Tag Archives: ginger

Cashew Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

 

You know my biggest topics I love to talk about are: 1) Healthy food, 2) Delicious & New foods, and 3) Affordable food, right?  Well, if you didn’t you do now.

Not much lights me up more than finding or creating a recipe that is good for you, quick and easy to make, and also draws rave reviews from a somewhat finicky eater.  Stir fry is almost always one of those meals.  Stir fry is always in my top ten for one simple reason: you can put just about anything in it.

Seriously.  Chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, scrambled eggs, fish, tofu, tempeh.  Broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, water chestnuts.  Ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, onions, garlic, nuts.

All of the above.

Sure, there are sometimes occasional fails (for the love of god, do not put oregano into your stir fry, just trust me. Also this is proof I’ve loved stir fry at least since 2011, and how far both my cooking and writing have come since then!).  But the majority of the time, the recipe of Protein + Veggie + Rice + Sauce = Magic.

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For this particular recipe, I had just made a batch of My Homemade Pickled Ginger and it had aged in the refrigerator a week or two, so I was eager to try it out.  I also had some black sesame seeds which had been a Christmas gift and I still hadn’t yet used.  Combine that with a cheap $1 store bagged mix of broccoli slaw, free green onions that grow wild in my yard, a cup of brown rice, and some other ingredients I always have on hand, and I had a super quick, super cheap, and super satisfying dinner.

A few notes on substitutions:  If you do not like cashews or don’t buy them because of cost, you can easily substitute peanuts or almonds.  Or if you’re allergic, definitely omit them!  (You could add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a boost of vitamins if you like).  If you don’t like onions, use chives, or parsley, or just don’t add it in.  I used brown rice because I like the texture and I like the nutrition as compared to white, but you can totally use white rice, or a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture!  You can use shredded or powdered ginger instead of fresh.  And if you don’t like bagged store mixes, feel free to shred your own broccoli, cabbage, and/or carrots.

Cashew Ginger Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked diced or shredded chicken
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw mix
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or veggie stock or water)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp sliced pickled ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp crushed cashew pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion/chives
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

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Step 1: Put the bagged slaw mix and mushrooms in a large pan with the olive oil and stock or water and cover.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Once the veggies are softened, remove the lid and add the soy sauce and ginger.  Add in the chicken, mix well to coat, and let the liquid evaporate until most is gone.

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Step 2: Put about 1/2 cup cooked rice and 1/2 the cooked mixture on a place in whatever way visually pleases you.

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Step 3: Sprinkle the crushed cashews and green onions on top.  Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Homemade Pickled Ginger

 

If you’re a sushi fan like me, you are familiar with the paper-thin, spicy yet sweet pickled ginger sushi usually comes with.  If you want an authentic at-home sushi experience (you can even try making your own! It’s probably easier than you think), you could buy it in a jar.  Or, for far less, you can make it yourself!

Ginger is a unique and strong flavor that is unmistakable and irreplaceable.  Ginger is delicious in ale, beer, tea, stir fry… you get the picture.  A few thin slices added to steamed veggies takes dinner from “meh” to “did you get this from a restaurant?”  A few slivers of ginger elevates a cup of plain green tea to something decadent and exotic.  A few pieces or ginger juice in soup adds layers of flavor and depth.  And in good times and bad, ginger ale soothes and refreshes.

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Not only does ginger taste delicious, it is also known to have hosts of health promoting effects on the body.  From head to toe, ginger has seemingly magical properties to aid and ease all kinds of complaints.  From ancient times to modern homeopaths, midwives and housewives, ginger in fresh, powdered, or pill form is useful for many health purposes.  Here are just a few:

The Benefits of Ginger

  1. Anti-Nausea: Ginger is a known remedy for motion sickness, morning sickness, and any other sickness which makes you feel like you need a trash can, stat.
  2. Cold & Flu Prevention: When you or a loved one starts to feel a little under the weather, some nice ginger tea may be just what the doctor ordered. Or at least, just the thing to keep you from needing to go to the doctor. This may also help with allergies!
  3. Reduces Inflammation: Ginger is a known anti-inflammatory, and some studies show it may even be just as effective as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin & ibuprofen.
    Ginger Heart
  4. Strengthens Immunity: Ginger helps to stimulate your body’s immune system, to build up new cells and make you more able to resist microscopic invaders on a day to day basis. It also decreases bacterial infections in the stomach.
  5. Prevents Cancer: Studies have shown that chemicals present in ginger help inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells.  It also induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells.  Who knows what else this powerful plant can do!
  6. Stimulates Appetite: If you haven’t been feeling hungry, try a piece of ginger 10-30 minutes before a meal.  Ginger can help stimulate appetite and get your digestive juices flowing.
  7. Assists Digestion/Absorption: Ginger has many healing properties all along the digestive tract, from stimulating digestive juices in the mouth, to the stomach, to the intestines.  Ginger with a meal or in tea helps you get the most out of the nutrients in the foods.

Jar of Fresh Pickled Ginger Slices

The best news of all is that it is super easy to make your own pickled ginger and have it around all the time!  Ginger keeps well in the refrigerator for a week or more, and even longer in the freezer.  But if you pickle the ginger, you can store it for months in the fridge.  All you need is a nice big chunk of ginger root, some vinegar (rice vinegar is best, but honest you can use just about any kind), and sugar.  A tiny dash of salt helps too.  This recipe makes about one pint jar worth, feel free to multiply it for larger batches, or halve it for just a single meal’s worth.

Slice of Homemade Pickled Ginger

Ingredients:

  • 1 large fresh gingerroot (about 8 oz)
  • 1 cup vinegar (rice wine or apple cider are best)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 – 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to fill jar

Sliced Ginger Root Ready to Be Pickled

Step 1: Peel the ginger using a sharp knife, butter knife, or a table spoon.  (Honest, it works!)  Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the ginger as thinly as possible.  My mandoline, even on the thinnest setting, still sliced these super thick, so I won’t be eating these slices alone.  Most likely they will get diced into stir fry or a strip or two tossed into a cup of tea.

Step 2: Pour the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Place the slices into a glass container (such as a canning jar, or clean pasta jar) and pour the hot liquid over, using a funnel if needed.  Cap it tight, and let cool overnight.

Big Piece of Pickled Ginger

And that’s all there is to it!  Put the jar in the refrigerator, and let it sit for at least 2 hours, but the longer it sits the more pickled it will become.  It also may turn pink over time, due to the enzymes in the ginger, this is nothing to be concerned about.  Use more or less sugar and salt to your tastes, or experiment with the types of vinegar.

Let me know in what recipes you use your ginger!

Homemade Pickled Ginger

Homemade Pickled Ginger

Ingredients

  • 1 large fresh ginger root (about 8 oz)
  • 1 cup vinegar (rice wine or apple cider are best)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 - 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water to fill jar

Instructions

  1. Peel the ginger using a sharp knife, butter knife, or a table spoon. (Honest, it works!) Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the ginger as thinly as possible. My mandoline, even on the thinnest setting, still sliced these super thick, so I won't be eating these slices alone. Most likely they will get diced into stir fry or a strip or two tossed into a cup of tea.
  2. Pour the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Place the slices into a glass container (such as a canning jar, or clean pasta jar) and pour the hot liquid over, using a funnel if needed. Cap it tight, and let cool overnight.
  3. And that's all there is to it!
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SOURCES

Bok Choi – Ginger Juice

 

For those who are unfamiliar, bok choi or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage. It is about the size of a fist, and has tight, dark green leaves forming a cluster similar to celery. They contain a good amount of vitamin A and C, as well as glucosinolates, substances believed to protect against cancer in small doses.

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Bok choi is delicious lightly steamed or stir-fried, with some lemon juice & salt alongside a filet of fish or rice. However, I had a large amount from a recent trip to my favorite Asian grocery, and wanted to use its delightful vitamin content and phytochemicals to make a green juice in lieu of spinach.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups bok choi
  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1/4 green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2-3 inch piece fresh ginger

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Rinse and chop all vegetables, and run them through your juicer. Alternate the soft greens and harder carrots/apples. If you need it sweetened up even further, you can mix in some store bought apple juice, or add another cup of fruits to the mix.

