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Fried Rice

Life as a Lofthouse (Food Blog):Fried Rice was a perfect recipe for fried rice.  This recipe will allow you to add what vegetables or meat you would like.  It worked perfect for some leftover rice we had in the fridge and made a whole new dinner alongside a chicken dish.

The kids approved and next time I make it when Mr.Picky is home I am sure he will as well.  The flavor with the sesame oil is spot on and although it seems like a lot of soy sauce the dish is not salty at all.  Enjoy this new side dish to all your favorites.  If you haven’t tried sweet and sour chicken yet, this is the perfect thing to pair with it.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice:

  • 3 cups cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1/2-1 cup carrots, chopped and steamed lightly or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3-4 Tablespoons soy sauce

Fried RiceOver medium heat, heat oil and add in carrots, peas, onions, and garlic.  Cook until just tender.

Reduce heat to low and push vegetables to the side.  Pour eggs in the opposite side and fry until scrambled.

Add in the rice and soy sauce and mix all together.
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Egg Drop Soup

 

Egg Drop SoupThe kids and I love soup so we try to eat it when Mr.Picky is gone, so we don’t have to listen to complaining.  It is August which is usually warm for us here in the Pacific Northwest but it started raining.  So with rain came Egg Drop Soup for dinner.  Both children love it and quoting my five-year old “I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.

A couple of times a week I try to make meatless meals.  Usually when Mr.Picky (my meat and potato man) is not joining us for dinner.  We had plenty of protein in the egg and I add some sautéed chard out of the garden to mine.

Egg Drop Soup with Chard added

Egg Drop Soup with Chard added

I adapted the recipe from The Kitchn-How to Make Egg Drop Soup .  The directions are easy and The Kitchn gives a variety of ideas you can add to your soup.  There is great photos on how to pour the egg into the soup at the link above.  This is exactly how I made my soup to my taste.

Egg Drop Soup:

  • 4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chinese five spice seasoning
  • green onions, chopped

 

In a medium sauce pan in about 1 tsp olive oil heat fresh ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Add in chicken stock.

Simmer on medium for about 15 minutes.  At this point you could add any vegetables and cook until done.  I think corn, peas, and mushrooms would be wonderful in this soup.  Remove 1/4 cup of stock and mix with 1 Tbs cornstarch until smooth, mix this back into the pot.  Bring up to a good simmer, as soup begins to thicken add soy sauce and seasonings.

Taste the soup to see if you need addition seasonings for your taste.  Meanwhile whisk together 1 tsp cornstarch and 2 eggs.

While the soup is on a low simmer, slowly stream the egg mixture into the soup.  Cook for another few minutes.

Serve hot and with a few green onions atop the soup.

 

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

I had this beautiful head of cauliflower to use up and wanted to change it up from the usual seasoned roasting side dish.  Although my kids will gobble it down when I use my Seasoned Roasted Cauliflower recipe, I was looking to make a main dish.  I had saved Creamy Cauliflower Sauce – Pinch of Yum a long time ago and figured I would give it a try.  I used her inspiration to create my variation and make my dish into a vegetable risotto like dish.

I couldn’t believe how creamy the cauliflower got when blending, and in my recipe I did not add milk or cream.  When I got to the point of adding milk, I realized it was completely unnecessary because the cauliflower was amazing on its own.  My mother has always made cauliflower cheese soup and used an immersion blender but not to the point of completely smooth texture.  If I didn’t already say it, amazing idea and way to incorporate vegetables so no one knows.

After making my sauce I had to decide what to do with it.  I had brown rice in the cupboard, lots of vegetables in the fridge, and a bit of frozen chopped prosciutto in freezer.  I figured this would create something wonderful and it did.  We ate this two nights in a row and plan on making regularly.  Both kids had seconds of this vegetable loaded dinner.

Easily remove the prosciutto and make it vegetarian.  The sauce made about double what I needed for the rice but I used the rest later in another dinner.  I imagine that you could use all the sauce or it would probably freeze fine for a quick dinner in the future.

