Yum-tastic Chicken Stir Fry

This chicken is melt in your mouth tender and juicy! Yum. Yum. Yum.

Stir-Fry Sauce:
1/4 cup Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts , patted dry with paper towels, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch squares
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (we used regular sesame oil)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (we omitted this, cause we forgot)
1 medium clove garlic, minced (obviously we used like 4x as much)
8 teaspoons peanut oil or vegetable oil (if you have non-stick pans, you can get away with much less oil)
1 small head bok choy , stalks sliced on the bias into 1/4-inch slices, and greens cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips

Start some rice or rice noodles or whatever aisan carb you desire.
For the sauce: whisk together the sauce ingredients; set aside.
For the chicken and vegetables: Toss the chicken with the soy sauce and sherry; set aside, marinate for about 30 min. or so. In a large bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, cornstarch, and flour; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, and 1 teaspoon peanut oil; set aside.
Stir the marinated chicken into the sesame oil-cornstarch mixture until uniformly combined. Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking; add half of the chicken to the skillet in a flat, even layer. It's important to cook it only half at a time, otherwise it steams, it doesn't fry nicely. Cook, without stirring, but gently separating the pieces, until golden brown on the first side, about 1 minute; turn the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 30 seconds. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Repeat with an additional 2 teaspoons peanut oil and the remaining chicken; cover to keep warm.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the now-empty skillet and return to high heat until just smoking. Add the bok choy stalks and red bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet to clear the center; add the garlic-ginger mixture to the clearing and cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the stalks and continue to cook until the stalks are tender-crisp, about 30 seconds longer. Stir in the bok choy greens and cook until beginning to wilt, about 30 seconds.
Return the chicken to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet and cook, tossing constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Serves 4


Here is a little something interesting I read recently.
"When scientists in a laboratory want to clutivate a few germs in a dish, what do they put in to aid growth ? Yes, you've guess it - sugar. Germs just love it - all the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, stomach upsets, meningitis and more have a particular fondness for sugar. And so does yeast. We all have yeast present in our bodies and generally it does no harm, but as soon as it is fed with an excess of sugar, it produces a toxin that can be detrimental to our health, particularly to our reproductive, nervous and digestive systems."
Quote Taken From Food Buster for Kids by Amanda Cross

Peach crumble

The addition of a surprising amount of lemon juice perks this up wonderfully.

-8 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (I used drained canned peaches, they were a little soft but tasted fine; I will try this again with fresh ones)
-juice of one lemon
-1/2t ground cinnamon
-1/4t ground nutmeg
-1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
-1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
-2T cold butter cut into small chunks
-1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly spray a 9" pie pan with cooking spray.

Arrange the peaches in the pan, sprinkle with lemon juice and spices.

In a small bowl, mix together flour and brown sugar. With your fingers, crumble the butter into it (it's OK to leave the butter a bit chunky). Stir in the oats. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the peaches.

Bake till the juice is bubbly, the peaches soft and topping browned, about 30 minutes. Makes 8 smallish servings.

If you double this recipe, bake it in a 9x13 pan, and bake for 45 or so minutes.

Pasta with mixed mushrooms

Here is a simple recipe using my new flavor of wonderfulness--lemon! It adds a freshness and zip that keeps your mouth happy.

-2T olive oil
-garlic to taste--we use 8 cloves
-10 oz baby bela mushroom caps, sliced thick (1/4" or so)
-8 0z regular white mushrooms, sliced the same thickness as above
-zest of one lemon (use a fine grater if you don't have a zester, being careful to only grate the yellow part)
-juice of the same lemon
-salt and pepper to taste
-8oz whole wheat long pasta of some sort (we used thin spaghetti)
-1/2 to 3/4 cup of the hot water you cooked the pasta in (I'm adding this as an ingredient so you don't pour it down the sink (like I did the first time!) when you drain the pasta!)
-1cup freshly grated romano cheese (parmesan is fine, too)
-1/2 cup fresh basil chopped (the fresh adds a ton of flavor, use fresh if at all possible)

Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Do the veggie prep while the water is heating.

Throw the pasta in the water to cook.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then saute the garlic till it smells yummy but hasn't turned brown. Add the mushrooms and cook on medium high till they are tender and lightly browned (4 or 5 minutes). Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When the pasta is al dente, catch the reserved water you need and drain the rest of the pasta. Throw the pasta into the frying pan with the cheese, basil (reserve some for a garnish if you want), as much of the reserved pasta water as you need to make everything coat everything nicely, toss it around till all is well coated, serve right away.

