Grilled Turmeric and Lemongrass Chicken recipe, Bon Appetit July 2012. Modified

 

I love that Victor’s family has a vacation home in the North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, NV area for our use year round.   There are so many beaches, swimming pools,  volleyball courts, playgrounds, and bocce ball courts rec centers, and events at our  parks. Its fun for all residents, young to old  to cook and celebrate together during the beautiful summer months. Whenever we have a trip planned up I am always planning the food and what I think the guests would like.  During the summer month of July we usually spent a couple of weeks up there.  And of course barbecuing out on the sundeck with a lake view is one of our favorite things to do.

 

 

Last year, while we were driving up to Tahoe I had my hands on the latest Bon Appetit Magazine which featured some really fun Asian style “Street Food” recipes.  You can find the recipe for the grilled wings I originally used for the inspiration if you click right here, and with my recipe, you’ll see I completely changed the ingredients,  marinade time ,   and parts of bird used.  For starters I did not want to cook only wings, so instead I went and bought one whole chicken plus 2 breasts bone in, sustainably raised, called “smart chicken”  brand.  I bought the chicken and had it “butterflied” (the spine taken out) at my favorite  local gourmet full service butcher and seafood supplier called  “Village Meats” in Incline Village.  Any chicken butterflied will do.  You can buy a whole chicken and then butterfly the chicken yourself by watching an instructional video like this one.    I like grilling the chicken this way because it cooks faster and more evenly.

 

Grilled Turmeric and Lemongrass Chicken (makes 6 servings)

This can be started with the marinade up to a day ahead.  I just marinaded for about 6 hours and then basted through out the cooking process.

  • 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1/4 cup shallots chopped
  • I used 3 Tablespoons “Gourmet Gardens” Lemongrass, but you can also use just 2 tablespoons of fresh lemongrass, bottom third, finely chopped as the original recipe states
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • optional: (2 tablespoons of tamarind juice concentrate: I didn’t use this)
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 to 5 lbs of chicken (mine was 1 whole butterflied, and then 2 large breasts bone in)
  • optional: 2 jalapenos, stemmed
  • optional: Grade B maple syrup

Combine the coconut milk, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime juice, tamarind juice, fish sauce,kosher salt, turmeric into a blender.  Puree mixture until smooth and marinade forms.  Place chicken in a large baking dish and pour marinade over.  Turn to make sure all pieces are coated evenly. Cover and marinade overnight, or at least 6 hours.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from the marinade.  Let chicken come to room temperature for 15 minutes.

Note: The rest of these cooking instructions came directly from Bon Appetit’s recipe since I was very high altitude and grilling times and directions are different from what I would normally recommend.

  • Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Oil grill grates to prevent sticking. Grill chicken wings, turning every 5 minutes and basting occasionally with marinade in small bowl, until fat is rendered and skin is nicely charred in spots, 30-35 minutes. (The key here is to turn the wings often so the skin doesn’t burn.)
  • Continue cooking chicken without basting (so it will get crisp) until wings are cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken to a large platter and let it rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze lime wedges over wings. Transfer marinade in saucepan to a small bowl. Serve warm marinade alongside chicken as a dipping sauce

Final notes: This chicken was so yummy right after cooking, but even better the next day after a quick reheat and basting with the “dipping sauce” while on the grill.



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Chicken and Shrimp Lemongrass Dumplings

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you probably have noticed I have a “thing” for dumplings.  See 2 of my recent past blogged recipes for dumplings  here and here.   And its true, I love them.  I have a lot of personal affection and history surrounding eating and making Chinese Dim Sum and Asian Dumplings.

I can’t remember the first time I made dumplings at home, but likely quite young.  My mom taught my sister and I at a very young age how to make homemade egg rolls, wontons, and pot stickers. Additionally my  mom, a kindergarten teacher of over 40 years, used to come to my elementary classroom every year and spend the entire morning with my class, teaching us all how to make these little Chinese “treats” along with the  variety of sauces that accompany them.  My mom would set up different little stations where each of us children would participate in cutting, chopping, mixing and filling our dim sum. It was set up so that we would all alternate every 30 minutes,  so that each child had a chance to learn and participate in each step of the cooking process. Our half day lesson ended with us all cooking and then eating our “home made” won tons, egg rolls, and pot stickers for lunch.  It was a big hit every year.  Even now as an adult, at school reunions, someone will almost always come up to me and remind me of those days my mom spent the day teaching our class how to make Chinese food and how much they loved it.

