Cooking On The Go
By Janet Groene, F47166
Let’s combine light eating with light duty in the galley. These food ideas are attractive and tasty, as well as easy on the cook and the waistline. Many of these recipes can be made using only a burner or two plus a microwave-convection oven.
Moo Shu Beef
It takes only a few minutes to stir-fry the beef in a wok or nonstick skillet. The meat can be sliced ahead of time at home if you like. Keep it very cold and don’t add the marinade until 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook.
16 ounces beef, sirloin or round
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups packaged coleslaw mix
1 bunch scallions, sliced
Approximately 1/2-cup red and green bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 low-carb flour tortillas, 8-inch size
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Slice the beef thinly across the grain. This is easier to do if the meat is partially frozen. Put the beef, soy sauce, and garlic in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate. Drain the meat and discard the marinade. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and stir-fry the meat and vegetables until the vegetables are crisp-tender. In a measuring cup or bowl, stir the cornstarch into the water; add to the meat mixture; and stir over high heat just until the liquid thickens and clears. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds. Brush the shells lightly with hoisin sauce and fill each with approximately 1/2-cup of the meat mixture. Fold over and serve. This recipe makes four servings.
Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole
This recipe is a takeoff on the classic green bean casserole and makes a complete meal in one pot.
Chow mein noodles are a splurge on carbs and calories, but you can use a diet-smart condensed soup in the chicken mixture. If you really want to shave calories to the bone, substitute shredded raw cabbage for the noodles. The cabbage provides crunchy contrast to the creamy green bean mixture, but at a fraction of the calories.
6-ounce package chow mein noodles
16-ounce package frozen, French-cut green beans
10-ounce can chunk chicken, broken up
10.75-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese
Divide the chow mein noodles among four serving plates. Place the green beans in a saucepan and drain the chicken juices into the pan, adding water only as necessary to cook the green beans. Cook the green beans, covered, over low heat just until tender. Drain the excess liquid from the beans and stir in the chicken, soup, and Worcestershire sauce. Heat until the chicken is hot and spoon onto the noodles. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Assemble this casserole ahead of time to bake for dinner. The meat mixture can be made at home before you leave, and it’s easy to triple or quadruple the recipe. Freeze several batches to use in this recipe, to serve over rice, and as a taco filling. If you’re making this recipe from scratch in the motorhome, cook the meat mixture in the same pan you used for the polenta to save yourself from washing more dishes.
3/4-cup yellow cornmeal
1-1/4 cups water
1 packet Butter Buds brand butter-flavored mix
1/4-cup egg substitute
In a nonstick saucepan, add the cornmeal to the water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in the Butter Buds; then stir in the egg substitute. Cool until the mixture holds its shape. Grease a six-cup ovenproof casserole and, using the back of a spoon, smear the bottom and sides evenly with the cornmeal mixture. Set aside.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground turkey breast
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 medium onion, diced
14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3-cup pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, brown the ground turkey, then stir in the green pepper, garlic, and onion. Pour off any excess fat and stir in the tomatoes. Cover; simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender; and stir in the raisins and olives. Turn the meat mixture into the cornmeal shell and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If you’re making this recipe in advance, simply add the meat to the cornmeal shell and chill for future baking. Increase the baking time if the casserole is cold. To serve this dish, dig deep into the casserole to get even amounts of polenta and meat. This recipe makes four servings. Add a crisp salad and diet gelatin for dessert.
Note that this cake has no added sugar. Nevertheless, apple juice concentrate is high in sugar and must be considered in any low-carb diet. To save time, measure the dry ingredients into a resealable plastic bag before you leave home.
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup apple juice concentrate
16-ounce can or jar of unsweetened applesauce or pie-sliced apples
1/2-cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and instant coffee. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the apple juice concentrate, mixing well each time. Fold in the applesauce, walnuts, and raisins. Turn the batter into a greased 9-inch-by-12-inch baking pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 325 degrees, or until the cake is springy to the touch. Serve in squares, topped with powdered sugar, ice cream, or vanilla pudding.
