Adaptable Recipes, Holiday Food, Makeover Monday Meals, Weekend Baking Warrior

Monday Makeover Meal Bonus- Puff Pastry

As a divorced mother of two, transitioning from full-time parent to empty-nester was an adjustment while my sons were in college. I didn’t have to cook as much while college was in session, but it was business as usual during their breaks and after they finished grad school.

I’ve embraced life as an empty nester but as someone who likes to be in the kitchen, I had to learn how to scale down my meals and recipes. That’s when I happened up Dessert For Two. Blogger Christine is the author of four cookbooks and has scaled down many recipes for smaller servings, which was right up my alley. I love to bake and puff pastry is one of my favorite things to make and keep in the fridge or freezer.  Christine’s recipe is perfectly sized, fast, and accessible.  I adapted the recipe for dietary restrictions so everyone can make it.

 

Puff Pastry for Two by Dessert For Two adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour with 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum)

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

10 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter (5 ounces), cold (unsalted vegan butter)

1/3 cup ice-cold water

Instructions

In a medium bowl, add the flour and salt. Stir to mix.

Next, cube the butter and then add it to the flour bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dough. It will be very crumbly, and you’re done when the butter is in uniform pieces all about the size of peas.

Next, make a hole in the center of the dough and pour in all of the water. Using a fork, stir to combine the dough.

Flour a cutting board and add the dough. Pat it into a rough square. You will still see chunks of butter and it will seem too dry, but do not add extra water. The dough will come together with each roll.

Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough out in front of you into a rectangle about 10″ long. No need to be too precise here.

Fold the bottom third of the dough over the middle of the dough. Fold the upper third of the dough on top of the middle too. Rotate the dough one-quarter turn, and repeat. Use additional flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.

Roll out, fold, and turn the dough at least 6 or 7 times.

When done, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour, or overnight. Dough may be frozen, too.

Roll out with flour for desired puff pastry use.

Note: Although the recipe is easily doubled, Christine advises against tripling the recipe. If you do double the recipe, be sure to divide it in half before you begin your rolling sessions.

If at any time during the rolling process it seems the butter is getting too soft, pop the dough into the fridge for ten minutes or put it in the freezer for five minutes.  It’s critical that the butter remains chilled in order to achieve the flakey texture puff pastry is known for.

Puff pastry can be used for both sweet and savory appetizers and desserts.

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Adaptable Recipes, Breakfast, Holiday Food

Makeover Monday Meal- Christmas Eve Bonus Recipe

 

It’s Christmas Eve, all the presents are wrapped (hopefully) and placed under the tree. Tomorrow morning will be filled with laughter, smiles, kisses, and hugs.  Happy faces are often followed by empty tummies looking for a morning treat.  To make sure that you won’t miss a moment, these make-ahead cinnamon rolls are just the ticket.

This recipe comes to us from Love From The Oven. We adapted the recipe with substitutions for those who have specific dietary requirements. The total hand’s on time for this recipe is thirty minutes to prep and thirty minutes to bake. Moreover, you can make the rolls in the morning as well without too much fuss. Either way, we are sure your family will love them.

 

Merry Christmas

 

Cinnamon Rolls by Love From The Oven adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

Dough

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

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (unsalted vegan butter)

1 tsp salt

2 eggs ( 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Aquafaba, ½   cup silken tofu pureed with ¼  teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg replacer=2 eggs, liquid mung bean egg replacer=2 eggs)

 

4 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour)

 

2 packets RAPID RISE yeast (this recipe is based on Rapid Rise yeast, and will not work the same with other varieties of yeast)

1 cup warm milk (dairy: whole milk, 2%, or fat-free) (non-dairy: almond, oat, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)

Filling

1/2 cup salted butter, softened (vegan butter) *

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

 

1/2 cup brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, Splenda brown sugar substitute, or organic brown sugar)

 

1-2 TBSP cinnamon

Frosting

4 oz cream cheese, softened (dairy: low-fat cream cheese)  (vegan cream cheese such as Vitalife )

4 tbsp unsalted butter **, softened  (vegan unsalted butter)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp milk (dairy: whole, 2%, fat-free, or light cream) (non-dairy: unsweetened almond, soy, rice, oat, or light coconut milk)

2 cups powdered sugar (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute or organic confectioner’s sugar)

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Dough

Mix butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add egg and mix until combined. Add in flour and Rapid Rise yeast, and stir to combine. Add in milk and mix well until soft smooth dough forms. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead 10-12 times then place into a large bowl that has been well-oiled. Cover and let the dough rise in a draft-free location for at least 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Once risen, punch down the dough and let rest for five minutes. Roll the dough into a 14 x 8-inch rectangle (approximately) on a lightly floured surface. Brush with softened butter for filling. Combine cup sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over buttered dough. Roll up from the long side. Cut into 12 cinnamon rolls.