This following recipe I decided upon after picking up some beautiful lemongrass at the Farmer’s Market and thinking  Vietnamese inspired dumplings certainly sounded like a yummy way to use it.  I did a quick search on the internet and the best thing I could find was a May 2010 Food and Wine magazine recipe for encouragement and inspiration, that “yes indeed”, lemongrass does work well in a dumpling.  I then made my own “Truffled Pig” version, which you will see,  ended up being a completely new recipe on its own.

As with my previous dumpling recipes, I focused on creating a  filling  that was healthy and nutrient dense.  Additionally I demonstrate how to cook these dumplings 2 methods, which are quite healthy as well.  These dumplings can be cooked  1.  Steamed in a bamboo steamer, or 2.  “Pan Steam-Fried”  (featured in photo above) which is a low fat method of browning and steaming the dumplings in a non stick skillet over medium high heat for a couple minutes.

Make Ahead: Freeze any uncooked dumplings on a floured (or cornstarch) baking sheet.  Once frozen, after about an hour, transfer them to freezer zip lock bags. Cooking your dumplings straight out of the freezer is exactly like the directions below, just extend the steaming time in the bamboo steamer or on the non stick pan (lid on for steaming) a few extra minutes.  Or if you want to have a freezer filled with a variety and large supply of dumplings ready to cook, double the recipe and your ready to go.  If you were to check my freezer at any given time, you’d likely find it filled with at leas one big freezer zip lock bag of dumplings, sometimes two.  Some say  last one month the in freezer, but I say as long as you really squeeze out all the air in the bag each time you put it back in the freezer, keeping it air tight protects them from frost and “freezer burn”.  With proper storage they can easily taste good and last up to 3 or 4 months in the freezer.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chicken (I use organic ground chicken breast)
  • 1/2 lb finely chopped medium to jumbo sized shrimp/prawns  (Click here for nice guidelines on shrimp)
  • 2 stalks (2 tablespoons) of fresh grated lemongrass  or 2 tablespoons store bought prepared lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (Ie: Thai Kitchen Brand here)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 can water chestnuts finely chopped (optional, I love it for the nice crunchy texture it adds)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of white or black pepper (I prefer white pepper but black is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 organic egg ( You could probably omit this if you want, its used as a “binder” but I have made this without the egg)
  • 1 package of gyoza wrappers ( found at Asian markets and most major supermarkets in the refrigerator section)

* Tip: If you can not find the round gyoza wrappers you can use square won ton wrappers instead, your dumplings can be folded into little triangles, or you can use a cookie cutter to make the wrappers into a circle

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the first 12 ingredients together
  2. Place a dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water, and put  teaspoon of the filling in the center
  3. a. To fold dumplings like in the photo featured at the to which is called Shu Mai:  Gather the edges of the wrapper up around the filling, squeezing gently, to plea the sides;  some of the filling should remain exposed. For step by step easy to follow video instructions click here: Video Here  b.  To fold and make in half moon shape like here: Place each dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water and 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center. Fold over the skin at the median line to create a little “half moon” shape (see above photo at the top of this recipe).  Use a fork to press in and indent around the corner to make sure the dumpling skin stay folded over and stuck together.

 

Cooking Methods: Steaming or Pan Seared and “Steamed”

  1. Option A. Rig a bamboo steamer over a large pot with about 1 inch of water; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Option B.  Heat a non stick skillet with 1 tablespoon neutral oil over medium high heat
  2. Option A: Put as many dumpling in the bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper) as you can fit in a single layer and cover the pot.   Option B: place dumplings in skillet with hot oil and wait 1 to 2 minutes until edges are brown and then add a couple tablespoons of water and quickly place lid on skillet to steam
  3. Option A : Cook until the exposed filling turns pink and the wrappers are tender: in steamer 4 to 6 minutes Option B :  in skillet cook  aprox 4 (do not burn the bottoms)

Serve and Enjoy with dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil

I’ll be posting all the nutritional information for these later this week, but these are healthy, low fat and low cal.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Lowfat Pan Crisp “Little Dragon” Chinese Dumplings

 

 

