Sizzling Sesame Shrimp Stir Fry

 Posted by on August 11, 2013
Aug 112013
 

shrimp stir fry

Original vs. Substitute Sam

nutrition facts


Ideation

Working at Target as a contractor has brought ups and downs for sure. At times the work is engaging and fun, and at other times you get after hours phone calls from the director of your department looking for answers to a snowballing half-billion dollar issue. The former was the basis for this post and the latter happened tonight as I was writing and cooking for this post.

The story begins a few days ago as I was helping a manager work through a few problems on her project when the topic of food and healthy cooking was brought up. She mentioned her son–an individual living with Aspergers–was quite particular in his food choices and had been battling weight issues as a result.

Ken's asian sesameShe began naming a few of the foods he would eat; corn, sugar snap peas, celery, and an affinity for anything lathered in Ken’s Asian Sesame appeared to be staples in his diet.

My mind began looking for a pattern in his food choices and how they could be incorporated into one dish. I felt a stir fry would provide a healthy option that includes crunchy vegetables, is relatively easy to prepare, and would fit nicely with his love for Ken’s Asian Sesame.

Here’s to to this young man, I hope you enjoy!


Recipe

1. Dress shrimp by detailing, shelling, and patting dry
  • 15-20 shrimp (300g)
2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and prepare the vegetables for stir frying

 

3. Rinse snap peas, water chestnuts, and baby corn in a colander and let dry while you mince onion, green pepper, and celery into small pieces
  • 2 C celery (220g)
  • 1 C onion (100g)
  • 1 C green pepper (100g)
  • 1 C sugar snap peas (90g)
  • 14 oz can of baby corn
  • 8 oz can of water chestnuts
4. Add sesame oil to pan and fry shrimp until edges brown (1-2 min per side) and set cooked shrimp aside in large bowl
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • shrimp
5. Stir fry vegetables in groups (do not crowd pan) using roughly 1/2 to 1 TBSP oil per group sauteeing until a nice brown begins to appear (3-5 minutes). Set aside in the same bowl as shrimp as each group finishes (see tutorial below on basic stir fry skills).
  • 1-2 TBSP sesame oil
  • celery and green peppers
  • onions and snap peas
  • baby corn and water chestnuts
6. Add in Ken’s Asian Sesame (mix with 1 tsp of corn starch in a bowl for thicker consistency) and toss with stir fry
  • 4 TBSP Ken’s Asian Sesame (check for gluten-free additives if GF desired)
  • 1 TSP corn starch (optional)

finished stir fry


Fun Facts

I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU! 

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Simply Sinless Pie Crust

 Posted by on July 31, 2013
Jul 312013
 

Finished Pie Crust

Original vs. Substitute Sam

nutrition facts


Ideation

Common misconceptions about the taste of healthy foods are starting to shift, especially as people begin to realize it doesn’t mean we have to give up “sweets” we just have to find a new way to make them. After a few tweaks to this recipe I think we’ve got a damn good substitute to traditional pie crust if I must say so myself.

The crust produces a delightfully dense texture that works well with pudding and mousse fillings. The light nutty and cinnamon flavors fill the house with comfort smells, which is exactly what I needed tonight.

As I sat on my Love Sac listening to some tunes, tinkering around on Pinterest, and basking in the aroma I noticed the lights begin to flicker. Being I live in an apartment with a history of electrical issues I didn’t think much of it and continued to imagine my vocals were on par with B.O.B. by playing music so loud I couldn’t hear myself sing… until a thunderous CRACK showed me up.

Carnage in the CourtyardI looked towards the courtyard and notice a storm that combines the monsoon rains from the final scenes of Jumanji and the winds from Twister. Naturally, I getup to try and get a better view when I notice the northwoods version of a Giant Redwood laying directly in front of my friend Derek’s patio door.

I immediately call him to see what’s going on and–staying with the movie theme–like Dane Cook’s “Car Accident” bit, we’re both describing exactly what we were doing when we heard the “accident”.

Turns out the wind had its way with our pool furniture while our tree murdered a wooden table, falling just feet away from Derek’s window.

Did I mention the pie crust turned out awesome?


Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

 

2. Mix chia seeds with water and let stand for 10+ minutes while prepping the other ingredients
3. Combine oats, flaxmeal, cinnamon, and salt in mixing bowl
Raw Pie Crust
4. Add in syrup, water, oil, and chia mix stirring until evenly distributed
  • 1 TBSP sugar-free syrup
  • 2 TBSP hot water
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • chia mix from step 2
5. Coat 9-inch pie pan with oil or spray and press crust mixture into pan using a spatula

 

6. Bake for 20 minutes and use a toothpick to check the center and determine if its cooked through (may require another 5-10 mins)
Finished Pie Crust

Fun Facts

I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU! 

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Skinny Spaghetti Squash

 Posted by on July 21, 2013
Jul 212013
 

Spaghetti Squash

Original vs. Substitute Sam

The irony of this title is I often eat twice as much of this spaghetti substitute and my stomach feels anything but ‘skinny’ after. But there’s good news, eating twice as much ‘Skinny’ Spaghetti Squash is a great problem to have!

  • Spaghetti squash has no gluten
  • A cup is 45 quality calories, packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Significantly lower carbohydrates than pasta

nutrition facts


Ideation

 

Spaghetti Squash PamphletAfter hearing my youngest brother Zach would be having spaghetti at his graduation party I saw an immediate opportunity to introduce the idea to family and friends. At first I second guessed the idea for of coming across as pushy, but I reminded myself the intention is to help others find fun ways to live healthier and it’s up to the individual to make the choice. So I began brainstorming how I could pull this off.

