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Friday, September 21, 2012

Cajun Breakfast Bowl

This idea came from my New York trip and a cute little restaurant in the Chelsea Market District called Tipsy Parson. We had brunch at this fabulous little gem of a restaurant and every thing that touched our lips was to-die-for!!! But this re-make is of what I ordered, they called it "Pig in a Poke" It was actually so delicious that when I was too full to take another bite I wanted to cry, it was the best breakfast I have had in a long time! So this is my version of it and I'm sure my version is much lighter but still very very good!

This recipe could easily be doubled to serve 4 or more people.

7 oz kielbasa sausage (I used turkey)
2 cups chicken stock
6 T grits
2 eggs
1 T butter
1 T sour cream
Cajun seasoning to taste

Cook your grits according to the package directions using chicken stock instead of water. Using stock instead of water gives the grits a stronger flavor. While the grits are cooking slice the kielbasa and saute in a frying pan for about 3-5 minutes, season with Cajun season to taste. Remove sausage from pan, spray with non-stick spray and fry two eggs to your preference. I like my eggs over-medium, where the white is cooked and the yellow runny and in this dish it is super de-lish when the yellow runs into the grits! Once the grits are finished, add the butter and sour cream to the grits and stir. Divide the grits into two bowls, top each bowl with half of the kielbasa, add one egg to each bowl and serve.

I sliced and halved one half of a package of Jenn-O Turkey sausage
Saute it up and add some spice, not much, because it's already a little salty
Add to the top of the yummy creamy grits!
Add the egg...
and EAT!!!

Weight Watcher Friends: This recipe has makes two servings and each one has 9 points plus. It is super filling and totally worth every point!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nam Sod

This recipe is from my cousin, Rusty, he's a great cook. He made this up at our farm last year and everyone loved it! My husband has asked me to make it about 15 times, I finally called up my cousin to get the recipe. It was great! Enjoy!!!

1 lb fresh lean ground pork
2 T fish sauce
3 limes, juice & zest
2 T garlic, minced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
5 green onions/scallions, chopped
3 T Cilantro, chopped
5-7 small dried Thai chili peppers
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 head of cabbage
1/2 bag broccoli slaw*

Brown the pork making sure to cook through. Once the pork is cooked, add the garlic and ginger, cook for about 1 minute then remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients, fish sauce, lime, zest, green onions, peppers, cilantro and peanuts.  The Thai peppers can either have the seeds included or removed depending on the amount of heat you like, I served this to my kids so I removed the seeds. Quarter the cabbage head & separate sections. Use the cabbage slices as a wrap and enjoy together.

If you have never used ginger, peel it then chop, it is a root so it is very fibrous 

 Fish sauce does not smell great (imagine that) and is very salty so do not add any additional salt.

Thai chili peppers

Mine were full of seeds so I had to remove most of them.

Brown the pork
*the broccoli slaw is not a typical part of this recipe, I just had it on hand and threw it in when I added the garlic and ginger.
This dish is tangy, delicious and unique mix of flavors.

Clean the cabbage leaves and tear them to cup sizes.

Fill the cups with the pork mixture and enjoy!

 Weight Watcher Friends: this recipe serves 5 and each serving is 1 cup and has 4 points per cup. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bok Choy

This is a favorite side dish in our house when we have Asian style dinners which are quite common around here lately. The only problem I find is getting fresh, crisp bok choy, they have it at the grocery store often, it's just usually wilted and a little floppy which I don't like. However I have asked the produce man at Publix and he has gone to the back and gotten me a fresher bunch. I almost always buy it when I see it looking good. It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare from start to finish and is loaded with nutrients! Honestly it is practically calorie free, I think it has 13 calories per serving and chock full of vitamins. If you want to read about it's health benefits, click here. I also love baby bok choy but have to go to a specialty grocery store for that so I hardly ever make it but you can always find regular bok choy at Publix or Kroger.

Bok Choy, 1 bunch
2 T soy sauce ( I use Tamari, gluten free)
1 T canola, oil

Clean and chop the bok choy. Heat a large skillet or wok to high heat, add oil. Then add the boy choy and saute for 2-3 minutes, add the soy sauce. Toss to combine and serve when it's hot and still crunchy.

This is not my picture, I just found it online, I didn't think to blog this until after I had already chopped mine, but it looked exactly like this :)

All chopped up and ready to cook!