These little Chinese dumplings are so TASTY you would never in a million years guess that not only are they packed full of protein and good nutrition, they are juicy with a crisp outer skin, yet not greasy like most pan fried dumplings.  I know some people have an “issue” with calorie restricted food diets, and by no ways do I condone any kind of diet with severe calorie restrictions.  I came up with this healthy style “crispy” dumpling concept in my twenties while trying to create a crispy pot sticker style of dumpling I could eat, which had lots of flavor minus all the grease. In this recipe I use 100 percent fat free ground turkey breast or chicken breast in the filling and  combining it with chopped shrimp and Asian flavors. I then utilize a non stick skillet to pan “crisp” or brown the dumpling  on both sides, later adding low fat or non fat chicken broth or stock to “steam fry” the dumpling.  The  “pan steaming” works to infuse flavor and moisture to the bland or “dry” ground poultry, while the “crisping” the dumpling wrapper  on both sides providing the texture and taste you normally associate with greasy pot stickers.  Since I just posted a Steamed Shrimp Shu Mai Style Dumpling a couple of weeks ago, for ease of translation, I use most of the same ingredients for the filling in this recipe at the same time demonstrating how just some little changes in ingredients and cooking method can create a completely different result.

Ingredients.

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (found in the Asian section of your market, usually by the soy sauce.  example here)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lb of prawns/ shrimp peeled and deveined, chopped
  • 1/2 lb of ground fat free chicken or turkey breast
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, white parts only, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 can of water chestnuts for some crunch and texture, finely chopped
  • package of gyoza or “round” Chinese dumpling skins
  • optional: white pepper
  • neutral oil spray for the pan to cook
  • chicken broth or stock for “steam frying” the dumplings

Directions:

  1. Very finely chop the shrimp by hand or pulse in food processor for a minute or two
  2. Combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and ginger in a bowl and stir
  3. In a bowl combine the ground poultry, shrimp, scallions, cilantro, and sprinkle of the optional white pepper, water chestnuts and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture from step 2 and mix with a fork, making sure the sauce is evenly distributed through out the mixture
  4. Let the mixture or “filling” sit in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour or more so the Asian flavors can really infuse throughout the shrimp and poultry aspect of the filling
  5. Place each dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water and 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center. Fold over the skin at the median line to create a little “half moon” shape (see above photo at the top of this recipe).  Use a fork to press in and indent around the corner to make sure the dumpling skin stay folded over and stuck together.  Repeat with the remaining dumpling skins and filling until all filling is used. Note:  Store any left over skins in an airtight zip lock bag or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.  Make sure its not exposed to any air or it will dry out
  6. To cook immediately: working in batches, spray the bottom of a non stick pan lightly to the pan and heat over medium high heat.
  7. When pan is nice and hot quickly place dumplings on the bottom of the pan, working in batches.  Brown or “crisp” the dumpling on one side and then flip.  Crisp the dumpling on the other side until lightly browned, making sure not to burn
  8. Add a 3  tablespoons or more, to the hot pan with the crisp dumplings and quickly put the lid on to steam.  If necessary, add some more chicken broth when the first amount completely evaporates into the dumpling.  You want to make sure the dumpling is cooked all the way through and the chicken is completely cooked.
  9. Repeat until all the dumplings are cooke

Serve with the soy dipping sauce and enjoy

**Note if making a big batch ahead:  These freeze and store extremely well.  If you want to make a large batch ahead of time and freeze, at step 5, instead of cooking, transfer the uncooked dumplings to a cooking sheet lightly dusted with corn starch and then when full immediately put in freezer and “flash freeze”.  When dumplings are frozen, carefully remove them from the cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer zip lock bag, remove most of the air, and store.    When you decide you want to eat them, just  begin at step 6 and then make sure you steam a little longer, using a little extra chicken broth steaming steps to make sure they are cooked all the way through.

 

 

 



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Steamed Shrimp and Cilantro Chinese Dumplings (Shu Mai)


I’ve been making AND eating Chinese dumplings since I was a little girl.   One of my favorite memories from when I was a child was going to authentic Dim Sum Restaurants in San Francisco’s China Town on a Sunday morning.  My favorites being the Steamed Pork Buns, Pot Stickers, and the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings.  At home we used to make large batches of pot stickers ahead of time and freeze them.  In the last 15 years I started playing around with the fillings and found that there are endless different ingredients you can combine to make a really great dumpling.  I still make large batches and freeze them ahead of time.  Whats great about freezing them is that they store well up to 3 months ahead of time, and still cook quite quickly in a hot pan or skillet with some steam.

