Too Much Candy for Halloween??? Nah……recipes for leftover candy

So the high holiday of candy is coming up and your little darlings will get enough sugar to power a small nuclear plant and it’s time for the “parent” to consider confiscating a portion of bounty “for their own good” of course. Yeah, right, that didn’t work with my kids either.

What I did do was try to channel some of the candy to other venues. I always let my kids eat about 1/3 of the candy, they had to give at least 1/3 of the goodies they collected to one of the women’s shelters for the kids there who didn’t get to trick or treat and the remaining 1/3 was put into the communal candy basket at home for us to use as a family (ok, my husband and I snarfed a few) for some of our favorite, made with candy recipes.

Rather than try and justify how chocolate should really be its own food group I’m just going to offer the following recipes that have graced my family’s table in the weeks following Halloween and pray you don’t gain as much weight as we do when we eat them.

 

 

CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR CROISSANTS

 

1 (8 ounce) tube refrigerated crescent rolls

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

2 (1.55 ounce) milk or semi sweet chocolate candy bars, broken into small pieces

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Unroll crescent roll dough; separate into triangles. Brush with butter.

 

Preheat oven to 375. Arrange candy bar pieces evenly over triangles; roll up from the wide end. Place point side down on a greased baking sheet; curve ends slightly. Brush the top of the croissant with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the top with almonds. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8. This recipe can be doubled.

 

CANDY BAR CAKE

 

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups finely chopped candy bar (Snickers, Almond Joy, Milky Way, peanut butter cups or a combination of any of your favorites)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

 

Frosting:

4 1/2 ounces milk, semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup chopped candies

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10-cup nonstick Bundt pan. In a bowl sift together the 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the chopped candy with remaining 1/2 cup flour. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar and beat until combined about 2 minutes then add the yolks and vanilla. Beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of milk.  Add 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and then the last of the flour.  In another bowl for the electric mixer beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until you get stiff peaks. By hand, fold the chopped candies and egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake, in the pan, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on the rack for an additional 20 minutes.

 

To make the frosting place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the cream over the top. Microwave for about 30 seconds and then remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook an additional 30 seconds or until the chocolate is totally melted. Whisk to combine and let cool for a few minutes. Place the cake on the serving platter and pour the icing evenly over the top of the cake (some will drip over sides but that’s ok). Sprinkle the remaining chopped candy over the top. Let cool and serve.

 

 

Modified from ALL YOU OCTOBER 2011

KIT KAT KAKE

 

1 (18 ounce) packages refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, prepared recipe favorite

6 cups whipping cream

2 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided

14 Kit Kat bars

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine

whipped whipping cream or whipped topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom of 9-inch round cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Press cookie dough in bottom to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake approximately 18 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool completely. In a large bowl, put 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 5 cups whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH for 4 – 5 minutes until chocolate is soft. Remove and stir well until chocolate and cream are mixed well. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.  Melt remaining chocolate chips with butter and stir until smooth.

 

Place large cookie in center of 10-inch spring form pan. Cut candy bars long ways and dip one end in chocolate mixture. Place vertically between cookie and sides of pan. Continue until all candy bar pieces are used.  Chill 20 minutes.  Whip cream and chocolate mixture until stiff.  Chop remaining candy bars into chunks. Take cookie shell and place one-third of mousse on bottom. Sprinkle chunks on top. Repeat layers, ending with mousse. Chill in freezer overnight.  Top with whipped cream and chunks of candy bar.  Return to freezer for at least 1 hours. When ready to serve remove from freezer and slice.

 

Submitted by Rachael Margoles Philadelphia PA source unknown

 

CANDY CORN BLONDIES

 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for pan

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/4 cup each orange, yellow, and brown candy-coated chocolates (from a 12.6-ounce bag) or 8 Reese’s peanut butter cups, removed from their wrappers and coarsely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; stir just until moistened. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Arrange candies or chopped peanut butter cups in 12 rows (2 rows per color, repeating once) on top of dough.Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares. To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days. Makes 16.

 

Modified From Everyday Food

MILKY WAY TART

 

 

Crust

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 large egg yolk

 

Filling

3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate candy bars chopped

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

 

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons water

 

Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting)

 

Make crust: Whisk flour and cocoa in medium bowl. Beat butter and powdered sugar in another medium bowl until well blended. Beat in yolk. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating just until blended. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours.

