Thursday, August 10, 2017

Orange Chicken



INGREDIENTS:

1 pound of cubed chicken tenderloin

canola oil

1 gallon sized freezer ziplock baggie

toasted sesame seeds

FOR THE MARINADE:

1 egg white

2 Tablespoons of double black soy sauce (may sub for soy sauce)

2 Tablespoons of Shaoxing wine (may sub for dry sherry)

1 Tablespoon of Mirin (preferably Kikkoman brand)

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

3 Tablespoons of cornstarch

FOR THE DRY COATING:

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup (extra crispy) tempura mix

1/2 cup of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking powder (preferably the Rumford brand)

1 tsp of kosher salt

FOR THE ORANGE SAUCE:

1 jar (17.25 ounces) of NATURAL orange marmalade fruit spread (no high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup in the ingredients!)

1 (8 ounce) jar of plum sauce (may sub for oyster sauce)

1/2 cup of (no pulp, not from concentrate) orange juice OR hot water

2-4 Tablespoons of vinegar

1/4 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)

freshly grated ginger (to taste)

MAKE THE ORANGE SAUCE:

1. Combine the orange marmalade, plum sauce, and orange juice (or water) into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Stop the motor and add in 1/4 tsp of salt, freshly grated ginger, and 2 Tablespoons (or more) of vinegar into the food processor. Taste check for seasoning. Pour orange sauce into a bowl and set aside.

MAKE THE MARINADE:

1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg white with a fork until frothy. Add in the soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and mirin. Whisk well.
2. Pour half of the marinade into a small bowl to reserve for later use.
3. Into the medium sized bowl, add in the baking soda and cornstarch. Whisk until combined and then pour the mixture over the cubed chicken tenderloin. Mix well and set aside.

MAKE THE DRY COATING:

1. Into a GALLON sized freezer bag, add in all of the ingredients for your dry coating. Mix well and then pour in the reserved chicken marinade sauce. Use a fork to gently mix everything together and then dump in your marinaded chicken pieces. Close up the ziplock baggie and then shake, shake, shake! Try to evenly coat it as best you can.
2. Into a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, add in some canola oil. Check the temp of the oil by using the end of a chopstick: dip it into the hot oil, and if bubbles form around it, it’s hot enough to fry! :) Add in your coated chicken pieces and fry for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Make sure to not overcrowd your skillet. Cook in batches if you have to. Remove cooked chicken and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
3. Place cooked chicken into a mixing bowl and pour in some orange sauce. More or less depending on your preference. Sprinkle in some toasted sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

NOTES:
-Recipe for my orange sauce makes a lot, so, feel free to cut the recipe in half.
- Any unused orange sauce can be refrigerated for later use!
- Want it spicy? Feel free to add in some chili flakes or ground chili paste into the finished orange sauce, mixing it in by hand.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

BBQ Pork Steamed Buns



I am obsessed with these bbq pork steamed buns! They are reminiscent of the siopao I used to get from this little Filipino bakery years ago! They are slightly sweet, slightly tangy, and oh so fluffy! I know that I always say that things are easy to make but that's because it is! Lol. Purchasing pre-packaged mix helps tremendously with this recipe, but if you would like to make the dough from scratch, feel free to check out my recipe here.

Here is a picture of the pre-packaged brand that I like to use and you can find it at Hong Kong Market:



If you cannot find this brand in your local Asian market, I'm sure any brand that uses yeast in their mix would be just as good! :)



INGREDIENTS:

(approximately) 2.4 pound pork shoulder butt roast (seasoned well with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder)

1 cup of freshly chopped pineapple

1 jar of your favorite bbq sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory and Brown Sugar)

1/4 cup of hot water

1 Tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)

black pepper

FOR THE DOUGH

1 package of dumpling (banh bao) flour--you will need to follow the directions according to the packaging, so make sure you have the ingredients for your mix.


YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
12 parchment squares

Steamer

vinegar





INGREDIENTS FOR BBQ PULLED PORK:

1. With your crockpot on high, add in a layer of bbq sauce and HALF of your chopped pineapple. Add in your seasoned pork shoulder butt roast, fat side up.
2. Cover the pork with another layer of bbq sauce and the rest of your chopped pineapple.
3. Add in 1/4 cup of hot water, cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
4. After 4 hours, remove lid, flip pork over, and cook on HIGH for another 2 hours.
5. Once pork is fork tender, remove pork from crockpot and shred it.
6. Drain the juices/pineapple from the crockpot using a colander. Discard the pineapple and save the sauce. Taste check for seasoning. Add a Tablespoon of brown sugar(optional) and two big pinches of black pepper. Mix well. Pour the sauce over your shredded pork and mix well. Refrigerate until cold.

