Sunday, April 23, 2017

Healthified Loco Moco

Ever since Sue introduced me to the Loco Moco (See post HERE) I have been obsessed. Rice + gravy + burger + egg = a ridiculous amount of deliciousness. 
Thing is.... I'm trying to healthify my lifestyle by eating a bit lower calorie, lower carb, etc..etc... and the Loco Moco is a bit heavy. But, good news! I have healthified the recipe to make it more friendly to my lifestyle goals. Swapping out a few ingredients lessens the calories and such but does not lose any of the tummy pleasing goodness. 
It is still a hearty and delicious meal that is sure to satisfy!
Try our regular Loco Moco (HERE), or give this one a try! Let us know which one you prefer.

Healthified Loco Moco

1/2 lb mushrooms
1 lb lean ground chicken
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup oats
1 egg
1/2 cup dried tomato, finely diced

Tomato Gravy
2 Tbsp cooking sherry
1 Tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 slice onion, diced
1 cup dried tomatoes
1 1/3 cup vegetable stock
salt & pepper

3 cups cooked rice
6 eggs, fried

Prepare burgers - Place mushrooms in a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped. Place mushrooms into a separate bowl, add in the ground chicken, onion, garlic, oats, egg, and dried tomato. 

Mix together well and form into 6 patties. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat. (The reason I lined mine with plastic wrap is I chilled them for several hours because I was prepping ahead. I just flipped them from the plastic wrap onto the silpat when I was ready to cook them!) 

To cook - preheat oven to 375. Cook at 375 for 15 minutes, flip the burgers over, then cook for 10 - 15 minutes more (until cooked through). 

While burgers are cooking, prepare tomato gravy.
Prepare tomato gravy - in a small sauce pan, place cooking sherry, oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt & pepper.

 Cook over medium heat until bubbling - about 5 - 8 minutes. Pour sauce into a blender or food processor and process until smooth (be careful, it is hot!). 
Pour back into saucepan and keep warm over low heat until ready to use. 
While burgers are cooking you can also prepare your rice and your fried eggs!
Assemble the loco moco - Place 1/2 cup cooked rice on a serving plate. Top with 1/6th of the tomato gravy. 

Top with a chicken burger patty.

Lastly, top with a fried egg. Serve immediately. Repeat with remaining 5 servings.

Soooooo good!

This is the perfect way to enjoy a filling comfort food meal without worrying too much about nutritional counts. You can make it even more healthy by using brown rice or cauliflower rice! 
I developed this recipe after my boss at work gave me some lovely dried tomatoes she had done.

The burger patties and gravy are a great way to use up dried tomatoes! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Creamy Prawn and Dill Wedge Salad

I always used to think that wedge salads seemed so silly. I mean - it's a big ol' hunk of lettuce. How is that going to be tasty? The thing is.... wedge salads are actually really, really good. 
No. Really.
The lettuce is magically transformed when you add the dressing and toppings.
Don't believe me?
Try it! You'll see. 
Oh.... you'll see. 
You'll be converted just like me and become obsessed with how delicious and pretty and healthy they are. Or not... you know... whatevs. But still, why risk missing out? 

Creamy Prawn and Dill Wedge Salad

1/3 cup 0 fat, plain, Greek yogurt
1/4 cup light mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp dried dill
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper

16 oz prawns, raw/peeled
1 Tbsp fresh dill
1 large head iceberg lettuce

fresh dill

Prepare dressing.

Mix all dressing ingredients together except for the cucumber.

Keep cucumber separate until ready to serve (the cucumbers release liquid and will make the dressing runny.) Refrigerate until ready to use. 
Prepare prawns - Bring water + 1 Tbsp fresh dill to a boil over medium high heat. 

Drop in the prawns and cook until prawns are cooked and are pink. Remove from water let cool. 

Chop each prawn into about 3 pieces. 
Prepare salad - Cut the lettuce in 4 and remove the center core. Place each quarter on a serving plate. (By removing the center bit you should have a nice little "bowl" or flat spot for some of the prawns and dressing to sit.)

Stir the cucumber and prawns into the prepared dressing.

Scoop 1/4 of the dressing/prawn mixture onto each quarter of lettuce.

Sprinkle with a little more fresh dill, if desired. Serve immediately.

The dill and prawns on the crisp lettuce make for a very refreshing meal for only 162 calories per serving. 
Seriously. 162, that's it. 
According to MyFitnessPal - 162 calories, 22 protein, 10 carbs, and 4 fat. How great is that? (Recipe makes 4 servings) Wedge salads are quite filling and a nice change from the usual salad. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter 2017

Easter dinner this year was, once again, at Sue's house. She has the biggest kitchen to fit the whole family. I think we had 17 for dinner this year. Sue wanted to do a bacon themed Easter dinner so 99.9% of our dishes included bacon. Including our chicken cheese ball appie above. 
We saw an adorable bean bag chicken on Pinterest and decided to try and turn it into an edible treat. She turned out pretty cute. 
We will do a post on that recipe and link it back to here. (Check back for link).
We are sharing our entire meal here, from appies to desserts, and below the photos we have done separate posts for we will share the links! 
Lets start with appetizers, shall we?

