Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pork and Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry

menumusings.com

A couple of years ago, I lost a few pounds.  It's irrelevant how many, how or why.  The point is, apparently they've been out there searching for me all this time.  Guess what?  All of a sudden, someone ratted me out and they've found me.  :/  Ughhh!  Sure, I could speculate about the calendar, my time, my stress levels, my age, etc.  But it sure won't change anything.   That's not to say I won't still make desserts and things my kids love; but if I want to feel more comfortable in my skin, it's time to buckle down and get a little more serious about eating better.  Anyone else out there feeling the same way?  

"Eating better" and having picky kids in the house is definitely a challenge shared by gazillions of parents out there.  I can feel you rolling your eyes.  That's why I'm so excited about this recipe (which I found while browsing through a Diabetes magazine).  We've made this a few times now, and my "I can NOT manage to choke down broccoli" child has loved it.  Okay, so he didn't eat the florets, but he DID find out that he was really cool with the carrot and broccoli noodles... and that was a HUGE step forward for us!  And without having actual pasta noodles in the dish, it's much lower in carbs than a "real" noodle stir fry.   *Before y'all get all excited and start messaging me, I do NOT have diabetes.  But the magazines are a wealth of information on excellent low carb recipes!  


Ingredients: (4-6 servings)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • you can opt for the reduced sodium version here
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • or sub sriracha sauce 
  • 2 large heads broccoli with the stems
    • choose the longest stems you can find
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tsp garlic paste
    • or 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced fine 
  • 4 green onions
    • cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1- 1.25 lb lean boneless pork
    • cut into thin, bite-sized strips
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts (optional*)


Step-by-Step:
Step 1.  Let's Prep.
Prep the vegetable noodles first.  Peel the carrots first, and then using the same vegetable peeler, apply deep pressure to make these beautiful carrot ribbon noodles.  
Cut the florets from the broccoli as close as you can to the top, then peel the tough outer skin from the stem.  It's quite fibrous, so get it all.  I'm sure there are many ways to make the broccoli ribbon noodles, but we found that it was convenient to use either....  the vegetable peeler.....
or the mandoline set to the middle setting.  If you opt for the mandoline, please be aware that this is NOT a good job for the children.  This is an extremely sharp device.  But it does make the job easier and most uniform. 
So here is our pile of vegetable ribbon "noodles."  All ready to go.  
Step 2.  Let's make the sauce.  
Just dump it all together and mix it up. 
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) soy sauce

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 1/2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Step 3.  Lets Stir Fry!
To your wok (or pan of choice), add vegetable oil over medium to medium high heat.
Add garlic paste (or minced garlic) and stir just until fragrant but do not allow to burn.
2-3 tsp garlic paste (or 2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced)
Quickly add broccoli florets.  My strategy was to add the longest cooking vegetables first.  But even these do not take long.  I only cooked them for a couple of minutes.  *You may need to add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.  
a couple cups broccoli florets
After a couple of minutes, add in those gorgeous carrot ribbons. 
After another minute, you can add the broccoli "noodles."  The carrots and broccoli only need to cook a few minutes and they will be tender crisp.  You don't want to over cook them, or they will be mushy and lose all their texture and color.  
Remove the vegetables to a dish.
Add in the pork strips to the wok.  Allow it to get a little sear and color on all the sides first.
Then, stir fry the pork with the sauce that we made at the beginning.  
Finally, add the vegetables back into the wok.
At the end, add in the 1-inch pieces of green onion and snow peas.  They only require about two minutes to be done.  
Finish the dish with a sprinkle of chopped, roasted peanuts (which I inconveniently forgot to add for the photo).  Sorry folks.  :( 

menumusings.com
This is super yummy... AND healthy!!!!  Give it a shot.

Written Method:
Step 1.  Let's Prep.
  • Prep the vegetable noodles first.  Peel the carrots first, and then using the same vegetable peeler, apply deep pressure to make these beautiful carrot ribbon noodles.  
  • Cut the florets from the broccoli as close as you can to the top, then peel the tough outer skin from the stem.  It's quite fibrous, so get it all.  I'm sure there are many ways to make the broccoli ribbon noodles, but we found that it was convenient to use either....  the vegetable peeler.....or the mandoline set to the middle setting.  If you opt for the mandoline, please be aware that this is NOT a good job for the children.  This is an extremely sharp device.  But it does make the job easier and most uniform. 

Step 2.  Let's make the sauce.  
  • Just dump it all together and mix it up. 

