April03

Pizza Dough

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Pizza Dough

Our kids love making their own personal pizzas. I've finally found a pizza dough recipe we all enjoy eating. It's quick and easy, and makes great tasting pizza. Adapted from a recipe by chef Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast, use the SAF brand
  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 cups warm water (105–115° F), divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions

  1. Whisk together yeast, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. Stir together salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir until smooth, then stir in 1 cup more flour. If dough sticks to your fingers, stir in just enough flour (up to 3/4 cup), a little at a time, to make dough just come away from side of bowl. (This dough may be wetter than other pizza doughs you have made.)
  3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, lightly reflouring work surface and your hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  4. Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

April03

Thai Chicken Flatbread

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Thai Chicken Flatbread

Our kids love this pizza alternative. The fresh cilantro and beansprouts make this recipe delightful. We use our pizza dough recipe and since we like our crust extra crispy we make the dough very thin, less than 1/4 inch thick.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size 1/4 inch pieces.
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium flatbreads/pizza dough
  • 8 oz fresh shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup peanut dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted un-salted peanuts, slightly crushed
  • Few sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Combine the chicken, soy sauce, honey and cornstarch and let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces and saute for 2-3 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Brush the oilve oil all over the edges of the flatbreads. Spread a layer of the Peanut dipping sauce on each flatbread.
  4. Top with the mozzarella and cooked chicken.
  5. Bake, in a pre-heated oven at 375°F, for 5 to 8 minutes. Until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven, top with bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, and a few rossted peanuts.

April02

Crispy Fish Cakes

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Crispy Fish Cakes

Pan fried rice paper wrapped fish cakes. Use the chive to tie the fish bundle together. The green part of a scallion can be used if you can't find a chive long enough. We use Tilapia fillets, use the fish you enjoy eating. Use a little more little less chilli pepper, this really depend on how much heat you prefer. Makes 8 fish cakes.

Wrapper and condiment ingredients

  • 1 Tbs cornstartch or potato starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 9 inch round dried rice paper wrappers
  • 8 chives, softened in hot water (optional)
  • 2 to 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 serving Thai Dipping Sauce

Fish cake ingredients

  • 3/4 lb fish, cut into 1 inch chuncks
  • 2 Tbs finely minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fresh chilli pepper, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the fish cake ingredients. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse paste. Divide into 8 equal portions
  2. Combine the corn or potato starch and water in a small bowl and mix into a slurry.
  3. Fill a large, shallow dish with warm water. Dip one rice paper into the water for 6 seconds and let the water drip off. Transfer onto a clean, dry surface. The wrapper will still be a little stiff. This is ok it will soften with a little more time.
  4. Using you hands form each fish cake portion into a flat square patty, about 3 x 3 inches, and plcae in the middle of the dampened rice paper. Fold the top of the rice paper down over the patty. Dip a pastry brush into the slurry and paint the remaining left and right sides of the rice paper. This will help secure the wrapper on the fish cake. Fold over the left and right sides making sure there are no bubbles.
  5. Tie the wrapped fish cake with a chive, set a side. Repeat with remaining fish cakes. Place on plastic wrap and place another sheet of plastic wrap over the cakes to prevent drying.
  6. In a large non-stick fry-pan, on medium-heat, add canola oil. When oil is hot and four cakes at a time, so they don't touch each other. Fry for 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve with Thai Dipping Sauce

April02

Asian Pesto

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Asian Pesto

Flavorful dipping sauce or marinade, works very well with lamb. Also great tasting on chicken and fish. Makes 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 chilli, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine the garlic, chilli and peanuts. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add fresh cilantro, basil, mint, lime juice, honey, salt and 3 Tbs of the oil.
  3. Process until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.
  4. Remove and stir in the remaining oil.

April02

Chilli Garlic Sauce

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Chilli Garlic Sauce

Use this sauce with Thai Crispy Fish Cakes or Vietnamese Summer Rolls. Makes 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 fresh chilli peppers, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 scallions, finely minced
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Directions

  1. Mix together, in a small pot, oil, chillies, garlic and ginger.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low. Saute ingredients until fragrant.
  3. Turn the heat to low and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well for a minute or two.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Store in a glass jar.

April02

Thai Dipping Sauce

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Thai Dipping Sauce

Sweet and Spicy. Use this sauce with Thai Crispy Fish Cakes or Vietnamese Summer Rolls.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp minced chilies
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Mix water and honey until honey is dissolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Add more chili sauce or fish sauce if desired.

April02

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

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Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Use with Vietnamese summer rolls. Makes about 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 Tbs Honey
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbs fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chilli-garlic sauce or 1/2 tsp minced fresh chilli pepper

Directions

  1. Mix water and honey until honey is disolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Add more chilli sauce or fish sauce if desired.

