Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

As you’ve come to expect, this is another quick & easy dinner.  The scents of the dressing are heavenly and the flavors come together perfectly.  There just isn’t much more that needs to be said about this gorgeous and delish-dish from Ambitious Kitchen (say that three times fast!) except that it makes a lot (serves the five of us {with seconds} plus a couple small lunches the next day).

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup green onions, diced
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing

  • ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin, if necessary

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
  2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame and olive oil then stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
  3. Add the dressing to the quinoa.
  4. Fold in cabbage, red pepper, onion, carrots, cilantro & chickpeas into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews or peanuts & green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

Quinoa-Veggie Sushi Rolls

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

I’ve made this twice now and the first time was somewhat of a disaster, taking me far too long to make on my own and it didn’t make nearly enough to feed the whole family.  I made them too tiny and they just weren’t perfect, like I wanted them to be.  This time, I added more veggies, more quinoa and had the girls layer the rolls while I rolled and cut them.  Wholesome Cook has several variations on these rolls but I wanted something simple without meat.  The recipe below made a LOT of rolls.  There was enough to fill up the five of us at dinner, plus a lunch for each of the girls and myself the next day.  I had to search for a tutorial on how to roll sushi because I’d never done it before so if you’re a sushi-rolling virgin, I suggest you do the same.  I’d also recommend buying more than one sushi mat and encourage someone to help you layer and roll the rolls because it’ll go much faster!

For the Quinoa Sushi Rolls:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package nori (sushi roll seaweed)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 cup carrot shreds
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 2 avocados, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped roughly
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds

To Cook Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under cold water.
  2. Transfer quinoa into a saucepan, add vegetable stock and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring, until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Add chopped almonds & chia seeds.
  5. Place a nori sheet on the sushi mat, then spread a couple spoonsful of quinoa mix on half of the nori sheet, working from the edge closest to you and right to the sides.
  6. Layer your favorite toppings across the middle of the quinoa and, using your mat, tightly wrap the rolls all the way to the end.

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Pork Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls

I’ve never made egg rolls before and after I found these on All Recipes, they sat on my menu for a few weeks, and I kept putting off making them because I knew they’d take a little extra prep and I dreaded frying in hot oil.  It’s a perfect meal to ask the kids or your significant other to help with though!  I asked my husband to take care of mixing the vegetables while I prepped the Sesame Noodles and browned the pork.  Then he assembled the rolls while I fried them and it all came together in the end.  I used a pan screen to keep the oil splatter down to a minimum but even without it, there was very little clean up.

The kids were ecstatic to have homemade egg rolls and they turned out better than I’d hoped.  I like showing them that you can make this kind of food at home and you don’t have to go out to get it!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 24 oz. peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 ounces shredded carrots
  • 1 lb. package of egg roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds(optional)

Directions

  1. Season pork with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Heat mixture in a medium skillet, stirring, until pork is cooked through and no longer pink. Set aside.
  2. In another large skillet heat oil on medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.
  3. Lay out one egg roll wrapper with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.
  4. Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Lemonade Chicken

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Lemonade Chicken

This recipe, from Six Sister’s Stuff, has been sitting in my Menu folder for exactly two months and I have no idea why I put off fixing it for so long.  I can say with certainty that it will definitely be made again.  The kids ate every last bite without complaint, that guy I married loved it (though he’s very easy to please when it comes to sweet and sour chicken) and I ate more than I should have, all resulting in some seriously full bellies!  After I modified the recipe a little, it was super easy to prepare and came out a healthier version.

I served this with brown rice and since I knew my schedule around dinner time was going to be spent driving the kids to various activities, I prepped part of this dish earlier in the afternoon; I chopped all the veggies, opened the can of water chestnuts and combined them all in a gallon sized bag.  I also cooked the rice and stored it in the fridge, so I could pull it out when ready to serve (I popped it in the microwave for one minute, just long enough to take the chill off.)

Ingredients

  • 10-12 frozen chicken tenderloins
  • 6 oz., frozen lemonade concentrate (100% juice if you can find it)
  • 5 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 3 cups vegetables, chopped (water chestnuts, half a red and yellow pepper, small head of broccoli, snow peas)

Directions:

  1. Place tenderloins in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Combine lemonade, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, corn starch and water in a bowl; mix well and pour over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove cooked chicken from the slow cooker and set aside.
  5. Toss chopped vegetables in large sauté pan and pour 1/4 cup sauce from the crock pot over vegetables.  Cook on high until veggies are tender – about 10 minutes.
  6. Mix flour into the sauce that’s left in the crock pot, whisking until combined, on low heat.
  7. Pour sauce over rice, chicken and vegetable. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

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Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Light Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

This is another recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride that is as good the next day for lunch as it was for dinner the night before.    Warm, soft noodles and crisp vegetables make this a perfect dish for a spring evening, pull-together meal. 

