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Monday, January 28, 2013

Asian Chicken Wings

I need to start with a confession here. These are made from last night's leftover baked chicken wings. So I only made the sauce tonight and "re-baked" them. Since I like my chicken wings, super crispy, I tend to bake them for quite awhile and then they have that "fried" kind of texture on the outside without all the unhealthiness of fried wings. So if you want to start with raw chicken wings, I assume you could just put the sauce on them and bake them until they are done, but I can't guarantee the outcome since this is the first time I have created these. I'm sure it would work just fine, but for the purpose of this recipe I will tell you how I made them with already baked wings.

Tonight I wondered what I could do with leftover baked wings. I contemplated BBQ sauce of some kind, but then  my creative juices really started flowing. I made a mad dash around my pantry and refrigerator collecting anything I thought might come together to make a good wing sauce. Ok so it wasn't really a mad dash as I was actually really happy about creating these, so it was more like a
"happy dash." The hubby and I were both pleasantly surprised at how great this tasted. I can't wait to make them again!!
For the chicken:
12 Chicken wings

Season the wings with salt and pepper. Bake in a 375° oven for approx. 1 hour or until crispy, brown and cooked through.  Set aside. (While the chicken is cooking, prepare your wing sauce)

Asian wing sauce:
1 lg garlic clove, chopped finely
1 Tbsp canola oil

1 cup water

1/4 tsp pepper
 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp finely diced, fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
 2 1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp fish sauce (sold in the Asian section at the grocery store)

1 Thai chili pepper, chopped finely
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (sold in the Asian section at the grocery store)

2 Tbsp corn starch
2 Tbsp water

2-3 Green onions, chopped (for garnish)
Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

Heat oven to 375°
In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 Tbsp canola oil. When it's hot, add the garlic and saute until the garlic is golden and tender. Add the water, pepper, salt, ginger, sesame oil sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Thai pepper and chili garlic sauce. Combine thoroughly. Bring to a slow boil.

In a very small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. This will be your thickening agent for your sauce. After it's stirred well together it should resemble watered down milk. Add  this starch mixture to your sauce. Continue to heat until the sauce thickens. When you think it's thick enough to stick to your wings, remove from heat.
Place all the wings in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over them and mix thoroughly to coat each wing with sauce on all sides. You can also use a spoon to spoon more sauce over each one. Place the "sauced" wings onto a broiler pan or baking pan. Place the wings into the oven and "re-bake" them for 30 minutes.
When wings come out of the oven, garnish them with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Loaded Brown Rice and Chili Beans

I am pretty sure that this dish has all my favorite ingredients. it doesn't have chocolate! As I was gathering fixins to make dinner tonight, I was struck by a thought. Why not put all of the great things I can find in my kitchen together to make a wonderful side dish? I'm so glad the thought evolved as this dish turned out to be scrumptious. I may have just created my new favorite brown rice side dish. If you love brown rice, chili beans, olives, jalapenos, onions and cilantro, then you will love this! Next time I might even add some diced tomatoes. I guess you can add just about anything you like that goes with this. Enjoy!!
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
3 cups water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 (16 oz) can chili beans in mild sauce (do not drain)
2 oz diced jalapenos
4 oz sliced olives, drained

1 med onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

Bring 3 cups water and olive oil to a boil. Add the brown rice. Cover with a lid and put the fire on very low and leave it for 45 min.

While the rice is cooking, saute  your onion in olive oil over low heat until golden brown and tender.
Get all your other ingredients ready.

After the rice is done cooking, add in the sauteed onion and all the other ingredients except  the cilantro. Stir to mix together. Reheat on low flame until everything is heated through. This shouldn't take but just a couple of minutes. Take off the fire and stir in chopped cilantro. Salt it to taste and serve!

Spiced Brussels

Recently, I have enjoyed making a lot of brussel sprouts. I really like the flavor of them and they are so easy to "spruce up." I even got my grand daughter to eat a bite of one. Granted, it was only a bite, but that's pretty miraculous for a 2 year old. I'm not sure she was a fan, but the hubby and I sure were.

15-20 brussel sprouts
1 lg garlic clove, finely chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp Ancho chili powder (you can use regular chili powder if you don't have this)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cumin

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime

Preheat oven to 350°. Wash and dry your brussel sprouts. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine garlic, salt, Old Bay seasoning, coriander, chili powder, crushed red pepper  flakes, and cumin. Stir in the olive oil and then put your brussel sprouts into the bowl with this mixture. Use your hand or a large spoon and make sure the brussel sprouts are thoroughly coated with this mixture. Spread the spiced brussels onto a broiler pan or baking pan. Roast for 25 min. (Mine only took 25 min because my brussel sprouts were fairly small.) Adjust your cooking time as needed if your sprouts are larger and you find they are not tender after 25 min. Serve warm.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hawaiian Coconut and Macadamia Nut Salmon with Coconut Lime Sauce

Well it's been awhile since I posted any regular meals. The whole foods,  natural eating plan is going wonderful, but boy oh boy do I miss cooking things like this. This meal didn't quite fit into my doctors eating plan for me, so tonight when I knew my daughter would be here for dinner, I decided to make something special for her and my hubby. I'm glad I did, because they both thoroughly enjoyed this. I will "fess" up that I took a very small bite just to see if it tasted good. Yes it sure did!! It felt so amazing to let my creative juices flow and put together a great meal again, as it's been quite awhile since I have cooked anything very fancy, beyond basic meats, veggies etc. So be patient with me and I will try to post every once in awhile when I make something special for visiting family members and friends.

