Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Alter-Ego Is Asian

Geisha GirlImage by sweis78 via FlickrWhen I tell people I like to cook, they often ask, "What do you like to cook?" I think they are really surprised to find out that my niche is actually healthy Asian food.  Yup, I take my favorite Asian recipes and ingredients and make my own healthy concoctions from them.

I'm pretty good at Asian, which is weird because I have no training in it, never ate much of it as a kid, and have no Asian relatives to teach me.  Although I do have a sister-in-law named Tai, but counter to intuition, she's actually Mexican and not Thai at all!

Here's my theory: You cook well what you love.  I love Asian food, therefore I cook it well.  I don't like, per-say, pie; and predictably don't bake it well, either.  My husband loves sweets, and bakes the best darn pie, cake, cookie you've ever seen.  So, cook what you love, and love what you cook.

If you like Asian food, here's a few thing you must always have around.  I use these ingredients in almost every recipe and they are awesome on flavor, and not on calories.
  • Sesame Oil
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Mustard Seed
  • Garlic Chili Sauce
  • Honey
  • Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Ginger
Once you have the basics in your cupboard, there is endless possibilities: Thai Fried Rice, Asian Chicken Salad, Thai Noodles, Pad Thai, Noodles in Peanut Sauce, Teriyaki Chicken, Stir Fry, Spring Rolls...I'm going to share two recipes with you today.

Ok, so on to the recipes.  The reason I'm sharing these two recipes with you is because yesterday was my sister's birthday.  I told her I would make her anything she wants.  She chose my Asian Noodles and Egg Flower Soup (yes, really).  It's incredibly easy, and incredibly spicy.  So if you like red hot Asian, give this a try!

Easy Egg Flower Soup (1-2 points/serving)


1 Box of Chicken Broth
2-4 Green Onions, sliced
1 Clove of Garlic
1TSP Sesame Oil
2 Egg Whites, Beaten
Salt, to taste
Soy Sauce, to taste

10-12 Leaves of Cilantro
1 Can of Water Chestnuts
Fresh Carrots (sliced)
1/4C Frozen Peas

Bring chicken broth, green onions, garlic, sesame oil, and optional ingredients to a boil.  Add optional ingredients and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Add beaten egg whites to boil, stirring as you add.  Voila!  Soup.

Amber's Asian Noodles (Makes 8 Servings, 7 points/serving)


8 Chicken Tenders or 3 Large Breasts
1/2C Soy Sauce
4TBSP Honey
2 Packets of Sugar Substitute
2TBSP Low Fat Margarine
2 TBSP Garlic Chili Sauce
1TSP Ground Ginger
1/2TSP Garlic Salt
2C of Coleslaw Mix, Cabbage, or Celery
Cashews (Optional)
Sesame Seeds
1 Package Japanese Noodles (I use Nanka Seimen Kishimen Rice Noodles available at Kroger/Fred Meyer) or Whole Wheat Pasta

Slice chicken into small pieces.  In a bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, sugar, margarine, chili sauce, ginger, and garlic sauce.  Add chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cook the noodles per the instructions.  Rice noodles require that you bring a small amount of water to a boil, add noodles, allow to boil over, add one cup of cold water, allow to boil over again, repeat three times and then cover and set aside for five minutes.

Once you have covered and set aside the noodles, bring a wok to high heat and add chicken mixture.  Cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, then add cabbage/celery until slightly soft.  Drain noodles.  Add cashews and drained noodles and stir fry over high heat for a minute or two.  Top with sesame seeds.

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