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Posts Tagged ‘Asian’

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

Continuing with the ginger theme from last week, I give you these Asian lettuce wraps.  This is one of my go-to meals when I feel like stuffing my face with some serious flavor, but I still want to keep it on the healthy side.  Texture is the key here.  Adding crisp veggies and crunchy peanuts make this wrap stand out.

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The black bean garlic sauce gives this dish a bit of oomph and can be found at most any Asian or even some regular grocery stores.  The beans are fermented, which lends a unique flavor to the dish.  If you’ve never tried using black bean garlic sauce before, you will soon find many ways to incorporate it into your Asian cooking– it’s wonderful, plus it lasts forever in your refrigerator.  The hoisin sauce is also instrumental in bringing a touch of sweetness to the mixture.  Both ingredients work well with fresh ginger and garlic.

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The meat mixture is very versatile and can be adjusted to fit what you have on hand.  Ground chicken, turkey, or even pork all work well.  Sometimes I even toss in some frozen peas, which my kids really enjoy.  However you make it, I know you’re going to love these lettuce wraps!

Asian Lettuce Wraps | Relishing It

The Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

(serves four)

1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or pork

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon (or more) chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

sprinkle of Togarashi on each wrap, optional

About 2 heads of bibb (sometimes called butter) lettuce

fresh bean sprouts, 2 grated carrots, hot peppers, crushed peanuts, and Sriracha sauce, for serving

In a small mixing bowl, combine the black bean garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic chili sauce, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat,  brown the meat.  Drain off and discard any grease.  Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté for a minute or two.  Add the contents of the bowl to the meat and mix together until warmed through.  Taste and re-season, if necessary.

Assemble the wrap with a piece of lettuce, a bit of the meat mixture, sprouts, carrots, hot peppers, peanuts, sriracha, and a sprinkle of Togarashi, if desired.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

There is a lot to be excited about this week.  First, my kids come home from spending a few days in North Dakota with my Mom and Dad.  This is the second summer that they have spent time away without Radd and me.  It’s hard for me to be away from them, but to be honest, I think it’s important for kids to get to know their grandparents without parents (i.e. me)  interfering all the time.  They get to be properly spoiled and make their own memories and that’s wonderful.  There is nothing quite like the love of a grandparent.  I’m excited to see my little ones– I’ve missed them.  But, my gosh!  It’s amazing what I can accomplish with an entire day without distractions!  There’s just so much…time to get things done.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brow Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The other super exciting event this week is that our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts delivery this week.  And I am thrilled!  It’s been a crazy June here in Minnesota– we’ve had record rainfalls and lots of flooding.  In fact, the farm that our CSA, Bossy Acres, resides on received almost 7-inches already this month.  Joining a CSA this year has had me feeling like a farm-girl all over again– stressing about the weather.  It’s exhilarating and terrifying.  At any rate– we’ll get our box of goodies on Thursday and I’m more that a little excited to create some meals with it.

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Speaking of meals, today I’m sharing a quick one that you can put on your (hopefully outdoor) table in no time flat.  I know, two noodle salads in two weeks?!  I can’t help it– I’m addicted.  This one is cold, refreshing, and basically tastes like a giant spring roll, without the fuss of that rice paper.  I loaded it with cucumbers and radishes.  I would have added grated carrots, but we were out.  The cilantro and mint make the dish in my opinion, as do the peanuts–so load it up!  Mint is one of my favorite summertime additions to cold salads.  I’ve been fortunate enough to find delicious fresh bean sprouts at our farmers market and they are brilliant in this dish.  What a refreshing crunch!  The meal can be served without a meat, of course.  If you want to make it a bit more filling– chicken, shrimp, and especially grilled pork work extremely well.  The dressing is simple and subtle.  It’s not at all “saucy”, in that it pretty much disappears into the noodles leaving you with its subtle influence.  Feel free to make a tad more if you like a bolder flavor.  I hope you are enjoying many outdoor meals this summer and that this dish finds it’s way onto your table.  Enjoy!

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad | Relishing It

The Recipe: Healthy Brown Rice Noodle Salad

(serves 4)

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)

5-6 radishes, thinly sliced (using a mandolin, as well)

2 red scallions, thinly sliced

large handful of fresh bean sprouts

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

about 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

about 2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts

8 ounces brown rice noodles

serrano peppers, thinly sliced, optional

lime wedges, for serving

grilled chicken, shrimp, or pork– optional

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce.  Stir and set aside.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions (they will only take about 3-4 minutes).  Rinse immediately with cold water.  Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen pasta, if necessary.  Separate the rice noodles with your fingers, so they are loose and airy– this is a fun process.  Get your kids involved to help!

