Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Healthy Food Makeover

Makeover Monday Meal- Out of the Deep Blue Sea Edition

Makeover Monday Meals- Air Fryer Crab Cakes

 

As the signs of summer begin to appear, many people are moving their weekend meal game to the grill. However, taking out the grill after a long day at work or school, might not be in the cards.  However, when the temperatures begin to rise, it’s not a great time to turn the oven on. The air fryer has changed that for many families who are looking for a quick and healthy way to enjoy family favorites.

When it comes to seafood, fish can be polarizing. Some people aren’t crazy about the texture. However, a lot more people are likely to love shellfish. If you are from the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast, you probably enjoy crab and crab cakes. Crab cakes highlight the subtle sweetness of crab combined with a little breadcrumb, scallions or chives, red bell pepper, and seafood seasoning. These little treasures are then pan-fried in a little oil and butter to make them even more irresistible

Nevertheless, what most of us don’t want to indulge in is the extra calories and this recipe from the Food Network for air fryer crab cakes allows us to enjoy all the flavor we love, without all the extra fat.

.

Never fear for those of you who are vegan or perhaps are allergic to shellfish, we’ve found a recipe from the Power Hungry blog for vegan crab cakes made with hearts of palm. So, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Best of all, both recipes come together in less than an hour, which is perfect for a busy weekday night.

Air Fryer Crabcakes by Food Network adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Crab Cakes:

1 large egg (3 tablespoons Aquafaba or ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer = 1 egg)

1/3 cup mayonnaise (light mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise)

1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper (about 1 small bell pepper)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

A 1-pound fresh lump or jumbo lump crabmeat picked over for shells and cartilage

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free panko breadcrumbs)

Nonstick cooking spray, for the air-fryer basket and crab cakes

 

 

For the crab cakes: Whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, bell pepper, chives, parsley, lemon zest and juice, mustard, seafood seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. With a rubber spatula or large spoon, very gently fold the crab and panko into the mixture. Try to avoid breaking up lumps of crab as much as possible. Cover the crab mixture with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. This will allow the panko to absorb more liquid and help bind the crab cakes together.

 

Just before cooking, divide the crab-cake mixture into 4 portions. Lightly compact each portion to form a patty (about 3 1/2 inches in diameter) with your hands to ensure they hold their shape while cooking and place it onto a large plate.

Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray. Place the crab cakes into the basket and spray the tops with cooking spray. Cook until deep golden brown and crisp, flipping halfway through and spraying again with cooking spray, about 16 minutes. Serve warm

 

Vegan Crab Cakes by Power Hungry

Ingredients

1 can (14 to 15 ounces) hearts of palm, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Old Bay or another seafood seasoning

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

1 cup gluten-free panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided

Garnish with, optional

Lemon wedges

Chopped fresh parsley

Serve with, optional

Cocktail sauce

Instructions

Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F and spray the basket with cooking spray.

Cut the hearts of palm lengthwise; cut slices crosswise into 3/4-inch lengths. Transfer to a medium bowl and, using fingers, gently press and break apart into shreds.

In another medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper until well blended. Stir in hearts of palm and green onions until well combined (I like to get my hands in, to further break up hearts of palm).

Sprinkle half the panko over the hearts of palm mixture and mix in thoroughly (do not mash). Form into fourteen 1.2-inch-thick patties (I used a #40 cookie scoop to portion).

Spread the remaining panko in a small dish. Dredge patties in panko, pressing gently to adhere. As they are dredged, place patties into the basket and spray the tops with cooking spray. Cook until deep golden brown and crisp, flipping halfway through and spraying again with cooking spray, about 12-14 minutes.

Serve warm

 

Adaptable Recipes, Breakfast, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Breakfast Edition

 

Bursting with Berries

If you haven’t guessed it by now, we are obsessed with blueberries. They are hands down our favorite berry. We love the versatility of blueberries. They are great in a smoothie, perfect in salads, delicious in scones, and are out of this world in a muffin.

 

However, there is a debate when it comes to which blueberries are the best.

Maine blueberries are smaller, but these wild berries boast an intense blueberry taste; ranging from tangy tartness to succulent sweetness. Wild Maine blueberries are frozen fresh and have more brain-healthy anthocyanins than larger blueberries.

