Asian Inspirations · Chicken · Eggs · Quinoa · Sauce

Thai Quinoa Bowls

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I absolutely love dishes that have a whole bunch of textures mixed together so when I saw this recipe I knew I needed to try it, it seemed right up my alley.  I also conveniently had almost all of the ingredients already which was extra incentive to try it.

This makes a lot, so you the biggest skillet you have or use a wok.  You want to make sure you have lots of room!

The quinoa is very filling and the leftovers were great for a quick dinner after they were warmed up.

Thai Quinoa Bowls

Original recipe here

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

FOR PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

FOR QUINOA BOWLS

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa. Place a lid on top then lower heat and cook until quinoa has absorbed chicken broth, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside. (Can be done ahead of time.)
  2. Combine all sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 20 seconds.  Stir until smooth then set aside. Whisk together egg and sesame oil in a small bowl then set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to wok and stir fry until no longer pink. Remove to a plate then set aside.
  4. Heat remaining teaspoon peanut oil in wok then add broccoli slaw, frozen edamame, and green onions. Stir fry until tender, 2-3 minutes, then push to outsides of wok, creating a clear space in the center. Add egg whisked with sesame oil to center of wok then stir fry until soft scrambled.
  5. Add cooked chicken, quinoa and sauce to wok then toss to combine. Divide into bowls and serve.
Asian Inspirations · Chicken · Sauce

Homemade Red Curry

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I’ve got quite the collection of Asian condiments in my refrigerator, including red curry paste that I haven’t used in forever.  In fact, I think the last time I used it was for these Red Curry Lentils that I made eons ago.  And by eons ago I mean August.

I tried take out curry a few times after that and even tried to make my own once.  It was really simple but for some reason it just didn’t stick as something I was going to make again.  That is, until I saw this post from The Real Life RD about making veggie curry and I was reminded of how simple it really could be.

So I decided I would try it again but this time I would take her ideas and use frozen veggies!  Things are so much easier when you don’t have to chop a million veggies before using them.

I made this over the weekend and although it still took about 30 minutes total, there was really minimal effort and it turned out delicious!

Chicken Red Curry

Inspiration found here

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 small chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 heaping cup of frozen or fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions.  Set aside.
  2. Heat ~1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add chicken breast and cook until just cooked through.  Set aside.
  4. Add another tablespoon coconut oil to hot pan.
  5. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  6. Add the rest of your vegetables and cook for 10 minutes or until they are tender.
  7. Add in the red curry paste and chicken and stir until the paste coats everything.
  8. Add in can of coconut milk.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, turn the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and everything is heated through.
  10. Serve over brown rice. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!

If you’re veggie you could omit the chicken and add some chickpeas or tofu in the place of chicken.  You could also serve it over quinoa to add a little extra protein.  Of course, you can add whatever kind of vegetables you want or use green or yellow curry paste instead.  It really is a forgiving recipe, you can’t go wrong with whatever you put in it!

Now go make yourself some homemade curry!

 

Asian Inspirations · Beaver Football · Chicken · Dietetic Internship · Weekly Recap

Week 1 Recap + Cashew Chicken

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I was slacking a little earlier this weekend and just couldn’t get myself to post.  Yesterday was a Beaver game and it started at noon, so naturally we were tailgating by 10 am and that caught up to me by late afternoon.  Too many mimosas.  I also think I ate about a dozen cookies over the course of tailgating, along with a hot dog, half a hamburger, and a few baby twix bars, so I think I’m good on my junk food intake for a while…

It was also a rainy rainy game.  I had an overflow student ticket for some random section on the old side of the stadium but luckily my awesome friend Samantha, who I always tailgate with, had me sit with her since her dad had more interest in hanging out in the parking lot and drinking beer.  So we had covered seats and a great view on the 40 yard line.  I love watching football with Samantha because she loves it as much as I do and knows the game really well so it’s just a lot of fun.  We used to camp out for tickets for games together when we were in undergrad and then sit in the student section together so it just felt right to be back in Reser watching the Beavs play with her.

