November 17, 2011
Well, the trend continues… I am still on my cooking kick and tried three new recipes this week. First up, in honor of the Eagles game last Sunday, I decided to go GREEN and make Edamame Ravioli using Won Ton paper. It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done! In case you aren’t familiar with this little green bean, edamame is a Japanese dish (soy bean in a pod) that is usually coated with a little bit of salt and eaten right out of the pod. You’ll definitely see this dish at any sushi restaurant you go to, and if you’ve never tried it before, add it to your list of things to do – asap!
So I pureed edamame beans with lime juice and a little bit of ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Drop about a teaspoon of the mixture into the center of each Won Ton wrapper and then fold however you’d like. Dumpling, ravioli, envelope, whatever… Place them into a pot of boiling water for about a minute or two and that’s it! You can also bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with soy or teriyaki sauce, or my personal favorite, sweet and sour sauce. It was fun to fold each wrapper into a different shape, but I think the best way to do it was in the style of a dumpling, bringing each corner together and pinching in the center. This is a fun and simple appetizer to make when you’re entertaining guests or just hanging out (watching football, for example) with some friends.
My next attempt was a Butternut Squash Risotto, a recipe I got from Skinnytaste.com. I want to make this for Thanksgiving next week so I had to try it out first! I brought it over to my aunt’s for dinner and the overall consensus was that it was good, but I went a little heavy on the cheese and the rice could have been cooked a little bit longer. That’s what a trial run is for, the eke out all the kinks so it’s better the next time you make it! Risotto is extremely hard to make, and takes a long time – I guess I let my impatience get the best of me and didn’t let it cook long enough. It was fun to make though; cooking really can be such a relaxing activity to do. I poured myself a glass of wine, put the Food Network on (duh!) and got to work. I got a butternut squash to cut it up and puree myself, added it to the fat free, unsalted chicken broth and let that simmer. All the other ingredients (arborio rice included) go into another pan and must constantly be stirred while gradually adding in the stock. This can get tiring, but you gotta do what you gotta do! Where I went wrong was the addition of the Italian Pecorino cheese at the end. It’s already a really strong tasting cheese so I didn’t need too much, but I didn’t realize that and put it more than needed. I actually think I may just use a grated parmesan cheese when I make the dish again next week; still that good Italian cheese taste, but nowhere near as strong. My family did like it, especially my uncle. He had seconds and thirds!
Today I decided to bake again, this time using a recipe from Dashingdish.com for Banana Chip Muffins. I couldn’t find muffin tins so I decided to bake it like a cake and then cut it up into muffin bars. I also thought of adding a bit of pumpkin puree into the mix since I have 2 containers of it in my freezer. So now the Banana Chip Muffins are Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Bars. The site says these muffins are only 75 calories each, so with the added pumpkin puree they can’t be much more. They’re made with flour, stevia instead of real sugar, egg whites, water, vanilla extract, vanilla protein, baking powder, and cinnamon and I used Ghirardelli double chocolate chips. NO butter! The batter was very watery so I was a little wary about it whether it would work out, but I put the concoction into the oven anyway and 18 minutes later, I had a one huge muffin bar! A thin layer on the outside was a little overcooked, but the inside came out so gooey and moist and delicious that the overdone part didn’t bother me at all!