Unlike cultivated blueberries, wild blueberries have a season, which runs from summer to early fall. Moreover, these blueberries are only commercially harvested in Maine, Eastern Canada, and Quebec.

Cultivated blueberries are the ones most of us see in our produce departments. They are larger and tend to be more uniform in size. These blueberries are also grown all year round in various states such as North Carolina, and New Jersey.

Regardless of the specifics, blueberries are delicious and we love discovering new recipes to adapt and share with you. More importantly, the batter for these muffins can be made the night before, refrigerated, and baked off the next morning.

 

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins Small batch recipe by Butter Your Biscuit adapted by Still A Chick Lit

1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, millet, or sorghum flour. If the flour doesn’t contain a binder add ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (3 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 1 egg)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream (dairy: light sour cream, plain yogurt, plain Greek yogurt) (non-dairy: vegan sour cream, plain unsweetened almond or soy yogurt)
1 1/8 cups fresh blueberries

CRUMB TOPPING
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) cake flour **
1/3 cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 -2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

** To make gluten-free cake flour

1 Part Sweet White Rice Flour

1 Part Brown Rice Flour 1 Part Tapioca starch or tapioca flour, they are the same

 

Mix dry ingredients and store the blend in an airtight container.

Recipe for the gluten-free cake flour mix

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

To make the crumb topping, in a small bowl mix melted butter, flour, granulated sugar, and cinnamon with a fork and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the egg and sugar until combined. Add in oil, sour cream, and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. Do not over-mix.

In a small bowl add 1 1/8 cup blueberries and toss with 1 tablespoon flour and gently fold into the batter. Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 full. Scatter the remaining blueberries on the top of the muffins, then top with generous portions of the crumb topping.

Bake at 400-degrees for five minutes. Then drop the temperature down to 350-degrees for the remaining 13-20 minutes until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Makes about 8 standard muffins or 6 jumbo muffins

Notes

  • You can make the muffin batter the night before. You can leave the batter in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • You can substitute all-purpose flour to make the crumb topping.

 

Breakfast, Healthy Food Makeover, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast and Snack Edition Edition

 

Blueberries are little berries that pack a big punch. Not only are they delicious, but they are also good for you.

 

Blueberries are nature’s candy. Whether you eat them by the handful, in a salad, or in a pie, blueberries are nature’s candy. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also good for you.

Here are seven science-backed health benefits of blueberries:

  • Blueberries are an incredible source of nutrients.
  • Are high in antioxidants.
  • Improve cholesterol levels.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Boost cognitive functioning.
  • Contain prebiotics.

July 12th is National Blueberry Muffin Day, which is fitting since blueberries are at their best in terms of flavor in the summer.

If you’d like to enjoy the bounty of blueberries now, this recipe for a blueberry corn muffin is a tasty way to begin your Monday morning and it only takes fifteen minutes from mixing it to putting the muffins in the oven.

 

This recipe is based on Martha Stewart’s Blue-Barb Corn Muffins in the May 2022 issue of Living

 

Blueberry Corn Muffins by Still A Chick Lit

Active Time 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Makes: 12 muffins or 6 jumbo muffins

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, millet, or sorghum flour. If the flour doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)

¼ cup fine yellow cornmeal

¾ cup granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)

2 large eggs at room temperature (2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 2 eggs)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

8 ounces or 2 scant cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

¾ cup whole or 2% milk (non-dairy unsweetened almond milk, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (unsalted vegan butter)

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a standard 12-muffin tin with baking cups. In a medium-size bowl whisk together, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Reserve 6 tablespoons of blueberries and set them aside. Stir into the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the mixture; add eggs and whisk. Then whisk in the melted butter, milk, and vanilla.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, about 1/3 cup ( they will be very full) Press a few pieces of the reserved fruit into the tops of each muffin., then sprinkle with sugar. Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 24 to 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool for five minutes in the muffin tin. Remove the muffing and transfer it to a wire rack. Let cool completely for about 30 minutes.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dessert, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Who Needs A Cookie Edition

Cowboy Cookies

 

After a long day of meetings, phone calls, IT issues, mass transit delays, and traffic, sometimes you just need a cookie. Whether large or small, you can’t stay mad when you have cookies.

