bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

One of my favorite comfort foods is a delicious rice bowl, with a great topping or plain. Rice is my downfall carb, and I can’t seem to shake it! This recipe is for a favorite of mine, and it’s so easy to make!

PLEASE NOTE:  This recipe is *not* vegan, please be aware that not all of my recipes will be.

Recipe: Savory Turkey & Spinach Bowl
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Asian-Inspired
Author: Faith
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Slightly sweet, very savory turkey and spinach top a steaming bowl of sticky rice. Perfect with miso and tea on a chilly day!
Ingredients
  • Turkey and Spinach Bowl
  • 2 C Cooked Sticky Rice (short or medium grain), prepared according to package directions.
  • 1/2 lb Ground Turkey
  • 3 T Olive or Coconut OIl
  • 1 Clove Fresh Garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Dark Agave Nectar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 C Baby Spinach Leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 C White Onion, chopped or minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Root, crushed (optional)
  • 1 T Soy Sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside, covered with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  2. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat along with garlic, onions and ginger. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the cinnamon, salt and soy sauce, stirring well.
  3. Add the spinach to the pan and toss to coat with the oil mixture. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until just slightly wilted, turning often with tongs. Add the agave and give it another stir to coat.
  4. Top the rice with spinach mixture and serve!

 

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

I admit that, while I like ice cream, I don’t eat it much. It’s an unnecessary expense and I have problems processing dairy, so ice cream may taste great but it comes with the nightmare of borderline lactose intolerance. But, I also love to cook and started experimenting in the kitchen, and I came up with this great-tasting dairy-free ice cream made with almond milk!

Okay, so technically it’s more of an ‘ice milk‘, but that’s only if you make it the ‘easy way’. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

The first thing you should know about this post is that it’s the first of my healthy living posts, and it’s not only dairy free but can also be vegan and gluten free, as well. It all depends on you and your preferences and dietary needs.

This particular version of the recipe is raw, gluten & dairy free as well as being vegan (and tasty!) – so, what’s the easy way? Well, I’m about to show you!

Recipe: Raw dairy free strawberry ice cream!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Faith
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Quick and easy vegan, dairy-free & gluten-free strawberry ice milk!

Ingredients
  • 1 C Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 C Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Scant 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Liquid Stevia (to taste)
  • Plastic freezer container or ice cube tray
  • Blender, vitamix, magic bullet, food processor.
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat all ingredients until bubbles start to form. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the almond milk is pink and tastes like strawberries. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Pour cooled mixture into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in your freezer for 8 hours. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Once the mixture is frozen, break it up into smaller pieces and blend it in a vitamix or blender until smooth. For a more ice cream-like texture, you can skip the blender and pour the mixture into your ice cream maker.
Serving size: 1/2 C Calories: 50 Fat: 1.3g Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 0 Sodium: 325mg Fiber: 1/2g Protein: 1/2g Cholesterol: 0mg

You can mix this recipe up – make it with agave, white table sugar, maple syrup, or any other sweetener that’s too your liking. It works with all sorts of fruit, and all sorts of dairy-free milk. And it’s so delicious!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Some work done over a hot, steamy bowl of ramen.

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Greens, noodles, egg, enokitake & home made mushroom broth! Served with sriracha – yum!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

I love, love, love this video! I do love a good octo-dog — P.S. For those who live in the states and can’t get ‘real’ Japanese sausages, try little smokies. They don’t taste the same, but they’re a great size for bento and work well with rice!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Oh, silly mother for showing up with stawberries and little, store-bought sponge cakes then forgetting them when she left. A little homemade buttercream, some warmed preserves and I have a feast! A feast of sugar! BWAHAHAHHAAAAH! *coughs* Ahh, ouch!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Almost a chili, yummy pinto beans, left over roasted turkey legs and a couple of strips of regular bacon simmered for 3 hours in salt and peppered water. Add a little tobasco, some crackers and voila!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Made my first ever re-fried beans! I basically just decided to try stuff until it worked instead of finding a decent recipe, but it turned out great!

Frijoles Refritos

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I’ve decided to start counting my bento all over again in an attempt to get back into the habit of blogging them – let’s hope it sticks this time!

Baked chicken, broccoli and rice with stir fried peppers, sausage crabs and meatballs.

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Okay, so maybe not Spa-Peggy and Meatballs, but definitely a delicious plate of spaghetti with some even more delicious meat sauce.

