Monday, March 31, 2008

Turkey Meatballs

Recipe: Turkey Meatballs

Shortly after breaking my ankle in January, my friend Jenni arrived with much-needed food. One of the things which she brought were meatballs made from ground turkey. She had given me this recipe last year, and it is Jack's favorite (please, don't anyone tell my Mom that he said this!). I made a batch a few days ago, using a few and freezing the rest. They are moist because they are baked in a bit of chicken broth and are very, very flavorful with a nice (but not overwhelming) garlic punch. Perfect for on top of a mound o' spaghetti!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkey Meatballs

Recipe By: Jenni
Servings: 9

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs -- unseasoned
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
20 ounces ground turkey
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 425F

Beat eggs in a large bowl, add ingredients through cayenne and mix thoroughly. Add the turkey and mix lightly until well-combined.

Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Form the meat mixture into 18 balls (I used a batter scoop which holds 3 tablespoons, 1-3/4 ounces weight before cooking) and place in the prepared pans. Pour 1/2 cup broth and 1/4 cup water into each sheet. Spray meatballs with cooking spray. Carefully place in oven.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through (if using an instant-read thermometer, test one. They are done when at 165F).

If the broth evaporates during cooking, carefully add a small amount of water.

"18 pieces"

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Per serving: 171 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat; (46% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 73mg Cholesterol; 677mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Penne with Tomato Lentil Sauce

Recipe: Penne with Tomato Lentil Sauce

I don’t usually need to be secretive about what I am cooking. Jack is a willing taste-tester for almost everything which I prepare and, if not enthusiastic about trying new foods, is at least agreeable and will try almost any food once.

Through the almost-25 years in which we have been married there have only been two meals which he has, to be honest, despised. One was the time I bought shark steaks and didn’t know that they were past their best (not only tasting badly but giving us both tummy-aches). And the other unfortunate meal was lentils. In fact, ever since this particular meal took place, it has been his yardstick by which to rate other recipes (“well, although it’s by far not my favorite, the tofu manicotti which you made for dinner wasn’t nearly as bad as those lentils…”).

What, you may ask, did you do to poor lentils to make them deserve this? My answer: nothing. Absolutely nothing. Therein was the problem. We were just married and I had been reading about healthy eating. I was beginning to learn how to cook more than the basics, and wanted to expand into healthful foods. Lentils were mentioned in many of the articles which I was reading, so I bought a package in the health-food store. I believe that they were brown lentils. This was before the internet (with its “recipes at the click of a button”) and the few cookbooks which I had didn’t have any recipes containing lentils. So I improvised and made lentils simmered in tomato sauce. That’s it. No garlic, no spices, nothing but lentils and canned tomato sauce. Poor Jack. It was a terribly uninspired meal. A bowlful of lentils cooked in tomato sauce. Imagine. Is there any wonder that he remembers it so very unfondly?

In the April issue of Canadian Living I found a recipe for Penne with Tomato-Lentil Sauce. Although it sounded great to me I was certain that he would, upon hearing what was for dinner, not be very receptive. I mean, lentils in tomato sauce!!! Still, I had a package of French green lentils and wanted to make it.

I waited until he had an afternoon meeting and wouldn’t be arriving home until shortly before dinner. I also made a batch of turkey meatballs from his favorite recipe, knowing that it would “cushion” the surprise of the little green discs which would be in the tomato sauce. When he arrived home and asked what we were having, I smiled mysteriously and replied “something very special”. He couldn’t be fooled—he smelled the meatballs! But I persisted, telling him that I couldn’t reveal this information until dinnertime.

Shortly before I was ready to serve, he came out to help set the table and pour the wine. I shooed him back into his office, needing the time to plate dinner before he could see what was in the pot. Finally, it was ready. I scooped the sauce and lentils over the pasta, added a couple of turkey meatballs on the side, and called him in. He zeroed in on the meatballs immediately and was overjoyed. Seriously. Meatballs take time to make, and if I’m going to add ground turkey to a tomato sauce for over pasta, I’ll usually just brown it instead of going to the trouble of mixing and forming the meatballs.

He picked up his fork and looked closely at the penne. I had my head down, looking over to him from under my eyelashes. He speared a few pieces, containing a healthy portion of lentils in sauce, and put it into his mouth. He chewed. My eyeballs were hurting from the strain of looking up through my bangs. He swallowed, took another forkful of pasta, and a piece of meatball. Then I heard it. “Mmmmmmmmmm”. I lifted my head. My vision was a bit blurred. He smiled—“okay, what’re the little things in the sauce?” “Um”, I hesitated a bit. “Lentils”. He loaded his fork again. “They taste great!”. I had to laugh and admit my deceitfulness.

He actually asked if there were seconds! Although I did make the entire recipe, there was enough for another dinner, so no second helpings were available. But he must have told me three or four times how good the sauce was, how much he liked the lentils done this way. His last words, as he handed me his empty plate to put in the dishwasher, “Really, it was good. I’m not kidding.”

Okay, I believe him.