MAKE THE DOUGH:

1. Follow the directions on the packaging for your steamed buns/banh bao/dumpling mix.
2. Roll out your dough into a 16 inch long log and divide equally into 12 pieces.
3. Flatten out the dough into a circle (the circumference should cover your palm), making sure that the middle of the dough is thicker than the outer part.
4. Using an ice cream scoop, place a scoop of bbq pulled pork into the middle of the dough. Bring the sides up and pinch to seal. Make sure to keep any unused dough under a clean wash cloth to prevent drying them out. Place filled dough on a piece of parchment square and repeat with the rest of the dough until finished.

STEAM THE BUNS:

1. Place some water into your pot and pour a couple of Tablespoons of vinegar in there. Add your steamer compartments on top of your pot. Cover with lid and bring water to a quick rolling boil. Turn down heat to medium. Wipe down the inner compartment and make sure it's dry before adding in the formed buns. It's also important to not have the boiling water touch the base of the compartment. That will lead to soggy buns.
2. Place some of your buns into the dry steamer, being careful not to overcrowd them. You may have to work in batches. Steam the buns for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, wipe it down, cover again, and steam for an additional 10 minutes (total time: 20 minutes). Repeat with the rest of the buns until all have been steamed.

NOTES:

Once your buns are done steaming, do not leave them in the steamer. The bottoms will get soggy! Remove them from the steamer and allow them to cool down completely before individually wrapping them in saran wrap. These can be refrigerated (for up to 3-5 days) and then reheated in the microwave until warm.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The BEST Sausage Buns

IMG_6591

I have to admit, I'm not much of a hot dog person--but THESE sausage buns?!? Oh man, I could eat 2 of them to myself, in one sitting. Some may argue and call these beauties, pigs in a blanket; some may call them, sausage buns or sausage rolls--whatever you want to call them...just know that you will be doing yourself, plus your friends and family a HUGE favor, by showing up to the party with a tray of these bad boys. Bet you didn't think that these were that easy to make, huh? :)

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE STARTER:

1/2 cup of whole milk

1/4 cup of bread flour

FOR THE DOUGH:

4 cups of bread flour (plus additional for kneading)

1/4 cup of sugar

2 packets of instant active dry yeast or 1 Tablespoon (I prefer Red Star's Premium Instant Yeast w/Dough Enhancers)

1 cup of very warm water (NOT TOO HOT)

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

1 large egg

2 Tablespoons of canola oil (may sub for any oil)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar

6 pieces of cooked bacon chopped (cook bacon until just browned for best results)

16 bun length hot dogs (I prefer Nathan's brand) removed from the packaging and patted COMPLETELY dry

toasted sesame seeds (optional)

FOR EGG WASH:


1 large egg yolk

1 Tablespoon of water

FOR THE HONEY, MAYO, MUSTARD SAUCE:


olive oil mayo

honey mustard

honey

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

IMG_6566

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Make your starter/roux by combining 1/4 cup of bread flour with whole milk. Stir well and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave on high, again, for additional 30 seconds. Mix well. If your mixture has not thickened and isn't resembling dense, mashed potatoes at this point, microwave for an additional 15 seconds. Mix well and allow for this mixture to cool down to warm (about 15 minutes).

2. Into your stand mixer, add in 4 cups of bread flour and your sugar. Stir. Add in your yeast, warm water, oil, egg, and then your warm roux. (Make sure to follow that order.)

3. Knead in your mixer for about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add in your Italian seasoning, grated cheese, chopped bacon, and salt. Knead again. After about 3 minutes, check the dough. If it's too sticky, add in more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until no longer sticky. Dough should still feel slightly tacky but also should not stick to the sides of the bowl while mixing. (I usually need an additional 1/4 cup, but have gone up to 3/4 cup before.) Knead for 8 full minutes.

4. Place dough on clean work surface and shape into a ball. In the same mixing bowl, spray in some coconut oil spray. Place dough in bowl, spray the top of the dough, once more, and then cover with saran wrap until doubled in size. Should take about 20 minutes if you're using an instant yeast and it's warm where you are.