I was really happy when I saw this Mark Bittner recipe in the New York Times because he really simplified the whole process with his video demonstration so that it would translate well to even a novice chef.    I also just *love* Mark Bittner’s food column in the NY Times.   This recipe is naturally low in fat.   I only made a few changes.   These were  so great,  my boyfriend and I gobbled them down… literally.   There were none left.  Next time I will double the recipe and freeze some.

If you don’t have  a bamboo steamer or anything to steam the dumplings in, that is fine, you can still make these.  All you have to do is heat up a skillet, place the dumplings in,  add a little water or chicken broth and quickly put the lid on making sure not to leave the skillet on the heat so long the bottoms of the dumplings burn.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped scallions, white parts only
  • 1/2 or 1 whole can of water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 10 to 12 round dumpling (or gyoza) skins
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Optional: 1 to 3 tablespoons oil,  and water as needed if cooking in a non stick pan

Directions:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and ginger in a bowl.  Put half the shrimp, half the cilantro and all the scallions in a food processor and pulse: add just enough of the soy mixture to create a smooth paste, about 1 to 2 tablespoons.  Transfer to a bowl.  Roughly chop the remaining shrimp and cilantro, add them along with the water chestnuts to the bowl and stir to combine.
  2.  Place a dumpling skin on a work surface, moisten the edges with water, and put  teaspoon of the filling in the center.  Gather the edges of the wrapper up around the filling, squeezing gently, to plea the sides;  some of the filling should remain exposed.  Repeat with the remaining dumpling skins and filling, keeping the dumpling wrappers and dumplings covered with the damp towels while you work. Video Here.
  3. Add the lime juice to the remaining soy mixture to make a dipping sauce

Cooking Methods: Steaming or Pan Seared and “Steamed”

  1. Option A. Rig a bamboo steamer over a large pot with about 1 inch of water; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Option B.  Heat a non stick skillet with 1 tablespoon neutral oil over medium high heat
  2. Option A: Put as many dumpling in the bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper) as you can fit in a single layer and cover the pot.   Option B: place dumplings in skillet with hot oil and wait 1 to 2 minutes until edges are brown and then add a couple tablespoons of water and quickly place lid on skillet to steam
  3. Option A : Cook until the exposed filling turns pink and the wrappers are tender: in steamer 4 to 6 minutes, in skillet aprox 4 (do not burn the bottoms)
  4. Serve with leftover soy sauce mixture with lime juice as dipping sauce

 



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Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Ginger Soy Marinade

 

 

I’ll probably use this butterflied chicken cooking method  for roasting chicken in the oven from now on. Or until I become more proficient roasting chicken whole.  This oven roasted butterflied chicken method cooks so quickly, even and juicy, I think it kicks butt on the traditional “whole roast chicken” method. This butterflied chicken may not be as pretty presentation wise, but who really cares?

I have to be honest, I stumbled upon making this recipe, literally by accident.  I was planning on having one of those “cooking weekends” where I had all these fun recipe concepts I was excited to make.   Yet from the get go, things just kept going wrong.  As far as the chicken went, I was planning on making a “Balinese” marinade grilled chicken recipe I had been salivating over for a few weeks, but the marinade came out horrible.  I discovered this only after I was already several hours behind into my cooking for the weekend and I was having company over in a few hours.  So here I had this butterflied chicken ready to marinade, it was too late to fire up the grill, and I had never roasted a butterflied chicken in the oven. I was now paralyzed with “creative cooking  block”.  Looking back I have no idea why I was so flustered.  Roasting butterflied chicken in the oven should have seemed like an obvious “snap”.   I decided upon a  soy glaze so I knew I could at least get a nice looking “brown” on the skin.  I threw together a quick 1 hour marinade, preheated the oven to 415 degrees, threw the chicken in, and 45 minutes later it was done. I LOVED the way this chicken turned out.  The chicken skin was nicely browned  and crisp, and the chicken meat super juicy and cooked evenly throughout.

