Friday, January 31, 2014

Egg Foo Yong

Gong Hoi Fa Choy! 
 
Gong Hoi Fa Choy! ...Or there abouts! It is the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Horse. Slave is very sorry about being so late with this. Hadn’t thought about it, but Master Indy said to go ahead. It might prompt someone to get out the wok and do some cooking. Sad to say that slave's wok must have taken its own walk out of here, because it is nowhere to be found.
Slave loves Chinese food and if given the chance will go out to eat Chinese at least once a month. Just to keep in chop stick practice. However much of Chinese cooking has eluded its training.
This Egg Foo Yong is a simple to fix dish and most of the ingredients are in the pantry.

 
Ingredients:
2 Tbs vegetable oil, plus more for frying
6
oz white mushrooms, washed, trimmed and sliced
1½ t
sp. sugar, divided
1
C. low sodium chicken broth
3½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1
½ Tbs. cornstarch
½ medium onion, thinly sliced
6
oz Canadian bacon, diced
½
C. frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1 sm can bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
6 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil, optional
Directions:
Get all of your cutting done first. 


 
Heat 1 tbs vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry the mushrooms and ½ teaspoon sugar till they turn a nice golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and 2 tsp. soy sauce. Mix the cornstarch with ¼c. cold water, this is your slurry; stir the mushroom mixture as you add the slurry a tiny bit at a time. Then let boil until it thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Then set aside.

































In another skillet heat 1 tbs vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and a second teaspoon sugar. Stir and cook until they soften, 4 minutes.

Add the bacon and cook 3 minutes more.

Add the peas, half of the scallions, the bamboo shoots and the remaining 1½ teaspoons soy sauce; cook two more minutes.

Line a plate with two layers of paper towels and spread this mixture on that to cool for about 3 – 4 minutes.

Transfer to large bowl and whisk in the already beaten eggs.
Wipe out
your skillet. Return to medium-high heat and add ¼ inch of vegetable oil. You want this because it will allow the egg mixture to puff up. When the oil is hot, scoop out some of the egg mix with a large dipper and ease it into the oil. Cook until puffy, NOTE this will cook very fast, keep an eye on it. Some cookbooks say to let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes but if you do, you will get a dark brown omelet. That is not what this dish is all about! Carefully flip this over and let cook even less time, keep checking it. 

 
When it is solid transfer to a platter and do the next. You should end up with about 4 servings. Drain each on paper towels. You can add sesame oil to the mushroom gravy if you wish. Serve on the side for your guests to pour over the omelets. Also a small dish with the remaining scallions for them to add if they wish.


 
Just a note: while most of the ingredients are in your pantry, since it was the end of the month, slave found a trip to the store was called for.
It was packed! Now remember slave had been focused on this dish, and all it could think was: “Gee, I didn't know that many celebrated Chinese New Year!”
Of course then it hit slave that not only was tomorrow the Super Bowl, we had an ice storm barreling down on us this evening! DUH!

Hope Master Indy gets a good laugh out of it!

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F315Y4I/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_vAT4sb0934RTM via @amazon



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quinoa Meatloaf!


Queerly Wonderful Quinoa Meatloaf

Slave thought you might like a break from all the cooked tomatoes so lets go for a not-so traditional meatloaf!


Ingredients:
¾ lbs of lean ground chuck
½ lbs turkey sausage
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup minced celery
¼ cup of egg substitute (like egg beaters) or one egg
½ cup un-cooked quinoa
1 cup low salt beef broth
5 oz container of non-fat plain Greek style yogurt
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce (low sodium)
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Ketchup
If you happen to have any carrot left over, try grating in approx ¼ cup.

Mix beef broth with quinoa and bring to a boil for 5 minutes: cover and let sit off of heat for 15 minutes. You want all of the fluid to be absorbed.
Fluff with fork. You want this to cool before adding to the meat. Cooked it will be more like a full cup. Slave dumps this onto a paper plate to aid in cooling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil and spray it. With a short wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients (except the ketchup) just until blended. Do NOT over mix!
















