Homemade Hot and Sour Soup

 

Homemade Hot and Sour Soup

 

2 dry mushrooms (optional)

½ carrot

1 tomato

1” knob of ginger

2 mushrooms

2 green onion

8 oz tofu

1 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)

3 tbsp Chinese (black) vinegar

1 tbsp cornstarch

6 cups plus 1 tbsp water, divided

2 eggs

3-4 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt to taste

 

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them for two hours before using them.

Cut the carrot into 1” matchsticks.  Soak tomato in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain and peel the skin off.  Cut into small cubes.  Cut the ginger and mushrooms into matchsticks.  Thinly slice green onion and cube tofu.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and Chinese vinegar.  The hot, spicy flavor of this soup comes from the white pepper so adjust the amount according to how spicy you want it.  You’ll be able to add more before serving if you wish.

Mix cornstarch with water in another small bowl.  Add a few drops more water if needed to create a smooth slurry.  Beat eggs in a third bowl.

Bring two cups of water to a simmer on the stovetop in a large saucepan.  Add dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and carrots. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove vegetables from the water.

Place a large saute pan or wok on the stovetop over high heat and add 3 tbsp vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot, add ginger and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Add tomato and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Pour 4 cups of water into the saute pan and bring to boil.  Add carrots and mushrooms. Cook for 5-6 minutes or to desired softness.  Gently stir in tofu and allow to heat through.

Add vinegar and white pepper then stir in cornstarch slurry and allow to thicken for 1-2 minutes.  Add soy sauce and salt.

Turn heat to medium-high.  Pour in eggs, slowly streaming the mixture over the surface of the soup and stir it gently to cook eggs.

Sprinkle green onion over the bottom of a large serving bowl or divide over 6 single-serving bowls.  Add soup and serve immediately.

 

6 servings, 170 calories per serving

 

Hack:  Pork or chicken can be used in place of tofu.

Hack:  Dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe.

Hack:  Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized containers for up to 3 months.

Hack: Matchstick carrots can be found in the packaged section of the produce department.  Freeze any leftover carrots for use in cooking.

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack:  Look (or ask the produce clerk) for loose items such as carrots and mushrooms so you will only have to buy what you need for a particular recipe.  You can also shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.

 

Mandarin Glazed Beets

 

Mandarin oranges and red beets come together in this colorful and delicious side dish!
Mandarin Glazed Beets

Mandarin Glazed Beets

 

4 medium beets (2 lbs)

Olive oil

11 oz can of Mandarin oranges, drained, liquid reserved

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter

 

Cut greens off beets, leaving 1” of the stem. Wash thoroughly, brush with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Peel beets and cut into cubes.*

Mix mandarin orange liquid, cornstarch and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.  Add butter and turn heat to medium.

Allow the liquid to come to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Add beets and cook until warm.  Gently stir in oranges and allow to warm.

* Beets can be cooked in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

4 servings, 190 calories per serving

Hack:  If you like this combination of oranges and beets, try this Orange Beet Salad!

 

 

Asian Cold Noodle Salad

Asian Cold Noodle Salad
(Courtesy: Yuhong Sun)

 

1 lb spaghetti or dry noodle

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cucumber

Sauce:
1 green onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced (3 tsp)

1” knob fresh ginger, minced (1 tbsp)

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp dark (Chinese) vinegar

2 tbsp chili sauce

Pinch of salt

 

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Stir in olive oil. Allow to cool or chill in the refrigerator.

Peel the cucumber and cut it into 2” matchsticks.

In a small bowl, combine green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, chili sauce and salt.

Assemble salads by placing 1 cup of cold noodle in a bowl. Top with cucumbers and 1-2 tbsp sauce. Serve immediately.

 

8 servings, 275 calories per serving

Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in its frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place it in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

 

 

Creamy Cheesy Polenta

Creamy Cheesy Polenta

Creamy Cheesy Polenta

 

4 cups water

1 tsp salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tbsp butter

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

 

Heat water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add salt and cornmeal, whisking gently. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk constantly for about 2 minutes or until thick.

Cover the pan and continue to cook for 30-35, whisking vigorously every 5-10 minutes, taking the time to scrape the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and cheese until melted.

Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional butter or cheese if desired.

