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Posts by Char G
When we finished this meal, TM told me that cabbage was one of those foods that it burns more calories to digest then the food had itself, a negative calorie food. Awesome, we need to eat more of it. And, by the way, this is a delicious way to make cabbage — in tinfoil on the grill with a few spices and some olive oil.
We had it with pork chops, also grilled, and some of the homemade applesauce that I canned last fall. Great spring dinner on a very nice evening.
Leftover cabbage freezes well and also tastes great topped with a tablespoon or so of cream cheese.
Onion, thinly sliced
Cut the cabbage into eight equal wedges. Place two wedges on top of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Flip the wedges over on the tin foil so the olive oil side is down. Then top them with more olive oil, onion slices, garlic salt and pepper. Fold tin foil into a grilling packet. Repeat with remaining wedges so you have four packets of cabbage.
Grill on medium heat for 20 minutes. If you want the caramelized cabbage shown in the picture, don’t flip the packets and it will cook more on the side nearest the heat. (We like to grill on old fashioned charcoal, by the way, but you also can use a gas grill.)
I heard of onigiri about a year ago when I was reading some posts on Food Babe’s blog. Onigiri is a Japanese rice ball that resembles a triangular-shaped sushi sandwich and can be filled with a variety of items to go with the rice.
I added the mold and the nori sheets to my Amazon wish list, but that was it. To be honest, I was just plain scared that I would not be able to make them, even those the post made it sound very easy. After my sushi making adventure a few weeks ago, I finally got up the courage to order the onigiri mold and wrappers.
So, for lunch this week, I’m having onigiri that I made on Sunday afternoon. I used short grain brown rice, which I still can’t believe takes nearly an hour to cook. I filled it with a mixture of carrots, green pepper, celery, banana pepper and cooked salmon.
Molding them was pretty easy. The rice did stick a little on one of them when I tried to remove the mold, but I was able to patch it and it looked fine. I also think my rice could have been just a little more dry.
I ended up watching Youtube video to see the wrapping technique. I even had to stop halfway through wrapping the frist one to see how where the tape was supposed to go. But, I have three onigiri for my lunchbox now and I’m looking forward to trying them.
As I was making a batch of Pumpkin Muffins this morning, I remembered a tip that I had seen someone on that vast Internet out there.
The tip is that to fill the muffin cups, use an ice cream scoop to easily transfer just the right amount of batter to the muffin cups. I tried this and it worked just great.
Try it yourself next time you’re making muffins or cupcakes!
Last week, when a friend learned for the first time that I was trying to eat more “real food,” she said, “What do you eat?” So I thought maybe seeing what I got at the grocery store for this week might be interesting.
Here’s what I brought home this week:
I’d say this is pretty typical for what I get each week, usually Sunday or Monday. I usually have a couple items jotted down that I need, but mainly, I buy fresh produce and one or two staple items that I’ve run out of. This week, I started with a huge bag of Braeburn apples (first time I’ve seen them come in a bag and in this case, must cheaper. We’ll eat these; I really like them with peanut butter), bananas for breakfast, avocado, green pepper, Roma tomato, English cucumber, corn on the cob and cabbage. I usually just pick up whatever produce is on sale, since I really like nearly all fruits and vegetables. And, I may select a few items for a purpose, such as the cucumber because I wanted it for my lunch this week to dip in the hummus that I planned to make.
I got two cans of garbanzo beans to use to make the hummus. I keep asking Costco to stock garbanzo beans so I could get them in a larger quantity. I have dried chickpeas on hand but I haven’t yet tried them for making hummus because I don’t do the right planning to get them boiled first.
I’ve been craving pork chops, and they were on sale this week, along with the butter, which it turns out I didn’t really need. I had two packages just like this one in my freezer. And the Kavli crackers were definitely an impulse purchase. BTW, they are made with all “real food” items but I think may have more than 5 ingredients; still a pretty good choice. Finally, I got two Lara Bars, Cashew Cookie (an old favorite) and Key Lime Pie (one I haven’t tried before), which will probably end up in my lunches.
The sushi was supposed to be an appetizer before we had this turkey and asparagus, but it turned into more of a side dish, since we didn’t eat them before the meal. I cooked the turkey in a cooking bag and the leftover turkey went into the freezer for a future turkey salad or something like that.
This meal was a good ending to the weekend. (And, I have some leftover sushi in my lunch today.)
My heritage comes from Norway, but as it turns out, I really have an adventurous approach to food and I like a lot more cuisines than what you might think of as the typical Norwegian bland food.
If you’ve been following this blog long, you’ve probably noticed that I like to try new foods, both in restaurants and when TM and I are cooking at home. I also love going out for sushi at a local restaurant, and I’ve been planning for a while to make my own. I even got nori when I went to the local Asian market for the first time.