The table center was our chicken cheese ball with several homemade breads. Sue made a Swiss zopf, herb and garlic knots, gluten free mini cornmeal muffins, and wholegrain crackers. I made a hot cross loaf. 

Veggies are so much more fun to eat when they look pretty. I made this vegetable flower tray for our mom's senior's center. Perfect for spring and Easter dinner. 

Mom made her famous deviled eggs and topped them with bacon to match our bacon theme. 

Our Aunty and Uncle brought a lovely fruit and nut mix to snack on too. The gummies on top are always the first to go!
For the main course we had a whole bunch of choices!

The spread! Sue's mother-in-law made the best stuffing!

Is it possible to have too many choices? I don't think so. 

Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin! A great ham alternative. Sue cooked it just right.

That turkey tho. Crispy skin is the best, am I right?

Add bacon bits to your green beans to elevate them to a whole new level. Seriously. Do it. 

Orra made these lovely filo pastry wrapped asparagus spears with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. They work as an appetizer or a side dish. So yummy!

And, can we just take a moment to admire these bacon wrapped roast carrots?
(Check back for link to recipe). This is how all carrots should be cooked from now on. 

We made our macaroni salad into a little piggy. Because adorable, that's why. 
(The ears, tail, and snout are bologna. The eyes, black olives.) 

Sue made a pea and bacon salad that was my favorite dish of the evening. I'm adding this to my permanent salad rotation. (Check back for link to recipe.)

The desserts were plentiful this year! Our cousin Carol-Anne made a tasty gluten free pineapple and coconut square pictured in the corner of the photo that was a big hit. 

Bacon for dessert? Yes. Of course. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies (recipe HERE), Maple Bacon Ice Cream (check back for link to recipe), and Chocolate Dipped Bacon (Check back for link). 

Sue made an impressive Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Caramelized Bacon. (Check back for link to recipe.)

And she made these crazy Pecan Pie Bacon Squares that everyone was drooling over! (Check back for link to recipe.)

More Chocolate Dipped Bacon - with skor bits, almonds, and salted peanuts. (Check back for link to recipe.) 

I made the richest, creamiest ice cream ever. Maple Bacon Ice Cream! Yes, bacon works in ice cream too! (Check back for link to recipe.) 

Orra made these fun peanut butter chocolate squares and added some pretend candy bacon because she didn't want to add real bacon. Pretend bacon still counts plus it looks cute. 
Want to check out where we get some of our ideas? Visit our Easter Pinterest Board and follow us on Pinterest!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Small Batch Hot Cross Buns

I don't know about you but at our house Easter dinner  is a pretty big deal. Sue usually hosts at her house so we can invite friends and family. Normally our dinner guests number about 20. 
Crazy, right?
Anyway, I know that a lot of people only have 2 or 3 people for Easter dinner so need a MUCH smaller quantity of food. I took a couple of regular Hot Cross Bun recipes and mashed them together to create this one - which makes 6 lovely sized rolls. Perfect for a smaller dinner crowd. (If you are looking for a large batch Hot Cross Bun recipe - then click HERE. It's our Large Batch Hot Cross Buns recipe and it makes about 72 buns!) 

Small Batch Hot Cross Buns

1 cup milk
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 pkg)
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
3 - 4 cups flour 
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom
sprinkle allspice
sprinkle ginger
6 Tbsp butter, room temp
1/3 cup raisins (or craisins)

Egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water

1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tbsp butter, room temp
1 Tbsp milk

Heat milk until steaming then set aside to cool down. It can still be warm but you should be able to stick your finger in it without it being too hot. 
Add yeast to the warm water and set aside to proof for 5 minutes. 
When milk has cooled, whisk in 2 eggs until well combined. Gently whisk in the yeast mixture. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in 2 cups of flour, salt, and the spices. 
Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until it has broken down a bit. 
Stir the milk/yeast mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. Add in the raisins. Slowly add in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until smooth dough forms. 
Knead dough until no longer sticky. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled - about an hour to an hour and a half. 
When risen - break dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour. 

When buns have doubled again - preheat oven to 375. 
Whisk together the egg yolk and water and use a basting or pastry brush to lightly brush the glaze over the buns. 
Bake for approx 20 - 30 minutes, until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped. 

Let cool completely on a wire rack. 
When cool, whisk together the icing sugar, butter, and milk to form a thick but runny icing.

Drizzle the icing (or place in a plastic baggy, snip off the corner, and pipe it) in an "X" shape on top of the buns. 

Serve with butter or jam, warm or at room temp...

These also freeze very well in case 6 buns is still too many! 
Small batch buns for any time you need a hot cross bun fix but don't want to eat a dozen buns.