Friday, May 13, 2011

Food For Thought

Welcome back ... Blogger was nutty yesterday - serious construction and (in some cases) destruction in the cyber-sea.  Unfortunately that meant that I lost yesterday's goofy post about my mild obsession with Almond Sunset tea ... and now my love letter has gone MIA just like my sweet delicious friend!  Oh well ... proof that we really can't depend on technology.  But it's still fun, when it works! 

Happy Friday, faithful readers!  Now it's time to drool a bit.  :)

Lately I've been on a bit of an Asian kick ... a deliciously fresh and flavorful Asian-inspired kick!  Whether it's because of the abundance of fresh veggies in each meal or the fragrant and powerful flavors involved or the spectacular ease of each recipe ... I have been a happy and veggie-filled foodie.  :)  
I hope that my snapshots have been able to capture for you the garden-fresh vibrancy of these meals ... and inspire you to go a little green this week! 
Asian Stick Salad
(This recipe is from Food Network, Jan/Feb 2011, page 78 ... with a little tweaking.)
1 cucumber
1 small jicama
7-8 baby carrots
1 celery stalk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
15 oz. can of baby corn
3 T. rice vinegar
1 T. flax seed
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
1 t. oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced
First, you need to cut the cucumber, jicama, carrots, celery and baby corn into thin matchsticks.  This was definitely the most time-consuming portion of the recipe ... but, oh, so worth it!
Once you have all the veggies cut into sticks, toss them in a large bowl and add the cilantro.  Set this aside.
Next, mix the dressing:  rice vinegar, oil, flax seed, ginger, garlic and jalapeno.  Pour this mixture over the veggies and use your hands to stir it, giving the veggies a little squeeze to help the marinade to soak into them.  Season with a pinch of salt, if necessary.

This was even more delicious the next day!
Save a few baby corns to eat like Tom Hanks ... you just have to!

Oriental Chicken & Cabbage Salad
(This recipe was born out of necessity ... and what was in my fridge.)
1 pkg. coleslaw mix
2 ribs of celery, thinly chopped
1 cup of frozen edamame, cooked and chilled
6-7 chicken tenders, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 T. fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. oil
1 t. sugar
2 T. flax seeds
Dash of pepper flakes
Combine the veggies in a large bowl.  Add the chicken and cilantro and mix well.  In a small bowl, combine the last 8 ingredients and mix well.  Add to the salad and stir to coat.  I let this sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving ... was delightfully surprised by the flavor!  And it was even better the next day for lunch!

A terrific twist if you're tired of traditional chicken salad.

The next two recipes, we served together ... they complimented one another well.
Slow-Cooker Pork & Noodles
(This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, May 2011, page 110 ... with a few adjustments.)
2 cans chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 T. brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (I used 4 boneless pork-chops I had on hand.)
1 head bok choy, chopped
4 oz. thin spaghetti
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
In your crock-pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and pork.  Cook on low for about 8 hours.
When you have about 45 minutes until dinner, pull out the pork and shredded it into bite-sized pieces.  Add the pork back into the soup with the bok choy.  Let cook for about 20 minutes until the veggies are thoroughly wilted.  
For the remaining 20 minutes, add the spaghetti (broken into thirds) to the soup.  Make certain that they are all below the surface of the broth.  The soup is ready when the noodles are soft.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a little cilantro.
Strangely enough, all my kids went back for seconds ... which meant no left-overs for the next day. :(  But ... yeah for veggies!
Broccoli with Ginger Sauce
(This recipe is from recipe book, Evangelical Christian Academy Family Favorites, page 192.  I only made minor adjustments.)
5-6 stalks broccoli
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 t. rice vinegar
1/2 t. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. sugar
1 T. oil
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, including the tender portions of the stem.  Set this aside.  Preheat a skillet (or wok) over high heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the sauce.  Set this aside.
When the pan is hot, add the oil and broccoli and stir-fry for 1-1 1/2 minutes until the broccoli turns bright green.  Stir the sauce mixture and add it to the vegetables.  Cook for one more minute until the sauce has thickened a bit and coats the broccoli.  
Pull out the ginger slices and serve hot.  The veggies will still be very crisp.

Look at all that lovely greenness! :)


  1. oooo my goodness, that stick salad looks amazing! I'm going to have to try to make it...maybe I can get a few days worth of lunches to bring to work! Thank you for stopping by on my SITS day and commenting!

  2. These look delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for visiting on my SITS day. Come back any time. You're always welcome at my place.


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