27 May 2011

Recipe Review

So, I've been on a food kick (heck, I'm almost always on a food kick). But I find myself all-too-often cooking the same types of things with the same dang spices (as in, do I have b.o, or am I excreting cumin from my pores?).

So, a website was recommended to me (thanks, Rachel!) with lots of good recipes, and by good I mean, a little different for me, but not including wacko ingredients (orange juice in my black bean soup? I don't know about that). So I thought I'd tell you about some of them!

The first one we tried was the Asian Lettuce Wraps. You should check out the pictures on their website, they actually flatter the food. I almost never cook Asian food because it used to make me horribly nauseated. But something happened around my third trimester, and I'm cured!

Anyway, I did a couple of things different from the recipe (you'll quickly notice that I never EVER follow a recipe exactly, even on the first go. My rebellion rearing its head.) - the biggest difference is that I didn't make the drizzling sauce. I wanted to see if they were good enough without this extra step (and the extra calories). Verdict: plenty tasty without! Yay!

The second big change was I substituted romaine lettuce for iceberg. Stephen has nothing but contempt for iceberg lettuce (he honestly will not eat it), and I thought, what the heck? Why not go for something with actual vitamins in it! So romaine it was. Verdict: eh. The big ole vein (what's it actually called? not a stem... a spine? ugh this is how I know I'm tired. I can't remember anything) in the middle makes it a little tricky to roll. I think I also made mine a little full, so that added to the difficulty in eating. If you don't mind iceberg, maybe the ease would be worth it.

The more minor changes: 4 cloves of garlic is a lot in this household. I used two. Verdict: I think I'll do three next time, because I didn't notice the garlic. But hey, garlic is one of those bully flavors; it's kinda nice to make him support others rather than hogging the attention. Two was just fine. I also took out the sesame oil (it wasn't worth it to me to buy just for this recipe) or the mushrooms (blech!). I didn't miss either. I also used chicken breasts that I cut into itty bitty cubes, cause I couldn't find ground chicken while hustling through HEB at 10:30pm. Worked great.

Honestly, when I first tasted my wrap, I thought it was kind of icky - it was too green tasting, like chlorophyll. Then I realized what it was: the cilantro! I took it out and BOOM - SO MUCH BETTER! Verdict: NIX THE CILANTRO. I adore cilantro so much, but in this recipe it's a big no. BUT Stephen didn't notice it or mind. He really loved this dish! We ate on it for several days as well, maybe four meals all-told, which is a huge bonus for me, since the recipe calls for lots and lots of chopping, which means a good bit of time.

All in all? I think this will be added to our monthly rotation. I just need to make sure and chop all the ingredients during Ezra's first nap, including the chicken. Once everything is chopped, it's an easy, yummy, healthy meal. Yay!

One question, though, for you chefs out there: ginger. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just really difficult to mince well?


  1. Ginger is a tough root. It is hard to mince, but worth it. If it's too much of a pain, there is ginger paste in the Indian food section at HEB. Same great taste, much less work. I love sesame oil, especially for jazzing up rice and stirfry. That could be because I grew up thinking Japanese food was home cookin'.

  2. I use a microplane zester on my ginger. You end up with a perfect ginger paste. And before I had my microzester, I wanted one but wondered if I would use it enough to justify the purchase but now I don't think I could live with it.

  3. You can use that zester Mackenzie recommended on SO many things...garlic, a block of parmesan, nutmeg, etc. I love mine! You can get them at Bed, Bath & Beyond and if you use a coupon it's a great deal!

  4. Microplane is the way I go with ginger too! And try subbing butter lettuce or boston lettuce for iceburg - more nutrition, no annoying thick stem part and still cuplike!

  5. I love Asian Lettuce Wraps!!! Even though the sesame oil seems frivolous, it really does add a lot in my opinion. But I understand not wanting to buy it just for this, but I make it a lot. I also use ground turkey and tofu (hard, not soft) and dice it.