Monday, July 23, 2012

Sesame Chicken and Noodles in Mushroom Broth

Here is a recipe from the latest issue of cooking light. I have not tried a recipe like this in the past but I think this came out great for a healthier version of a noodle bowl. The broth was really flavorful and it was a nice change from the usual dinner recipes. I changed a few things to make the recipe gluten free. I will post the original recipe along with my substitutions.

This recipe results in only a small amount of broth. I might double the broth recipe next time. It's always good leftover. Enjoy!

Sesame Chicken and Noodles in Mushroom Broth
Serves 4

4 shiitake mushrooms
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (I used gluten free soy sauce)
2 tsp fish sauce
2 garlic cloves-crushed (I left this out)
1 (2 inch) piece of fresh ginger, sliced
1 serrano or jalopeno chili-thinly sliced
1 quart water
2 cups uncooked fresh Chinese noodles (I substituted rice noodles)
1 lb thin chicken cutlets
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds (white or black)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 lime-cut into 8 wedges

1. Remove mushroom stems, Thinly slice caps; set aside. Bring stems, broth, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and chili pepper to a boil in a saucepan. Remove pan from heat.

2. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles; and cook according to package instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.

3. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and sesame seeds. Press seeds into both sides of the chicken. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with the sesame oil. Add chicken, cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan.

4. Add in bok choy, cut side down; cook 3 minutes until browned. Add reserved mushroom slices and bell pepper. Cook until softened; about 3 minutes. Strain broth mixture into pan; cover and cook 2 minutes. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon.

5. Thinly slice chicken. Place 1/2 cup noodles, 1/4 cup vegetables and 4 oz chicken into 4 shallow bowls. Spoon 1/4 cup broth mixture over each and garnish with lime wedges.

I bowl has 338 calories, 9.2 grams of fat and 34 grams of protein, 4.2 gram fiber

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Three Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids

I read an article today in Healthy Ideas 2012, about healthy and fun breakfast ideas for kids and I would like to share them with you. A lot of the information in the article about creating a healthy breakfast is repetitive if you are at all familiar with healthy eating tips. No high sugar cereals or processed foods which elevate blood sugar levels. Stick with whole wheat and oatmeal to help children retain information they are learning at school. Always add in fresh fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy.

Here are three fun and healthy recipe that put all the information to use.

Breakfast Burrito: Scrambled eggs or egg whites with spinach, cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Serve with a mild salsa.

PB and J Oatmeal: Top cooked oats with a tablespoon each of almond or peanut butter and all-fruit spread.

My personal favorite....

Banana Dog: Place 1 banana in a toasted whole wheat hot dog bun. Top with tablespoon of almond butter and strawberry or apple slices

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Light" Egg Salad

I am a recent fan of egg salad. I never ate it in the past because I do not enjoy any form of mayonnaise. Now that I can make this salad with the healthier, tangier greek yogurt, it has become one of my lunch options. My favorite way to eat egg salad is on toast (gluten free bread for me) with crisp lettuce and possibly a sliced tomato. The vegetables in the salad give great crunchy texture but do not over power the flavor at all.

You can easily make this chicken salad instead of egg salad. Replace the hard boiled eggs with cooked chicken breast cut into a small dice.

"Lighter" egg salad
4 servings

7 eggs
1 celery stalk-small dice
1 carrot-small dice
4 radishes-small dice
6 oz non-fat greek yogurt
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place 7 eggs in a pot and fill with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, cover pot, remove from heat and let stand 14 minutes (set a timer). Once the 14 minutes are up, drain the water and cover eggs with cold water. Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool eggs down. Crack the eggs, remove shells and dice the egg white and yolks. (You can rinse the egg without the shell under cold water to make sure all shell has been removes) Place chopped egg in a bowl.

2. Add in diced carrots, diced celery and diced radishes.

3. Mix together the Greek yogurt, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Add to the egg/vegetable mixture and mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Feeding Baby: Guidelines to suggested serving sizes

Here is a chart from the Oregon Dairy Council that shows the suggested servings sizes and guidelines for feeding your little one. As they mention, each baby is different and may eat more or less than the suggestions. There have been times when I have wondered if Layla is getting the appropriate amount of each food group and this chart is very helpful.

Feeding Baby: Guidelines to portion sizes

The only difference I might make would be to replace the serving size of fruit juice with whole fruits or water. Luckily for me, Layla loves to drink water from her sippy cup. Which bring me to my next recommendation. I am only speaking from my experience with Layla, but she seems to drink best from a sippy cup with a straw.

