juthwara: (Cooking)
I recently discovered the most wonderfully easy dinner - chicken gyros. I know the word "gyros" conjures up the image of specialized equipment and meat on a spit, but the magic of chicken is that you don't need any of that.

Boneless chicken in an amount suitable to feed the number of people you want to feed
ditto flatbread
tzatziki sauce
feta cheese

Throw a couple pounds of boneless chicken in the crockpot with some olive oil and greek seasoning (the seasoning I use is McCormick Greek Seasoning, which I bought in the grocery store. If you can't find anything like that, there are about twelve million recipes for greek seasoning mixes available for the Googling). Cook on high for two hours or low for four hours. Cut the chicken into slices.

Warm up some flatbread or pita to make it more flexible by putting in it a hot skillet for a couple minutes or wrapping it in a damp paper towel and microwaving it for a minute or so. I've taken to using our Foreman grill, which lets me do several at once. Cut up some tomatoes and cucumbers into slices and finely slice some onion. Crumble of some feta cheese if you're of a mind to. Put some tzatziki sauce (Trader Joes makes an excellent tzatziki, but I've seen it in most supermarkets. And ooh, Trader Joes Greek Yogurt dip is fantastic on this too) on the flatbread, pile on the chicken, vegetables and cheese and eat, reveling in the knowledge that you've provided a hot meal with about five minutes of prep time. I've served this three times in the past three weeks and so far nobody has started pelting me with pitas when I announce we're having it yet again.


Exercise: 20 minutes on exercise bike - I was sick today, so I feel pretty damn heroic doing that much
juthwara: (Cooking)
1 cup multigrain baking mix
1/2 tsp baking powder (or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 large eggs
4 T butter, melted
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 T vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (or 1 large apple, chopped finely or grated and 1 tsp cinnamon for apple cinnamon muffins)

Preheat over to 350

Mix flour, baking powder, milk powder, whey protein powder and flaxseed meal in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together agave nectar, eggs, butter, ricotta and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together. Stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin tin and bake in 350 degree over for 20-25 minutes (check often since flax meal likes to brown quickly).

So far, these seem to be great muffins if you need to watch your blood sugar. Flaxseed meal is essentially all fiber, and can be used to replace quite a lot of flour in a recipe. The milk, protein powder, eggs and ricotta combine together for a nice amount of protein to keep blood sugar in check. Agave nectar is some sort of unholy concoction that has freakishly little affect on the blood sugar. And I can't think of a better use for the lovely fresh blueberries I picked up the other day (except perhaps for shoveling them into my mouth like a bear coming out of hibernation). In total, a large muffin has 15 grams of carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein. Not bad at all for a baked good.
juthwara: (Cooking)
We all have sore throats, so we've been eating a lot of soup lately (to the point that one of the counter people at Panera knows me by name). Dinner tonight was Pho, a Vietnamese beef soup and it was a definite hit.

I used the recipe here (I highly recommend this blog, btw - it has tons of great crockpot recipes), with a few modifications. The biggest one is that I omitted the fish sauce because the beef I got at Trader Joe's was marinating in a sauce for Korean bulgogi. I looked at the ingredients and none of them conflicted with the flavor profile of pho, so I decided to give it a try. I omitted the anise because I don't like it and used ginger powder instead of fresh ginger because that's what I had. I added approximately two cups of fresh bean sprouts at the very end of cooking, so they would be warm and somewhat cooked, but not stewed and gross.

As it turned out, the bulgogi marinade was a fantastic gamble. The long slow cooking in the crockpot made the beef tender and delicious and the entire meal was just divine.

I threw up my hands in despair a while ago and decided that I just wasn't meant for Southeast Asian cooking, Thai in particular. I can never get ingredients as good as they have in restaurants, and they're often not quite right, like having to use Italian basil instead of Thai. I have to buy a bunch of large bottles of stuff that I don't use often enough to use them up before they go bad, which means it doesn't wind up being cheaper to cook that sort of thing at home, so I might as well just go to a restaurant where it's cooked by an expert. But pho is going to become part of my regular repertoire, so maybe I can conquer some of the cuisine of Southeast Asia after all.


juthwara: (Default)

May 2015



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