Normally I don’t make Asian marinades with soy sauce because of the high sodium content but I was a little pressed for time, and I’ll admit, it tasted great.

*** Note: I did not, nor will I likely ever butterfly a chicken on my own.  Just had the butcher at Whole Foods do it for free. To “Butterfly the Chicken Yourself”  Here is a link to an instructional video on YouTube.

Marinade for a 3 to 4 lb roasting Chicken Butterflied

  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  •  1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • neutral cooking oil, I used grapeseed

Directions:

  • Pre heat the oven to 415 degrees
  • Line a broiling pan with foil, doubled, then oiled
  • Place marinaded chicken, butterflied, breast side up, laying on the pan as the photo above shows
  • oiled the chicken skin and put a nice sprinkling of salt and pepper on as well
  • Put an electric thermometer in the breast of the chicken
  • Place the dark part of the chicken into the oven facing the back of the oven.  The oven is hottest in the back and as that the darker meat needs to be around 10 degrees hotter than the breast meat
  • Set timer for around 35 minutes and check thermometer.  Check every 5 minutes after wards until Breast is 160 degrees and dark meat 170.
  • Optional: Baste the chicken with the left over marinade through cooking process
  • When breast meat is around 160 degrees and the dark meat around 170, turn the broiler up to high, and raise the pan so the skin can get browned and crispy.  Watch closely.  This only took a couple of minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy

 

 

 

 



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Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Vegetables


I had been wanting to try out some new coconut green curry recipes and found a version of this recipe posted on the “Epicurious” FB page last week. (Click here for Epicurious Recipe)  This particular recipe had all the flavors I loved, seemed fairly quick and easy. This made it a perfect base for a “Chicken Green Curry” or a “Vegetarian Green Curry” to come up with of my own.

So over this past weekend I tried out the recipe three ways.  With chicken, with shrimp, and then, a “Super Veggie” version. I found the vegetarian version, on this particular occasion, to be my favorite of the three, and was still eating the delicious leftovers from it, 2 days later.

This is one of those recipes that you can definitely play around with all the flavors and ingredients to suit your own liking. For a healthier version, I cut down on  the “unnecessary” calories  by using light coconut milk. less oil and omitting the noodles. (However, having tried this recipe, I can vouch it would taste pretty awesome with noodles)  I really amped up the flavor and the heat by using a bit more lemon grass, cilantro, ginger, and curry paste. If you prefer a more “tame” dish, perhaps stick to the measurements from the original Epicurious recipe tagged above.

As a little side note for anyone going through chemotherapy, or if your cooking for someone who is.  One of my absolute favorite things to eat during the 2 years I was having chemo was Asian curries.  This is a really great curry base with the kind of powerful flavors that really help neutralize that yucky chemo taste in the mouth one gets.   The tasty flavor profile and the aromatics like the ginger, lemongrass and cilantro have great healing properties and health and healing properties for the oncology patient.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 medium sized shallots)
  • 2 or 3 fresh lemongrass stalks, with the outer 1 or 2 leaves discarded and the lower 6 inches of the stalks thinly sliced * note: if you don’t have access to fresh lemongrass, use a tablespoon of lemongrass paste from the fresh produce section of your grocery store (or you can bypass this ingredient all together since there is a little bit of lemongrass in the green curry paste)
  • 4 large garlic clove, chopped (you can use less if your not a fan of garlic)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 3 tablespoons bottled Asian green curry paste (click here for example)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 cup of water (preferably filtered)
  • 2  to 3 tablespoons of grape-seed oil or coconut oil (or any neutral oil for high heat cooking)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups of non fat chicken broth or chicken stock (preferably low sodium)
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp ( If making chicken curry 1 lb chicken breast;  if making vegetarian curry, use 3 to 4 cups of chopped veggies (i.e.  broccoli,  onion, mushrooms, carrots, snap peas, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced Shitake mushrooms (or white mushrooms is OK)
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion chopped

Directions:

  • Puree shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and cilantro stems in a blender or a food processor with the curry paste, salt, turmeric and water until as smooth as possible.  About 1 minute
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan over moderate heat and stir fry veggies until just cooked or al dente.  Start with onions, cook for 3 minutes until soft, add carrots and, and mushrooms.  If doing the vegetarian curry, cook all the veggies until just barely cooked.  Do not over cook or they will be too mushy after going in the curry. Removed veggies and set aside.