Throughout the last few months, I have found myself googling samples of babies feeding and sleeping schedules just to compare to what Layla is doing. Here is a sample of her schedule at 10 months of age:

6:00am- wakes up and breast feeds
8:00am- breakfast: (ex.) 1/4 cup of oatmeal (quick cooking oats) with whole milk and 1/2 to 1 whole banana
9:30am- Nap for 45 minutes
11:30am- Lunch: (ex.) grilled cheese with whole wheat bread and water.
1:00pm-3:00pm- Naptime
3:00pm: Snack: 1 peach diced, 1/2 diced avocado or hard boiled egg yolks
6:00 pm: Dinner (she eats whatever Tom and I are eating)
7:30pm - Bed

The last few days she has not been napping in the afternoon very long. It might be time to drop the morning nap and stick with one longer nap in the afternoon. We'll see how it goes...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Green Rice

This is as healthy of a side dish as your going to find. I'll admit sometimes something this green with a title "healthy" does not always sound like the best tasting food, but in this case its both nutritious and very tasty. You can combine spinach and any leafy herbs to satisfy your palate.

This dish is packed FULL of all things good for you. Brown rice provides fiber, a good source of Manganese and Selenium and can help lower cholestrol. Spinach is also high in fiber, iron, Manganese, Folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin A and the list goes on and on.

This side comes together in no time and compliments many different dishes. I added in some cilantro and served it with mexican spiced fish. You can add whatever leafy herbs you enjoy. Try adding in basil and parsely to compliment an Italian style meal.

Green Rice
Serves 4

2 cups cooked brown rice (Cook the rice in vegetable or chicken stock for added flavor)
1 (6oz) package of fresh baby spinach
1 handful of fresh basil
2-4 tbsp of cilantro or pasley
Salt and pepper-to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Prepare the rice according to instructions on box using, salted water, chicken or vegetable stock.

2. White the rice is cooking, in a food processor, add in spinach, basil and any other herbs. Pulse until finely chopped (into almost a paste).

3. When the rice is done cooking, strain any liquid and place rice into a serving bowl. Mix in spinach/herb mixture. Season rice with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the rice mixture and stir until combine. Serve warm. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Make your own pop tarts at home. This recipe can be quick and easy with a store bought pie crust. However, if want to try to make the pop tarts from scratch try the recipe below. I decided to leave off the glaze, a request from my husband who was going to eat them all anyways, but I have included the recipe for the glaze below.

Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes 8

1 recipe for crust (below)
1 egg-lightly beaten
1 cup raspberry jam

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Press each half into a rectangle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half into 14-by-11 inch rectangle. Using a paring knife, lightly score one rectangle into eight 3 1/2-by5 1/2 inch rectangles (about the size of index card)

3. Brush the top surface of the second rectangle with egg. Spoon 2 tbsp of jam in a mound in the center of each scored rectangle. Lay the second large dough rectangle directly on top of the first. Using fingertips, carefully press down all around each jam mound, so the pastry sheets adhere together.

4. Using a knife or pizza roller, and following the scored lines , cut the layered dough into 8 rectangles. Place each on a baking sheet, well spaced apart.

5. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until tops are evenly golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet or wire rack for 30 minutes.

6. To make glaze: While pastries are cooling whisk together sugar, vanilla and enough water to make a smooth pourable glaze. (Glaze can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container at room temp. for 1 week)

7. When the pastries are cooled for 30 minutes, brush the tops evenly with glaze. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving to allow glaze to set.  (Pop-tarts can be stored in an air-tight container at room temp. for 2 days.)

***To make a cinnamon glaze: whisk together 1 cup of confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp water and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pork and Tomato Skillet Saute

I really love getting magazines in the mail, my favorite being Cooking Light. I find the recipes to be interesting and they always come out delicious. They have a 20 minute cooking section of the magazine and that is where I found this recipe. It came together in no time and always a plus, it only uses one pan...another one to keep in my records. It also looked really pretty on the plate and was full of healthy tomatoes and caramelized shallots. The key to the success of this recipe is not over cooking the pork.

Pork and Tomato Skillet Saute (Recipe from cooking light)
Serves 4

4 tsp olive oil; divided
4 (6-8 oz) bone-in pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1.2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 shallots-thinly sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp mined garlic
2 cups grape tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tsp oil to coat the pan. Sprinkle chops with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Add pork to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan and let rest.

2. Add in remaining 1 tbsp of oil, shallots, vinegar and garlic to pan; saute 1 minutes scraping off any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add in tomatoes and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes until soft. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

(I used pork chops that were a bit thicker so I removed them from the pan and placed them in a 375 degree oven to finish cooking while I made the sauce) I cooked the sauce a little longer to caramelize the onions a little more. Make sure to let the pork rest 5 minutes before cutting into it)