This sauce was very, very good. Flavorful enough that it didn’t even need the requisite Parmesan sprinkled over top. And it contains 22g of plant-based fiber per serving!

I made a few changes to the original recipe (when don’t I do this?!)

I used a large nonstick sauté pan instead of a Dutch oven, thereby reducing the need for oil. The original recipe called for ¼ cup of diced pancetta or thick-sliced bacon, which I eliminated; I used 1/3 cup red wine instead of ¼, and I used a large can of crushed tomatoes rather than the can of whole tomatoes called for. And I tossed in a couple of Parmesan rinds which I had in the freezer.

Note: Green lentils are more flavorful than brown, and those are what I used, but no matter what type are in the sauce, chop the veggies to be not much larger that the lentil size. This is a rule of thumb which I follow when cutting vegetables for all pasta dishes, to keep the vegetable pieces in a similar shape/ size to the pasta.

The next time I make this, I will reduce the amount of lentils to 2/3 cup (I think that ¾ cup was just a bit too much. And, really, that’s my opinion, not Jack’s!).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Penne with Tomato Lentil Sauce

Recipe Adapted From: Canadian Living April 2008

Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------- -------- -----------------------------------

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion -- diced

1 medium carrot -- diced

1 medium celery rib -- diced

3 large cloves garlic -- minced

2 large bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2/3 cup lentils -- green

28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes

8 ounces canned tomato sauce*

1/3 cup dry red wine -- (or water)

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

12 ounces whole wheat penne

In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Cook onion through thyme, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and red wine (or water), plus 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in parsley.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then penne, and cook as package directs to al dente. Drain and place in serving bowl, top with tomato-lentil sauce.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 536 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat (1g saturated); (8% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 102g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 568mg Sodium; 22g fiber

Food Exchanges: 5 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 4 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other

*Edited a day after originally posting this:

I added an eight-ounce can of tomato sauce to the recipe because, after enjoying the leftovers, I realized that it could have been a little "saucier".

I will post the meatball recipe soon!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds

Recipe: Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds

I was in the mood for something different. I bought a book on curry recently, but once I started reading it I didn’t want to stop to look for a recipe. There will be a lot of curry recipes here in the near future, I think. But for tonight, I decided to make a chicken tagine.

This recipe was adapted from one gleaned out of the pages of Gourmet magazine. I used cubes of chicken breast and thigh instead of cutting apart a whole chicken, which also made the cooking time faster. I eliminated the butter and 90.5% of the olive oil (it sounds so much better in percentages than if I had said “I eliminated over 6 tablespoons of the oil”) from the original recipe.

A note: I love my Kitchen Aid hard-anodized nonstick sauté pan. I probably use it six times a week for dinner, and it has served me well. I bought it at TJ Maxx for around $20 over a year ago. You can get away with using lots less oil and butter when you have a nonstick pan!

This was an incredibly good meal. The chicken was tender, the apricots added a nice sweet taste, the almonds a very satisfying crunch, and I served it all over whole wheat couscous to soak up the wonderful cinnamon-ey sauce.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Tagine

with Apricots and Almonds

Recipe adapted from Gourmet May 2006

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ----------- ---------------------------------------

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 piece cinnamon stick -- 2"

1/3 cup dried apricot halves

2 teaspoons olive oil -- divided

10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- cut into 1" cubes

1 small sweet onion -- halved then sliced 1/4" thick

3 large garlic cloves -- minced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped parsley -- divided

2 tablespoons whole almonds -- toasted

1 cup whole wheat couscous

Mix cinnamon thru salt in a small bowl. Add chicken cubes and turn to coat on all sides.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add honey, cinnamon stick, and apricot halves. Turn heat to low and cook until apricots are tender, about 10 minutes. The water and honey should turn to a thick glaze. Turn off heat and cover pan to keep warm.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, then the chicken cubes. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove chicken to a plate, then add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and the sliced onion to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir for another 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add cilantro, one tablespoon of the parsley, 1/2 cup water, chicken, and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous.

Discard cinnamon stick from apricot mixture. Pour the glaze into the chicken mixture and stir until combined. Serve over couscous, sprinkle with remaining parsley, then toasted almonds.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 459 Calories (kcal); 15g Total Fat (2g saturated); (27% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 82mg Cholesterol; 641mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shrimp and Broccoli with Cashews

Recipes: Stir-Fried Shrimp and Broccoli with Cashews

Ah. Four days at my parents' house, four days of constant food temptation. I would like to say (oh, how much I would like to say!) that I avoided it all. That I ate the healthy salads, that I eschewed the cake and the cookies and the chocolate. But I would be lying. For four days, I became the Easter Glutton (no relation to the Easter Bunny). When I have mentioned in previous posts that I have very little willpower, I really meant it. The food was there, it was darn good, and I reveled in every single bite.

