Curry chicken and peas

The other night Sean and I went to our favorite Japanese restaurant and had a new-to-us dish, a combination meal for two consisting of teriyaki beef, chicken, and salmon; shrimp and vegetable tempura; a California roll and a shrimp tempura roll; and a bowl of fancily-sliced fruit. It was all delicious, but as you can imagine, we had plenty of leftovers.

I managed to eat half the remaining chicken yesterday, but I found it to be very dry. Today I wanted to get rid of the rest of it, and I asked Mom on AIM if there was any way to infuse dry chicken with moisture. “No,” she said, “but you can add a sauce.”

I decided to try making a curry sauce with yogurt and adding some steamed peas for extra flavor and moisture. First I checked allrecipes.com to see if they had any tips. I found this and noted all the advice in the comments about not simmering the yogurt. I mixed 1/4 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt in a bowl with as much curry powder as I thought I wanted (tasting to check the flavor), then set that mixture aside to come to room temperature. In the meantime, I boiled some frozen peas for roughly 8 minutes. Once the peas were done, I cut up the chicken and dropped the pieces in with the peas to let them warm up and hopefully absorb some water (though I don’t think the latter goal was achieved). Finally I drained the peas and chicken and mixed them into the yogurt.

The result was pretty good. The chicken was still dry, but the peas were nice little pockets of juice, and the curry yogurt flavor was lovely. Every part of the meal was a good source of protein, too, which is important for me. I’ll have to try this again sometime–but instead of using someone else’s dry chicken, I’ll grill my own to achieve soft, succulent deliciousness.

Chicken and peas with yogurt curry

Witches’ Fingers

I slightly modified this recipe, using tips from the comments and my own decorating flair. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Green food coloring
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel

Directions

1. Beat the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating. Fold in the green food coloring, adding enough that the dough turns pale green. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

2. While the dough is chilling, blanch almonds: Heat a pan of water to boiling, then boil the almonds for one minute. Drain. Once the almonds have cooled enough to touch, squeeze them out of their skins.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.

4. Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts, allowing the rest to stay chilled. Pinch off enough dough for a ball an inch to an inch and a half wide. Roll the dough between your hands to form a finger shape. The spaces between your fingers will cause ridges to appear on the cookie. Lay the cookie on the baking sheet and mold it slightly to play up the look of a finger–slightly wider and taller at the knuckles.

5. Press one almond into one end of each cookie for the fingernail. Adjust the “knuckles” so that they are proportional with the nail. Use a sharp knife to cut tiny lines on top of the knuckles to give the appearance of skin.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are browned slightly, 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Paint around the almond “nail” with red gel while the cookies are still warm for a bloody effect. Then dab the “blood” with your finger, smearing it around and trailing it down the length of the cookie.

Chicken-Veggie Soft Tacos

olive oil
2 chicken breasts, thawed
1 onion
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini squash
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can mushroom pieces, drained
1 tomato
8 small flour tortillas
8 large romaine lettuce leaves
shredded cheddar cheese

Cube chicken into centimeter-long pieces. Dice tomato, onion, and squash.

Brown onion in a large skillet or wok. Add squash, cumin, and red pepper; cook until soft and well-seasoned.

In separate skillet, shake salt and pepper over chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about three minutes.

Add chicken to vegetable mixture. Pour in mushrooms and tomato. Stir, cover, and heat through.

Place one tortilla on a plate; cover with lettuce leaf. Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the chicken-veggie filling onto the lettuce. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Fold the tortilla in half. Repeat until you have 8 soft tacos.


I invented this recipe tonight from ingredients I had on hand. Turned out pretty good! Unfortunately I did not take any pictures.

Sean and I each ate four soft tacos. I ended up having a little filling left over, which probably could have been doled out among the eight tacos.

Mango Salsa

Since joining Oasis Garden‘s CSA, I’ve had more and more interesting produce to try and create dishes with. It’s forced me to be more creative with what I have on hand.

The past two weeks there’s been a mango in my box. I still had both of them as of tonight, so I decided I’d better use the oldest one.

A recipe for Avocado-Mango Salsa was included in last week’s box. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I omitted some and substituted others. Here’s what I ended up doing–and it’s amazingly delicious! I’m going to eat some with chips tonight and save the rest to go with fish tomorrow.

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 tomato, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 c chopped onion
1 T white sugar
1 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 tsp salt

Toss first seven ingredients together, then fold in avocado. Season with salt.

Chocolate Banana Bread and Muffins

chocolate banana bread and muffins

A couple weeks ago I made chocolate banana bread and muffins. I promised at the time to post the recipe, but then never got around to it. This post is a product of my recent energy and motivation!

I got the original bread recipe from allrecipes.com, here. I made a couple of changes to the already light recipe to cut out more calories and fat. Also, since I didn’t have two loaf pans, I used half the dough on a loaf and the other half on muffins.

They turned out extremely well–moist and delicious! I brought the bread to work and no one could tell it was “light”.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups baking Splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg beaters
  • 6 bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×5 inch loaf pan and one 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together margarine, Splenda, eggs, and egg substitute. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Sift in flour, baking soda and cocoa; mix well. Blend in sour cream and chocolate chips. Scoop batter by 1/4 cup into muffin cups; pour rest into loaf pan.
  3. Bake muffins in preheated oven 15-20 minutes. Bake loaf for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

mixing the ingredients baking the muffins the finished product yum!

More pictures of the baking process can be found here.

Tomato-Tuna-Green Bean Salad

IMAGE: Tomato and tuna salad atop a bed of green beans

Ingredients

1 bag SteamFresh cut green beans
1 can light tuna in water
2 T light mayonnaise
2 tsp mustard
dash onion salt
1 c cherry tomatoes

Instructions

Steam the green beans in the microwave.

Mix tuna, mayo, mustard, and salt in medium bowl. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and fold into tuna mixture.

Rinse green beans in ice water. Drain.

Put half the green beans on one plate and half on another. Top each with half the tuna mixture.


According to Weight Watchers Online, all this food is only 2.5 Points. Enjoy!

Note: This recipe is not for finicky eaters. My husband took one bite and refused to continue. Meanwhile, I found it absolutely delicious. It’s all a matter of whether or not you can stand cold green beans.

(Sorry about the picture…the tuna fish is a little flat due to being saran-wrapped in the fridge.)

Fat-Free Blueberry Smoothie

At-home smoothies are ridiculously easy. We had strawberry-banana smoothies at work recently, with a 1-1-1 ratio recipe of strawberries, bananas, and skim milk. Today I decided to try it with yogurt.

I used one cup frozen blueberries,

one cup Activia Fat-Free Vanilla Yogurt,

and one quite ripe banana.

Put everything into the blender (or Magic Bullet, as the case may be).

Blend.

Enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional info.

WW Points

Item Calories Fat Carbs Fiber
Blueberries 106 0 25 7 1.5
Yogurt 150 0 27 6 2
Banana 121 0.4 31.1 3.5 2
TOTAL 366 0 81 17 7

As you can see, this wouldn’t be great for someone on Atkins. Even though it’s almost completely fat-free, it’s high enough in calories and carbs that the points are a little higher than I usually like to have for breakfast. I’d suggest halving the recipe, or making one recipe for two people.