Monday, January 19, 2015

Lettuce wraps

without the lettuce :)

we are in Ghana

I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it the other night. It's a delicious way to eat chicken and rice (or quinoa).

I modified by cutting the chicken in strips, using rice instead of quinoa, and ate it salad style, rather than wrapped in lettuce.

Recipe from Natasha's Kitchen

Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These are a meal in themselves. They are quick to make and easy to assemble. They’re really self serve and definitely encourage fun conversation at the dinner table. I love the addition of quinoa; making it a well-rounded meal and the quinoa keeps you full longer. About the sauce: we've tested other recipes for peanut dipping sauce and nothing compares to this one. This sauce is BOSS. It's creamy, easy, and has just two ingredients. It definitely induces serious cravings! P.S. the kiddos love these best with ranch.
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: $20-$23
Serving: 6-8
For the Chicken:
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled or sautéed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated, or ¼ tsp dried ginger powder
  • ½ Tbsp sesame oil
For the Wraps:
  • 2 heads of Boston, Bib or Butter Lettuce
  • 2½ cups cooked Quinoa (*see notes below on how I made it)
  • 1 medium or 3 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium Carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • ¼ bunch of fresh Cilantro
For the Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
(I put the recipe I used below - in case you can't find bottled dressing)
  • ¾ cup Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing (P.S. this dressing contains wheat so if you’re gluten free, try: Braggs ginger sesame)
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter (microwave 30 sec if peanut butter refrigerated)
  • ⅓ cup chopped peanuts, optional topping
How to Prepare the Teriyaki Chicken:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients of your marinade: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated ( or ¼ tsp dried ginger powder) and
  2. /2 Tbsp sesame oil
  3. Place chicken breast in a medium bowl, add marinade and stir to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 20 minutes (prep your veggies in the mean time).
  4. Once chicken is marinated, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the chicken along with some of the oil in the marinade and sauté until caramelized and browned on both sides and fully cooked. If chicken breasts are very large, you might cover with the lid when sautéing the second side for the chicken to cook through.
  5. Remove from heat and let chicken breasts rest on a cutting board 5 minutes before cutting into it, then slice into thin strips on the diagonal.
*How I Cooked Quinoa:
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine colander until water runs clear to get rid of any natural bitterness. Quinoa is cooked similar to rice. The ratio is ¾ cup dry quinoa to 1½ cups filtered water. I cooked mine in the rice maker on the white rice setting without adding any salt or butter and it was done after about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl to cool. You want it to be room temp or cooler before using in lettuce wraps.
How to make the best peanut dipping sauce
  1. Combine ¾ cup sesame ginger dressing with 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter and whisk together or shake together in a tupperware with a tight fitting lid. Transfer to a small bowl and top with chopped peanuts if using.
How to Serve:
  1. Place all prepared vegetables on a platter: lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced carrots and sprigs of cilantro. Add your bowls of chicken, quinoa, and peanut sauce to the serving platter.
  2. You can either pre-assemble the lettuce wraps or let your hungry folks assemble their own (my favorite method!). Start with the lettuce leaf, add a heaping Tbsp of cooked quinoa, a strip or two of chicken breast, sliced cucumber and carrots along with a couple sprigs of cilantro. Drizzle with prepared creamy peanut sauce and be prepared to love this.

Recipe from Allrecipes

Asian Ginger Dressing

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: DIETER_WEBER
Photo By: LynnInHK
Prep Time: 9 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Minute
Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 20
"Terrific salad dressing for all salads - especially great for use on cabbage salads. Everyone who has had the dressing wants the recipe."
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
1.In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and water. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake well. Remove lid, and heat jar in the microwave for 1 minute just to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Quick Lemon Meringue Pie


Of course, you can make or buy a traditional pie crust. But to keep it quick (and because Reid doesn't really like pie crust) I just use melted butter and cookie crumbs. Here in Ghana you can buy yummy McVites Digestive Biscuits. They are easy to crumble and are delicious. Graham cracker or other cookie crumbs would work. I just crush about 1/2 or 2/3 cup crumbs (enough to cover the bottom (not sides) of a pie plate. Then I melt enough butter for the crumbs to begin to stick together - maybe about 2 tablespoons. I pat the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. This is done quickly and without precision (as you can see). I wonder if you could even use whole cookies cut to fit the bottom of the pie pan. The purpose here is fast and easy!

Lemon Filling:

4 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (opt)

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk egg yolks in medium size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Turn heat on medium and, stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually, 1 whisk-full at a time, add hot mixture to egg yolks and stir until you have added at least half of the mixture.

Return egg mixture to saucepan, turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and gently stir in butter, lemon juice, and zest until well combined. Pour mixture into pie shell and top with meringue (instructions below) while filling is still hot. Make sure meringue completely covers filling and that it goes right up to the edge of the crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Make sure pie is cooled completely before slicing.

Meringue Topping:

4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar (opt - can't find it in Ghana)
2 tablespoons sugar

Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then gradually add sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Use to top lemon filling.

Vegetable Cheese Soup

I've made this for years - it's always good.

I vary the vegetables depending on what's available. Last night it was cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots.

Vegetable Cheese Soup
1 small bunch broccoli, cut in small pieces
1½ onions, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery            
2  10 ¾ ounce cans chicken broth (or water and good quality bouillon concentrate)
2 tsp or cubes bouillon (opt)
2 cups milk
¼ cup flour
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese (or less)
1 tsp dry mustard (or 2 tsp dijon mustard)
1/8 tsp cayenne

In a large pan, combine diced vegetables, bouillon and broth (I reserve broccoli tops and add towards the end). Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a medium bowl, mix milk with flour; blend until smooth. Gradually add milk mixture to vegetables, stirring constantly. Add grated cheese, dry mustard and cayenne pepper. Simmer until cheese melts.
I usually double this recipe