Which brings me back to today. I convinced Mom not to send as many sweets home with me as she is used to, but when we arrived home and unpacked yesterday afternoon, there was a nice assortment. I allowed myself to enjoy them through Tuesday evening, but this morning everything remaining went down the disposal. I will not tell Mom. In fact, I will not tell Jack, either. This is my secret. I cannot control myself, I realize that, and I must pay.

I also must up the time on the exercise bike to 25 minutes. Broken ankle be damned, I need to get back to my normal routine. And burn off some calories.

We are eating even more lightly than usual, and tonight I made a shrimp and broccoli stir-fry for dinner. There is some prep to be done (steaming rice, prepping the broccoli and the sauce), but once that is accomplished the dinner came together within 15 minutes. And it is darn good. But I still want some chocolate eggs...

* Exported from MasterCook *

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Broccoli with Cashews

Recipe By: Vicci
Servings: 2 Preparation Time :0:30

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
6 ounces broccoli florets -- steamed until just tender; dunked in cold water to stop the
cooking process, drained, patted dry, set aside
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon dry sherry -- optional
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
10 ounces shrimp -- peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large garlic cloves -- thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ginger root -- finely minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped roasted cashews

Cook rice and keep hot. While rice is cooking, prepare broccoli as directed. Mix together sauce ingredients (chicken broth through sugar) and set aside.

Toss shrimp in a bowl with the salt and pepper.

Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add garlic slices and ginger root and sizzle for about 15 seconds. Add shrimp and toss until opaque (about 3 minutes)

Add broccoli and sttir until heated through. Add the cornstarch to the sauce ingredients, stir well, pour into the wok, stir until thickened.

Divide rice between 2 plates, top with the shrimp and broccoli mixture, sprinkle with cashews.

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Per serving: 450 Calories (kcal); 11g Total Fat (1g saturated); (22% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 215mg Cholesterol; 901mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 22 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Friday, March 21, 2008

Chipotle Sauced Salmon with Tomato-Avocado Salsa; Easter Egg Anise Cookies

Recipes: Easter Egg Anise Cookies, Chipotle-Sauced Salmon with Tomato-Avocado Salad

It doesn’t “feel” like the beginning of Easter weekend. Gee, could it be because there is still the odd Christmas decoration hanging around? The broken ankle has precluded any trips to the attic to retrieve my Easter décor and I genuinely miss it all. I have also not been able to do much in the way of baking. Good Friday has always been my day to make hot cross buns and orange-cardamom bunny rolls. Not to mention the various cookies. This year, Mom is going to do all of the baking and I truly miss doing it.

My friend Jenni recently sent me a recipe for Anise Cookies that are shaped like Easter eggs. It looked relatively easy, not a lot of prep work, and I just had to have the fragrance of anise in the house on Good Friday.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, although I have been eating anise cookies since I could eat solid food, these may be one of my favorites. They are light in texture with a pleasant buttery taste and a punch of anise as well. I found that, to make an egg shape, you really have to form an exaggerated egg shape before baking because the dough puffs quite a bit.

The cookies on the first tray had a decidedly round shape, while the above, when baked, actually resembled eggs.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Easter Egg Anise Cookies

Recipe By : P. Manilla

Servings: 68

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- ----------------------------------------

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter -- melted, cooled

2 teaspoons anise extract

2 teaspoons anise seeds -- crushed

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon butter -- softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fat-free half and half

2 cups powdered sugar -- this is an approximate measure

Preheat oven to 350F

Beat eggs with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Add sugar, beat for one minute. Add butter, beat for an additional minute.

Mix baking powder and flour in a bowl. Add to egg mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Add enough flour to keep dough from sticking (too much) to your hands.

Dust hands with flour and form 1 tablespoon of dough into an egg shape. Repeat with the rest of dough.

Bake each baking sheet for approximately 8-9 minutes, until the cookies are a light golden brown on the bottom and the top feels firm.


Beat butter with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Beat in vanilla and fat-free half and half. Add enough powdered sugar to make a spreadable frosting.

Frost cookies. Decorate as desired.

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Per serving: 78 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat (2g saturated); (36% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 19mg Cholesterol; 65mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Dinner. I have to clear out the refrigerator a bit since we are going to be visiting my parents for a few days over the Easter holiday. There was a very ripe avocado, a half of a small onion and on the counter, 2 very ripe tomatoes. There was one piece of wild salmon left in the freezer which didn’t have to be used, but we have had chicken or ground turkey for the past few nights and I was craving fish.

Although there is both a red and an orange bell pepper to be used also, I shall take these to Mom’s and we will find some way to use them up.

I have to branch out in my avocado thinking. All I can come up with, when faced with needing to use one, is something Mexican inspired. I also had a half of a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes in the refrigerator, so I decided to make a tomato sauce, spiced up with chipotles, for on the salmon, and then make a tomato and avocado salad to serve with it as well. Rice will be the starch, and as I have mentioned before, I prefer the converted rice for Mexican/ Southwestern style dishes, rather than the basmati which I use for most other dishes.

