Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Quick Seafood Ramen Type Soup

I often make this when I'm in a hurry. I used to use packaged ramen noodle mix but now have opted for a healthier option using canned chicken broth, and fresher refrigerated noodles or rice vermicelli sticks. The packaged Ramen soup noodles are treated with a lot of chemicals to preserve them and also have a high sodium content. It's a kind of one pot meal and you can vary the carbohydrate content as you wish by decreasing the amounts of fish cake, frozen potstickers, and noodles, and increasing the amount of vegetables. There are few measurements as it makes it easier to adjust to your own taste. If you opt not to use raw shrimp that you have to clean and cook yourself, it all goes much faster. The broth absorbs the flavors of the fish cakes, potstickers and shrimp. It's very good and easy to make.

1 dozen medium sized shrimp (you can use either cooked, frozen or raw. I prefer to use raw shrimp that I shell, and clean myself)
4 pieces of Chinese or Korean fish cakes (these are a mixture of fish with some kind of starch)
3-4 frozen potstickers (any variety will do. I like pork and leek)
2 oz of flat, Italian noodles or dried rice vermicelli sticks
1 can Chicken Broth (I use Swanson)
Chinese green vegetables (I use mainly Yu Choy but any of the Chinese type cabbages (Bok Choy) may also be used)
Canned, sliced Bamboo shoots, baby corn, and water chestnuts. Amount and combination vary according to taste.
2 green onions, cleaned and sliced thinly.

Slice green onions thinly and place in large soup bowl. Wash whatever Chinese green vegetable you have selected and cut into pieces. Mix with the other canned vegetables you have decided to use. Set aside. If you are using raw shrimp, shell, and clean. If you are using cooked shrimp, naturally you can omit this step. Open the can of chicken broth and bring to a boil in a small pot. If you are using dried rice vermicelli sticks, put these in the broth and simmer until soft. They do take sometime to cook that's why it's easier to use the flat, refrigerated noodles as they cook a lot faster. Add the frozen fish cake and pot stickers to the broth and cook as directed on the package. While that is cooking, stir fry the Canned Chinese vegetables you have selected to use along with the shrimp in a wok(if you are using raw shrimp, cook until pink). Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables when they are done and the broth will bubble up. Remove from heat immediately and pour into your soup bowl that has the sliced green onions. If you like a little spiciness to the broth, now is a good time to add a squirt or two of a pepper sauce like Sriracha. Fresh herbs like Cilantro, Thai Basil can also be added. Drizzle a little sesame oil on top and enjoy!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Very Yummy Teabread!

I got the original recipe from my cousin-in-law, who in turn got it from her mother. I have modified it to include healthier options of wholewheat flour, spices, and coconut oil.

2 oz butter plus 2 oz coconut oil
8 fluid oz cold, dark, strong tea (I used 2 teabags to the 8 ozs water)
4 oz chopped dried fruit (I used raisins but cranberries could also be used)
4 oz fine brown sugar (dark or light, depending on the color teabread you want to end up with)
5 oz self raising flour
4 oz wholewheat flour
1 level tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice

1. Grease and flour a standard sized loaf tin. I also lined the bottom with parchment paper
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
3. Bring butter, oil, tea, fruit and sugar to a boil in a small pan, and simmer, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes. Remove from fire and allow to cool.
4. Mix cool liquid mixture with all dry ingredients and spices.
5. Mix thoroughly and place in prepared loaf tin.
6. Bake in center of oven for about 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Slice and serve with tea or coffee.

-Add zest of one orange to the wet ingredients
-Sprinkle 2 tbsp granola on top of the cake before putting it in the oven
-If you do not want to use wholewheat flour but only 9 oz self raising flour, omit the 1/2 tsp of baking powder.