Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Haphazard Veggie Stir-Fry

This was my lunch today (no kid-rating for this one). I had just returned from grocery shopping, was running late, and was sooo hungry. I often grab take-out food after shopping (ironic, I know) but am really trying to reduce how often I eat out, so I grabbed my pacer food and set out to prepare something to wow my taste buds. I did get a "wow" but not in a good way. I managed to fix it and got the "wow" I was looking for.

There's no plan, and it's not pretty, except for being pretty rushed before picking up my kids from school. I took a few last-minute pictures, nonetheless.

Ingredients: veggies I had on hand, lo mein noodles, mystery sauce

-carrot stick- shredded, julienned, sliced, whatever - I had bits of all today
-celery stalk-cut (I discovered it isn't easy to julienne celery)
-onion-a wedge chopped
-small garlic clove pressed
-two bok choy leaves
-6 sugar snap peas, cut up
-interesting chive-like sprout-thing growing from a sprouted onion I took too long to use and planted it instead - minced

Mystery Sauce:
2/3 cup of chicken stock
4 T tamari sauce (type of soy sauce)
2 T white wine (the cooking variety)
2 T corn starch

Cook lo-mein as directed (or rice, or favorite pasta or nada). Set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, heat butter oil in pan. Add the harder, denser veggies. Saute for 4-5 min. Then add the remaining veggies for a couple more minutes. Set aside.

Heat some of the mystery sauce in pan. Quickly add the noodles and heat through. Set aside.

(I wouldn't do this next step, again). Heat more sauce and add veggies. Heat through. Put all on plate. Take a bite and say, "Wow! Too much sauce!" Dump noodles and veggies into a sieve and rinse while thinking, "I hope this works." Reheat. Serve. Taste. Much better.

"Is rinsing your food allowed?"
"It is now."
Washed clean like a baptized soul.
The sauce, although good, was salty and strong.

Next time:
If I use the sauce, I'll only use a little on the noodles and leave the veggies in their crispy, savory glory. The veggies were crispy and flavorful all on their own. I may play around with the sauce and experiment with diffferent ingredients.

I think simply adding some tamari or teriaki sauce to the concoction is fine and quicker. I don't need to get all saucy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and a St. Patrick Day's Twist

Kid Rating: 3 out of 3 like them
Do Again: Yes

(plus surprise Irish dancing video at the end)

I found this fun recipe over at Amy's Super Healthy Kids.
Makes 12
Pre-heat to 350 degrees F

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (my addition)
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1tsp vanilla
1 cup carrot puree (click HERE for recipe)

Mix it all together. Spoon into muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from pan to cool on rack.

4 oz cream cheese
1/2 - 1 cup powdered sugar (I used 1 cup to make it thicker)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I used 1 tsp)

I only had 1/2 cup of brown sugar and
supplemented with white. I suppose I
could have added molasses.

It was very thick. I wonder if a softer puree would
have produced a thinner batter.

St. Patrick's Day Decorating:
Here's a link to Gourmet Mom to print out the leprechauns: click HERE

I have a black-ink printer, so I just used pens to color in.


Fold for mirror image.

Finer cut.

I used clear packing tape to "laminate" the image so I can
reuse the images. Lay out strip of tape. Practice first to
learn how to avoid the static that makes the tape leap up
to the image and adhere in the most frustrating way.

Fold over tape, seal, and do a final cut (make sure
to leave sealed edges - don't cut them off).

Family Review:
I love the after-taste: fresh, carrot-sweet, and not all "chemically" like store-bought artificial stuff.

Here's the hilarious video:
(watch it until the fun ending)

Carrot Puree an ingredient for other recipes

For 1 cup of puree:  3-4 medium carrots (I used 4 large carrots and had 1 1/3 cups of puree)

-peel and chop carrots into smaller pieces
-fill pot with 1-2 inches of water, up to steamer basket
(or you can boil the carrots, instead)
-bring to boil
-add carrots, cover
-steam for 10 minutes (at least 10 min. -- my carrots chopped to bits instead of into a smooth puree, which is fine with me, but if I want a finer product, I should steam/boil longer).
-puree in a processor or blender, add a tablespoon of water to help it blend (if you cooked your carrots until they are mushy-soft, then you can use a potato masher if you don't have a blender/processor)