Cowboy cookies seem to be a fusion combination of chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, coconut macaroons, and pecan Sandies with a hint of cinnamon.

This cowboy cookie recipe came to prominence courtesy of Family Circle magazine’s First Lady’s Cookie Contest. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookie recipe bested Tipper Gore’s Gingersnaps in 2000, and it remains one of the most popular recipes. In any case, if you’re a fan of chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut, and pecans, this cookie is for you.

 

This particular recipe comes from the Baker By Nature Blog and highlights melted brown butter to add a little extra nuttiness to the cookies. These cookies are also pretty easy to make for the perfect Monday post-work detox.

Cowboy Cookies by Baker By Nature adapted by Still A Chick Lit

1/2 cup unsalted butter melted until browned. (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 light brown sugar, packed (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar, vegan light brown sugar)
1/4 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, golden sugar, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed finely)
1 large egg at room temperature (3 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 1 egg)

1/2 large egg yolk at room temperature (1 tablespoon of whisked egg yolk) ( ½ tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ tablespoon chickpea flour plus ½ tablespoon cold water, mix well, or ½ tablespoon full-fat coconut milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/3 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour. If the flour blend doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (178 grams) of old-fashioned oats (not steel-cut or quick oats)
3/8 cup (60 grams) sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup (64 grams) pecans, roughly chopped plus more for decorating
6 ounces (340 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt optional

Instructions

 

Preheat the oven to 350 (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl using a whisk, beat together the browned butter and both sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Don’t worry if they look a little separated here.

Whisk in the eggs and yolk, beating until well combined. About 45 seconds. Whisk in the vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined.

Scoop 2-inch balls of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2-inches between each ball so they have room to spread.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden and set at the edges, and still slightly soft in the center.

Press extra chocolate chips and pecans on top of cookies when they come out of the oven (optional). Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.

 

Notes

  • Let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes to give the flour an opportunity to hydrate. This is an optional step but helps to ensure a tender crumb.
  • Do not overbake
  • It’s important to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet to allow for carry-over baking.

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Dessert, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- You Deserve A Cupcake Edition

 

There are days when everything seems to go wrong, from sleeping through your alarm clock to printer issues just when you’ve got to run to a meeting. Conversely, there are days when you feel like a rockstar. You had nothing but green lights on the way to work, the barista nailed your coffee order, and you got a parking space close to the entrance instead of in the hinterlands.

Whether you fall into the former or latter category, cupcakes are great for commiseration and celebration. This recipe for a one-bowl vanilla funfetti cupcake comes from The Kitchn

This recipe has been scaled down to make 6 standard-size cupcakes or 4 jumbo cupcakes, perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth without too much temptation lingering around. We adapted the recipe for vegan/vegetarian, low-sugar, and gluten-free dietary needs.

Vanilla Funfetti cupcakes by Ktchn adapted by Still A Chick Lit

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour. If the flour blend doesn’t contain a binder add ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
7/8 cups granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, coconut, turbinado, and raw cane sugar, pulsed finely)

3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/8 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs (2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, vegan egg replacer, or liquid vegan egg replacer= 2 eggs)
3/8 cups canola oil, or melted and cooled unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)
1/2 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2% or, fat-free milk) (non-dairy: unsweetened almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup rainbow sprinkles  (vegan sprinkles)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line 6 muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fold in the sprinkles. Do not overmix or the sprinkles will streak the batter.

Fill each paper liner 3/4 full. Bake until the cakes are lightly browned, spring back when tapped gingerly, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

 

Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Makeover Monday Meals, Quick Springtime Menu Ideas

Makeover Monday Meal- Dinner Edition Soup for Springs on for Spring

 

 

 

 

It’s officially springtime, a time of renewal when our landscape begins to awaken from its winter slumber. However, early spring is a little different, especially in March, the month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The temperature in early spring is on a bit of a rollercoaster. Some days it feels like spring, and other days are cool and cold in some cases.

What kind of meal can you make that is both light and comforting at the same time. This Italian Wedding soup is just the ticket. It’s not heavy, yet it’s filling and tasty. This original recipe comes from the Eating on a Dime blog. The genius of this recipe is the number of ingredients you can buy ready-made frozen meatballs and you can use pre-chopped onions, carrots, and celery to save time. The use of a slow cooker or, Crock-Pot is key to just how easy the soup is to make.

