Archive | January 2013

Clean the Cupboards Chicken Chili

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Okay, so honestly, I did go to the store and buy all the cans of food I used in my chili, but I spent less money on this meal that will stretch throughout the week than I would have trying to cook meals throughout the week, and my goal was to use as many foods already in my cupboards as possible.  I don’t like that so many of the ingredients were out of a can, especially the tomatoes, but I am rather sick right now, and expending the energy to actually cook the chili from scratch was beyond my grasp last night.  Not to mention that because I didn’t start it earlier in the day, and didn’t use the slow cooker, I needed pre-cooked ingredients to get the chili going in less than 5 hours.

This meal is kind of ironic, because in the states, I never really cooked with beans, but when I got to Korea, and found out they were difficult to get, I actually started craving them.  The first care package from my mom had beans in it, and it actually got caught up in agricultural customs through Fedex or UPS for almost a week because of the beans.

When my local E-mart started carrying beans, and even better black beans in cans, I was so excited!  I have learned to use them pretty well since.  I make killer non re-fried beans, and some pretty good chili!  So last night I was pretty confident I could make a huge pot of chili.  We are a bit strapped for cash at the moment because we have to pay for my husband’s plane ticket home in March, so we need  a few cheaper meals that can stretch throughout the week.  This is the first one, and I am going to use it to make the second one later today.

3 cans of S&W Stewed diced tomatoes with Jalapenos

1 can diced reduced sodium Stewed tomatoes

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos

3 cans of beans, various kinds (I used one can of black beans, one can of kidney beans, and one can of Pinto “Chili” Beans

1 Korean red pepper

1/2 cup of sharp cheddar

a dollop of sour cream (optional but good…I didn’t have any 😦 )

1  can of corn

1 can of tomato paste

2 onions

1-2 tablespoons of pulverized garlic.

4 small chicken breasts

Put all the cans of tomatoes into the pot.  Rinse the black and kidney beans, and add them to the pot.  I put the whole can of “chili” beans into the pot cause they were flavored and I wanted a little starch to help thicken the chili.  I basically put in all of the ingredients into the pot, and let it cook for an hour.  I put four chicken breasts in the pot, and let them cook with the chili, and close to the end, I pulled them out and chopped them up.  I sliced the Korean pepper in half length wise, and took out the seeds.  I pulled it out before serving though.

While the chili was cooking, I baked some jalapeno cheddar corn bread according to the recipe at grouprecipes.com.  I followed the recipe exactly except for a few things…I made my own buttermilk by juicing a lemon, and using a tablespoon of the juice in a cup.  Then I filled the rest of the cup with milk.  I let it sit five minutes, and then used it in the recipe.  Also, I ground up my corn in a spice grinder, and used a little more corn than the recipe suggested.  Then I mixed it by hand with the other wet ingredients.  Other than that I followed the recipe.  It turned out good for the most part, and I have to admit, it tasted better the next day.  However, I used a pan that was a bit small and it was difficult to get the middle done.

Once the bread was done, I served up the chili, and bread together.  I sprinkled some sharp cheddar over the top, and if you have sour cream, that would be good too.  I didn’t need any chili powder, or any other seasonings to make it work…It had some spice, and because of so much tomato paste, it was very thick and hearty

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Kung Pao Beef

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I LOVE Chinese food!  When I went to Taiwan in 2006 I had sweet and sour chicken, and the filled buns and we went to a hot pot  restaurant.  I ate wonderfully.  When I came to Korea, I knew since we are so close to China that the cuisine would have to be just as good if not better.  Now I had heard of American Chinese food, but I figured food in this part of the world could really not be that diferent.  Imagine my surprise, when I got to Korea, and found out that what they call Chinese food, is the bland back bean paste with ham in it over noodles or rice called jajangmyun or 자장면.  Look it up…you will see why I was underwhelmed.  They call this Chinese food, although most Koreans know it is really of Korean origin.  I do have one friend who LOVES jajangmyun in the states, but I find it very bland and flavorless.  So, I have made sweet and sour chicken a few times over here, and tonight I attempted my other all time favorite, Kung Pao…only this time, I tried it with beef, not chicken!  Because of the lack of “American Chinese Food” in Korea, I truly want my first meal back in the USA to be American Chinese!  I am so looking forward to that day,but until then, on with cooking!  🙂

Today I got Miracle noodles version of rice.  While I was shopping for supplies for stir fry, my husband and I decided that Kung Pao was sounded AMAZING!  I had beef in the cart, so we decided to try Kung Pao Beef.  I quickly pulled up a recipe online, and pulled up a recipe on my phone.  I found one at allrecipes.com.  Once I had the ingredients, we were set.  I used Korean red pepper paste, and I am not a huge fan of peanuts, so we used cashews.