This turned out to be great. The salmon, rubbed with a little of the salad dressing prior to broiling, was moist and flavorful. The chipotle sauce was spicy, and the tomato and avocado salad provided a cooling note.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chipotle-Sauced Salmon with

Tomato-Avocado Salad

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------- ---------- ----------------------------------------

14 ounces canned tomatoes -- whole, in juice

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

2 small garlic cloves -- minced

1/2 teaspoon oregano -- Mexican oregano preferred

1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce -- minced

3/4 teaspoon brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons lime juice -- divided

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 small avocado -- chopped

1 small tomato -- chopped

2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion

12 ounces salmon fillet -- (2 pieces)

1 1/2 cups hot cooked rice

Remove tomatoes from can and place in blender or food processor. Reserve juice for another use. Puree tomatoes. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of onions and cook, stirring, until soft (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and oregano and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, chipotle, brown sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepare rice.

In a small bowl mix together the lime juice, brown sugar, chili powder, and a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Place salmon fillets on the broiler pan and dribble with 1 teaspoon of the lime juice mixture. Rub into the fish. Place under the broiler and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until flesh is opaque.

While the fish cooks, add the avocado, tomato, and onion to the lime juice mixture and mix gently.

Divide rice between 2 plates. Top with a fish filet, spoon tomato chipotle sauce over, then arrange the tomato and avocado salad around all. Serve.

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Per serving: 641 Calories (kcal); 25g Total Fat (3g saturated); (33% calories from fat); 43g Protein; 65g Carbohydrate; 88mg Cholesterol; 458mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 10 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spicy Vegetable Tortilla Soup; Cheesy Chipotle Cornbread

Welcome spring? Right. Well, we welcomed it with a Spicy Vegetable Tortilla Soup for lunch. It may have been a wind chill of 38 degrees out, but our tummies were warmed with this wonderfully spicy concoction. I used canned tomato soup (not condensed, and a decent variety) to prepare it quickly.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Spicy Vegetable Tortilla Soup

Recipe By: Vicci
Servings: 4
Preparation Time :0:25

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 whole corn tortillas -- chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves -- minced
19 ounces tomato soup -- I used Progresso's Hearty Tomato Soup
12 ounces low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 small carrots -- chopped; about 2/3 cup
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped cilantro -- divided
5 ounces pinto beans -- about half of a 15 ounce can; drained and rinsed

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes (do not let brown). Add garlic, stir for a minute, then add the chopped tortillas. Stir for 2 minutes. Pour in tomato soup and broth, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add spices, carrot, corn, and cilantro. Return to a boil, then turn down heat, cover, and allow to simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add pinto beans and cook, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.

Serve with garnishes-shredded cheese, chopped avocado, sour cream, etc.

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Per serving: 315 Calories (kcal); 6g Total Fat (1g saturated); (16% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 54g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 626mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

I promised, in my last post, to remember to write down the chipotle cornbread recipe. And I did.

This bread was, as I mentioned, a fat-extravagance for me. But it was darn good. Spicy from the chipotles, creamy from the cheese, yum. There was some left over so I froze it, and we each had a piece with the soup for lunch. The baking time is a little vague since I forgot to set the timer after placing it in the oven and it was only by sheer luck that I remembered it just in time!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cheesy Chipotle Cornbread

Recipe By: Vicci
Servings: 12

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
4 ounces monterey jack cheese

Turn oven on to 375F. Coat a large (12-14") cast iron skillet with vegetable oil spray and place in oven to preheat. If no cast iron skillet is available, use a similarly-sized heavy baking pan.

Whisk eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk and oil. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients (cornmeal through ground chipotle pepper) in a large bowl. Make a "well" in the center of the mixture and pour the egg mixture in it. Mix gently. Add shredded cheese and fold in until ingredients are combined.

Remove the hot pan from the oven and pour in the cornbread mix. Return to oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes (it could be longer) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 247 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat (3g saturated); (33% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 41mg Cholesterol; 647mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 15 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Monday, March 17, 2008

A myraid of entertaining recipes

I just cannot describe how absolutely wonderful it is to be back in the kitchen! Yes, I know that I stopped using the crutches 2 weeks ago, but to have that darn aircast off and shoes on and to spend hours in the kitchen doing what I enjoy so much—it’s heaven! Heaven, I tell you!!! Of course, my poor foot has to get accustomed to this. And my back, which hasn’t hurt a bit for the first 8 weeks after my fall when I was sitting most of the time, isn’t pleased as well. But the heck with them both. ;)

I just love to spend hours in the kitchen, I love to entertain, and I was able to do both last week with only a moderate amount of pain and discomfort. It has been nine weeks, now, since I broke my ankle and foot and I am finally, finally feeling as though I am getting back to normal. Hallelujah!

For this event I planned menu items which could mostly be made ahead. I think that I have to concentrate more on doing that even after I am *dancing* again. It was nice to actually enjoy a party rather than be worried about the timing of recipes and what had to be done next.

