Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turkey Italian Wedding Soup

Turkey Italian Wedding Soup

I made this after hosting Thanksgiving so I had parts of a turkey on hand. You can also get wings and drumsticks at the grocery store most of the time, no time for that? Get yourself a box of the good turkey stock!!!

In a large pot

Turkey parts (Drumstick, thighs, wing. Left over skin on)

2 carrots, washed, rough cut

2 celery stalks, washed rough cut

1 medium onion, quartered with the skin on

3 cloves of garlic

½ head fennel, rough chopped (optional)

Left over herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage.)

Water to cover

Salt and pepper

Bring to a boil, cover and lower the flame. Simmer 3-5 hours.  Cool.

My broth wasn’t fatty so I didn’t have to skim it, but if you see a lot of fat on the surface, cool completely and remove solid fat.  Then strain soup through a fine sieve.  Return broth to pot and bring to a boil. 

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground turkey

2 eggs

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

Mush all ingredients together, if too wet add more panko.  Roll into balls smaller than a golf ball.  Once you have rolled all the balls lower the broth and add meatballs one by one.  BE CAREFUL!!!  Add 2 stalks chopped celery, 2 carrots peeled and chopped, let cook 7-10 minutes before adding the following.

1 bunch escarole (they also sell this in a bag pre washed and chopped) washed thoroughly, and chopped

1 lb. frozen cheese tortellini

Add the chopped escarole and cook 5-10 minutes, add the frozen tortellini and cook according to directions, usually 3-5 minutes.  Serve with parmesan cheese. 

If you are using boxed broth simply bring it to a boil (I would use two large boxes) and start at the meatball portion of the recipe.  If you can’t find escarole, spinach is a good substitute. 

Hey there!  I swear I am still here! Clearly the inception of Cakes of Wrath, my custom delivery baking service picked up far quicker than I ever thought possible and poor little Plates of Wrath went by the wayside.  Well as it turns out, I also went out and did a little thing with my fiancée...we bought a house!!! We decided in August that we wanted to buy and closed and moved in on election day! Crazy! So for a while there it was a lot ALOT of takeout!!! We then decided, what the hey, lets host Thanksgiving!  It was absolutely fulfilling, delicious and nothing short of comical!  Hey new oven, hey new oven probe, hey new smoke alarms!!! We are finally settling in and after the holidays I will be back with a vengeance!  Just hang with me till then! Peace, Love, Cook.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Asian Chopped Salad with Chicken and Mandarins

Asian Chopped Salad with Chicken and Mandarins
I used to LOVE going to Cheesecake Factory and getting their Asian Chicken Salad, but sometimes you need a lighter option of your favorite meal and I was so happy to realize just how easy this was to recreate and improve on.  All the flavor and a lot less guilt, both calorie wise and financially!  You could easily prep the salad in bulk and keep it in your fridge and just add your protein (Chicken or shrimp), dressing and toppings as you wish throughout the week!
1/4 head green cabbage
¼ head red cabbage
½ head romaine lettuce
4 large kale leaves, with the stem and middle of the stem removed
1 carrot
2 green onions
½ cup crispy Asian noodles (wontons etc. optional)
¼ cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup mandarin orange segments

2 tbsp. minced ginger (the stuff in the squeeze bottle works great)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
4 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
¼ cup rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar would be fine as well)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sriracha (optional and to taste)

For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a small mason jar and shake! (How easy is that!!!!)

For the salad: chop all of your ingredients into small pieces, think half inches in size and toss together.

I served my salads with some grilled chicken for lunch but I think this would be an excellent dinner if you wanted to use some left over grilled chicken or even picked up a rotisserie chicken from the market and cut it into the salad!  Toss about 3 tbsp. of dressing with 1.5 cups of salad and add 4 oz. of chicken or shrimp.  I topped them with some crispy wonton noodles left over from a Chinese food run (love that they throw those in for free and we never eat them!) and some sliced almonds with some mandarin segments from a can.  Super easy, much cheaper and with about ½ the calories as that Cheesecake Factory salad!

Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Tajin Shrimp and Slaw (Or Shrimp Tacos!)

Jalapeno Corn Cakes with Tajin Shrimp and Slaw

Sometimes leftover can become the most killer aspect to a meal all it takes is a little transformation.  I had left over Mexican corn from a BBQ and I knew I needed a way to make a very light meal of grilled shrimp and slaw a little bit more filling.  Corn cakes were an easy way to make add some yummy carbs to a low carb dinner!  No time for corn cakes?  Put the shrimp and slaw in some tortillas with some sliced avocado, and Greek yogurt for a fantastic Taco Tuesday!

1 cup corn kernels, I used left over grilled corn off the cob but frozen cooked corn or canned corn would work as well
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced (use as much or as little as you like)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup milk
2 eggs

10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp. Tajin or chili powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp. olive oil

½ bag coleslaw shreds
½ small red onion, sliced thin
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 clove garlic, pressed
Cilantro, a handful of leaves, chopped (optional, to taste)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Greek yogurt or sour cream

For the Shrimp: In a Ziploc bag add all of the shrimp ingredients and let marinade a half hour up to six hours in the refrigerator.  If you do not have Tajin (go buy it!!!) you can use the chili powder in place of it to get a similar result, use as much or as little chili powder as you wish.   

For the Slaw:  In a mixing bowl add the lime juice and zest, the garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil and whisk together.  Toss the coleslaw shreds, red onion and optional cilantro in the mixture and set aside.

For the Corn Cakes:  Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until the batter resembles thick pancake batter.  Heat a non-stick pan and add coconut oil or whatever cooking oil you wish to use, enough to make a shallow layer in the pan.  Scoop the corn cakes in ¼ cups into the pan and flatten them out with the bottom of the spoon, cook until golden brown about 3-5 minutes over medium high heat on each side.  I like to keep them in the oven on a baking rack so that they do not get oily but remain crispy and warm while I cook the shrimp.

For the Shrimp: Heat your grill or grill pan and cook the shrimp until they turn pink and just form a “C” shape.  A rule of thumb with shrimp is that a “C” shape is perfectly cooked, straight shrimp are under cooked and once a shrimp turns into a circle it is overcooked and chewy.  I don’t want to estimate a cooking time for grilled shrimp as even though shrimp are a standard size they still widely vary as do grill temperatures. 

To Serve: I made my plates as stacks with the corn cake on the bottom, then added sliced avocado, the slaw and then the shrimp with some Greek Yogurt or sour cream on top.  Truth be told they were harder to eat this way but they sure looked pretty!    

Chicken Cordon Blue Re-Do! 197 Calories!

Chicken Cordon Blue
I love chicken cordon blue but I don’t love that it’s breaded and sautéed and then covered in ham and cheese, so everything that I love, I also hate and that simply wasn’t going to do.  Here is another recipe redo that allows you all of the deliciousness in a classic recipe with a fraction of the calories and time!
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin
4 slices Virginia ham from the deli
4 slices Swiss cheese, from the deli
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and Pepper
Coconut oil for cooking

Cut your chicken into thin cutlets, and pound them very thin with a meat mallet, or back of a frying pan (careful if you have granite countertops!!!!).  Season all sides with salt and pepper.
Foil line a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, add your cooking oil of choice and cook chicken 3-4 minutes per side.  Place cooked chicken on foil lined baking sheet and set aside.
Combine Dijon mustard, and honey in a bowl and drizzle each cutlet with the mixture.
Roll the deli ham up and slice into ¼ inch pieces, think ham strips.
Roll the deli Swiss up and slice into ¼ inch pieces, same as above.
Divide the ham and Swiss over the chicken cutlets.
Bake 10 minutes or until cheese has melted.

