January 31st, 2014
Buffalo Chicken Pizza Rolls. Ever thought you’d see a recipe like that on One Hungry Mama? Well, friends, I’m coming clean: I have a serious appetite for bar food and Super Bowl weekend brings it out. Big time.
My love of bar food dates back to childhood when my father, a restaurateur, ran a pub/steak house. Prime rib steaks in the dining room, mozzarella sticks at the bar. Just a regular Saturday hanging with my dad at the restaurant. While my diet has changed quite a bit from those days, the thought of jalapeño poppers still makes me warm and cozy. (Yea, you read that correctly.) So every once and a while I whip up a homemade bar food treat for myself. And Super Bowl Sunday is always the perfect excuse.
There’s no quinoa or kale in these. These are not even a healthier take on anything. That said, there’s also nothing artificial about these babies. Real chicken. Real pizza dough. Real cheese. (Mmmm, cheese.) Real butter. And real Frank’s Hot Sauce. As in skip the imitations.
This is just a straight forward football snack that allows me to indulge a annual hankering for buffalo chicken without inhaling an ungodly number of fried wings. Plus cheese. All good bar food must have cheese.
January 28th, 2014
Video Tuesday is back, in 2014 style! Today we’re celebrating Chinese New Year with delicious Chinese Tea Eggs, which make an awesome cultural kitchen project with kids. After today, I’ll, once again, be posting a video at least every other Tuesday.
Be sure to subscribe to the One Hungry Mama YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss a thing. And, if you haven’t been following along, start watching! These school lunch videos are my most popular—so many ideas! And who doesn’t need more healthy snack recipes?
Chinese New Year is around the corner: let the festivities begin! This year, we’re ushering in the year of the horse. While I’m not quite sure what that means, I know this: Chinese New Year offers a spectacularly fun opportunity to use food to talk to our kids about culture. And, you know, eat lots of delicious Chinese food.
January 27th, 2014
I ended last week with homemade Hoisin Sauce, so it only makes sense that I’d start this week with a quick, homemade Moo Shu Vegetable recipe.
I’m a huge fan of Chinese take-out, but don’t order it all that often. The fried foods are too tempting—I’m a former solider of General Tso—and the healthier options too boring. Unless, of course, I pour on all that gloppy, MSG-happy sauce that I dutifully order on the side. Also tempting. The easiest way to deal with my hankerings is to satisfy them here and there. But, I must admit: I miss eating Chinese food more frequently. Especially Moo Shu.
Though I’m sure it would be fairly simple to approximate General Tso’s chicken at home or make a homemade brown sauce to blanket steamed chicken and broccoli, it recently occurred to me that making Moo Shu Vegetables would be the easiest of all. It also occurred to me that it would be pretty easy to make a light ’n healthy version. Turns out, I was right on both accounts.
January 24th, 2014
Just like when I posted my recipe for homemade ricotta, I bet a lot of you are scratching your heads wondering why in the world you’d bother making hoisin sauce from scratch. It’s a fair question and, unless you’re super into cooking with plenty of time to enjoy scratch kitchen projects, I don’t generally expect you to make things like condiments from scratch. Unless, of course, it’s difficult to find a healthy version, which I’ve found to be the case with hoisin sauce.
We love hoisin sauce in my house, but I’ve been uneasily turning a blind eye to the fact that I can’t find an all-natural version without preservatives, coloring agents, and/or MSG. (Even the organic house brand at one of the big all natural markets has “caramel color” and a bunch of fillers.) I’ve been telling myself that it isn’t a big deal since we use so little at a time and otherwise enjoy a diet free of chemicals, but it’s been really bugging me. And then, just like that, I found a recipe—an easy recipe—for homemade hoisin sauce. It’s good, too.
January 22nd, 2014
The Cuban Sandwich is among the best sandwiches of all times. It’s the kind of food that, once you get it in your head that you want some, you immediately feel like you need some.