Blueberry Banana Bliss

Ok ... want to satisfy your sweet tooth in an ice cream sort of way, but without all the fat and sugar ?? Here's a neat dessert I learned about a while ago but had forgotten until tonight when we were having a discussion with Jono ( our walking encyclopedia ! ) about healthy vs. not healthy food !
If you are like me, you'll already have an over ripe banana or two in your freezer. If not, you can freeze one. So, take the bananas out of the freezer about 20 mintues before you want to make your dessert. Peel and put in food processor with 2 tsp vanilla essence, and a pinch of cinnamon. Process 'til creamy. Don't process too long or it becomes quite "airy". Dish into bowl, top with frozen blueberries and pure maple syrup (optional). I've seen a recipe that topped it with walnuts too ...
I used 4 bananas for the 4 of us tonight and it was WAY TOO MUCH ! I think 2 would have been sufficient !

Roast Veggies a la Bonnie

Roast veggies, this a something I've learned to do since I've been in Australia. I made this one the other night just as a side dish and it was SOOOOO GOOD !! And E-A-S-Y ! All I did was chop up asparagus, pumpkin (butternut squash or sweetpotato are good too), red bell pepper, and spring onions into bite sized pieces. Added the cherry tomatoes Alia picked from our garden the other day. Sprinkled with my "pizza mix" that I keep in jar since we make pizza so often. (it's just garlic powder, basil, parsley and oregano) Sprayed with olive oil spray and put into a hot ( 220C - 430F ) oven. Make sure you use some baking paper on the bottom of the baking dish so they don't stick !! I think I baked them about 10/15 minutes ... til tender. Then I served (straight from the oven) on a bed of fresh spinach, topped with crumbled fetta cheese and kalamata olives. FANTASTIC !! LIGHT !! NUTRITIOUS !! DELICIOUS !!

My Photo of Aunt Jo's Beans

A couple of nights ago, I made Mexican Beans and Rice for dinner ! They were delicious ... but sooooo spicy ! I have to ask, Aunt Jo, is there really supposed to be 1 TABLESPOON of chilli powder in it ? Good thing we had sour cream in the fridge to cool our mouths ... ! As you can see, I also topped mine with a sharp cheddar cheese and avocado. VERY TASTY ! and so easy to make ! Loved it and will definitely make it again, maybe with a bit less chilli powder next time !

Couscous with Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms

I have an intense love affair with couscous. And this is very yummy. If you aren't full at the end of the meal, drink a little water and you will be!

1 T olive oil
12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced (obviously we put in about half a bulb...one clove! HA)
1- 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach (or 1 1/2 cups firmly pressed fresh)
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T dry white wine or lemon juice (I think we use lemon juice since we never have dry white wine on hand)
1 package couscous (about 1 1/2 cups, if you don't use a flavored kind, substitute chicken broth for the water)
Grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat oil, add chicken, onion and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
Stir in spinach, water, mushrooms, wine and bring to a boil.
Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff couscous lightly with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings (300 calories per serving)

Lentils for Lunch

This was a very acceptable way to eat lentils !
The original recipe was from a Woolworths Fresh Magazine and was called Lentil Wraps. I modified it and I'm going to post my modified version.
3 slices multi grain bread, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
2 X 400g cans of lentils, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 tbls multigrain flour (or whatever flour you have on hand)
Lebanese or lavash bread, to serve
(The original recipe also called for hummus and tabouli to serve, I used neither.)
  1. Process bread in a food processor until breadcrumbs form. Put one cup of breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over med heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, cumin and turmeric and stir until well combined. Cook for 1 minute. Cool.
  3. Add lentils, coriander and onion mixture to food processor. Process til well combined. Transfer to bowl with breadcrumbs. Add egg and flour and stir until combined. Original recipe said to make 16 small patties and fry them. I just dumped the whole mixture into a med hot fry pan and cooked, turning often, til it was a bit crispy ... but not too much so.
  4. If you are using the hummus, spread it on your your bread and top with tabouli and 4 lentil patties ( if you did the patties ! ) I put sliced tomatoes, fresh baby spinach and sliced red bell pepper on mine, topped that with the lentil stuff. Roll to enclose filling. Cut in half to serve.
  5. That's where the original recipe stopped. I tried it but the bread was a bit dry ! So ... I got out my handy dandy sandwich press and toated that puppy ! That made all the difference ! I enjoyed this lentil lunch ! I'll be having leftovers tomorrow ....

My Quinoa Vegetable Soup Photo!

