Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yakisoba with Pork & Cabbage

I'm so sorry I missed my posting date, but I'm going to embrace the "better late than never" philosophy and post it now! I discovered this recipe online from the New York Times about a year ago, and I've been making it regularly since. It is simple, flexible (I've substituted bell peppers, kale, and red onion), and it's got a salty tangy-ness that I love! I prefer to use the fresh yakisoba noodles in the produce department of the grocery store (which eliminates step #1), but I'm sure others would work well too.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween from me and my pumpkin friends!

Yakisoba With Pork and Cabbage
6 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles, or 10 to 12 ounces fresh
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 pork chops, thinly sliced
1 small head Napa or savoy cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons mirin, or a bit of sugar
Few drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 bunch scallions, chopped, white parts only.
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it and add noodles. Cook until just done, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water. Toss noodles with sesame oil to keep them from sticking together, and set aside.
2. Put peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add ginger and cook, stirring, until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork and cook for about 5 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink and is starting to brown around the edges.
3. Add cabbage and carrots to skillet and stir; sprinkle with salt. Continue to cook until vegetables soften, adding a bit of water as needed to keep them from sticking.
4. Meanwhile, stir together in a small bowl ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mirin and Tabasco. When vegetables are soft and any liquid has evaporated, add noodles and sauce to skillet. Toss to coat everything well and cook until noodles are warmed through. Serve, topped with chopped scallions.
Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas Review

Hey, I never said my pictures were going to be good, or particularly appetizing. It's just fun to see them!

I really liked this recipe. It's not the "enchiladas" that I was craving, though. It's a whole different enchilada! Haha. Anyway. It's the mole base. I actually loved it but using mole makes this a totally different dish. This mole recipe is going to be my go to, if I ever need to make mole. It was so delicious and the flavor was surprisingly complex and deep. I'm actually convincing myself, as I type, to make this again. Soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas

Ever since the beginning of September I have been craving cool-weather food, especially enchiladas. This is not unusual for me. I have not been indulging, however because here in the Willamette Valley we have had a super late summer. (whoopie!) I am on a quest now to find the yummiest enchilada recipe. I found this one on, which is on the top of my list for places to search for always delicious recipes. I certainly hope this doesn't let me, or you, down. I'm making this tonight!

Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas
  • 1 4 1/2-pound chicken, quartered
  • 4 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons (about) olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate
  • 16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced


Place chicken and broth in heavy large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes. Cool chicken in broth. Strain broth and spoon off fat; reserve broth. Remove chicken skin and bones; discard. Shred chicken coarsely; transfer to large bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cover. Cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour; stir 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in 4 1/2 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed.

Spread 1/3 cup sauce in each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Mix 1 cup sauce into chicken. Arrange 8 tortillas on work surface. Spoon 3 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon olives, 1 tablespoon onion and 1/4 cup chicken over center of each. Roll up tortillas. Arrange seam side down in 1 prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, 1 1/2 cups cheese, olives, onion and chicken. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover sauce and enchiladas separately; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes (30 minutes if chilled). Remove foil and bake until sauce bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Garam Masala Lentils

This was good. It was very simple, which I liked, and tasted delicious. My family liked this as well. I couldn't help but feel like it was missing something though. I don't know what because I'm not super familiar with Indian food, but it's like it was 2-D and I really wanted it to be 3-D. I suspect that a little playing around with spices would possibly do the trick. I like Rachel's idea of experimenting with different vegetables, although I did like the potatoes and peppers just as it called for. I would try it again, for sure.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Garam Masala Lentil Review (Severns)

I will start by saying that I did not follow this recipe exactly.  I used it as a place to jump off from.  I know, I know... that is not what we are suppose to do.  However, one night I was really craving the spices and lentils that come from this recipe and decided to make it even though I didn't have all the ingredients.

To start, I did not have potatoes so I made the recipe with only the lentils.  From this point I actually made the entire recipe the way it said except instead of the peppers I used zucchini and carrots.  Peppers do not go over well in this house (as much as I continue to try) but carrots and zucchini are favorites.  I topped each bowl with the almonds and golden raisins.  I served this stew with soft chewy Italian bread.  It was a hit!  There was enough that I froze the left overs and will have another meal some evening I haven't got time to make dinner!