Just put the ingredients together in the morning, set your cooker, and head off for your day ahead knowing that all you have to do is add the pasta and spinach when you get home. In twenty minutes’ time, dinner is ready.

We have adapted the recipe for vegan and gluten-free diets. The substitutions are in the parenthesis.

Notes:

This recipe can be doubled and tripled easily. It freezes well in an airtight container for up to three months.

 

 

Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup Recipe by Eating on A Dime adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 6 hrs

Total Time: 6 hrs 10 mins

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

 

Servings: 6

 

Ingredients

1 pkg frozen chicken meatballs 24 oz (or plant-based frozen vegan meatballs )

1/4 onion chopped

3 large carrots chopped

2 stalks celery diced

3 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

8 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth or unsalted chicken stock (8 cups unsalted vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth)

1 1/2 cup orzo pasta (gluten-free orzo pasta)

4 cups spinach chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese optional to top (Vegan parmesan cheese block like Violife)

Instructions

Place everything but the orzo and the spinach in the crockpot.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

15-20 minutes before you are ready to stir in the orzo and the chopped spinach.

Cook until the pasta is soft.

Serve immediately with fresh parmesan cheese.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Takeout Dinner Edition

A quick and easy takeout meal made at home.

 

 

There’s nothing like takeout after a long day at work or after you’ve run a ton of errands. I think everyone has a favorite local Asian restaurant for takeout. It seems like there’s something magical going on in the kitchens that keep everyone coming back. While it’s certainly faster to call up your favorite takeout place, it’s not necessarily something you want to do all of the time. Not only can it add up in terms of dollars, but it may not be great for your overall health. My great-grandmother never went on a diet, she believed in moderation. I’m not rejecting your favorite Asian takeout out of hand, but you can make your own takeout at home without taking too much time.

My sons have always been vegetable eaters. There were very few vegetables that I had to force on them. In fact, they even eat some of the veggies I hate, including lima beans and green peas.  The best part about this recipe is the ability to switch up the veggies to your liking. This recipe works with corn, green beans, or squash. It’s up to you. It’s also vegetarian and vegan adaptable. Moreover, you can buy the vegetables prepped in the produce section or in the freezer section of your supermarket. You can also put the steak or tofu cubes in the marinade the night before, or you let it marinate for ten minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Stir-Fried Beef with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

1 pound stir-fry beef strips, you can also use a sirloin steak, cut into strips (if using a steak, put it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes, it will make it easier to slice into strips)

Marinade

½ cup low sodium- soy sauce

½ cup low sodium teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam in bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the beef strips in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the meat. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the beef strips and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the meat and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

 

 

 

Stir-Fried Tofu with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

 

1 package of drained extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes

Marinade

½ cup low-sodium vegan soy sauce

½ cup low sodium vegan teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the tofu in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the tofu. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the tofu cubes and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the tofu and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Cast Iron Baked Ziti

 

 

There are basic factors recipes must meet in order to be the Makeover Monday Meal:

  1. It has to have a fairly short prep time, and the meal or dish should come together in less than an hour.
  2. The ingredients have to be easy to find in your grocery store, freezer, or fridge. The use of pantry items is a plus.
  3. The recipe has to be adaptable, even traditional meat recipes.
  4. It should be healthy

 

This week’s recipe for Cast Iron Baked Ziti comes from America’s Test Kitchen. This is a wonderful weeknight meal that comes together quickly and is easily adapted for a vegan/vegetarian or gluten-sensitive diet. The sauce is a combination of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese. Moreover, as good as it tastes when you first make it, the leftovers actually taste better overnight in the fridge.

 

Cast Iron Baked Ziti America’s Test Kitchen

GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon

extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 ounces (3 3/4 cups) ziti (gluten-free ziti)

3 cups water, plus extra as needed

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup) (vegan parmesan cheese)

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (vegan cheese like Daiya Provolone or mozzarella shreds are quite good)

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Toss tomatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and blistered, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, coarsely mash tomatoes using a potato masher.