Make this one-dish salad on a steamy summer day when you don’t want to cook. This recipe makes eight servings of tabbouleh, but leftovers are versatile, so use some with canned tuna, or serve as a side dish with meat from the grill.
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
6 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup bulgur, washed and soaked according to package directions
Scant teaspoon allspice
1/2-cup lemon juice
1/2-cup olive oil
1/2-teaspoon dried mint leaves (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste
1 3.5-ounce can tuna per serving
1 or 2 romaine lettuce leaves per serving
Fold the parsley, green onions, and tomatoes into the softened bulgur wheat. Whisk together the allspice, lemon juice, olive oil, and dried mint; toss lightly with the bulgur mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon a mound of tabbouleh onto a serving plate and carefully turn out an individual can of well-drained, water-packed tuna atop each serving. Place the romaine lettuce on the plate to serve as a garnish and a scoop. Complete the meal with caraway bread sticks and a dessert of root beer floats made with sugar-free soda and low-carb vanilla ice cream.
Shop for big, puffy, dark rye rolls to use for sandwiches, or serve the chicken as a knife-and-fork meal with baked potatoes and buttered beets.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
16- to 20-ounce can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
Thousand Island dressing
4 slices Swiss cheese
Arrange the chicken halves in a lightly greased, 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with an even layer of sauerkraut and drizzle lightly with Thousand Island dressing. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and top each serving with a slice of Swiss cheese. When the cheese is melted, serve on plates or in buns with more Thousand Island dressing to taste.
This is an interesting dessert sauce to serve warm or cold over plain pound cake, cinnamon toast, or ice cream. It can be made with real, imitation, or sugar-free maple syrup. Try it with desserts or with French toast for breakfast.
1 stick real butter
16-ounce bottle maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Stirring constantly over low flame, add the syrup until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. To reheat the sauce, microwave gently, adding a little water or more syrup to thin the sauce if necessary.
Microwave-convection recipe of the month:
4 small Cornish game hens
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 or 3 ribs celery, diced
6-ounce package shredded imitation crab blend
1/2-cup bread crumbs
Apple juice or orange juice to moisten
Thaw the game hens and place them on a baking pan lined with nonstick foil or foil that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Melt the butter in a covered microwavable container, add the onion and celery, and microwave on high for one minute to soften the vegetables. Stir in the crab and bread crumbs and add just enough apple or orange juice to moisten the stuffing so it holds together. Don’t over-moisten the stuffing, because it also will absorb the juices from the hens when cooked. Set the oven to 325 degrees. Stuff the hens with the crab mixture and tie the legs to keep the stuffing from escaping. Roast the hens for 55 minutes. If the outsides of the hens aren’t brown enough, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Complete the meal with salad, rolls, and lime sherbet.
Books for cooks
New from Surrey Books is Diabetes Snacks, Treats & Easy Eats ($12.95). The recipes themselves are unremarkable, but authors Barbara Grunes and Linda Yoakam, R.D., give full nutritional and exchange information to make it easy for newly diagnosed diabetics to plan full menus within a daily allowance. Instructions are very clear and detailed, making this 160-page book a find for those who must adjust their diet due to diabetes.
It’s great fun to read Kevin Telles Roberts’ new cookbook, Munchies ($12.95, Storey Books). This book is from a hip, young foodie whose working mother left him home to cook or go hungry. He’s devised dozens of easy recipes such as making ice cream sandwiches from vanilla ice cream and toasted Eggos, sauced with maple syrup. If you’re a new cook with daring and a sense of humor, this funny book is food for thought.
On a new plane
Two brothers, Richard and Jeff Grace, invented a razor-sharp plane for woodworkers. One day the wife of a Canadian hardware store owner who carried the product used a plane that her husband had brought home to grate orange zest for a cake she was making. The rest is history. Microplane graters/zesters come in a variety of sizes and coarseness levels. The graters are ideal for small jobs, such as grating cheese or zest. They are extremely sharp, so use and store with caution. Look for the products in the housewares department of stores or contact (800) 555-2767 or www.microplane.com.