Showing posts with label side. Show all posts
Showing posts with label side. Show all posts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sea Tangle Noodle Slaw with Vietnamese Dressing

crunchy, tart, crisp, slippery, sweet, savory, tangy and spicy

this is my new favorite salad.  i've had it every day for a week.   by it's self, a great light snack or lunch, but topped with shrimp, shredded chicken, BBQ'd salmon?..a delicious, filling, low fat, low calorie meal.  fresh and easy when you have some made up in the fridge.   it saves well and gets even better as it sits.  

 i came across these strange Sea Tangle noodles at one of my Asian markets.  i always have to try the weird thing that i've never seen before.  

what a find!...these things are good!
the texture is soooo unexpected.  they are crunchy right out of the bag...i mean CRUNCHY!  they do soften a bit when the dressing is applied or after it sits.
the flavor?...there is none, so the noodles make for a great blank canvas.
great for filling up...they only have 6 calories per large handful.  perfect for watching the swimsuit waistline.

they DO come in a big "tangle"...easy to separate and the wad in the bag grows into a HUGE pile o'glassy noodles.

if the crunch is too weird for you, put them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes with a few squeezes of lemon juice.  them strain them and dry as well as you can before putting them in salad. 
they are also good warm.  i haven't come up with any recipes yet, but i did try this dressing on the warm soft noodles and i think it would make a great side for something...anything.

hey...they're only 6 calories !
eat them with everything.


about 2 cups Sea Tangle Noodles, rinsed and dried as well as poss.
1 1/2-2 cups savoy cabbage, sliced very thin
10 snap peas, sliced diagonal
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 celery stalk, slice thin on the diagonal
 4 large basil...chiffonade
quite a few mint leaves depending on size...(i used about 10.  mine were very small)  torn or chiffonade
scallion or chives..i like just the green of the scallion.
toasted sesame seeds optional, but delicious add.


2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
 1 to 2 tsp fresh ginger put through garlic press to extract juice and a little minced ginger.
pinch of red pepper flakes.

mix all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.  TASTE TEST...i might have added a little squeeze more lime.  put it in a glass jar.  i usually double the recipe so it's ready in the fridge..  give the jar a good shake before using.
NOTE...use sparingly so as not to over dress your salad.  the salad will save better and sesame oil flavor goes a loooonnnng way.   this was very good the next day for a packed lunch.

this is a bag to look for.  look carefully among the konjac and shirataki noodles.  it took me 5 or 10 minutes to locate another bag in the market.  i found this large bag at H Mart in irvine.  i have recently seen a few bags at Mother's Market, so i bet your local health food store might carry them.
by the way...this is "THE" fish sauce commonly used in Vietnamese cooking.  my friend Cathy gave me this big bottle of fish sauce that her Mom uses at her PHO restaurant in Little Saigon.  she says this is "the" one to use.  it is far better than the commercial one i bought at my local market.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Greek Yogurt Souffle

quite impressive straight out of the gate...

light fluffy, delicate...perfect for a lovely Sunday brunch.

serve right away for the warm sky high souffle effect...

or  "fallen" as a light, airy healthy and guilt-free cheesecake souffle.  

sometimes, most of the time, you just can't get the darn things to the table in time.  not to worry if they fall.  these are still quite impressive.  i know your crazy head is saying "fallen=failure"... but just take a bite and you will see it is still light as air and "souffle-like".  the first two photos are just minutes out of the oven.  the photos below are about 1/2 an hour out.  if you fill the ramekin to the first rim it should not sink any further than shown.
get creative with your accessories... fresh berries, a blueberry coulis,  ginger syrup, or warm and syrupy homemade jam?

it's like eating a little vanilla cloud.  
a perfect individual fancy treat, but i could eat three so make a few extra.