Pasta and Meat Sauce

I can’t stand Hunt’s canned pasta sauce, there’s just something too bitter about it. So I cooked up some spaghetti, browned some ground beef and added the pasta sauce + about 2 T of honey to round out the flavor. Worked like a charm – I do so love spaghetti!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Home made mushroom and olive pizza

Long time no see! I’ve been snapping pics of everything, but I haven’t had time to come on and post for a bit – sorry about that! I may yet still be a bit shaky getting back into it, but I’m giving it my best!

We made a couple of hand-tossed crust pizzas the other day, this pic is of the pizza with olives and mushrooms (both canned – which tasted surprisingly great on the pizza). The first pizza has cheese, the second has velveeta because we didn’t realize that Hubby had used up all the cheese in at breakfast – was still good!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I found this great recipe for cinnamon rolls at AllRecipes and it looked too easy to be very good – but it’s about the best dough recipe for cinnamon rolls I’ve ever come across! Here are the pics of my *almost* step by step process (my phone battery died on me, so no pictures of the cinnamon mixture spread out on the rolled out dough – sorry!) from start to finish. You make the dough in your bread machine, so no fuss and no muss!

Dough Recipe:

# 1/2 cup milk
# 1/2 cup water
# 2 tablespoons butter
# 3/4 teaspoon salt
# 3 cups all-purpose flour
# 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
# 1/4 cup white sugar
# 1 egg

The Rest at Allrecipes.com

These are a bit dark for cinnamon rolls, as they were in the oven for only 3 minutes longer than they should have been. I didn’t hear my timer go off, but 3 minutes was all it took. They were still delicious, but make sure to watch them carefully while they’re cooking!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Not a very fancy bento today, in fact this awesome little ‘bento box’ is one of the plastic take-out containers from China King (which is why it’s a tad too big for my bento today). Here’s what deliciousness awaits you:

BBQ Lamb Onigiri, Sweet Wasabi Chicken Onigiri, Hard Boiled Egg, Carrot Slices, Almonds, Chocolate Chips:

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Here’s something I haven’t had in a long, long time that I’d love to get my hands on for pot stickers – goat meat! In fact, I’ve only ever had it once or twice but it was fabulous!

Goat Leg MeatI’m actually reading the recipes on this website, all of which seem a bit on the complicated side (like Jerked Leg of Goat) and wondering if it’s something I could do? Some of the ingredients include ginger and dark brown sugar, it just sounds sweet, tangy and delicious. I’d love to try my hand at this, I wonder if it would be too hard to dress up goat meat for use in a bento box? I said pot stickers earlier, but this jerked leg of goat actually sounds like it would be great with rice if you cut it up into small pieces and filled out an empty niche in your bento box with it.

It would definitely be unique, plus goat is so good for you compared to other meats and is actually very low fat. The problem remains, as always, where do you buy goat meat? You can’t get it out here, though. I live in the middle of hog country and you’re lucky if you can get chicken or beef at a decent price, so until now I thought goat meat was out of the question because it was hard to come by out here. But the website I’m surfing right now, the one I’ve been talking about with all of these amazing goat recipes? It’s for a company called Gedalias that actually sells farm raised goat meat over the internet. It’s not expensive, they have a lot of different cuts including ground if you want to make burgers. It’s such a great idea! It would be a great gift for anyone you know who loves to cook and loves to try new things. If you’ve ordered from them, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Pasta sauce is convenient these days. What used to take hours, sometimes days, now takes only the few minutes necessary to open up a can of red sauce and heat it up on the stove top. It would be great, delicious even, if Ben didn’t continually buy Hunt’s pasta sauce.

What’s wrong with Hunt’s? Is it cheap? Well, not bad at $1.10 per can. Is it red? It’s very red, there are even scales of redness. Is it sauce? Technically, yes, it is sauce. Is it tasty? Okay, herein lies the problem. Hunt’s pasta sauce is bland, bitter and tastes a bit like the sauce they put on canned ravioli. There’s no sweet, savory love like you get with Prego (I believe it really is in there), and no fruity, juicy goodness like you’d get with a similarly sized, 20 cent cheaper can of Del Monte which, incidentally, is my choice in cheap pasta sauces.

So how do we remedy this? Apparently it’s surprisingly easy. Here’s what you need:

1/2 can of Hunt’s pasta sauce
1/4 lb of browned ground beef
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 T clover honey

Basically, after you brown your ground beef you stir in your spices and pasta sauce over medium-low heat until the sauce barely starts to heat up. Pour in your honey and stir it in slowly. Keep stirring with the heat on for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until the sauce is thoroughly heated. Serve over your favorite pasta!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I’m absolutely crazy about seafood, and I don’t get it that often because it’s very expensive here. But there’s one treat I do get on occasion and that’s Tilapia, a tender and mildly sweet whitefish. It’s decently priced and incredibly tasty, but unfortunately the other treat I need to do any real cooking is time off – a treat which I rarely can afford.