2

Stir in pasta and water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to vigorous simmer, cover, and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

3

Stir in Parmesan and adjust sauce consistency with extra hot water as needed. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Midweek Bonus Adaptable Recipes

Midweek Bonus Recipe- New England Clam Chowder & a vegan Clam-less Chowder

 

A Midweek meal to warm your soul

New York is the home of great cheesecake, bagels, and pizza. Baltimore’s seafood and crabcakes are worth writing home about. While Chicago is home to great steak, distinctive hotdogs, and deep-dish pizza. New England is known for lobster, lobster rolls, calamari, and chowder.

As a New Yorker, I do love Manhattan-style clam chowder with its tomato base, but I do enjoy a creamy bowl of chowdah. It’s just the right mix of brothiness from the clams, with a hint of smoke from the bacon, soft pillowy potatoes, and cream. It’s delicious.

This recipe comes from a small newspaper out of Maine. I’ve had it for some time now, and the newspaper’s title has faded. I wanted to share this recipe with a few substitutions to fit different dietary needs.

We’ve included the recipe for clam-less chowder, which is a vegan version that uses mushrooms in place of clams. The use of the liquid from soaking dried mushrooms gives the soup an umami punch. We tried to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy, especially on a cold day with oyster crackers.

New England Clam Chowder

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon (low sodium bacon or hickory-smoked turkey bacon)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten-sensitivities use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 4 cups bottled clam juice, divided
  • 1 pound chopped fresh clam meat, with juices
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light cream (2 1/2 cups 2% milk plus 1/2 cup half-and-half, or 1 3/4 cups fat-free milk plus 1 1/4 cups half-and-half) (non-dairy: light coconut, soy, or rice milk) **
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot, and crumble into small pieces; set aside.

Add the butter, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Return the bacon to the pot and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the potatoes.

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Turning back to the onion/bacon mixture, increase the heat to medium-low.

Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the bottled clam juice, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes and clam meat with its juices. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, until the clams are tender.

Add the cream slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

** If you’re using non-dairy milk, use three additional tablespoons of flour

** If you are lactose intolerant, you can use lactose-free milk

New England Clam-less Chowder

  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable or Canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 16 ounces of dried Porcini mushrooms, chopped (cover with hot water and let soak for 30 minutes, reserve the liquid)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten sensitivity use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ pounds of sliced mushrooms (shitake, oyster, or portobello mushrooms are great choices)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light coconut, soy, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon liquid hickory smoke (optional)

Instructions

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over low heat. Add the vegetable oil and butter.
Add onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low. Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the reserved mushroom liquid,  followed by the vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes, sliced mushrooms, and liquid smoke, if using. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

Add the coconut milk in slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Breakfast, Food Glorious Food

Bonus Recipe- Apple Cider Donuts

 

 

The arrival of fall brings cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and apples. Many people take their children to farms to enjoy hayrides, pumpkin patch, and apple picking.  I with apple picking at Blue Orchard in Connecticut where they had an abundance of apple varieties ranging from Cortlandt, Gala, McIntosh, and Empire to name a few.  We also picked up a half-gallon of their sweet apple cider.

While apple pie remains supreme, apple cider donuts are a close second. Many visitors to Blue Orchard left with their cider donuts.  When it’s spiced right, an apple cider donut is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I’d seen the recipe for baked apple cider donuts in the New York Times Food Section and decided to give it a try.  If you don’t have a donut pan, it’s a worthwhile investment and can easily become a weekend or holiday breakfast tradition.

Still A Chick Lit has adapted the recipe for:

  • Vegetarians/Vegans
  • Gluten Sensitivities-Celiac Disease
  • Low and No Sugar Diets

Apple Cider Donuts by New York Times adapted by Still A Chick Lit

 

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick cooking spray

1 ¾ cup/225 grams all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour)

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature (unsalted vegan butter)

¾ cup/165 grams light brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar)

¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, raw cane, turbinado, or coconut sugar)

2 large eggs, at room temperature ( ¼ Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg substitute such as Bob’s Red Mill or Just Eggs, which is made with mung beans)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup/120 milliliters apple cider

 

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans (or 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 10 tablespoons/140 grams butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.

Spoon the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. (You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut from one corner.) Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (If you are making muffins, divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.)

While the doughnuts bake, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl to combine. In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pans, brush with the melted butter and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.

 

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