Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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These little guys are a fast and healthy dinner for a family on the go. Don’t let some of the ingredients scare you! They come together for a delicious combination. These would be great in tortillas if you’d prefer but the crisp lettuce sort of ‘makes’ this dish. It’s healthy and crunchy and allows for you to really taste the chicken mix. I was inspired by PF Chang’s lettuce wraps which are so good! I didn’t have any of those crunchy fried noodle things they serve or any of their sauces. I doused mine in Siracha, because as I think I’ve mentioned before….. I have an addiction.

I had the lettuce wraps at PF Changs for the first time this past fall (I don’t get out much). I loved them. I was doing my normal activity of browsing Pinterest(shocking, I know) and came across a couple of “copy cat” recipes. A lot of them were terrible. Just from reading the ingredients I could tell that was NOT was PF’s was serving up. I sort of adapted a few of them and came up with this. It’s pretty darn close, I think!

Here’s my recipe!
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced small
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Iceberg, or butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
  • Sriracha sauce, wasabi, spicy mustard sauce for dipped (optional)
  • Roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • Fried bean noodles (optional)
Directions
  1. In a medium skillet on medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the ground meat and cook until it is cooked through. With a spatula, break it up into small chunks as it cooks (it will resemble ground beef).
  2. Stir in the onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and sriracha sauce until completely coated. Remove from heat.
  3. Fold in water chestnuts, green onion, additional sesame oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve wrapped in a leaf of lettuce. Top with any of the optional additional toppings.
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I’m fully aware this looks like a turd. But I promise it doesn’t taste like one.

Give it a try and hopefully you like too! I know these aren’t the greatest pictures but it is SUPER delicious and healthy!!

xoxo

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One Pot Pasta

One Pot Pasta

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Literally throw it all in a pot

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a great weekend. If you’re struggling for simple recipe ideas for the upcoming week, I’ve gotcha covered. This is seriously one of the simplest and tastiest week night meals ever! I first saw this and was like “ummmm what? there’s no way you can cook it all together and it doesn’t get gooey and mushy and naaaasty”  There were too many good reviews for me to not try it and also the hope that it really would be delicious was too much for me to take- I gave it a try.

I’ve made this multiple times since the first time and I’ve made a few adaptations. First of all, I really did find it a little “gummy” the first time- I’ve found that a good way to help reduce this is to not add all the water right at the beginning and then add more towards the end of the cooking if it needs it. Also one time I made this I had some extra spinach lying around which was close to being not so great anymore, I threw it in right at the end and let it wilt and it really look this to the next level. As you can see in the picture above, you seriously just throw it all together and let it cook. Magical! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces whole wheat linguine (or spaghetti, really just a long pasta)
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or minced
  • 1/2 -1  teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups water (or chicken or veggie stock for added flavor)
  • 3 oz Fresh Spinach (about half a standard bag)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and about 3 and a half cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated/soaked into pasta, which takes about about 10-12 minutes. This is where you can add more water if need be.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt (like 2 minutes). Then season to taste with  extra salt and pepper, plate it up and garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.
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ta da!

Sooo good. We love this and it’s packed with veggies and nutrients and yet soooo delicious you wouldn’t know it.

I have also made a Spicy Peanut Thai version of the one pot pasta- serisouly ALSO freaking delicious! Look for it in an upcoming post!

As always- thanks for reading, friends!

xoxo

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Venison Lasagna

Venison Lasagna

I grew up in Wisconsin in a family that hunts deer. Specifically a family that deer hunts to get that delectable venison to eat 🙂 Now a lot of people are totally turned off by the thought of eating venison. If you’re one of those people, we can’t be friends. Kidding. But I’m thinking you haven’t tasted it or that you had a bad deer. Once a deer is over about 2-3 years old, I wouldn’t eat them. From personal experience, younger does taste better, the older you get (such as bucks with huge spreads) the “game-ier” they taste. It’s all preference but this is not actually a post about hunting so I’ll shut up 🙂

My younger brother was gracious enough to give me some of his vension from a kill this year and this is one of the ways I used it. Of course you can substitute the venison for beef if you so choose.

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Yummmmmmmmmm- such good comfort food

Bolognese Sauce
a glug of olive oil
a Tbsp of butter
1 medium onion – chopped
2 cloves of garlic – minced
2 stalks of celery – finely chopped
2 medium carrots – finely chopped
pancetta or thick bacon cut into cubes
1 # venison, cut into a small cubes
1 cup milk (Full fat will make it creamier but any kind will work)
a glass of dry white wine(to drink while cooking- kidding you actually need it for the sauce. Probably about 3/4 of a cup to 1 cup)
2 cups tomatoes – chopped, with the juice. Or you can use a large can of diced tomatoes too
a sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup of vegetable stock

White Sauce
2 & 1/2 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of flour
salt

Lasagna
Either strips of already cooked lasagna pasta or the ready to bake lasagna noodles (*or if you’re Betty Crocker you could use freshly made lasagna noodles- if you do this, we should be friends)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

First make the bolognese sauce, which needs a long cooking time but it really does make for the most tender and succulent sauce, plus you don’t have to cook it all in one session, you could do the first stage in the morning and the final cooking later the same day. It can also be cooked ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 3 days or frozen.

