Spicy and Sweet dumpling salad

I have a strange obsession with dumplings which depending on where you are in the world can also be called a potsticker, gyoza or simply ravioli. They generally has a small amount of meat and some vegetables wrapped around a wrapper and you can boil, fry, bake or any combination of the three cooking methods. I have made my fair share of homemade dumplings but I have found a frozen brand that is delicious and I haven’t made a single dumpling since. A friend of mine showed me where there is a dumpling restaurant in Montreal that I’m kind of happy isn’t closer to me.
IMG_5588.JPGI’m sure that I am not off the hook and they are not difficult to make but sometimes a quick and simple lunch or dinner is just what the doctor ordered. Today we have been getting things done. We cut down our tree and it is finally is in place, we’ll need to get it decorated before the weekend ends.
IMG_5571This recipe fits a few of my requirements especially this time of year it is quick, easy, and limits my dumpling eating to a few and not the whole pan 🙂 which I could easily do but should most definitely not.
IMG_5581Sweet and Spicy Korean Dumpling Salad

3-5 dumplings per serving
Lettuce a few leaves chopped
Cabbage a few slices chopped
1 small Cucumber – peeled, seeded and julienned
1 small Carrot – peeled and julienned
1-2 tablespoons oil for pan frying
IMG_5584Spicy & sweet dressing
1 tablespoon Koren chili paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Place veggies in a bowl and set aside. Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till combined.
Heat oil in a pan on medium low heat and arrange the dumplings so the bottoms are all touching the pan, you’ll want to brown the bottoms and then add a tablespoon or two to the pan and cover with a lid cook for about 5-10 minutes till the dumplings are cooked thru.
Mix everything when you are about to sit down and eat so the veggies and dumplings stay crunchy.
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Macros = 1 serving – recipe makes 3-4 with 4 dumplings per
227 Calories – 5 g Fat – 36 g Carbs – 9 g Protein

 

recipe adapted from Korean kitchen

Tomato butternut squash soup

Pretty much every Friday at work a group of us order lunch out from somewhere in town. How we decide depends on if someone wants to run out and pick it up; which generally isn’t the case so we end up ordering from 1 of the 2 places that will deliver. If we can get someone to run there are so many more options and it is getting that time of year where most places have soup back on their menus.  There is a marketplace in the center of town that makes a mean tomato cheddar soup.  They are kind of “famous’ for it. Or at least here in town they are.  It is only soup that is on the menu every day of the week.
IMG_5520Many years ago one of my co-worker’s and I used to get a bowl of Tomato Cheddar each and split a loaf of their fresh made french bread at least once a month; we did this for a couple of years. The marketplace was sold and the new owner still made the soup it wasn’t quite the same so we stopped going there.  

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I think this looks pretty cool! It makes me smile…

A couple of weeks ago we decided to give it a try. I ordered a cup and was going to forgo on the bread; still trying to eat a little healthier. When I googled the nutrition of a cup of tomato cheddar soup I was shocked and so disappointed. I could eat that little cup of soup but that would have been pretty much it for the day. I had no idea; if nothing else paying attention to macros-protein, carbs and fat. I am trying to make better choices; but being a foodie I will not compromise eating yummy food.
IMG_5525I had heard and seen people on TV use butternut squash in recipes in place of cheese. I know I too was a skeptic. I hadn’t tried anything until I bought a cup of soup I didn’t feel I should eat. The I was on a mission I was going to make a hearty tomato soup that had the love that tomato cheddar has without taking up so much of my fat allowance.
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1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium or 1 large onion, diced
1 ½ lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons sugar –  optional
chives and pumpkin seeds – optional but a very nice touch!

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent about 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the butternut squash and continue sauteing for another 10-20 minutes stirring a few times.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for about an hour.

Puree with whatever you have, I use my immersion blender for convenience
Add salt and pepper to taste.
IMG_5531Bonus is you can freeze the leftovers since there is no cheese or cream

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My husband and I taste tested adding sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds – pumpkin won!!!


Tomato & Butternut Squash soup
Macros = 8 ounce
68 Calories – 2.2g Fat – 10.9g Carbs – 3g Protein

Tomato & Cheddar Soup generic
Comparison Macro = 8 ounce
370 Calories – 28g Fat – 19g Carbs – 15g Protein