Step 3.  Lets Stir Fry!
  • To your wok (or pan of choice), add vegetable oil over medium to medium high heat.
  • Add garlic paste (or minced garlic) and stir just until fragrant but do not allow to burn.
  • Quickly add broccoli florets.  We want to add the longest cooking vegetables first.  But even these do not take long.  Only cook these for a couple of minutes.  *You may need to add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.  
  • After a couple of minutes, add in those gorgeous carrot ribbons. 
  • After another minute, you can add the broccoli "noodles."  The carrots and broccoli only need to cook a few minutes and they will be tender crisp.  You don't want to over cook them, or they will be mushy and lose all their texture and color.  
  • Remove the vegetables to a dish.
  • Add in the pork strips to the wok.  Allow it to get a little sear and color on all the sides first.
  • Then, stir fry the pork with the sauce that we made at the beginning.  
  • Finally, add the vegetables back into the wok.
  • At the end, add in the 1-inch pieces of green onion and snow peas.  They only require about two minutes to be done.  
  • Finish the dish with a sprinkle of chopped, roasted peanuts 
Here are some healthy bonus recipes:
Classic Cobb Salad

Oatmeal Banana Smoothies

Cranberry Cherry Chicken Wrap

Thai Chicken Salad Cones/Wraps

Grilled Chicken Southwestern Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Marinated Seared Tuna Steaks

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Strawberries Romanoff

The strawberries are coming!  The strawberries are coming!!!  There are SO many awesome things about spring approaching, and this happens to be one of them!  I bet if you close your eyes and think about it, you can smell that magical sweet smell.  One of my favorite memories of strawberries is going to la Madeleine French bakery and cafe with my mom and having Strawberries Romanoff for dessert.  Mmmm.  

The story I've been told, it that this la Madeleine favorite can be traced back to a 1950s Hollywood restaurant called Romanoff's on Rodeo Drive.  Credit for the original recipe goes to a famous and influential French chef, Auguste Escoffier.  Lord have mercy, this stuff is AMAZING!  You probably have the ingredients at your house already, and this is absolutely perfect for a special brunch parfait, light dinner dessert, etc.  


Ingredients:  (4 servings)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (or cognac)
    • substitute high quality vanilla if you prefer to not use alcohol
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries
You can make this sauce in about 5 minutes! 

Step-by-Step:
Mix sour cream, brown sugar, and brandy.
1/2 cup sour cream

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp brandy (or cognac)


In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken.  Then add sugar and whip until thick.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


3 Tbsp sugar

 Fold cream into the sour cream mixture and blend well.

Serve with fresh strawberries.  We also garnished with a sprig of mint and a little orange zest; however this is quite optional.

Written Method:
  • Mix sour cream, brown sugar, and brandy.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken.  Then add sugar and whip until thick.
  • Fold cream into the sour cream mixture and blend well.
  • Serve with fresh strawberries.  We also garnished with a sprig of mint and a little orange zest; however this is quite optional.
Bonus Recipes:
Here are some other recipes I thought you might enjoy today!




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dreamsicle Mimosas

menumusings.com
So I saw this on a friend's social media page and immediately said, "I've got to steal this!"  I don't have a clue where the original came from, because as it turns out, when I started looking them up, there were gazoodles of recipes for this drink.  Some had actual recipes, others just had lists of ingredients with proportions to be left up to the user.  Either way, this was going in one (or two) of my glasses... soon!  Also, I felt it needed just a little tweak of something special.  I tend to do that with recipes.  But that may just be part of enjoying playing-with-your-food-syndrome.

The result is indeed creamy and dreamy!  I have a lot of friends who aren't that big on champagne or prosecco.  It's just not their thing.  This creamy version feels so much more round and "soft" on the palate - somewhere between "Cheers!" and "dessert."  Hey... what can I say?!  Something for everyone.  The before your meal crowd and the after your meal crowd.  Ha!  And the thing I really love, is that so many cocktails can be SO complicated, but this one is super simple to throw together. Try it!  You'll like it!  :) 

Ingredients: (for 2 mimosas)
  • Granulated sugar (the regular kind)
    • for rimming glass
  • An orange 
    • for garnish and rimming glass
  • Vanilla bean ice cream 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • prosecco (or champagne)

Step-by-Step:
Mix together 1/2 cup orange juice and 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream.
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp whipping cream


Rub the rim of 2 champagne flutes with the cut side of an orange.  (This will make the rim of the glass super yummy.  Trust me on this.)
Dip the orange'y wet glass into granulated sugar.
Add two small scoops of good quality vanilla bean ice cream to each champagne flute.  I used a cookie scoop to do this.  Each scoop is probably about 1/2 oz.  This is a magical combination that will give it an extra creamy taste with that hint of vanilla as it melts.  Yumm!
Add the orange juice/cream mixture to cover the ice cream.  The ice cream will likely pop up and start floating.  
Add prosecco/champagne to the top of each flute.
Cut a slice of orange in half, then slice each half up the middle almost to the rind to garnish each glass.
Enjoy !!!  (responsibly please)

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