The solution to this was simple, but it took me ages to figure it out – you can make many small fish fillets in the microwave! While I”m not an advocate of cooking just anything in the microwave (unless you know what you’re doing), this is one dish that comes out delicious and piping hot every time! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets, 6-8oz each (frozen)
  • Lemon Pepper to taste
  • Accent! to taste. (Yes this IS commercial MSG, but I’m actually a big advocate of MSG awareness and use. If you’d rather not use it, a little salt or soy sauce will do!)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (one tablespoon for each fillet)
  • 2 slices of lemon (one for each fillet)

  • Prep: 1 minute
  • Cook: 4-6 minutes

Place your FROZEN tilapia fillet (one at a time, please) in a microwave safe dish with a cover – I place mine in a bowl and use plastic wrap, but I’m used to doing this and if you don’t watch the fish carefully you could end up with a melted plastic mess!

Liberally season both sides with your Lemon Pepper and Accent! then place a slice of lemon and portion of butter on top of the fillet. Now cover your fillet and place it in the microwave on high for 4-6 minutes (check after 5 minutes). Let stand for a full minute then re-plate. Great with salads, soups or by itself – makes a tasty sandwich, I hear!

We like to have this by itself as a midnight snack at our house, and Laota and I have been talking about having it with some wilted baby spinach and mashed sweet potatoes. If you try this, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Yep, that’s really all there is to this dish. It’s tasty, and pretty – dinner in 5 minutes!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I had such a good day and am in the best mood. I’ve gotten almost all of my work done, the doggy’s been out multiple times which means I got a nice walk away from my computer. I’m drinking iced tea right this minute. Life is sweet.

Granted, this is only a momentary lapse in horrible. It was brought on by my mother being out of my life for a day and taking her hubby with her, which means I’m free to clean, work and so forth without hearing my name hollered from downstairs eighty times a day, lol! She’s still angry with me because I didn’t make a big deal when she asked what we would be doing for Thanksgiving dinner. Honestly, I’m not a big Thanksgiving fan – for the most part I just love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and try to watch every year, which she doesn’t like because it cuts into my cooking-for-mom time.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I do actually need to start preparing for that. I know I do, but I’ve been procrastinating! My big issue is that mom and hubby like things just so – fatty, salty and generally not very tasty. They put butter in rice…. in rice! And not just any rice, but my beautiful short grain sushi rice. I love that rice, my gorgeous Wolfgang Puck 5 cup does an amazing job on it, I think it’s my all time favorite piece of cookware and I don’t know what I’d do without it. So I spend a small fortune importing this rice, I wash it several times, soak it for 20 minutes then cook it until it’s just right and what do they do? Put butter on it! I swear they’d put gravy on it if I turned my back for two seconds, lol!

Speaking of rice, maybe a wild rice and mushroom stuffing would be a treat? I don’t know if they’d like it, though, but I think Imouto chan will be happy with it. Now, how can keep my mother from literally stuffing it into the turkey?

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I really wish my camera was working (and not an idiot, lol), because my halfway-homemade steamed pork ginger dumplings worked out to be cute and delicious! Here’s my method (hehe, I love that term – I saw it in a 1912 cookbook!):

1 pack of store-bought wonton wrappers
1.5 lb of ground pork
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed and chopped
2 T. grated ginger (must be fresh! and yes 2 whole tablespoons)
Soy sauce to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash (light dash!) sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 large napa cabbage leaves (3 shredded, one whole)

In your steamer (or the steamer rack of your rice maker, which is what I use), fill the water tray with the amount of water your manufacturer recommends. Place half of the ginger in the water and a dash of salt and start the steamer.

Save out the skins (obviously!) and the whole cabbage leaf and combine everything else in a large bowl. Try and make sure it’s as dry as possible so make sure you try not to over do it with the soy sauce.

In your steamer rack, place the whole cabbage leaf (it’s a great way to protect the rack from food getting stuck on it!). Now place your wonton skin in the palm of your hand and put about a rounded teaspoon of filling right in the middle. Remember, don’t over do it! Now make a loose fist (don’t squeeze too hard, just tight enough to close up the dumpling) and place the dumpling on the cabbage leaf in your steamer. Don’t over crowd (make sure there’s a dime’s worth of space between each or they may touch each other and stick). Now just steam them over a boil for 5-7 minutes, and take them out carefully to avoid being scalded by the steam.

