Simple Supper: Hawaiian Rice

This recipe is one of Jeremy’s top favorite meals! The original recipe only called for green peppers. I’ve added mushrooms, carrots, onions, colored peppers, and even once a little fresh spinach. So, use whatever veggies you like. If your rice and chicken are already cooked, then this meal comes together super fast!

PINEAPPLE CHICKEN AND RICE
Print This Recipe

3 cups cooked rice
1-1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mustard (yellow or a mix of yellow and Dijon)
1/4 cup white wine, chicken broth, or pineapple juice
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 green pepper seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4-8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the honey, mustard, and wine. Stir to combine. Add pineapple and veggies. Allow the sauce to heat through and the veggies begin to cook for a few minutes.

Lightly grease an 8×8 pan. Spread the rice in the bottom. Top with the chopped chicken. Pour the sauce over everything. Sprinkle with paprika. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes until everything is heated through.

Advertisements

International Cuisine: Chinese Main Dishes

We love to order take-out every once in awhile. These recipes made me realize that I should make Chinese at home more often!

SZECHWAN SHRIMP
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

4 Tb. water
2 Tb. ketchup
1 Tb. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tb. peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 c. sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces peeled, deviened shrimp with tails

In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened and shrimp is fully cooked – about 5-7 minutes.

ASIAN BEEF with PEA PODS
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

3 Tb. soy sauce
2 Tb. rice wine vinegar
1 Tb. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tb. peanut oil
2 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. beef round steak, cut into thin strips
8 oz. pea pods

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2 min. or until evenly browned. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for an additional 3 min. Add the soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce is thick. Serve immediately.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
Print This Recipe

1 (16 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
2 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 3/4 c. water
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
2 drops orange food color
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/4 c. self-rising flour
2 Tb. vegetable oil
2 Tb. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 egg
2 c. water
1 quart vegetable or canola oil for frying

In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, and orange food coloring. Heat to boiling. Turn off heat. Combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; slowly stir into saucepan. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.

Combine flour, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and egg. Add 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups water gradually to make a thick batter. Stir to blend thoroughly. Add chicken pieces, and stir until chicken is well coated.

Heat oil in skillet, fryer or wok to 360 degrees F. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil until golden. Remove chicken, and drain on paper towels.

When ready to serve, layer green peppers, pineapple chunks, and cooked chicken pieces on a platter. Pour hot sweet and sour sauce over top. Serve with steamed rice if desired.

Weekend Fare: Smoothies

Smoothies are perfect for the weekends or any day of the week. They often feature yogurt and/or milk but there are dairy-free recipes as well. You can boost their nutrients by adding protein powder, ground flax seed, or whatever other additives you prefer. Here are two that our family enjoy.

PINA COLADA SMOOTHIE
Print this Recipe

1 c. vanilla yogurt
2 Tb. shredded coconut
8-10 oz. crushed pineapple w/juice
1/2 banana
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. The coconut will still have some texture, so if you don’t prefer that, you can make a pineapple-banana smoothie and omit the coconut or substitute coconut milk for the milk and shredded coconut! Serves 3-4.

STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE 
Print this Recipe
 
1 c. vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
1/2 c. fruit juice (I used a berry blend)

Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Serves 2-3.

Market Fresh: Grapefruit

Walk into the supermarket just now and you will see piles of large, round, yellow “softballs” stacked in pallets or on display at the end of the citrus aisle. Grapefruit — one of the quintessential winter fruits.

I distinctly remember my mother getting up morning after morning to cut grapefruit, carefully winding her knife around each little section, so we could sit down to breakfast with half a grapefruit each. I also remember the day we watched a guest take a whole grapefruit and carefully peel the skin away to reveal a beautiful, pink ball that could be plucked apart and eaten like a peeled orange. It opened a whole new realm of grapefruit eating for us.

Nowadays I am too lazy to do as my mother did and I just cut our grapefruit in handy little wedges for easy eating:

Don’t just get stuck in a rut though. Think outside the morning breakfast bowl. Think salads, desserts, juice, and cake. I’ve sectioned grapefruit and added it to spinach salad instead of an apple or mandarin oranges. Squeeze the leftover juice to replace lemon juice in the salad dressing. Recipes for grapefruit cake can be found, and of course one can always squeeze the fruits to make juice.

For a delicious and healthy dessert, why not try this salad?

ORANGE AND PINEAPPLE PLATED SALAD
(from www.bbcgoodfood.co.uk)

1 medium pineapple
2 pink grapefruit
1/4 c. sugar
small bunch mint, leaves only

Use a sharp knife to top and tail the pineapple, then stand it upright on a chopping board. With the sharp knife, carve the skin away and discard. Rest the pineapple on its side, then cut into wafer-thin slices. Repeat with the grapefruit, cutting away the peel and pith, then cut into slices. Arrange the fruit on a serving platter, catching any juices, and set aside.

Using a pestle and mortar, pound the sugar and mint together until completely blended. Scatter the mint sugar over the fruit and serve on its own or with yogurt (preferable Greek yogurt).

NOTE: I loved this salad. I’m also eager to try substituting lime zest for the mint and also trying it sometime with shards of crystalized ginger over top, or even a little fresh ginger grated into the sugar.