1) I had to find a way to communicate the benefits to everyone without coming across as a crappy Dish TV salesman in Sam’s Club. 

So what do I do?

Create pamphlets like a crappy bank salesman from Cub Foods!

2) It was important the product was fresh so people enjoyed it and didn’t have a bad first impression of these new spaghetti noodles so I’d have to make them that day.

No problem, the noodles take about 40 minutes to bake in the oven and My mother’s cooking army was to have free reign in the kitchen by 10 o’clock (apparently it takes a 2 hours to bake a pan of bread sticks). No problem though, I’ll just wake up early and cook them to be done by 11 right?

Not so fast says one of my best friends, Jake, and his family. Instead, they insisted a round of golf and a few drinks were in order since we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. A few turned into too many to drive home, a late night by the campfire, and a late start to the next day…

10:00 AM: Party day rolls around I’m just getting picked up by my older brother Ike.

10:25 AM: I arrive home smelling like last nights bonfire, tired, and probably smelled like hops. Mom’s stress level is a 10 on a continuum of 0 to 1. At this point I find out we’ve got enough spaghetti noodles for Patch Adams to fill a swimming pool for that sweet old woman and “just in case” my Mom baked 300 additional brownies.

10:30 AM: Mom sees me and immediately knows the squash are not cooking yet. After taking a few verbal punches–of which I probably deserved)–and a bit of charm I’ve got the oven until preheating with an extension until 11 AM.

10:45 AM: I’ve got 5 squashes halved, dressed, oiled, seasoned, and tossed into the oven with 15 minutes until the deadline and 40 minutes until the squash is done.

11:00 AM: As Mom’s army of bread stick bakers arrives my squashes are hard as a rock and I know I’ve got to tread lightly to keep these babies cookin! Thankfully, my mom just bought an appliance resembling more of a spaceship than an oven unit and it has multiple ovens. On top of that, the head chef is one of my favorite family friends and she kindly agrees to place my pans in the main oven and uses the top “single rack” oven.

11:20 AM: My squashes are done to perfection. I “noodle” them and transfer the food to a crockpot for warmth and quickly escape the kitchen.

12:00 PM: The party starts, pamphlets are out, and the first person tried the squash without dying.

2:00 PM: A few compliments and 5 spaghetti squashes later

Mission Accomplished.


Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 450 F

 

Raw and Cooked Spaghetti Squash

2. Cut the top off of the squash, slice in half vertically (hot dog style)
  • 1 spaghetti squash
3. Use an ice cream scooper or spoon to remove the strings and seeds from the halves

 

4. Spread scant amount of olive oil or cooking spray on the inside of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper 

*Note: I highly suggest a MISTO

5.  Place squash cut side up on a pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (can vary based on size of squash)

 

6.  Remove squash when insides begin to brown and can be pierced easily with a fork

 

7.  Use an oven mitt to grip the squash and peel the insides back with a fork into spaghetti strands

 

8.  Transfer the spaghetti noodles into a bowl or plate and top with your favorite sauce or seasonings!

 Spaghetti Squash with Sauce


Fun Facts

I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU! 

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Roasted Buffalo Bell Peppers

 Posted by on June 17, 2013
Jun 172013
 

buffalo stuffed peppers

Original vs. Substitute Sam

nutrition facts


Ideation

Aside from having one of the coolest names ever, Sam’s Club has the some of the best colored bell-peppers around. In fact, I rarely buy them from regular grocery stores because the colored versions are almost twice as expensive as the green ones. Combine that with the fact it was my first trip to Sam’s Club in a few months and an episode of “Chopped” fresh in my mind I felt it necessary to buy a 6 pack and experiment.

The resulting dish was a perfect balance of buffalo spice and the roasted bell pepper sweetness. As much as I’d like to attribute this to my culinary expertise everyone knows it’s nearly impossible to screw-up anything with Healthy Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip in it.


Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 400 F

 

Bell pepper preparation

2. Wash bell peppers thoroughly, cut in half vertically and remove the stems and seeds
  • 3 bell peppers
4. Place bell peppers cut side down on baking sheet and bake until skin begins to wrinkle and brown (10-15 minutes)

 

5. Remove from oven, flip peppers over and fill with Healthy Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip (or any other filling)
6. Return to oven and bake for 5 more minutes

 

7.  Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!
buffalo stuffed peppers

Fun Facts

I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU! 

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Healthy Homemade Ranch Dip

 Posted by on June 15, 2013
Jun 152013
 

Healthy Homemade Ranch Dip

nutrition facts



Ideation

Ever have that internal struggle between what you want (smothering ranch on everything) and what you know (smothering creamy ranch on everything is not conducive to health)?

Yup, me too.

And because I hate being told I can’t do something–even if it’s by my own logic–I had to find a way around this. Luckily for me, the solution kinda fell into my lap… literally.

Apparently, I got a little to aggressive while I was whisking the Greek yogurt and homemade ranch seasoning for Healthy Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip and wound up with a lap full of this “accident”.

After the disappointment of having to pay for another load of laundry passed, I tasted some of the yogurt mixture and immediately knew I had something good on my hands (so punny).


Recipe

1. Combine seasonings in a bowl and mix well
  • 2 TBSP dry parsley
  • 2 TSP dry dill weed
  • 1 TSP onion powder
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP black pepper
2. Start by mixing 1 TBSP of ranch seasoning into Greek yogurt and adjust to taste
3. Enjoy!

 

*Note: The homemade ranch seasoning goes well on baked meats and vegetables
 

Healthy Homemade Ranch Dip


Fun Facts

I love cooking food that’s healthy and delicious, but I’ve got a lot to learn and it’s way more fun to hear ideas for recipes and improvements from YOU! 

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Thanks for Visiting, Lets Stay Connected!

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