Simple Garlic Noodles

Sunday, February 26, 2017

One of the easiest  , quickest meals to make for lunch are these  simple garlic noodles. While the noodles are cooking you make the sauce , which is just mixing the ingredients in a bowl . Then cook the onions and garlic in a skillet and mix everything together. You can add a protein like chicken or shrimp for a heartier more filling dish. If I have leftovers from the night before I will add them, but I prefer them as is. I make these often for myself and my 19 year old before he heads to work.
You can find oyster sauce and sesame oil in the Asian food section of the grocery store.

Simple Garlic Noodles
8 oz spaghetti pasta
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
4 T butter
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 T light brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T oyster sauce

1.Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. drain and set aside.
2.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and oyster sauce. Mix well and set aside.
3.In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium low heat. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and green onion. cook for @2 minutes, until they are soft and fragrant.
4.Add the pasta and the sauce to the skillet and mix well to incorporate the sauce and the garlic and onions.
5. Garnish with extra green onion . These can be served warm or cold.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One of the perks of being a say at home mom is that I can menu plan and get meals prepped during school hours to have ready to prepare when everyone gets home from school. I am a sucker for easy weeknight meals that showcase different flavors that I know my children and husband will love . These lettuce wraps fit the bill. I prep the sauce in the morning, which serves the dual purpose of the  awesome Asian flavors melding together and  having the sauce already made to add to the ground turkey mixture , making getting dinner on the table a breeze. I also get the lettuce rinsed and spun dry to hold the filling with. This recipe calls for a few Asian ingredients that you may no have on hand, but once you have the jars of hoisin sauce and roasted  red chili paste, you can make this recipe two or three times to use up all the ingredients. Hoisin sauce can be found in the Asian section of the grocery store. There are a few different brands of hoisin sauce on the market and they are very comparable in taste and price. The roasted  red chili paste that I  use is made by Thai Kitchen. Sometimes I have a hard time finding it, but he larger grocery store chains and our local wal mart carry it. When I first starting making these wraps a few years ago, I would buy an 8oz can of sliced water chestnuts ( also found in the Asian section) and cut them into smaller pieces. Now they have a diced water chestnut that I buy and just drain them and give them a quick chop with a hand chopper for more smaller, manageable dice. These wraps are very versatile. You can use ground turkey, chicken or ground beef. I usually always use ground turkey, although ground chicken is more traditional. Totally your preference. The lettuce you use is up to you. I usually use boston lettuce or romaine. Any lettuce that is sturdy and hearty work. you can even use cabbage leaves in a pinch.
I serve these lettuce wraps with baked brown rice and steamed veggies on the side. I usually have a family of 5 eating and there is plenty of meat mixture to feed us all 2 or 3 wraps each. To serve, I drizzle with a sweet chili mayo and sliced green onions. Enjoy!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey, chicken or ground beef
1 T coconut oil or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c shredded carrots
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8oz) can diced water chestnuts, cut into small dice
3 T hoisin sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 tsp roasted red chili paste
1/4 tsp salt
12 lettuce leaves ( boston or romaine)

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 T of olive oil (or coconut oil).
2. When the skillet is hot , add the ground turkey, garlic cloves and ground ginger. Cook the turkey until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Crumble the turkey .
3. In a medium bowl, add the browned turkey, diced water chestnuts, shredded carrots and green onions . Stir well to mix.
4. In a separate small bowl, add the hoisin sauce,soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted red chili paste. whisk together vigorously to combine.
5.Pour the hoisin sauce mixture over the turkey mixture and stir well to combine.
6. Add a scant 1/2 cup of turkey to each lettuce leaf. Drizzle with sweet chili mayo sauce and green onions. Serve .

Sweet Chili Mayo Sauce
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 T  sweet chili sauce

Mix the mayo and the sweet chili  sauce together in a small bowl.

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Weeknight Baked Chicken Spaghetti

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This chicken spaghetti recipe is one that I have been making since my babies were small. It is full of flavor and is filling, especially when you add a side salad and a loaf of italian garlic bread. I usually reserve this meal for those busy weeknights when everyone has sports, meetings or are working a bit late. You can prep it in the morning, or even the night before and refrigerate it until it is ready to bake off. The cream of mushroom soup and the dry packet of Mccormicks spaghetti sauce mix makes it a breeze to mix together and get into the oven. You can find the dry spaghetti mix next to the chili seasoning packets at the grocery store. And if you have leftovers,  you can make a chicken spaghetti fritatta for breakfast the next day ;) Happy Eating!

Baked Chicken Spaghetti

4 chicken breasts *
1 lb spaghetti , cooked al dente and drained
1 T canola oil
1/3 c green peppers,chopped
1/2 c onion,chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (10oz) can mild Rotel tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 packet McCormicks Spaghetti Sauce mix
1tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Boil or bake the chicken breasts. Dice into bite size pieces and set aside.
3. Break spaghetti noodles into thirds and cook to al dente. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
4. In a medium skillet on medium heat, heat the oil. Add the chopped green pepper and onion and cook until soft.
5. Add the green pepper and onion to the bowl with the pasta. Add all other ingredients except the chedddar cheese. Mix well.
6. Transfer the spaghetti to a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Serve hot.

* you can use rotisserie chicken to make this recipe even easier. 

Mini Blueberry Galettes

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I seem to always have blueberries in the refrigerator. I think they secretly multiply in there :) I love blueberries and eat them every morning. Problem is, no one else will willingly grab them out of the fridge and snack on them. So I have to make something that involves sugar and butter to sway their taste buds. I usually just end up making blueberry muffins, but every now and then I will make these galettes. They are perfect for a small dessert, travel well and make great gifts for friends and neighbors. And you can use any fruit you have on hand. Strawberries, raspberries, peaches. Yum! They are super easy to put together , especially if you use a package of store bought pie crust.

Mini Blueberry Galettes
1 box refrigerated pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 lemon
1 egg
1 T water
cinnamon sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 425*. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, 1 tsp lemon zest, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, vanilla, salt. Combine well and set aside.
2. Unroll the 2 pieces of dough. Using a 5" bowl, trace 3 circles on each round disc of dough. Reroll the leftover dough and make 2 more circles.
3. Place the dough rounds on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 measuring cup , place a mound of blueberries in the center of each piece of dough. Fold the edges of the dough over the blueberries , creating a crimp.
4. In a small bowl , whisk the egg and water. Brush the edges of each galette with the egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
5.Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake at 425*  for 15 minute, or until the crust is golden and the filling is hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let the galettes rest on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes to cool.
6. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
* you can garnish with fresh herbs for a pop of color. I used mint in the picture.

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