  • Heat the remaining oil in a large pot or dutch oven over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook the curry paste mix mixture, stirring frequently, until it just begins to stick to the bottoms of the pot, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Do not let it brown – than it’s starting to burn.
  • Add coconut milk  and chicken broth to the curry past mixture stir and let simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 1/2 cups, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Depending on which type of curry you made add in shrimp or chicken and stir until protein is cooked. 2 to 3 minutes  for shrimp and a few extra minutes for chicken.  Take a shrimp or chicken out and cut through checking to make sure its cooked all the way through.

  • Stir in veggies and stir in fish sauce, salt and pepper.

 

Serve and enjoy



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Spicy Thai Butternut Squash/Coconut Soup with Shrimp


This is a variation of a soup recipe I found on the Whole Foods recipe site, yet wanted to make it a little different.  This soup came out really nice and velvety, and although I really added extra heat, I will, add even more next time I make it.  I used already cubed butternut squash that is sold at Whole foods and then “light” coconut milk and nonfat organic chicken broth with some red Thai curry paste as the base.  I cooked the prawn separately and added them in at the end, but next time I make this I think I will add cubed chicken breast cooked ahead as well.  This dish can definitely tolerate more protein than the original recipe I was working with.  Also depending on your own personal tastes, play around with the garlic, red chili paste, and chili flakes to your specific likes.

I love Thai food in general, but it tasted especially good during chemo.  The heat and the spices kind of cover up that chemical flavor in your mouth, and soups were, for whatever reason, much easier to eat than whole foods.

Ingredients:

  • aprox 3 to 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped and used generously for soup base and shrimp stir fry
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 3 teaspoons red curry paste (more to taste if you like… I like super spicy myself)
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups non fat chicken broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of light coconut milk
  • Red chili flakes (as desired…. I like lots because I love spicy food)
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • optional: 1 chicken breast pre cooked 1 inch cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions:

1.  Take the butternut squash cubes and mix with a bit of olive oil and salt/pepper, and roast in oven @ 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.  You want it cooked enough to bring out the flavor, but not browned.  Pull from oven set aside.


2.  Heat oil in a large soup pot, oer medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Cook, stirring frequently, until “fragrant”, and the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in curry past (more if you want it spicier), sugar, and salt, stir and cook about a minute or two longer.

3.  Stir in the roasted squash, broth and coconut milk and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

4.  Take the soup, and pureed in batches in high speed blender and return to soup pot.

5.  In stir fry pan, heat oil with garlic and some chili flakes to stir fry shrimp in batches until done.

6.  Take shrimp and if using optional cubed chicken, add to the soup base

7.  Ladle into soup bowls, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and lime wedges

Nutrition per 17 oz serving:  250 calories, 60 from fat, 23 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 175 of cholesterol, 480 of sodium




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Super Quick Asian Noodle Super Veggie Soup

I make a variation of this recipe all the time.  This particular recipe is an exact replica of what I made when I came home last Sunday night to my boyfriend with a raging “Man Cold”.  He loves the “Chicken Magic Mineral Broth” and swears its “medicinal”.   So I defrosted some of my stock (but you can use any store bought chicken broth or stock) and added some veggies and pre cooked organic buckwheat soba noodles I had on hand.  If I make this again I will cook dry buckwheat soba noodles separately and then add right before serving

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (aprox) of homemade chicken stock or store bought (if vegetarian use vegetable stock)
  • 1 6 oz package of pre cooked organic buckwheat soba noodles (purchased from Whole Foods)
  • 12 ounces of Shitake mushrooms (but you can use cremini, white, or any asian mushrooms)
  • 6 green onions, the whites and part of the greens chopped into small pieces (see photo below)
  • 6 ounces of bean sprouts
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat stock or broth over medium high heat, do not let it get to a boil, low simmer o.k
  • Add the mushrooms and let them cook through and heat in the stock.
  • Add the pre-cooked buckwheat soba noodles and allow to warm up and seperate within the liquid.  If you decide to use dry noodles cook them separately in salted water and then add to stock or broth.
  • Add green onions and bean spouts right before ladling into bowl
  • Salt to taste
  • Serve and Enjoy!

This soup is naturally low in fat and calories, and high in nutrient density!

 


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