 












Slave always mixes the sauce into the yogurt cup so that it is easier to add. Also since the turkey sausage can come out like a kind of mush, dump that into the large bowl first, add onion & celery and mix that well with the spoon, it can take mixing much better than after you add the ground beef.

Shape into a log and place it diagonally in the pan. This leaves room for grease to come out and not be trapped in the loaf!




 

Always finish the loaf with ketchup and/or mustard drizzled on the top and smeared around with your hand so that it will make a crust as it bakes.

Bake for 50 minutes or until meat has reached 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and cover with foil.


Let the meat rest for 4 – 7 minutes, it will continue to cook! This step also helps ensure that it will hold together as a loaf.

Slave makes a gravy with the other cup of beef broth (the can holds about 2 cups) Home mashes three red potatoes and serves with a microwaved green vegetable. Amazingly great taste without most of the calories found in traditional meatloaf.


Hope you enjoy. Now while that is cooking check this out:



This slave predicts that the Next Food Trend will be TEFF!

 
Food Trends: You will be hearing a lot about this ancient grain from Ethiopia. It's the next “super grain” - after quinoa.
This is showing up now in health-food shops & specialty markets, but will soon be everywhere.
Teff is very high in calcium, thiamin, protein, and is gluten-free. It can be used in most baking for all or part of the wheat flour. Teff will not work well on its own in baking that depends on gluten for its structure (such as yeast-risen bread).
A cup of cooked teff offers 387mg of calcium, about the same as in a half-cup of cooked spinach: that's 40% of the U.S. recommended daily allowance. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, not commonly found in grains.



Since teff is too small to process, it is always eaten in its whole form.
This grain is high in “resistant starch”, a newly-discovered type of dietary fiber that can benefit blood-sugar management, weight control, and colon health. It’s estimated that 20-40% of the carbohydrates in teff are resistant starches. It is a very suitable grain for celiacs or people with wheat sensitivities. Many of Ethiopia’s famed long-distance runners attribute their energy and health to teff.


 

Cooking Teff

White teff has a chestnut-like flavor while darker varieties are more earthy in flavor with a slight hazelnut taste.
The properties are different than wheat flour (no gluten) so start off by substituting about 25% of the wheat flour in a recipe with teff flour.
It can also be used as a thickener in soups, gravies and stews.

For A Breakfast Ceral: Place ½ cup teff grains, 2 cups water, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove it from the heat and let it stand for about five minutes. Season with butter, salt and herbs or a sweetener such as maple syrup.

For a Topping: Boil 1 cup of teff in 1 cup of water for 6-7 minutes, then let it stand covered for five minutes. This will give you a grain that's like poppy seeds: great for sprinkling on vegetables as a topping, or for adding to soups. Because of its small size, use a smaller amount of teff when substituting. For example, use ½ cup of teff grain for 1 cup of sesame seeds.

For an Ingredient: Boil 1 cup of teff in 3 cups of water for about 20 minutes for a creamier end product.

Today, you can find teff in pancakes, snacks, breads, cereals and many other products, especially those created for the gluten-free market. You can even buy teff wraps!

Interesting things about Teff

  • Teff requires only 36 hours to sprout, the shortest time of any grain. Just 1lbs of seed can grow an acre of teff, about 1 ton of grain, in as little as 12 weeks. (100 pounds or more of wheat grains are needed to grow an acre).
  • It is one of the smallest grains in the world.
  • Teff’s protein content (around 14%) is largely an easily digested albumin (think a vegetable version of egg whites).
The name, “teff” is derived from the *Amharic “teffa” which translates as “lost”. Due to its tiny size, teff can easily be lost if dropped!
*
language spoken in Ethiopia
To Sum Up
A handful of teff is enough to sow a typical field, and it cooks quickly, using less fuel than other foods. It thrives in both waterlogged area as well as during prolonged droughts, and they are also relatively free of many diseases that plague other crops. Teff can grow from sea level to as high as 9,000 feet.
slave just can not believe it is by chance that such a “wonder crop” is found among the poorest people on earth.




