Electric Lunchbox #79: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love food…any food…but lately have been craving Chinese/Asian food (anybody notice?) and been busy cooking a lot of them.

This time, it’s Lettuce Wraps! I recently got an Ankarsrum mixer and also bought the complete grinder/blender/citrus juicer combo. Not that I needed more gadgets, but I figured it’s worth it if can grind my own meat to just the size I need it.

So I got some chicken breasts today at Stater Bro’s with my mom after her doctor’s appointment and when I got home started my holiday baking (Alfajores Peruanos and Bacardi Rum cake – also baked 3 Butterfly Pea Sourdough with Toasted Oats and Einkorn at 6 am to bring to my mom) then ground some of the chicken to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Whew! So much for a day off!

And here is the recipe! It is delicious! Happy to say it all worked out (the mountain of dishes and utensils to wash too!) and I’m done, just need to type this up!

I hope you try this recipe out! Low carb people, here is a recipe for you! ❤️

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground chicken

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I used 1/2t, I like ginger!)

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

3 button mushrooms, diced

2-3 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts

Dash of ground pepper

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. In the big ELB bowl, place chicken, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onions.

2. Next add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar.

3. Then add the mushrooms and water chestnuts. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper.

4. Mix everything together until well blended. Do not pack it in the bowl. Lift and loosen up the meat after mixing.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, around 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. This is how it’ll look like after steaming.

7. Mix and break up the meat into little pieces.

8. Serve with washed lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #46: Pizza

After a trip to the toaster…perfect!

And recipe #2 of my wonderful experiments!

Pizza in the Electric Lunchbox….perfected with the help of a toaster! This recipe makes a pizza that is similar to the precooked frozen ones that needs to be baked a bit more before serving, hence the need for the oven toaster.

I am not a fan of pale colored food. I think I got it from my dad, who in turn got it from living as a child during World War 2. Long story, but I would toast my bread until golden, fry my meat until nicely colored. Steamed is only for fresh veggies, basically. If need be, I’ll sprinkle paprika, cumin, turmeric, on a pale colored steamed chicken, which almost never appears on my table save for the time I first got an Instant Pot!

So….this pizza just HAD to be toasted till golden in the toaster! 😊 It’s worth the extra step as it makes it taste a lot better, I promise you!

The recipe is just a guide, use more pepperoni or cheese if you like, add mushrooms, bell peppers, cooked sausages…make it your own. Use restraint with the sauce however, as it can make the dough soggy. You just want a thin layer of it over the dough.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

You can make 2-3 pizzas depending on your ELB. For every pizza, you’ll need:

A roll of Pillsbury Sweet Hawaiian or regular Biscuits(there are 8 in a can)

1-2 tablespoons pizza sauce

2-4 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni slices

Basil and/or oregano leaves, optional

1. Grease ELB bowl or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the biscuit dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border.

3. Top with cheese….

4. and pepperoni slices.

4. We love cheese, so a tiny bit more over the pepperoni.

Kind of pale looking right out of the ELB.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 30-35 minutes.

6. Carefully remove the pizza from the ELB and cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Toast until brown before eating. Enjoy!

Perfect!

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Electric Lunchbox #41: Pizza Dip

I had mentioned how pizza is a staple in my home because my son loves it, but this recipe is totally a different thing.

This has the familiar flavor associated with pizza – cheese, tomato, pepperoni…but in dip form. Feel free to use crackers, pita squares, waffles, waffle sticks or toasted bread cut into stick form. You definitely can also scoop it out of the dish and eat it straight! 😊

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

1/4 cup whole milk

3 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

A handful of pepperoni (about 1.5 oz)

1/4 cup pizza sauce

Toasted french bread slices or crackers (or whatever you pike to dip in), to serve

1. Place the milk, cream cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan in the big bottom bowl of the ELB.

2. Top with however much pepperoni you want, whole, chopped, or even the mini ones!

3. Top with pizza sauce. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover, and let steam until done, about 30 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the bowl from the ELB, uncover and gently stir. Add more pizza sauce if desired. Serve with bread or crackers or whatever else you think would taste good with this dip!

5. Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Ceviche

A recipe perfect for summer meals, this dish can be used as a side for grilled or fried meats, as a dip for tortilla chips, or just as a simple salad. It’s light and refreshing, plus you get the vegetable your body needs in a delicious meal.

It is so easy easy to make and it doesn’t require you to turn on the stove. A winner in super hot days! If you want to make this even easier to make, feel free to use the ready made bags of “riced cauliflower” available in most grocery stores instead of chopping the cauliflower yourself.

I usually buy a head of cauliflower, remove the stem and leaves, roughly chop it in pieces and process it in the Thermomix – takes about 5 seconds. A food processor would work the same, but if you have a small one, process in batches so that you won’t end up with cauliflower puree. In a pinch, a good knife and a chopping board with some elbow grease will do too!

1 small head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves, chopped into small bits

1 small red onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 large avocado, cubed

Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Just grab a big bowl and mix everything together. Adjust seasoning to taste, serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #29: Easy Curry Chicken

A very easy to make curry chicken dish, perfect to serve with rice and steamed veggies. Or as a dip for tortilla or pita chips. Or as a filling for sandwiches!

This recipe is will be a favorite for picnics and beach trips! Kids love it because of the layers of creamy chicken and melted cheese, and there is a small amount of broccoli (veggies!) nestled in between. Yummy! You can adjust the amount of curry powder to your taste and use either mild, medium, or hot to suit your preferences.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

1/2 to 3/4 cup cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon curry powder, adjust to taste

1 cup shredded chicken

1/2 cup brocolli florets

Grated Cheddar Cheese

2 Itaki cups rice

2 Itaki cups water

In a small bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and curry powder. Taste and add more curry powder if desired. Mix in shredded chicken.

Layer chicken mixture, broccoli, chicken mixture in the bottom big bowl of the electric lunchbox. Top with cheese. Place in the Electric Lunchbox base.

In the small nesting bowl, add the rice and rinse well. Drain and add 2 Itaki cups water. Place over the bigger bowl containing the chicken curry.

Place 2 Itaki cups water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

Ono Broiled Sushi

This is yet another recipe I picked up from my time at Brentwood UCLA. I believe we had it at a potluck when I was fairly new, maybe around 2005. I called it “deconstructed sushi” yet it was a lot more than that. It has sushi rice, kani, shiitake mushroom, nori…but it also has sour cream, mayo, and furikake. It is just so good you’ll have to try really hard to stop yourself from eating the contents of the whole pan. Luckily, it makes a lot so there is enough to share…with your closest, most dearest family/friends.

You can definitely add chopped avocados, chopped mangoes, gari, takuan, kimchi…whatever you like in your sushi. Or serve them on the side. I do this a lot, make the recipe my own by adding more of what I like to eat. I hope you’ll try this easy recipe and let me know what you think!

9 shiitake mushrooms, soaked then squeezed of excess water and chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups rice, freshly cooked and seasoned*
1 bottle (1.7 – 1.9 oz) Nori Fumi Furikake
Korean style nori, to serve

*Sprinkle just cooked rice with about 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and mayo. Add chopped mushrooms and crab meat. Mix well. Set aside.

Spread the hot, seasoned rice in a 13”x9” pan and sprinkle furikake evenly over rice. Drop crab mixture all over the rice and spread evenly. Broil until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Serve over nori.

Lotus Leaf Bread/ Mantou (cua pao/ gua pao buns/ he ye bao)

So yummy!

Today I’ll teach you how to make Lotus Leaf/Mantou buns. This is the white steamed bread bun that looks like a half moon, usually seen in Chinese restaurants.

These buns are a traditional Chinese accompaniment to dishes such pork or roast duck. Gua Bao, famous in Taiwan, is one style which uses pork belly. A lotus leaf bun by itself is called a “he ye bing” but with filings is called a “he ye bao”. They are found all across China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong kong.

I always use my Thermomix to make my bread dough as it mixes it and kneads it in 3 minutes. Then the dough is ready for it’s first rise. I find that I’m willing make breads, pizzas, cookies, and such at a moment’s notice since getting the Thermomix about a couple of years ago.

I also included directions for making this recipe without the Thermomix, so that anyone who wants to try can make this.