 

Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Press each onto bottom and up sides of 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet pan with removable bottom. Refrigerate crusts 1 hour or freeze 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 375. Bake cold crusts until set and dry-looking, about 12 minutes, pressing with back of spoon if bubbles form. Cool crusts in pans. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.

 

Make filling: Place milk chocolate in medium bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to simmer in small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until melted and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

 

Combine remaining 1/2 cup cream and butter in small saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter melts; remove from heat. Combine sugar and 3 tablespoons water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until color is deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 8 minutes. Immediately add hot cream-butter mixture (mixture will bubble vigorously). Remove from heat and stir until any caramel bits dissolve. Transfer caramel to small bowl and chill until slightly firm (semi-soft), stirring often, about 40 minutes.

 

Spoon caramel into center of baked crusts (about 2 generous tablespoons for each crust). Set aside.

 

Using electric mixer, beat chilled milk chocolate-cream mixture until peaks form; spoon atop caramel in crusts, dividing equally (about 1/2 cup for each crust) and spreading evenly. Chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Remove tartlets from pans. Lightly sift cocoa powder over tartlets and serve.

 

Created by Maury Rubin City Bakery /  Bon Appétit  September 2006

 

KITCHEN SINK COOKIES

 

4 eggs

3/4 cup margarine

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups peanut butter

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

7 cups oatmeal

3/4 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi sweet)

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 cup M&M’s ® (you can use the peanut or peanut butter ones too!)

 

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the eggs, margarine, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and peanut butter. Beat to combine . In a separate bowl mix together the baking soda, salt, and oatmeal. Mix the oatmeal mixture into peanut butter mixture. Add chocolate chips and pecans and stir until combined.  Drop golf ball sized balls of dough (I use an ice cream scoop) on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten each cookie into a circle shape with the bottom of a glass. Press M&M‘s into the top of unbaked cookies.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before removing. Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

 

My files, source unknown

 

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Cupcakes for the Holidays

There are times in your life ( like after eating a dozen latkes) when you just gotta have that certain something sweet BUT you really don’t want the guilt associated with gobbling up 5 bags of candy coins or a calorie laden mega doughnut topped with chocolate and filled with custard (granted, there aren’t too many times when I DON’T want that kind of doughnut). For me that’s when I reach for a cupcake. Just enough cake and frosting to satisfy but not so much as that I feel like I’ve over indulged and the “oh I blew my holiday diet AGAIN” remorse isn’t omnipresent.

The origin of the cupcake isn’t all that clear. Some historians say it’s because the original recipe contained 1 cup measurements (I cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar etc.) Another source I checked with said that long ago that cake batter was cooked in tea cups, hence the name, cup-cake. Either way it came about I’m just glad the recipes evolved into the sweet treats we love today.

Deciding what type of cupcakes to make and what to top them with can be truly a personal and existential experience. You can fill them, frost them, and dust them with powdered sugar or cocoa. Sprinkles are always nice and so is a couple of pieces of candy or chocolate stuck into the top of the batter just before baking. The possibilities are endless and the results are always irresistible.

With cupcakes you can indulge in your love of lemon, banana, chocolate or vanilla or both at the same time and not have to commit to eating a whole cake. One of the beauties of making cupcakes is that most cake recipes can be converted into cupcakes. There are, however, some exceptions, like angel and sponge cakes, they don’t have quite enough structure to pull off the smaller size, but those to obvious exceptions aside, I say go for whatever recipe you want and see how creative you can get. I prefer to use cupcake liners in my pans as I find it easier to take them out after they’ve been cooked and they help keep all those pesky crumbs from falling all over your lap or shirt.

Just a few cup cake rules before you get started.

 

1. Always grease or line you baking pan, easier to remove the cupcake

2. Never over fill the pan, it will make an overly large cupcake top

4. Once the pan or pans are full, put them in the preheated oven immediately. The longer they sit out, the less they will rise.

5. Cupcakes should be baked in at least a 350 so that the structure sets quickly and the cake doesn’t dry while it’s baking

3. Make sure you test the cupcake with a toothpick before you remove it from the oven to make sure it cooked throughout.

 

 

Depending on how you decorate the following recipe they can be served as a snack or at a formal dinner and are equally at home at a 5 year olds birthday party or a wedding reception. I make the peanut butter ones every Chanukah and decorate them with chocolate candy coins.  Enjoy!