I know this picture is not very great. But it will have to do, as hungry family members are not to be kept waiting just to get a decent shot of dinner ;)

For the Salmon:
1 ex. lg Salmon fillet
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
10 wheat thins, crushed
1/8 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs, sold at most grocery stores)
3 Tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten

1/8 cup vegetable oil or cooking the fish 

For the Lime Sauce:
 1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
Zest of medium lime
1 large lime, juiced
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp sugar
* 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded, coconut (see note at bottom of recipe)
7 ounces coconut milk ( I used the canned as it's a little thicker than the one from the deli department)

 Be sure to have the lime sauce ingredients all ready to go as you will be making the sauce while the fish is cooking and it doesn't take very long to cook the salmon.

For the Salmon:
In a medium bowl, mix together the macadamia nuts, wheat thins and panko bread crumbs. Mix them together well. Pour out onto a plate ( I would suggest a paper plate for less dish washing later on). Set aside.

On another plate (again paper plates work well here) place your flour and set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Pout into a shallow dish that you will be able to dip the salmon into. Set aside.

Clean your salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge the salmon in the flour, making sure to coat all sides, then into the egg wash, again coating all sides of the salmon, then into the macadamia mixture, coating all sides with the mixture. Set the fish on a plate while you are heating your oil.

Heat 1/8 cup canola or vegetable oil in a skillet. Make sure it's good and hot before you add the salmon. Place the salmon in the hot oil and cook on both sides, until it's cooked all the way through. It's hard to give a time for this because the size and thickness of salmon fillets differ so much. When you think it's done, test the edge with a fork. If it flakes away easily, your salmon is cooked through.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare your lime sauce.

For the Lime Sauce:
In a small or med saucepan, melt butter. Add the flour and stir. This will look lumpy and clumpy, that's ok. You are basically making a roux (pronounced ROO, which is a thickening agent for sauces).
After that's stirred together, stir in the lime zest, lime juice, lemon pepper, salt, onion powder, sugar and shredded coconut. Stir together. Don't worry this will still be super thick and clumpy. Now add the coconut milk. Stir together and press out any lumps, with the back of the spoon, as you stir. Cook until thick and bubbly. Cook for one additional minute.
Pour the heated sauce over the salmon and enjoy!!

 *You can substitute sweetened, shredded, coconut if you would like, I think it actually would taste good, but I stuck with the unsweetened for this attempt.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snickers Brownies

It truly is a good thing that I am still on a natural eating plan and can't consume any of these brownies,  because I know for sure that I would not stop at one! Let me tell you though, it was certainly tough not to taste this recipe! Just the fact that brownies, caramel and peanut butter are all together in this recipe just about makes my head swirl with delight.

Just so you know I am not posting an untasted recipe.....the family gave them a "thumbs up" but they also commented that they were so rich that I needed to cut them much smaller. So be forewarned, they are yummy but rich.

And in the words of Dr. Suess.....well...mostly his words, I added a few ;)

Would you eat them here or there? I would eat these ANYWHERE!
Would you, could you in a house?  Yes as long as I hide them from my spouse!
I will eat them in the rain. In the dark. On a train.
In a car. In a tree. They are SO GOOD, SO GOOD you see!
 Would you? Could you? In a car?
Eat them! Eat them! Here they are!

Original recipe can be found at:
*Check out her blog, it's got some great recipes on it!

For the brownie layer
1 box of brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

For the nougat layer
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1//2 jars marshmallow creme
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, lightly chopped
1 tsp vanilla

For the caramel layer
  one 17 oz jar of caramel ice cream topping

For the chocolate topping
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter.

For the brownie layer:
Prepare brownie batter according to package directions, but also add the 1/4 cup hot fudge topping, to the batter. Bake in a 9X13 pan at the temperature stated on the box and then cool the brownies completely.

For the nougat layer:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a slow boil. Stir in the marshmallow creme, peanut butter, vanilla and peanuts. Stir until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let the brownies cool again. You can place them in the refrigerator for a while or place them for a few minutes in the freezer to speed up this process.

For the caramel layer: 

If your caramel is thin enough straight out of the jar, you can pour it directly onto the nougat layer on the brownies. If it is too thick, then heat it slightly on the stovetop until it is pourable. Pour it as evenly as you can onto the nougat layer and use a spatula to even it out the rest of the way. Let it cool down again. (You can put them in the fridge or freezer again)

For the chocolate topping:
Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (If you use the microwave, do NOT overcook and make sure to stir frequently and only cook it for a few seconds at a time until  it's melted together.) Pour the chocolate layer over the caramel layer. Place the brownies into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set completely. (The original recipe states that these are better served out of the fridge, allowing just a few minutes to set them out at room temp. The chocolate begins to soften too much if they are left out of the fridge like most brownies)