You can serve these as is, but I like to let them cool for a few moments and serve them with either a good spicy mustard or a ginger-based sweet sauce. Hope that wasn’t too hard to follow without the photos!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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'Easy' Mooncakes - Not Worth The Effort!

“Easy” moon cakes, not exactly what I’d call a moon cake but then again I had an idiot hoovering around me while I was trying to cook, lol. The recipe isn’t the one I normally use, but we have nil in the kitchen and I didn’t want to let the festival go by again without something to celebrate with – I really should have, lol! Tasty, like sweet bisquick biscuts with boysenberry preserves (Knott’s, naturally). good for a tea, but not a true moon cake.

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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A simple recipe today for a fake Chashu Ramen you can make when you’ve got almost nothing in the house, like we do. It’s simple, it’s tasty and it goes a little something like this:

3 oz of uncooked ramen (for the love of Thor, not the freeze-dried kind, try for real ramen if you can!)
2 quarter-sized slices of fresh ginger (peeled and crushed)
3 C ready-made chicken, pork or beef broth (we used chicken)
4 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and cut in half from pole to pole)
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
2 standard sized hotdogs (cut into strips)
Soy sauce to taste

Prepare your ramen according to the instructions on the package then drain it into a colander and rise with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

In a wok or large sauce pan bring the broth, hotdogs and ginger to a low boil then reduce the heat and simmer for a good 5 minutes. Turn the heat back up and add your salt and a few dashes of soy sauce. Return to rolling boil.

In a decent sized bowl portion out a fourth of the noodles in one fourth of the bowl, dedicate one fourth of the bowl to spinach, another fourth to hotdog strips and the final fourth to one of the hard boiled eggs (cut side facing upward). Once your bowl is arranged, ladle your boiling broth over the top and cover it your bowl with a bowl lid or plate for a few minutes.

It serves four, it’s cheap and easy to make and very tasty. It’s not really chashu ramen but still good when you don’t have a lot in your house. Be sure to serve it with a little red chili sauce and maybe some hot mustard.

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Ginger Citrus Chicken Stir FryI know I haven’t posted a recipe in forever and ever, but this one is one I created on the fly (and suggest you not get too bogged down about measurments, either!). It’s for yummy sweet ginger citrus chicken stir fry, and it goes a little something like this:

Veggie Base:

1/2 C each: Frozen Broccoli Florets, FrozenSnap Pea Pods, Canned Water Chestnuts, Red and Yellow Peppers (julienned)

3 Slices of FRESH Ginger Root (Can’t stress this enough, must be fresh!)

Dash of: Salt, Sesame Oil

Glazed Chicken:

3 – 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncut.

Juice from half a lemon

3 T Pineapple Duck Sauce

1 tsp. Raw Minced Garlic

2 tsp. Raw Shredded White Onion

2 T Pineapple Mango Marmalade or Orange Marmalade

Dash of: Cinnamon, Fresh Grated Ginger, Salt, Pepper, Shoyu

Method:

Put your wok (or skillet, but I prefer a wok) over a medium flame and add a few dashes of your favorite sesame or peanut oil with half of your garlic and half your onions until translucent with a nice, fragrant aroma. Now add a dash of shoyu and a dash of your lemon juice and turn the heat up to medium high.

Lay your chicken breasts thickest side down in the pan and cook on medium high for 5 minutes. Once they’ve gotten a good browning on one side, add more sesame oil and shoyu and flip them over to their other side – cook another 2 minutes. Now you want to take your spatula and start to cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces and turn the heat back down to medium.

When the chicken is almost cooked through (important – cannot be entirely done!), add the rest of your lemon and another dash of sesame oil to the pan and turn the chicken over to coat well. Now add the duck sauce, the rest of your garlic and onion, the marmalade and the rest of your spices to the pan and continue to cook on medium for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the glaze starts to thicken and the chicken is cooked through. Set this aside in a bowl with as much glaze as you can scoop out with your spatula – we want about a teaspoon left in the wok.

Deglaze the pan with a mixture of shoyu and a little sake (not much, only a tablespoon or two) then add your veggies and spices all at once (unthawed). Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until veggies are cooked through and the thawed water is evaporated. Push them over to the side of the wok and add the chicken back to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Now reheat on low for a few seconds, which will help melt the glaze enough that you can use your spatula to stir the meat and veggies together.

You can have it on rice if you want, but I liked it all by itself. Sorry my photos aren’t better, I was in a hurry and only had my phone! My total prep time and cook time was about 20 minutes – fast and delicious!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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