I made this as a big batch of chicken and used it as a meal prep for part of the week.  I simply put it in containers with some green veggies and cauliflower rice for a low carb low calorie lunch!  Each serving of chicken (4oz of chicken with ham and Swiss) came out to approximately 197 calories per serving which with a cup of green veggies and half a cup of cauliflower rice was a great lunch!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Bon Chon" Chicken

“Bon Chon” Chicken
I love bon chon, everything about it. It’s the perfectly seasoned, crispy saucy treat.  This was an excellent accompaniment for the Krab and Cucumber salad, because it is sticky, hot and sweet versus the cool, crisp fresh flavors in the salad.  You
will never believe just how easy it is to make!
2 large chicken breasts
1 cup cornstarch
4 cups of canola oil (Or as much as you need to deep fry the in a medium sized pan)

Sauce Ingredients
3 tbsp. go chu jang
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. chopped ginger (the jarred stuff is fine here)
2 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 big squeezes of sriracha sauce (optional but we used it)
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)
3 green onions, green part, sliced thin

Slice chicken breasts into small pieces.  Use meat tenderizer (meat mallet) to pound the chicken thin. 
Heat oil in medium pan to approximately 375 degrees. 
Put cornstarch in a large Ziploc bag and add chicken a few pieces at a time.  Shake to coat the chicken.  Shake off the excess and place in the hot oil, AWAY from you.  Cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, remove carefully with tongs and place on a paper towel lined plate.

In a large microwave safe bowl add all of the ingredients except for the green onions and sesame seeds, and stir.  Microwave for 30 seconds and stir again.  Toss chicken to coat and finish with green onions and sesame seeds.

This recipe blew my mind because I always thought bon chon was super complicated because of that twenty minute wait!  You can change the sauce up or pick up any delicious bottled sauce, even plain old American BBQ sauce would be delicious on these!  We dipped ours in a combination of Greek yogurt and Kewpie (Korean) mayonnaise to tone down the heat, but it was utterly delicious!

Spicy Kani & Cucumber Salad

Spicy Kani & Cucumber Salad
I love going out for sushi, and I do leave certain things to the professionals, re: anything involving raw fish!  Kani on the other hand isn’t raw!  You can make this extremely cost effective, and easy by using Krab, yes that’s crab with a “K!” You’ve seen it in most California rolls and have never really thought about it, so don’t start thinking about it now! You can also use real crab meat if you want to but that will steeply effect the cost, and most people won’t notice the difference! If you don’t have a spiralizer, get one, no but seriously, great investment, super helpful for so many things (think curly fries, or ya know cucumber salad!) but if you don’t have one you can easily thinly slice the cucumbers and toss them with the dressing.  Having a stocked pantry makes this recipe even breezier but if you don’t have an ingredient none are super expensive and are all multi taskers!  This makes a great lunch the next day if you package It in a Tupperware with separate compartments!

2 seedless cucumbers, spiralized on the small setting, or thinly sliced
6 Krab sticks, shredded, peel the like string cheese
2 tbsp. mayonnaise (low fat or regular)
1 tsp. Srirracha (or more if you like spicier)
1 tsp. soy sauce (low sodium if possible)
2 tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
4 big shakes (about a tsp.) of sesame oil
3 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
4 tbsp. panko bread crumbs (optional)

Spiralize or slice your cucumbers and set aside on a clean tea or dish towel, or paper towels.  This will help your salad from being too wet. 
In a medium size bowl, combine your mayonnaise and srirracha, add approximately 1 tsp. of soy sauce to thin out the dressing.  Add the krab and toss gently to coat with the dressing.
In another mixing bowl add the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and whisk together. 
If you are doing the optional toasted sesame seeds and panko (I like texture!) get a nonstick frying pan and add the panko and sesame seeds and stir around as they toast over a medium flame. 
Plate the krab on top of the cucumber salad and finish with the panko and sesame seed mixture.

This makes three generous appetizer servings or two entrée servings in my opinion.  125 calories per serving (approximately) and about $1.50 per serving can you really beat that!? Healthy, affordable and easy.  If you want to use real crab meat this will surely increase the price point of your meal but if you can do it, why not!