a refreshing and hearty salad: savoy cabbage, organic chicken with satsumas & sesame-ginger dressing {aka chinese chicken salad}!

how to make a good quality delicious chinese chicken salad at home in less than 30 minutes:

minette's chinese chicken saladthe night before super bowl sunday my daughter decided to have her friends over to watch the game. she asked me if i could make some fun stuff to eat for the gathering, and before i could open my mouth in response (my mind was already going a million miles a minute with great ideas) she reminded me this was a group of teenagers, and they’d want at least some foods you’d typically expect to eat while watching the big game. okayyyyy. such as, I asked? “can

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you make chicken wings”? she says- – hmnnnnn. not really? she decides she needs to make some calls for feedback, and i decide that no matter what, we’ll need to have a {semi-healthy} salad on the menu. i’ve been craving a good home made “chinese chicken salad” for a while, so it’s first on the list without hesitation. the rest of the  choices eventually comes together like this: chips and home made salsa, amazingly delicious home made ribs courtesy kristen’s dad (wow wow wow), chicken wings (thanks to the frozen section at whole foods) with organic cut celery and ranch dressing, ken’s delicious home made onion dip (must ask for the recipe) with chips, (did i mention my huge bowl of crunchy yumminess of a chicken salad?), a selection of cheeses with sliced baguettes,

superbowl party

getting ready…

chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, mini brownies, homemade cookies, macaroons….i’m almost embarrassed to go on….we were feeding a group of hungry teenagers-what can i say? i had so little time to put it all together that i took a few shortcuts with my salad-it was so easy to prepare and a big hit!

baked sesame ginger chicken breasts

baked sesame ginger chicken breasts

  • 1 small savoy (or nappa) cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 1 romaine or iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • a bunch of organic green onions, thinly sliced
  • a good sized bunch of fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 whole organic roasted chicken, meat (mostly the white meat) removed and finely sliced-or, use this recipe to make the sesame ginger chicken breasts at home, then slice them up
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 3-4 mandarin oranges (satsumas), peeled and sliced, then separated
  • fried wontons (you can buy these or fry them at home rather easily)
  • toasted sesame seedsphoto 1

for the sesame-ginger dressing:

  • 3 tbs vegetable oil (i used avocado)
  • 2-3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar (adjust amount if necessary)
  • 1 tsp lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • a good chunk of grated ginger (use microplane)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (for spicy)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • if you like it on the sweeter side, add 2-3 tsp raw honey

whisk all the ingredients together, taste and adjust quantities, then add to salad and toss just before serving. crunch.

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beef stir fry with bunapi mushrooms, bell peppers & soba noodles

the first time i had an authentic chinese style stir fry was when i moved to the bay area in the mid 80’s. i remember the day my aunt took me shopping, followed by lunch at a hunan restaurant in the chinatown area of san francisco. she ordered the spiciest and yummiest stir fried noodles with beef, peppers, and mushrooms, and i can still taste the slightly smoky, spicy, and tangy deliciousness (and feel the sting on my tongue). no stir fry has ever tasted quite the same-somehow nothing ever tastes as amazing as the first time you try it. as you can imagine, i continue to eat and make  stir fried everything because stir fries are so satisfying, versatile, and easy to adapt to the healthier cooking/eating we’re moving (more like running) towards. today at the natural food market i picked up a pack of organic “bunapi” mushrooms (they looked amazing), soba noodles, grass fed flat iron steak, and organic raw black sesame seeds*. you can  leave the beef out of this stir fry recipe and substitute tofu (organic sprouted is best) or additional vegetables/mushrooms.
3-4 servings:

  • 1 grass fed flat iron steak (or top sirloin), thinly sliced (about 1 pound)
  • (or) 1 package sprouted organic tofu
  • 1 onion-sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a thick sliver of fresh ginger, minced (2-3 tsp minced)
  • 1/4 jalapeno pepper (if you like spicy)
  • 2-3 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 small bell peppers (i used yellow and orange)
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp safflower oil or virgin refined coconut oil
  • 3 tbs soy sauce or bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 package soba noodles, cooked per instructions and drained (about 1.5-2 cups, cooked)
1. slice the beef into thin strips against the grain, then marinate with: minced garlic, finely minced jalapeno pepper (or dry red pepper flakes- or freshly ground pepper), ginger, sesame oil, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (or bragg’s aminos), and 1/2 of the sesame seeds. allow the beef to marinate for half an hour to an hour. you can do the same thing with thinly sliced sprouted tofu if you prefer, or sliced portobello or shitake mushrooms.