Thursday and Friday of my internship were pretty laid back.  My preceptor and I spent a lot of time going through emergency contact forms and compiling a binder of information for all the kids that have food allergies, including if they need to have medication at school in the case that they accidentally get food they are allergic to (which would not be ideal!).

I also spent a period of time, about half the on Thursday, combining the breakfast and lunch menus from the school district and then updating the spreadsheet that goes in the kitchen to tell the student workers what kids need substitutions for what foods based on what the menu for the day is.  Nothing complicated, but pretty tedious.

I’m also done with a draft of my  picky eating handout! I was alone on Friday because my preceptor typically works at a WIC clinic on Monday and Friday so I had a lot of time to work independently.  There were literally about 3 other people in the building so I spent some time wandering and meeting them.  I did a lot of chatting on Friday but it was nice to be able to roam the building with minimal people there.  I also left at around 3pm because it had been so quiet that I got a ton done in a short period of time.

Tomorrow the OSU students start so it will be exciting to be on campus with all of them.  I’ll undoubtedly get sentimental…

Now to share a recipe with you that I made last week….

Spicy Cashew Chicken

Original recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • black pepper
  • 2/3 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sambal oleke chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 1 large carrot, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups snap peas (or snow peas)
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 8oz cup sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 15oz chopped canned baby corn
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 2 cup uncooked brown rice, cooked according to package directions

Directions

  1. Toss together chicken, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, plus a couple grinds of black pepper in a bowl then set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine remaining soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, chili sauce, and garlic. Microwave for 20 seconds in the microwave, then stir and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a lark wok or skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add celery, carrot, broccoli, snow peas, onion, and remaining oil if needed, then stir fry for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add water chestnuts and baby corn, then stir to combine.
  5. Add the sauce and cashews to the the wok, then let sauce bubble for 2 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.

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I’m not going to lie, I hate carrots and I have NO idea why I included them.  I will omit them if I make this again, they were just not worth the color.  Maybe sub them with some red bell peppers?

Anyways, this was spicy and delicious! I over cooked some of my veggies (well, I burnt them) but other than that they were great!  The leftovers also held nicely.  I always divide my leftovers evenly and then put rice on the top so it’s all in one tupperware when I’m ready to eat them.

Tomorrow starts week 2! I’m anxious to see what it has in store for me 🙂

Asian Inspirations · Chicken

Sesame Chicken

As promised, I have a recipe for you all!

If you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for Asian inspired recipes.  I’m just a big fan of anything I can cook all together in a skillet and throw over some rice.  They also usually make the best leftovers!  Of course, nothing beats greasy Chinese take out (garlic chicken, anyone?) but the homemade stuff isn’t half bad either.  It’s also probably about 100% better for you and won’t clog your arteries.

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This recipe came together pretty quickly and with the exception of sesame seeds and green onions, I already had everything else in my kitchen.

I overcooked my broccoli and that was the only disappointment I had.  I hate when broccoli mushes and falls apart, I like it crisp! Also, if I make this again I will put about twice as much broccoli in, but that’s just because it’s my favorite vegetable.

I could eat a whole head of steamed broccoli for dinner and be one happy camper! I’m weird, I know.

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I also need to work on my food photography, but we’ve already established that almost every time I post a recipe….

Sesame Chicken

Original recipe by Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 small chicken breasts (12oz), cut into 2″ pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

Directions:

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic together in a small bowl then set aside.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together egg white and cornstarch until smooth. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add to egg white mixture and toss to evenly coat.
  4. In a small saucepan, steam broccoli until crisp tender then set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then carefully add chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Turn off heat and remove skillet from burner.
  6. Add prepared sauce and green onions then toss to combine.
  7. Stir in broccoli, then scoop mixture into bowls over cooked rice.

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The end result was pretty tasty! It was slightly sweeter than I was expecting but I enjoyed it!

Now it’s time for me to go watch some football with some friends. GO BEAVS!

Asian Inspirations · Life · Tofu · Vegetarian

Teriyaki Rice “Bowls”

It has finally started to hit me that my time in Portland is drawing to a close. My roommate has moved out, I officially have only 1 month left at work, a few days after that I’m running my second half marathon, and then I move to Corvallis. I will have approximately 17 days of free time, no job, no internship, nothing to do.  As someone who thrives in a fast paced, busy environment the thought of having nothing to do actually gives me a large amount of anxiety! I am basically in denial that my life is about to be turned upside down again.