This juice is full of awesome vitamins and nutrients, enzymes, phytochemicals and chrlorophyll. It is lightly sweet, and has a nice tang from the ginger.

But why is it ‘foamy’ on top?

Good question, I wondered that myself. When you juice, the juicer produces some amount of foam by inserting air bubbles into the juice. The type of juicer makes a difference; slower “masticating” juicers will cause less foaming than high-speed “centrifugal” juicers. Also higher-fiber produce makes it bubblier than low-fiber produce.

You can scoop or skim off the foam before consuming without losing nutrients. It is mostly air bubbles and oxidized fiber. You can also strain your juice prior to enjoying. I usually just stir it well a few times to mix as thoroughly as possible, and if the foam is still thick I’ll skim off a tablespoon or so before drinking it down.

Turmeric Ginger Juice

 

Juices are a great way to add in extra vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables if you feel you don’t get enough in your regular diet. They are not a substitute for real, whole fruits and vegetables, because you miss out on the peels, flesh, seeds, and fibers. However, they are tasty and a good option for a little extra boost.

Some fruits and vegetables are already well-known for their juicing abilities, such as apples, carrots, celery, or spinach. However, there are many herbs and spices which would also be beneficial to add to your morning or afternoon pick-me-ups.

Two of my favorites currently are both roots, turmeric and ginger. Turmeric is beginning to gain more fame in the cooking community for its gorgeous yellow coloring, delicious flavor, and many health-promoting capabilities. Turmeric has long been used in medicine. It is thought to help ease arthritis, heartburn, stomach aches, diarrhea, intestinal distress, bloating, as well as increase appetite, and decrease liver and gallbladder disorders.

Turmeric does contain compounds which may reduce inflammation and swelling, contributing to its ascribed powers of easing the above-named illnesses. Traditional Eastern medicine claims even more potential benefits, ranging from curing headaches and bronchitis to more serious diseases such as fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ginger, meanwhile, is an herb with an underground rhizome which is the most-often used part of the plant in both medicine and cooking. Most often ginger is ascribed powers of curing any “stomach problems” such as motion sickness, colic, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach aches. Other potential benefits include its use as a gentle, natural laxative and relief from muscle soreness, back pain, or stomach pain.

Whether or not you want potential relief from any of these symptoms, it is great for your heart and cardiovascular health to include these two roots in your cooking routine. Ginger is a delicious flavoring agent in stir fry and tea, and turmeric gives rice and curries a pungent smell and vibrant yellow color.

One simple way to get these benefits and more is to juice your roots! That’s right, simply add small pieces of these fresh, or a tsp or two powdered right into your liquid concoctions. This recipe was adapted from Jim over at Be Mindful Be Human’s Turmeric and Ginger Milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 fresh pineapple (or 1/2 can chunks)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1-2 sticks celery
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp ginger (or 1″ piece root)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder (or 1″ root)
  • 1/3 cup greens (spinach, kale)

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Step 1: Slice all your fruits and veg into a size your juicer can handle. Juice them all, alternating soft (greens) and harder (carrot, apple) pieces.

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Step 2: Add the ginger and turmeric, and stir well to mix. Fresh juices will often settle, and the micronutrients begin breaking down almost immediately, so try to enjoy within 20 minutes of juicing.

 

Recipe Review: Food Babe’s “Ravishing Red Juice”

 

For those of you who don’t know, the “Food Babe” aka Vani Hari, is a food activist, passionate foodie and educator, and creator of fabulous health-promoting recipes. Any questions you have about your food, or questions you didn’t even know you should have asked, check her out.

You may know that I have a juicer, and am trying to incorporate more fresh juice into my diet, if only as an easy way to get more veggie goodness. I love me some vitamins and phytonutrients! So one day I was reading through some of Food Babe’s writings, and found her juicing advice and recipes. There was one in particular that intrigued me: The Ravishing Red Juice.

Getting its ravishing red color mainly from beets, this juice has blood-cleansing capabilities, immune-boosting ginger, and hair/skin/nail magic from carrots. Toss in some cooling cucumber and power greens, this baby is the complete package! And for those who don’t like juices because of the bitterness, SUGAR is made from BEETS! So yeah, this juice basically has all the ingredients to totally rock.