1 cup plain greek yogurt...i use 0% Fage
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites
3 Tbsp AP flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract...(per Grandma...i always spill a little extra in the mix) or a 1/2 vanilla pod would look nice with the black specks.
1/8 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar, or i used Z Sweet, a sugar substitute
butter and "real" sugar for ramekins

preheat oven to 375 F degrees, non convection...bottom heating element only if possible.  i read this somewhere and it seems to work well with any souffle.
butter six 6oz ramekins.  coat inside ramekin with sugar and knock out excess.  set on baking sheet.
in a large mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, flour, salt and vanilla.  in a medium bowl or in your stand mixture, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy...then gradually pour in the sugar and whisk until firm, but soft peaks form...just don't whip so hard you break the whites.
add 1/3 of egg white mixture to the yogurt mixture and incorporate well.  then carefully fold in another 1/3...then the remaining.  you want to keep as much volume as possible, of course.
divide evenly into ramekins...i think i filled mine to the line just below the rim because when they fall you still want to have volume in the ramekin.
bake on tray for about 15 minutes, until evenly risen and lightly browned around the edges.

serve IMMEDIATELY for the full effect.

BUT...these are still fabulous after they fall  as you can see in some of the photos.
they are also delicious the next day.  they retain their fluff and they taste like a very delicate cheesecake.  i'd have this for breakfast every morning if i could...full of protein, calcium and quite a healthy start for the day. 

approx. nutrition info
6 servings

80 calories
6.6 carbs
2.5 fat
2.3 sugar
7.4 protein

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thai Coconut Curry Sauce with Fresh Tofu and Konjac Noodles

healthy fresh tofu and clean Konjac noodles in a light flavorful Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Sauce.

a delicious alternative to a meat and pasta meal.
the sauce is easy and can be made ahead of time.  the tofu...fresh is best if you can find it.  the noodles. however,  are a bit different and unusual.  they are Konjac noodles made from yam flour.  this is a great dish for the non wheat people and those watching the ol' waistline.  a huge serving is under 200 calories and you'll still have room for dessert.  personally, i like it because i eat so many pork products and fatty weird stuff along with my addiction to the Mexican bakery... i have to throw in a healthy light dish every now and then.
the noodles are quite good, but like tofu...pretty flavorless on their own.  they need a good sauce.  i find this coconut curry does just the trick.

fresh tofu (photo above)...way better than packaged....still warm, soft and fragrant like a fresh loaf of bread.  even my mother, a non-tofu lover, said she really liked it....well, maybe that's a stretch.  it only costs about $1.99,  probably twice the size and tastes much better that regular packaged tofu.
i get mine at 99 Ranch Market in Irvine, CA.  if you've never been and you're in Orange County/So. California i highly recommend finding one.  great resource for all Asian goods.

Konjac noodles...aka YAM noodles
a little slippery, very long, no distinct flavor...but a great filler, no wheat, almost no calories, no carbs , fun to eat and a great vehicle for many different sauces.  Konjac noodles come in angel hair and fettuccine cuts as well as blocks and cute little knotted bundles.  check out the nutritional info below...amazingly low on everything.

makes about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups sauce

1/2 medium onion, diced small
1 full Tbsp fresh ginger or, fine dice
1 large clove garlic, fine dice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp madras curry powder (yellow kind)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more can be added later)
3/4 - 1 cup chicken broth, if canned use low sodium
1 cup coconut milk...i use "lite" coconut milk
1 Tbsp soy sauce
juice from 1 wedge lemon
3" piece of lemon grass...
(smashed then tied together with a string so that it won't come apart and get stringy in the sauce.)
2 tsp lemon zest
4-5 large basil leaves...chiffonade (thin ribbons)
more red chile flakes to sprinkle.

in a medium sauce pan lightly saute onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil and sesame oil until translucent
add chili flakes and curry powder and saute until fragrant...2 minutes 
add tied lemongrass, chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce and lemon juice.
bring to a soft boil then to a simmer
simmer and stir a little for about 5 - 10 minutes.
taste for seasoning...a dash more soy?  pepper flakes?
simmer longer if you want it thicker.

if using these Konjac noodles...
noodles must be washed/rinsed well, drained then pat dry as much as possible.
tofu should be drained and slightly pressed to release some of the moisture...then it can be lightly sauteed first in separate pan or just simmered in the sauce.

this is a great sauce to toss with any noodles -YAM NOODLES (shown in photos), shirataki (tofu noodles), udon or even angel hair.
simmer some tofu, fish or chicken in sauce.  if using fish or chicken simmer until cooked through.  then mix with noodles.  i have never cooked the chicken in the sauce...i use already cooked roasted chicken from Costco.
OR just toss with steamed vegetables.
next time i think i'll simmer some talapia in the sauce...oh how i wish i had a sous vide.

