Saturday, October 16, 2010

Skillet Ramen Noodles with Pork

2 packages of instant Ramen noodles of your choice
1 package paper thin sliced pork
1 package of mushrooms, chopped
1 egg
2 Tbs of butter

1.     Add the ramen noodles to a pot of water and the mushrooms, bring the water to the boil.
2.     After the noodles have cooked for about 5 minutes, drop in the pork.
3.     Cook for another two minutes.
4.     Drop the egg into the water and stir it.
5.     Drain the water.
6.     Add butter and the seasoning packets to the noodles.
7.     Serve warm. 

Crockpot Ham Sauté with Cranberry Orange Barley Pilaf

Chris and I love food. We have tried dieting off and on for the last three years since we got married but nothing seems to take the weight off. We have decided to take a different method to dieting. Instead of depriving ourselves of the things we love, which we would only be able to do for a limited amount of time, we have decided to add healthy things to our diet instead of taking bad things away. Our theory is that if we had enough healthy items we wont have as much room for the bad stuff, but can still enjoy them once in a while. We are not going to diet we are just adding good things to our menus.

A few months ago, I was reading an article in the Kids Times about how healthy barley is. I had never cooked with it before, but decided to give it a try. Koreans really like barley and drink lots of barley tea. Chris tried the tea when he was sick, but said it tasted too grainy. So I decided to look up some recipes. I found several. The next step was to find barley. Most American recipes calls for Pearl Barley. I could not find it. Instead in Korea I am using Sweet Barley.

This recipe is a combination of two recipes that I found and combined together. Most of the barley recipes that I am going to try I found at

Start with the Pilaf, it takes some time to cook.

Cranberry Orange Barley

1 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup pearl or sweet barley
1-1/2 cups cranberry apple juice
3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a frying pan heat the oil. Add the garlic and sauté  for 1 minute. Add the barley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cranberry juice, broth and grated orange peel. I grated the orange right over the pan. Bring it to a boil. The next step it is lower the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes. I don't have the space or proper pan to do this so I throw the mixture into my Crockpot on low for 45 minutes and the barley comes out just right.  This also leaves the frying pan available to make the ham saute. When the 45 minutes are up add the cranberries, almonds and orange slices to the pot and cover and cook for 10 more minutes.

Start chopping all the vegetables for the Ham Sauté as soon as you are done with the Pilaf. It takes a lot of time to chop all the vegetables.
Ham Sauté

1 TBS Olive oil
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup celery sliced
1 cup carrots sliced
1 cup mushrooms sliced
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 tsp gingerroot minced
1 TBS cornstarch
3 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS rice wine vinegar
2 TBS honey
2 Tsp sesame oil
1 cup cooked ham or pork tenderloin

Sauté the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms for 1 to 2 minutes in olive oil.  Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil for 3 minutes. 

In another bowl combine the cornstarch with the remaining ingredients minus the ham.  Add it to the pan of vegetables. Cook until thick about 3 minutes. Add the ham and stir until the ham is warm. 

Serve over the Barley Pilaf. 

Crockpot Potato Soup with Clams

This recipe was for plain potato soup but the soup was bland so we added clams to it, which improved it greatly.

6 small potatoes chopped not peeled
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 strips of bacon
1/2 lb (200 grams) fresh shelled clams chopped
2 cups of milk
1 TBS Butter.

Place chopped potatoes and onion in crockpot. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Add the clams and turn the pot to high.

Fry the bacon in a frying pan. When crispy, crumble it and place it in the pot. Add about 2 cups of milk or cream and the butter.

Stir just until the milk or cream is warm.

You can add all the ingredents in the morning. We don't because we often forget to buy the clams early. We like to use only fresh clams and we often forget to buy them the night before. (Except the bacon, it is best added just before serving.

You do not have to use a Crockpot to make this meal. Just boil the potatoes like you would for mashed potatoes. When they are soft add the other ingredients. Heat until warm and serve.

Chris likes this as a soup. I prefer clam chowder. So I took the leftovers (only one serving) the next night, and put it in a frying pan. I brought it to a boil slowly being careful not to scorch the milk. Then I took half a cup on cold water, added 1 TBS flour and shook it up. I added it to the pan and stired until it became thick. So I had a nice filling chowder.

Skillet Beef Oriental

This is one of our favorite recepies. Chris' mom use to make if for him when he was a child. We enjoyed making it in college because it was quick, cheap and easy to clean up. One day I asked my mother-in-law why this recipie was called Beef Oriental when there was nothing oriental about it. She said that it was not the original recipe, she modified it to save money. I tried the original recipe. We liked it but still think the simple recipe is better. I will post both.

Simple Beef Oriental

1 lb ground beef
2 envelopes/cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 envelopes/cans of Milk
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 cups of cooked rice*

*I often would forget to make the rice until the beef oriental was finished. To solve the problem I printed out the recipie and wrote "MAKE THE RICE FIRST" in large letters at the top of the page. It worked.

Cook ground beef, celery, and onion until done. Drain. Pour the soup envelopes over the meat mixture. Add milk to each envelope and then pour it over the soup. This is an easy way to measure with out using an extra dish and it gets all of the soup mix out of the envelope. Mix and simmer for 15 minutes.

Turn off the burner. Add the rice to the mixture. Stir and serve.