Dot to Trot

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Archive for the tag “healthy cooking”

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

OK, this video is way longer than my other ones. But the pork is absolutely delicious. While I make 2 slight modifications (1 due to lack of ingredients, the other to add more healthy fat), it isn’t my recipe. I recreated a Gordon Ramsay dish and I have to say the man knows his stuff!

One of the joys of cooking I’ve discovered is using new ingredients. This dish includes two: star anise (which looks like little ninja throwing star!) and cardamom pods. Awesome aromatics that I plan to use again!

Ideas For A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Can’t believe Turkey Day 2016 is already here. I’m up early to start cooking. Here are a few tips to help make this day as enjoy able as possible for those of you doing the cooking:

  1. Have a plan of attack!  It just makes it less stressful if you plan everything out. If you are baking a lot of dishes (like me), plan your time around the turkey. I’m up early to get a head start. My pie is already in the oven. Cranberries are done. That frees me up for the rest of the morning to get my stuffing and Brussels sprouts au gratin dish ready. Both go in the oven when that 22 pound bird comes out.
  2. Butter and Cream…they really do make everything taste better.
  3. Ask for help. My husband asked if he can help me prep. I’m going to put the man to use to keep my stress levels in check.
  4. Download A Free Timer App Now. My timer app is something I can do without, especially when cooking my bird.
  5. Treat yourself.  Once that bird goes in the oven, do something a little special for yourself. Maybe a short walk. Or someone can give you a back rub. You deserve it for all that hard work.  Me? A glass of champagne has become my ritual on Turkey Day.

As an added bonus, here’s a lovely chart to help you with Turkey times.

turkey-chart

Shaking Up My Weekly Menu With New Low Carb Recipes

My weekly menu for January 11 is now up. I'm shaking things up with 7 new recipes this week. Hopefully a few will become part of my regular rotation.

My weekly menu for January 11 is now up. I’m shaking things up with 7 new recipes this week. Hopefully a few will become part of my regular rotation.

My January 11 menu is now posted.  This week’s menu features 7 new recipes I’m trying out. Since all but one recipe come from my cookbook stash, recipes will feature prominently in this week’s posts.

Maybe it’s the new year or a full moon, but this week I’ve got the urge to try something new. Clearly I’m in the mood to cook. Its funny, but I go through periods where I have to cook something new and interesting. It makes my time in the kitchen more fun. I’m also much more focused on measuring and weighing everything. And I’m more mindful of what I eat. Read more…

Tasty Pepper-Lime Chicken

The pepper lime chicken was very tasty. Serve with a lime wedge and salsa to make the flavor burst in your mouth!

The pepper lime chicken was very tasty. Serve with a lime wedge and salsa to make the flavor burst in your mouth!

Yesterday I decided to have a little fun in the kitchen. I had 10 chicken thighs and a lot of limes. While I whipped up my pepper-lime marinade I started thinking about mixing a bunch of spices together instead.  So I split my batch of chicken — half went into the lime marinade and the rest tossed in a spice concoction.  The result was a tasty dinner with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Below you’ll find the two recipes.  While I really enjoyed the rub I made, I think I’ll use garlic salt and not real garlic next time. I ran out of garlic salt last week and forgot to pick some up over the weekend.  The garlic added flavor, but burned in the oven. Also, I think I want to double up on the red pepper flakes to add a bit more heat.

Read more…

Kitchen Adventure With The Husband: Malay Curry Paste (From Scratch)

Spices and herbs needed for the Malay Curry Paste. Clockwise: garlic, shallots, galangal, salt, black peppercorns, turmeric, mace; Center: cut lemon grass.

Spices and herbs needed for the Malay Curry Paste. Clockwise: garlic, shallots, galangal, salt, black peppercorns, turmeric, mace; Center: cut lemon grass. The red chili peppers were already in the food processor.

My husband is focusing his limited culinary skills on making awesome chicken curry. Inspired by my eagerness to learn about spices, he decided to make a curry paste from scratch.

He started looking at the Thai curries in my spice book and got excited when he eyed a recipe for a green curry paste. Unfortunately, all the Thai curries in my book include kapi (shrimp paste) and my husband is allergic to shellfish.  Not deterred, he thumbed through the India section and zeroed in on Malay Curry Paste.

While I had most of the dried spices, we took a trip to our local Asian market for the key fresh ingredients for his curry paste. The Asian market was an eye opener. There was a ton of roots and herbs we’d never heard of before.  An idea for a food challenge started percolating in my mind…more on that in a later post.

We found fresh lemongrass and galangal, but ended up visiting three other stores hunting for ground mace (found at our local grocery store).

Malay Curry Paste taking shape in our food processor.

Malay Curry Paste taking shape in our food processor.

With all the ingredients gathered, it was time to start working in the kitchen together. I did have to show the hubby how to clean, trim and chop the ingredients.  It went surprisingly well, except when he tried to cut a chili pepper while still holding the pepper in his hand.  Thankfully I stopped him in time and he finished seeding the peppers with all of his fingers intact.

Once the ingredients were all chopped and measured it was time to breakout the food processor and blend the ingredients into a paste.

The paste can last for a week in the fridge.

Since I made a turkey yesterday, the hubby is saving the chicken curry for Saturday. He plans on serving the curry over cauliflower rice. That means he’ll need to use my grater to make the rice. I shouldn’t worry about that, right?

Malay Curry Paste
Net Carbs: 12g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 lemon grass stalks, lower third only
  • galangal, thumb-sized piece, peeled and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 6 hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric

Directions

  • Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, adding a little more oil or water if necessary to make a smooth paste. Store in a closed jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*The recipe calls for sunflower oil.

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