NOTE...the sauce freezes well.  it just needs a good stir as it heats through. it will thicken and reduce with stronger flavors.  freeze just the sauce...not the noodles or tofu in the sauce....the noodles get funny after freezing.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Creamed Corn Cornbread

CORNBREAD.  i never was a big fan of cornbread...always too dry, too crumbly, too blah...
until i found this one.
for some odd reason i got on a big cornbread kick, trying to find the best cornbread out there to buy.  Mother's Market had a pretty good, dense, moist muffin...but a little too heavy...sat like a rock in my stomach.  Bristol Farms?...too dry.  Gelson's?...too boring.  i thought i could do better.  i was now on a mission...i'll make my own!
i read somewhere that creamed corn makes for the bestest moistest cornbread so i googled around and found this one. 
i need not look any more.  this one is just right.

moist, but not gummy...light, but not fluffy...sweet, but not cloying...dense, but not heavy.
sprinkled with just a few niblets of corn throughout from the creamed corn for that obvious corny look and texture...i think it's just perfect.  serve this with some bacon jam or some raspberry chipotle jam and you're golden.


1 cup whole wheat flour or AP flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)
2 tssp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp sugar...i used 1/4 cup Zsweet, sugar sub.
15 oz can of creamed corn
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil

preheat oven to 425 F.
butter and flour a muffin tray or i used an 8 x 8 with butter and parchment
whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, chipotle powder if using, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  stir together the creamed corn, eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl...gradually stir the dry into the wet ingredients...being very careful NOT TO OVER MIX.  let the batter stand for 5 minutes, then pour into prepared tin or pan.  muffins should be filled 3/4 full.
bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.  toothpick shouldn't be totally dry, it should have a few crumbs.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Orange Tarragon Marmalade

i don't know about you, but i'm a big HUGE fan of  SWEET and SAVORY.
for instance, i miss the Rosco's Chicken and Waffles i used to get in L.A.  crunchy, well seasoned fried chicken and a fluffy, crisp golden waffle with a bottomless dispenser of sweet maple syrup to pour on every bite.  if you've never tried it or you think it's an odd combo, i suggest you investigate.  you'll become a believer in no time.  i'm not really after the waffles but the genius who decided that maple syrup and fried chicken would be good together should get a James Beard award.

i also miss dining out and seeing Duck a l'orange on a stuffy French menu...i guess i'm dating myself...i guess it's too old school.  but again...the sweet and savory.  that syrupy orange glaze dripping over the crispy skin of a perfectly cooked duck breast.  mmmm...delicious!

well,  with those two things locked in memory, i came up with this marmalade.
don't get me wrong here...this is outstanding on a fresh scone, crumpet, popover, muffin, pound cake or any old bread, but put in on some fried chicken or a ham and cheese fried egg biscuit and we have a WINNER!

heck...this stuff is good just on a spoon!

sounds like i'm tootin' my horn again...well i am on this one...

adapted from Ina Garten and Anna's Orange Marmalade

4 large seedless navel oranges
2 lemons
7 cups sugar
2 heaping Tbsp fresh grated ginger, grated on a cheese grater
2 large sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 heaping tsp dried tarragon tied in a cheesecloth pouch
2 cloves roasted garlic, pulverized to paste and mixed with orange water.

cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half moon slices.  discard any seeds.  place sliced fruit and their juices into stainless steel pot.  add 8 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring often.  remove from heat and stir in sugar until it dissolves.  cover pot and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.

the next day, add the sprigs of tarragon, the tarragon pouch, the ginger and the roasted garlic mixture and bring the mixture to a boil.  reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. ***don't forget to put a small plate in the freezer for your plate test.  remove tarragon sprigs.  turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often for another 30 minutes.  skim any foam that you can...don't get obsessed with the skimming.  it will not be a problem.  when almost to temp, throw in a few leaves of tarragon...more than just a few.  you want to see the tarragon in the marmalade.  cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 F degrees on a candy thermometer.  remove tarragon pouch.
do a plate test.  if it's firm, not's ready, it's done.  it should be a lovely golden orange color.  if it is runny, continue to cook until the plate test works for you or if it's too hard add more water, stir and bring back to temp.

pour the marmalade into clean, sterilized jars and continue with the canning procedure...or let come to room temp and refrigerate for use.

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