Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Taste, Small Plate

Whether you're up to date with my blog posts out of interest or pure boredom, it's a known fact that I'm attempting a less rigid restaurant lifestyle.  Needless to say, attending a restaurant by myself and ordering three unknowns is big deal for this girl.

I'm also a firm believer in "meant to be" moments, especially if the moment takes a turn towards spectacular.  And tonight was just that.  If one of the thirteen friends I had asked to join me for dinner tonight accepted, I wouldn't have sat at the bar.  If the gift certificate I received hadn't expired, I would have ordered a safe seared tuna entree.  Since neither of my intentions took place, I awkwardly hopped up to the bar alone, requested a menu, and thoroughly examined.

What's a girl to do when she wants everything and nothing at the same time?  Order a bunch of stuff.  It turns out that Restaurant BT is just the place to order a bunch of stuff.  And not just any ol' stuff - perfectly presented and prepared plates.  The bar menu is extensive and contains surprisingly affordable fare.  My dinner?  Crab & Asparagus SoupTuna PouchTuna Tai Chanh, and House Cured Salmon on Herb Toast.  Cashing out for only $12 may also make BT the hottest deal in town.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yum Yum - Can I Get a Scoop?

Mangoes and avocados frequent being the center of health hype attention.  And deservingly so, both can be considered vitamin powerhouses, cancer preventers, skin improvers, digestion enhancers, and the list goes on.  And just when you think the list is coming to a close, it probably goes on some more.

Many suggest consuming these tropical treats daily.  If you're looking for a realistic way to do just that, check out the recipe below.  Mix the following ingredients and refrigerate in a sealed dish.  Eat a scoopful as a snack or jazz up salads and sandwiches that may be lacking anything "super".

2 Avocados, cubed
1 Mango, cubed
1-2 Tbsps cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
Salt to taste

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wokin Wontons

The first blog entry after a brief hiatus better be a good one.  And because of this, the pressure for a blog worthy dish has been rearing its ugly head for entirely too long.  Solution?  A gift from my favorite (and only) uncle.

At first glance, bamboo steamers seem like they could be deceivingly difficult.  Not the case.  Just set atop a wok with shallow boiling water and you've got yourself a deal.

And homemade dumplings?  The closest I've ever come is plopping a few frozen nuggets in a traditional pot of boiling water.  And even though I've always purchased a "natural" brand, their contents have always been a slight mystery.

The following shrimp wonton recipe is heavenly.  They're fresh, and there's nothing mystery about them.

- 1/4 to 1/2 lb of cooked shrimp
- 1/2 cup mushrooms (I used baby portobellas)
- 3/4 cup green cabbage
- 1/3 cup green onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 packet of Nasoya Wonton Wraps
- Ponzu Sauce

Finely chop all of the ingredients up until the ginger.  Use a cheese grater to grate the ginger.  Mix the shrimp, veggies, and soy sauce in a bowl.  Plop a spoonful of the filling in the center of each wonton wrapper.  Wet the edges of the wonton wrappers, fold them, and firmly press the edges together.  Fill a wok with as much water as you can that won't seep into the bamboo steamer and bring to a boil.  Place the wontons on cabbage leaves on each rack of the bamboo steamer (this will prevent them from sticking to the steamer).  Set the bamboo steamer in the wok and steam wontons for 6 minutes.  Serve with ponzu sauce for dipping.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fluff It To Me

I want to shout off of rooftops how excited I am about today's breakfast.  Not only because I've been dancing around the idea of making it for quite some time now, but it changed my world a little AND I'm still full.

Adding egg whites to Irish oatmeal does not sound the least bit appetizing.  But after reading about others' successes, I decided to give it a shot.  It's hard to believe that a 16 calorie addition can give an extra 4 grams of protein and an unimaginable fluff to an oh so ordinary breakfast.  After briskly mixing the white into the hot oatmeal, try adding 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of agave nectar to satisfy your salty/sweet side.  At less than 250 cals a pop, why the heck not!  Did I mention it's delicious?

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Grocery Binge

I had high hopes for dinner tonight.  I made a list and purchased every item on it, with only a few impulsive extras.  And then my first mistake happened...  I cracked open my Hapi Mix.  I cracked open the darn mix before I even put the car in drive.

The next mistake happened as I was unpacking my sacks.  It doesn't take a betting man to predict I would crave a bite of every single one of my impulse purchases - reason number 576 why an impulse purchase at the grocery store is a bad decision.  And it was as I picked up my sweet snack that I decided the stir fry I intended on making tonight could wait until tomorrow.   

It turned out to be only a mini bad decision as Attune Bars are only 90 calories and have five times the amount of live active cultures as yogurt.  I popped a veggie burger in the toaster oven, scarfed my sweetness, and embraced my Monday night badness.

See you tomorrow night stir fry!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flavor a la Low Sodium

Rice and chicken, chicken and rice.  I'll eat them, I like them, but if you told me I couldn't have either again, I wouldn't be heartbroken.  And since I don't eat either on the regular, I didn't mind one bit when tasked with providing a flavorful, low sodium, rice recipe.

I can unbiasedly say that boiled bone-in chicken is highly underrated.  It's tasty, healthy, and most importantly, hard to mess up.

1 Carrot
2 Celery Stalks
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 lb of Drumsticks
2 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers (guts removed)
2 Spanish Onions
Boil in Bag Brown Rice
1-2 Handfulls of Long Leaf Spinach
1 Tbsp Earth Balance "butter" or real butter

Chop veggies into big pieces.  Boil water in a large pot and add veggies and drumsticks.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and boil for 30 minutes.  Remove drumsticks and add rice bag to chicken broth.  Remove skin, cut chicken off the bone, and set aside.  When the rice is finished, remove the rice and veggies with a slatted spoon.  Add spinach leaves to chicken broth until they are wilted and remove.  Strain excess water from spinach leaves.  Mix "butter", chicken, and rice.  Add seasoning to taste.  
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