Chicken & Broccoli

Dave and I always say we would probably pick Asian food if we only could have one type of food for the rest of our lives.  It’s too hard to decide within that realm… we LOVE spicy Thai food, Szechuan, good old Chinese takeout, Vietnamese, Sushi… it’s all so good!  I try really hard to not order takeout during the week, so sometimes I end up picking recipes during my menu planning that are healthier versions of some of our favorite takeout dishes.  And subsequently needing to buy a Costco size jug of low sodium soy.

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Miso Glazed Salmon

miso glazed salmon.jpg

BAM!  And just like that, I’m back for the second day in a row.

Was actually really shocked that I have not yet written a post for you about this salmon.  It’s like… my new favorite recipe.  I think I’ve made this three or four times so far- which is a lot for someone who rarely repeats one recipe twice.

This salmon recipe obviously uses Miso- which sounded a little intense for me at first… until I went to Whole Foods and bought a container of it and realized how silly it was for me to think that.  It’s kept in the refrigerated section and lasts forever.  Just go buy a container and leave it in your fridge for a great dressing recipe (such as this one… ) or to make the salmon again like I did.

Miso Glazed Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 2 Tablespoons White Miso Paste
  • 4 (6-ounce) Salmon Fillets (about 1 inch thick) 
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Fresh Chives

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with foil & cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.
  3. Broil 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.

Recipe from:  Cooking Light, 2002

So so so so good.  For some reason, every single time I’ve baked salmon this way, it has been SUPER moist and so delicious.  Keep your eye on the salmon in the oven because you don’t want to dry it out.  It does not need that much time so don’t forget about it!

photo 1 (3)

I like to make 4 fillets so Dave and I can each eat one for dinner and eat one for lunch the following day over a salad.  YUM.  This time, I served the salmon with a small Baked Potato & Sauteed Spinach w/ Garlic & Grape Tomatoes.  You could serve this salmon with any green and it would be great with rice too!

What’s your favorite salmon recipe?  Try one of mine…

Maple-Teryiaki Salmon

Maple-Teryiaki Salmon

Basic Salmon Cakes/Burgers

Basic Salmon Cakes/Burgers

Wasabi Salmon

Wasabi Salmon

 

Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Happy New Year everyone!  Yesterday, Dave and I started a two-week Food Lover’s Cleanse.  The Cleanse is from Bon Appetit- it’s all about getting back in the kitchen and cooking healthy whole foods.  They limit refined starches, sugars, saturated fats, and dairy.  After eating like pigs over the holidays, we could use the cleanse!  If you feel like taking the challenge and joining in… let me know!  The cleanse and all recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks can be found here.  I’ve already been cooking up a storm making fresh sauces and dressings to get ready for the next few days.  It’s been a lot of work but it’s been fun so far!

Meanwhile, another goal for the new year besides getting back on track with eating is for me to continue to blog!  It’s been so hard with my new job, planning our wedding, and now it’s even more difficult with our new puppy, Snoop!

Our puppies!!

Our puppies!!

Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (or Sriracha)
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemongrass Paste (or sliced peeled fresh lemongrass)
  • 1 Tablespoon Crushed Garlic (or 2 cloves)
  • 1 cup sliced Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, sliced thin
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, shredded
  • 8 oz Haricot Verts, trimmed
  • 1lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Cashews
  • 1 Thai Chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds to garnish

Preparation:

1. Combine brown sugar, chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sambal oelek.
2. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add lemongrass and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a small bowl. Add bell pepper, onion, celery, carrots and haricots verts to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; add to lemongrass mixture. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken in a single layer; cook 2-3 minutes or until browned. Add cashews and chile to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in stock mixture and vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until sauce begins to thicken. Serve immediately and top with sesame seeds.

Adapted from:  Cooking Light

Still lovin' my Gourmet Garden herbs.  I use the garlic with everything and it's great to use the Lemongrass when needed so I don't have to buy it fresh and take the time to peel it!

Still lovin’ my Gourmet Garden herbs. I use the garlic with everything and it’s great to use the Lemongrass when needed so I don’t have to buy it fresh and take the time to peel it!

Such a nice RED on that bell pepper...

Such a nice RED on that bell pepper…

Yummy Cashews!  I love the  buttery crunch they add to this asian dish.

Yummy Cashews! I love the buttery crunch they add to this asian dish.

Everything ready to be stir-fried!

Everything ready to be stir-fried!

Finished product!  Usually, Dave and I like our asian stir-fries to be a little saucier, but this one is so flavorful, it's okay that it's not drenched, I promise!