Place cinnamon rolls in a 13×9-inch pan that has been brushed with butter. At this point, you can cover the rolls with plastic wrap or foil and place the rolls in the fridge to bake the following morning. Or preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and let the dough rise for 30 minutes, then bake.

If placing rolls in the fridge, remove them from the fridge 30-60 minutes prior to the time you will start baking them (60 minutes is best). Let them rest in a warm, draft-free location. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven is heated, bake the rolls for approximately 20 minutes (or until lightly browned). Remove from oven and frost immediately.

Frosting

Stir together softened cream cheese and softened butter. Add in vanilla, salt, and milk and mix until well combined. Add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. If you would like your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time and mix well. If you would like a thinner frosting, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time, and mix well, until desired consistency is reached.

Once rolls are removed from the oven, you can frost them immediately or allow them to cool slightly, then frost. Store any leftover rolls in the refrigerator.

Notes

**- You can use salted butter. If you do, omit the added salt

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Book Lovers, Cooking With My Nanas Cookbook, Food Glorious Food

Cooking With My Nanas Discovering Family, Traditions, & Love in the Kitchen

 

Olive Garden uses the tagline, when you’re here, you’re family. This sentiment isn’t new when it comes to countless family tables across the globe. Family meals are a reflection of culture, traditions, and love on a plate.

According to Ecclesiastes”The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Most of us are aware of the paraphrased version of this quote as; “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

While this saying rings true, there are certain things that a more prevalent now than they once were. More people are embracing vegetarian and vegan diets. Some have issues with food allergies to gluten or have Celiac disease.  Diabetes and hypertension also require changes in diet. This leaves the cook to deal with how to make sure everyone is happy.

While it’s easy to make a plate of vegetables and maybe a fruit salad, family members and friends should feel special when sitting down to eat. A faux Philly Cheesesteak with vegan cheddar cheese, says I love with a warm and cheesy sauce.

Cooking with my Nanas contains recipes with the adaptations built-in. Instead of numerous cookbooks, it allows you to follow the recipe and adapt it to fit your meal.

There’s nothing like old-fashioned macaroni and cheese, and our recipe helps to make one that’s perfect for someone with gluten issues or a sensitivity to dairy milk.

You can currently see a few recipes that are on the Stone Pier Press website. Their focus is on plant-based recipes and we’ve contributed three recipes to their free newsletter.

We would love your support to bring this wonderful cookbook to a bookstore to you in the near future. Please follow us on Instagram at @chameinc and @stillachicklit. We are on TikTok @chamtherese

 

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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, 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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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals, Take Out Favorites From Your Kitchen

Makeover Monday Meal- Turn Takeout into Dine-in

Almost everyone has a go-to place for great takeout. Whether you go on a Friday, Saturday, or even Tuesday night, there’s nothing like ordering your favorites and digging in when you get home.

However, there are times when you just don’t feel like making the drive. Granted, there are a plethora of delivery options available, but many of them require a minimum order to get free delivery, and if you’re in the mood for one thing, it’s just not worth it.

For many people, lo mein with its noodles stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp in a delectable sauce, ticks all the boxes. Thankfully Cooking Professionally has a recipe for Beef Lo Mein that is not only delicious but it can also be prepared for two in twenty minutes. Moreover, by making it at home, you can control the level of sodium and carb intake.

With so many supermarkets and grocery stores offering pre-chopped and julienned vegetables in their produce sections, you can save yourself some more time. This is a great and economical way to enjoy your favorite takeout meal at home.