 

Happy to serve my Master Indy

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F315Y4I/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_vAT4sb0934RTM via @amazon




Friday, January 24, 2014

A V8 Powered Steak!


I coulda hada....!








About V8 juice.
It is Tomato juice with other vegetables blended in. You get carrots, celery, watercress, parsley, spinach, lettuce, and beets. But mostly, (over 85%), it is tomato juice. We know tomatoes make a healthy juice with their high amounts of lycopenes. They are also a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and the mineral potassium. Think of this blend as a supercharged version of tomato juice.
It is Fat Free, we get in another portion of vegetables, and it tastes good so why not cook with it? Especially now that we can get a low salt version (A major drawback to the original mix).
A major secret is that it will make a fabulous gravy! It is not claiming health benefits for gravy, but it HAS to be better than the usual stuff. Have you ever tried to make a vegetable gravy? Much less eat it?
So wither you think of this as a healthy “V8 juice” or a powerful “V8 Engine”, you can still serve steak & potatoes and make it a bit better for your loved ones. As slave's car racing friends say about V8's: “There's no substitute for inches!”



Ingredients:
1 ½ lbs Top Round steak 9 about 1 inch thick
1 Medium yellow onions coarsely chopped
32 oz. low sodium vegetable juice They don't pay me to sell their brand!
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of basil
2 tbs oil
Slices of mushroom are optional.
1 recipe of Onion Soup mix
   

Salt Free Onion Soup Mix:
3 Tbs dried minced onion (or flakes)
4 tsp. instant beef bouillon powder – sodium-free (slave uses Herb Ox)
1 tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp celery seed
Combine ingredients and add to pot. You can double or triple this and put in a sealed container for use in adding flavor to any dish without salt.

slave's original recipe used regular V8 juice and a packet of Onion Soup Mix. Both of which were loaded with salt – who knew from salt?

Directions:
Turn on the Crock Pot. Put in half of the chopped onions.
Heat oil over a medium high heat in a skillet.
Cut the round steak into 3 inch pieces. Dredge in some flour with a bit of salt and pepper, and saute only until the meat has turned a nice shade of brown, turning once. Approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Arrange pieces on the onions, then add remaining onions on top and pour the juice over it all, and sprinkle with soup mix. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

 
This is great with home mashed potatoes.
To make gravy, dip out 2 cups of the juice and place in pan on stove top. Make a slurry out of 3 tbs of flour and ½ cup of skim milk. Heat the juice and stir in the flour mixture. Once boiling, continue to stir for about 1 ½ minutes or until the gravy is nice a thick. This is the same way you would make any gravy.
This makes a great presentation with a plain dark green vegetable.
If you have any of the steak left over (doubtful) store it in the crock pot juice sealed in a freezer bag! This heats up nicely!


This is a recipe that slave has cooked for its family for many years. It hopes you enjoy.


Serving its Master Indy
socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please check out slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F315Y4I/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_vAT4sb0934RTM via @amazon









Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Super Bowl Balls!

Meatballs use bread crumbs to help give them body, but slave thought some cooked quinoa could also fit the bill and add an extra protein punch while we’re at it. Turns out, the quinoa works like a charm and the texture, while different from an Italian grandmother’s, is quite wonderful in its own right. 


 
So with this Super Bowl has some super meat balls for a super healthy appetizer. Remember that quinoa contains every essential amino acid. Those play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. So these are not only terrific tasting, they are packed with power!
Omaha, Omaha, Omaha”! Oops, slave means: “KEEN-wah, KEEN-wah, KEEN-wah)

 


Ingredients:
1 onion minced
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon salt

======================
Cooking the quinoa:
½ cup quinoa to 1 cup beef broth: You can use water, but slave wanted the extra beefy flavor this gives.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook for between 10 to 12 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and let COOL!







