Friday, October 24, 2014

Healthier Brown Fried Rice with Broccoli and Chicken

Healthier Brown Fried Rice with Broccoli and Chicken 1

In an effort to eat healthier, I sometimes switch to brown rice. I like the firmer texture and slight "pop" as I bite into each grain. And while replacing white rice with brown rice doesn't really need a specific recipe, I thought it'd be nice to come up with fried rice recipe that would be healthier for you. This recipe would be right at home at P.F. Chang's or any Chinese-American kitchen.

I would say it's healthy, but I'm sure someone will debate the nutritional value of rice, even if it's brown. Or chicken, even if it's breast meat. Or eggs, even if you used all whites, which I didn't.

So! Healthier fried rice if you will.

With broccoli.

Because no one will argue with me that broccoli isn't healthy?

And in the run-up to Thanksgiving, perhaps a slightly healthier meal is in order before you indulge?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chinese Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Ground Pork and Black Bean Sauce

Chinese Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Ground Pork and Black Bean Sauce 1

While experimenting with several ways to reduce the bitterness of bitter melon, reader Gabriel Ocasio suggested on my Wandering Chopsticks Facebook page to salt the bitter melon and then stir-fry it with black bean sauce. So that's what I did.

Perhaps I've been going about this all wrong? Instead of making bitter melon the star of a dish, if I just treated it as any other squash and stir-fried it with meat and sauce, the bitterness wouldn't be so prominent? Because this recipe was my favorite of the four bitter melon recipes I cooked that day. The salting reduced the bitterness so there was just a slight tinge, which was balanced by the sweetness of the smidgen of sugar and the saltiness of the black bean sauce.

Wynotts Wands - Salem - Massachusetts

5 Wynotts Wands - Salem - Massachusetts 1

While on our loop around Salem, second-oldest nephew pointed out Wynotts Wands, makers of fine wands since 1692 (not really). After all, if Salem is capitalizing on its notoriety for witchcraft, stands to reason that someone would cash in on wizardry and Harry Potter.

Butter beer anyone? Actually, it's Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer, neither it, nor Wynotts Wands, is affiliated with Harry Potter. Not that anyone really pays attention to that disclaimer.

Because really, when you have a wand shop, it better look like Ollivanders! (And like Ollivanders, there is no apostrophe in Wynotts.) The shop limits the amount of visitors inside at one time, which was actually refreshing to escape the crowds during October in Salem, but meant a brief wait before being allowed to enter.

Not affiliated with Harry Potter, although the Deathly Hallows logos on the wand boxes in the window contradict that.