March06

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp lovers can’t resist this recipe. Balanced with a light buttery flavor delicately mixed with coconut and honey doesn’t overwhelm the shrimp, full of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 lb raw tail-on shrimp, devined and patted very dry
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs finely minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs pear juice
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp honey

Directions

  1. In a wok or frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut and heat until golden brown. This should only take 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Once the coconut is toasted, immediately remove to a plate to cool.
  2. Wipe the wok or pan dry and set over high heat, When a bead of water instantly sizzles, add oil and swirl around the wok. Add the shrimp to the wok, keeping them in a single layer. Fry for 1 minute, flip and fry an additional minute until almost cooked through. Remove shrimp from the wok.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, add the butter, scallions, and garlic. Fry for about i minute. Pour in the pear juice, add salt and honey. Stir and return the shrimp to the wok. Coat the shrimp with the sauce, cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and sprinkle in toasted coconut and toss.

March04

Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Rolls

Might as well be called "wonderful manna from heaven rolls."

Ingredients

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

Vanilla Frosting

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter

Directions

  1. Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour. Chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes, this make the dough cooperate better for a neater, more held-together roll.
  2. When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
  3. Add water, sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and stir until blended.
  4. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
  5. Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
  6. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  7. For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed, adding milk if necessary. Mix it thin enough to run into the cracks and crevices of the warm rolls, this moistens the rolls and makes the to die for.

Freezing

  • You can freeze the rolls, unrisen, in the pan. Cover them tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then you’ll just need to remove them, allow them to thaw and rise, and continue the baking and icing process.
  • You can freeze the rolls, baked but unfrosted. Later, you can thaw them out, warm them for just a few minutes in the oven, and ice them while warm.
  • OR you can freeze the rolls completely iced and finished. Just allow them to cool, then cover with plastic wrap and foil. This is how I normally freeze them and they turn out just fine.

February28

Vietnamese Pho (Soup)

Vietnamese Pho (Soup)

In an effort to find a low-carb, high-protein alternative to breakfast cereals and the ocasional scrambled egg, we looked into other cultures and what they might eat for breakfast. Is there a nutrient rich breakfast alternative? The answer we found is "soup." Western breakfasts, high in sugar and carbs, can leave one feeling hungry after only a few hours. This type of breakfast typically consists of either toast, bagel, doughnut, cereal and/or a cup of coffee while on the go.

Asian soup, however, specifically Vietnamese Pho, can be full of vitamins and minerals mostly because of the many vegetable accompaniments served with the soup. Pho, pronounced "fun" without the "n", as we learned from the waiter at a local Thai/Vietnamese restaurant we recently visited, is a delicious alternative. Served with chicken, turkey or fish, this soup will keep you energized all morning long. And, it's a great way to start your day, right after yoga.

Ingredients, The Base

  • 40 oz chicken broth
  • 2 full peices star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 whole chives
  • 3 whole scallions
  • 1 inch ginger (about 1 rounded Tbs, minced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 whole mint leaf
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh lime
  • 1/4 tsp corriander
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Ingredients, The Accompaniments

  • cilantro
  • bok choy
  • napa cabage
  • spinach
  • bean sprouts
  • kale
  • peas
  • parsley, fresh (not necessarily asian high in vitamin A, C, and K)
  • kidney beans (not asian, rich in Magnesium, folate, thiamin, and iron)
  • quinoa (not asian, but packed with nutrients and can be a substitute for rice noodles)
  • rice noodles
  • chicken, turkey or fish

Directions, Broth

  1. Prepare broth. On medium heat infuse sesame oil with anise and cloves for 1 minute in a stock-pot.
  2. Add chicken broth.
  3. While broth is warming add fish sauce, lime, chives, scallions, ginger, salt, honey, mint, and corriander, bring to slow boil.
  4. Remove cloves and anise, if you can't find them leave them in.

Directions, Accompaniments

After your broth is prepared you have two options. Option one, store the broth and use as needed. I like to take a few cups of broth in a large 1 quart bowl, place some pre-cooked tilapia fillets at the bottom of the bowl, add the rice noodles and/or pre-cooked quinoa, and then vegetables. Microwave 6-7 minutes, let soup sit for 2-3 minutes or until rice noodles are tender. I like to put my sprouts and cilantro on after the micro-wave. By adding the veggies and meat the day you're going to eat the soup preserves the greatest amount of nutrients since heating and storing them in water tends to break vitamins down. I usually divide the soup over a four day period and prepare the broth on Sunday and eat Mon-Thursday, and adding the veggies and meat the day I'm going to eat the soup. Option two, throw it all together eat the whole thing after 6-7 minutes at a slow boil, wait 2-3 minutes.

The type and amount of veggies are completely optional, but do not put in any starchy food like potatoes they may weigh you down too much. Throw another fresh mint leaf on top, the aroma is nice. I like to go heavy on the sprouts, peas and kale. Also, try to grow the vegetables yourself while in season, vegetables sitting on the grocery shelf tend to lose nutrients, fresh is always better.