Fish en Papillote – baked fish in parchment

I have always wanted to try making fish e paillote which is a fancy way of saying fish baked in parchment paper. Don’t ask me why it has taken me SO long; it was easy, delicious and was a huge hit with the fam. plus it looks pretty cool.
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I bought some wonderful cod from my local market along with some asparagus; I really didn’t have a plan yet but I thought it would at least look pretty with the green vegetable over the white fish. I figured I would slice up some onions or shallots or both and add a slice of lemon a little salt and pepper and voila a meal was born. Well almost!
IMG_5460I figured I needed to add some liquid so everything would steam in the packet and from some reason I was leaning toward an Asian profile.  So I started looking around the internet for some flavor Ideas and there are some great ones out there but I wanted something simple with ingredients I had on hand. I always have soy sauce and I found a bottle of Mirin next to the Soy Sauce; which Mirin is a type of rice wine vinegar that along with some sugar and it made a wonderful light taste to go along with the everything else in my little paillote; well mine was much larger than I think it should have been. When I make it again I will use a smaller piece of fish or at the very least only a few pieces of asparagus. I would do everything else the exact same, it was a very nice simple meal that took under 30 minutes from start to finish even cleanup was minimal.
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Ingredients
Cod Fillet – roughly 4 oz serving per person
Asparagus – trimmed
Fresh Thyme
Lemon – sliced
Cherry tomatoes – halved
Shallots – sliced
Onion – sliced – one of my super small ones from my garden
Kosher Salt
Freshly cracked Black Pepper

Flavoring
3 Tablespoon Mirin
3 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
whisk all in a small pan and heat long enough for the sugar to melt
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place fish in the middle of your piece of parchment, salt and pepper, add slices shallot and tomatoes, place a few pieces of asparagus and a slice of lemon. Pour some of the soy sauce mixture over each packet.
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Start on the side of the parchment and crimp and roll until it is completely closed. Place on a sheet pan with your other packets and place in a 350’F oven for about 15 minutes.
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Macros per packet using 3 spears of asparagus
212 Calories
23.5 Protein
24 Carbs
2.7 Fat

 

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Tis the season for the gardens to be cleaned out and prepped for next year!  It has been a pretty disappointing gardening season for me this year.  My garlic and onions were small, I didn’t get any cucumbers, my pepper and eggplant plants died and I may have gotten 10 squash in total. It wasn’t a total loss I still have a couple of enormous cabbages and I still have some rainbow beets and rainbow carrots that I am leaving in the ground until I need to take them out.
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So processing produce has been kept to a minimum this year and that is OK with me; though who eats that much cabbage? I know we don’t I gave some to my family but they wouldn’t even take one of the huge ones – gosh I can’t understand why…
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I did find a great recipe for Eggroll in a Bowl. Basically it is everything that goes into an eggroll minus the fried wrapper. I know that is probably the best part, this very easy and better for you. The first batch I made it was a little too spicy for my husband so I cut back on the crushed red pepper flakes and it still taste delish. Since I made it twice in a very short period of time, I ended up portioning it out and put them in the freezer. Great when/if you bring lunch to work and have access to a microwave.
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Egg Roll in a Bowl

Ingredients

9 cups shredded or chopped cabbage
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 medium onions, diced
1 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup beef broth
4 teaspoon Tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 pound ground or diced chicken – can also use turkey or pork
Scallions for garnish

Instructions

using a large skillet cook the meat till browned, add the onions and sesame oil. cook until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium; add spices and broth and stir well.
Add the cabbage and stir to coat. Cook stirring frequently until the cabbage slightly wilts.
Add carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Add tamari to taste and adjust flavorings as desired.
Serve plain or you can serve over rice
Garnish with green onions if desired.
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Macros – using diced chicken and 1 cup
97 Calories
2 Fat
16 Carbs
5.5 Protein

Pasta e Fagioli – similar to Olive Garden

Soup season came pretty quickly; at least for a couple of day. Nothing like going from 90’ to 40’ within a couple of days to start me thinking of making soup; literally any soup is fine with me. I do have a secret fantasy; well I guess it’s not a secret anymore; but to open a little soup shop. Kind of like a loaf and ladle kind of place. Because having a nice piece of bread with a warm cup of soup is just plain heaven to me.
IMG_5441I remember being in NY City quite a few year ago doing some sightseeing with my husband and we went looking for the Soup Nazi – you know the one that the show Seinfeld made a little more famous than he might have wanted to be. It really was a small hole in the wall kind of place on a side street and I thought it was simply brilliant. I can’t remember the exact wording but the sign said something like know what you want to order, have your money ready, place your order and move all the way to the left. Me being; well me I couldn’t stop smiling so I can only guess he knew I was only there because of the Seinfeld episode. My husband and I stepped up with our order and money ready, placed and paid and moved to the left. Apparently not far enough; or he played along; but we were pointed at and motioned to move further to the left. Still brings a smile to my face.
IMG_5439Anyway I loved how you got your soup, a spoon, napkin, an apple and a piece of bread ripped from a loaf all in  brown paper bag. What a great lunch; I would go there daily if I lived or worked close by. So simple yet so fulfilling.
IMG_5440Pasta e Fagioli Soup makes approximately 12 cups – freezes nicely

Ingredients
1 pound lean ground turkey (your choice – chicken, beef, sausage all would be great)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounce low sodium beef or chicken broth plus a little more as needed or use water
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
28 ounce can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried marjoram – or substitute with more oregano
1 cup ditalini pasta – or substitute with another small pasta
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can northern beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and fresh crack Black Pepper to taste