If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan:

Omit the beef and increase vegetables *

Replace the oyster sauce with an equal amount of low-sodium or regular soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons of white sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Swerve, Splenda, or monk fruit sweetener. *

To make it low-carb instead of Lo Mein noodles or egg noodles, you can use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Instead of blanching in hot water for 2 minutes, blanch the vegetable noodles for 4 minutes and set them aside. *

 

Beef Lo Mein recipe by Cooking Professionally adapted Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

• 14 ounces Lo Mein noodles (or cooked egg noodles) *

9-ounce beef sirloin (tenderloin/rump or any tender meat cut) *
• 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
• 2-3 spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 bell pepper, julienned
• 2-3 cabbage leaves, cut into thin slices
• 5-6 snow peas
• 1 small carrot, julienned
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the sauce:
• 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
• 4 tablespoons oyster sauce *
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or rice vinegar)
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
For the marinade
:• 1 tablespoon sauce mix
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
optional garnishes:• chopped spring onions• chili oil, to taste

Directions

Step 1

To begin, blanch the noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle in a bit of sesame oil, mixing well. Set aside.

Step 2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 3

To prepare the vegetables, wash and slice them. Set aside.

Step 4

Cut the beef steak into thin slices, going against the grain. In a separate bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the beef slices. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Step 5

Heat the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of oil, then add in the beef slices.

Step 6

Flatten the beef, searing for 1-2 minutes, then continue to stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then, follow with the vegetables, adding in the hard ones first. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 7

Make space in the middle of the wok, add in the noodles, and pour in the sauce mixture.

Step 8

Toss all the ingredients and noodles well for 2-3 minutes to combine evenly, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Step 9

If desired, top the dish with extra chopped spring onions and chili oil. Serve immediately.

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Weekend Comfort Meal- Fresh pasta in Bolognese Sauce

When it comes to comfort meals, pasta is right up there at the top of the list. Spaghetti, ziti, rotini, fusilli, linguine, cavatelli, and Fettucine are just a few in a vast number of shapes. They are served in a variety of delicious sauces or gravies, depending on who you ask, but the bottom line is, the sauce feels and tastes like love.

With a plethora of responsibilities at work and at home, taking the time to make pasta and a Bolognese sauce during the week isn’t something that aligns with most schedules. However, if you want to treat your family, friends, and yourself to something wonderful, this recipe for homemade pasta and Bolognese sauce is for you.

Homemade pasta is a snap. It can be made with an old-fashioned pasta machine. If you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you can buy the pasta attachment. Both are reasonably priced and make for a good investment.

This recipe has been adapted for:

  • Vegans/Vegetarians
  • Gluten-Sensitivities or Celiac Disease

Fresh Whole Wheat Homemade Pasta by Love and Lemons adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus ½ cup white whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled (gluten-free all-purpose flour)

3 large eggs  (Just Eggs liquid vegan egg replacer or ¾ cup silken tofu pureed with ½ teaspoon baking soda)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place the flour on a clean work surface and make a nest. Add the eggs, olive oil, and salt to the center and use a fork to gently break up the eggs, keeping the flour walls intact as best as you can. Use your hands to gently bring the flour inward to incorporate. Continue working the dough with your hands to bring it together into a shaggy ball.

Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. In the beginning, the dough should feel pretty dry, but stick with it! It might not feel like it’s going to come together, but after 8-10 minutes of kneading, it should become cohesive and smooth. If the dough still seems too dry, sprinkle your fingers with a tiny bit of water to incorporate. If it’s too sticky, dust more flour onto your work surface. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Dust 2 large baking sheets with flour and set aside.

Slice the dough into four pieces. Gently flatten one into an oval disk. Run the dough through the pasta machine three times on level 1 (the widest setting).

Set the dough piece onto a countertop or work surface. Fold both short ends in to meet in the center, then fold the dough in half to form a rectangle (see photo above).

Run the dough through the pasta roller three times on level 2, three times on level 3, and one time each on levels 4, 5, and 6.

Lay half of the pasta sheet onto the floured baking sheet and sprinkle with flour before folding the other half on top. Sprinkle more flour on top of the second half. Every side should be floured so that your final pasta noodles won’t stick together.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Run the pasta sheets through the pasta machine Repeat with the remaining dough. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Bolognese Sauce

2 celery stalks, chopped fine

2 carrots, chopped fine

1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped finely

3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons, fresh basil, chiffonade-style

2 tablespoons, fresh parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound ground beef (Vegan Ground Meat)

¼ cup tomato paste

1 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed,

¼ cup red wine

1 ½ teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

Virgin Olive Oil

In a large pot, heat olive oil over a medium flame until hot. Add the celery, carrots, and onions. Turn the heat down, and sauté for six to eight minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook until it begins to darken and begins to caramelize. Add the ground beef and cook through.  Add the red wine, followed by the tomatoes, herbs, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally and taste to adjust seasoning.

