This is the last post for Table Talk! It's flown by. There would be one more post this year but it happens to fall on Christmas and let's face it, a healthy dinner option won't be my priority Christmas morning, or probably even Christmas Eve. And I expect it won't be yours either so this is it!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The sun goes down here now at like 4:30. Yeah, 4-stupid-30. I hate it more than words can say. It seems like it's midnight because it's been dark for hours when really, it's only 8 o'clock. It's a crazy world. And when you're trying to take photos for your blog, you have to have dinner ready at an insane time that can only be construed as Linner or Dunch, it gets in the way. Where's the light??? Anyway, long story short, please excuse the above photo. It's Mother Nature's fault. Or the people who decide on Daylight Savings. Or Tyler's for messing with my plans to be earlier with dinner. Or the kids' for having to run them around everywhere last night. Good thing I love them. Well, Tyler and the kids. Mother Nature and the Daylight Savings people? Eh, not so much love there.
Speaking of not so much love, that's how I felt about this stir fry. As I've mentioned, last night didn't run as smoothly as one would hope so maybe my opinion is skewed. While everything else was hectic, this dish did come together pretty easily. The chicken ended up marinating for more than the hour in the recipe because my plan went awry so maybe that also had something to do with it.
What I liked: I loved the chicken to vegetable ratio, there seemed to be quite a few green beans and I like the idea of that since I've been trying to be more conscious about the size of vegetable portion we are eating. I liked how fast it came together and how easy it was. Now the dislike: There was a little something 'off' with the orange sauce. Or maybe it was the orange sauce and the marinade together? Like a weird kind of after taste? It seemed a little too vinegary so I added some extra sugar to try and counteract that. It did help, but I still wasn't wowed. Or even pleased enough to make this version again.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching where this blog is concerned and I've decided (tentatively) on a few things. One of them is that I want to make sure I'm only posting LOVED recipes. Recipes I would make again and do make again regularly. Since I didn't really feel this way about this one, I'm just going to give you a link to the recipe so you can try it for yourself if you'd like. Just because we didn't love it doesn't mean you won't! I'm not saying I'd never make this again. I might make it again with some tweaks, and if I do that and love it, I will update or re-post with what worked for me. Until then, this is going in the 'to tweak' pile. :)
Get the recipe HERE.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I have some confessions to make. I'm not really sure what this is supposed to taste like. I don't know that I've ever been to a Thai restaurant. The only Pad Thai I've tasted is from a kit at the grocery store. So I probably am not the best judge of what Pad Thai should be. So, just keep that in mind when you read my opinion of how it came together! Mmmkay?
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Our garden was weird this year. I guess I shouldn't say that. I've never gardened in Southern California (kinda) before so maybe it was normal, but I thought it was weird. The cherry tomatoes were supposed to be the first to ripen! It said so on the package of seeds. For some reason, they ripened AFTER some of our other tomato varieties that were supposed to take twice as long. While I was a little confused as to why these sleeper tomatoes did that, I wasn't upset that we actually got some produce from our plants.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I know, I know....How many recipes with corn and black beans can one cooking blog have? There's never too many, I tell ya. This recipe was so appealing to me on so many levels. Not only did it have a plethora of ingredients that I love, it was also labeled 'fast'. And I do love fast. Every single weeknight we have something on the schedule and all things seem to fall right when dinner is supposed to be being prepared or eaten. I like having recipes that are a little flexible, easy to prepare and healthy. I feel like I get in a rut and cook the same thing over and over to satisfy my need for speed. I think this will make it into the rut-rotation.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I don't even think I have to explain why I picked this recipe. Why would I not pick this recipe??!! That's the question. The only thing that surprised me when I checked the ingredient list and instructions was that there wasn't a dipping sauce. Um, what? For some people that would probably be something they could live with but for someone like me, it's all about the sauce.
I subbed Calrose rice for the brown rice simply because it was faster and I wanted to be done cooking in half an hour. I know what you're thinking---isn't brown rice healthier? Yes, my friend, it is. Have I mentioned I'm lazy?
We really liked this and I would make it again-with the dipping sauce, of course. In my opinion it needed it-but like I said, I'm a sauce kind of girl.
The recipe called for ground chicken but I couldn't find ground chicken at my grocery store. Not even the 99% fat free version (ground chicken breast) the recipe warned against. I could have tried a different grocery store, but I grabbed some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and got outta there.
And then I threw half a pound of the thighs and half a pound of chicken tenderloins in my food processor.
Whallah! Ground chicken. (pulse until chicken is mostly ground up and then alternate between pulsing and running until it's the right consistency)
And it worked really well in the recipe. Yay!
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1.5 cups calrose rice
3 cups water
1 lb ground chicken
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp grated lime zest and
3 T fresh lime juice from 2 limes
3 T fish sauce
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 tsp corn starch
2 T chopped fresh basil
3 scallions, sliced thin (I only used 2 because they were on the large side)
12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves (about 1 head) --I couldn't find either of these so I used plain ol' iceberg lettuce.
For the dipping sauce:
2 T soy sauce
2 T water
4 T brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
I used my rice cooker for the rice but you can follow the package directions, adjusting the water to what your package says. While that's cooking, combine lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine ingredients for dipping sauce (soy sauce, water, brown sugar and garlic) in either a small sauce pan or a med size bowl. Cook on stove top or microwave until sugar is dissolved. (On stove top, bring to boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. In microwave, microwave 45 seconds, stir and then 45 seconds more if needed to dissolve sugar. Just make sure bowl is not too small or sauce will boil over.)
Heat oil in a skillet over med-high heat, (I skipped the oil and used a non-stick pan) add chicken, jalapeno and lime zest, breaking meat into smaller pieces while cooking. Cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Whisk lime juice mixture again and add to skillet. Cook stirring constantly until sauce has thickened, about 45 seconds. Off the heat stir in basil and scallions.
Serve the chicken filling with rice, lettuce leaves and dipping sauce.
Source: Lettuce wraps adapted from: The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
dipping sauce: girlplusfood original
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I've been crazy about tomato soup and cheese sandwiches lately. I've always liked the combo, but I've just gotten back into it. I picked this recipe because I wanted to try it and use some of the tomatoes from my garden. To make it creamy without cream, bread is thrown into the mix. I thought that was interesting when I read the recipe but it seemed to work. Although, I'm not sure why I am leaving out the cream only to load the soup with cheese? Less cream equals more cheese, I guess. Yeah, that's how I roll.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
It's our last official week of Table Talk as a group. I'm going to finish out the year posting recipes every two weeks from the The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook but it will be more of a series now than a group.
This zucchini bread was pretty good. Was it the best zucchini bread I've ever had? No, but I'm sure the best zucchini bread is also quite a bit less healthy. :) I haven't fooled myself into thinking that this bread is entirely healthy, but if you are trying to change some small things and make healthier choices when it comes to sweets, this bread would be a great choice. Some of the fat in the bread is replaced with low-fat yogurt (or sour cream in my case) and some of the white flour is replaced with whole wheat. Anytime I make small changes like that, I feel just a little bit better about eating it. Then, I can have 2 slices instead of 1. ;)
Of course, my kids liked it too even though they refuse to eat zucchini by itself. I'm going to start covering all vegetables in sugar to get them to eat them I guess. ;)