Preheat the oven to 425 ºF.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and sweat, (That's cooking at less than frying temps), about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to let it cool

 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, quinoa, Parmesan, egg, seasoning, salt, pepper, and cooled onions. Stir with a short wooden spoon until a good mixture is made. DO NOT OVERWORK! 

This goes for any time you use ground beef, wither for hamburgers, meatloaf or meatballs: less is better!

Have a large bowl of water handy for your hands! It is easier to roll this meat mixture with wet hands!
And have an aluminum foil lined baking sheet ready.
Roll the meat mixture into 2-inch balls and set them in rows on the sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until nicely browned but still soft to the touch.

Now when done, let them sit on the pan for 5 minutes, please! Then stick them on toothpicks and arrange on a platter with a couple of your favorite dipping sauces, or just heat up some caned beef gravy and let them dip in that! Simple ALWAYS works, when complicated can trip you up!



Another easy finger food that you can make ahead of time is cheese crackers. Slave uses those notorious round ones, with bits of smoked gouda cheese. Very easy:


Dot each cracker with just barely enough margarine to hold the piece of cheese on there. Then use one slice for every 6 crackers. Stack the slices, cut in half, then cut that half into three pie shaped wedges, trust slave on this it fits much easier than any other way it has tried.

Fill a paper plate with a single layer, cover with plastic wrap, and do another! When finished stack them in the refrigerator over night and pull them out when needed. The slightly unexpected taste of the smoked gouda will be a welcome addition to your snacks.



Remember if you wish to put out old fashioned potato chips, heat them in the oven for about 3 – 5 minutes first. Especially use this trick if you have bought a bag of those pre-made snack mixes! You might even spread these on a sheet and sprinkle a touch of Worcestershire sauce and a shake of garlic powder over it – JUST have a light touch, OK?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
New food trends you will see this year: More and more supermarkets are featuring special “Gluten Free” isles. We will see much more than single shelves with pasta made of quinoa. Perhaps even bread products, rolls, and pie crusts!




Whatever comes our way, slave is so very happy serving its Master Indy!



socialslave



To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Zucca Mostaccioli

Pasta with Butternut squash & Tomatoes

We talked about the benefits of tomatoes and the Lycopene they contain.
Did you know that tomatoes are considered a fruit? Well so is butternut squash technically because it contains seeds. (In Australia, it is refereed to as a pumpkin) In South Africa it is mostly used as a soup.
It is rich in antioxidants: low in fat and plenty of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides large amounts of potassium, and vitamin B6, for both the nervous and immune systems.
Just as red showed the presence of lycopene in tomatoes, squash's tangerine hue signals an abundance of carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, they have very high levels of beta-carotene, identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration. What's more, with only a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
===========================================
Now since we all have made various resolutions about getting healthy or losing weight, having a few meatless dishes a week will help us feel better too! 
 
Please Note: If you want your family to join you, may slave suggest you fix this as a meal for yourself and a side dish for them along with a grilled chicken breast or hamburger. It will be much easier for them to try and like it if they don't feel forced into it.
Also slave does not believe in trying to make meatless dishes taste like they have meat in them, that is a sure road to disappointment! Instead have them taste different, great but different. Slave just feels like it is more honest that way.



Zucca Mostaccioli

Pasta with Butternut squash & Tomatoes

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. each)
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds peeled, cubed butternut squash, (about 5 cups)
  • ¼ cup sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • Non-fat plain Greek style yogurt
  • 8 ounces mostaccioli pasta cooked
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small jar shitiki mushrooms, drained or regular if that's all you have
  • Freshly chopped parsley or Parmesan, for garnish

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it., then cook the pasta according to pkg directions.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut skin off of squash, scoop out the seeds, (they can be roasted also and eaten as a snack)

Dice the squash into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes and toss with 1 tbs of oil to very lightly coat. Arrange on baking tray and roast for 12 minutes, then remove and turn the pieces over for another 15 minutes or until they start to get slightly brown on the edges.