PEANUT BUTTER CUP CUPCAKES (dairy)

1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
16 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper cup cake liners in the muffin pan and set it aside. In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the margarine or butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Mix to combine and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the milk. Do not over mix or you’ll get air bubbles in the cup cake. Fill each muffin cups about 1/2 full of batter. Place a peanut butter cup into the center of each and push it down so it almost touches the bottom but so there is still some batter underneath the peanut butter cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean (be careful not to test where the candy is, you won’t get a true test of if the cupcake is done). Makes approx 14 to 16

 

 

BANANA SPLIT CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 mashed ripe bananas

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk or non dairy substitute

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese or pareve cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoon soft butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Optional Toppings;

hot fudge sauce,

maraschino cherries

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 20 to 24 muffin cups or use paper liners. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. In another large bowl combine the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until blended.  Frost and top with fudge sauce and a maraschino cherry

 

Modified from the Joy of Baking

 

ZUCCHINI AND PISTACHIO CUPCAKES (pareve)

This recipe uses self rising flour if you don’t have it for each cup of self rising flour use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup granulated sugar

4 zucchinis, grated

1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped

2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries

 

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or line 2 12 muffin tin pans. In a bowl combine the egg, oil, and sugar and whisk until combined.  Add the zucchini, lime zest and nuts and stir together until well mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder, into the zucchini mixture and gently fold it in. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and bake and for 18 to 20 minutes until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then dust the top with powdered sugar. Makes 24.

 

Modified from about.com

 

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

generous 1/3 cup potato flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the sugar and beat until combined.  Add the cream cheese, vanilla, milk and eggs and beat to combine.   Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just combined.  Spoon the mixture into the paper liners and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.

 

1 oz bittersweet chocolate

5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave but don’t over heat it, it should just be soft. Cool for about minutes. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl and then pour the chocolate over the top. Add the vanilla and mix until the cheese and chocolate is combine. Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine. Frost and serve. Makes 12

 

Submitted by Roger Mancref and Cheryl Rodrego Naples FL

 

CANDIED CUPCAKES (dairy)

 

Topping

6 chocolate candy bars, chopped into pieces (your choice)

1, 12 oz bag of any kind of M&M’s you like

Crush, cut and mash into tiny pieces

Mix together in a bowl, set aside

 

Frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup cream

 

Cupcakes

12 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup mini chocolate chips

 

 

Make the frosting first. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate and cream together. Stir until smooth and then add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Cool in the refrigerator and when it is cool beat the frosting until it is spreadable.

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or place paper liners in 24 cupcakes molds. In a bowl combine the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs and mix to combine. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, chocolate chips and mix to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepare tins filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting and then decorate with the chopped candy. Makes 24.

 

LUSCIOUS LEMON CUPCAKES (dairy or pareve)

 

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sour cream or pareve substitute

 

FROSTING:

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon milk or pareve substitute

 

Preheat oven to 350 and grease or paper line 30 muffin tins. Set them aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Mix to combine and then with the mixer running add the eggs. With the mixer still running add lemon zest and vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer running slowly add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. This will be a thick batter.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter and powdered sugar. Mix until combined.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest and milk; beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 30.

Eat Like A Kid Diet

     Every so often I get a request for a copy of this column, one that I wrote last century (ok, it was the 90’s). It’s just as true today, only the players are different. Enjoy!

 Any woman who has given birth (no matter if it was 25 years ago) or man who wants to attend a high school reunion is going to be on the lookout for the newest diet to hit the market. The trouble with most diets, however, is that they don’t give you enough variation, variety or there are just too many steps (please, all you weight watchers devotes, don’t call me, I’ve been there and fallen flat on my face, into a bag of M&M’s 20 minutes after my first meeting).

            As sure as we all diet at some point in our life we will cheat on our diets, quit after 3 days, and go right back to their same old eating habits. Some die hards never give up and try every new fad, gimmick and product that hits the market. I even have one friend that is so optimistic that the next new stratagem is going work that she keeps a size 4 spandex jump suit in the front of her closet. She hasn’t been a size 4 since the 7th grade.

