Archive for May, 2010

Baked (Not Fried)

May 20, 2010

Thank you Mother Nature! Warm sunshine and blue skies are finally upon us. I live for the summer and can never get enough heat, dresses, sunglasses, ceasars and patios. What else could a girl want?

Summer weather also means bikinis, tank tops, shorts and lighter meals. Taste, however, does not need to be sacrificed! By choosing to bake things instead of frying, you can really control the amount of fat that you put into your meals.

I’m a huge fan of Asian food and more specifically, dumplings. I personally believe that the wonton wrapper is one of the greatest inventions in the world. The super basic mix of flour and water has infinite possibilities and I find that pretty amazing. Believe it or not, my grandma was the first to introduce me to these delicious wrappers by making a Latvian-Asian fusion dumpling stuffed with ground meet and onions, toped with mustard and vinegar (sounds weird I know, but a true comfort food for me). Now, I think I go through at least two of the double packages of wontons every month.

One of my all-time favourite snacks is a baked wonton wrapper. Simply brush a baking sheet with a bit of oil, lay the wontons on the baking sheet in a single layer, brush a little more oil on top of them and sprinkle with salt (I like sea salt for this). Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden and crispy and dip them in your favourite sauce. It really does not get any easier than that.

The recipe below uses the same concept, but adds a few extra steps. These mini eggrolls are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and veggies and makes the perfect appetizer or side dish.

Filling:

  • 1 small package ground beef (or chicken, turkey, pork, whatever!)
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp soya Sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp hot chili sauce (optional)
  • 1 double package wonton wrappers

Start by chopping all your ingredients so that you have everything prepped and ready to go. Brown the meat in a frying pan and drain off any excess fat. Add all the chopped veggies (be sure NOT to add the bean sprouts) and sauté on medium high until they soften. Add all the sauces and sauté for another couple of minutes until the liquid reduces and thickens a bit. Stir in the bean sprouts right at the last minute and turn off the heat.

Now it’s assembly time!

I like to work on a cutting board and be sure to keep a cup of water beside you to seal all the wonton edges after you stuff them with the mixture.

Place a tbsp of the mixture on a wonton, dap the edges with water and fold them in. For different folding techniques, just search eggrolls in YouTube. It’s really easy and you can just use whatever method works for you (even create your own!).

Similar to the wonton chips, just brush a baking sheet with a bit of oil, place the finished eggrolls in a single layer and bake in a 425 degree oven until golden brown. A definitely crowd pleaser!  

Protein Salad

May 19, 2010

Howdy y’all!

Thank you to everyone who has been asking about the status of my blog and requesting updates! It’s been quite the hectic month and unfortunately, I had to put my Garden of Eat-in on the back burner. From coast-to-coast work travels and countless events to house searching and family, I just haven’t had the time to get anything up.  I really hope to get back into the normal swing of things as things settle down a little.

To keep the energy levels up and the heart happy I highly recommend making super simple salads with lots of veggies and proteins (especially as the weather gets warmer). In the salad recipe below, I used toasted walnuts (one of the best plant sources for protein and antioxidants) and edamame (for extra protein and isoflavons). You can’t go wring with this one!

Super Simple Dressing:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey

 Add on’s:

  • Sliced Red Peppers
  • Toasted Walnuts
  • Edamame (I buy the kind already shelled and frozen – just boil them in salted water for about 4 minutes and drizzle a tsp of sesame oil and lime juice on them for extra flavour)
  • Cucumbers
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Romaine