Add the soy sauce..

Then enjoy! So easy and super scrumptious!

Weight Watcher Friends: This makes 4 half cup servings at 0 points! So enjoy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pork Lo Mein

Last weekend my mom and aunt took me and my cousins for a weekend in New York City, we stayed on Lexington Ave on the east side of Manhattan. We had a blast!! It was an amazing trip filled with family, laughs, good food, shopping, shows, more amazing food, and oh did I say shopping?? Really the meals we had were out of this world! We ate at Buddakan, Lure, Tipsy Parsons, had drinks at the roof top bar at the Gavensvoort Hotel, shopped in great little markets. My friend Niki, said it best when she called it a real 'ladycation". We are such lucky girls to have such amazing, giving moms who treat us to adventures like this or like this.

On the street of New York

"The Girls" Peggy, Dana, Ellen, Alli and me at Lure

Walking through Grady Market, look at the beautiful produce, it was dreamy for me!

Me and my mom at Buddakan

I always try to re-create meals I eat out and taking on this meal is HUGE! Buddakan was probably one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at in my life, the food was amazing, interesting, beautiful and unique. We ordered several things from the menu, Dim Sum, appetizers, main courses and desserts. Everything was out of this world good! We all loved this Pork Lo Mein dish, it was surprisingly simple but full of great flavors, the menu description said Pork Lo Mein with pickled cucumbers which we thought sounded weird but we all agreed it was one of the best things we ordered. So here is my attempt at the recreation...

1 package rice noodles, cooked
1 lb ground pork (lean)
5-6 scallions chopped
1/2 cup snow peas, ends removed
1/2 cup  broccolini (broccoli  rabe or florets)
1 T ginger, minced
1 T garlic, minced
1/3 cup of a good quality sweet pickle
5 T soy sauce, separated (I use Tamari, Gluten Free)
2 T Asian Vinaigrette, (I use Trader Joe's)
2 T honey
2 t sesame oil, separated
1 T canola oil

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over high heat, then add the ground pork, using a spoon to break up the pork into small pieces, next add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to the pork, cook until very done and crumbly. Once done, remove from pan and set aside. While the pork is cooking whisk together 2 T soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and the Asian Vinaigrette.  Heat the sesame oil in a wok then add the broccolini, ginger and garlic and toss together for 2-3 minutes, next add the snow peas and scallions, cook for one minute. Finally add the sauce, stir to combine then add the rice noodles and ground pork. Stir together and top with the fresh pickled cucumbers and serve immediately.

Now I will say, the dish at Buddakan did not have as many veggies, but I needed more...

Crumbled pork with soy sauce, cooked with soy sauce

Stir-fry the veggies

This is the Asain Vinaigrette I use, it makes a great marinade for Salmon!

Cooked rice noodles, always rinse them with cold water as soon as you drain them or they will be sticky!

Combine, noodles, veggies, pork and sauce and toss, then top with....

My mom makes these fresh pickled cucumbers, if you make this dish... please use a good quality, not your typical store brand, it really makes a difference, just trust me!

I used the pickled cucumbers and sweet onions, it adds a surprising sweetness and a crunch, Yum!

 Even though it wasn't exactly the same as what we had it was very close and very good!

Weight Watcher Friends: This meal only has 8 points plus per serving. The recipe makes 6 servings.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade BBQ Sauce

I have been making my own BBQ sauce for quite some time. My mom has always made her own and it is amazing. Have you read the ingredients list on the store bought bottle in your fridge or pantry? When you read the labels of bottled sauces it can really freak you out, well at least it does me! I try to make a double batch so I can put some in a mason jar and have it on hand but we usually end up using it all at once. Whatever you have left over you can put in a glass jar and save for at least a month. This sauce is part my mom's and part my own. Enjoy!

1 t oil (olive or canola)
1/2 cup diced onions (red or white)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 T brown sugar
1 T Dijon mustard

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions begin to sweat, then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then turn to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.

This is not all the ingredients, sometimes I use honey and sometimes I use brown sugar, it's good either way.

This is after it has been cooked.

I had made my BBQ Pork this night and I love eating it over slaw!

Weight Watcher Friends: This makes 12 servings, each are two tablespoons. Each serving has 1 point plus.