Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I love taking a recipe that may not be the healthiest or most nutritious and making it more health conscious. That is how I came up with this cauliflower fried rice recipe. Traditional fried rice is made with white rice, lots of oil, not a lot of vegetables and a ton of sodium. It is high in fat and high in carbs. My creation substitutes the white rice for cauliflower “rice” which is higher in fiber and vitamins and has significantly less carbs. If you have never used cauliflower “rice” I suggest you try it out! You can certainly process it yourself but I take the easy route and buy the package that is already done as it is a huge time saver. I have found it in the fresh produce section and/or frozen section of my regular supermarket. I use a minimal amount of oil, low sodium soy sauce, a lot of veggies and chicken breast for lean protein. It is a great “fake out” for the real thing. I actually would argue that it tastes better and is more filling and satisfying.

If you would rather make it vegetarian or vegan you can leave out the chicken and/or egg. I do not know much about Keto but think this would be fine if you are doing it. You can also add any veggies you would like and can take out any you do not. It can be served either as a main dish or side dish. When I was losing weight I ate this ALL the time in that I did not feel like it was “diet” food and I was looking for ways to feel satisfied and not deprived. This recipe does both!


Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 – 4 servings


1/2 lb. chicken breast cut into thins strips (I start with chicken tenders to make it quicker to cut) you can substitute boneless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus 1 teaspoon

2 large cloves of garlic minced

2 teasopooons grated fresh ginger or fresh ginger paste

1 medium yellow onion chopped

1 bell pepper (any color) finely chopped

10 baby carrots or 1 large carrot chopped

1 stalk celery finely diced (can also use bok choy)

1/4 cup mushrooms finely chopped

1/4 cup frozen peas

12 oz. bag of riced cauliflower

1 egg

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 scallions finely chopped

Sriracha chili sauce (optional)


Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until just cooked through. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and the onions begin to be translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots, pepper, celery and mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. At that point add the riced cauliflower and stir to combine well. Continue cooking over medium heat and add the soy sauce stirring until the cauliflower also begins to soften and the soy sauce is covering the mixture, about 5 minutes.

Make a spot in the middle of the pan and add a teaspoon of oil. Crack the egg in the whole and scramble it in the pan until cooked through. Add the frozen peas and drizzle in the sesame oil. Stir so that everything is mixed well.

I usually garnish with chopped scallions and Sriracha chili sauce since I like it spicy. You can leave it off if you do not. It is great eaten the same day and leftovers are good as well!

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Welcome to my first post in over four years!  I am still amazed that there are people coming of this blog on a daily basis without new content.  I would like to think that it is because the recipes and articles I have published in the past are timeless and useful to the readers who have been visiting site in my absence.  Thank you to all of the followers!  

Even though I have not been actively blogging I can assure you that I think about it often, have written dozens of posts in my head and envisioned a grand relaunch.  The reason I actually am writing this post is because I am scheduled to cook this for a group of 50 ladies this week for my local Chabad Culinary Club.  I was forced to put pen to proverbial paper and write this recipe. I figured that since I was taking the time to actually type it out I should post it as well.  And here we are.

I have had the opportunity to demo other recipes for the club in the past.  It meets once a month and is a place to learn new recipes, sample tasty food and socialize.  This month the theme is Asian food and I thought my Lettuce Wraps would be a fun dish to add to the menu.  They are easy, healthy and so very delicious.

There is another reason I wanted to share this dish.  While I have been on hiatus from blogging I have been on a weight loss journey that has changed my life.  I have lost 60 pounds over the past 2 years and have kept it off for over a year.  The transformation has been equally physical and mental.

These lettuce wraps have been a staple for me while losing and maintaining my weight. They can be made with ground chicken, lean ground beef or veggie crumbles if you would like to make them vegan.  They are a popular  restaurant menu item, and there is no reason you cannot easily make them at home with probably half the fat and sodium.  They are incredibly flavorful and have a good amount of veggies as well as protein which makes them surprisingly filling.  Plus, who does not love eating a lettuce wrap?