5. Remove proofed dough from the mixing bowl, place on a clean surface and punch it down a few times to release any air bubbles. Knead the dough for a few minutes or until the dough has been kneaded to it's original shape. Divide the dough in half, and cover the unused dough with a clean cloth.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F.

6. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 8x12 inch rectangle. Using a pizza slicer or knife, cut the dough into 8 even sized strips. Take a strip of dough and give it a tight twist, then roll the twisted strip over a hot dog piece. Make sure to tuck in the dough on both ends. Repeat until done.

7. Place wrapped hot dogs on a large baking sheet, fitted with a piece of parchment paper. (You may need two baking sheets if you don't have a large one like mine.) Brush the tops of each bun with the egg wash and finally some toasted sesame seeds. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown. (There is no need for a second rise when making these; they go straight in the oven! I told you they were easy!)

TO MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE:


Combine mayo, mustard, and honey into a bowl and mix well. I just eyeball this sauce and taste check as I go along. Add in a pinch or two of salt and season with black pepper.

NOTES:


-You can try halving the recipe if you do not want to make 18 sausage buns. I don't do that, because every time I try to cut my bread recipes in half, they never turn out as good. OR you can simply freeze the wrapped hot dogs and bake them later. I have not tried this method, yet, but I don't see why it wouldn't work! Just make sure to bring the wrapped sausage buns to room temp before baking.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Milk Buns with Coconut Cream

IMG_6402

FOR THE STARTER:

1/2 cup of whole milk

1/4 cup of all purpose flour

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons of avocado oil (may sub for any oil)

4 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 cup of all purpose flour (to be added during kneading)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 cup of warm water (not too hot!)

2 packets of INSTANT yeast or 1 Tablespoon ( I recommend this brand for this recipe)

FOR THE COCONUT CREAM FILLING:

1 can (14 ounces) of COCONUT CREAM (do not use coconut milk)

1/4-1/2 cup of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it!)

3 cups of prepared whipped cream (may sub for full fat cool whip or make your own. I use Rich's Whipped Cream where I purchased from Cash N Carry)

OPTIONAL:

desiccated coconut flakes (unsweetened)

melted unsalted butter

16 inch disposable decorating bags

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Melt your butter in the microwave. Stir in your oil and set aside.

2. Make your starter/roux by combining 1/4 cup of all purpose flour with whole milk. Stir well and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix well. Microwave on high, again, for additional 30 seconds. Mix well. If your mixture has not thickened and isn't resembling dense, mashed potatoes at this point, microwave for an additional 15 seconds. Mix well and allow for this mixture to cool down to warm (about 15 minutes).

3. Into your stand mixer, add in 4 cups of all purpose flour and sugar. Stir. Add in your yeast, warm water, melted butter/oil, and then your warm roux. (Make sure to follow that order.)

4. Using your dough hook attachment, knead for 1 minute. Add in your salt and 1/4 cup more of all purpose flour. Continue to knead for 8 more minutes until dough is soft and has formed a ball underneath the dough hook.

5. Place dough onto a clean work surface. Knead until you form a smooth ball.

6. Spray mixing bowl with some cooking spray. Place your dough into mixing bowl and spray over it with more cooking spray. Cover with saran wrap and wait for it to double in size.

7. Place dough onto the counter and punch it down to release any air bubbles. Using the fold-over method, knead the dough back down to its original size and until most of the air bubbles are gone.

8. Divide dough into 16-18 equal sized pieces. (Watch my video below for a visual.) Cover your unused dough pieces with a clean, dry cloth. Next, use your hands to make each little piece into a smooth ball, and then using a rolling pin (I use a plastic one used for fondant), roll it out a bit, but making sure to keep it in a circle. Pinch the sides up to create a taco shape, pinch to seal. Place the shaped buns onto a baking sheet fitted with some silpat or parchment paper. Repeat with the rest.

9. Cover your shaped buns with a clean, dry cloth and wait for them to get puffy (not exactly doubled in size; these will rise quite a bit during baking!), about 20-30 minutes.

MAKE YOUR COCONUT FILLING:


Into a large COLD mixing bowl (I put mine in the freezer for a bit), add in your coconut cream and powdered sugar. Whip for several minutes until thickened. (Coconut cream does not whip into stiff peaks.) Using a flat spatula, gently fold in 3 cups of prepared whipped cream. (Store bought, full fat whipped cream would be you your best bet because it's more stabilized.) Place your coconut cream into the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F.