The menus for our friend’s surprise birthday festivities were:



Queso Fundido al Tequila


baked tortilla chips


White Turkey Chili

garnishes of: chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, scallions; crumbled queso fresco

Chipotle Cornbread


Coconut Rum Layer Cake with Chocolate-Dark Rum Frosting



Triple-Berry French Toast

Maple Turkey Sausages


Italian Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Pasta

Rosemary-Garlic Bread

Assorted cheeses (grès des vosages, raw milk bleu d’auvergne, French smoked rambol)

All Grown-up Chocolate Chip cookies

I made a schedule of what should be prepared on which day, and pretty much stayed with it.

Last Sunday I made the French bread for Saturday’s French toast and also the Rosemary-Garlic Boulé. On Tuesday I prepared the cornbread dry ingredients, the tomato mixture for the queso fundido (and shredded the cheese as well), measured the berries for the French toast into a
plastic freezer bag and popped it back into the freezer, and made the frosting for the cake. On Wednesday, I cooked the chili (through the addition of milk and whole canellini beans), the base for the tomato soup, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Thursday we packed, traveled to the lake house, unpacked, and I frosted and decorated the cake.

We spent Friday morning decorating. Our friend Jack (the Birthday Guy) arrived in the early afternoon (treating himself to a half vacation day for the occasion) and I made peanut noodles with chicken for lunch. Afterward I baked the cookies so that he and Jack (my husband, Jack—it can become very confusing with two Jack's) could eat them fresh from the oven. Although I had milk with mine, they preferred beer! As the cookies baked I chopped garnishes for the chili; later
I made the guacamole, mixed up the cornbread, melted the cheese into the queso fundido, and heated the chili. Our other guests, George and Tammy, arrived at 6 and all was ready. (Friend) Jack, who thought it was going to be “just us”, was nicely surprised when they came into the room. The party began and we had a great time.

One of George’s varied hobbies is distilling spirits; the more unusual, the better. He brought down three bottles. Absinthe, Aqua Mirabilis (made from a medieval recipe—he bought wormwood online somewhere!), and something made from galangal which he has yet to name. They were very interesting. We sipped, since these spirits run about 140-proof, and admired the bottle labels. George is a genius at graphic design and I have to share these.

It was a very fun evening. Tammy appointed herself to be clean-up crew, and I have learned in the past several weeks how to give up control and accept help. I'm beginning to get used to this!

The recipes. I’ll try to get them all into this one post, but I only have a few photos.

First, the Queso Fundido is a Rick Bayless recipe which I first made a couple of years ago and noted that: “this is by far the best melted-cheese dip I have ever tried”. This time I used shredded jalapeno cheddar instead of the Monterey Jack called for in the recipe.

I spooned the tomato base in a mixing bowl, added the shredded cheese, and placed it in the microwave. Unfortunately, in my attempts to keep (friend) Jack’s attention by chatting as to
divert him from George and Tammy’s arrival until they actually walked into the room, I nuked the cheese too much. It curdled. There was nothing else to do but serve it, which I did in a terracotta warming dish, and it was all eaten anyway. This dip had a great flavor (although I was quite disappointed in the not-at-all creamy texture).

* Exported from MasterCook *

Queso Fundido al Tequila

Recipe By: Rick Bayless
Servings: 8

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes -- 1/4" dice
2 whole jalapeños -- seeded and minced
1 small onion -- 1/4" dice
3 tablespoons tequila

1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese -- shredded
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, jalapenos, onion, and a large pinch of kosher salt and cook over a moderately high heat, stirring often, until softened (about 5 minutes). Pour in the tequila and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the skillet looks nearly dry.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until fully melted (about 1/2 minute). Quickly transfer to a heated serving bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 140 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat; (68% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 25mg Cholesterol; 155mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

The guacamole is my standard recipe. I don’t like it to be too onion-y or too spicy, and this fits the bill perfectly. I've made it with both tomatoes and not, and I definitely prefer this with the tomatoes added.

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By: Rita
Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 medium avocado -- peeled and diced
2 large clove garlic -- minced
6 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 small jalapeno -- minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium tomato -- chopped

Coarsely mash avocado in a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 188 Calories (kcal); 16g Total Fat; (68% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 17mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 3 Fat
; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Can be made 2 days ahead of time. Spoon into a small container and press plastic wrap directly on the surface (and part of the surface exposed to air will brown, but this can be removed with a spoon prior to serving), cover, and refrigerate.

The White Turkey Chili is from a Cooking Light recipe of several years ago.

Sounds a bit odd, doesn't it? But this is truely delicious. I used ground turkey, browned, instead of cooked turkey breast. Having prepared it both ways in the past, I prefer it with the ground turkey better. I pre-prepared it up to the adding of the whole canellini beans and milk, and added those when it was reheated. Then chili didn’t thicken up as much as I wanted, so I ladled some of the liquid from the chili, stirred in cornstarch, and poured it back into the pot, stirring as it came to a boil and thickened. I also added a half
chopped Scotch Bonnet chili for some fire.

