Friday, April 29, 2016

Asian Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing


This Asian Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing is a hearty salad full of bold and spicy Asian flavors. 

The salad has a base of green leafy lettuce that is topped with red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers and marinated grilled chicken. The Spicy Peanut dressing is easily made in a blender and you will just love the tangy, aromatic and dynamite flavors. 

Spring is here and the weather is making me crave salads.  Forget about all those boring green leaf salads with some store bought dressing... this salad is fresh and unforgettable.

Asian Grilled Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer


*****Chicken/Marinade: *****
4 large chicken breast
2-3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs lime or lemon juice
2 Tbs canola oil
6-8 slices of fresh ginger (remove sliced ginger off chicken before grilling the chicken)
1 tsp grated fresh garlic
salt and black pepper for seasoning each side of chicken breast

*****Salad: *****
6-8 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
1 English cucumber cut into matchsticks
2 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
2-3 cups slice red cabbage
1 spring onion sliced
Chow Mein noodles (optional)

*****Spicy Peanut Dressing: *****
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2-3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Sriracha sauce
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs agave syrup (substitute regular sugar or brown sugar if diabetic friendly version is not needed)
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tbs chopped fresh ginger
Small piece of green onion (white part)

Step 1: Marinate Chicken with the chicken marinade for 30 minutes in a dish on the counter-top. You want the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking for 30 minutes only. Note: if you are not cooking chicken immediately, refrigerate for 2-4 hours and then take marinated chicken out of fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.

Step 2: Heat a grill pan on medium heat with 2-3 Tbs canola oil 

Step 3: Place chicken in pan and cook for 6-8 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked through. 

Step 4: Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes then slice or cut into chunks for salad.

Step 5: To make Salad: Wash all vegetables. Slice lettuce into strips. Slice red cabbage into thin strips. Cut carrots and cucumbers into matchsticks. Slice green onion. Open bag of chow mein noodles if you are using them (this is an optional ingredient because it is not diabetic friendly)

Step 6: To make Salad Dressing: Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate leftover dressing in the fridge for up to a week.

Step 7: Assemble Salad: Place green leafy lettuce on bottom of bowl. Add all sliced salad ingredients on top. Top with chicken slices or chunks. Pour dressing over salad. Garnish with chow mein noodles (optional). Enjoy.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pistachio and Pineapple Cake


Pistachio and Pineapple Cake is a light and luscious dessert that uses store bought cake mix, fresh pineapple, pistachio pudding and whipped topping to quickly and easily make a crowd pleasing dessert. 

I am not always a big fan of thickly frosted cakes that are too sweet and very heavy after a meal.  I much prefer a cake that is light, fruity and has only a bit of sweetness so it perfectly ends a meal without making me feel heavy and stuffed.

This cake was such a welcome surprise when I experimented with it recently.  It was so well received by everyone in my family that I made it for my father's birthday as well.  I think I have a winner because the family raved about this cake once again. 

I took inspiration for this from a Watergate Salad dessert recipe popular in the '70s that I made for the blog several years ago.  I decided to leave out the marshmallows and just mix all the ingredients with box of cake mix instead.  It's a winner and I think I will have to stock up on pistachio pudding now.

Pistachio and Pineapple Cake
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

1 box of vanilla cake mix  (prepared)
1/3 cup milk
1 package (3.4oz) instant pistachio pudding
1 fresh and ripe pineapple (crushed in food processor)
1 tub whipped non-dairy topping
Chopped pecans (as desired)

Optional Garnish:
Maraschino cherries
fresh pineapple chunks 

Step 1:  Mix vanilla cake according to the box instructions using eggs, water, oil etc...    Then add pistachio pudding mix and the milk.  Form batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool to room temperature.

Step 2:  Prepare pineapple by cutting off skin and chopping into large chunks.  Then place in food processor and pulverize into a thick/chunky puree.   Pour crushed pineapple over cake.  Cover and place in fridge for 4-6 hour or up to overnight. 

Step 3:  Just before serving cake, top with whipped topping and garnish with chopped pecans.  Garnish as desired.  Serve immediately.  Keep leftover cake refrigerated.  Enjoy.       


