Friday, September 30, 2011

Carrot and Red Pepper Soup

Fall is here! We had our very first cold snap of the season (complete with a mini snowstorm) and that prompted this delicious meal. The roasted peppers add a lot of flavor and this has tons of ingredients that I usually have around the house. Not only is this very healthy, but if you use soymilk instead of milk it can be completely vegan. Bring on the cold!

Serves 4-6

1 onion, chopped
10 carrots, sliced thin
2 cups vegetable stock
2 red bell peppers
2 cups milk
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Place onion and carrots into a pot with water or stock and simmer, covered, over medium heat until the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork. (about 20 minutes)

Roast bell peppers by placing them over an open gas flame or directly under the broiler until the skin is completely blackened. Place in a bowl, cover, and let stand for about 15 minutes. Once the peppers cool, slip the charred skin off with your fingers, then cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds.
Blend the carrot mixture along with the bell peppers in a blender in small batches. (Be very careful blending hot liquids!) Add some milk to aid the blending. Return soup to the pot and add in lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Heat until steamy and serve warm with fresh bread. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tangy Slow Roasted Pork

Adapted from Allrecipes

Slow cooker recipes are so great. They are so EASY that they are almost impossible to screw up, and the taste is amazing. I tried this new recipe because I was wanting some savory meat to put on crepes, but didn't necessarily want a barbecue flavor. I had all of these ingredients already on hand and the pork turned out tangy and delicious.

Serves 6-8

1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2 1/2 lbs boneless pork loin (about 1 kilogram)
1 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (balsamic is also acceptable)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 beef bullion cube
salt to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp cornstarch

Chop the onions and mince the garlic and put them in a large pot and place the roast on top. Then, in a bowl, mix the water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper and beef bullion and pour mixture over the roast. Then keep adding water until the meat is just covered.

Put the lid on the pot and and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. About 3/4 of the way through, open the pot and shred the meat with two forks, adding salt and red pepper to taste. Cook the remaining time, with the lid off if there is a substantial amount of liquid left so it can evaporate (keep the lid on if the liquid is nearly gone) and mix cornstarch with 1 Tbsp cold water and mix it in so the sauce can thicken up a bit.

This meat would be great on sandwiches, crepes, or tacos. Pretty much anything really. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sichuan Style Chicken

Adapted from Eating Well

I love Chinese food. And I love finding new ways of making it that don't involve a deep fryer. So this recipe from Eating Well was great and very healthy! My advice would be not to skimp on the sauce, it's definitely the best part.
Good Appetite! 

Sichuan Sauce
3 Tbsp reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp rice vinegar (balsamic is also acceptable)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil (tahini is also acceptable)
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Chicken Stir Fry
1 lb chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (dried is also ok)
2 cups zucchini (any vegetable really...string beans would be awesome)
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 scallion, minced for garnish

To prepare sauce: whisk broth, tomato past, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Put the chicken, rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch and minced garlic in a bowl, set aside.

Chop zucchinis into large chunks and set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes immediately. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out to cook. Cook until chicken begins to brown on all sides, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the Sichuan sauce, swirl it into the pan and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce has thickened and is slightly glossy (about a minute) Transfer to a platter and garnish with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately with rice.