I altered Vani’s recipe slightly by throwing in half a lemon because I had a bag and I love citrus in everything, and leaving out the apple since I had none of those and the beet sweetened it enough for me. If you want your juice even more palatable throw in the apple, sure. Other than that, let the good times roll!

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Ingredients:
  • 2 thick carrots
  • 1 big red beet
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger root
  • 3 full kale leaves
  • Handful of parsley

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Step 1: Wash all your veggies well and shake off excess water. Cut up the veggies, and get your juicer and two glasses ready.

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There are two ways to do this. You can either juice everything into one big cup then split it up (or drink a mega-juice!) or you can split up all the ingredients into two even piles.

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Step 2: Alternating between hard ingredients (like carrots, cucumber, lemon) and softer ingredients (kale, parsley), juice all your veggies. The beets give up this glorious, deep magenta-red juice that gives the drink its name.

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Step 3: Mix your drink to ensure no pulpy chunks, and enjoy! The slight tang of ginger and lemon effectively erases any bitterness from the palate. The beet juice is delightfully sweet, but not overpowering. And if you want it overly sweet, like I said add in some apples or even berries.

 

 

To health, wealth, and vitality.

<3 BE

 

 

Asian Chicken Salad

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This salad has a delightful combination of ginger, lemon, and orange. The crunchy ramen noodles combine with the greens, chicken, and citrus is sure to delight. Have an Asian night at home, or bring a big bowl to your next pot luck.
Ingredients:
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 package Ramen noodles
  • 2 cups lettuce or greens
  • 2 mini oranges
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • Fresh pineapple

Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
Step 1: Dice the garlic, and cut the ginger into slivers. Peel and section the oranges.
Step 2: Put 2 tbsp butter or margarine in a pan, and toast the almond slivers for 2-3 minutes. Add in the ramen noodles, and more butter if needed, and toast. Keep the seasoning packet for another use. Remove to a plate.
Step 3: Dice the chicken breast into cubes. Add to the pan along with the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and mustard. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
Step 4: Slice the pineapple into chunks for topping. Add in the cores of the pineapple to the pan and simmer.
Step 5: For each salad, add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk. Pile 1-2 cups greens on a plate, and top with pineapple chunks, orange slices, the toasted noodles and almonds, cooked chicken, and dressing.
The buttery crunchy noodles are so tasty, and the fruit adds a sweet note. The gingery, salty, garlicky chicken is delicious and could be used in so many other dishes as well.
Simply omit the chicken or use tofu instead to make this dish vegetarian. If you have actual glass noodles or other Asian noodles, you could also use those. If you don’t have or like almonds, try peanuts or cashews.

Butternut Squash Soup

I recently had a dinner party, and in the spirit of the season (fall) I decided to make butternut squash soup as one of my main dishes. Earlier I posted about butternut squash macaroni & cheese, if you have one and soup just isn’t your thing. No reason not to enjoy the bounties of fall, regardless of texture preferences.
So as per usual, I googled around and pulled from several recipes and what I had in the house to come up with this. It received universally positive reviews! I made a large amount since I was feeding 6, you can cut everything in half for a smaller number of people.
Ingredients:
2 squash, halved and seeded
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 small chunk peeled raw ginger (about 1 inch)
1 white onion
4 chicken bouillon cubes
5 cups water
1 package cream cheese
Cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander seasoning

Step 1: Place halved squash on a baking pan with a little water. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork.

Step 2: While the squash are baking, boil the carrots, celery, onion and ginger in chicken water until tender.

Step 3: Scoop the squash out of the skin and blend in a blender. There’s a surprisingly large amount of flesh in there, I had to do it in three batches. Add hot water from the pot to thin it out. Blend in the cream cheese, the vegetables and chicken stock as well, put it all back into a large stock pot.

Step 4: Add a healthy dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or coriander, adjusting to your tastes. Bring to just a simmer, and enjoy.

This is a great taste of fall, good on its own or I’m sure you could pair it with any number of dishes. You could probably mix and match too, if you wanted to try pumpkin or acorn squash instead. You could add milk or half and half to make it creamier, or omit the cream cheese & chicken bouillon to make it vegan.