Category Archives: Dinner

Soy Glazed Tofu

This quick and easy Soy Glazed Tofu is one of our favorites! We usually have most of the ingredients on hand so we can have one of our most requested dinners ready to go in minutes. We just introduced our son to this delicious meal too and he approved so it’s sure to stay in our rotation.

Soy Glazed Tofu

I know that a lot of people are intimidated by tofu. I agree that it seems a bit of a challenge as it just comes in a big white block of nothingness in a tub of water. What to do with it? It took me some practice before I was able to cook tofu in a way that I found edible. I’m really not sure why because now I do just fine without difficulty. Maybe it was just a matter of finding the right recipes…this is definitely one of them! Tofu Pad Thai and Crispy Tofu and Vegetables are other popular choices in our home.

I started off with firm (or extra firm) tofu as it stands up to stir frying better. I cut it into 1-inch cubes and laid the cubes on a paper towel-lined plate, covered with another paper towel, then another plate, for at least 15 minutes, pushing down occasionally. This helps to free excess fluid from the tofu, making it crispier when cooked.

In the meantime, I prepared the soy glaze. In a small saucepan, I combined seasoned rice vinegar (you can get this in the vinegar section in most supermarkets, or check the Asian section), freshly squeezed orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and some orange zest and brought it to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered until thick, stirring intermittently while cooking the tofu.

Getting back to the tofu, I heated dark toasted sesame oil in a large wok over medium-high heat, then cooked the tofu until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking/burning. Using a nonstick wok or skillet will help prevent the tofu from falling apart (one of my early problems with cooking tofu). Once the tofu was cooked, I removed it from the heat, poured in the soy glaze, and garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Soy Glazed Tofu

The sweetness from the orange juice and brown sugar contrasts nicely with savory soy sauce and vinegar, and the flavor of the toasted sesame oil resulting in a fantastic dish. We usually serve it with white rice. It would pair nicely with freshly steamed broccoli as well. This is a meatless meal that you can have ready for your family within 30 minutes. So challenge yourself…try cooking with tofu!

Soy Glazed Tofu

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Soy Glazed Tofu (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010)

Yield: serves 4

1 12-ounce package firm tofu

3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (for garnish)

1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions:

1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes on a plate lined with a paper towel, cover with another paper towel, then another plate. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and orange zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring intermittently.

3. In a large nonstick wok or skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes to the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes, until light golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the sauce, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, and serve right away.

Per serving: 130 calories, 5 grams fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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Check out these other tofu recipes from The Dinner Pages:

Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Tofu Pad Thai

Check out other recipes submitted to the Cook Your Books link up… cookyourbooks

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Healthy Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets are one of those foods that you hear about and often quickly dismiss as unhealthy “kid food.” I know McDonald’s is one of the first places that comes to mind when I think about them and I can’t even tell you the last time I graced the Golden Arches! However, parents, you all know that it can be tough to get your toddler to eat a healthy meal sometimes, especially a well balanced one with protein and veggies, that you will be satisfied to eat as well. My son LOVES fruit and will down a whole orange like nobody’s business then ask for “mo” (more, one of his most used words!) but we are still working on veggies! Generally I’d rather not be sneaky about feeding him veggies but sometimes you do what you have to do, right?

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

So I present to you Healthy Chicken Nuggets, mom and toddler approved. I am part of a wonderful Facebook group of women from around the world who “met” online because our babies were all due at the same time. I’ve been friends with them for nearly two years now and as a group, we are constantly talking and sharing what’s going on in our lives, with our littles, and learning how to be the best moms we can be. Of course feeding our kiddos comes up fairly regularly and one of the ladies shared this recipe as a favorite of her children. As soon as I read it I knew it would be something we’d have to try.

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

I love how it contains several vegetables and quinoa, plus chicken. And I know we are getting real chicken in this, because I ground it myself! The nuggets are baked but still crispy thanks to an outer coat of panko breadcrumbs and the flavors are delicious for grown-ups and children alike. The other great thing with this recipe is that it makes a ton of nuggets. I made very generously sized chicken nuggets and still ended up with 5 dozen! It’s so convenient to have my fridge stocked with leftovers for those busy nights after work or a quick lunch on weekends. I’ve been told they freeze well too, just freeze, uncooked, on a baking sheet. Once frozen, put them into plastic freezer bag or storage container and when you’re ready to eat them, take out just what you need and bake them as described below. How convenient is that?

