Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice aka riced cauliflower is all the rage now, so in my bid to be trendy I created this recipe. It’s not quite rice, but it’s a decent substitute for those of us watching our carbs and waistlines. I used canola oil nonstick spray to fry the ingredients on a nonstick pan, and it worked surprisingly well.

The vegetables are flexible. I used what I had on hand in the fridge.

Ingredients (serves 3)

1 small head or 1/2 large head cauliflower

1 large carrot

Canola oil cooking spray

1 large egg

3 celery stalks

1 small onion

1 large wedge of cabbage

4 scallions

1/2 breast of roast chicken

1 Tb soy sauce to taste

Directions:

Cut a raw cauliflower into pieces small enough to feed into a food processor. I used the stems as well as the florets. Use the grater tool and you will have riced cauliflower. You could grate large chunks of the cauliflower by hand if you don’t have a food processor. Place the riced cauliflower between some paper towels to dry.

Peel and grate the carrot and set aside.

Beat the egg in a small bowl. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and spray it with canola oil spray. Fry the egg on one side and flip it to fry on the other side. Transfer to a cutting board and roll it up, cut it lengthwise, then into strips crosswise. Set aside.

Spray the pan again. Chop onion and celery and fry until onion softens and begins to brown. Add the cauliflower rice. Thinly slice the cabbage and stir it in. Chop the white parts of the scallions and stir them in. Add the grated carrots. Let the vegetables cook until they are soft and browned.

Chop the chicken and add it to the pan. Stir until chicken is heated. Stir in the sliced eggs and soy sauce. Chop the green parts of the scallions to garnish each serving.

4 Bananas Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Muffins

banana loaf

I used four soft, speckled bananas to add natural sweetness and rich banana flavor to this delicious bread with minimal sugar. The bananas, brown sugar and just 3 tablespoons of brown butter make this bread moist.  Add strawberries for a taste of strawberry jam or blueberries. Add chocolate chips for a nice gooey sweetness.

strawberry banana bread

muffMakes one loaf or 12 muffins.

speckled bananas

Ingredients

1/3 cup 1% or skim milk

1 tsp lemon juice

3 Tb unsalted butter, sliced

1 cup unbleached white flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup finely ground whole wheat flour

¼ cup flax seed

A dash each of nutmeg and cinnamon.

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1 Tb turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top.

4 bananas (1 ½ cups mashed)

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar pieces

3/4 cup roughly chopped strawberries (optional)

1/2 cup blueberries (optional) If you are using frozen blueberries, defrost them and drain them before adding

½ cup walnut and/or pecan pieces

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F.

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Add lemon juice to milk. Let it sit while you are mixing the other ingredients. The milk should curdle, resembling buttermilk. (You can skip this step and use buttermilk instead if you prefer).

Heat butter slices in a small skillet on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring every so often, until the butter turns golden brown. Remove from heat. You can do this while sifting the dry ingredients as long as you keep at eye on it.

Sift both flours, baking soda, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and flax seed.  Stir well to combine ingredients.

whipped egg and sugarWhip eggs in mixer until well combined. Add brown sugar and whip on high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy. This is called a ribbon.

Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher. Add them to the egg mixture, along with brown butter and vanilla. Whip for another minute.

With mixer on low, add half the milk and half the flour mixture, and then repeat. Mix only until ingredients are almost combined. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips and/or blueberries (if using) until they are just combined.

Spray a loaf pan or muffin tins with non-stick spray. (because of the low fat content of the ingredients, you should spray paper muffin cups with non-stick spray if you choose to use them.) For extra buttery flavor, wipe a smear of butter at the bottom. Pour in batter. Sprinkle the top with turibindo sugar.

Place on the middle shelf of preheated oven. Bake loaf 1 hour- 65 minutes, muffins for 35-40 minutes,  just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove bread from pan and let cool on a rack a few minutes before slicing.

banana bread with cream cheeseDelicious spread with cream cheese!

French Toast with Fresh Fruit

This family favorite is a weekend morning treat after a week of eating muesli. Although French toast made with half-and-half is rich and sublime, this lower fat version, made with 1% milk is really good. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and piled high with fresh peaches and strawberries with a hint of maple syrup, it makes a satisfying breakfast.

Serves 3:

3 large eggs
¼ cup 1% milk
1 tsp cinnamon
Several shakes of nutmeg
8 slices of raisin bread
About 1 tsp butter
1 large peach
6 large strawberries
3 Tb maple syrup

 

Whip eggs with milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat a nonstick frying pan and move butter stick across it until it is coated with butter (about 1 tsp). Dip slices of raisin bread into the egg mixture so it begins to saturate the bread but not make it soggy. Place bread in the pan and fry over medium heat a few minutes until it turns light brown, then flip and fry again.

Serve with fresh cut peaches, strawberries or what’s in season. You can heat frozen fruit and serve as well. I like to spread the fruit on a plate and pour about 3 Tb of maple syrup over the fruit, then microwave for a minute. No need to add extra syrup to the French toast.

