Tag Archives: Asian

Veggie Lo Mein

20 Jun

Veggie Lo Mein 4
When Joel is out of town or has to work late, I almost always make some kind of version of this. Whether it’s all veggies or chicken and broccoli, it’s always my go to meal. He’s not a big veggie guy if you guys haven’t figured that out by now.
Veggie Lo Mein 5
This is quick and easy to make while making sure your 3 year old isn’t throwing a baseball in the house and the baby isn’t crawling up the stairs or chewing on cords. Not that I know from experience or anything.
Veggie Lo Mein 3
Since I’ve always preferred pasta over rice, lo mein is far superior to fried rice in my book. And this is so filling it’s a meal in itself. Perfect for those crazy, busy summer days!
Veggie Lo Mein 1
Veggie Lo Mein
recipe adapted from Chinese Food DIY

6 ounces vermicelli, uncooked
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3-5 cups chopped bok choy (I couldn’t find any so I used cabbage mix)
1 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Additional low sodium soy sauce

1. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then coat with cooking spray. Add sesame oil, garlic and bok choy and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, soy sauce and crushed red pepper and stir fry 1 more minute. Add carrot and stir fry another minute.

3. Stir in pasta and cook for a minute until thoroughly combined and heated through. Add more soy sauce if desired.
Veggie Lo Mein 2

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps

22 May

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 2
I love a good lettuce wrap. They are light and healthy yet still filling. Joel on the other hand, does not share my sentiments. He put on his super sad face when he found out what we were having for dinner. And instead of being a sweet, caring wife I kind of laughed at said sad face. He’ll survive.
Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 5
The combination of the cool, crisp cucumber slaw and the hot, orange sesame chicken is out of this world good. I’m pretty sure I dreamed about them that night. Then I wanted to make them for dinner the next night….I didn’t but that would have been funny!
Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps 3
These are perfect for summer. Serve alongside some grilled zucchini for the ultimate light, healthy and delicious meal.

Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks

1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
1 green onion, green and white parts, sliced
8 to 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes or strips

For the cucumber slaw:
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 thick carrot (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/8-inch strips
1 cucumber, cut into 1/8-inch strips
2 to 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
16 lettuce leaves (romaine, Boston, Bibb, or green or red leaf)

1. First make the marinade. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, oils, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and green onions. Pour into a zip top bag and add chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (I marinated for 3 hours).

2. Meanwhile, make the cucumber slaw. In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and ginger. Stir in the carrot, cucumber and green onions. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. To cook the chicken, heat a skillet over medium high heat; add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook chicken in one layer at a time until browned and cooked through.

4. To assemble, lay a lettuce leaf on a plate then top with cucumber slaw and chicken.

Sticky Asian Wings

9 May

Sticky Asian Wings 3
I love wings. They are probably one of my favorite foods but I’m kind of a snob about them. Wings should be spicy and slathered in buffalo sauce, none of those foofy flavors like parmesan garlic or honey barbeque (sorry if any of you are fans of those – my husband loves them and I make fun of him on a regular basis). I just like a classic spicy buffalo wing with the occasional exception of Asian wings.
Sticky Asian Wings 1
I’ve already shared one recipe that I love but the it’s loaded with sugar and corn syrup which I’m trying to avoid. So, when I saw these on The Chew a few months ago I immediately pinned the recipe to try. I also love the addition of lime juice to this recipe….although they are hard to find these days. My grocery store was selling a 4-pack for $5 and I just kept biting the bullet and buying them since I have so many recipes that I love that include lime juice. But now, they don’t have any. Imagine my horror #firstworldproblems.

These wings are worth the search for limes. They are slightly sweet and seriously zippy and lick your fingers sticky. And the sesame oil just puts them over the edge. I love me some sesame oil.
Sticky Asian Wings 2
So, if you can find limes and don’t mind paying over $1 for one, please try these wings. You won’t regret it!

Sticky Asian Wings
recipe from The Chew

2 tsp. cornstarch
Coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
3 green onions, sliced – whites & greens separated
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 limes, juiced
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. chili flakes
2 lbs. chicken wings, separated with tips removed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine a tablespoon of water with the cornstarch and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, melt a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. Add the garlic, ginger and whites of the green onion to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, sesame oil and chili flakes. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the soy sauce mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool to room temperature (this can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until needed).

3. Season chicken wings with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes in a greased baking dish. Pour sauce over the wings, stir to coat and bake another 20 minutes until cooked through and sticky. Remove from the oven and garnish with the greens of the green onion.

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli

22 Apr

Easter with my loves
Did you all have a wonderful Easter? We spent the weekend with my parents enjoying the gorgeous weather, partaking in Easter egg hunts, church and a big dinner with some of our favorite people.
Excited about her basket

He was most excited about the $1 jump rope…figures.
A $1 jump rope? Yesss!

