing.  Until now…

It seems that, if you use the right ingredients, smoothies are little miracle workers, packing in a ton of nutrients.  They can mask the presence of super hero foods with secret powers.  Spinach, kale, oats, avocado… if you can blend it and you can name it, well then, you can add it to a smoothie.

Here are some concoctions I feel pretty successful about this week… so far. There will be more to come, the fun has just begun for me and smoothies.

Avocado, Berries, Banana, Spinach

Serves 1

1 cup Zico Coconut Water, Plain (any brand or flavor can work)

1/2 Avocado

1 cup Frozen Mixed Berries

1/2 Banana

1 cup (tightly packed) Spinach

  • I finely chopped my spinach in a food processor (not pureed) so that there was no chewing involved in consumption.  Totally your call.
I didn’t use any yogurt in this particular smoothie because the avocado and  banana work to make the creamy texture while the berries and spinach give it some umph.  If you like your smoothies a little thicker, bulk it up with some plain Greek yogurt.  It has way more protein than regular yogurt and you don’t need to use as much because of it’s incredibly creamy texture.

 Carrot, Mango, Orange, Banana

 Serves 1

2 Frozen Mango Halves (If you can’t find these, cut up mango into chunks and freeze.)

1/3 cup Old Fashion Oats (coarsely chopped… about 6 pulses in the food processor)

1/2 Frozen Banana (Peel the banana before freezing… I didn’t and they are IMPOSSIBLE to peel,   cut, anything.  Save yourself the heartache.)

1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup OJ

1/2 cup Carrot Juice (About 3 whole carrots juiced.)

1/3 cup Zico Coconut Water, plain (Again, any brand or flavor can work here.)

  • Using frozen fruit is awesome!  It acts as ice and makes your smoothie cold without the potential of getting watery on a hot day.

I wanted to keep this smoothie from being green and deathly looking… thought bright orange would be so pretty!  And, it was.  If you’re asking yourself, oats!?  I did too, but  I promise they add great texture without clumping or turning into oatmeal.  Coarsely chopping them in the food processor before adding them to the blender created the perfect consistency.  There was no straw blockage, just goodness.

So, without further ado, toss all these ingredients into the blender and wa-la… masterpiece!  If you’re like me… juggling keys, pulling on boots and barely remembering to collect your brain for the day, simply pour into a transportable mug.  As i’ve been drinking mine on the way to work I will vouch for  the duration of stop lights getting shorter.  Not possible?  Okay, maybe I just get lost is fruity heaven… whatever works!

Wherever you are when you enjoy, sip while your body smiles.

  • Quick side note/Disclaimer:  I am super lame and haven’t taken any pictures of my own yet (unacceptable).  My defense, as mentioned above:  smoothie adventures happen too early in the morning.  I wanted to post today though so you’ll have to love me despite the generic, semi-unrelated smoothie photos I found, compliments of google image search.
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Stack It Tall

Apparently there is a new phenomenon sweeping the restaurant world… and it has nothing to do with food.

*Tangent*  I am in the minority of people who have yet to embark into the land of Smartphones.  It’s not that I won’t but when you’re still part of a family plan you don’t mess up a good thing!  Regardless, everyone else I know has taken the plunge (probably about some 5 years ago) and this causes for a difference in phone etiquette.  My phone is not as cool as theirs so they hold it close while I forget to remember where I’ve left mine.

Behold the game to change 1 hour of every one’s life by bringing them closer to my world!

Here’s how it works…

  1. Plan a dinner outing with friends and/or family.
  2. Meet, hug, chat, sit.
  3. Take cell phone out of pocket, purse, death grip and SILENCE it.
  4. Calmly place your phone in the middle of the table and stack* them in a pile.   Remember to breath… you’re phone is safe!
  5. Order, laugh, talk, drink, be merry!
  6. Don’t touch your phone… no matter what.  If you do, you just can’t handle it and must break, you get stuck with the entire bill.  No excuses, you have faulty willpower!
  7. If no one bends under the urge to “ask Siri” the bill is split as normal.
  8. Hug, laugh, say goodbye.
  9. Leave happy and fulfilled because you just spent quality time with those you love*.
*Optional
*If you’re not going to dinner with those you love… don’t bother playing the game.  🙂
This game can be played in in settings other than restaurants… just set the stakes.  For example I plan to propose to my beloved roomies that loser does dishes.  Good right!  And then I plan to draw out dinner because one of them will inevitably break before I do… mwwaahaha!  Also at a bar, the first to breaks buy the next round.  Endless opportunities.
For the official rules click here… Stack ‘Em!

10 Tasty Tidbits…

Hi!  Thanks for stumbling onto my blog.  Once I get things kickin’ this page should be chalk full of food fun… for now though here’s a gathering of 10 random and loosely related facts about me.
1.  I have listened to above song all day on repeat… click and continue.
2.  I rely heavily on the literary genius of Eat this Not That for healthy eating alternatives (thank for doing the leg work ETNT!).
3.  I live in the (always) sunny (but too breezy for the beach) state of California but grew up in the (always) sunny (but too humid for the beach) state of Florida.
4.  I could eat a burrito everyday.
5.  I make jewelry.
6.  Goat cheese, cilantro and my new mini food processor have recently changed my world.
7.   I closely follow fashion trends but own very few high fashion items.
8.  I buy shoes at T.J. Maxx and dresses off the sale rack of Urban Outfitters.
9.  I would spend every day laying on a blanket, in the sunshine, if making money weren’t so imperative to life.
10.  This is my first blog… enjoy!
Extra bits.. some photos my boyfriend took that make me look waaay cooler than I am.
Ocean gazing in Playa
Indian Colored Powder fight at Lake Powell
Jumping off a wall in Venice