2. heat half of the oil (safflower or coconut) in a wok or skillet, then add the beef mixture to the hot wok. quickly fry the beef on high heat, then remove from the wok and set aside.
3. add the remaining oil to the wok, then add thinly sliced onions and peppers to the hot wok, sautee for 2-3 minutes before adding the mushrooms (separated).
use sprouted organic tofu for vegetarian option

4. stir fry the vegetables and mushrooms together for another 2-3 minutes on high, then add the beef back to the wok and combine with the vegetables.

5. once everything is heated through and fully combined (do not over cook) add the cooked soba noodles, remaining soy sauce, and chopped scallions and stir fry for a minute or two at most on high heat. top with remaining toasted black sesame seeds. serve hot.

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chicken curry with cauliflower, carrots, & mushrooms

on sundays we tend to eat a rather large (often persian) late lunch/early dinner if we’re at home. usually i walk over to the farmer’s market and pick up some seasonal produce that looks good, and plan the meal from there. i can literally see the sunday farmer’s market from my window, but this morning there were no umbrellas, no trucks, no farmers-there was no one in sight. it’s easter sunday (happy easter), and the market is closed…so, on to plan b. i don’t like to go grocery shopping on sundays, there’s usually too many people, and often the produce looks a bit tired. i look in my refrigerator hoping for inspiration (and for ingredients that can add up to a decent meal). mushrooms, celery, carrots(the dutiful constant), onions (as well), pretty fresh looking organic cilantro, kale (obviously), lettuce, cauliflower, and two rather shriveled up bell peppers. ok. not great, but not too bad. look in the freezer, and find some organic chicken breasts. for some reason, i decide against the celery and kale. back in the drawer. should i make a curry? my daughter won’t be too excited, but i’m kind of craving it…so i look in the pantry for coconut milk, check. that’s what it’ll be, then-chicken curry with cauliflower, mushrooms & carrots (although frankly, i much prefer my carrots raw).

ingredients:

 

  • 2-3 organic chicken breasts ( or omit for vegetarian)
  • mushrooms, about 20
  • 1 yellow organic onion*
  • 1/2 of a medium cauliflower
  • 4-5 medium organic carrots*
  • 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a sliver of fresh ginger **
  • 1/4-1/2 of a green chili pepper (or jalapeno)
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbs good quality curry powder +
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp organic refined coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 small bunch fresh organic cilantro*
  • 1 medium or 2 small ripe tomatoes
  • chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • sea salt

 

finely mince the garlic, chili pepper, and ginger, and sautee (on medium) in 1/2 of your coconut oil for a minute before adding the  cut up chicken, cubed onions,  turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and salt. sautee until the chicken looks golden-about 3 minutes or so, remove from pan.
add the rest of the oil to the pot, and sautee the vegetables (all cut up in about the same size for even cooking). after the vegetable are softened (about 3-4 minutes), add the chicken back to the pan, combine with vegetables, add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and 1/2 cup of coconut milk, a handful of chopped cilantro, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes on medium.

 

add the garbanzo beans and tomatoes (cubed) and let the pot simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
taste for salt and add/adjust if needed. whisk together about 1 tbsp flour (or chick pea flour) and 1/4 cup coconut milk, and pour over the curry, mixing softly together. this will thicken the sauce lightly. allow the pot to simmer for just another 3 minutes or so. top with fresh cilantro. the curry can be served over brown basmati rice, steamed quinoa, or jasmine rice.

 

 

* i recommend using organic chicken & vegetables-here’s a good quick guide re organic versus non:
http://www.alivemedicine.com/news/article/featured/2012/01/25/100235/organic-foods-why-should-you-buy ( also, see my post 7 things that should never cross your lips).** i use a lot of fresh ginger in my food-besides the fabulous flavor, here’s why:
http://annetterozen.hubpages.com/hub/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Ginger+ i use Morton & Bassett curry powder.

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going pink: raspberry ginger smoothie

tomorrow morning’s smoothie-i’m going pink! this one’s a favorite, and always starts my day off right.

blend together the following:

  • one banana (frozen works really well)
  • 1/4 cup or so fresh organic (or frozen) raspberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut “kefir” (or : coconut milk, dairy based organic kefir, almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger*

{also, good news (for me)! cleanse is over in 2 days-more exciting (real food) to follow, if i still have the energy…}

*ginger benefits: http://annetterozen.hubpages.com/hub/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Ginger

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