Tomatoes are a must for garnish, as is the queso fresco and extra cilantro, but the avocado and onion added a good flavor and crunch as well.

(note: CL photo by: BECKY LUIGART-STAYNER)

The cornbread was the result of mixing of two recipes I found online, plus a few additions of my own. I always like to preheat the pan or skillet in the oven because when you pour in that batter it sizzles and forms a nice crust. The shredded cheese added flavor and a creamy note to the bread. This isn’t my standard cornbread recipe (which is by Jane Brody and incorporates whole wheat flour and only a little oil), but I wanted something extra-special for this meal. I will add this recipe to the post soon (having just realized that it's still written on the back of a junk-mail envelope...).

The coconut rum cake is featured in a previous post. I created it for (husband) Jack’s birthday last June and have been dying to try it ever since. It is an awesome cake, if you like rum and coconut… and cake! I could eat the whole thing by myself (although it might take a day or two) and honestly, I may choose a big bowl of the chocolate dark-rum frosting for my last meal. If given the

The cake is simply a doctored white cake mix which has a wonderful flavor of coconut rum. The only mistake I made was to make the quantity of frosting in my June 2007 blog posting (for an 8" cake), and I would have liked a little more for frosting this 9" cake. And some to eat out of the bowl.

Several weeks ago I found a recipe for Triple-Berry French toast on Joe’s "Culinary in the Country" blog, so there was no decision as to what would be for Saturday breakfast. George stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a few packages of Wellshire Farms maple-flavored turkey breakfast sausage links. The sausages are excellent, my absolute favorite (and he brought me an extra package!).

The French toast was a cinch to make ahead. I made and froze the French bread earlier in the week, so all I had to do on Saturday morning was to cut it into cubes. The berries had been measured and mixed and were in a plastic bag in the freezer. The cinnamon, sugar, and cornstarch mixture was pre-mixed in a small container. All I had to do was beat the eggs and milk, let the bread cubes soak in it while I mixed the berries and sugar mixture, then arrange the eggy bread cubes on top and bake.

This recipe surpassed all of my expectations. The bottom layer of berries was hot and sweet and fragrant, the bread cubes on top made a delicious crust. Everyone loved this and I will make it

Because I try to prepare more than I think that we will eat, there were about 2 servings left (I increased the recipe by 50%). This tasted almost as good reheated 2 mornings later!

Lunch was an Italian tomato soup. I had made the soup base (sautéing onion and garlic, pureeing the whole tomatoes and simmering all together for a bit) earlier in the week and refrigerated. All I had to do was heat it, add the chickpeas, pasta, parsley, and shredded Parmesan. I also added some cayenne for a bit of a kick. It was quite delicious, thicker than most tomato soups, and a very hearty lunch.

Tomato Soup with Chickpeas & Pasta

From Food & Wine's "Quick From Scratch Soups & Salads Cookbook"

2 (28 oz) cans tomatoes with their juice
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. dried sage
2 c. chicken broth

2 c. water
1 3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. ditalini or other small pasta (I used orzo)
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. black pepper
1/3 c. grated Parmesan

Puree the tomatoes & their juice; set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic.

Add the pureed tomatoes, sage, broth, water & salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and chickpeas. Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, pepper, and the 1/3 c. Parmesan. Serve topped with additional

With the soup I served the Rosemary-Garlic bread which I made on Sunday and froze. This is from a CL recipe for Rosemary-Walnut Bread. The fresh rosemary added a nicely subtle flavor, but I could barely discern the garlic so I will increase it by 50% next time. It is a relatively easy bread, and in the 5 or so years I have been making it, I have not been disappointed.

And, aaaaaah, chocolate chip cookies. These were what I could keep Jack and Jack from snarfing down yesterday. And why wouldn’t they be good—butter and chocolate! Plus an undertone of both chocolate malted milk powder (I used Ovaltine) and vanilla made these positively addictive. I used a mix of semisweet, milk, and bittersweet chocolate chips, only 12 ounces total instead of the pound called for in the recipe. They are long gone, and I want more! Again from Joe’s blog, All Grown Up Chocolate Chip Cookies.

As a result of this 2-day food and drink orgy, we are trying to eat a bit lighter than usual during the next few days. Easter is this weekend and although I'm not baking much this year, we will be visiting my parents and Mom has been baking (and making chocolate eggs with various fillings) for weeks now. From the minute we walk in the front door to when we leave (with a small plastic bag of goodies "to keep you awake on the drive home"), we will be constantly tempted.

I love it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Going on a short "break"

It looks as though, even with all of the advance planning, I'll be spending most of my time this week in preparation for the surprise party on Friday. I forgot about that nagging backache which I get after spending 5+ hours on my feet in the kitchen (I want one of those gel mats!), and things are just going soooo slowly since I'm still a bit wobbly on my feet.

I shall post many recipes next week. And photos, too-- our guests are good friends and I can tell them to wait for a minute while I take a photo of their dinner... ;)

Later, 'gators!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Bonanza o' Breads...

