Over the weekend I threw together an easy appetizer that everyone loved and would work well for lunches or group snacks. I bought these cute to go containers on Amazon. I made a greek yogurt dip with good seasoning spices and scooped the dip into 2 oz. containers with lids. The 2 oz containers fit perfectly into the bottom of these containers. The veggies are put on top of the dip container and your healthy snack is done!
Over the weekend we went out to dinner at the Firehouse Hotel Restaurant in The Arts District in DTLA. It’s right next door to Bon Temps which is next on our restaurant list. The menu was so simple yet refreshing because it was back to basics. One of the appetizers we ordered was mozzarella sticks (have not had one in ages) so it inspired me to make them at home. I tried to recreate a healthier version and skipped the frying and opted for baking them instead. They turned out great!
- 1 package mozzarella cheese sticks *I like the Horizon Organic brand but any will work.
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp panko crumbs
- 2 tsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried oregano, basil, or parsley *whatever you have
- olive oil spray
- Cut cheese in half. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
- In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish.
- In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried oregano (or whichever one you choose).
- Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs.
- Repeat with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with brown wax paper.
- Place cheese back into the freezer at least 1 hour until ready to bake (this is a MUST or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).
- When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray with oil. Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake until golden brown.
Serve with your favorite tomato sauce.
I post a lot of cooking on my instagram stories and have had several requests from my followers to share my recipes. I have been hesitant in posting because a lot of my cooking is improvising and I’m not always following a specific recipe. I will do my best to give you the most accurate adaptation so you can recreate them at home.
I made Vietnamese Banh Mi bowls (my own version of it) the other night and my family loved it! One of my daughters is vegetarian so this recipe it great because you can swap out the chicken for tofu or use both.
- Thinly pounded chicken or firm tofu – remove water from tofu.
- 1 package rice, soba, or udon noodles
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots – I cut mine on the mandolin but you can buy them precut.
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup daikon *you can skip if you don’t have*
- 4 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lemongrass
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar – I leave the sugar out but it’s up to you.
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic cloves, minced
- Fresh Cilantro
- 1/4 cup Chopped Peanuts
- 1 lime cut into slices
- Hot sauce of your choice (optional)
Directions: Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl and then add it to the chicken or tofu. Let it marinate for at least 30 mins. Take it out of the marinade and grill the chicken. For the tofu, bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit until golden brown on each side.
Boil the noodles according to the directions, then drain and rinse. I add a little sesame oil and soy sauce to the noodles for extra flavor.
Take your carrots and cucumbers and add 4 tbsp of rice vinegar and a 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of sugar and combine. You can massage the sugar and salt into the vegetables. Cover and put them in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Take all your ingredients from the peanut sauce and blend them in the Cuisinart. Add more coconut milk if the consistency is too thick or peanut butter if it’s too thin.
Now that all your ingredients are prepped you can assembles your bowls. Start with noodles at the bottom add your protein, carrots/cucumbers, sprig of cilantro, chopped peanuts, slice of lime. Top it off with your peanut sauce and hot sauce of choice.
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For those of you that asked. Here’s the Kung Pao chicken recipe I made last night and posted on Instagram. Some small edits to the recipe. I used thin pounded organic chicken and then cut it into small strips. The chicken is much more tender. I get my chicken from a butcher on Westwood Blvd The Rabbi’s Daughter. They pound each piece really thin and wrap it nicely so it defrosts quickly. I left out the brown sugar (you don’t have to). I used rice vinegar instead of white vinegar and used Chinese rice wine instead of white wine (either works). I also added dried red chilies which added some extra flavor and spice. You might need to reserve some extra liquid (either water or soy sauce) to remove some of the crust that forms on the bottom of the pan after you sauté the chicken and add the sauce. I served it with white rice and stir fried miso shishito peppers. I will definitely be making this again.
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