 

4 servings, 255 calories per serving

Hack: Polenta can be eaten alone or as a side dish to replace rice or potatoes.

Hack:  Use this polenta to make Eggs With Polenta!

 

 

Baked Cauliflower Casserole

 

Baked Cauliflower Casserole
Baked Cauliflower Casserole

Baked Cauliflower Casserole

 

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (6-8 cups)

1 red onion, thinly sliced, divided

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

7 eggs

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp dried rosemary

2 ½ tsp dried basil

⅓ tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 cup flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¾ cup sharp cheddar, grated

 

Preheat the oven to 400℉.

Set aside 4 onion rounds and put the rest in a 13” x 9” baking pan.  Add cauliflower and tomatoes.  Toss with olive oil.  Roast in the oven until cauliflower is very tender, 30-40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Whisk together eggs, sesame oil, cumin, rosemary, basil, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Blend flour and baking powder and whisk into egg mixture.  Whisk in cheese. Gently fold in vegetables trying not to break up cauliflower.

Place mixture in a greased 13” x 9” pan lined with parchment paper.  Arrange reserved onion rings over the top.

Bake in 400℉ oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

6 servings, 395 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftover portions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for future use.

 

Easy Homemade Applesauce

Easy Homemade Applesauce
Easy Homemade Applesauce

Easy Homemade Applesauce

 

6 apples, any variety*

1 tsp lemon juice

Sugar to taste

Cinnamon or apple pie spice to taste

Peel apples and cut chunks directly off the core and into a medium saucepan.

Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until liquid begins to gather on the bottom of the pan (about 10 minutes).

Turn heat up to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and break up easily when stirring, approximately 10-20 minutes depending on the variety of apple.  Add lemon juice and stir to blend.

If smoother applesauce is desired, use a whisk or (after cooling slightly) blender to remove lumps.  Add sugar and spice to taste, if desired.

*Different apples will result in subtle flavor differences.  The sweeter the apple variety, the sweeter the applesauce. For this reason, I suggest you taste the finished applesauce before adding sugar or spices.

6 servings (⅓ cup), 60 calories per serving (not including added sugar)


Hack: 
Freeze leftovers in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months to use as a snack or in cooking/baking.

Hack:  Lemon juice is used to slow down oxidation and to keep the applesauce from browning.  It’s not necessary to the taste or texture of the finished product and can be left out if preferred.

 

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

 

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

½ cup flour

½ cup water

Dash hot, sriracha or wing sauce

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ cup hot, sriracha or wing sauce

3 tbsp butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 450℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, water, onion powder and garlic powder. Add a dash of hot sauce.

Add cauliflower to batter and toss to evenly coat. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

In a medium bowl, mix hot sauce and butter. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. Return to baking sheet.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes or to desired brownness.

Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

4 servings, 190 calories per serving (excluding dressing)

Hack: To reheat, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat at 375℉ until heated through, about 10 minutes

 

 

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

 

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1” squares

1 tbsp butter

⅛ tsp salt

⅛ tsp pepper

1 ½ tbsp sour cream

1 tsp prepared horseradish

Place enough water in a saucepan to cover potatoes and bring to a boil on the stove.

Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.

Add butter, salt and pepper. Mash using a hand masher (or mixer if you prefer smoother mashed potatoes).

Stir in sour cream and horseradish, adding additional sour cream to obtain desired consistency.

Serve immediately.

 

One serving, 175 calories

Hack:  Use these potatoes in Loaded Shepherd’s Pie to give it an added zing!

 

Hummus Veggie Wrap

 

Hummus Veggie Wrap
Hummus Veggie Wrap

Hummus Tabouli Wrap

 

1 large whole wheat sandwich wrap

3 tbsp Hummus

3 tbsp Tabouli

3 tbsp Feta cheese

Baby spinach

Red onion, thinly sliced

 

Spread Hummus on a sandwich wrap, going all the way to the edges.

Sprinkle tabouli and feta cheese over hummus.

Top with a handful of spinach and a few red onion slices. Roll and cut in half.

 

2 servings, 275 calories per serving

Hack:  Wondering how to roll a wrap sandwich so it doesn’t fall apart?  Check out these easy instructions!

Hack: Check out the salad bar for small amounts of this ingredient list

Hack: Place waxed paper or parchment paper between wraps, seal in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.