Yesterday, Sunday, I had a lot on my "to do" list. Well, a lot for someone who hasn't been doing a heckuva lot for 8 weeks! We are having a surprise birthday party this weekend with the guest of honor and another couple staying overnight. This means not only the birthday dinner (and cake! yay!) but breakfast and lunch the following day. I planned rather easy, mostly make-ahead recipes and I decided that Sunday would be bread- baking day. I needed a bread to go with an Italian tomato soup for lunch, and a French bread for French toast for breakfast that day. In addition, Jack requested another loaf of no-knead bread, and I only have 3 slices left of the loaf I made with frozen bread dough.

As a result (clockwise from upper left):

2 loaves of Rosemary-Garlic bread, No-Knead, 3 loaves of 5-Grain, and 3 boules of French bread

I need to sharpen my bread-dough-slashing knife-- it was fine for the Rosemary bread but pulled at the boules a bit. And I forgot to make the cornbread for the birthday dinner! Oh well, I'll do that later in the week when I bake his cake.

Anyway, I started my 5-hour bread-baking marathon wearing the aircast but soon discovered that my back was starting to complain about lugging it around. So I removed it, wrapped my foot and ankle with an elastic bandage, and pulled on a high slipper. My first time walking around without the aircast in 8 weeks! Needless to say, even though I tried to take frequent breaks and sat down as much as possible, I was awakened several times during the night with pain in my legs and back (but surprisingly, not my foot).

Today was spent doing errands (I've become quite comfortable with using those motorized carts at the grocery stores and KMart), but mostly waiting at the orthopedists office. He told me to start to wean myself off of the aircast, and I shall follow his advice happily!

More recipes to follow as the week progresses...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Almond-Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken; Cranberry Walnut Bread

Saturday is Pancake Day and today we had a real winner—Oat Pear Hazelnut Pancakes. This was a doctored buttermilk pancake mix concoction, but the finished result was unexpectedly spectacular.

1 ¼ cups buttermilk pancake mix

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

water (or whatever the mix calls for)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons toasted chopped hazelnuts

Blend dry ingredients together in one bowl, wet in another. Add wet to dry, mix lightly; fold in hazelnuts.

Let stand for 10 minutes before cooking.

I should get back to making large batches of my healthier pancake mix, but it’s so easy to use the premade buttermilk mix and add to it. :)

Today, while we ate these wonderful pancakes, we watched the weather trifecta. First rain, then sleet, then before our very eyes, snow. And as hard as it snowed, we probably received only an inch. A bit disappointing, considering the dire warnings that had been broadcast since yesterday.

It is pretty darn cold, though, and to warm up the kitchen a bit before dinner I made a loaf of cranberry walnut bread. Every time I make it I tweak the recipe somewhat, but my handwritten notes say (in red, no less) do not change! this is great!!!. Okay, I believed myself. I made the bread, and I agree-- it is really good. Chock-full of walnuts, tart cranberries, and not too sweet.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 14

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ----------- ----------------------------------------

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup oat bran

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts -- coarsely chopped

1 large egg

1 large egg white

2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cranberries -- fresh or frozen, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Stir in walnuts; set aside.

Whisk eggs in a medium bowl; add yogurt, oil, and vanilla and mix well.

Pour wet ingredients into dry, stirring until just combined. Lightly fold in cranberries.

Scrape batter into an 8"x 4" loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to cooling rack and cool completely.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 152 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat (1g saturated); (30% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 14mg Cholesterol; 207mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 7 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


I had wanted to make a soup or stew, but Jack asked for something more substantial (I wish I could get him to accept soups and salads as a main course for dinner, but after 25 years I’ve given up).

After looking through some blogs this afternoon, I found myself hungry for fried chicken. Thanks, Nikki! But I haven’t fried anything in many, many years. The last “real” fried chicken I had was at my Gram’s about 8 years ago. So I decided to make oven-fried chicken. I don’t know where this recipe comes from, as it was Xeroxed from a book and there is no identification, but it is awesome. Not the same fried chicken that Gram made (and who could duplicate it, anyway); hers had a flour coating. This one is covered with a mix of wheat breadcrumbs and almonds and, when baked on a rack in a hot oven, is nice and crunchy. Again, not Gram’s (and I’d give a lot just to have her cook some for me again) but better for my waistline and cholesterol levels.

And I just had to have mashed white potatoes and gravy. And peas. Almost like Sunday dinner at Gram’s, except that this is Saturday…

* Exported from MasterCook *

Almond Crusted "Fried" Chicken

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- ----------------------------------------

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped almonds -- (chop finely)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

pinch dried thyme

pinch ground black pepper

10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- (2 pieces)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat over to 400F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, the place a rack inside the pan and spray that also. Set aside.

Mix crumbs through black pepper on a plate. Place chicken on another plate, rub on both sides wih olive oil. Place chicken on the crumb mixture, press; turn and press down. Coat both sides with the crumb mixture, pressing down as necessary to get the crumb mixture to "stick". Place on the rack, keeping plenty of room between.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until coating is golden and juices run clear when poked in the thickest part with a fork.