Me and my favorite boy.
Easter Egg Hunt with my boy

Sweet little chickie in her Easter basket.
Hannah in her basket.
Because Easter marks the end of Lent, that meant I got to feast on all kinds of naughty things that I haven’t had in months. Like peanut butter bars, cucumber dip, mac-n-cheese, corn casserole and a cherry coke or two. Needless to say, I felt very sick afterward.

During my 40 days of eating clean, I found that I had more energy and generally felt so much better. So, the plan going forward is to eat clean 5 days a week and the other two to still eat healthy but not so restrictive. Since starting a healthier lifestyle at the New Year, I’ve lost 30 pounds and would love to continue on that path.
Stir-Fried Broccoli
The only problem with healthy eating is that there aren’t a ton of vegetables that I love so the routine can get old kind of fast. I’m pretty sure I’ve professed before that broccoli is one of my favorite foods and I eat it several times a week. Joel doesn’t enjoy it as much as me so I have been on the hunt for different ways to prepare it rather than just serving it steamed as I usually do. When I came across this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Café I knew it would be a hit with everyone.

Tender crisp, charred broccoli tossed in a slightly thickened sweet Thai chili sauce is the perfect side dish to grilled chicken and a bit of brown rice. You have to try this! It’s quickly become a staple in our dinner routine.

Thai Sweet Chili Broccoli
recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

For the sauce:
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
4 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. cornstarch

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli starts to brown in spots and turns bright green, making sure to stir often (about 7-9 minutes). Meanwhile, stir together the sauce ingredients.

2. Add garlic to skillet and cook an additional minute. Pour in the sauce and cook an additional minute or two until it thickens and the broccoli is coated.

 

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

27 Jan

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
Looking for something easy and delicious to nosh on during the big game on Sunday? These sweet and spicy Asian ribs will totally hit the spot. They will cook away in the crock pot while you whip up the rest of your Super Bowl feast. Right before serving, drench them in sauce and throw them under the broiler for some crispy carmelization. Soo good.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
I personally would use more Sriracha for more zing but if you want to keep it mild for your crew go ahead with the stated amount in the recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Who are you cheering for this Sunday? I think I’m going to root for the Broncos since Manning always yells Omaha before his plays. Good logic in choosing my winner, right? Either that or whoever has the prettiest uniform.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
recipe from Family Favorite Recipes

2 racks baby back pork ribs
Seasoning salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (or more if you like things spicier)

1. First, be sure to remove any membrane from ribs. Rub ribs with seasoning and place in large crock pot (you may have to cut the ribs up so they all fit). Pour in water and cook on low heat for 3-5 hours, until ribs are cooked through and they are already starting to fall off the bone.

2. In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Place ribs on a baking sheet and put on the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize. Watch them closely as they will burn quickly.  Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

17 Jul

Asian Chicken Salad 4
I have been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for quite some time now and I keep seeing them pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. My absolute favorite version is from Granite City and it was my mission to recreate it and share it with you all.
Asian Chicken Salad 5
Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list…a lot of the ingredients are the same throughout the different elements and the dressings and marinade can be mixed up ahead of time.
Asian Chicken Salad 3
Although this wasn’t exactly like the restaurant version, it was still quite a light and delicious dinner on a hot night. I have to say the dressings are what made it for me. That sweet chili lime vinaigrette is sweet, a little spicy and has just the right amount of sesame. I could probably eat it with a spoon. The light drizzle of the peanut dressing gives a nutty depth that puts the salad over the edge for me. And I just can’t eat a salad without some kind of crunch on top so the wonton strips were a perfect addition.

Joel wasn’t a huge fan so it probably won’t be hitting the dinner table too often but it will be on frequent rotations for my weekday lunches.
Asian Chicken Salad 2
Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

For the Pineapple Chicken Marinade:
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 oz. can pineapple juice, or 1 cup
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

For the Salad:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
2-3 carrots, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, small dice (I didn’t use but thought it would be a good addition)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Green onion, to taste
Wonton Strips

For the Chili Lime Dressing:
recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/2 cup sweet chili garlic sauce
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice

For the Peanut Dressing:
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts

1. For the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and mix around to combine. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness and marinate for 1-4 hours.

2. While the chicken is marinating, mix up the dressings. For the chili lime vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a mason jar, seal tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate. For the peanut dressing: Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add in peanut and blend for 10 seconds more. Place in bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook chicken until juices run clear. Meanwhile, put the salad together. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine ingredients. Once chicken has been grilled, slice into bite size chunks and place on top of salad. Scatter with wonton strips and drizzle with a good amount of chili lime vinaigrette and a bit of the peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Asian Chicken Salad 1

P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

13 Mar

Mongolian Beef 3
I’ve been really off my game lately when it comes to cooking. But I finally bit the bullet and made a real meal for the first time in forever. It was this P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef and it was the best thing I’ve made in a really really long time. I love this dish at P.F. Chang’s and when I found the copycat recipe I figured it would be good but nowhere near what the resturant produces. Well, I was wrong because it really was just as good and so much cheaper to make than the real deal.

