Thursday, August 14, 2014

Greek Pasta Salad

Pasta salad just sounds so good sometimes when it’s so hot that you don’t want to cook dinner. Today was one of those days. It’s actually not that hot, but it was 3:00 and I just wanted dinner to be done. I love dinners that can be done WAY before dinner time. Especially on days where the kids are especially annoying:)

This dish is so fast and beyond delicious.

20 oz. tortellini (I use Buitoni)
1 15oz can medium olives, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 oz. feta cheese
3-4oz pepperoni, sliced

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water until cool. Mix with olives, onion, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese and pepperoni. Top with dressing (recipe to follow.)

Greek Dressing
1/3 cup plus 1T olive oil
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3/4 t onion powder
3/4 t spicy brown mustard
2 t sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients into a jar or a container with a lid and shake. Pour over your favorite salad.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I was craving lettuce wraps the other day and immediately remembered about after I had Reese and my friend, Emily, brought me dinner. As a 2 day old she developed a severe milk allergy and I had to immediately go off all dairy if I wanted to continue breast feeding. I thought for sure I was doomed because it was appalling at how many things had dairy in it. Emily saved me with these. They were so delicious and flavorful. Who says you can’t eat healthy AND have it be super good! I also loved how the meat wasn’t ground. Usually lettuce wraps call for ground turkey or chicken. I loved how this recipe used whole chicken breasts, diced small. It will sure to be one of your favorites!

Chicken: 3  tablespoons oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1  can water chestnut
1 can mushroom
1/2 onion, diced small
2-3 garlic cloves
4 -5 leaves butter head lettuce (or iceburg is fine too)

Special Sauce 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard 
2 teaspoons water
1 -2 teaspoon red chile paste (depending on how spicy you like them)
2 garlic cloves, minced

 Stir Fry Sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.  Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well. Eventually add your desired measurement (depending on how spicy you want it) of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.

Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.  Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
3 Keep oil in the pan, keep hot. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.

When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are. With the pan still on high heat, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to pan. Add stir fry sauce to pan, saute mixture a couple minutes then serve in lettuce leaves. Top with Special Sauce. ENJOY!!!