Twice Cooked Fajitas

For Cinco de Mayo I am making fajitas: spicy from two kinds of chili,  fragrant with lime, and tipsy on beer.  This recipe was inspired by my late brother-in-law and Texas barbecue master, Larry Luna. The juicy and flavorful chicken is twice cooked, first on the grill, then braised in the oven with its marinade.  I made  chicken fajitas  here, but you can also make them with skirt steak. Marinade the steak for at least 3 hours, grill it whole, then cut across the grain into strips before braising it in the marinade.


Serves 4

¼ cup boiling water

3 dried chilies such as Chile California, stems removed

2 jalapeños

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1 cup light-colored beer such as Tecate

2 limes, juiced; zest peeled in long strips

1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast fat trimmed and sliced,  or  2-3 lb skirt steak.

1 small onion, sliced

4 bell peppers (1 red and 3 green), seeded and cut into strips

2 Tb olive oil

If using skirt steak, slice against the grain and cut into strips. Trim off the fat. Using a tenderizing mallet, pound each strip so that the tenderizing marks show. This is a good way to work out your frustrations and aggressions.

Add chilies to boiling water and let soak for at least 15 minutes. Peel lime zest with vegetable peeler into a long strip, then juice limes. Pour beer, 1 Tb olive oil, and lime juice in blender. Add chilies, jalapeños, soaking water and other seasonings to beer mixture. Whir in blender. Trim fat off of breast, cut into strips, and marinate for an hour or more.


Place chicken on grill, reserving marinade. Put bell peppers and onion in a grill wok and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Grill over medium heat until chicken and onions and bell peppers begin to char. (You can also use a wok or heavy pan over the stove).

Heat oven to 300’ Pour marinade into a casserole or clay pot. Add cooked chicken, peppers and onions and lime zest. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and avocado slices. Serve with tortillas, Frijoles pintos (Mexican pinto beans) and  Sonia’s guacamole.

Fish Tacos! less greasy – Tacos de Pescado! menos grasa

???????????????????????????????I first tasted Baja-style fish tacos in a fast food place by the beach in Los Angeles. I thought they were the most wonderful thing! But I needed to find a less greasy alternative.

I make a lighter version (361.5 calories for 2 tacos) of those fried fish tacos, using Barbecued Salmon or Poached Salmon. Substitute lime for lemon in the recipe.

Or try my spicy pan-fried rock cod, sole or salmon with Tajín (chili powder with lime and salt) in the recipe below. Salmon is rich in omega-3, the healthy fat.

I add lots of fresh vegetables in the slaw: cabbage, radishes, cilantro and green onions. Top with lime juice, salsa and avocado chunks or  Sonia’s guacamole.

Pan Fried Fish Tacos Serves 3 hungry people

Crunchy yet still not as greasy as deep-fried fish tacos, I made these with dry masa harina (corn flour) that I used for making tortillas or tamales. They are  not as coarse as cornmeal. The tamale masa harina is coarser than tortilla masa harina. Use whichever you have on hand.

2 large fillets (1  1/2 pounds) of rock cod (red snapper), sole or salmon. Remove any bones and the skin

2 – 4 Tb canola oil as needed

1/2 cup masa

1  tsp salt

several grinds black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1 tsp Tajín (tah -Heen) (chili powder with lime and salt)

juice of 2 limes plus a cut up lime for serving

Combine masa, Tajín, salt and pepper on a plate.

Rinse fish well then cut up into 3 to 4 inch pieces. Roll them in the masa.

Heat oil until hot. Place fish pieces in oil and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, until it browns. Turn over and cook until golden brown on the other side. If necessary, add another spoonful of oil between batches.

Sprinkle with lime juice. Serve with vegetable slaw as below.

Taco Ingredients: Makes 6 tacos

6 corn tortillas

Slaw:

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1 cup shredded cabbage

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

2 large radishes, sliced

3 green onions (scallions), sliced thin

juice of 1 lime, plus another lime to squeeze on tacos

salsa to taste

salt to taste

avocado chunks or Sonia’s guacamole to taste

Mix chopped vegetables together, adding a bit of salt and juice of one lime.

Squeeze juice of another lime on the fish.

Heat tortillas on comal or heavy frying pan until pliable. These are awesome with homemade

Fill with fish and cabbage slaw. Top with guacamole, more lime juice and salsa.

This recipe can also be viewed at

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbooks.asp?cookbook=288991

Nutrition Facts
3 Servings 
Amount Per Serving
Calories 361.5
Total Fat 17.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.0 g
Cholesterol 36.4 mg
Sodium 185.1 mg
Potassium 1,069.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40.2 g
Dietary Fiber 11.4 g
Sugars 3.5 g
Protein 18.8 g
Vitamin A 18.0 %
Vitamin B-12 26.1 %
Vitamin B-6 49.1 %
Vitamin C 162.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 11.7 %
Calcium 8.5 %
Copper 24.0 %
Folate 31.0 %
Iron 14.6 %
Magnesium 16.4 %
Manganese 15.0 %
Niacin 39.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 27.3 %
Phosphorus 23.2 %
Riboflavin 27.1 %
Selenium 35.9 %
Thiamin 22.7 %
Zinc 9.4 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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