This feeling came over me a couple of weeks ago and I had everything I needed to make a great Cuban except for the most important ingredients: the meat. Of course.
Desperate, I searched the cupboard and found a can of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna with Jalapeños and Olive Oil. If this had been an ordinary can of tuna, I don’t think I would have experimented. And what a shame that would have been because, it turns out, making a Cuban sandwich with tuna is a damn good idea. That said, I’m glad the tuna had jalapeño because this Tuna Cuban Sandwich was perfect.
January 20th, 2014
Thai curries are one of my favorite foods ever. But, having been lucky enough to travel to Thailand and also eat at some of the best Thai restaurants in the country, I’ve come to expect big things from Thai curries like complex flavors with lots of tension between hot, sour, and earthy notes. So, yea, supermarket red curry doesn’t cut it for me so much. (Go ahead: I know I’m a food nerd.)
But then why do I buy it so often?!
I keep thinking that, one day, I’ll crack the code and learn how to make a spectacular, piping hot bowl of soupy red curry from the stuff foraged in the Asian food aisle of my supermarket. To help, I’ve enlisted mail-order frozen kaffir lime leaves, hard-to-find kaffir lime oil, fresh lemongrass purchased from out-of-the-way spots. And still nada (so far).
Though I haven’t given up—and am getting closer thanks to a better than average red curry paste by Maesri—I decided that I had to find other, satisfying ways to use my not-homemade red curry paste. So far, this Red Curry Beef Stir Fry is the ticket.
January 17th, 2014
During the holidays, I moved my blender from the counter, where it usually spends its days, to a cabinet beyond my reach so that I could make room for things like, oh, the waffle iron and extra pie plates. By now you know that I prefer small steps towards a return to healthier eating to sweeping new year resolutions around food. This week’s small step? Putting the pie plates away and returning my blender to its rightful place on my counter.
Even though the fact that it doesn’t have a tucked away spot drives me bananas. But, hey, you know what they say about when life hands you bananas, right?
With my blender back in action, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. This Cherry Vanilla Super Smoothie is the boys’ favorite so far.
January 15th, 2014
Last week I spoke with a mom committed to scratch cooking, whole ingredients, and organic foods, but who wondered how to hold to her commitment while on a budget. An age old question.
Yes, look for sales.
But there’s one piece of advice that I give that always seems to surprise moms: Stop thinking only about dinner.
The bulk of our shopping haul is breakfast, lunch, and snack foods, and many of these foods are packaged. Look at your next shopping bill and you might just find that you’re spending most of your money on these meals. If that’s true, the decision to buy Monday night’s broccoli organic or not has a much smaller impact on the bottom line than figuring out how to make smart decisions around your breakfast, lunch, and snack ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look:
January 13th, 2014
The title of this post is a little bit of a cheat because, truthfully, biryani is simple by nature. I can’t lay claim to making it so, but I also have to call it out. There’s something just so great about a bowl of rice and vegetables that satisfies for dinner. And biryani certainly does.
The term biryani refers to a wide variety of spiced rice dishes from South Asia where the rice is cooked and flavored separately from a sauce made with meat, fish or vegetables, that are then mixed together. Though the sauce is traditionally thick on its own, the high volume of rice in the final dish ultimately gives biryani a dry texture. The rice is plentiful enough to soak up the sauce, leaving bits of veggies, meat or fish embedded in richly flavored rice that I, for one, can eat forever.
If you’re familiar with biryani, you might know it from your local Indian restaurants, but the dish is also popular in Southwest Asia around Iraq and Pakistan. The specific spice combinations used to flavor the rice and the sauce vary based on the country of origin. You can find biryani made with anything from saffron to cumin seeds, cinnamon to coriander. Or all of the above. It’s also not uncommon to find raisins, sultanas, and nuts mixed into biryani.
