Vegetable Chow Mein

 

Sometimes I get cravings, you know: home on the couch or maybe on my drive home from work ‘man, Chinese food would be great’… and I just can’t shake it.  No banana, no spaghetti carbonara, no hamburger is going to help.  Chinese food is a craving you just can’t ignore.  You need to address it; you need to give in.  I might as well just get in my car and get to my local take-out place as soon as ‘I want Chinese’ enters into my brain.  I can’t get around it, but there are so many calories! not to mention the additives, but making Chinese food at home consists of tons of expensive rarely used ingredients!   Not this recipe.

I originally found this on Pinterest,  The seven minute video shows a simple recipe for vegetable chow mein – its AMAZING!  You should take the time and watch the video.  Though there is a lot of chopping preparation beforehand – having your dinner come together in 15 minutes is a wonderful thing.  The best part is you get to control the ingredients, fat, MSG, and type of veggies you put it.  And of course serve them over those super tasty (deep-fried-totally-not-good-for-you) crunchy chow mein noodles.

Basically, you slice cabbage, carrot, onion, and celery, measure out your other ingredients and have them all ready to go before you even start to heat the pan.  Once the cooking begins, it moves quickly, so be ready – no ‘I’ll just chop the garlic while the cabbage is cooking’  BE PREPARED!

I won’t bore you with another recipe, I used bok choy, carrot, onion, celery, bamboo shoot, water chestnut, and bean sprouts. I did have Mirin, but he says you can substitute orange juice or some apple cider vinegar.  Try it, you will love it, and perhaps never need take-out again ;)

Ingredients

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Banana BreadSo kids here are back in school, which means my part-time position at school has started too.  Time is tighter than ever.  I have focused on breakfast the past few posts, and this one is no different.  Breakfast, or even just how you wake up and start your day, can affect your mood the rest of the day.  I strongly feel that a home-made breakfast is the best way to start your morning, even if it is a super simple one, like some banana bread (and the less cooking I have to do while trying to gulp down a cup of coffee, get dressed, and make kid lunches the better).

Now, I’m sure everyone has a go-to recipe or maybe you just do a web search to find the ingredients you have on hand (guilty). Quick breads are one of the easiest things to make, and they are so simple, if you have a young one, this is a recipe for them.  The other reason I like banana bread or zucchini bread is that is uses up ingredients that have either gone bad (brown, smushy bananas) or are going to go bad (all that zucchini you have harvested or bought for twenty cents per pound).  These are recipes our grandmothers and great-grandmothers made before stand mixers allowed us to whip egg whites hands-free.  This recipe takes a bowl and a wooden spoon.

This recipe makes two loaves, one to enjoy today, and one to freeze (yeah.. if it makes it that far) to enjoy later.  And if you are pinched for time; do what I do: freeze the smushy bananas until you are ready to use them.  That way you don’t get fruit flies, and you won’t stress out over having to make banana bread just because the bananas are brown and you have 46 other things to accomplish in the next hour. Enjoy~

two loaves

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Super-Easy Donuts @wyldethyme.comBack to school is here and I’m so excited!  I like to give my kids a healthy start to their mornings, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal. But, sometimes you just need a doughnut.  Crispy, doughy, sweet, sugary.  Pure delicious, but to make a yeast dough, let it proof, it just takes too long.  And unless you are lucky enough to have a bakery right around the corner who knows how long those doughnuts have been hanging around at the local coffee shop, right? I found these on pinterest to make for camp breakfast.

When we are camping I love to cook, just not breakfast.  First thing in the morning I get the coffee and tea ready and someone else cooks breakfast.  I had one breakfast to cook during our ten days at camp (not bad right?) and this is what I served, well, ok fruit salad too.  No horrible morning thinking what so ever, you use refrigerator biscuits.  Yup, store brand buttermilk biscuits from a can. For about $3 you can have ten hot, fresh-from-the-fryer, clog-your-arteries, covered-in-sugar doughnuts.

The most difficult part was finding something sturdy and small enough to cut the holes in the middle of the dough.  I used the cover to my reusable water bottle.  It’s a little plastic dome about 1/2″ wide, perfect.  Other than cutting a hole, all you have to do is heat some vegetable oil and fry until golden on each side.  Take care not to get your oil too hot or the dough will burn.  I did not have a thermometer, I just used medium low heat and turned it down if things got too hot.

We topped our doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, chocolate glaze, vanilla glaze, powdered sugar and sprinkles.  Though cinnamon sugar is my favorite the chocolate and vanilla glazes were very easy to make.  I used the recipe at Leite’s Culinaria for the chocolate and vanilla glazes.  I was able to combine the dry ingredients before I left and just added the vanilla and milk that morning.  It drys quickly; if you want sprinkles act fast or they won’t stick!

The kids loved these so much we went through three cans of biscuits that morning.  At the end I quartered the biscuits, fried them and tossed them in cinnamon sugar for the grown-ups who thought a whole doughnut was too much (and then ate five or six quarters mind you).  This was definitely a pinterest win.  Enjoy~

sizzle, sizzle

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