– In a large, heavy bottomed pan melt the butter and oil, add the onions and gently saute until they become translucent . Add the garlic, celery and carrots, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes.

– add the pancetta or bacon cubes and sauté gently for a further two minutes.

– add the venison, a large pinch of salt, some pepper and cook until it has lost its raw red color

– add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has reduced almost completely.

– add the wine, let it simmer until mostly evaporated then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.

– when the mixtures starts to really boil, turn the heat down to low and cook, uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring from time to time and topping up occasionally with vegetable stock to keep it from completely drying out. *You could totally speed make this and just cook all together for about 30 minutes to an hour, and it would still taste great I’m sure but you get deep complex flavors the longer you cook it 🙂 *

Next, make the deeelish white sauce;

– warm the milk gently in a saucepan on medium, low heat

– in a another large pan melt the butter gently on a very low heat and once it’s melted add all the flour, stirring it in completely. Cook and constantly stir for 2 minutes.

– take the pan off the heat and add the milk in small measured batches, letting the flour mixture soak up the milk while you stir. Do this slowly and stir continuously while you do so you don’t get any lumps.

– place the pan back on a low heat and stir until the sauce gets a thick and creamy consistency.

Now, let’s build the lasagna!!

You’ll need a large oven-proof dish, you could use a variety but I used a Pyrex 13×9. Pre-heat your oven oven to 375 F.

– smear the bottom of the dish with a little of the bolognese sauce and then place a layer of the pasta sheets on the bottom.

– ladle over a thin layer of each of the sauces, sprinkle with paremsan and a little mozzarella then add another layer of pasta

– continue this until you have used all your sauce, the top layer should be the bolognese with the rest of your cheese.

– bake in the oven until golden and bubbly, this should take about 40-50 minutes.

*Note- if you are using the ready to bake noodles I would probably prepare your bolognese to be a little more liquidy so your noodles cook fully. Or you can add a little tomato sauce/juice to the bottom of the pan before your noodles.

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Get in my bellllllly

Admittedly, not the lowest fat meal in the world- but sometimes you just have to indulge. It tasted delicious!!! Jake was VERRRRRYYYYY skeptical of the venison befor he tried this, but he really enjoyed it and said it tasted like really really good beef. I’ll take it 🙂

Hope you enjoy and of course thanks for checking out my blog!

xoxo

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Caramelized Pear, Prosciutto & Blue Cheese Pizza

Caramelized Pear, Prosciutto &  Blue Cheese Pizza

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Ingredients:
1 semi-ripe pear(still want it a little hard) – thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (I prefer unsalted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated (could sub grated mozzarella too)
2 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices prosciutto
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
balsamic glaze for drizzling

Oh and a pizza crust of your choosing 🙂

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F (this is a little dependent on the pizza crust you choose so make sure to check the packaging/instructions).

Heat a large skillet over low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add in the pears with the salt and nutmeg and cover, cooking for  about 10 minutes and stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat more if they begin to brown too much. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for 5 more minutes or so, until golden. Set aside.

Add about three fourths of the fontina on the crust along with the garlic and shallots. Spread the pears all over the pizza and cover them with the prosciutto. Crumble the blue cheese over top and add the rest of the fontina. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly. Remove and drizzle balsamic on top.

Um. Then die and go to heaven. So freaking tasty.

I adapted this recipe when I made it and did a smaller portion and just did a mini pizza for me, Jake was hanging out with some guys friends so I got to enjoy this beaut all on my own. Seriously I could have eaten like 4 of the the mini pizzas. Deeeeeeee-licious. If I do say so myself 🙂

Hope you enjoy too!

xoxo

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POMEGRANATE, KALE, AND WILD RICE SALAD

POMEGRANATE, KALE, AND WILD RICE SALAD

Ummmm, seriously you guys, this is one of the best things on planet earth. It caught my eye at first just becuase of how pretty it was but then once I made it, ohhhh maaaaannnn oohhh mannn. Probably could’ve eaten the whole thing myself. The dressing to this is amaze-balls and I’m gonna make it for my regular salads all the time!

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INGREDIENTS
For the salad
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 cups chopped(not tiny)baby kale
2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use leftover rice or buy precooked)
¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ cup feta or crumbled goat cheese

For the dressing
½ cup minced onion or shallot
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 squeeze lemon or orange juice

INSTRUCTIONS
Prep the salad ingredients (chop, rinse, toast, etc). Chill the ingredients in the fridge while you’re making the dressing if you want a cold salad.

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This is more walnuts than I used for the salad, but I toasted about a cup to use for various things, while I was at it anyway 🙂

Mince the shallot or onion and saute in ½ tablespoons olive oil to reduce the ‘bite’ of them. When soft and fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. (If you want a stronger flavor for your dressing, skip the sauteing altogether. The shallot in particular works well for not sautéing method as they are milder)
Pulse the onions or shallot with the remaining olive oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and orange juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust. Add additional olive oil or water to keep the mixture moving through the food processor.
Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just before serving. I prefer to serve this at room temperature or chilled slightly.

Then: Eat. It. All

Please tell me you guys like this one as much as I did!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613