Archive for March, 2011

March 29, 2011

Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice

This was my first experience making fried rice with brown basmati rice. Since I’ve always used white in the past (I still have about a hundred pounds of the stuff left in my cupboard), I’m not extremely familiar with the brown version, but from what I’ve seen, I feel it tends to be stickier and mushier than the white. Since I like my grains to be well separated when making fried rice, I decided I would try cooking it like I would pasta, in a large quantity of boiling salted water and drain it once it reached the desired level of doneness.

This technique gave me somewhat good results, but I think it could’ve cooked for a few more minutes. I forgot that brown rice does have a longer cooking time than white, so the grains remained a little too crunchy for my taste. Guess I was just afraid to see my rice turn into a sticky mush, so I played it overly safe. Next time I will have to adjust consequently.

Other than that, I was fairly happy with this dish. Mind you, I was in the mood for a very dominant ginger taste and loads of green peas, so feel free to add less if you’re not that big a fan…

Ingredients
(serves 1)

  • ½ cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 green onion, chopped (save a few pieces to garnish)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8-10 tail-on cooked cold shrimp (size 31-40)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tbsp cooked wild rice (totally optional, I already had some in the fridge)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sambal oelek
  • White and Black toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Ingredients

  • Cook brown rice in lots of salted boiling water until desired level of doneness. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add ginger, green onions and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms start to turn brown. Add rice and cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add peas, shrimp, and cooked wild rice, sambal oelek, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Cook until peas and shrimp are heated through.
  • Serve immediately, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

 

 

 

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March 28, 2011

Tuna Fish Patties – A quick and easy meal with endless possibilities!

I spent the week-end at my parents’ again, and I knew I wouldn’t be in the mood for anything complicated when I got back on Sunday evening, so I had already planned that this is what I was going to eat. Plus, this would be one of those dishes that I prefer to keep for alone nights, because I would be the only one at home who actually enjoys them a lot.

Not only are tuna fish patties super easy to make, I find they are the best life saver when you have close to nothing left in your cupboards. All you need to do is open up a can of tuna, add some egg whites, a few tablespoons of whole wheat breadcrumbs and you’re all set. Of course, it’s always great to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that for some extra flavour, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Tonight, I chose to add olives and green onions, with a hint of fresh dill because I happened to have some in the fridge. But really here, the possibilities are endless. You could use celery, bell peppers, red onions, corn, green peas, capers, grated carrots, wilted spinach, just let your inspiration guide you.

You can serve your tuna patties as is, but you could also make them into a tuna burger, or do like I did tonight: wrap them in a pita bread to turn them into an innovative and very different tuna fish sandwich.

To me, this is a classic recipe; one of those recipes that you want to know by heart because it’s just so convenient, simple, quick, and delicious!

Ingredients
(makes 2-3 patties)

  • 1 can chunk light tuna, in water, drained
  • 2 tbsp low fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp sliced green olives
  • 1 tsp sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Generous pinch black pepper

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
  • Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  • With a spoon, drop tuna mixture in the pan to form 2 or 3 patties. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes, until nice and golden and the patties hold their shape enough to be flipped. Flip your patties very delicately and cook the other side for 3 -5 minutes.
  • Serve as is or on hamburger bun or pita bread. Garnish with a dollop low fat plain yogurt or sour cream and alfalfa sprouts, if desired.

 

March 25, 2011

Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Looks like I’ve been craving all sorts of comfort food lately, and when it comes to comfort foods, cream of mushroom would without a doubt come pretty high on my list of most comforting foods. However, who says cream of something usually says “high in fat” and “calorie dense”, so if I was going to indulge, I had to think of way to make a lighter version of this delicious soup. However, I was not ready to sacrifice the taste or comfort factor, not even a little.

Since I had never made a cream of mushroom from scratch before, that added to the challenge quite a bit, but I decided it was well worth taking a shot at. I had to play this one by ear, but was entirely satisfied with the results. More than satisfied, in fact: I was thrilled. I didn’t use one ounce of butter or cream, not even whole milk, yet the soup was rich, thick, and creamy. The wild rice was a superb addition and I really enjoyed chewing on actual big chunks of mushroom.  Maybe next time, if I have some in the fridge, I will add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream as a garnish… and I get the feeling I will be making this one again sooner than later.

Ingredients
(serves 2)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, in small cubes
  • 227g button mushrooms, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 50g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium portebellini mushroom, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup soy milk (or use 2 cups 1% milk)
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ cup cooked wild rice (cook ahead of time, wild rice takes a long time to cook!)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the onion and celery over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add salt, pepper potato and chopped mushrooms. Stir and cook for an extra 5 minutes. Add water, cover partially and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, coat a skillet with cooking spray and cook the sliced mushrooms over medium high heat. You want your mushrooms to take a nice golden colour, so make sure they do not touch, else, they will start boiling instead of browning. You might have to cook them in several batches. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cooked (the water will have almost evaporated), reserve about ½ a cup of the mixture and puree the rest in a food processor or with a hand blender. Return to the pot, add reserved potato mixture, sliced mushrooms, cooked rice and milk.
  • Mix the cornstarch and water together to make a slurry. Add this to the soup then simmer for about 5 minutes to cook the cornstarch.
  • Serve immediately with a good slice of warm whole grain bread.