Ingredients:

240 grams water

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

40 grams sugar

500 grams all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon salt

Place water, yeast, and sugar in the Thermomix bowl. Cover and set to 2 minutes/37F/speed 2.

Add flour, baking powder, oil, and salt. Cover and set to Knead/3 minutes.

Transfer dough into a bowl to rise.

Set aside in the bowl, covered, for 1 hour or until doubled.

*To make without a Thermomix: place yeast, sugar, and water in a large bowl and stir. Add flour, baking powder, oil, and salt. Stir until dough comes together. Transfer to a floured board and knead 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a large bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Continue with the recipe.*

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (I weigh them).

Divide dough into 12 equal sized balls. I usually weigh the whole dough and divide the number I get by 12. Then I weigh the individual dough balls to get the same sized buns. Rest the dough balls, covered, for about 10 minutes. This makes it easier to work with the dough as the gluten relaxes a bit.

Flatten the ball using a rolling pin to a circle about 3-5 inches in diameter.

Roll out the balls, one at a time, on a clean surface into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Fold in half and place on a square of parchment paper. Place this in the steamer basket and repeat with remaining dough balls. Leave about 1-2 inch space between the dough as it expands when steamed.

Fold the round in half and place on a square of parchment paper

*You can also brush the dough with canola or sesame oil before folding over. This makes it easier to open the bread to make sandwiches. If you do this, brush only half of each circle very lightly with oil, then fold the other half over it.*

Place in the steamer rack, cover, and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled.

Cover the buns and let rise for about 1 hour.

Steam over medium high heat for 20 minutes.

Prepare steamer by heating water over medium high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, carefully place steaming baskets over the boiling pot of water and cover. Steam for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and leave, covered, for 5 minutes more. Do not open the steamer or the bread will collapse and be wrinkly instead of smooth. At least that’s what I was told. I never opened my steamer before the 5 minutes was over so I can’t tell you if it’s true. 😊

Remove buns to wire racks and cool completely.

Fill with your choice of filling: roasted pork belly, roasted duck, char siu pork, etc. or just use as the bread to make any regular sandwich you like!

Enjoy!

Fluffy and easy to open!

Ice Tray Meatballs

My coworker’s husband posted a video of him making meatballs using an ice cube tray a little while back. Interesting right? I knew I had to make it when he said he lined the trays with BACON before adding the meat mixture. My son loves bacon but I rarely make it as it’s highly processed.

In this recipe though it is not all bacon but every single meatball is covered with bacon. The whole thing is baked, so the bacon gets crispy and the grease drains off too – a win-win if you ask me!

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice as an appetizer or snack, or add rice pilaf with some salad and you’ve got an easy lunch or dinner done!

This will be perfect to serve as an appetizer for your holiday spread too!

Makes 28 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 – 10 slices bacon
  • Barbecue sauce, Ranch, sweet chili sauce, etc. for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, onion, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  3. Line two empty ice trays with bacon, (my trays took 2 strips per row, total of 4 per tray) overlapping each piece to cover the tray completely. Fill with ground meat mixture, pressing down to fill each cube completely.
  4. Flip the ice tray over onto a baking sheet, gently squeeze cubes to release meatballs, and carefully lift the ice cube tray off.
  5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and browned, and meatball is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the meatball sheets to a cutting board and cut the bacon to create individual meatballs.
  7. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Meat mixture
Lining the ice cube trays with bacon and filling with meat mixture.
Ready for the oven.
Yummy!

Ice Tray Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Bacon wrapped meatball made in ice cube trays, need I say more?

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 – 10 slices bacon
  • Barbecue sauce, Ranch, sweet chili sauce, etc. for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, onion, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  3. Line two empty ice trays with bacon, (my trays took 2 strips per row, total of 4 per tray) overlapping each piece to cover the tray completely. Fill with ground meat mixture, pressing down to fill each cube completely.
  4. Flip the ice tray over onto a baking sheet, gently squeeze cubes to release meatballs, and carefully lift the ice cube tray off.
  5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and browned, and meatball is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the meatball sheets to a cutting board and cut the bacon to create individual meatballs.
  7. Enjoy!