On a large platter or bowl, add the rice noodles, vegetables, herbs, and bean sprouts.  Pour the sauce over and toss with tongs.  Top with grilled meat, if using, peanuts, and a bit more cilantro, mint, and a squeeze of lime.  I used simple grilled chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Sliced serrano peppers would be lovely here, alas my son doesn’t love the heat from them.  This dish is best eaten on the day it is made.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

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Black Rice Ramen with Sesame Garlic Ginger Scallion Sauce | Relishing It

I just got back from an amazing walk.  The temperature was perfect at a nice cool 60 degrees, the birds were singing, and a beautiful assortment of tulips soaked up the sun.  A walk on a day like today is good for clearing my head.  So, now I’m home with a full cup of coffee, ready to tell you about this fantastic recipe that I conjured up.

Black Rice Ramen with Sesame Garlic Ginger Scallion Sauce | Relishing It

I recently came across organic black rice (forbidden rice) ramen noodles at my co-op.  You may remember this recipe that has black rice.  Or this one, with a bit of a Spring twist.  I love black rice– it’s ridiculously healthy.  So, when I found it in pasta form, I was excited.  I generally use brown rice noodles, so I’m thrilled to have another healthy option.  Fear not, if you can’t find black rice ramen– most any thin pasta will work here–regular ramen, vermicelli, angel hair pasta, just about anything really.

Black Rice Ramen with Sesame Garlic Ginger Scallion Sauce | Relishing It

This is a really quick dinner that can be whipped-up in about 20 minutes.  It’s versatile in that it can be served hot or cold, which is a nice option for the upcoming warmer months.  It’s also versatile in that you can pair any of your favorite vegetables with it and it will be fantastic.  Red peppers come to mind.  I’m on a broccoli kick…still.  And so are my kids, so that’s what I went with.  The vegetables can be roasted, quickly sautéed, or even raw.  You decide. I generally roast mine, but I know that will stop with the summer heat.   The sauce is simple and packed with flavor.  The sesame, garlic, ginger, and scallions all compliment one another.  The sauce is light– it barely coats the noodles and vegetables.  I didn’t want it loaded with oil (read calories), but I still wanted it potent.  When you toss all of the ingredients together, make sure to reserve a bit of pasta water.  You can use that to loosen everything up, if necessary.  Be sure to taste and re-season with more soy sauce or sesame oil, if you want a bit more punch.  Hope you enjoy!  We sure did.

Black Rice Ramen with Sesame Garlic Ginger Scallion Sauce | Relishing It

The Recipe: Black Rice Ramen with Sesame Garlic Ginger Scallion Sauce

(serves 2)

2 squares of ramen, (about 5 ounces total)

2 tablespoons olive oil or peanut, if you have it

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce

4 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 scallions, thinly sliced

handful of broccoli and crimini mushrooms, bite-size

sesame seeds and chopped peanuts for garnish

(Note: This meal comes together rather quickly– you’ll need to work fast and be attentive.)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Bring a medium sauce pan filled with water to a boil.

On a baking sheet, roast the broccoli and mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly tender.  Remove from oven.   Place the ramen in the boiling water and keep a watchful eye.  It will only need about 5 minutes to cook.  Test along the way.  Reserve some cooking water.  When tender, drain.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat,  heat the olive oil and add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until aromatic.  Then add the vinegar, hoisin, sesame oil, and soy sauce and whisk together until warmed through.  Add most of the scallions, reserving a few for garnish.  Sauté for 30 seconds.  Toss in the vegetables and then the ramen.  Use tongs to toss everything together.  Loosen with 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water, if need be.  Taste.  Re-season with soy sauce and sesame oil, if desired.  Top with sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and reserved scallions.  If wanting to make a cold version, run the pasta under cold water.   You may need a bit more oil to loosen the pasta, if cold.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing it

I love a good slaw.  Basically, I love any salad that is made from cabbage and crunchy vegetables.  Sure, once summer rolls around I’ll be thrilled to dig into a plate of delicate, tender greens.  But, in the meantime, I never tire of crunchy, hearty vegetables.  They satisfy me when I’m hungry.  They have a great mouth-feel– as in, I actually feel like I’m eating something substantial.  Like I’m eating a meal.

Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing It

Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing It

Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing It

Cabbage (and kale) are really my go-to winter salad fare.  Remember this salad?  I still eat it at least once a week.  The same goes for the one I’m sharing today.  I love combining Asian flavors into a slaw.  It just works.  Making a dressing using plain yogurt is a perfect way to “health it up”, yet still satisfies that need for something a bit more indulgent and creamy.

Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing It

I used freshly ground peanut butter in this dressing, but you can buy good organic peanut butter at your market.   Be sure to look for a kind that only contains ground peanuts.  Added salt is fine.  If you have to use something else with other ingredients, just be warned that the flavor of the dressing may be a bit off, as those other kinds generally contain a lot of sugar.  Most of the other ingredients for the dressing are things that you probably have in your refrigerator already.  The lime juice is the perfect backdrop for the flavors.  And as for the vegetables, the combination of red cabbage, carrots, carrots, cilantro, and broccoli are wonderful together.  I love using broccoli in this finely-sliced form.  Broccoli has a wonderful flavor, but I don’t always like chewing on the florets, so this is a nice solution.  I’ve also added golden raisins to this slaw.  Taking a bite with one in it feels like hitting the lottery.  Perhaps I should just toss more in next time?!  Cheers– hope you enjoy the slaw!

Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw | Relishing It

The Recipe: Healthy Asian Peanut Slaw

(serves 1-2)

For the Asian Peanut Dressing:

2 tablespoons organic natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts and salt)

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce

honey (optional)

For the Slaw:

2 medium carrots, grated on the large hole of a box grater

1/4 small head of red cabbage, thinly sliced

5-6 large broccoli florets, thinly sliced

1/4 large red pepper, julienned

small handful of cilantro leaves, stems removed

2-3 tablespoons golden raisins

chopped salted peanuts or cashews, for serving

In a medium bowl, whisk the ingredients for the dressing together.  Set aside.  In a larger bowl, combine all the ingredients for the slaw,  sans peanuts.  Pour the dressing onto the vegetables and mix together using tongs.  You may not want to pour all of the dressing on at once (I generally have a bit leftover).  It’ll depend on your personal taste.  Top with the chopped peanuts or cashews.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Asian-Inspired Meatballs via Relishing It

Now we come to it.  The day when snacks and appetizers take center stage alongside over-hyped commercials and two football teams that I can’t– for the life of me– name.  That’s right, Superbowl Sunday is just a few days away!  Now my husband will tell you that the ‘Big Game’ on Sunday is actually Liverpool against Manchester City, but then again, he’s a soccer nut.  Even so, we’ll be hunkered down on the couch on Sunday night eating a variety of tasty appetizers.  If you haven’t planned out your Superbowl menu, I have a few ideas for you.  First, take a look at this incredible dip.  If you make it once, you’ll make it every year.  I promise.  And these pickled eggs are the perfect snack for beers with friends.  If you make them today, they just might be ready in time for the game.  This chili will please a crowd, and so will this one.

Asian Meatball Ingredients

But if you’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, give these fantastic Asian-inspired Meatballs a try.  I found this recipe on Ali Ebright’s blog, Gimme Some Oven.  While you’re waiting for the next commercial break on Sunday night, go on-line and check out her site.  It’s lovely.  I tweaked this particular recipe to suit my taste.

Asian-Inspired Meatballs via Relishing It

We generally eat these meatballs as a meal alongside brown rice or quinoa, served with a salad, but they would make a fantastic appetizer, as well!  The meatballs are packed with fresh, bright flavors from the garlic, ginger, and scallions.  But the real show-stopper is the Asian sauce.  It is amazing!  It’s slightly sweet, but also has a nice tang to it.  Fresh ginger makes everything better, right?  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have.  And whatever you decide to eat this weekend– have a great time surrounded by fun people.

Asian-Inspired Meatballs via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Asian-Inspired Meatballs

(makes 35-37 small)

For the Meatballs:

2 pounds ground beef or pork

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 heaping tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (preferably Panko)

1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (about 3 large)

For the Asian Sauce:

2/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

Garnish with extra sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a large 12 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs together using your hands.  Be careful not to over mix, as that will lead to tough meatballs.   Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop (or you can eyeball it) to form the balls.  Place them on the prepared pan and bake for about 17-19 minutes, they will turn a nice golden brown color  along the edges when done.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the asian sauce.  When the meatballs are done, you can either serve them alongside the sauce as a dip, or you can gently coat the meatballs in the sauce and serve them that way.  I like to warm the sauce up beforehand.  Serve the meatballs with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and a bit of sriracha for an extra kick.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Ali at Gimme Some Oven

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you all have a great weekend.  xo

Laurie

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