Instructions
Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, crumble in the meat and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain fat and transfer to a plate and set aside. Heat remaining olive oil add carrots, celery and onions over medium-high heat until tender, about 6 minutes, add garlic saute another minute or so. Reduce heat to low, add the tomato sauce, broth, tomatoes and all the spices plus the meat back into the pot. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
Prepare pasta according to the directions on the box. Add cooked drained pasta to the soup along with both cans of beans. Allow to meld for a few minutes. Serve warm with grated parmesan or romano cheese.
IMG_5446Macros = 1 cup using ground turkey
Calories 221
Fat 7.54
Carbs 21.25
Protein 18.2

Ground Turkey Chili

I believe I mentioned a few weeks ago trying to pay a little more attention to what I was eating. Well it has been a pretty slow process for me. I refuse to eat something healthy that I can’t stand the taste of just because it’s healthier. In the same breath I have definitely gone the other way and also refuse to waste calories on something that isn’t worth it.  I’ve spit out gum, candy and baked goods  and deemed them not calorie worthy.
IMG_5419So this last week I bought extra lean ground turkey and some ground chicken with absolutely no idea what to do with them, but I knew they were better for me than my lovely Ribeye that I cooked last week wink wink.
IMG_5412So I set myself a task of turning 94% lean ground turkey into something delicious. Or at the very least something I could eat and not throw away. It was surprisingly easy; a few pantry items and some spices I made a wonderful Ground Turkey Chili. I had intended to take one of the cans of beans and smash them to thicken the stew but I forgot and just added it but the next time I might, just to make it a little thicker, though totally not necessary.
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Ground Turkey Chili
1 lb ground turkey
Swirl or two extra virgin olive oil
1 10 oz can rotel
1 15.8 oz great northern beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
1 15 oz can white hominy
1 32 oz low sodium chicken broth – or homemade
1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 small bulbs shallots diced
1 medium green pepper seeded & chopped – I added this because I needed to use it up
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Handful fresh spinach leaves – I added this also to use it up
3-4 drops of sriracha hot chili sauce – to taste
IMG_5415It’s best to take everything out and put it on the counter and chop all the vegetables.
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In a dutch oven or your favorite soup pot. Swirl a little oil in the bottom, add the onions, garlic, green pepper and shallots, sweat for a couple of minutes, add the turkey and brown. Add cumin, salt and pepper then the beans and hominy. Cover with broth and toss in a handful of the spinach. Finish off with some sriracha and taste for salt.

Tastes even better the next day; according to my husband!
IMG_5414I am going to try to start including this information with my recipes; I will do my best but forgive me if they all don’t include it

Serving size: 1 cup
Makes: approx. 12 cups
Calories: 206.53
Fat: 3.56 g
Carbs: 31.78 g
Protein: 13.77 g

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Weeknight Beef Tenderloin and Veggies

Summer months around here can sometimes be hectic as I am sure most of yours can be as well. Last night I spent 3 hours weeding my garden beds. That sounds like I should have a HUGE garden; well I actually have technically 6 raised beds of various sizes; they are all pretty large with one; the one I like the least being huge. It’s not my favorite because I can’t sit on the side and reach for the weeds like my others; I have to walk into it avoiding all the plants to get all the weeds. I am definitely spoiled with my other beds and I like it. Because life is busy I don’t spend every day out there, I tend to weed 3 or 4 times throughout the season and literally pick EVERY weed out of each bed; which is why it takes me so long.
IMG_5320Anyway when life is busy it’s really nice to have a quick painless meal in your back pocket. There is no take-out delivery service in my area so I tend to cook most nights. I am fairly certain that even if there were I would still cook more since I love making something delicious and using up what I have in the fridge and pantry.
IMG_5314One dish meals are wonderful on so many levels, they go together quite quickly, there is  less mess, less clean up and usually they have the opportunity to meld all of their flavors together creating a quite cohesive dish. Plus I really like the quicker clean up. I would like to say that I don’t have to clean the kitchen since I am the one making dinner; but more times than not, I end up getting back in the kitchen to clean it more of the way I like it. The fam may do the dishes but I actually clean all the surfaces so it’s ready for the next time I want to create something yummy.
IMG_5316I had picked up one of those packages of pre-seasoned beef tenderloins to have on hand when we had all the family around a couple of weeks ago. I know they tend to have too much sodium in them, but they do serve their purpose and once in awhile is OK with me. This is a peel, chop and dump kind of recipe. Believe it or not I do not have a small rack that fits in any of my 9 x 13 pans crazy I know right? So this is when your sides become the rack for you. Peel some potatoes and veggies along with some onions for added flavor a little olive oil, salt and pepper and some fresh herbs like rosemary YUM!

Potatoes – chopped
Carrots – chopped
Onions – sliced
Fresh rosemary – chopped
Beef Tenderloin
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Spray or oil your dish, chop the onions and veggies and add them to your dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and the rosemary. Using your hands, or spoon to mix everything up together. Then place your tenderloin over the veggies. Cook not covered for 30-50 minutes depending on the size of the meat. Remove the meat when it is done and put the veggies back in the oven while the meat rests, another 10 minutes. Take out an enjoy!

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