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Per serving: 352 Calories (kcal); 15g Total Fat (3g saturated); (38% calories from fat); 38g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 84mg Cholesterol; 287mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

As I sat typing into my laptop, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. A cardinal had landed in the bush outside of the window, trying to find shelter from the snow.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fakitas! "Fake Beef " Fajitas...


Go ahead, try pronouncing that one. Fa-kee-tas!

Last year (the year before?) Morningstar Farms introduced veggie-based Steak Strips and, for the first time in many years, we could eat “steak” fajitas once more. Jack dubbed them "fakitas" because he enjoys giving silly names to things (please don't ask!). These were first tried with guarded anticipation, but the imitation beef strips soon won us over.

This makes a seriously good, incredibly quick dinner. The “steak” is surprisingly similar to the real thing, in both texture and flavor, except it is vegetable based. We gave up red meat many years ago and are happy that we did so, but when these “fake meat” products were introduced (Boca Burgers, Boca crumbles, etc.) we were very pleased.

These “steak” strips are good sautéed with onions and peppers and served on big whole
wheat rolls with some spaghetti sauce and mozzarella, but in fajitas they are wonderful.

Basically, sauté veggies a bit, then add the steak strips, a sprinkling of fajita seasoning, some water, and cover the pan until the strips are almost done. Uncover and stir until most of the liquid is evaporated. Squeeze a lime half over all. Serve with good stuff like (light) sour cream thinned with (skim) milk, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, and salsa. Whole grain tortillas complete the meal

I cannot emphasize how good these are, and how quick and easy. I use fresh veggies, but I’ve seen a frozen “fajita veggie blend” in the grocery store and those would be fine, too. The strips may look a little too “formed”, but that is their only negative we have found.

Today was another early-spring blessing. Fifty degrees and sun. I couldn’t resist hobbling outside to hang some laundry (lately, it seems as though if it weren’t for laundry, I’d never get outside) and I snapped a few photos of Spooky enjoying his outside time as well.

The very tips of the hyacinths in the flower bed in front of the smokehouse are poking up, so I covered them with some evergreen branches (casualties of the wind last week) for protection since we are to receive 2-4" of snow over the weekend. Ah, March!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Asian Noodles

Yesterday Jack needed to go out on an errand so I decided that, having actually stepped outside the previous day, I would dare to venture a bit further. I had intended to just sit in the car, reveling in the freedom of being in a parking lot, when he stopped at Sam’s Club. After only a minute he returned to the car to tell me that there were little motorized carts inside I could use to get around the store. So I lurched in, claimed a cart, and away I went. It was fun! People were really considerate in clearing the way so I could maneuver around and we spent an hour going up and down aisles. Jack said he can usually be in and out in 10 minutes, but I was having an adventure.

He also took me out for a late lunch and, by the time we arrived back home and put away the groceries, I was exhausted. We ate at a chain restaurant, our best choice considering what was available, and there was just too much food. By the time we arrived home, unpacked, and put away our purchases it was dinnertime and neither of us was very hungry. I also wanted to make something quick since my foot hurt a bit and I wanted nothing more than to be sitting in the living room.

For a quick, light dinner I decided to make one of our favorite noodle recipes and omit the chicken. It was a perfect choice. I used Japanese udon, a thick wheat noodle, with veggies in a thin, spicy, very flavorful sauce. I normally would have sautéed a chopped chicken breast or some shrimp to add to it for a more substantial meal, but this all-veggie variation is perfect for lunch or if you need a light dinner.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Asian Vegetable Noodles with Chicken

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2 Preparation Time :0:25

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method


8 ounces udon noodles

4 ounces broccoli florets

4 ounces bell pepper -- red or other colors

preferred; cut into strips

1 large carrot-- coarsely grated

2 large scallions-- diagonally sliced--

keep the tops separate as a garnish

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon chile garlic sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Prepare vegetables and combine sauce ingredients (oyster sauce through chile garlic sauce) in a small bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add udon noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (check often after about 5 minutes).

Scoop the noodles out of the pot and into a colander but DO NOT toss out water. Rinse the noodles with water, and return the pot to the stove. Return to a boil.

Add broccoli for one minute, then add the peppers for another minute, then carrot and also the white and light green parts of the chopped scallions for another minute. Carefully remove 3 tablespoons of hot water and add to the sauce ingredients. Pour the boiling water and vegetables over the noodles, shake to drain, return to the pan. Add the sauce and stir until combined.

Divide between 2 bowls and sprinkle with reserved scallion tops and sesame seeds.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 125 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat; (33% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; trace Cholesterol; 591mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Oh, I have to add that we ate plenty of protein at lunch so weren't that concerned about the lack of it in the noodle dish. If this were to be made, veggie variation, for a "regular" dinner, I would whisk a whole egg and an egg white, make a flat omelet/pancake, then shred it to add to the noodles before serving.

Noodles two night in a row—and not a complaint to be had. :)