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

My son gives these Healthy Chicken Nuggets his seal of approval! That’s all I need to know! We will definitely be making them again!

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

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Healthy Chicken Nuggets

Yield: 5 dozen large nuggets

1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled

2 small zucchinis

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 of a yellow onion

2 carrots, peeled

3 cloves garlic

1/2 of a green bell pepper

1 egg

1 tablespoon dried basil

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3-4 cups panko bread crumbs

nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1. Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions. [Generally will need to combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed.] Let cool.

2. In the bowl of your food processor with the grater attachment, grate the zucchinis. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the grated zucchini for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

3. Continuing with the grater attachment, grate the onion and carrots. Then switch to the chopping blade and add the garlic, bell pepper, egg, basil, chicken thighs, Worcestershire sauce, and cooled quinoa. The bowl of the food processor will likely start to get full so remove some of the mixture to a bowl once it’s combined, then process the rest until it is all the same consistency and generally the same composition. If it is too loose add another egg.

4. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Form the chicken mixture into nuggets of desired size. Coat each nugget with breadcrumbs, then place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.

5. The baking time depends on the nugget size, approximately 10-18 minutes. When done, the nuggets will be slightly browned and cooked all the way through.

Per nugget: 61 calories, 2 grams fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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Slow Cooker Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Remember the technique I described in my Asian Glazed Wings post, where chicken was cooked in a slow cooker until nearly falling off the bone, then crisped up under the broiler and basted with a thick, sweet sauce? It makes a comeback here today. The main differences are the cut of chicken (drumsticks, as opposed to wings this time around) and the flavors of the glaze. Last time I used hoisin sauce as the base, whereas this time around I used a fig jam, resulting in a sticky sweet glaze with a little bit of texture thanks to the seeds in the jelly. The sweetness of the jam was tempered slightly by balsamic vinegar and enhanced by dried rosemary and orange zest. Unique flavors, but delicious, and an easy cooking method.

Slow Cooker Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

I started off by coating chicken drumsticks in crushed dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. I placed them in the slow cooker and cooked for 3 hours on low. I then transferred the drumsticks to a wire rack on a baking sheet…

Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

…then broiled for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

While they were broiling, I prepared a sauce of fig jelly, balsamic vinegar, orange zest salt, and pepper. After the first 10 minutes of broiling, I brushed the drumsticks with sauce and continue broiling for 5 more minutes at which time I flipped them and brushed with more sauce…

Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

…then broiled for another 5 minutes. I brushed the drumsticks with the remaining sauce prior to serving. Delicious!

Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks

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Slow Cooker Fig-Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumsticks (adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution volume 2)

4 pounds chicken drumsticks

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

salt, divided

ground black pepper pepper, divided

nonstick cooking spray

3/4 cup fig preserves (I used an 8.5 ounce jar)

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

Directions:

1. Coat the chicken drumsticks in the dried rosemary crushed into fine pieces, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place drumsticks in the pot of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, until chicken is tender.

2. Heat the broiler. Place a wire rack instead an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the drumsticks to the wire rack. Broil for 5 minutes, then flip over, and broil for another 5 minutes.

3. While the drumsticks are broiling, prepare the sauce by combining the fig preserves, vinegar, orange zest, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Remove the drumsticks from the oven and brush with the sauce. Broil for 5 minutes, flip over, and brush with more sauce. Broil for a final 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining sauce.

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Three Bean Chili & Homemade Chili Seasoning

The Super Bowl is almost here and while football is not really my thing, any “holiday” where food features prominently is worth celebrating, I suppose. Chili is certainly a popular football game day dish judging by the zillion or so recipes for chili I found on a Pinterest search. So why is mine worth a try? Well, your whole family can eat and enjoy it. Your mouth will not be ablaze with the fire of 10 million habaneros, however your taste buds won’t be bored either. There is a touch of spice, yes, but the spice level was more than tolerable enough for my toddler, yet the chili was full of flavor thanks to my original spice blend. Also, this chili is quick to make. It doesn’t have to sit in a crockpot all day while you’re waiting to eat. You can certainly let it simmer on the stove for a bit to let the flavors meld or keep it in a crockpot on warm after cooking but if you want to make this chili after work for a weeknight dinner, no problem.