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Strawberry Milkshake


Strawberry Milkshakes made with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream is a fun and easy treat to make for the up coming warm weather months.  You're not getting this milkshake from some drive through window at a fast food restaurant... it's too good!

I love this time of the year because strawberries are in season and my grocery stores are all having them on sale.  I bought several pounds of strawberries and the kids went crazy eating them.  Then they decided that some of the strawberries would make great strawberry milkshakes.  I told them they were old enough to make their own milkshake so we went into the kitchen and did a "Kids in the Kitchen" for you today. 

The only part that little ones, still too small to hold a knife, may need help with from an adult is cutting the tops of the strawberries.  My kids are getting old enough and are comfortable with using a small paring knife these days.  A paring knife is perfect for cutting the tops off the strawberries (parental supervision is always advised).  

We blended all the ingredients and feasted on these super easy and delicious strawberry milkshakes.  You could really get the fresh taste of the strawberries with each slurp... no artificial strawberries flavors were needed.  


Strawberry Milkshake
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

2 cups washed and hulled strawberries
1 cup frozen cleaned strawberries
1 cup milk or almond milk
2 cups vanilla ice cream
whipped cream (optional garnish) 

Tip:  I always have frozen strawberries (in a freezer safe bag) in my freezer to make smoothies.  If you do not have frozen strawberries you can do this ahead of time or omit this step completely.  Omitting the frozen strawberries will make the milkshake less frosty and thick. 

Place in order: almond milk, fresh strawberries and ice cream into blender. Blend until smooth.  Then add the frozen strawberries and blend until smooth. Finally top with whipped cream if you desire.   Serve immediately.  Enjoy.

Tip:  Only add the frozen strawberries in to the blender after you blend the first few ingredients.  The frozen strawberries will thicken the milkshake and make it nice and frosty.  


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Quinoa and Cauliflower Low-Carb "Fried Rice" with Shrimp


Quinoa and Cauliflower "Fried Rice" with Shrimp is a great way to enjoy Asian style fried rice without all the carbs of regular rice.  The added cauliflower fills out the dish and helps lower the carbs deliciously. 

I loved rice... a little too much.  I try to eat low carb, but my rice cravings were getting out of control.  I tried my best to eat a lot of salads and lower carb meals, but sometimes I simply wanted the comfort food feel of rice.  

Well, quinoa is my favorite rice substitute.  It's very high in protein, but it still has some carbs.  So, I decided to cut the quinoa in half by bulking up the dish with some good old low-carb cauliflower.  Cauliflower is amazing when you want to eat low-carb.  Not only does it make a great mashed potato substitute, you can make "rice" out of it too. 

So this dish is definitely not "no carb", but rather a "lower carb" option for those of you that crave fried rice and don't want to deal with the guilt of eating a second helping.

Quinoa and Cauliflower Low Carb "Fried Rice" with Shrimp
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

3-4 cups cooked Quinoa (see recipe how to cook Quinoa here)
4-5 cups finely chopped cauliflower (about half a large head of cauliflower
2-3 Tbs water 
salt (as needed)
1 large bunch of scallions
2 small zucchini
3-4 sweet peppers sliced (or red bell pepper)
8oz white button mushrooms sliced
1 jalapeno pepper sliced
1 Tbs minced fresh garlic
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2-3 Tbs soy sauce (to taste)
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Sambal oelek (to taste)
1 Tbs sriracha sauce (optional)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil 
1lb cleaned uncooked shrimp

 Step 1:  Cook quinoa (recipe here) .  This can be done several days in advance. 

Step 2:  Finely chop cauliflower.  Place in pan with 2Tbs water and a little salt.  Cover with a lid and steam until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy.  Add water (1 Tbs at a time) as needed, but do not add too much water and make cauliflower watery.  You can also try to steam the cauliflower in the microwave until tender. 

Step 3:  Move steamed cauliflower to the edges of pan and add 2 Tbs canola oil.  Saute garlic and ginger in oil.  Then mix in the cauliflower and saute.  Next add the mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, sweet peppers and scallions.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.

Step 4:  Add cleaned uncooked shrimp, sriracha sauce, sambal oelek sauce, oyster sauce and soy sauce.  Cook until vegetables are cooked, but still firm.

