Gyoza

Today I will only post once, since I have a busy day. For lunch I am eating a Crescent Chimichanga. But on to dinner. Everyone I know loves Gyozas or Potstickers. I have never made them before and thought I should learn how. Now, someday I will use the recipe for Cantonese Pancakes in the recipe book that came with my tortilla press, but today I am using wonton skins (my store didn’t have the round Gyoza ones). I only made a few other small changes to the recipe. I had a bunch of green onions so I used them in place of the leeks. Also, I couldn’t find miso paste and haven’t made it to the Asian Market so I left that out. Otherwise, I followed this recipe.

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The sauce is rice vinegar, soy sauce and minced garlic. The pickiest eater I know gave her stamp of approval and even helped. She said they tasted a little bland, I guess that was due to not using miso paste.

Having now eaten these I must tell you how great this recipe is. They came out wonderfully. I ended up eating 8 of these. We bought some chili sesame oil and put a few drops in the dipping sauce. This was a definite success.

NOTE: I forgot to say, I had 60 wrappers and only used half the filling to make these.

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Chef Salad Crepes

Well, yet another food I have adored all my life, crepes. They used to be common in the malls of my youth but I guess they fell out of fashion here. But not elsewhere. Of course you’ll see them in Paris, but at a car boot sale in England and on the shopping streets of Tokyo as well. You see, I don’t mean those fancy eat with a knife and fork types, I am talking ice-cream-cone-style street food. (I did see where a Japanese crepe chain, Marion Crepes,  opened in a mall in California.) I have used Mabel Hoffman’s Crepe Cookery for years and really like her batter recipes. Someone kindly posted one here. I will be using 1% milk and canola oil.

I have a wonderful wooden crepe batter spreader that I use to smooth the batter out as soon as I pour it. But the real trick to crepes for me is my electric sukiyaki pan. I haven’t seen anything like it, it is very shallow, making the spreading very easy and it cooks evenly. Plus it makes the huge crepes that are needed for the cone-shaped salad crepes.

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I got 8 crepes using about 1/2 cup batter per crepe. See the color of the underside, I like them dry on top and golden on the bottom. I separate each crepe with parchment paper, then fold them in fourths and put them in a large zip bag and chill them. I will let them warm to room temperature before dinner. At about 200 calories per crepe I am considering cutting mine in half and eating the second half with some Nutella spread on it for dessert. (I didn’t.)

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I considered what to put in these for dinner tonight and remembered that I had mentioned loving a Chef salad. Perfect! I lay down a couple of leaves of de-spined romaine,  followed by strips of cucumber, sliced roma tomato, boiled egg, strips of ham and light mozzarella cheese and a light frosting of my homemade mayonnaise and it is a wrap. Photo to come after dinner.

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ChefSaladCrepe

Mayonnaise

Have you ever made mayonnaise? I made it once long ago, before raw eggs were declared poison. Well, I still wanted to make my own mayo so I went looking to see if powdered eggs would work. And sure enough, I found this lovely recipe. I actually wanted to see if I could make mayonnaise on a motorhome trip. I could just gather packets from fast-food restaurants, but homemade is better. I used avocado oil and cut the salt in half in the above recipe.

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To lighten this up, you could stir in some soft tofu without changing the flavor too much. I will use this with dinner tonight, but wanted to have it in a separate post and I needed one for the lunch post anyway. I will be eating spaghetti and meatballs from the freezer.

 

Mexican Pizza

This is the other thing I always get at Taco Bell. I only eat half, but this lower fat version lets me eat the whole thing. I followed the directions exactly, except for using Carb Balance flour tortillas. I won’t assemble these until dinner time so I will post a picture then. I cooked the spiced ground beef, shredded the cheese and chopped the tomato and green onion. I also did the first bake of the oiled tortillas.

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For some reason, these turned out better than they ever have. Everyone really liked them.

Frappuccino

I would NEVER buy a bottle of iced coffee! I have but never will again. First, they have as many calories as ice cream! Second, they are too sweet for my taste, and third, they cost too much. But I do like a nice iced coffee and Todd Wilbur has given me the recipe. I did adjust it to my liking and ended up changing everything. Here is my version:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Frappuccino

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 cup dark roast coffee
1 cup skim milk
4 packets Truvia
1 teaspoon pectin — liquid

Stir everything together and chill.

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About the same calories as half a glass of skim milk!

Last night we ended up making that diet version of ice cream I talked about. It tastes wonderful, but the small 60 gram serving below packs 140 calories. For lunch I am having the last Waffle Monte Cristo Sandwich, some raw broccoli, and this ice cream.

