Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Aunt LoLo's Pasta Salad

I love to make pasta salad in the summer time. It's perfect - boil up the noodles in the morning when the house is still (relatively) cool, mix everything up and stick it in the fridge until dinner time. Perfect!

My salads are always different, every time I make them, depending on what I find in the pantry and refrigerator...and what I'm in the mood for.

Here's today's version.
Aunt LoLo's Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8-12 as a side dish
(This is great in the summer - you can boil the noodles in the morning while the house is still cool, and have dinner ready whenever you are.)

1 lb pasta
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 can crab
1/4 cup chopped olives
1/2 lb frozen peas and carrots
3 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the pasta according to directions, then drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well and remove to a large bowl.
Add in the Italian dressing, crab meat, chopped olives, frozen peas and carrots, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and eggs and stir to combine.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chinese Pork and Watercress Soup

My husband, Lo Gung, made the yummiest soup. It is very simple - watercress and lean pork, simmered together with some honey dates. Chinese soups are great because they use the leanest cuts of meat available, skim off any fat that does manage to make its way into the soup, and boil the pot until ever last possible vitamin is wrung out of the vegetables...and into the delicious, dark broth.

The remaining chunks of meat and vegetables can be eaten over rice, but are usually dipped in soy sauce as they have relinquished all their natural flavors to the soup!

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Chinese Pork and Watercress Soup
Serves 6
In a soup pot, combine:
5 honey dates
1/2 lb lean pork (I used two 1" pork chops)
Two generous bunches watercress
Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the broth is rich and dark.
Tip: While simmering the soup, place a wooden chopstick along one rim of the pot, and put the lid on top of that, so that it is slightly open. This will prevent boil-overs.
(Yes, I always leave the lid ajar while simmering soup...but for some reason, simply leaving it ajar does not prevent boil overs - you must use the chopstick. Infuriating, but true.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Moving Cookie

These are based on a recipe for Ranger Cookies from my every-trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. We've been looking for a good "travelling" cookie for Wonder Daddy to pack on long bike rides and runs- after one bite he looked at me and declared "These are the perfect cookie!" At fifty calories per cookie, 1 gram of protein, and almost a gram of fiber, I think I might agree. Next time, we'll use whole wheat flour, and cut the sugar back- I think the white sugar could be cut out entirely, and these would still be plenty sweet.

The cookies are cake-like and moist, and with the cinnamon and applesauce are really delicious, kind of like concentrated cider. The coconut and oats give them a nice chew, and the dried fruits plump up and moisten. These would also make a delicious treat for anyone on a dairy-free diet.

Wonder Daddy's Traveling Cookie
makes about 36 cookies

1/2 cup applesauce 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla 3 Tbsp flax seed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup oats 1 1/4 cup flour 1/2 cup dried blueberries 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1 cup coconut

Mix wet ingredients, then stir in dry ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

Nutrition information from this website

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 22 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 1%Iron 2%
Nutrition Grade C

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mango Pudding

This was one of my favorite desserts when I lived in Hong Kong, and I love to order it whenever I go for dim sum. This can be made with just about any juicy fruit - peaches, apricots, raspberries, strawberries...whatever you've got.

Mango Pudding (easy way):
Serves 12

12 oz. Evaporated Milk (skim is fine)
2 Mangoes, diced and divided
1 large box flavored gelatin (8 serving size) (Use mango if you can find it, but I used pineapple flavor, and it was divine with the mangoes!)
2 cups boiling water

In a medium bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Stir well to combine.

In a food processor or blender, puree 3/4 of the diced fruit. Add the evaporated milk and blend to combine.

Stir the milk and the water mixtures together, mixing very well, and pour into an 8x8 glass pan.

Throw in the reserved mango chunks, cover the pan with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate until firm (about 3 hours).

For those that care about this sort of thing, this dessert comes out to about 100 calories per serving - it's very refreshing on a hot day, and won't ruin your diet!