I hope to share the many other recipes that have helped me with my weight loss.  Between my hectic job, family, kids activities and my own fitness and self care blogging simply fell by the wayside.  It is my hope that this first step will be the impetus I need to share the dozens of posts, recipes and tips that have been floating around in my head all these years.

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  20 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

1 head bibb, butter or romaine lettuce

1 pounds of ground chicken breast or lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced very small

4 scallions, chopped

4 large cloves of garlic, minced 

4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger or ginger puree (frozen such as Dorot or fresh)

8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped fine

1 medium green pepper, diced small

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon Siracha hot sauce (optional, more if you like it spicy)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Take apart the head of lettuce, rinse each leaf and set aside to dry on paper towels.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the ground meat with a healthy pinch of kosher salt until cooked almost all the way through and crumbly, about 5 minutes.

If you are using ground beef it is best to remove it from the pan and drain the excess fat.  If you are using ground chicken breast or veggie crumbles you can leave it in the skillet.

If you have a mini chopper, or mini food processor it is easy to put in the garlic, ginger and onions and pulse until it is finely chopped.  This a time saver especially if you are making more than one batch.  

Add the diced onion, 2 chopped scallions, green pepper, garlic and ginger.  If the vegetables are sticking, you can add a bit more oil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes until all the vegetables have softened.  If your ground beef is on the side this is where you would add it back to the skillet.

Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir well.  Lower heat to low and add the hot sauce and toasted sesame oil.  Allow the mixture to cook for 3 or 4 more minutes so that all the flavors combine.

If your lettuce is wet you will want to pat it dry before serving (no one wants to eat a soggy lettuce wrap).  Place a generous amount of the meat mixture in the middle of each lettuce leaf.  Garnish with finely chopped scallions.

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On A Personal Note

I first want to thank all the readers who have been continuing to come to the site even though it has been a long while since I have been consistently posting. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many visitors the blog still gets.  I thought I should let people know why the long gaps between posts.  The past few months have been difficult, but also a time of great joy. 

This past November my grandmother was hospitalized with a blood clot.  Although that is quite dangerous, the doctors caught it on time and her prognosis was good.  Unfortunately, while in the hospital she developed an infection.  Due to inadequate and negligent care (in my opinion) she ended up passing away three weeks later.  It was a shock to me and my family and I still cannot believe she is gone. 

Image

From left – my siste Kathleen, my mom, my grandma, me

I wanted to write about her here, on my food blog, because she has been such an influence in my life and my cooking.  She used to take care of my while my parents were at work and my fondest childhood memories are of her.  Mostly of us cooking in her kitchen, watching cooking shows on TV such as Julia Child and The Frugal Gourmet, and creating recipes together.  I recently found Micky’s Cookbook, the original version.  This was a project I did with my grandma when I could only have been 7 or 8 years old.  It was a beat up blue spiral notebook with recipes.  Some of them were family recipes, some were ones that she found in magazines and some were ones that we made up together.  I completely forgot that we even did this and had to laugh as today I have volumes of Micky’s Cookbook.  In college I started collecting recipes from the internet, magazines, cooking shows and my family.  Today I must have close to 500 recipes and three huge binders.  I forgot that it all started with my grandma.  This is why I would like to pay tribute to a very special woman that has shaped who I am as a person, mother and cook today.

Her passing was a time of great sadness and then just to demonstrate the circle of life, I gave birth to a baby girl five days later, Ariel Leah.  My grandmother wanted so much to meet her and I can only hope that she is looking down on her now.  She is the sweetest baby and I am in love.  I am pretty much getting no sleep between her and my 2 year old, but I would not change anything.  I am so grateful. 

As for the blog, I am going to keep at it. I just wrote up a fabulous chili recipe which I plan to post this week as it is a great Superbowl dish.  I am not sure how much posting I will be doing in the upcoming months but I ask that you stick with me and keep checking the blog.  If you choose to “follow me” you will automatically receive an email when I post.   If you “Like” me on facebook I always announce postings there as well. 

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