 

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Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On Edition

 

Most of the country has been enjoying a longer Indian summer than usual. However, fall is beginning to make its presence known with temperatures beginning to dip all across the country. Although many are sorry to see the warmer temps go, I enjoy the cooler temperatures. Sleeping weather is also a perfect time to enjoy a nice bowl of soup.

Squash is available year-round everywhere, but there are seasons when certain varieties are more plentiful. I love the hearty gourds like acorn and butternut squash.  Both are versatile and can be used in many recipes. This Makeover Monday puts the spotlight on butternut squash soup.

This soup has been on my fall and Thanksgiving table for many years. The recipe is very simple, and you can adjust the ingredients according to your flavor palate. It’s a wonderful combination of roasted butternut squash, sweet onions, and ginger.  To make it even easier, you can buy butternut squash that’s already prepped. It’s a time saver.

This recipe is vegan/vegetarian, low-carb, and gluten-free.

Total Time: Approximately 1 hour 

Active time: 15 minutes Estimate

Inactive time: 45 minutes

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

2 large butternut squash (Cut in halves and seeded) (or 2 packages of pre-cut butternut squash)

4 medium sweet onions, rough chopped

1 small fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Virgin Olive Oil

4 ½ – 5  cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Split the butternut squash in half and take the seeds out. Line a large sheet pan with foil. Place the squash on the pan, skin down, and drizzle olive oil until the squash is coated. Place it in the preheated oven and roast it for 45 minutes to an hour. When you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, take it out and let it cool to room temperature.  Once it’s cool enough to handle scoop the softened squash into a bowl.

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are soft, then add the minced ginger, and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock and the squash. Using an immersion blender, blend the onions, ginger, and butternut squash. Add the remaining vegetable stock, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for ten minutes. How thick or thin the soup is up to you. If you like a thinner soup, add more stock, if a thicker soup is to your liking, add less.

Tips

  • You can save money buying fresh butternut squash and cubing it yourself. Split the squash in half, and then into quarters. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin, then cut into medium-sized chunks.
  • You can use unsalted or low salt vegetable broth
  • You can also use unsalted chicken stock or broth to add a little more depth to the soup
  • How much ginger you use is up to you. Remember, you can add more ginger, but you can’t take it out. If you use a bit more than intended and it has a little too much bite, you can a little applesauce to add a bit of sweetness and tamps the spiciness down.
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender. Be careful to do it in small batches, and make sure the mixture isn’t too hot to avoid making a mess.
  • You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 11 days
  • This soup freezes beautifully in an airtight container for up to three months.

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Adaptable Recipes, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Makeover Monday Meals, Slow Cooker

Makeover Monday Meal- Dinner Edition

 

This Monday meal is just right for autumn and football season. When the temperatures drop, this chili will warm you up without weighing you down. It also comes together fairly quickly. Serve the chili alone, topped with cheese or over rice. It also goes well with guacamole and chips.

This is a family pleaser and perfect for Monday Night Football.

The recipe includes adaptations for vegetarians and vegans. It’s also gluten-free and high protein.

 

Chicken Chili by Still A Chick Lit

 

 

4 small or 3 large sweet onions, diced (Vidalia or Texas sweet)

2 green peppers, medium-diced

3 red peppers, medium-diced

1 orange pepper, medium-diced

1, yellow pepper, medium-diced

1 can low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth

3 cans Campbells tomato soup

3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste

1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey)

1 pound ground chicken breast (or ground turkey breast)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Add Canola or vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add your diced onions and peppers. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground chicken and chicken breast in, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cover and let cook through, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken is no longer pink, add the chili powder and stir well. Add the beans and tomato soup. Mix well. Lower the flame and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Vegan Substitution

  • 2 Packages of vegan ground meat
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 unsalted vegetable stock or broth

 

To Make Using a Slow Cooker

  1. Cook the ground chicken separately in a skillet until cooked through. Set aside. Clean the skillet and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat.
  2. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a slow cooker with the beans, tomato soup, seasoning, and chicken stock.
  3. Cover and cook on high until chili has thickened, about 4 hours. Or cook on low for 6 hours.

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