After returning the squash to the oven, put 1 tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and garlic, cook for about 3-4 minutes; add the drained tomatoes, vinegar, and mushrooms. Cook for about 15 minutes or so, stirring frequently so as not to burn.
Remove from skillet into a large bowl with the squash and add yogurt last. Mash with a potato masher to get the right consistency.



Serve over the hot cooked pasta. Garnish with parsley or grated Parmesan.



This sauce can be doubled and frozen so that you can have a great tasting meal in just a few minutes. Please make fresh pasta each time! Just because you don't have much time to cook is NO excuse to gobble down fattening foods.
Yes, that would be easier, but it would NOT be serving those you love, would it?


Hope you enjoy.
Proudly serving my Master Indy


socialslave


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

di Pollo Pomodoro: “a salubrious stew”

Say: (Dee POLO po-mo-DOOR-oh)


 2014 will be a healthy year.

Living Longer with Lycopene

Studies have demonstrated higher Lycopene intake helps lower prostate cancer risk, significantly protects against breast cancer, animal research is also showing benefit to lung cancer. Higher levels of lycopene have also shown protection against heart attack.
Does slave have your attention yet?
Tomatoes are a great source of Lycopene!
Nutritionists note that heating the tomato actually makes the lycopene more absorbent.
So lets cook with some tomatoes! We want something that is not expensive, lot in fat, easy to fix, oh and it must taste good! NO PROBLEM!

Here is an easy, healthy take on Chicken Cacciatore for the Crock Pot.
Lots of good for you vegetables carry this dish from being just a great taste to being a weight loss specialty for your family.

 
Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or bone and skin them yourselves!
½ large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, cut
2 cans tomatoes diced
1 can condensed mushroom soup (low sodium)
1 can condensed celery soup (low sodium)
12 oz (low sodium) vegetable juice Like V8
16oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 teaspoon of Basil
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
(slave happened to have a few green onions left so why not?)

Now since this takes 10 hours in the Crock Pot, that means it has to start by 8AM if slave wants a 6PM dinner. While slave is usually sending its first report in by 7AM, it does not really trust itself with that big sharp Chefs knife before the first cup of coffee.

So the chopping goes on the night before and it gets bagged until morning.

Directions:

If you haven't used your pot for awhile, wipe it out first with a damp paper towel!
Spray the crock pot with cooking spray
Set the Crock Pot to High to warm.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with kosher salt and a very light touch of pepper. Brown the outsides of the chicken breasts (About 4 to 5 minutes per side), in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut the chicken into 2-3 inch pieces.


Pour the tomatoes into the crock pot and sprinkle with herbs and basil. Then add the onions and celery. Distribute the big chunks of chicken and spoon the condensed soups and vegetable juice over the top.

This should be everything except the mixed vegetables, take them from the freezer and place in refrigerator to thaw.

Cover the pot and turn down the setting to low.
Let it set and cook for at least 8 ½ hours before adding the mixed vegetables for an additional hour and a half. (total 10 hours) If you put them in sooner they would have cooked down into mush!


Note: Yes Slave knows that your crock pot is full! Don't worry! Just let all that goodness blend the flavors together.

When you serve this “full meal in a bowl”, you can go light on salad and just a nice whole wheat roll or sweet pumpernickel loaf to accompany.



IMPORTANT to NOTE: Keep your food safe! The best rule to go by is you have 2 hours for the food to go from being cooked to going into the refrigerator. Do NOT leave it in the crock pot. Transfer all of it into large serving bowls, before you sit down to eat, this will help it cool.. Never put food in the refrigerator that is too hot to hold on you hand! And then always pit it on the top shelf.

Now in this case, after dinner we are going to divide this into quart sized freezer bags. That way you will have plenty of healthy meals handy. Yes you will make a mess. However take steps to minimize the clean up.




Slave got 3 quart sized bags full. Again do not put them in the refrigerator until you can carry them in your bare hand. Later after they have been in the cool for an hour or two, take a couple and put in the freezer.



You can always make the left-overs stretch by adding a cup more of the vegetable juice when you reheat!

It is a joy to have the privilege to serve my Master Indy

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!