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Walnut Mushroom Casserole

Tonight’s meal is not my favorite, in fact I don’t know if I even tasted it, but Someone has fond memories of it. There used to be a restaurant right next to our university called The Good Earth. That is where I tasted the tea I recommended a while back. Most of the Good Earth restaurants are gone. I have tried to find a recipe for this dish in vegetarian cookbooks but never did. The kind writer here succeeded for me. I have substituted low-sodium soy sauce,  low-fat sour cream and cheeses, Marsala replaced the sherry and I used portobella mushrooms instead of button. I have been thinking of boosting our vegetable intake and the nutritional values are a bit impressive. So, I hope I agree with Someone’s taste and this can take a regular place in our menu.

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This is one eighth of the batch. It looks a bit messy, but kind of delicious. I tasted a bit of the scraps from the pan and I think I am going to love it. I may revise this with my full opinion after dinner tonight.

Okay, Someone loved it. I think it is a keeper. The walnuts and water chestnuts add such a nice crunch and the portobellas were a good choice as was the Marsala.

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Milk Tea

I have tried for years to perfect Japanese Milk Tea. We buy it in the Asian supermarkets, but I wanted to make it at home. It used to be the drink to have with the sushi Someone likes to make. I finally found the crucial element from this webpage. I haven’t tried it with Uva, but I did brew a pot of Ceylon. Here is exactly how I made it:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Milk Tea

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
4 cups boiling water
6 bags Ceylon tea
12 packets Truvia
1 cup skim milk

Steep tea in water for 3 to 10 minutes. Stir in sweetener until dissolved. Add milk and chill until cold.

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It is surprising how much I have enjoyed these low-calorie drinks throughout the day. Normally I would be happy with coffee and diet soda. Today, I went to the freezer and the last roasted turkey meal just caught my eye. So that is my delicious lunch.

Buffalo Chicken Calzone

There is a great little restaurant in Mesa, Arizona called Bellagio Pizzeria. They serve a wide variety of Mediterranean food. But their calzones are the best! Today I will try to replicate the Buffalo Chicken Calzone using several borrowed recipes. For the dough, the usual recipe, replacing 1 cup of flour with whole wheat pastry flour. I will use this recipe for Buffalo Sauce, reducing the hot sauce to 1/4 cup. And I’ll be cooking the chicken in my usual way, with the addition of 1 chicken thigh for a bit of extra flavor. If I shred the chicken, pour on the sauce and add some Mozzarella, then wrap the pizza dough around this and bake it, I think that should do it.

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I ended up using 215g chicken breast and 350g chicken thigh. I added 4 ounces mozzarella cheese and divided the mixture among 8 calzones. I baked them at 375 for 30 minutes. I reheat them in the oven for dinner. We will probably have steam vegetables and ranch dressing for dipping.

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Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Someone has titled me the Kitchen Magician. I don’t take it seriously but it is a cute way of complimenting a meal. Last night, the tables were turned. This same person made the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted. It is an insanely simple combination of two recipes. Now, this is not a diet recipe by any stretch of the imagination. I offer it merely to document it.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 cups heavy cream
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
7 ounces 70% cocoa dark chocolate (Lindt)

Heat the condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Break chocolate into pieces and stir it into the heated condensed milk until melted. Whip cream. Fold in the chocolate and scrape into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to machine’s directions.

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It made 960 grams total. Even dividing this into 15 62-gram servings results in 280 calories per serving! (My Dreyers Slow Churn is 63 grams for 120 calories.) Luckily, it is going to a pot luck dinner!

If I used 4 cups of fat-free Cool Whip, a can of evaporated skim milk and 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate I could half the calories…I might try that.

Today’s lunch from the freezer will be Polynesian Keilbasa.

Ravioli di Portobello

Here is another favorite meal at Olive Garden. I found this recipe and it seems to be passed around so that every recipe you find is the same. That would be okay, I guess, but I found the recipe crazy. First, who puts baking powder in pasta dough? Second, I actually made it and could have used only half of the filling, except that I threw the dough away and used my Verinica dough instead (2 cups flour, 2 eggs whites, 1/4 teaspoon salt, enough water to form a soft dough). That worked and produced 36 rather good-sized ravioli. I divided them among seven storage boxes. For the sauce, I didn’t have smoked Gouda but did have 8 ounces of Muenster that wasn’t gonna last much longer. Also, no sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste will have to do. And just because I like it, I added 1/4 cup Marsala. I guess Olive Garden serves these swimming in cheese sauce, but 2/3 of the recipe would have been just fine. Whether or not it is a good clone, it does taste good and dinner will be very appreciated by at least two of us. (We used to order this and split it every time we went to Olive Garden.)

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Turkish Delight

Let me share a family tradition. When the children got home from school, we would have tea and some sweet treat and read stories. We read everything from Swiss Family Robinson to the Harry Potter stories. When we read that Hagrid made rock cakes, we had to try them! And before the Narnia movies were made, we rented an animated version of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and had to buy some Turkish Delight to go with it.

