Friday, March 6, 2009

Pay It Forward!!!

Pay it Forward Exchange is based on the concept of the movie "Pay it Forward." (Which coincidently, I received at a white elephant gifts exchange last Christmas!)

I will send a hand made gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join the PIF exchange.

All the gifts will be made and posted out "sometime within the next year." How exciting to not know when your surprise package will arrive!

What you do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

This Exchange is only open to those with active websites or blogs.


P.S. To those of you who are wondering (and I sure a couple of you are wondering, you know who you are), I didn't come up with this idea. I commented on my friend's pay it forward blog and CANNOT wait until I receive a homemade gift from her. She's very creative. Also, I can't wait to send you one of my creations. So, hurry... sign up now!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

Here are two versions. A partly homemade version and homemade version. I recommend starting with the partly homemade and then if you and your family like 'em, experiment with the homemade version.

Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
1 package extra lean ground Turkey or Chicken breast/tenders
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
3-4 slice green onions, green part only
1/2 bottle of Kikoman teriyaki sauce, Takumi collection
1 head of iceberg lettuce

Chinese rice noodles
matchstick carrots

Brown turkey/chicken in a generous amount of olive oil. Add water chestnuts and teriyaki sauce. Heat. Garnish with green onions. Serve.

Note: I often stir fry the carrots with the turkey to increase my kid’s veggie intake. They seem to like the carrots. It is more appealing to have the carrots crisp and cool though, so if you are serving it for a gathering, use the carrots as a garnish.

I can usually find that specific teriyaki sauce at Walmart.

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup matchstick carrots
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

About 20 cup-shaped lettuce leaves, such as Bibb (butter lettuce), Boston, or iceberg

Cilantro springs and soy sauce, for garnish

1. Combine soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir until smooth. Place ground chicken or turkey in a medium bowl and separate into 5-6 big lumps. Pour in about half of the soy sauce mixture; mix. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil, swirl to coat, and then add ginger, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook, tossing often, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add seasoned meat, crumbling it in and using a spatula or slotted spoon to spread into a fairly even layer. Let cook for about 1 minute, until it has begun to brown on one side. 3. Turn to cook other side, breaking meat up into large chunks.
When meat is cooked through and very crumbly, add remaining soy sauce mixture; toss to mix. Add red pepper flakes, green onion, sesame oil, and cilantro; toss well. To serve, arrange lettuce cups on a large serving platter and place a generous spoonful on each. Garnish with cilantro springs and additional soy sauce to taste.

Red Curry with Chicken and Veggies

I've been trying to get up the courage to try my own homemade version of a Trader Joe's favorite for more that 3 years now. I think I perfected it on the first try! Tell me what you think. The red curry paste is HOT, so start out slow and add more if necessary. Same with the sugar. After you've made this a time or two, it's super simple to make and clean up is a breeze. Only 2 dirty pans. And, it freezes really well. I usually serve it with Organic green beans from Costoc. (In the freezer section.) Microwave for 5 minutes with 2 T of water in a bowl covered with a dinner plate (or if you have fancy dishes feel free to use those! lol)

Also, sister sent me a recipe for lettuce wraps. They are very similar to the recipe I've shared before, but the sauce is homemade sauce. If you want that recipe email me or I'll try to post it later.

I found Better than Boullion Organic Chicken Base at Costco. Same price, double the size.

Homemade is so vintage, and vintage is so hip right now.

Enjoy! Wish I had a photo to share.


Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables
From Courtney Wallin

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thin strips
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup red potatoes (skins on), diced
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Curry Sauce
1 14 oz can light coconut milk
6 oz chicken broth (I use water + 1 tsp organic chicken base)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1-3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons sugar (-/+ to taste)
1 teaspoon corn starch

1. Sauté chicken in olive oil over med-hi heat. When chicken is almost cooked, add carrots and potatoes. When veggies are almost finished add onions. Stir fry until veggies are tender.

2.Pour curry sauce and coconut over chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.

3.Garnish with cilantro.

Serve over brown rice.