Smarter Than Pancakes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy from VT

Happy Pancake Day, everybody!  We had blueberry pancakes this morning, but I don’t want to be cliché, so I’m not posting a pancake recipe.  Instead, I’ll post a recipe for a stir fry that I got from the latest Veg Times.

This stir-fry was really good!  I’ve been trying all kinds of vegan recipes from that issue, and I can’t believe how good they are.  And surprisingly filling!  I figured that we’d be hungry again in about an hour, but we haven’t been at all.

You can tell that I'm no food stylist. I didn't notice the sauce on the rice in the pink bowl until I uploaded the picture. Now it's going to drive me nuts, so promise me you'll just ignore it.

Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy
Vegan – Adapted from Vegetarian Times Feb 2010 issue.
Serves 4 – 6 WW points per 1 cup serving

1 tsp cornstarch

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp Thai chile sauce, such as sriracha (I had never had sriracha before—it’s really good. It doesn’t make the dish super-spicy like you’d think.)

2 cloves garlic, minced (I used about a tbs.)

1 tsp sesame oil

3 Tbs canola oil, divided (I used peanut oil.)

1 14-oz pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized cubes (See draining directions below.)

1 lb bok choy, washed and cut into 1 1/2 –inch pieces (I love me some bok choy.)

2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (It took all of a 3.5 oz. box of shiitakes.)

  1. (To drain tofu—take it out of the package and put it on a plate.  Put another plate on top, and put some kind of weight on top of it for a little while—I’ve been known to use canned goods for weight.  Every so often, go back and pour off the water that has collected on the plate.  Tofu is like a sponge, and if you don’t do this step, it won’t soak up as much flavor.)
  2. Stir the starch into 1 tsp of water; then add the soy sauce, ginger, sriracha, garlic and sesame oil.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs of canola (or peanut) oil in large skillet or wok over med-high heat.  (I used my electric skillet.) Stir-fry the tofu until golden brown, then put it on a plate.  (I put mine on paper towel to get rid of more oil.)
  4. Add one more Tbs of oil to the pan; then throw in the bok choi for about 4 minutes.  Move that to the plate with the tofu.
  5. Add remaining 1 Tbs of the oil, then cook the mushrooms for about 2 minutes, or until tender.  (I don’t think I added all the oil each time.  I don’t think it needed it–my electric skillet is nonstick.)
  6. Add the bok choi and tofu back in with the ‘shrooms, then pour the sauce over it.  Cook that all together for about a minute–or until hot.
  7. (I served mine with basmati rice—because that’s what I had.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Diet Super Bowl Food?

Filed under: Diet Super Bowl — shaye3 @ 11:28 am

We love the Super Bowl.  My favorite parts are usually the food and the commercials–although my team is in the running this year, so I might actually watch the game!

We’ve been eating healthier this year, and I’ve dropped almost 14 pounds.  I love me some Super Bowl food, but there’s no way I’m going to go crazy and pack back on some pounds that I’ve fought so hard to drop.

For the first time in ages, we aren’t having or going to a party for the big game.  That’s going to make it a lot easier to limit ourselves to lower calorie/healthy snacks.  I’ve been trying to come up with some lighter options that will still be festive.

I’m not going to post any recipes until after I’ve tried making everything, but here is the list of what I’m currently considering.  (And no, most of it isn’t wholesome.  There are processed foods a-plenty.  I don’t think it will kill us to eat total crap on Super Bowl Sunday–as long as it doesn’t become an ongoing thing.  I think I’ll also be sure to have everyone drink lots of extra water and take a vitamin before bed.)

So here’s the grand plan so far:

  • Sugar Free Jello Jigglers (Made in my official Super Bowl helmet/football mold!)
  • Roasted, Spiced Garbanzo Beans
  • Veggies and Baked Ruffles with Fat Free Beef Dip (Our local grocery used to make the best beef dip–before they were sold to Kroger.  I got the recipe from a friend who worked there, so I now can make it at home with fat free ingredients.)
  • Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
  • Lightened Potato Skins (I’m thinking about trying something with similar seasoning, only spraying the potato with Pam.  Then using 2% or fat free cheddar and a tiny bit of bacon for flavor.)
  • Baked Tostito Scoops with Homemade Guacamole and Salsa
  • Bacon Wrapped, Chèvre Stuffed Medjool Dates (Ok, this one doesn’t sound very diet friendly, but very little cheese fits inside.  AND, I’m told that if you par-boil the tiny piece of bacon before you wrap it around the date to bake it, a lot of the fat will boil out and it will crisp right up!  Plus, I’m not making very many.)

My big plan is to make very small batches of all of these things.  One box of Jello, one can of garbanzos, one avocado’s worth of guac., etc.  I’m also sitting here right now trying to figure out the points values of each of these treats.  We’ll be able to have a taste of several different snacks, without breaking the bank on points or stretching our stomachs back out.

I’d love to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve when it comes to “light” eating for parties and/or the big game!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Minestrone with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and White Beans

Ok, I’m starting out my healthy eating posts bent with several recipes I’ve tried from the latest (February 2010) issue of Vegetarian Times.  Even though I’m not a strict vegetarian, I am a huge fan of Veg Times.  I’ve had a subscription since 1993, and this may be one of their best issues yet.  (Of course, that might be because of my newfound interest in healthy eating—who knows?)

The first on the list is a soup that we liked so much that I’ve made it twice already!  It’s delicious, takes less than half an hour to get on the table, and has only 113 calories per one-cup serving.  What’s not to like?

Minestrone with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and White Beans
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Feb 2010 issue
(Vegan & Gluten Free)
2 WW points per 1 cup serving
Yield 4 cups

1 Tbs olive oil (Oil from the jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes adds a lot of flavor)

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

1 ½ cups diced onion (That’s about one medium onion)

1 cup sliced carrots (One or two carrots?)

1 cup sliced celery (Three stalks?)

2 Tbs minced garlic (Six cloves?)

½ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I used oil-packed, dry is fine.)

15-oz canned Cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

  1. In a three-quart saucepan, heat your oil then put your dried herbs in to sizzle for about half a minute.
  2. Add the carrots, and let them cook for a minute or two; then add the onion and celery. Cover and cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Throw in the minced garlic and let it sizzle for less than a minute.  (In the original VT recipe, they threw the veggies in at once, but our carrots wound up being really crispy in the first batch.  I also worry about burning my garlic, so I always add it last.)
  4. Add the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Add the beans, a quart of water, and a little salt and pepper.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to about medium-low, and cook in a low simmer for about 10 minutes.  (I think my stove is wonky, because it frequently doesn’t simmer on the burner settings they suggest.  Just keep an eye on it and make sure that you’re still getting small bubbles and lots of steam.  You don’t want a rolling boil, but make sure you’re simmering.)
  7. Add the peas, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes more.
  8. Stir in vinegar, then taste for seasonings.  Add salt and pepper if needed.

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