I played with the recipe a little, as I didn’t have white wine nor white distilled vinegar.  I used Braggs Aminos instead of soy sauce as well.  I followed the marinade instructions using a little apple vinegar instead of the wine.  I let 500 grams of bulgogi cut beef (super thin slices) marinade while I chopped veggies, and made the sauce.  The veggies I used were red and yellow bell peppers, and one onion.  I also used a tablespoon of pulverized garlic.  I put the beef into the pan and used kitchen sheers to chop it up a bit.  when the meat was almost cooked, I put the veggies in.  After about 2 minutes, I added the sauce, and cooked until thick.

I drained two bags of the miracle noodle rice, and rinsed them under hot water for several minutes.  When the beef sauce was thick, I served the rice with the beef.  I was surprised that the rice actually had a good texture, even though the kernels were bigger than regular rice.  I got the white rice feel from them.  I ate one small plate, and got very full.

I will not be using miracle noodles brand all the time, although I may buy some for the rice, or some of their flavors.  I have found that Iherb.com has the best price I have seen for them comparing to the miracle noodles website, amazon.com, and a few other places online.  I paid $2.38/bag as opposed to $3.29/bag on miraclenoodle.com and 2.58 on amazon.com.  I was also able to buy them in smaller portions, rather than 6 bags, and fork out extra money than I wanted to for a sampler.  I got three varieties, and although I am impressed so far, for the next five weeks at least, I will be getting my noodles from my local E-mart.

In both American and Korea, using Iherb.com will give you great deals!  If you use this code, you can save at least 10% off your first order.  Also, I would make a nice little commission off of it as well!  My code is RKW560

Please feel free to use it and share it with your friends to try this awesome website.

If you are in Korea, shipping is a flat $4.00, and all of my items have arrived 7 days after I ordered them.

Pho Real!

My favorite food since middle school is Pho (pronounced Fuh).  Pho is Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup.  My sister had a baby when I was in middle school.  She lived with her in-laws, who were from Laos.  Every time we came over, the family made pho.  It was sooooooooo good!  I loved it each and every time, and I remember the first time I had it, I experienced cilantro.  I had never tired it before, and now it is one of favorite herbs.  For those who are from countries other than America, cilantro is what we call the plant form of coriander.  We call coriander the seeds of cilantro.  they have two different tastes, so we classify them differently.

I have always known pho from that standpoint, from my sister’s in-laws.  She and they always told me that it was Vietnamese beef noodle soup.  Well, when I moved to Korea, I was introduced to chicken pho.  I didn’t know that pho could get any better than beef noodle soup, but it turns out that chicken noodle soup is even better!

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This past week I discovered konjac noodles.  In America they are mostly known as Miracle Noodles or Shirataki noodles.  They are not approved on Phase 2 of the Omni HCG diet, but I have done some research online saying that it is approved as a freebie food for other HCG diets.  So, I decided to try them.  They are very filling. I cooked a few things with them this week, or added them to other meals just to make them more filling, but 2 days ago, I got the idea that they would make the perfect pho noodles!  I did change it up a bit, as I used chicken instead of beef, and it turned out AMAZING!

First, I boiled 5 chicken bouillon cubes with a pot of water, and three chicken breasts.  I boiled it and added garlic, while peeling and slicing 2 onions.  Once the chicken was done, I shredded it, and then I flame roasted the onions

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I roasted it on both sides just until charred.  I used two onions and roasted both of them that way.

I got some of the char off, and added it to the broth.

Next I added some garlic (maybe a tablespoon or two), and powdered ginger to taste.  I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon, as one of the recipes I referenced suggested throwing in a cinnamon stick.  I figured since I have ginger in there, it couldn’t hurt.

I  let the soup continue boiling while I prepared the noodles. The noodles are found in the refrigerator section and are packed in water.

DSC01841To prepare the noodles, you cut the bag open, and rinse the noodles off in hot water.