10. Bake your buns for about 20-25 minutes or until tops have become slightly browned.

11. Remove your buns from the oven, and one by one, brush the tops with melted butter and then coat in coconut flakes. Allow for these to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and filling. Taste best eaten the same day!

NOTES:

-Good yeast is important in this recipe. I buy Red Star's Platinum Superior Instant Yeast w/dough enhancers from Safeway and will only use it for this recipe. It really does make the buns softer, but since it's more expensive, I will not use it for everyday baking. But yes, you may use whatever brand of instant yeast you can get your hands on.

-I purchase Rich's whipped cream from Cash N Carry. Pastry Pride is the other one that's great for this recipe!

-My kids prefer these filled with some basic whipped cream. Works great for this recipe, too, because it's more stabilized and not runny!

-Homemade coconut cream does not get stiff like heavy cream, just fyi.

-The coconut cream splashes EVERYWHERE so I would recommend using a stand mixer to whip it or whip half a can at a time to prevent a mess!

-If you DO NOT finish your buns with coconut flakes after they've come out the oven (I prefer it this way!) I would recommend leaving the buns on the hot baking tray on the counter, COVER the baking sheet with a clean dish towel, and allow for them to cool down for 30 minutes under the cloth. This method keeps the bread nice and soft!

-These are best eaten the same day, but if you want to keep these soft, I recommend wrapping up each one individually in saran wrap and then placing them into a large ziplock baggie. The following day, reheat the buns in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften them up a bit. Good as new! :)

-These make wonderful dinner rolls! Just shape into rounded balls and bake as directed! I would reduce the sugar and salt called for, though.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

THE BEST 100% Whole Grain Bread

IMG_6305

Wow. Hands down, this has got to be my favorite recipe this year! Makes the BEST sandwich bread! My favorite way to eat it, is toasted, and then slathered with some peanut butter and a side of banana...YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!! No more store bought, whole grain bread for me! And dare I say...I think this bread tastes BETTER than Dave's Killer Bread?!? MAYBE. It may not have all of the fancy grains that they use, but hey, from-scratch whole grain bread and knowing EXACTLY what went in it--I'd say you're winning either way!

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups of hot water

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of unsalted melter butter

2 Tablespoons of sugar

2 cups of hard red wheat flour (I prefer Bob's Red Mills)

2 Tablespoons of active dry yeast

2 1/4 cups of hard white wheat flour (I prefer King Arthur Flour) plus additional 1 to 1 1/2 cups more

1 cup of ground steel cut oats

1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten

1 Tablespoon of sea salt

YOU WILL ALSO NEED:

coconut oil cooking spray

parchment paper

2 loaf pans

IMG_6326

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Place the first five ingredients into your stand mixer (or LARGE mixing bowl if doing by hand), and stir using a spatula.
2. Add in your red wheat flour, mix well, and allow this to sit for 10-15 minutes to help cool down the dough a bit before adding in your yeast.
3. Add in your yeast. With your dough hook attachment, turn mixer on to "stir" for about 30 seconds.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, add in your hard white wheat flour, ground steel cut oats, and vital wheat gluten.
5. With your stand mixer on "stir" slowly incorporate the rest of your flour mixture. Mix for 1 minute and then add in your sea salt.
6. Add in additional white wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough stops sticking the sides of the bowl and starts clumping up under your dough hook attachment. Dough should remain slightly wet and sticky. (I usually add an additional 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup depending on the humidity.)
7. Dump your dough onto a clean and floured surface. With floured hands, quickly knead the sticky dough to create somewhat of a smooth ball.
8. Place the wet dough into a mixing bowl that has been sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough as well and then place a piece of saran wrap DIRECTLY on top of the surface of the dough to prevent a crust from forming. Allow the warm dough to rest in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
9. Place dough on a clean, floured surface and use the fold-over method to remove air bubbles. DO NOT PUNCH IT. Gently poke it with your fingers and begin to knead the dough, pulling it up and over itself until it's smooth and about the same size as it was before it doubled in size.
10. Divide dough in half and shape into loaves. (Watch my video below to see how I do it.)
11. Place shaped loaves into bread pans that have been sprayed with some coconut oil and then lined with a piece of saran wrap for easy removal.
12. Cover loaf pans with a clean dish towel and let them rise until they are about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch above the bread pans and nicely domed at the tops--about an hour. Watch them closely, because you can OVERPROOF them.
13. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and when tapped on the bottom, sound hollow.
14. Let the finished bread sit in the pan for 5 minutes and then run a spatula around the edges to make sure the bread comes out in one piece. Place on wire rack to cool COMPLETELY before slicing, at least 1 hour.