Finished product! Usually, Dave and I like our asian stir-fries to be a little saucier, but this one is so flavorful, it’s okay that it’s not drenched, I promise!

Something I have always loved about Stir Fry recipes is that you can customize it so easily according to what veggies you have available and what you and your family enjoy!  Try it with broccoli, spinach, peanuts, or really anything!

What is everyone doing for the New Year?  Any good recipes to try?  I am saving some good ones to make after our cleanse!

 

 

 

Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles

I was driving through Silver Spring, Maryland where I was stationed during my training for the new job when I came to a HAULT.  Is this for real?

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Am I driving around with nothing to do and did I really come across a Korean Supermarket in the process?  Yes!!!  Now, I know we have lots of these in Philly and I could easily go to one any day, but after stops at Trader Joes, Superfresh, Giant, Whole Foods, etc… who wants to go to another market?!  This was meant to be.

After walking around aimlessly in awe of all of the new produce, types of kimchi and rices, I stopped and literally just stared at the noodle section.  I was in heaven.  I decided that I had to buy some, and good ol’ Soba was the winner.  While Soba Noodles are available at some markets, they certainly aren’t abundant and certainly aren’t affordable.  I’m talkin’ I got a 2lb package for $2.99.  Awesome.

Now that I’m back home and busy as a bee trying to start my business in my new job… I’ve had little time (and cash flow) to go food shopping for us.  I’ve been making some pretty creative things, but last night I just was craving something warm… and spicy.  The soba noodles popped into my mind and I just could not get them to go away.  So, soba noodles it was!

I modified a recipe I’ve saved from Cooking Light and whipped up some pretty delicious (warm and spicy) Soba Noodles.

Okay, if you’re sitting here and you’re all like… “wtf is Beth talking about, what are Soba noodles?!?!” … take a second and check this out  or just be happy with my explanation:  they are really pretty and delicious buckwheat noodles that take like two seconds to cook and taste extra nutty and work well in most Asian dishes.

Soba Love

Soba Love

Oh, and I do of course have to mention that one cup of cooked Soba is over 100 calories less than one cup of cooked spaghetti.  BAM.

photo from Gourmet Garden

photo from Gourmet Garden

Another star of this quick and easy noodle dish that I absolutely HAVE to tell you about is my new Gourmet Garden herbs!  You’ve probably seen these in the refrigerated section in your produce aisle, but have you used them yet?  They are a lifesaver! These tubes are jam-packed with fresh herbs that are pre-washed, chopped, ready to use and will NOT go bad as fast as regular fresh herbs (my downfall when using herbs).  In this recipe, I used Chunky Garlic, Chili Pepper, and Ginger.  No spicy, garlicky, smelly hands… no peeling, no chopping.  Ah-May-ZING!

these bad boys are the bomb.com!

these bad boys are the bomb.com!

Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles

Ingredients:

2 bundles Soba Noodles

2 Chicken Breasts

Green Beans, Carrots, Broccoli, or other Veggies as desired

1/3 cup Water

1/3 cup Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

1 Tablespoon peeled, chopped Ginger (Gourmet Garden)

3 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Honey

1-2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper

1 pinch Ground Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper

1-2 teaspoons chopped Garlic (or Gourmet Garden)

Green Onions, sliced (I used my Freeze-Dried Chives)

1/4 cup chopped Dry Roasted Peanuts

Directions:

1.  Boil the chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks or strips, whichever you prefer, and set aside.  Cook whatever vegetable you want to use too.  Set aside.

2.  To cook the Soba Noodles, bring salted water to a rolling boil.  Drop the noodles in and lower the heat a little.  Boil for 4-5 minutes.  Drain and rinse under very cold water.  This will help prevent the noodles from clumping up and sticking together.

3.  Meanwhile, stir the water, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, peppers, and garlic together in a medium-sized bowl with a whisk until well combined.  Taste and re-season according to how hot you prefer.

4.  Combine the noodles, chicken, veggies, and sauce.  Top with crushed peanuts and green onions.  Serve and enjoy.

Recipe inspired by:  Cooking Light

Mix up that sauce

Mix up that sauce

Crush some peanuts

Crush some peanuts

Combine everything together...

Combine everything together…

Voila!

Voila!

I don’t think there’s any better sauce than one that’s sweet, spicy, and has peanut butter.  I mean, really… how can it get better than that?  The Gourmet Garden herbs were kick-ass in the sauce and saved me so much time.  And needless to say, I am in Soba love!  MMM!

