Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dukan Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken
We love lemony-tart things.   Ponzu sauce, a citrusy soy based sauce is used often in our kitchen....we used to add a few drops of chili oil to some ponzu sauce for a gyoza dipping sauce, noodle dipping sauce, etc.  The following recipe is very tart, you can add more honey or a natural sweetener of your choice to sweeten it up to your taste.

It was just fine for us, but here in Hawaii we're also used to eating something called Lemon Peel which is very tart/sour (a preserved lemon) and when we complain of sore throats, our aunties always give us a different kind of preserved lemons to eat.

We used Closet Cooking's Orange Chicken recipe as a base for our Lemon Chicken.  We also were given a couple Meyer Lemons (we only needed on) which tastes like a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange for this recipe.

We've used sesame oil during the Consolidation Phase in moderation...meaning, not ever week and not a whole lot.  Sesame oil is very strong, often time you need 1/2 t. or less for your recipe.  If you prefer not to use it, make the necessary adjustments including not using honey if you wish and replacing that with natural sweetener.

Serves 2
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 lb. chicken thighs or breast, boneless/skinless, cut into bite sized pieces, we used thighs with the fat removed
1/4 c. freshly-squeezed Meyer Lemon
1/4. c. chicken broth
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. honey
1/2 t. sesame oil
1/4 t. pepper
2 t. cornstarch
1/2 to 1 t. crushed red pepper or 2 red chilies sliced into thin slices
2 cloves garlic, mined
1 inch ginger, grated
2 green onions, chopped
1 T. lemon zest

Mix the lemon juice, broth, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, pepper and cornstarch.  Taste, add natural sweetener if it's too tart for you.  Set aside.

Heat pan over high heat, spray pan with a little bit of non-stick spray.  Add chicken and stir fry until almost done.  Set chicken aside.  Lower heat to medium-high, when pan has cooled down a bit, spray pan again, add the chilies, garlic and ginger.  Saute until fragrant, a minute or so.  Add the lemon mixture, chicken and the lemon zest and cook until it thickens, a few minutes.  Add green onions, mix well and serve.  The male half of this couple had this over rice, the female half had it plain.  We also used some of the lemon juice from the fruit (not the mixture) on the asparagus spears.  Asparagus was 99 cents per pound this week at Safeway!  Regular price here in Hawaii is usually around $5.99 per pound, on sale it goes down to $2.99 per pound.  So, the asparagus - simple, heat a grill pan, spray with non-stick spray.  Add cleaned asparagus, sprinkle black pepper and adobo seasoning on them.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus, cook to your liking.  We usually grill ours approximately 3 minutes on each side until they become bright green and still crisp.

Enjoy...we sure did!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chai's Corn Chowder

Ugh...a bit of bad news...the male half of this couple's gums are infected.  The junk thing is we went in last week and told the dentist we thought it was infected and he said it wasn't.  Less than a week later, the dentist says it's infected which means the male half of this couple will need to have his healing gums cut open again this week!  Poor guy.  This will most likely mean soup and smoothies for the entire weekend (at least).

This recipe is NOT a Dukan recipe, it's a comfort food recipe - decided to share it in case you need some comfort food and because it was sooo easy.  You can make it less fatty by replacing the heavy whipping cream with non-fat half and half and cornstarch and not using corn, maybe use green beans or even clam.  You can also have this as a celebration meal!

Right after the first gum surgery a few weeks ago, the male half of this couple requested Corn Chowder, one of his favorite soups.  The female half never made corn chowder.  After a quick google search we came across Chai's Corn Chowder recipe.  We've had his corn chowder at his restaurant and it's always been yummy.   Chai is a popular chef in Hawaii with two restaurants, one Thai restaurant and one Thai Fusion restaurant.  Both are pricey, but the food is always good...we usually only go on BOGO nights.

The female half warned the male half that corn chowder in Hawaii is almost always a thin soup, not thick like New England Clam Chowder.  After taking a few sips of the corn chowder, the person who never gets excited about food said "this is really good, keep this recipe close by".  The female half almost fainted hee hee.

We forgot to take a photo of our chowder, but since the male half will have his gums cut open again, we will probably have corn chowder this weekend!  NOTE:  We used canned corn for ours and sauteed them in a pan since corn on the cob wasn't on sale and it is pretty expensive when not on sale.

The female half had a few spoonfuls to taste the chowder, the male half made two meals out of the rest.

Serves 2-4, depends if you're having this as a side or your meal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes, it wasn't long

1 can corn (or 2 sweet corn on the cob)
1 can creamy style corn
1 T. celery, chopped
1 T. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. chopped chicken (we used the rotisserie chicken from Costo)
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt, pepper and natural sweetener to taste

Chai adds 1 whole egg beaten to thicken the soup, but the male half liked it without the egg.  He also does the puff pastry thing, but we didn't do that.