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetables Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce:

Sauce:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets or about 2″ pieces
  • 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste (I required more)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 6 cloves of roasted garlic, I keep mine frozen but raw could be steamed with the cauliflower

Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped (I used rainbow carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 cup prosciutto, finely diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet peppers (yellow,red or orange), finely diced
  • 2 Tbs fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese blend, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional)

Place the rice and water in a pot with salt and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover to cook for 45-50 minutes.  About 20 minutes into cooking I tossed in my frozen peas and carrots, to the rice gave it a stir and allowed it to finish cooking.  If using white rice use the recommended amount of water for 1 cup rice, and put the vegetable in when you turn down to simmer because white rice cooks faster.

While the rice is on, place cut up cauliflower in a pot with a steamer basket with about 2 cups of stock.  If you do not have roasted garlic, simple peel 4-6 garlic cloves and pop them in the pot to steam with the cauliflower.  Cover the pot and steam the cauliflower until tender.

No dairy added

No diary added

Remove the cauliflower, reserving the liquid separately and place cauliflower in a blender or food processor.  A blender is going to get your sauce smoother, but make do with what you have.

Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and roasted garlic to cauliflower with about 1/2 cup of liquid and begin to blend.  Add liquid as needed and to the desired consistency.  Taste and add any additional salt or pepper.

Once your sauce is done and the rice it cooked, it is time to put it all together.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat place olive oil and additional 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic.  Toss in onion and sweet peppers, cook until onions become tender.

Dump in the pot of rice and vegetables mixing until all is combined and then add the desired amount of cauliflower sauce.  I used about half my sauce mixture.  Stir until all is hot and well mixed together.

Mix in cheeses and green onions if desired.Cheesy Prosciutto and Vegetable Rice with Cauliflower Cream Sauce

*Any vegetable would work in this recipe.  Mushrooms and zucchini would taste great, added at the point the onions are added.  Mix it up and add what vegetables your family will eat.

 

7 Layer Salad

7 Layer Salad

This recipe is very familiar to me, we ate it growing up for dinner in the summer time.  Mr. Picky loves this salad, he often requests it.  It is probably the easiest way to get him to eat his vegetables and go back for seconds and thirds.  Okay so the vegetables are covered with mayonnaise, cheese, and bacon but who am I to judge.

The best part of this salad is that it tastes best if made 4-24 hours ahead of time.  Which makes it perfect for summer or to take along to a potluck.  Make it the night before a busy day and come home to dinner done.  I have seen the ingredients vary from recipe to recipe but this is how I make it.

7 Layer Salad:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce(not the same if you substitute, you really need this to make the salad have it’s crunch)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion (either red or green onions 3-4 stocks), chopped
  • Frozen Peas (16 oz.), thawed and rinsed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded), I only had a blend on hand this day
  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs powdered parmesan cheese (what I call “fake” parmesan out of a can)

Wash, chop, and dry your lettuce.  You want to have nice bite size pieces of lettuce.

Whisk together mayo, sugar, pepper and powdered parmesan cheese.  Set aside, this will be your dressing layer.

In a large glass bowl you are going to layer your salad in the following order.  A clear glass trifle bowl works great so you can see all the layers.  I don’t have one  but will be on the look out the perfect one to add to my collection of bowls.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Layering: Lettuce, green pepper, onions, peas, mayo dressing, shredded cheese, and then bacon.

Cover and refrigerate for  4 to 24 hours.  The salad really needs to chill for at least 4 hours or it will not taste the same.  When serving be sure to scoop all the way down through your layers.

Even though we are a small family of four this salad lasts in our fridge for a few days just dishing it out as we want.

Individual 7 Layer SaladsAfter making this the other night for dinner Mr.Picky decided he wanted bowls of it packed for his dinners for the week.  So away I went making generous Tupperware filled with 7 Layer Salad.  No complaints from me, he is eating vegetables and I only had to make one thing for three dinners.

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