Friday, January 18, 2019

easy weeknight slow-cooker orange-ginger chicken

This is one of the simplest weeknight meals I make: white and brown rice mixed (in the rice cooker), orange-ginger chicken breasts in the slow cooker, and green beans (organic frozen: I saute them in the frying pan with olive oil and sea salt). 

I borrowed this recipe from Diethood, but of course have made it my own (I'm not sure what's "diet" about it--it's just really good flavors).

You'll need:
  • 4 chicken breasts, with no skin
  • 3/4 c. orange marmalade (I sometimes use Korean yuzu/citron)
  • fresh ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • minced garlic cloves
  • oil for greasing the liner of your slow cooker
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • for topping: toasted sesame seeds, sliced green onions, red pepper flakes
Do this: 

Grease your slow-cooker liner, place the chicken breasts inside, and in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients except for the toppings. I cooked mine on low heat for about 5 or 6 hours.

Serve over rice with the toppings, and make sure you don't put the red pepper flakes on your childrens' portions. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

"dry curry"

This is my version of what Japanese people call "dry curry," which means it's not saucy. Although this one was pretty spunky.

There are no measurements here! 

You'll need:
  • ground beef and pork mix
  • grapeseed or other neutral-flavored oil
  • carrots
  • onions
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • kabocha pumpkin (I didn't use it this time, but sometimes do)
  • cherry tomatoes, or a can of chopped tomatoes
  • turmeric
  • curry powder
  • cinnamon
  • parsley
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • tomato paste
  • frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • a little water
  • lemon juice at the end
Do this:

Saute the veggies in oil and then steam in a little water to soften. Add in the meat and cook till done, then add the rest of the ingredients (adding in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice at the end). Serve over rice. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

lentil curry: it's what's for dinner

Dinner tonight was a favorite of mine: lentil curry plus some salad-y side dishes, which included super-duper coleslaw (I added cucumbers, sweet red peppers, cabbage, carrots, and homemade coleslaw dressing), cold marinated beets (with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt), and boiled eggs with seasoned salt. I took the leftover boiled eggs and made deviled eggs, and golly, they're almost gone--all four of us love those.

Cook the lentils in water with some veggie bouillon, salt, and a bay leaf, add in some diced carrots to soften, and separately, in a frying pan, saute onions and garlic, then add in the cooked lentils and carrots, some salt, curry powder, lemon juice, turmeric, and parsley (I loosely base this recipe off of one in the More with Less cookbook).

I really enjoyed all the textures and flavors in this meal. Gochisohsamadeshita!

Friday, January 4, 2019

extremely easy mexican chicken and rice

This was one of the easiest meals ever, so full of flavor, and a Mamatouille original.

You'll need:

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs (I remove as much of the skin as I can)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • chili powder to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
  • salt
  • powdered cumin to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Do this:

Whack it all in the slow cooker on high for 7 hours, then shred the chicken with two forks and serve over rice.

Our toppings: sliced black olives, salsa, avocado, and soy yogurt that I mixed with peeled and chopped cucumber, cumin, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

new year's black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread

My paternal grandma, Mommee Melt, would've been proud of me today: I made the traditional black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens that she always insisted on for good luck on New Year's Day. The only thing is, I was two days late. Good thing I'm not superstitious!

I just made up my own recipes for the greens and peas.

You'll need:

  • one small bag of dried black-eyed peas
  • salt and pepper
  • bacon
  • green beans
  • bay leaves
  • plenty of fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh mustard greens
  • one onion, chopped
  • olive oil
Do this:

Bring the dried black-eyed peas to a boil in a pot of water, then turn it off and leave it for an hour or two. Come back later and bring back to the boil and add bay leaves. When they're starting to soften, add salt, pepper, chopped bacon, chopped green beans, and whole cloves of garlic. Simmer till it's kind of soupy.

For the greens, wash and chop them into bite-sized pieces. In a frying pan, saute the onion in olive oil till soft, then add in some minced fresh garlic, the greens, and a little bit of water. Then season with salt. 

Serve with cornbread, and make sure you save some of the pot liquor from the greens and black-eyed peas for the cornbread too. And don't forget sliced tomatoes doused in seasoned salt.

Happy 2019!

homemade pumpkin-pie spice, and coconut-flour pumpkin pancakes

I can't buy "pumpkin pie spice" here in Japan, but I can buy all the separate ingredients, so going on My Baking Addiction's recipe, I made my own and stored it in a jar: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 1.5 teaspoons ground allspice and 1.5 teaspoons ground cloves.

I make my own coconut-flour pancakes with the spice.

You'll need:

  • 10 eggs (yes, really!)
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a couple pinches of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • about 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin (or homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • coconut oil for frying
Do this:

Beat the eggs and mix in all the other ingredients except for the coconut oil, which you'll use in the frying pan to cook these puppies. Watch them carefully because they burn easily! 

My pumpkin puree already had sugar in it (not my choice but the only thing available on iHerb), so I didn't add any sweetener. We ate these just with butter.

corn and black bean salad: the one j-bean loves

Purple onions and cans of black beans are pretty hard to come by in Japan, but when I can find them, this is a versatile side dish/salad that three out of four of us love.

You'll need:

  • a can of corn, drained
  • a can of black beans, drained
  • cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped
  • rice vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sweet red pepper, chopped
  • purple onion, chopped
Do this:

Mix it all together and chill in the fridge for a bit for all the flavors to meld.