NOTES:

-You may choose to roll your loaves in some toasted oats, and sunflower or pumpkin seeds AFTER you've shaped them for their final rise. Just spay the loaves in a bit of coconut oil spray first so that they adhere better. My kids always pick those off so I choose to leave them out. :)

-I purchase steel cut oats in the bulk section at my local grocery store. I place the oats into a blender and pulse until smooth.

-This bread stays nice and soft on the counter FOR DAYS. I wrap up the bread in saran wrap, cover with a layer of foil, and then place it into a grocery bag with a tight knot. Not the prettiest packaging for it, but it gets the job done.

-This bread freezes well! Wrap the loaf tightly first and then freeze for later use.

-Make sure your water isn't too hot before adding your yeast--you don't want to kill it!

-Don't use old yeast. I write the date (month and year) on the caps of my yeast jars so I know how long I've had it. I typically will replace my yeast every 6 months.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

IMG_6198

I wasn't really sure on this recipe being properly named "crockpot chicken fajita" because I was under the impression that most fajita recipes involved meat/chicken grilled or cooked on a skillet, but since I did make a homemade fajita seasoning, I decided to roll with the punches.

My husband does not care for cooked bell peppers so I usually leave those out in this recipe, but you are more than welcome to throw slices of bell pepper in with the onions if you wish!


INGREDIENTS:


4 chicken breasts

1 16 ounce jar of tomatillo sauce

2 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 medium sized onion thickly sliced

FAJITA SEASONING:


1 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of ancho chili powder

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of garlic powder

1/2 tsp of onion powder

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Add your jar of tomatillo sauce into a medium sized bowl and add in your brown sugar. Mix well and set aside.

2. Make your fajita seasoning: into a small bowl, add in your chili powder, ancho chili powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. Mix well and set aside.

3. Into your crockpot, add in about 1/3 of the tomatillo sauce--just enough to make one even layer. Top with the chicken breasts.

4. Take your fajita seasoning and pour evenly over your chicken breasts.

5. Pour the remainder of your tomatillo sauce over your chicken, top with thick slices of onion (and/or bell peppers), cover with lid and cook on high for 3 hours or low for about 5-6 hours.

6. Once chicken is cooked to your liking, remove chicken from crockpot and shred it.

7. Add chicken back into the crockpot, mixing well with the sauce and veggies. Serve immediately or may freeze for later.

NOTES:

I usually make this crockpot chicken WITHOUT adding the onions and veggies because it makes them taste too soggy. I recommend cooking the onions and veggies, separately, in a skillet. :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baked Turkey Quinoa and Apple Meatballs

IMG_6123


These HEALTHY meatballs are my new favorite! My husband and I agree, that we could probably eat these everyday and never get sick of them. But since I'm afraid that it could be a possibility, I make sure to switch it up, anyways. :)

Make sure to add these into your next meal prep--you won't regret it! My favorite pairing with these meatballs: pan-fried garlic green beans and brown rice. SO DELICIOUS!!

INGREDIENTS:

MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN MINI-MEATBALLS

1 pound of lean ground turkey

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 celery stick finely chopped

1/2 cup of finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup of finely chopped apple or bosc pear

1 green onion chopped

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

1 egg

1 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp of chili flakes

1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning

1 tsp of onion powder

3 tsp of dried parsley

handful of chopped basil

black pepper to taste

olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Into a skillet on medium-high heat, add in some coconut oil. Add in your chopped garlic, celery, carrot, a pinch of salt, and cook until tender. Add in your chopped apples and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and stir in your green onion. Stir, remove cooked veggies and place in a dish to allow it to cool down before using.

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 400 DEGREES F

2. In your large mixing bowl, add in your ground turkey, (cooled down) cooked veggies, egg, cooked quinoa, chopped basil, salt, chili flakes, Italian seasoning, onion powder, dried parsley, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well.

3. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Using a melon baller, scoop out the meatballs onto your baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes (check after 15 by cutting one open). Do not over bake!

NOTES:

*If you are short on time and you need to cool down your cooked veggies, fast, just place them in the freezer for ten minutes before using!

