Salads & Stir-Fries (From the Best Cookbook.)

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You can read about how I declared this the Best Cookbook You’ve Never Read <– here.

You can read about the first recipe I cooked from this cookbook here.

You can read about how I cooked tuna and salmon – {FROM A CAN!} – for the first time here.

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A few things to note/that I’ve learned:

As I’ve mentioned in past post, Jules is really teaching me how to cook, and adapt.

I know bottled salad dressing isn’t the best thing in the world with all of the additives. I know I should make my own vinaigrettes. There are thousands of recipe variations out there and they usually keep in the fridge for about a week. But usually I make one up, find it to be not quite to my liking and so much of my beautiful extra virgin olive oil goes to waste. Or I use it once and don’t eat salads for the rest of the week. I haven’t found that favorite go-to dressing yet!

What I learned about dressing through cooking out of 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes is that you don’t need a traditional one. Just a squeeze of lemon (or lime!) and a little drizzle of EVOO and you’ve got yourself a dressed salad.

But first, let’s start with that stir-fry I made…

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Summer Chicken Stir-Fry

I forgot to take a photo of this one. I was cooking this recipe when it was my turn to host Girls’ Dinner Night In. I really wanted to test out this recipe because I often am scurrying after work trying to prep a dinner when it’s my time to host GDNI. {Unless I use the slow cooker!}

Here are my notes, with what I changed in blue:

  • This recipe is supposed to serve only two. For Girls’ Dinner Night In, there was going to be three of us, plus one six-year-old.
  • I decided to make some parboiled rice to supplement and spread the dish. {The original recipe didn’t call for rice.} I made up a batch so I could freeze some for future use. {Especially for quick recipes like these!}
  • Again, you shouldn’t  really care about amounts that much in this recipe. The recipe called for “400g of minced chicken” I used a 544g package of ground turkey.
  • I added a cup of chopped frozen carrots for some extra veg and a pop of color. {The recipe only called for the green of zucchini and basil.}
  • I only had a bit of fresh basil left in my herb pot, so in addition to that, for a bit more flavor, I did my usual sauteing of a few cloves of garlic in some EVOO first.
  • I used cashews instead of almonds because my cashews were roasted and almonds raw and don’t cashews just seem like they should go into an Asian dish?
  • I used a regular saute pan rather than a wok because I don’t have one.
  • If this truly was going to only take about 10 minutes, I wanted to wait until the girls had arrived before I started cooking. {Except for the rice, I got that on early so I could make a big batch.}
  • One friend was running late, so I started the dish anyway, all while chatting with my other friend and her daughter. I forgot to time myself. With the slight distraction, it probably took 15 minutes and surely less than 20 because it was ready to go before our other friend even showed up!
  • The girls said they liked it, but I thought it was a little lacking in flavor. I seasoned mine a bit more and added Sriracha – Ahhh! much better
  • You can find this recipe in Jules Clancy’s cookbook 5 Ingredients, 10 minutes, or a similar recipe on her website, The Stone Soup.
  • This was so easy that I’d make some version of this again.

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Butter Bean and Smoked Chicken Salad

 

Here are my notes with my adaptations in blue:

  • You guys! I hadn’t had butter beans until now! I thought they were just like any other white bean like cannelini  or Great Northern beans. {And indeed, I’d say they can be used interchangeably.} I think I was thrown off because the beans in the cookbook photo were smaller sized and the ones in my can were big. They were so good!
  • This recipe called for 2 small handfuls of shredded roast or smoked chicken. I just pulled a 4 oz bag of cooked shredded chicken I had sitting in my freezer.
  • Because I wanted a more substantial salad, I used bagged salad greens to bulk this up instead of the just the parsley recommended in the recipe.
  • This recipe serves two, so I combined everything except the greens and put half of the mixture in the fridge for the following day.
  • Overall this seems strange that it took me a whole 7 minutes to put together, but that happens sometimes.
  • After I took the photo, I added the following at the last second: 1 tbsp shredded parmesan and 1 tbsp cashews
  • It was a lovely salad.
  • Will make again.

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Shredded Kale & White Bean Salad

Here are my notes:

  • My version isn’t the prettiest, but I didn’t add a bit of fried onion or shallot like the recipe suggested, instead I substituted shredded parmesan because it was just easier!
  • The dressing of EVOO, sherry vinegar and soy sauce was a bit too tangy for me. A few things I would do next time:
    • Put on the dressing a little at a time instead of adding the mixture to the dressing all at once.
    • Add more kale to stretch it out. {Perhaps my bunch was too small.}
    • Add something creamy to the salad to offset it a bit, like avocado or goat cheese
    • Add some yummy tomatoes! (If in season.)
  • I seasoned this dish generously, but after I took the photo, also decided to sprinkle some green onions and red pepper flakes on top!
  • This recipe took me 10 minutes.
  • Will make again.

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Yes, Jules uses lots of beans in the recipes out of 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes. They are high in protein, filling and quick! However, if you don’t like beans or your diet doesn’t allow, every recipe in her cookbook offers variations. So please don’t shy away from these!

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Do you have a favorite homemade stir-fry sauce?
Do you have a favorite homemade salad dressing?

Cheers~
Carrie

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Broccoli + Beans or Meat = Dinner Served | Season It Already!

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