Three Bean Chili with Homemade Chili Seasoning

So here goes…brown ground beef, onion, and chopped bell pepper in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Drain off any excess grease then add in tomatoes and the three beans. To be clear, that’s three types of beans: black beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans. Then it’s time to add the spice.

Three Bean Chili

The original version of this recipe called for store bought chili seasoning. I opted to create my own. Another Pinterest search revealed a number of posts on homemade chili seasonings so I took the the best from each of them and ended up using dried minced onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and some brown sugar to balance out the smokiness of the paprika.

Homemade Chili Seasoning

Homemade Chili Seasoning

After all the ingredients were in the pot, I brought the chili to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with whatever toppings you prefer. I just like crushed tortilla chips for the crunchy contrast but sour cream, shredded cheese, or diced jalapenos would all work great. Enjoy the game!

Side note: this recipe serves about 8-10 but if you’re not feeding a crowd, the leftovers freeze really well. Just thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in a pot on the stove.

Three Bean Chili

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Three Bean Chili

Yield: serves 8-10

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

2 – 16 ounce cans dark red kidney beans

2 – 16 ounce cans pinto beans

2 – 16 ounce cans black beans

1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles

1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste

homemade chili seasoning (one batch, or to taste) or 2 packages store bought chili seasoning

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, or shredded cheese to garnish

Directions:

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper. Drain excess grease.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes and tomato paste, chili seasoning, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.

3. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

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Homemade Chili Seasoning

Yield: enough seasoning for 2 pounds of beef/8 servings of chili

2 tablespoons dried minced chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Mix together all the spices in a bowl. Use right away for chili or store in a sealed jar for future use.

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Pineapple Curry Stir Fry

As we approach mid-winter, with its dreary gray cold days and heaps of snow in some parts of the country, it’s easy to dream about somewhere a bit more tropical than the east coast I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy several wonderful vacations over the years but the tropical locale I’ve visited so far that stands out in my mind the most is our 50th state, Hawaii. My husband and I spent our first Hawaiian vacation exploring Oahu. We hit the typical tourist stops to include Pearl Harbor, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Waikiki, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, and hiking up Diamond Head (which turned out to be a crazy experience…but I’ve save that story for another day).

Hawaii

On our second trip to Hawaii, we first visited Moloka’i. I wanted to experience the old leprosy colony since I find the history fascinating and my husband agreed to it because we got to ride mules down sea cliffs, the highest sea cliffs in the world. Nerve wracking, to say the least, but totally worth it.

Molokai'i

My mule took me up and down this cliff!!

My mule took me up and down this cliff!!

Then we went island hopping on a cruise and got a taste for Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai’i. I look forward to getting back to Hawaii someday. Though not yet because the thought of that long of a flight with my little son induces a panic attack.

Hawaiian cuisine is a fusion of Pacific Rim (Asian-American), Hawaiian regional, ethnic cooking from the multiple nationalities that make up the population, as well as local favorites and ends up being quite diverse in flavors and ingredients. It may be cliche but I made it my business to eat pineapple, in some form, every single day while vacationing in Hawaii. We even planted some at the pineapple plantation to help replenish the supply.

Gecko at Pineapple Plantation

I made sure to bring home a few cookbooks with me as souvenirs and this week, I’ll share several recipes I discovered from those books. Are they traditional Hawaiian cuisine? I’m not totally sure. But the flavors sure do remind me of a sunnier, warmer time. Aloha!

We’ll start with this Pineapple Curry Stir Fry showing off the local food (pineapple) and the Asian influence. There is some spice to this dish but it’s nicely tempered by the sweetness of the pineapple. We used tofu as the protein in this meal but boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks would work great as well. After cooking minced onion on low heat to sweat out the flavor, garlic, ginger, and several other spices (essentially creating your own curry mixture) are added in along with the tofu (or chicken). After it’s cooked slightly, it’s simmered on low until cooked through, then pineapple is added. Use fresh pineapple if you have it available but canned works just fine. Coconut milk (which also brings back Hawaiian memories…I did not know you could eat the skin of a coconut!), cashews, and a little cilantro are stirred in to finish it off and the curry is served over rice.