Fluffy Lemon Quinoa

 

IMG_6144

My current obsession: quinoa! This super food is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids and has a low glycemic index which is good for blood sugar control.  I eat it in place of my brown rice on most days but will really interchange the two, depending on my mood. Quinoa has slightly more carbs than brown rice, but overall, quinoa is my food of choice because of all of the health benefits that come along with it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of organic quinoa

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth or water

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

2 tsp of dried parsley

1/4 tsp of salt

lemon for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:


Place quinoa into a medium sized saucepan. Add in chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, and dried parsley. Turn heat to medium-high and allow it to come to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow it to simmer UNCOVERED for 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes), or until all of the liquid has evaporated. Turn heat OFF, cover with a lid, and allow for the quinoa to steam for an additional 5 minutes. Do not remove quinoa from the burner. Remove cover and fluff up using a fork. Add a squeeze of lemon before serving. Perfect quinoa, every time! :)

NOTES:

*If using water + chicken base or bouillon cube, make sure to add the base or bouillon cube, first, into your measuring cup and then add in 1 cup of hot water, mix till fully dissolved, followed by the other 1 cup of water. I find that adding in 2 cups of water and then adding the bouillon after, makes too much liquid and the result is soggy quinoa.

*I purchase my quinoa from Costco and it already comes pre-rinsed. Depending on the brand you are using, you may want to pre-rinse to get rid of any bitter or soapy after-taste.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

IMG_5816

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sized head of cabbage (you will need about 16 leaves for the actual rolls but you'll need some extra for the rest of the recipe)

FOR THE FILLING:

3/4 pound (12 ounces) of organic ground turkey

1 cup of cooked organic brown rice with quinoa (may sub for all quinoa or all brown rice or white rice)

freshly grated ginger

1 carrot finely chopped

1 celery finely chopped

1 green onion chopped

2 cloves of chopped garlic

1/2 of an onion finely chopped (cut the other half into large chunks and reserve for later)

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of sugar

black pepper

extra virgin olive oil

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:


1 (14.5 ounce) can of organic (no salt) fire roasted tomatoes

1 Tablespoon of Maggie seasoning (or soy sauce)

1-2 Tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)

1 Tablespoon of flour

1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano

black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Boil a large pot of water. (Make sure it's big enough to almost completely submerge the whole head of cabbage.)
2. While you wait for your water to boil, score the top of your cabbage. You want to score around the core of the cabbage and get in there with your knife at least two inches down. This step will make your cabbage leaves fall off easily in the hot water and keep the leaves whole. (Watch my video here to get a better picture of what I mean.) PLEASE BE CAREFUL with this part.
3. When your water is at a hard boil, GENTLY drop in your whole head of cabbage. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. After a minute, you should start to see the leaves fall off of the cabbage. Once the leaves have softened a bit, immediately remove them and place them on a dish towel fitted over a baking sheet. This whole process should take about 5 minutes. You only need about 16 leaves for the actual recipe, but you will need additional leaves for the rest of the recipe, so I recommend just using most of the leaves from the head of cabbage.
4. Using a clean dish towel, make sure to dry your leaves, completely.
5. With a pair of kitchen shears, you want to cut out most of the hard rib from the center of the cabbage leaves. Reserve the cut up pieces of cabbage and place them in a bowl for later use.
6. Into a large mixing bowl, add in your ground turkey, cooked brown rice with quinoa, carrots, celery, half a chopped onion, green onion, chopped garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and mix well.
7. Make your tomato sauce: Combine your can of fire roasted tomatoes, Maggie seasoning, brown sugar, flour, oregano, and black pepper. Stir well. Set aside.
8. Begin to assemble your rolls: Using a melon baller, if you have it, scoop out two rounded Tablespoons of filling on top of each cabbage leaf. Roll up and over the filling at least twice, tuck in the sides, and roll again. Don't roll it too firmly, because the tighter it is, the longer they will take to cook.
9. Into your crockpot, add in your excess rib leaves that you saved from earlier. Top that with the remaining thick slices of onion. Take some of your tomato sauce and pour that over your onions.
10. Add in all of your cabbage rolls and then top with the rest of the tomato sauce. Cover with the remaining WHOLE cabbage leaves, no more than two layers. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8. Check for doneness. Keeps in the fridge for a few days! My favorite way to eat them is with brown rice or quinoa. :)

Designed with love by BDD