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Friday, June 29, 2012

Chinese Buffet

Ahhhh, the weekend.
The work week is over, you're ready for a little relaxation,
and a nice, crowd pleasing dinner would help.
The take out menus are in your hand.
What would be delicious and make everyone happy?
Chinese food!
But oh, the fat and calories!
The deep fried guilt!
Your waistline!
You could undo all of those salads in a phone call!
We have the answer.
We know just what to do.
Our methods may be a little different...
But the results?
A menu of favorites lightened up a tad. 
Put down the menu and preheat the oven.
Shall we start with an appetizer?

Baked Crab Rangoon

2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup crab meat, drained
wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 415 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

We found wontons at our local Asian market.
 Already picked crab claw meat from the seafood
 counter was perfect.
 In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese, scallion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sugar together until well combined. Fold in the crab meat.
Taste to adjust the seasoning.
Resist the temptation to just settle into a chair with the bowl and a spoon.
Lay a wonton wrapper on your work surface. Plop about 2 teaspoons of the filling mixture in the center of the wrapper, then brush two adjacent sides of the wrapper lightly with water.
Fold the wrapper over on the diagonal. Press around the filling to remove air pockets, then press the sides to seal the wrapper tightly. Set this on the prepared baking sheet. Now lather, rinse, and repeat until all the filling is used.

Spray the tops of the wonton wrappers lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crisp.

Makes 20-24 

Quite frankly, we doubled this. I know my family.
Next up is everyone's favorite side dish or main dish.
Make the rice sticky so you can pick it up with chopsticks.
Fried Rice

3 cups cooked white rice
3 tbs sesame oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
  3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
      On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas/carrots mix, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.
If you decide to do this as a main dish, add chicken, pork, or shrimp
with the veggies.
Now for the entree!
This is a favorite of mine, and frankly, my crew declared this to
be a tastier version than our favorite delivery place!

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
The chicken coating:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten, or egg substitute to really be good
1/4 cup canola oil
The sweet and sour sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
       Start by lowering the temperature in your oven from 415 to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water, pat them dry with a paper towel, and then cut them into bite sized cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.    
Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk 
and then pour evenly over the chicken.
The torturous part? Bake the chicken for an hour so that it's cooked all the way through,
 turning it every 15 minutes.
The smell is amazing. 
I had people ducking into the kitchen every time I turned the chicken.
Stop licking the monitor.
Call the gang to the table and serve with a pot of green tea, hot Chinese mustard
and soy sauce.
I made extra sweet and sour for dipping the crab rangoon.
We had sherbert ready for dessert,
And we had a little less guilt to boot.

for the original recipes.


Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Oh that looks really good! As usual, your minions are awesome! I'm going to have to wait until our temperature drops below 100 before I turn on my oven again!

Michelle L. said...

Holy yum! The minions are in the spirit, as usual - so cute!