Pineapple Curry Stir Fry

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Pineapple Curry Stir Fry (adapted from Best of the Best from Hawaii)

Yield: serves 4

1 package of firm or extra firm tofu (or 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 yellow onions, finely minced

3 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnmon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup water

fresh lemon juice, to taste (I used 1 tablespoon)

salt, to taste (I used 1/4 teaspoon)

1 cup diced pineapple (fresh or canned)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup cashew nuts (I used salted but unsalted would work too)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

rice, for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Drain the tofu and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Let sit on a plate lined with paper towels covered with more paper towels and another plate to get some of the liquid out. If using chicken, cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces.

2. In a large deep skillet, heat the oil over low heat and saute the onion until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and other spices to the skillet along with the tofu or chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the water, and lemon juice and salt to taste then cover the skillet and let simmer over low heat for 6-7 minutes.

4. Stir in the pineapple and let simmer for another 4 minutes.

5. Add in the coconut milk, cashews, and cilantro. Stir together and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot over rice.

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Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

Pizza is my favorite food. But surprisingly, cheese is not. If my pizza comes with anything other than mozzarella, I’m apt to peel it off. I was the child who refused to eat mac ‘n cheese. Despite my love of all things carb, I’d be unlikely to eat a bagel (even a delicious real NY style bagel) with cream cheese. I love to make cheesecake but after baking it, I don’t want to eat it, knowing all the cheese that went into its creation. You might notice that the is the very first recipe on this blog that even includes cheese. It can be a little challenging sometimes but overall I do fine without much cheese. Until now…

I had the opportunity to participate in the Improv Cooking Challenge this month and the two key ingredients that I had to include were cheese and crackers. So I thought long and hard about what I could make that I would want to eat afterwards. And my mind circled back to pizza, as it often does, since I loooove pizza. The cheese part was easy there, but how to get crackers into the dish? Ultimately, after a bit of brainstorming and some help from Pinterest, I settled on a graham cracker crust. Maybe a little out there for a cheese and crackers challenge, but it was SO.GOOD! I’d eat cheese and crackers in this form any day.

Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

I started off by baking graham crackers. Feel free to use store bought graham crackers for this recipe. When I make it again I’ll be likely to do that too since homemade graham crackers, while absolutely divine, do not make for a quick graham cracker pizza dough and I’m often under a time crunch. Once the graham crackers were ready…

Homemade Graham Crackers

…I moved on to actually making the pizza.

I dissolved yeast in warm water with some flour and let it stand to proof. After half an hour, I added more water, some olive oil, whole wheat flour, more all-purpose flour, and graham crackers crumbs and kneaded them together with the dough hook attachment on my electric mixer, until the dough was smooth, which took about 10 minutes. If the dough is really sticky, as mine was at first, it’s okay to add a little more all-purpose flour.

Once the dough is smooth, place it in a bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location for an hour, until it has doubled in size. Punch down the dough (this part is very satisfying), remove it from the bowl, and let it rise for another half hour or so on a flat surface, still covered with a cloth or plastic wrap.

Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

I was able to make two 13 to 14 inch pizzas with this dough. The original recipe states it makes 4 to 5 individual pizzas. So divide the dough into however many pizzas you plan to make. I rolled it out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin and placed it onto pizza pans. My crust was about “NY style” in thickness. Not super thin and crispy, but definitely not deep dish either.

Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

Obviously pizza toppings are a personal decision. For us, I made margarita pizzas so I lightly brushed the crusts with olive oil, then topped each pizza with one sliced tomato each, 10 to 12 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese each, thinly sliced fresh basil, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

I baked the pizza in a 450F degree oven until the cheese was bubbly and browning and the crust was cooked through and golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. The crust was sweet thanks to the graham cracker crumbs, but not overly so. The whole wheat flour balanced out the graham crackers very well. And of course mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil are one of my favorite flavor combinations. So, despite being “cheese and crackers,” my cheese topped graham cracker crumb crusted pizza was a huge success in my book.

Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust

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Margarita Pizza with Graham Cracker Crust (crust inspired by Colavita.com)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one envelope)

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

3/4 cups graham crackers crumbs (from homemade or store bought graham crackers)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

pizza toppings: for the pizzas seen here, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 24 ounces fresh mozzarella, 2 large tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded basil, freshly ground black pepper (for 2 13-14 inch pizzas)

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast, 1 cup warm water, and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. Cover with a cloth and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. It will appear slightly foamy.

2. Add the remaining water, salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and combine with the dough hook of the mixer. Then slowly add in the rest of the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and the graham cracker crumbs. Knead with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, until smooth. If it seems really sticky after 10 minutes, add a little more all-purpose flour until it is less tacky and more smooth.

3. Turn the kneaded dough into a mixing bowl lightly coated with nonstick spray or oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour.

4. Punch down the dough and let it rise on a floured surface for 30 minutes.

5. Separate the dough into as many pizzas as you want to make, rolled out each pizza crust on a floured surface and transfer to a pizza pan. Preheat the oven to 450F. If using a pizza stone, preheat the oven with the stone in it to 500F and transfer the pizza to the stone with a pizza peel after topping it.

6. Top the pizzas as desired. I brushed each crust with a tablespoon of olive oil then arranged the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on top. I sprinkled them with the shredded basil then topped with about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.

7. Bake in preheated oven until the crust is cooked through and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes.

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Check out the other “cheese and crackers” selections below:

Asian Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup

In my soba noodle salad post, I promised a recipe to use up the other half of a napa cabbage so at long last, here it is. It’s still January so it’s still National Soup Month plus in our house we really enjoy using Asian flavors in our cooking. This Asian Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup was derived from a recipe in Parents magazine. The original recipe was a bit bland, probably because it was intended for little kids, but with a few modifications it morphed into a flavorful soup suitable for the whole family–even with the spices it wasn’t too much for my toddler to handle. He slurped it right down. And my husband had thirds. If that’s not a marker of success, I don’t know what is!

Asian Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that chicken soup is dubbed Jewish penicillin. Aside from being a quick and nutritious weeknight anytime meal, this soup may help you feel a little better if you’re suffering from a mid-winter cold. While it’s not totally clear why chicken soup is such a comfort food during illness (for me, ice cream works well too, haha), the steamy vapors from a hot bowl of soup may improve congestion and the soothing broth provides extra hydration. So it’s worth a shot since it tastes better than cough syrup anyway.

Asian Spiced Noodle Soup

The first part of this recipe involves making a gingery broth, flavored with the whites of green onions. I also cooked chicken thighs during this stage. Once the chicken was cooked, I shredded it with two forks and returned it to the pot to make the rest of the soup. At that time I added the thinly sliced napa cabbage, snow peas cut into thirds, and pad Thai rice noodles. When the noodles were tender, I added a little soy sauce then seasoned the soup with salt, pepper, and Thai spice. The original recipe called for just salt and pepper but I tasted the broth at that point and it was too bland. Thai spice, which I got from Spice Sage, one of my favorite places to purchase various spices and herbs (thanks Dad for recommending it!), fixed that problem. Thai spice is a mixture of ginger, basil, cumin, cardamom, garlic, cilantro, pepper, and turmeric. If you don’t have Thai spice, you could try adding some of those seasonings to taste. Alternately, Chinese five spice powder (which includes cinnamon, anise, pepper, cloves, allspice, and fennel) would also work well–and yes, I realize that’s more than 5 spices. Slurp up!

Asian Spiced Noodle Soup

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Asian Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup (adapted from Parents Magazine, January 2014 issue)

Yield: serves 6

3 green onions
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
8 ounces brown rice pad Thai noodles
8 ounces snow peas, cut into thirds
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Salt, pepper, and spices such as Thai spice to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon Thai spice)

Directions:
1. Separate the white part of the the green onions from the green part. Place the white part into a large Dutch oven and thinly slice the green parts for topping the soup later.
2. To the Dutch oven, add the chicken thighs, broth, and ginger, along with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
3. Remove the onions from the broth. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks, then return the shredded chicken to the pot and bring back to a boil.
4. Add the cabbage, noodles, and snow peas to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until the noodles are tender. Stir in the soy sauce and seasonings. Taste the broth and adjust the flavors as needed. Top with the sliced green onions and serve.

Per serving: 280 calories, 7 grams fat (calculated from myfitnesspal.com; all nutrition information is approximate)

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