Annie Chung’s Organic Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers

Chinese potstickers used to be one of my favorite side dishes to order from my local Chinese restaurant. These days I don’t order them any longer because I’m really the only one who likes them, and an order is just too much and possibly a little too tempting to have.
One day while shopping at Whole Foods I decided to pick up a bag of the Annie Chung’s Organic Chicken & Vegetable Potstickers because they were exceptionally low in points plus/calories and they were in a comfortable serving size for me.  After watching The Big Bang Theory re-runs back-to-back my boyfriend and I were both craving Chinese food (incase you don’t watch the show the gang tend to eat Chinese food quite often). So much for television swaying food choices, huh?  My boyfriend ended up ordering Chinese food for himself and I decided to take these potstickers out of the freezer.  I cooked them up in a non-stick pan, fried them for a couple of minutes on each side to get coloring on it, then steamed them. They came out perfectly. I asked my boyfriend to get potsticker sauce for me from the Chinese restaurant so I used tat to drizzle over my potstickers and they were absolutely perfect.
The potstickers contain no preservatives, no MSG, no trans fats and are made from organic chicken, cabbage and onions in a light wrapper. The wrapper isn’t as thick as traditional potstickers, but they’re light, flavorful and delicious.
A serving is 7 pieces which is 220 calories or 5 points plus values.

Trader Joe’s Vegetable Samosas


I enjoy a number of Indian dishes and one of the items I truly enjoy is hands down samosas. I used to work with a father and daughter who would bring in homemade samosas to company pot lucks … and my love for them blossomed.  So needless to say, when I spotted these Trader Joe’s Vegetable Samosas I had to give them a go.
I decided to cook these up in the oven and have them for a late lunch.  They cook up and resemble homemade samosas.  While baking in the oven they do let off a little bit of oil residue, which when you’re eating makes your fingers a little shiny, but it’s nothing overwhelming. They’re packed with vegetables and flavor while they are also a little spicy. I found it to be a pleasant spice, but I shared these with my mother who thought it was a little too spicy for her taste.  I enjoyed my samosas with a side salad and it was a delicious meal.
A serving is 2 samosas, which is 170 calories or 4 points plus values.  I would suggest if the samosas are not going to be eaten in one sitting to not heat them all up because as they sit the crust does get softer. I hadn’t put them into the fridge (all were eaten in a day) but I think if they were put into the refrigerator they’d be soggy overnight.
QUESTION:
Do you enjoy vegetable samosas?

Eggplant Caponata


Eggplant Caponata is a dish my aunt actually introduced me to. She’d make this for parties at her house and it is totally delicious. I enjoyed it so much she gave me the recipe.  I decided to whip this up (actually, I tripled the batch – which wasn’t the original plan but I peeled two eggplants which gave me 9 cups of eggplant) to bring it to my aunts party as an appetizer dish to put out on the tables.
The tedious task sits in cutting up all the vegetables, but once that’s done its smooth sailing. It comes together quickly, simmers for a short period of time and can be eaten either hot or cold. The caponata does taste so much better after it’s had a chance to marinate in the fridge 1-2 days.  I would say, I’d eat the caponata over pasta while it’s hot, but then after its cold I prefer it with crackers.
Serves 15. ~ 1/4 cup serving. 2 points plus.
          3 cups eggplant, peeled and cubed
          1/3 cup olive oil
          1 medium onion, chopped
          3 cloves garlic, crushed (or you can use minced jar garlic)
          ½ cup chopped green pepper
          2 celery stalks, chopped
          ½ cup black olives, chopped
          1 can tomato paste
          ¼ cup water
          2 tbsp red wine vinegar
          1 tsp oregano
          1 tsp salt
          1 tsp black pepper
          ½ tsp sugar
Place a large pot over medium, high heat.  Add in oil, garlic and onions and sauté until onions are slightly translucent.
Add in eggplant, celery, and green pepper. Stir frequently and cook down until eggplant begins to soften.
Add in olives, sugar, black pepper, salt, oregano, and red wine vinegar.  Mix tomato paste and water together and gently fold into the mixture until all ingredients are well combined.
Lower heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve hot or cold.

Oven “Fried” Mushrooms

I found this recipe on laaloosh.com (see here: http://www.laaloosh.com/2012/08/22/baked-breaded-mushrooms-recipe/) and decided to make them as a side dish to the hamburgers we were having for dinner.  Now my boyfriend doesn’t eat mushrooms so I made enough for two servings and I ate half a serving at dinner and the remaining serving as little snacks with my lunch/dinner the remaining 2 days.  I enjoy fried mushrooms (particularly with a side of marinara sauce) so I figured I’d give these a shot and I was surprised as how good they tasted!  The parmesan and garlic really help boost up the flavor category and it gives them a nice crunch, while the mushrooms get softer in texture (as it would if it were fried).   I did follow the recipe exactly as described so I can’t offer any tips on how to alter, but I will say if I were to make them again I’d be following the same directions.
QUESTION:
Do you like fried mushrooms?