Check out Gourmet Garden on Twitter @FreshMadeEasy

Find Soba Noodles Here

and while you’re at it, look at these other sweet n spicy recipes from yours truly!

Mango-Sriracha Chicken

Mango-Sriracha Chicken

Slow-Cooker Asian Beef

Slow-Cooker Asian Beef

Peanut Butter Soba

Peanut Butter Soba

Sweet n Spicy Citrus Marinade

Sweet n Spicy Citrus Marinade

Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

com·fort food
noun
  • 1.  food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.

What’s so great about comfort food is that it can really be anything.  It’s all personal.  Comfort food is about what makes YOU feel good.

It might be warm and gooey like home baked chocolate chip cookies.

It might be cheesy and creamy like a mac and cheese.

It could even be crispy and crunchy like deep fried chicken.

For my boyfriend Dave and I… comfort food is Asian Takeout.  Thai, Indian, Szechuan, or plain old Chinese… any type will do the trick.  It’s just so darn comforting.  Add some spice and you’ll probably make something that we’ll consider our “favorite meal ever”.  We just love the stuff.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you not only because it’s delicious, but because I found it on a Cooking Light Comfort Food collection.  I couldn’t believe this was on there… right up our alley.  This unique Korean chicken dish is on the same list as some pretty soul-soothing recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, and so many more.  It was just sitting there on the webpage screaming for me to make it.  So I did.

Dak Bokkeum w/ Spinach (Korean Stewed Chicken)

Recipe Makes:  4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chile sauce)*
  • 1/4 cup (1/2-inch) slices green onion bottoms
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice (I used Wegman’s Aztec Blend: Ancient Grains, Red Rice, Brown Rice, and Split Peas)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup slices green onion tops
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken. Cover and marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  3. While rice cooks, bring 1/3 cup water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add chicken mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in green onion tops and spinach. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

Recipe from:  Cooking Light 2012

*Note about Gochujang: Gochujangis an indispensable Korean sauce based on fermented soybeans and chiles. You’ll find it in Asian markets, or seek out Annie Chun’s brand, which is more widely available.  Or just use some Sriracha like I did!

**Note about serving size:  Dave and I like everything we eat to be super saucy.  This recipe above will make four servings.  I halved the chicken and the rice but kept the rest the same.  This way, there was a ton of spinach and extra sauce.  If you want to make four servings and have it be extra saucy like me… just double the sauce/marinade section.

Sweet lookin' marinade we've got here!  Whisk it up and add the chicken.

Sweet lookin’ marinade we’ve got here! Whisk it up and add the chicken.

What it looks like after a half hour.  Give it a good stir or two.

What it looks like after a half hour. Give it a good stir or two.

I really like Wegman's Ancient Grains blends.  They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice :)

I really like Wegman’s Ancient Grains blends. They are hearty, healthy, and more interesting than boring old brown rice 🙂

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

This recipe gets a few bonus points for asking me to use my dutch oven

Ta-Da!!

Ta-Da!!

What was really exciting to me about this recipe is that it calls for Chicken Thighs.  This might seem normal to most people, but I have a hard time getting Dave to eat anything but white meat when it comes to chicken.  I decided to just go for it and the sauciness and sweet/spicy smell permeating through the house would convince him to eat it.  And it did.  And he liked it.  Go figure.

Now, what I want to know is what is your favorite comfort food?  Leave me a comment, I’d love to try some of your favorite feel-good recipes!  

Here are a few of my personal most comforting recipes on the blog so far…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo

BBQ Deviled Eggs

BBQ Deviled Eggs

Asian Peanut Veggie Dip & May SRC Reveal

Hi friends!  I’m so excited to share this new recipe with you.  It’s fast, easy, and of course so delicious.  This Asian Peanut Dip tastes amazing on slices of cucumber, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and even pita bread.  It’s a great alternative to your typical French Onion or Veggie Soup Mix Dip.

Secret Recipe Club

Before I share the simple directions for the dip, I have to tell you about where I got the recipe!  This awesome recipe is a product of the Secret Recipe Club (the SRC).  For those of you who haven’t had a chance to read my other posts about the SRC, here’s the rundown:

The SRC is an amazing group of bloggers who are paired up with a secret blogging partner every month.  That month, we scour our partner’s blog for new recipes and can pick any single recipe to replicate.  I always have such a hard time deciding on what to make!  We’re even allowed to modify the original recipe according to our dietary restrictions, tastes, and what ingredients we have on hand.  Everyone in the group will make a blog post about the recipe and reveal it to one another on the same day.  So- SURPRISE!  Here we are with May’s reveal.