Grill corn.   If using corn on the cob, remove corn from cob after grilling.  In a pot, saute celery and green onions over medium heat using a little bit of non-stick spray.  Saute for a minute.  Then add chicken.  If you're using raw chicken, cook until chicken is done.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add creamy corn and bring to a boil.  Add cream, salt, pepper and natural sweetener.  Simmer a couple minutes.  If you are adding the egg to thicken the soup, add this now.

Enjoy...we sure did!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Low Fat Filipino Bistek Quesadillas (Citrus Steak and Onions)

Low Fat Filipino Bistek Quesadilla
A few weeks ago we tried a recipe called Filino Bistek from the Burnt Lumpia blog.  We didn't have kalamansi or calamansi so we decided to use lemons.  It was very tart and we wished we took the bloggers recommendation of adding water to the recipe.  If you can find kalamansi, please do use it, it makes a difference.  If you cannot find kalamansi, try using Meyer Lemons or regular lemon with the suggested amount of water from Burnt Lumpia's blog.  OR you can substitute the kalamansi and soy sauce with a ponzu sauce if you are able to find tastes very similar to our sugar free yuzu ponzu sauce.   Where ever you are in the world, using the equivalent of a lemon/orange tasting fruit would most likely work.

The first time we made this, the male half of this couple had his serving with rice and the female half had hers plain.  This version is Dukan and can be eaten during Consolidation and probably Cruise since kalamansi is like a lemon.  It's yummy...if you like citrusy things.

A week or so ago, the female half's co-worker offered up some kalamansi!  Wow!  Didn't even realize those were sold here...thought we could only get them in the Phillippines (the male half tried one in the Phillippines).  Our second batch of kalamansi we used for some Filipino Bistek Quesadillas.  We both loved it!  The recipe below is for our quesadillas, but you can use the steak filling over brown rice or with quinoa.

We didn't count this as a Celebration meal even though the fat free tortillas were not whole wheat.  If you have fat free whole wheat tortillas, that would be best.

Serves 2
Prep time: 15-20 minutes, plus 30 minutes marinating time
Cook time: 10-20 minutes

1 lb. lean steak, sliced thinly
1/4 c. kalamansi juice (or lemon juice) - if using ponzu sauce as a substitute, omit soy sauce, we used approximately 8 kalamansi, but it really depends on how much juice your fruit has.
1/2 c. soy sauce, low sodium
3 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1/2 lg. red onion, sliced into thin rings (you can use up to 1 lg. onion)
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 fat-free tortillas
1 c. fat free cheddar cheese, shredded
Cilantro, chopped for garnish (we didn't use this, see note below)

Place the beef, kalamansi juice, soy sauce and garlic in a large zip lock bag and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat pan and spray lightly with non-stick spray, heat pan over medium-high heat.  Remove meat from the marinade (reserve marinade) and sear the meat on all sides, approximately 3-4 minutes total.  Remove meat from pan and set aside.  If the pan is dry, spray a little more non-stick spray and add onion rings to the pan.  Saute for about 3 minutes.

Pour half the reserved marinade into the pan with the onions, be sure to scrape up all the goodies in the pan and mix into the marinade.  (NOTE: if you are serving this over rice and would like sauce with your steak, use all the reserved marinade) Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too salty or too tart, add a little bit of water making sure you do not make your filling too wet for the quesadilla.

Dukan Filipino Bistek - served with quinoa
Add the meat back to the pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes.  While this is cooking, heat another pan (we used a grill pan), spray with non-stick spray and start toasting your tortilla, approximately 2 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla, spoon on half of your Filipino Bistek mixture (draining excess sauce) and spread evenly over half the tortilla.  Sprinkle more cheese over the steak mixture.  Fold over the tortilla so it looks like a large taco, turn your tortilla over.  After the cheese is melted, removed from pan, cut into desired pieces and serve!

NOTE: Originally we were going to have the second batch over quinoa, but a friend gave us the fat free tortillas so we decided at the last minute to make quesadillas...didn't have cilantro on hand, but it would have been a great addition!

Enjoy....we sure did!  We'll also be posting a Korean Quesadilla recipe soon!

Catching Up

Sunrise from the Lanikai Pillbox.

Oh's been a while...lots going know it's been a while when you have over 1,000 unread emails in your inbox!  We're kept Flamidwyfe's email alerts in a folder because we're definitely reading those...they are very inspirational.   
The male half of this couple had gum surgery at the beginning of the month and it still hasn't healed.  We've also been having lots of fun hiking this month (since he's on call this month and can't do his normal weekend ocean explorations) and enjoying the company of friends and family.  As most others know, that means less kitchen time.