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. chicken tenders, cut to bite size chunks
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 large red pepper, stemmed and seeded, and cut into strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water/4 chicken bullion cubes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 oz. thin Asian noodles
  • 6 oz. snow peas, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (dark green parts only)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot oven over medium-high heat, and add the oil.  Toss the chicken in and add a dash of salt and pepper.  Sear about 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the carrots, red pepper, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, broth, and water to the pot.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pot.
  4. Simmer (don’t boil) the soup over medium or medium-low for 40 minutes.
  5. Add the noodles to the pot and cook for 3-5 (check the package for  how long they take).
  6. Add the snow peas and green onions and cook 2-4 minutes, until the snow peas have turned bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I’d never had a lettuce wrap and I was excited to give another new recipe a try.  These, found at All Recipes, cooked up really fast, with very little prep and the kids had theirs half gone before I even sat down after taking the picture; the little guy’s WAS gone.  They loved them!  The husband didn’t like the idea of it being wrapped up in a lettuce leaf, but he went back for seconds so I’m going to take the liberty of saying he got over it.  Next time, just to snob these up a little, I’ll try shredded beef rather than ground.

*update: The third time I made these, I used ground pork instead of beef and it was really good.  Much better than beef…even better than ground beef.  Worthy of changing the recipe, actually – but I won’t because I know plenty of people who love their beef.

  • 1 head of Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
Directions
  1. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head, rinse the leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain, reserving about a tablespoon of the fat in the pan, then put the hamburger into a separate bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and vinegar to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Put a spoonful of the beef mixture into a leaf of lettuce, sprinkle with the shredded carrot, then wrap the lettuce and enjoy!

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  – Shanna

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles

Ramen Noodles stir up memories of the days before I had kids.  Back when sodium, preservatives and ingredients that are un-pronounceable in the English tongue were kind-of hip in a “I’m too young to care what I eat” kind of way. 

This was delicious and I felt like I was cheating, eating all those sinfully curly noodles!  The smells coming from the kitchen were heavenly; peanuts, garlic and, well, do I really even need to mention anything after that?  Cooked up fast, the ingredients were inexpensive and I will definitely add this to my “go to” dinner file.

The only things I changed from Mel’s Kitchen, since I didn’t have hoisin sauce (forgot to pick it up at the store), was I substituted in soy sauce.  It worked well, but I’ll definitely not want to miss out on the flavors of it next time I make this dish.  I also did not have scallions.  GRR!  So it went scallion-less and I pulled out a frozen bag of edamame to green up dinner a little.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (I pulled mine from a package of trail mix since the kids leave those anyway)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets!
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin

Directions

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add it to the pan in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally.  As it cooks, using a plastic spatula, begin cutting it into cubes – continue cooking until cooked through.  Remove the chicken and set aside.
  2. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until hot. Add the red bell pepper and the peanuts then cook until the pepper is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside with the chicken.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the remaining oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth. Add Ramen noodles to the pan (you can break them before adding, but we like them long and curly!). Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still a bit of liquid in the pan, about five minutes.
  5. Stir in the hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, peppers and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

Did you enjoy this recipe, the photos found here, or Good Stuff in general? Head over to Facebook and like the page!  When you Share a recipe (using the social media buttons below each post) with friends and family you’re helping to make the world a better place.  And it makes me happy.  Mostly it makes me happy.  It also helps me, and all the other food blogs used here, to keep doing what we love doing here; sharing good food.  Thanks for visiting!  – Shanna

Chicken Rice Noodle Salad & Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

Lemon Herb Zucchini

Adapted from: For the Love of Cooking

I didn’t leave enough time to let this sit and “marinate” after I’d mixed everything together but I think it would benefit the flavor of the salad a lot to do so.  I’d say an hour in the fridge would be perfect!

Spicy Lime Vinaigrette:

  • juice of three limes
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned rice vinegar (you can use plain too)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Salad:

  • 6 ounces of Rice noodles, prepared per instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups of roasted chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of peanuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced

Prepare the rice noodles per instructions; once cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well. Combine all ingredients, mix well and serve!

This made enough for my family of five and then enough for at least two more adult lunches.

Asian Noodle & Chicken Salad

Asian Noodle & Chicken Salad
Like so many others, this was found (and slightly adapted) at For the Love of Cooking.  Simply put, this was amazing.  Perfect blend of flavors and textures. 


Ingredients
10 chicken tenderloins 
Marinade: 
6 Tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
(about) 1 Tablespoon dried ginger
5 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce


Other Ingredients:
1 handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
2 green onions, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1 cup of snow peas, cut in half (I left these out, but will include them next time!)
2 14 oz. cans mandarin oranges, well drained
3/4 cup cashews
14.5 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked per instructions




Directions 
Combine marinade ingredients and chicken in a Ziploc bag and mix thoroughly then let it marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.  
1.  Star water boiling for spaghetti.
2.  Pour chicken and marinade from bag into skillet and cook, covered, on medium high until chicken is cooked through.  Using spatula, chop chicken into pieces directly in pan.  Turn off heat and cover to prevent the marinade from evaporating.
3.  Chop and prepare vegetables.  Combine all the veggies in the skillet with chicken, mix and return heat to medium heat.  Cover.
4.  Drain cooked spaghetti.
5.  Add chicken, veggies and mandarin oranges to the spaghetti.  Mix thoroughly and enjoy!


This made enough for my family of five with enough for leftovers for another night.