Monday, January 15, 2018

Beet and Date Smoothie

Beets. It is my one odd pregnancy craving this time around. The quickest, and probably the most beautiful, way to enjoy these gorgeous red gems is in a smoothie. This Beet and Date smoothie, or some variation of it (I've substituted dark cherries for dates in one version) has become my go-to breakfast recently. But probably, the best unintended result of my new-found beet addiction is the fact that my toddler also got on board. He's probably attracted to the color and has no idea he's getting almost an entire serving of vegetables. But I'll take that as a win for this Mommy.

Beet and Date Smoothie 
Makes 1 serving

1 small, boiled beet
2-3 medjool dates
8 oz almond milk
1 scoop vegan protein
1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together. Serve with berries on top.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chicken Satay

Peninsula is the popular Malaysian restaurant in Uptown, Minneapolis that we frequented when we lived in the area, in what seems like a lifetime ago (in actuality, it has  been just over seven years.) There were two appetizers we always made a pointed of ordering: their roti canai and their chicken satay. I believe, this was the first place I had ever tasted chicken satay and have been a fan ever since.

To make them at home, chicken satay skewers require a bit of preparation, ideally the day before, but they are one of my favorite appetizers, especially for a big party. It can also be an entree, served on top of fragrant rice.  The recipe, and that of the accompany peanut sauce, calls for a litany of ingredients which, at first glance, seems intimidating but, truly, it's just a matter of combining the spices and marinating the chicken before the grilling process. Many of the ingredients here can be found at your local grocery store but I usually have to make the trip to my nearest Asian food store for fresh lemon grass, fish sauce and tamarind chutney. And, be sure to marinate these over night to get the most out of all those fragrant herbs and spices. 

Chicken Satay 
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia 
Serves about 10 as an appetizer and about 6 as an entree

bamboo skewers 
1 small onion, roughly diced 
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp ground turmeric 
2 tsp ground coriander 
1 tsp chilli powder, more or less or non at all depending on taste
2 tsp fish sauce 
2 tbsp brown sugar 
2  stalks of lemon grass, chopped
6 boneless, skin-less chicken breasts, cut into cubes

1. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least an hour. 
2. Blend the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor until smooth. Pour over the cubed chicken and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. 
3. Skewer three to four pieces of  chicken unto each bamboo skewer. Discard any remaining marinade.
4. Cook chicken skewers on a hot grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, making sure that the meat is throughly cooked. Serve with peanut sauce (see recipe below). 

Peanut Sauce
1 cup dry roster peanuts 
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 inch of ginger
1 tbsp coriander 
1 cup water 
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1  1/2 tbsp sugar 
1/8 tsp salt 
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp tamarind chutney 

1. Coarsely chop the peanuts in a food processor and set aside. 
2. Grind the garlic, onion, ginger, and coriander. 
3. Heat the oil and fry the spice mixture until grainy and aromatic, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.  
4. Add the chopped peanuts, water, soy sauce, salt, oil and tamarind chutney. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until smooth.