It was crispy and tender and the sauce was just perfect. Not only was the flavor spot on but it thickened up nicely to coat the beef just right. Mmm, I’m not usually a leftover kind of girl but as soon as we were done eating this for dinner, I was dreaming about having it for lunch the next day. Now that’s a sign of a good dish!
Mongolian Beef 1
P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copycat
recipe from food.com

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and saute until softened. Add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
2. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.
3. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
4. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
5. As the beef sits, heat one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
6. Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don’t need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
7. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels.
8. Put the pan with the sauce back on the stove over medium-low heat. Add beef and green onions to the sauce then stir until they are thoroughly coated. Bring to a simmer for about a minute. Serve over steamed white rice.

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

23 Jan

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
I know I am always talking about quick and easy weeknight meals and hopefully I’m not boring you with them because I am sharing another one today. Wondering why they have become so prevalent around here? Joel’s new job is downtown. All of the garages downtown are FULL. You know what that means? Well, it means that Noah and I are driving him to work and picking him up every day. I kind of grumbled about it at first but it’s actually been kind of great so far. We are able to sit down and have breakfast together then chat even more during our drive. It gets Noah and me out of the house a bit which is always nice for a stay at home mom, even if it is only a 10 minute drive in our jammies. Let’s hope we never see anyone we know during this process….it would be uncomfortable explaining the polka dot pants.

Anyway, since we are picking him up everyday and don’t usually get home until close to 5:30 I have lost a lot of cooking time. I try my best to plan ahead and get some prep done during nap time if needed but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And that’s where this meal comes in. I mix up the ridiculously easy marinade in the morning, throw in the chops and put it in the fridge all day. Then before I head out to pick up Joel, I throw some rice into the rice cooker. When we get home, all I have to do is cook these chops real quick (which literally takes about 5 minutes) and steam some broccoli. It’s a real life saver when you have less than 20 minutes to throw something together for a hungry toddler that’s used to eating at 5:30. And they taste amazing and aren’t dry. A miracle for me when it comes to pork chops!

Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
recipe from One Perfect Bite

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 pounds boneless thin-cut pork loin chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper, sugar and salt in bottom of 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan. Stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined and marinade is smooth. Add chops, turning to coat both sides. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 1 to 24 hours.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium high heat. Add pork, working in batches if necessary. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to serving plate or serve from pan. Yield: 4 servings.

Veggie Stirfry

18 Jan

Veggie Stir Fry 2
This is almost always the meal I make when Joel is working late or has something going on that takes him away at dinner time. I wait until Noah goes to bed then whip this up and eat my dinner in peace all by myself! As much as I love those boys of mine, sometimes it’s really nice to just have some time to myself and eat something Joel doesn’t like while enjoying silly, ridiculous shows that he makes fun of me for watching. My life is happy and uncomplicated so I sometimes like to get a little fix of stupid drama, so sue me.

Anyway, this is healthy and simple to throw together using ingredients I almost always have in the kitchen. You can add in anything you like, I just have listed what I had on hand that day. I also really like it with green beans and/or zucchini. I always look forward to whipping it up anytime I have a night to myself.
Veggie Stir Fry 1
Veggie Stirfry

6 oz. whole grain egg noodles
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 tsp. grated ginger (use microplane)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. sugar
Sesame seeds
Additional add ins: green beans, zucchini, onion, carrots, mushrooms, peppers

1. Bring water to a boil then cook noodles according to package directions and add broccoli at the last 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha and sugar in a small bowl. Heat a wok over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick spray and crack egg into it. Scramble it quickly then let it cook until set. Flip and cook until no longer runny. Remove from pan and chop into tiny pieces.

3. Pour vegetable oil into wok then saute ginger, garlic and cabbage for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add in pasta, broccoli and sauce mixture and saute for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Quick Grilled Hunan Chicken

11 Jan

Quick Hunan Chicken
As I’m sure you already know, I am a big fan of Asian food. I made the menu for the next few weeks and about half of it ended up being Asian dishes…oops. But there is so much variety that it never seems like we are eating the same thing which is why I love it so much! So needless to say, there is going to be a lot of Asian food up in here for awhile. Yep, I just said that.
Quick Hunan Chicken
I am not a fan of hoisin sauce so I wasn’t sure how this chicken would go over but I was pleasantly surprised. The peanut butter, soy sauce and oils combined with the hoisin so that it wasn’t overwhelming but complimented it instead. It was a really great, quick weeknight meal. And it was even warm enough to grill it outside. Take that Minnesota!

Quick Grilled Hunan Chicken
recipe from food.com

4 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon hot pepper oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness.
2. Mix together hoisin sauce, peanut butter, garlic, and oil; spread over both sides of chicken.
3. Grill or broil chicken 4-5 inches from heat source until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
4. Slice chicken diagonally across the breast and serve on a piece of iceberg lettuce.
5. If you desire, serve with ramen noodles and steamed snow peas, as fast and easy side dishes.
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