Step 5:  Add cooked quinoa to pan. Saute with all ingredients in pan.  Once shrimp is cooked through, add sesame oil.  Mix well and taste for salt and seasoning.  If you desire more salt flavor, adjust soy sauce. Serve hot.  Garnish with some scallions greens. Enjoy.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry


Quick Chicken and Veggie Stir fry is a dish that is a full of lean boneless chicken and fresh veggies in an Asian brown sauce.  It's a perfect weeknight meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes.
I love having quick dishes like this Chicken and Veggie Stir fry to get dinner on the table fast for my family.  I like to keep my freezer stocked from lean chicken breast than can easily used in loads of recipes.  I also make sure to keep my freezer stocked with frozen snow peas and fresh ginger so I am always prepared to make a stir fry.  I think fresh ginger is a key ingredient in Asian cooking.  So never keep ginger in your fridge where it can dry up and shrivel.  Always peel and put ginger in a freezer safe bag and you will have ginger every time you need some. 
The great thing about this dish is you can really use up almost any vegetable you have in your fridge, so clean out that veggie drawer.  This works great with celery, peppers, onions, cabbage and lots more.
The sauce is simple and the dish comes together faster than calling and waiting for delivery.  Homemade take out is just what a family on the budget needs any day of the week.

2lbs of boneless chicken sliced thin into small pieces
1lb of sliced button mushrooms
2 carrots thinly sliced ( I used a mandolin)
1 cup of cleaned snow peas
1 inch of fresh ginger grated
2-3 cloves garlic grated
salt and black pepper
red chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water

3-4 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 chicken stock
1 Tbs  Shaoxsing Chinese Rice Wine or substitute dry sherry
1-2 Tbs Oyster Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Heat 2 Tbs of canola oil in a large wok.  Add chicken an cook with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper until 3/4 the way cooked. Then add ginger and garlic cook until chicken if fully cooked. Remove chicken from pan.  Heat 2 tsp canola oil and add sliced mushrooms.  Cook mushrooms until they become cooked and brown.

Next add snow peas and sliced carrots.  Saute for a few minutes then add the cooked chicken back onto the wok.

Add the prepared sauce and cook for another minute until sauce starts to boil.  Next mix the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.  Add to stir fry and stir will.  Taste for seasoning. Serve with rice.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Quick Skillet Garlic Bread


Quick skillet garlic bread is perfect for those times when you want garlic bread to complete your meal and you don't want to wait for the oven to preheat.  

My family loves pasta dishes accompanied by garlic bread.  I have always made garlic bread in the oven and it takes a while for the oven to heat up and then wait for the bread to get golden and toasted just right.  Sometimes the bottom crust of the bread gets a little too crunchy and that's no fun to eat. 

I solved this problem by making my garlic bread on the stove top in a skillet or grill pan.  No need to wait for an oven to get hot and ready.  The skillet method keeps the crust from touching the heat and only the soft white bread gets perfectly toasted.  The best part is everyone gets the same amount of  butter and garlic on each piece and there is no fighting at the table for the best pieces of garlic bread.  

Now, I can have my garlic bread done in a flash and my family actually prefers my quick method to the traditional garlic bread.  Everyone gets a perfectly buttered and garlicky piece of bread and I get out of the kitchen much faster. 

Quick Skillet Garlic Bread
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer

1 loaf of Italian bread or French bread*
1/4 cup soften salted butter or margarine (more if needed)
1-2 tsp granulated garlic powder (to taste)
1 Tbs dried parsley

Note * Use French bread for smaller pieces of garlic bread since it's a thinner loaf.

Step 1:  Soften butter and mix together the garlic powder and parsley to make the garlic butter mixture.  Note: First add 1 tsp of granulated garlic powder and then taste butter mixture.  If you desire more garlic flavor, add more garlic powder until desired taste is achieved.

Step 2: Slice bread to 1 inch thickness using a serrated bread knife.  Apply a coating of garlic butter mixture on both sides of the sliced bread (not too much or the bread will be greasy, but not too little or the bread will not be well toasted and flavorful). The ends only need butter on the open side and need to toasted on that side.

Step 3: On medium high heat,  use a nonstick skillet and place bread butter side down.  Heat for a couple of minutes until bread is toasted and golden brown then flip and repeat on the other side until both sides are golden.  Eat immediately while hot.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.