As a child I had seen a recipe for Turkish Paste in my mother’s old cookbook. I went looking, and found the picture of it but no recipe…very strange. So I found this recipe for Turkish Delight and swiftly converted it to a diet version:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkish Delight

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 package sugar-free peach gelatin
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup Corn starch
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Stir both gelatins into the water in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Allow to soften for about 1 minute. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, 2 more minutes, stir, 2 more minutes. Very GRADUALLY stir in splenda, then cornstarch. (I had to use a wand blender to get it smooth.) Pour into a small square container and chill until set. Roll in powdered sugar.

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I cut half the batch into 8 pieces with 50 calories each. But see how the powdered sugar is “melting” into the candy? I cut the other half of the recipe into 18 cubes and left them unpowdered for a delicious 20 calorie treat!

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By the way, for lunch I am having a Chicken Wrap meal from the freezer.

Indian Fry Bread

As a teenager, my favorite mall food was this calorie bomb. You could get it with beans and cheese, honey, or cherry pie filling! I asked how they made the dough and was told they used Rhodes frozen bread dough. I had some of that in the freezer and took it out last night to thaw. The bread is rolled thin and deep fried before being topped. Deep frying uses a lot of oil, and since I heard that transfats are produced when oil is reheated, that is a lot of waste! I shallow fried these in a frying pan on the stove.

Here is what we used:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Indian Fry Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
455 grams bread dough
65 grams canola oil
9 ounces cheddar cheese, lowfat
15 ounces fat-free refried beans
4 ounces green chiles
lettuce
tomato

I put 224 grams of oil in the pan and ended up using only 65 grams. So, 1/2 cup oil would have been fine. Look at the picture below to see what the pickiest eater I know did with her portion! There is nothing under that cheese! She grabbed this for lunch before she headed home. I will add a picture of mine after dinner. We got 9 portions.

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We will reheat the fried bread in the oven and top with heated refried beans, cheese, green chilies, chopped lettuce and tomatoes. Some people will probably top with sour cream and perhaps some salsa. These are also called Navajo Tacos, but these are so small in comparison, perhaps Navajo tostadas.

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There is my fry bread. For dessert, we had 1/2 fried bread with 1 tablespoon Nutella on it. This whole dinner was so delicious and less than 500 calories! (I can’t even believe that.)

Nutrition Brownies

I thought I would try something crazy like coming up with a protein bar replacement that would rival my Kirkland Protein bars. I can’t say I suceeded, but I didn’t totally fail. I started with my usual brownie recipe and added nutritional suplementary ingredients. They ended up much too dense to be a brownie, but reminded me of that Brownie Delight Bundt Cake I made. Here is my recipe:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Nutrition Brownies

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 cup Splenda
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 ounces Egg Beaters® 99% egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces whey protein powder, chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 ounces psyllium husk powder
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine Splenda, pumpkin, egg whites, vanilla, protein powder and cocoa. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir just until combined. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Makes 16.

Now for the real test, how do they compare with my protein bars?

BrownieLabel.jpgNutritionBrownies

If a person ate 3 of these it would be 210 calories (vs 190), they would get 13.5g of fiber (vs 15) and the protein would amount to 19.5g (vs 21). The sugar, however would be 6.3g (vs 1). I could half this by using Stevia instead of Splenda. Anyway, after eating one I felt very full and wondered if I could actually eat 3 in the morning. I think these are better used as a good between meal snack, when I get really hungry. The above nutrition label was generated at Cronometer.com. It is a fabulous diet tracker, nutritional database and recipe keeper. There was an entire page of all kinds of nutritional information but I just wanted to use this snippet to compare.

For lunch today, I am going to have store-bought Chicken Jalfrezi from the freezer (I forgot I had this). And I will probably make another batch of Mint Juleps.

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Poutine

Many years ago a food show was exploring indulgent foods and I got my introduction to this Quebec phenomenon. Several years later, we were at a food court in a mall and a hot dog stand was selling it. The last time I tried it was from a food truck. (I think food trucks are so great. Not necessarily the food they serve but that they exists and park together and form a traveling food court. They are reminiscent of a county fair. Portland, Oregon has the best I’ve seen!) In preparing this dinner, I considered frying the fries twice like they do in Belgium. They really are the best! But I have to make compromises if I am going to fit into acceptable diet proportions. So, baked fries it is. The cheese curds are the white cheddar ones they sell at Costco. The gravy will be very inauthentically from a beef gravy mix, but I will throw in the last of the Burgundy. The exact ingredients are as follows:

Poutine

840 grams frozen French fries
140 grams cheese curds
1 pkg beef gravy mix
1/4 cup Burgundy

Allow curds to warm to room temperature. Bake fries according to package directions. Meanwhile prepare gravy packet and add Burgundy. Place fries in 5 bowls, top with 1 ounce of cheese each. Divide the gravy over the bowls and serve.

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The fries I bought have half a serving extra, so I may bake the whole bag and just divide them evenly. I am waiting to prepare the meal because I have read that temperature is critical. We will also be having broccoli slaw with the dressing of choice. the dinner will be under 500 calories. The pickiest eater I know informed me that she loves Poutine, so yay! I will post the picture tonight.