DSC01842Next I use kitchen sheers to cut them up, as the noodles are quite long.

DSC01843The next step is to wash and slice up some green onions and wash up some bean sprouts and cilantro.  I didn’t have any fresh, so I added a little dried cilantro to the soup to extract as much flavor as I could.

Next up, add a little more ginger or garlic powder to taste, and you may want some salt and pepper if you prefer.

Next serve up some noodles, and make sure there is a lot of broth in a bowl.  Once you are all served up, put the sprouts and green onions over the top.  This is where you add the fresh cilantro if you have it.

Pho tends to be a bit sweet and spicy, so if you are on weight watchers, you can add some hoisin sauce, and some sriracha sauce for very little points.  If you are hcg, you can add a few small pinches of stevia, and some Franks Red Hot sauce (the approved hot sauce).  I honestly used tobacco  cause it is what I have now.

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Each bowl is about 7 Weight Watchers points, and for HCG I have no idea how to measure it, but everything except maybe the noodles are approved.

Hamburger a la Lettuce

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Okay, today is the first day that I have actually used lettuce as a bun…ever!  I will admit, after a few days this diet is getting easier, but I still want a nice chunk of cheese or something!

I woke up today and lost another several lbs, now having lost 10.4 lbs since Wednesday (It is now Saturday).  I am shocked!  I have been living on hamburger for the past few days, and finally cooked up the rest today before it goes bad.  I mixed about 400 grams of ground beef, and also threw in a little rosemary, and parsley.  I mixed it all together and measured out three 112 gram servings (4 oz each), and then made a small little patty with the rest and cooked it up.  Then I oven roasted 1 oz. of sliced onions and 2 oz of sliced tomatoes in the oven with a sprinkle of lemon vinegar.

I actually put too much vinegar on, and the onions are difficult to eat, although the vinegar really complements the tomatoes.

When the veggies were done I put some mustard on the burger and wrapped it up in lettuce.  Easy and fairly quick meal.  🙂

Baked Apples

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Tonight after eating my first HCG diet dinner, I was still incredibly hungry!  I had not eaten any fruit today, and you can have up to two servings in a day, so I decided to bake an apple.  I cored two apples and put them into a glass dish.  I put maybe 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 5 drops of lemon stevia, 1/3 of a cup of water, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of allspice and nutmeg into a different bowl.  I mixed it all together.  Next I sprinkled a little cinnamon over the top of the apples.  then I poured the vinegar mixture over the top of the apples.  I baked them for 30 minutes at 190 degrees C.  Honestly, I could have baked them a little longer for soft apples, but these turned out with a little crunch still, and it was very nice.  I sliced it into sections, and served it in a bowl with a little of the juice poured over the top.  I love that it was not overly sweet, which it would be had I added any sugar, it let the apple shine.  I am going to use the left over juice in the pan drippings to marinade some chicken for tomorrow.  🙂

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Hamburger Salad

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With the urging of my mom, and my three months of fairly unscuessessful attempt at Weight Watchers, I have decided to go on the Omnitrition version of the HCG diet.  This diet has me taking drops three times a day, and eating 4 oz of meat and veggies twice a day, with a snack or two of fruit or wasa crackers.  Today is my first day.  I made some incredible lemon chicken for lunch, with 4 oz of sauteed onions.  The meal size left me wanting, but water got me through until grocery shopping and dinner.

At the store tonight, I bought all the veggies I could find on the approved list, along with some hamburger meat.  I weighed out 4 oz of meat, and one oz of onion per patty.  I used 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and a teaspoon of oregano in the meat for six burgers.  I mixed it together and put it in a dry, non stick pan on low to medium low heat.  Next I sliced up some tomatoes, and washed some lettuce.  I also sliced up some cucumber.

I made my husband a cheeseburger on bread, and I wound up slicing up my hamburger patty and putting it over 1/2 a cup of lettuce, 1 oz of cucumbers, and 1 oz of tomatoes.  I topped the salad off with a sprinkling of mustard, and that was my dinner tonight.  Today is the first day I am eating this diet, and quite frankly, I am STARVING still.  My stomach is literally still speaking to me, after I am done eating.  I really want to say screw it, and just eat another burger on bread with lots of cheese and no veggies.  However, now that I have fruit in the house, I am thinking I may just wait a little while, and try for some fruit for dessert instead.