Archive | April 2010

My Spring Rolls

(Original post date April 27, 2010)

It’s been snowing on and off all day today. I guess NY’s motto should be “April snow showers bring May flowers”.

What more of an appropriate time than now to show how to make my favorite SPRING ROLLS? 🙂

I found a recipe for Spring Rolls with Lemon Grass Dipping Saucea few months ago on a TV show called “Cook Yourself Thin” that was on Lifetime TV. Once I tried these, I was hooked! I didn’t document the making of my lemon grass dipping sauce, but my secret to it is Gourmet Garden Lemon Grass herb blend. It lasts so much longer than fresh lemon grass.

For the spring rolls themselves, I start by prepping my veggies. Most recently I used green & red bell peppers, seedless cucumber and shredded carrot, but you can use any of your faves!

Then I got the ingredients ready to cook the shrimp.

Mirin (a sweetened rice wine), Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce ended up in a pan with the shrimp and sauteed garlic.

Always remember, over-cooking shrimp is a HUGE faux-pas. When shrimp turns from grey to pink it’s done.

Then it was time for the hardest part…the rice paper.

I am incredibly lucky that Wegmans has an extensive International Foods section. One at a time, you have to dip the rice paper into water *just* long enough for it to soften and be pliable, but not so soft that it tears or rips.

Then lift the paper out of the water and let the excess water drip off.

Spread the paper out and layer with veggies and shrimp.

Then I rolled the paper over the filling, starting at the bottom, tucking the sides over and rolling up as tightly as possible. (Sorry, I didn’t have enough hands to take a pic of that process.) This is how it ends up.

Then slice diagonally, so it’s pretty!

It’s a tedious process, but definitely worth it. I’m sure I’ll get quicker over time at the assembly but I usually make enough spring rolls for 2-3 days worth of lunches.

There was another layer of rolls on top of this! These rolls are also perfect to grab while staring into the fridge and trying to find something to snack on.

What’s your favorite recipe that takes a lot of work but is totally worth it?

My Faux Fried Veggies

(Original post dated April 16th, 2010)

when I woke up and turned on the news, the weather woman forecasted rain and thunderstorms for the evening and I automatically made a plan in my head. Healthy versions of “bar food”, a glass of wine, and a Twilight marathon! The weather in NY is very Washington-ish at the moment.

I got to making a healthy version of one of my favorite foods. FRIED VEGGIES!!! I set up my station.

Breaded mushrooms and zucchini were on the menu for the evening.

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I dipped the veggies in egg substitute

then a dry mix of Fiber One cereal, Hidden Valley Ranch mix, garlic powder, onion powder and salt & pepper.

Then I put the veggies on a cookie sheet sprayed with Olive Oil and cooked at 400 for about 20 minutes, flipping once.

I was worried about how the mushrooms would turn out, due to their water content, but they ended up even more delicious than the zucchini!

After having my bar food, I’m settling back into my Twilight marathon. Happy Friday!

My Girl on Grill Action

(Original post dated April 13, 2010)

Don’t be deceived by my innuendo-heavy post title, I can’t take credit for the cleverness, but Hungry Girlcan.

Tonight I took another recipe from the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 cookbook and made a “Girl on Grill” veggie wrap for dinner. Since this girl didn’t feel like braving the cool NY air to fire up the grill, I decided to roast some random veggies in the oven at 400.

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I tossed some zucchini, green peppers and mushrooms in fat free Italian dressing (as well as some artichoke hearts I added at the last minute). I also roasted up some asparagus that I had drizzled with lemon juice.

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Lemon juice is definitely my main fridge staple.

When the veggies were done I wrapped them up in a whole wheat tortilla and added some 0% Fage Greek Yogurt and a few Goat Cheese crumbles.

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I rolled this up and sliced diagonally.

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YUM YUM YUM!!!

I cannot believe I have never made roasted veggie wraps before. This is going to be my new go-to recipe. I can’t wait to make a seedless tomato/basil/mozzarella wrap in the summer, and a roasted pumpkin/apple wrap in the fall!

I must admit, this recipe had extra deliciousness that was added by the lemon juice on the asparagus.

So my question is…what is your #1 kitchen staple?

My Fake ‘fredo

(Original post dated April 12, 2010)

I was really excited for my dinner tonight, as I had planned on trying a recipe from my new Hungry Girl 1-2-3 cookbook!

italian-style bacon alfredo bowl PER SERVING (entire bowl):
266 calories, 7.5g fat, 951mg sodium, 15g carbs, 5.25g fiber, 4g sugars, 34g protein POINTS®value 5* Like our classic Hungry Girlfredo… but with a BUNCH of delicious extras!

The main ingredient to the recipe is Tofu Shirataki Fettucine “noodles”.

These are a great alternative to regular flour pasta, with less carbs and less cals. Like regular pasta, it needs to be rinsed, drained and then DRIED.

While the noodles dried I started assembling the other ingredients.

Quartered artichokes, roasted red peppers and a Quorn Cutlet. The original recipe called for mushrooms (which I plan to use tomorrow night) and real chicken breast. Once this was assembled, I got to the “alfredo” part of the dish.

I mixed Greek Yogurt (HG called for sour cream), white cheddar popcorn seasoning (HG called for canned parmesan) and a wedge of laughing cow light cheese. This made up the “Alfredo Sauce” and into the microwave it went for one minute. After mixing, I added the artichokes, red pepper and Quorn and microwaved for another 2 minutes. Topped with a some “Real Bacon” and a TB of parmesan cheese and it was ready to be devoured!

Yum!! The original recipe did not call for the TB of shredded parmesan I added, but I think it really gave the dish a little bit more. If you ever try Tofu noodles, please do so with an open mind. They are a tad more chewy than “regular” pasta but taste just as good and add health benefits!

My First Green Monster

(Original post dated April 11, 2010)

On Friday I made a post proclaiming how very happy I was that it was Friday. Today, I felt like saying “TGIS”. I woke bright and early at 10 (sarcasm). I had no ambition what-so-ever and just felt lying staying in bed. I haven’t gotten much done today except…I made my first Green Monster!! I have heard rave reviews about the spinach-based smoothie from the many food blogs I read and today I felt the need to try it for myself.

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Into the blender all the ingredients went.

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The end result looked like this.

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I poured some into a cup and took a hesitant sip. IT WAS DELISH!!!! Like I said, I read many blogs of people who swear that this smoothie does NOT taste like spinach. I must admit, I never really believed that. Now that I’ve tried the Monster for myself, I completely agree! I made up a couple more batches of these and now have a pitcher-full in my fridge.

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I’m hoping it will give me the energy I need to get through Monday morning! If it’s any sign of how much I liked this drink, I have replaced my coffee maker with my blender…for the warmer months, at least.

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