We have made one or two meals each week and the rest of the time eating out with family and friends or a quick bite after a 3 hour hike.   A couple of our meals weren't totally Dukan since we're trying and have tried to make things softer and easier for the male half of this couple to eat.

Where are we at on the diet?  Well, we're kinda in Stabilization...we intended to go back to Cruise, but that never happened.  Then we both gained a couple pounds (we were still at 10-13 pounds loss since the beginning of our Dukan journey) and we both said we need to eat healthier.  Last week the female half of this couple did three pure protein days in a row and that brought the weight back down to our post vacation weight.  Still want to lose more though.

We never went back to regular exercise.  We do walk three times per week during lunch and we've been doing at least one 3 hour hike each weekend. This past weekend's hike was only 30 minutes up, 30 minutes down, but it was a steep hill and we ended up huffing and puffing up there!   It was meant to be a "watch the sunrise" hike, but it was overcast and very windy...the sun peaked out for about 2 minutes, then disappeared back into the clouds...still better than being in snow!

A while back, Vicki posted something about figuring out what Stabilization will be like for her, we commented we imagined we would need to still eat very similar to the Consolidation structure and as of now, we are sticking to that.  Once we stray off the Consolidation path for more than 1 1/2 weeks without daily exercise, the weight is slowly put back on.

Lastly, we're thrilled and honored to have been nominated by Flamidwyfe for a Sunshine Award.  We're hoping to get to the post for the nomination tonight or sometime this week!  Thank you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free Pasta at Safeway!

We've been meaning to blog about Safeway's website for a while, especially the day we saved $19 on groceries and the cashier did a double take when the new total popped up.  If there's a Safeway near you, you may want to consider signing up on the website.

Today we noticed they are offering one free box of Eating Right Pasta.  Most of the Eating Right Pasta we've seen in our local Safeway has been Multi-Grain.  If you're into eating multi-grain pasta, go to Safeway's coupon center and it should be there on the first page of coupon's.  You load the coupon onto your Safeway Club card and the discount applied at the checkout stand.  No need to clip coupons or anything.  We've gotten some pretty good deals through the Safeway website...often times 99 cents for a dozen eggs.  Lucerne non-fat yogurt for 45 cents each, etc.

When we log in, the site says the one free box of pasta offer is good until February 22nd.

The other two features we like on the website are the "Deal Match" and "Personalized Deals".  Deal Match matches prices on some sale items at other local grocery stores.  Personalized Deals, while it's not that great knowing your buying tendencies are being tracked, this is where we find the 45 cents yogurt and 99 cents for the eggs, etc.

If you don't have a Safeway in your area, hopefully a local market near you offers something similar to help you save money while eating healthy!  We signed up for the deals/coupons after we went on the Dukan Diet and saw our grocery bill almost double.  Eating healthy is expensive and eating less carbs/more proteins even more expensive...but with some time spent on Safeway's site twice a week, we've been able to save between $5 - $19 each time we shop.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Back on Track?

Along the hike to Kaena Point
Oh gosh, time just flew by and we haven't had time to blog!  Been busy, mostly good kind of busy with hiking, family and friends in town, etc.  We still have family in town and more friends coming to town this weekend, so probably not a whole lot of blogging and cooking for us until after their visit.

Hawaiian Monk Seal sunbathing at Kaena Point
We didn't cook at all this weekend since the male half of this couple went in for dental surgery and is still recovering.  Although we've gotten in two nice hikes in the last two weekends, we haven't gotten back into the Zumba routines...yet.

We have been able to maintain our weight, but not lose any weight.  Our eating habits have been in line with the Consolidation Phase and for the female half of this couple, she is still trying to stay away from carbs as much as possible, even whole wheat carbs.

Looking forward to catching up with everyone's blogs and cooking again.  We have a bunch of recipes we want to try and while the male half of this couple under went surgery, the female half of this couple finally stepped foot into the largest Korean martket in Honolulu, Palama Market.  Wow, amazing.  Bought a few items, not necessary Dukan, but ingredients for some of our favorite dishes which we'll make for our Celebration Meals.

We do have a Filipino Bistek recipe (steak marinated in a citrus sauce - we used lemon) to share.  It ended up being a great Cruise recipe.  As soon as we get the photos downloaded and edited, we'll post the recipe.  Very, very easy!

Sunset - from the Kaena Hike Trail
For those who may be planning a trip to Oahu, the Kaena Point hike is a great way to get in some exercise and amazing views.  There are two trails leading to Kaena Point, one from the South Western side of the point near Waianae and Yokohama Bay (popular surf spot) and one from the North Western side of the island near the popular surf town, Haleiwa.   Both trails are approximately 2.4 miles one way and it took us about an hour to hike one way (with stops to take photos).   At the point there is a reserve with birds (albatross) and the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals.  The day we hiked out there we saw two monk seals sun bathing.