Tomorrow morning I am doing my long run for the week, 10 miles this time, so I thought it would be nice if I made myself a balanced dinner to fuel me up for my run.  Carbs, protein, and loooots of yummy veggies. I have been craving Asian food like none other lately.  Ever since we had teriyaki chicken at work last week I have been wanting it all. the. time.

As much as I would love to be a full time vegetarian, it’s just not working for me at this point.  I have fallen into the habit of not buying meat and cooking only vegetarian meals at home.  That is one reason I love cooking for myself, I can control absolutely everything I put into my body.  It’s so easy to just not buy meat and not have it as an option to eat.  BTW, I do the same thing with foods that I can’t stop eating once I start. Like ice cream and M&M’s. Mmmmm…..

The problem with this vegetarian thing is simple: I work in foodservice. There is always meat! Always! And if there is bacon and I am hungry, yeah, I’m gonna eat a piece of bacon.  If there is teriyaki chicken and a salad seems like the most unsatisfying lunch possible that day, yeah, I’m gonna eat the chicken.

That’s just the way it is right now and I am okay with it.  I’ll still eat my tofu when I’m at home 🙂

Teriyaki Rice “Bowls”

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • teriyaki sauce of your choosing

Directions:

  1. In a medium to large sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add rice and reduce heat to low.  Simmer rice for 30-45 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Toss tofu in enough teriyaki sauce to coat.
  4. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread tofu evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  5. Either steam or saute broccoli.
  6. Once everything is done cooking, assemble “bowls” by layering rice, broccoli, and tofu on a plate.  Alternatively, you could also put them in an actual bowl.
  7. Top with additional teriyaki sauce and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings.

009I am proud to report that this is an ORIGINAL recipe! Yup, that’s right, I have enough cooking skill and knowledge now to say “I want this” and then figure out how to make it. Well, to an extent…

Also, if you caught the fact that I didn’t use brown rice in the picture, I used some leftover rice from take out Thai curry I had recently.  They give you about 3 times as much rice as you could possibly consume with the curry, so I put it to use tonight.

I am also getting better at food photography! Yeah!

Happy Monday 🙂

Asian Inspirations · Life · Tofu · Vegetarian

Kung Pao Tofu

So before Meghan freaks out because I’m eating tofu, let me explain…

I have decided to be vegetarian for a month…dun dun dunnnn!!!

Yup, my “meatless month” as I’m calling it began yesterday which means I won’t be eating meat until May 16th at the earliest.  I’m taking the pesco-ovo-vegetarian route, meaning I still eat fish, eggs, and dairy products but not meats such as chicken, pork, or beef.  Honestly, I never buy pork or beef to start with and never eat it unless it’s at work.  I think that’s mostly because I’m convinced the best way to cook those kinds of meats is on a BBQ and I don’t own one…so that kind of eliminates those from my shopping list.

So where did this meatless month idea come from? Well, a few places honestly.

1) My best friend, Kylee, is vegetarian.  She has her BS degree in environmental studies, so her reason is definitely more environmental, but after hearing her explain it I fully support her reasoning.  It’s interesting because sometimes I feel like I live in a nutrition bubble and I could probably list every “nutrition” reason to be vegetarian.  In general, I feel like Kylee keeps me educated on environmental issues and this is no exception.  Also, I asked her about a month ago if she was still vegetarian and she told me she had been for over a year now. I admire that.  It also makes a month seem like a really short time.

2) I want to expand my food horizons.  I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking lately.  I just want to try something new! I always see all these meatless recipes and think I should try them but then I fall back to my safe choice of chicken.  Time to be brave and try new things!