Are you sold yet? If not, take a closer look. Feast your eyes:
January 10th, 2014
Right now I bet that a bunch of you are thinking, “Seriously? Homemade ricotta? I can get perfectly good ricotta at the market, thank you very much, One Hungry Mama.” Totally legit, but hear me out:
This is an awesomely easy kitchen project that can be done with the kids and will make you feel like a badass domestic goddess. Like the rockstar family cook that I know you are. I do not (necessarily!) expect you to make homemade ricotta all the time, but I hope that you’ll experience the deep satisfaction that comes from making a foundational food like bread or cheese from scratch. Even if just every once and a while. Or just once, period.
Think of making homemade ricotta as a small step towards discovering health and fun in your kitchen this year, and take the step this weekend. I know making homemade cheese might sound more like a leap, but I promise it isn’t. If you try and I’m wrong, I promise you can come back and yell at me and I won’t delete your comment. Deal?
January 9th, 2014
Earlier this week I mentioned small steps. Getting back on the horse. A slow and steady return to healthy eating. But, man, is it hard! I still want pie.
I know. It’s out of control. It shouldn’t be possible, but it is!
I. Still. Want. Pie!!
Everything in moderation, so don’t be surprised when you see a pie up in this joint at some point soon. Plus, I have yet to try a recipe from my new Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book and I have to do that soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to moderate myself back to moderation.
I’ve been rocking these detox smoothies for breakfast, keeping dinner light and delicious, and sticking with a light lunch. Mostly that means salad, but this week I was craving more. Salad—and only salad—felt like a shock to the system, and remember slow and steady?
My solution was to whip up this very quick and easy Balsamic Tomato Jam to pack on big flavor without—you guessed it—added fat. (The theme of the week!) It worked like a charm. I’m addicted, and so are the kids.
January 7th, 2014
Happy new year, hungry mamas and papas! I’m back to it after a bit of a break and feeling great about what’s ahead in 2014. Exciting updates and changes will be happening here, though you can bet I’ll still be serving up healthy family favorite recipes like nobody’s business. I’m also working on new ways that we can work together in person because there is nothing I love more than helping busy parents like you figure out how to take what you read here—the tips, recipes, ideas—and make it work in your home on your schedule, your budget, your taste. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter (there, on the right!) so that you can learn more and stay in the loop. And you can always email me if you have questions about how I work with clients.
Even with all of my excitement for the new year ahead, I’m still a resolutions skeptic. The renewed energy that this time of year brings is the kind that tends to get us to take on too much, too fast and then fades too quickly. Far be it from me to poo poo anyone’s desire to eat well, exercise more, and generally be a better, healthier person, I just like to think that we’re always taking small steps in that direction.
That said, I must admit that I took a little break from my healthier eating and exercise over the holidays and I’m ready to get back to it. It’s not a resolution, though, as much as a small step towards getting back on the horse. If you’re also ready to make a small adjustment back towards balanced eating, try starting with a small and easy shift like adding big flavor without more added fat. Here are my five favorite ways to do just that:
December 31st, 2013
Can you believe it? Another year under our belts! We made it. And with style, too, which is why I’m raising a glass to you, hungry mamas (and papas!). Congratulations. You did your best and rocked 2013. I have no doubt that 2014 has great things in store for you, or at least great opportunities for you to show the world—and yourself—how awesomely strong, dedicated, graceful, generous, and funny you are.
So fill your glass with one of the delicious champagne cocktails I shared over on Cool Mom Picks and join me in a toast. If 2014 is anywhere near as good these bubbly drinks (think: Spiced Citrus Champagne, White Peach and Cardamom Bellinis, a bubbly Manhattan), we’re in for a doozy. The good kind.
December 30th, 2013
I know that it’s hard to resist the gorgeous cookbooks you’ll find on most of the “best of 2013″ lists being published right now, and you shouldn’t! That is, as long as you know they’ll spend more time on your coffee table than in your kitchen. If you want a list of cookbooks that you’ll actually use as the family cook, then check out my Best Family Cookbooks of 2013 list.