This month, I had the pleasure of being assigned to blog about Sarah from The Pajama Chef.  Hi Sarah!  I’ve already been following Sarah’s blog for a while and I just love it.  I share her love of peanut butter (I had to choose a recipe with some of that in there!) and now also apparently running… this past Sunday, I ran my very first race- the Broad Street 10 Miler in Philly.  I should maybe correct myself and say I probably don’t love running as much as Sarah, but I’m certainly giving it a whirl for a bit.

Anyway, after taking forever to decide which one of Sarah’s amazing recipes to try… I wanted to give this tasty sounding dip a shot.  (I think I’m making your Fried Chickpeas next week!)

Asian Peanut Veggie Dip

Ingredients:  

1/4 cup Asian Sesame Dressing (I used our fav, Ken’s Light)

1/4 cup Peanut Butter

1/4 cup Honey (I used a little less)

Crushed Red Pepper to taste (I think I did 1t or maybe a bit more)

Directions:

Mix first three ingredients with a whisk until well combined.  Add crushed red pepper and serve with sliced veggies.

Original Recipe from:  The Pajama Chef

4 Simple Ingredients

4 Simple Ingredients

photo 4 (51)

Like I said, this dip is clearly so easy to make.  I loved the consistency; it’s not too watery but not too thick and just the right amount of gloopy from the honey.  MMM!

Keep your eyes open for a post about our Seattle & Vancouver vacation and also about our run weekend!  For now, here’s the latest adorable Stella pic for you .

Appropriate Caption:  "Thanks for letting me finish the rest of your Cherry water ice, Mom!"  ... we had to bathe her after!

Appropriate Caption: “Thanks for letting me finish the rest of your Cherry water ice, Mom!” … we had to bathe her after!

Check out all these other SRC Reveal Recipes… they all look so good!



Wasabi Marinade for Salmon

I kicked Salmon butt last night.  I finally figured out a great way to cook salmon… on my cast iron skillet.

Typically, I bake salmon in the oven or grill it in sauce and foil over on our BBQ… but this salmon was really something special.  I was able to get a nice brown crust on both sides of the salmon and most importantly keep an eye on the status of how well-done it was getting.  No more overcooked, dried out salmon in this house!!

Wasabi Marinade for Salmon

Makes enough marinade for 4 (6oz) Salmon Fillets

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Wasabi Powder 

1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon Dark Sesame Oil 

Pinches of Crushed Red Pepper and Ground Black Pepper

4 (6oz) Fillets of Salmon (skin removed)

Directions:

1.  Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag and mix.  Place two salmon fillets at a time in the marinade bag for about five minutes, flipping the bag halfway through to coat.

2.  Prepare your cast iron skillet (or other heavy non-stick pan) over medium heat.  Make sure it is seasoned or pre-oiled.  The pan should start to sizzle a bit in the middle when it is hot.  Place the two salmon fillets towards the center of the skillet.  Cook both sides for 3-5 mintues, flipping very carefully, trying not to break the salmon fillet or have any stick to your pan.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes and remove from the pan when both the top and bottom of the salmon are light pink and the middle is just a tad bit darker.  (removing the salmon a little early will prevent it from drying out!)  Repeat with the other fillets.

Recipe adapted from:  Cooking Light Dec 2003

I was so excited to have zero sticking problems with my cast iron skillet!  It cooked the salmon perfectly.

I was so excited to have zero sticking problems with my cast iron skillet! It cooked the salmon perfectly.

Delicious!  Great combination.

Delicious! Great combination.

I made all four fillets so Dave and I could have a nice hearty lunch- salmon over a salad on our big workout day.

I made all four fillets so Dave and I could have a nice hearty lunch- salmon over a salad on our big workout day.

Yahoo!  What a great marinade.  The salmon picks up the flavor in the short five minutes it’s soaking it up.  It isn’t overly gingery, wasabi-ish (not spicy at all actually), or even too salty from using the low-sodium soy.  It’s just sorta… well… perfect!

Dave and I ate this for dinner alongside an entire bag of fresh green beans I sauteed up while the salmon was cooking.  It’s nice to be able to make a quick dinner sometimes so I can actually relax!

Take a minute to look at some of these other seafood recipes I have for ya!

Asian Marinated Sea Scallops

Asian Marinated Sea Scallops

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade for Tilapia

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade for Tilapia

Seared Scallops and Shrimp over Creamy Linguine

Seared Scallops and Shrimp over Creamy Linguine