3) I want a challenge and a new goal to work towards.  After getting a dietetic internship and completing my first half marathon I feel like I’m in a rut.  Of course this is no where near the same caliber as those two goals, but it will do for now.  I need to mellow down my life a bit anyways haha…

There are more smaller reasons, but I could blab on forever and that would be boring.  I came across this recipe from PreventionRD and was immediately drawn to it, especially since her comment on it was that it was a great first recipe to try out tofu.  I bought some tofu the last time I was at the store and had no idea how I was going to use it and since I’ve been on a bit of an Asian, stir fry kick lately (and I like anything spicy) I decided to give it a whirl!

Bottom line, it was really simple and easy to make.  After the tofu came out of the oven it all came together really fast and literally within minutes I had a meal.  I would suggest prepping all your ingredients while the tofu is baking  and if you’re going to serve it over rice, quinoa, or noodles, cook them at that time too.

The original recipe called for coconut oil and peanuts…I don’t have coconut oil (yet!) so I used vegetable oil.  Right after I put it in the pan I remembered learning about different oils in Science of Foods and how they have different smoke points and blah blah blah.  I honestly can’t tell you the difference between oils, only that there is one, and that vegetable oil worked okay.  Use coconut if you can, the flavor would probably be good in this recipe.  And as for peanuts, I’m an idiot and spaced while I was at the store.  I had sunflower seeds in my cabinet and used those.  Again, they were fine, but use the peanuts if you can…

Kung Pao Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced and divided
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet and lightly mist with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cubes after 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sunflower seeds and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu and stir.
  3. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 1 -2 minutes.
  4. Add half of the green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve over cooked brown rice,quinoa, or noodles, if desired, and top with remaining green onions.

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Mine turned out fairly, okay really, spicy, so cut back on the pepper flakes if you don’t want so much heat.  I served mine over brown rice and it was delicious!

Servings: 3

  • Calories: 290
  • Total Fat: 19.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 418 mg
  • Total Carbs: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 19.8 g
Asian Inspirations · Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

So I’m getting a little nervous.  The anticipation of my internship had me a nervous wreck, I binged on a variety of “junk” food for about a week, and now I feel like a bloated beached whale. And guess what, my half marathon is in 4 days!! Commence detox, now! Lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein! No sweets, alcohol, heavy, greasy, smothered food until Monday! I can do it!

We’ll see how long that lasts….but for real, it has to. I am TIRED. My body is heavy. Thinking about running a measly 3 miles this morning (although it is like tsunami status winds out there so it will be tough) makes me want to crawl back into bed and sleep.  Good thing I’ve got a gigantic mug of coffee by my side…

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Te he. Anyways, I made this recipe maybe two weeks ago and I plan to recreate it tonight.  It fits perfectly into my little detox for the next few days because it’s relatively healthy AND full of flavor.  When I made it last I didn’t serve it over rice but instead mixed in a bit of quinoa for an added crunch and texture, so it was more of a salad? I don’t know what else to call it…but it was good! Serve it however you please, the stir fry is really the star here.

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken 

I found the recipes here.

Ingredients:

    For the Stir Fry:

    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
    • 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts), cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 large white onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped
    • 1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced

    For the Sauce:

    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 3 Tbsp. sriracha chile sauce
    • 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
    • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1 pinch pepper
    • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (or orange juice, or any kind of citrus juice)
    • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

    Directions:

    1. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large deep-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add to skillet. Saute for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside. Remove chicken and set aside.
    2. Add an additional 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet, then add in the onion, peppers, zucchini, and broccoli. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender yet still a bit crisp. Remove vegetables and set aside. (The time for this step will vary depending on the size of your skillet and the amount of veggies you use.)
    3. Add ketchup, sriracha, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce and white pepper to pan, and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the fruit juice and cornstarch until it has dissolved. Then add the mixture to the sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add back in the vegetables and chicken, and stir until evenly coated.
    4. Remove from heat and serve over rice, quinoa, etc. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 3 days.

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    This is a really adaptable recipe.  I think it’s really the sauce that makes it so any kind of veggies and meat (even tofu!) would work here. Make it your own!

    Servings: 4

    • Calories: 285
    • Total Fat: 8.8 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
    • Cholesterol: 44.7 mg
    • Sodium: 519.5 mg
    • Total Carbs: 36.5 g
    • Protein: 20.3 g