I finally picked up the bamboo rolling mat on a recent trip and placed an order for short grain brown rice, which I had trouble finding in Fargo. So today was the day.
I looked at Ina Garten’s Vegetable Sushi Roll recipe for inspiration, but I more or less following the recipe from my old standby, Lisa Leake, who has had a recipe for homemade sushi with brown rice on her blog for more than two years.
I made the brown rice this morning and it had been cooling the rest of the day. When cooked, it was definitely sticky enough for sushi, even though it is not sold as “sushi rice.” I followed the recipe except only used vegetables (blanched asparagus, carrots, cucumber, yellow peppers and orange peppers) and rice as filling. We do also like sushi made with fish and shrimp, as well, but I wanted to just try vegetables on my first try.
I’ll admit that the sushi that is pictured were some of the last ones I made and by far were the nicest looking ones. But I “sort of” got the hang of it and I plan to try again sometime. I think it might be one of those skills that takes some practice. In the meantime, TM and I aren’t afraid to even the uglier ones that didn’t make the picture, and I may take a few pieces for lunch tomorrow too.
Good morning — this morning I’ve been doing some food prep, that while, if eaten together, might be a pretty strange food combination.
First, we had oatmeal with pears and apples when we got up. I had been wanting to try making oatmeal in the slow cooker and I tried it last night, using a small slow cooker since we only needed two servings of oatmeal. I used dried pears and dried apples with the oatmeal. TM said it made the oatmeal taste like apple dessert. We just topped it with a little milk.
After reading the newspaper, I prepped a turkey breast to go into the oven later this afternoon. It was a six pounder that I put into a cooking bag with salt, pepper and a little poultry seasoning. We’ll have it tonight with some asparagus, maybe something else, just not sure what yet.
Then, I started cooking two cups of short grain brown rice on the stove top (pictured, but rice doesn’t make much of a picture, does it?). It needs so much babysitting to keep it from boiling over. I’ve never made short grain brown rice before but it looks really good, creamier than long grain rice. I plan to try making homemade brown rice sushi later today and I’ll post about that experience too. It will be California rolls since I avocado, cucumber and carrots on hand. Should be interesting…
Finally, I mixed together a batch of granola bars, adding dried currants (is dried currants redundant?)to them this time. I have them baking in individual pans in the oven now for breakfast and snacks all week.
It’s a lot of beans and some grains I recognize and some grains I’ve never heard of — it’s Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix and it’s on the menu.
Here’s the ingredient listing from the package: Small red beans, pinto beans, lentils, red lentils, whole oat groats, brown rice, triticale berries (wheat), rye berries, hard red wheat, pearl barley, kamut khorasan wheat, buckwheat groats, and sesame seeds.
No seasonings, just a mixture of grains and beans. It’s more than five ingredients but it’s definitely not processed food, just a handy mix for making soup. You still need to add your own vegetables, meat, and spices to really make it into soup.
Here’s how I made it on Sunday (this is an original recipe):
Chicken, Grains and Beans Soup with Spinach
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup chicken meat, cubed but not cooked
1 Tbls olive oil
1 cup frozen red, yellow and green peppers
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups fresh spinach
In a frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is heated, add chicken and diced onion. Cook until chicken is golden brown on outside edges.
Put chicken, onion and frozen peppers into the slow cooker. Cook on High for about 4 hours. Wilt in spinach just before eating.
On weekend, I often make oatmeal from steel cut oats. I just don’t have the time on weekends and I’m not yet sure if I will like reheated oatmeal made on the weekend. Plus I need a breakfast I can easily eat in the car and I’m not sure oatmeal would meet that requirement.
Strawberry Banana Steel Cut Oats
Put 1/2 cut steel cut oats and 1 1/2 cups water into a saucepan. Simmer oatmeal for about 20 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. Place into two single-serving bowls and top with sliced bananas, sliced fresh strawberries, a drizzle of honey and a splash of milk. Then sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yum!
I am a recipe tester for Clean Eating magazine and one of the recipes they asked me to test this month was for Pork Bulgogi. I had no idea what bulgogi was but after using www.bing.com to search, I learned that bulgogi is a Korean dish that is typically made with beef that is marinated and then grilled.
In this case the recipe called for pork tenderloin instead and the meat was broiled not grilled. The pork was marinated in a mixture of scallions, garlic, fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and mirin. The meat was marinated for an hour, before I broiled it.
Our recipe suggested we served them in butter lettuce wraps along with brown rice and thinly sliced cucumbers. This was a nice change from just having pork tenderloin with rice and also looks quite appealing on the plate.
I’ll try to link to the actual Clean Eating recipe when it’s published, probably in a few months. I have six other recipes that I can test in the next week and hoping to squeeze in at least one more before their deadline. (Note: This magazine does publish recipes that don’t follow my personal definition of “real food” but also have many great recipes and inspiration for great “real food” meals.”)