This was the very first time I had ever cooked or eaten quinoa! I have been wanting to try it for a while, and with all the rave reviews of this soup, I just had to try it!
Here's my picture.This soup was super yummy. Very good on a cold Alaska evening! I topped mine with cheese and sour cream because I can't resist either!

My Puttanesca Photo !!

If you haven't tried my Mom's Shrimp Pasta Puttanesca, you need to ! NOW !! I made it last night and it was soooo delicious !! The smell as you cook it is enough to make you want to give everyone else a piece of bread and just sit down with the whole pot !!
I left out the anchovies because when I was chopping them up they had bones in them ! We decided we won't bother with them next time ! AND I used normal tomatoes because I couldn't find anything called Plum Tomato and I had normal ones in the fridge !! Oh, and I sliced, rather than chopped the garlic. I LOVE BIG BITES OF SLICED GARLIC !!
I served it with Asparagus/Spring Onions on a bed of fresh spinach.

Asparagus and stuff ...

This is a really yummy dish that I adapted from one Shay made while I was visiting her in Denver !
I just chop up a couple of bunchs of asparagus, and some spring onions. I line a baking dish with non-stick baking paper and just spray a bit of olive oil on top of the veggies before putting them in a hot oven. ( or you can do in the broiler but I find they are more tender done in the oven ) I just watch them but usually it takes about 10/15 minutes for them to be done (tender but not mushy !!). To serve, top with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. I do this to taste, I start by filling half a cap full of each ... it's a subtle flavor, don't go overboard !
1. I have served this on top of sliced grilled red bell peppers ! And topped with avocado !
2. I have served on a bed of fresh baby spinach or rocket (arugula) !
3. I'm going to try sprinkling with fetta cheese one time ...
4. I don't always add the sesame seeds to the top !

Granola Peanut Butter Balls

Granola Peanut Butter Balls


2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 cups granola
2 to 4 tablespoons milk, or as needed

In a large bowl, mix together the honey and peanut butter. Using a spatula, stir in the granola. Add enough milk to just moisten--you want it to stick together. Form into balls. Chill until ready to serve.

Yields: 16 balls

In the picture above, I drizzled a little melted chocolate on the tops. These are so yummy, and nutritious!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

What you need :
500g (1lb) chicken mince (can you buy chicken mince in the States ? If not, just grind some chicken breast in the food processor.)
1 tbls garlic
6 spring onions (scallions), chopped
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbls sesame oil
1 tbls gresh ginger
8 oz can of water chestnuts, drained, chopped ( the water chestnuts, not the can ! )
2 tbls hoisin sauce
3 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls cornstarch
1 oz asian vermicelli rice noodles ( you know, the clear ones ... )
head of iceberg lettuce ( or two depending on size )

How to make it :
Heat oil on med/high heat. Add ginger, garlic, spring onions. Cook for a minute, add chicken. Cook 3 or 4 minutes. Add water chestnuts. In a bowl, mix soy, hoisin, vinegar, cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. After chicken browns, add mixture to pan. Boil and let thicken. Readuce to low and simmer 1 min. Prepare vermicelli rice noodles according to package directions and add at the end. The ones I buy only require you to pour boiling water over them and let set for 5 minutes. These are not essential to the recipe ! You could even leave them out !

How to serve it :
Pull apart lettuce leaves. Put in big bowl and cover with ice water. I put out a big bowl with the chicken mixture, and the bowl of lettuce leaves in the ice water. When ready to eat, scoop a small amount of hot chicken mixture into lettuce leaf. YUM !

Salmon, Brown Rice, and Spinach

This was a YUMMY meal!!!
Rory's Salmon Marinade (adapted)
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons horseradish
1 teaspoon wasabi
2 Tablespoons pressed garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 4-oz Salmon steaks
Thoroughly combine all but salmon in ziplock bag. Add Salmon. Marinate in fridge throughout day.
Place Salmon grill, skin side down (grill on high). Grill exactly 3 minutes, then flip. Grill exactly 3 more minutes then remove and serve.
Reduce the remaining marinade on stove top. Cook enough brown rice for 4 people. Serve marinade over rice to add yummy flavor.
Sesame Stir-Braised Spinach (from BestLife - 8 food you should eat every day)
Heat 4 cloves of minced garlic (we added more...of course! and left the garlic in larger minced pieces) and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in skillet. Add 2 Tablespoons water and bag of fresh baby spinach. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain. Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds.

Shrimp Pasta Puttanesca

Well, I've set myself up as a blogger and this is officially my first post EVER! We'll see if it really sends! My inaugural recipe is for the dinner I cooked while being filmed as my entry into Rachel Ray's cooking contest. It's simple yet elegant and above all, very, very tasty!

INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)
6T olive oil
8 (or more if you like) cloves of garlic, chopped (not too small)
8 boned anchovy fillets, chopped
2T capers
16 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
8 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced about 1/4" thick
1/2t pepper (or to taste)
8 oz shrimp, peeled
1T each fresh Italian parsley and basil, rough chopped
8 oz long pasta (I use whole wheat thin spaghetti or cappelini (which is just a little thinner)

--Put the pasta water on to boil.
--Saute the garlic in the oil till it's soft and starting to turn a little brown, then stir in the anchovies and then the capers. When they smell amazing, hold onto your hat and stir in the olives. When they are warmed through (and you have come back to your senses from the perfume), add the tomato slices and the pepper. Bring to the boiling point and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring a few times gently to cook evenly but not break the tomatoes.
--After the 15 minutes you should have a lovely saucy juice in the pan. Gently place the shrimp into the sauce and gently cover them with the tomatoes so they can heat through. (They will be cooked when the pasta is done.) At the last minute stir in the parsley and basil.
--Put the pasta in the boiling water to cook. When it's done to a perfect al dente, drain it and divide it into portions on 4 plates. Spoon 1/4 of the sauce onto each lovely pile of pasta.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup


Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium rib celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned
1/4 cup canned green chiles
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can posole drained (also called hominy) or frozen corn kernels
4 canned whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cooked skinless shredded chicken breast (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the green chiles, posole, tomatoes, and oregano and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pull the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chicken, cilantro leaves, and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information per serving Calories 250 Fat 11 grams Carbohydrates 25 grams Fiber 5 grams Protein 16

Lentils & Veggies of the Stir Fried Variety

We had this for dinner last night. I loved it. Rory liked the flavor but isn't big on lentils. I told him we are going to acquire him a taste for them ! It was too spicy for the kids.
Serves 4
1 tbls sesame seeds
1 carrot, sliced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
handful trimmed snow peas
Oil ( I used Olive)
1/2 a red bell pepper
1 tbls finely chopped garlic
1 tbls chopped peeled ginger
1/4 stp crushed chilli flakes
can of lentil ( brown or green )
3 or 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
3 tbls soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Dry toast the sesame seeds and set aside.
Steam the carrots, broccoli, zucchini and snow peas for 5 minutes. Still want them crisp but tender. Pour into strainer and rinse with cool water so they stop cooking.
Heat oil in fry pan (med-high heat) add red peppers. Cook for a couple minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chilli flaskes. Cook briefly ... add steamed veggies, lentils, soy and sesame oil. Cook and stir for 3 or 4 minutes til heated through.
I served on brown rice. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

Quinoa with Spinach and Mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup white wine
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white wine (we used a sweet wine...i suppose dry would be fine as well)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (we use dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 ounce) bag washed spinach leaves (this is way too much, we just throw in a handfull or 3)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (we used feta once and it was just as good...and keeps longer in the fridge)

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa until well blended.
Pour in 1/2 cup white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed by the quinoa, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Pour in 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 cup chicken stock, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
Once the quinoa has cooked, stir in the mushroom mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove quinoa from the heat and stir in spinach leaves, which will wilt. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

This is yummy and way more filling that you'd think! Plus, Aunt Kathy sent me an article telling about how spinach is pretty much the perfect man-food. So if you have a man, feed him some of this... =)

Eggplant Parmesan

I am not and original cook. Most of the recipes I will be sharing, either came from a book or http://www.foodnetwork.com/. :o)
Thank you Bonnie for the invite! I can't wait to try all this great food!
Here's my first contribution. Sorry no picture. Next time I make it I will be sure to snap a photo, and edit this post.

Eggplant Parmesan
Recipe courtesy Juan-Carlos Cruz - http://www.foodnetwork.com/

1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 6 (1/2-inch) rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed and then minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
2 (15-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place bread crumbs on a shallow plate. Pour egg substitute onto another shallow plate. Place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. Take a round of eggplant, dip it into the egg substitute until fully covered, and then drag through the bread crumbs until completely coated; transfer to a wire rack. Repeat for each round of eggplant and then bake in oven for 15 minutes.

While eggplant is baking, heat olive oil in a 5-quart nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stir to incorporate. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to blend completely. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the basil, and remove from heat.

Remove eggplant from oven and leave oven at 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a medium-sized casserole dish (about 13 by 11 inches) with the eggplant rounds. Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant. Top with the cheeses. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is soft and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis per servingCalories 245
Fat 10 gramsSaturated Fat 4 grams
Carbohydrates 26 gramsFiber 5 grams