Sometimes in order to get dinner on the table quickly, you have to enlist some help. This week’s slow cooker recipe, Thai Style Pork Stew, was made through the joint effort of two members of my household.
The previous night I made the teriyaki sauce. Yes, that’s right…I made some. Thanks to google and everyone who posts recipes online, I was able to make the missing ingredient. Then in the morning I threw in the 3 pork chops ( slightly less than what the recipe called for; but it’s all we had. My grocery list planning was not up to par this week) and necessary ingredients.
Then after switching it to low, I ever so blatantly laid out the recipe next to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients that needed to be prepped AFTER it was done cooking. Thanks for picking up the hint Dad!
So far, this is my favorite slow cooking. The two chilis we tried were weak, and I still have to make my family’s favorite one. But this pork stew? Going into the recipe rotation.
You know what’s terrifying for a 21st century girl? Spilling a glass of water all over her laptop, that was never backed up. Ooops. I decided to let my computer rest for awhile, which is why I haven’t posted recently.
While I was without technology, I baked some Maple-Date Bars . Technically described as a cookie, I used them as a substitute granola bar for my busy weekend. Yes, I’m a person who brings snacks in her purse. You never know when you need one. The bars are very sweet (the reason for the cookie label), but since they were non processed and contained dates and oatmeal….I felt pretty good about relying on them for a quick snack when I wanted something substantial and sweet.
The only changes I made to the original recipe was substituting in turbinado sugar, and baking in a 9 x9 inch pan. I think if you had used the 9 x 13 inch pan, it would have made the bars really thin. Next time, I’ll use whole wheat flour as well.
Last night was the second time I made Baked Vegetable Lasagna, which my family refers to as sneaky lasagna. I like to think of it as sneaky yet delicious. The reason for the nick name is that the cheese layer subs out some of the ricotta for tofu, which I neglected to tell my sister the first time she ate it.
I do think the recipe could use a little more sauce, carefully rationing it is the only way to have enough for all the layers. And more vegetables! 2 zucchini and 2 bell peppers yields a slightly scant vegetable layer. I not only used 2 bell peppers, but 3 sweet peppers my boyfriend had left for me to use from his family’s garden. I also think that next time I’ll chop the zucchini, instead of strips. It’s a little hard to cut the way it is. Fresh herbs ( from my garden this time) also definitely helped the flavor.
Overall, this light lasagna is delicious despite it’s slight deceitfulness. You could be upfront about what the ingredients are when serving to guests, but what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you.
This weekend while I was away, I wanted to try out the August issue of cooking light’s “The Great 1- Cooler, 1- Weekend Getaway”. Having all my meals planned out for the weekend, and fitting them in one cooler, would be extremely helpful while I was dog sitting for a relative. I really did not want to scarf down all of their snacks while I was supposed to be dog walking, nor did I want to go to the grocery store 800 times when I was craving something.
So I packed my cooler and bag.
I jumbled around the order of their recipes and left a few out (Mostly desserts and drinks).
I do wish that they had listed the ingredients for their 3 make ahead items; I photocopied their list for shopping purposes and ended up forgetting some ingredients. They did a great job of using the same staples in a different manner, I never thought I could use honey and mustard so many times in a weekend. The only other flaw was when I had dinner guests stop by and had to go double my ingredients, but that’s not the fault of cooking light. One of my favorite dinners:
Barbecue Chicken Sliders with Pickled Onions, Broccoli Slaw, and Grilled Corn with Honey Butter.
And by the end of the weekend, I had used up all my ingredients. No leftovers to worry about, just an empty cooler to throw in the trunk of my car.
You know what I hate? When it gets balmy and summer like, with daily temperatures reaching into the mid 80s and then BAM. Extreme winds with a high of 60. Mother Nature can be such a tease. The only cure? Foods that are quintessentially summer.
Crab cakes and Summer vegetables.
This was spur of the moment decision making, so I unfortunately did not have enough crab meat to make the proper serving for my entire family or the accompanying remoulade. Sorry guys, next time we’ll each get at least two. These crab cakes are essentially ALL crab and rely on panko breadcrumbs to bind them together.
If only this meal had been eaten outside near the water.
Inspired by both my need to use up some tofu in my fridge and Megan’s post over at the Runner’s Kitchen, I made the following recipe from Cooking Light: Spicy Tofu Udon Noodle Bowl.
- 6 ounces uncooked udon noodles (thick, round fresh Japanese wheat noodles) or spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 serrano pepper, sliced
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
- 1 (12.3-ounce) package lite firm silken tofu, cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and next 6 ingredients (through serrano); bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes. Stir in milk, lime juice, and Sambal oelek; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu; cook 5 minutes. Place about 1 cup noodles into each of 4 bowls. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups soup into each bowl; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons green onions and 1 tablespoon cilantro.
- I simply substituted red pepper flakes for both the Sambal Oelek and the chile, neither of which I had on hand, so the soup was not as spicy as it should have been. It was still tasty though and let’s be honest, I don’t need to eat insanely spicy food ALL the time. My only recommendation would be to up the amount of mushrooms and snow peas included, I felt that the noodles dominated my bowl.