            Last week, however, after watching my 2 year old nephew Robbie eat the most bizarre and unusual kinds of food and still keep his boyish figure I realized that I had the answer to the dilemma that has plagued everyone who ever wanted to drop 5 pounds. I call it the EAT LIKE A KID AGAIN DIET.   

            This diet it truly unlike any diet you’ve ever tried and due to its “amusingly unique” nature April 1st is absolutely the perfect time for everyone to start it. It’s economical, has a wide variety of unusual items and in many cases offers unlimited amounts of specific foods. As with all diets, make sure you check with your physician (and any 2-year-old you know) before starting.

 

DAY ONE

Breakfast:

One scrambled egg, one piece of toast with any red jelly and 5 pieces of cubed cheese.  Eat 2 bites of the egg and, using your fingers, dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of the toast and then smear the jelly over your face and clothes. Don’t eat the cheese.

Lunch:

2 magic markers (permanent, non-toxic is preferred), a handful of corn chips and salsa, and a glass of milk (1 sip only, then refuse the rest).

Dinner:

A small toy, 1/2 a banana, a button, 4 sips of chocolate syrup and a Dr. Pepper.

Bedtime Snack:

A handful of Cheerio’s eat 6 and toss the rest on the floor.

DAY TWO

Breakfast:

Find the stale bagel (from yesterday that you hid in the closet) and eat it. Drink half bottle of “low fat” salad dressing or 6 glasses of apple juice.

Lunch:

Half a can of Play Dough and 2 doggie treats, (any flavor). Applesauce and strawberries until they come out your nose.

Afternoon Snack:

Play with any Popsicle until its sticky, take it outside, and drop it in the dirt.

Pick it up, don’t wipe it off and continue eating it until it’s totally clean again.  Then bring it inside, making sure to drip on the carpet, and flush it down the toilet.

Dinner:

A dirty stick with leaves on it or left over fried rice or what ever you didn’t fix for dinner.  Pour your grape juice over mashed potatoes eat 9 helpings while singing. Sneeze with your mouth full and hit the wall.

DAY THREE

Two frozen waffles with way too much syrup. Eat one waffle with your fingers and put the other in your pants, rub any leftovers on face and in your hair. Drink 1/16th of a glass of milk. After breakfast, discover a sucker in your underwear drawer and feed it to the dog.

Lunch:

An eraser and a tuna sandwich. Mash the sandwich into the table and pour your glass of milk on top. Cram the entire mess into your mouth and spit out half

Dinner:

Red pop that stains, chicken and the jelly beans from last week’s playgroup.

 DAY FOUR

Breakfast:

All the toothpaste you can squeeze before someone stops you and a pickle. Pour a glass of orange juice over bowl of Rice Crispies. Fling the bowl at anything that moves.

Lunch:

All the crumbs you can find on the kitchen floor and table as well as 3 apple slices.  Ice cream after a 30 minute hissy fit.

Dinner:

A bowl of spaghetti and chocolate milk (literally a bowl of spaghetti and chocolate milk after you mix them together). Leave handprints of sauce on every surface you can reach ( this is a great aerobic work out because inevitably someone will be chasing you). An entire package of gum for dessert.

DAY FIVE

Breakfast:

Macaroni and cheese

Lunch:

Macaroni and cheese

Dinner:

Macaroni and cheese

Day Six

Breakfast:

Macaroni and cheese

Lunch:

Macaroni and cheese

Dinner:

Refuse any and all Macaroni and cheese. Wake up at 3 am and demand Macaroni and cheese.

DAY SEVEN

Breakfast:

Reject everything offered and then whine for 20 minutes. Demand popcorn and candy. Settle for grapes.

Lunch:

8 slices of leftover pizza

Dinner:

Chicken, green beans, and potatoes. Scare everyone by actually eating everything and refusing dessert.

(c) Eileen Goltz

What the Heck is Bok Choy?

Sometimes I get bored of the same old vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I love peas and green beans and celery and asparagus and all the other likely veggie suspects. But how many times can I roast cauliflower or steam broccoli or green beans before I run out of ways to dress them, sauce them over or fricassee them and not feel like I’m rewind mode? That’s the moment I start looking for the fun veggies that make my family sit up and take notice and say, “what the heck is this stuff?” One of my absolute favorite, guess what this is vegetables, is bok choy.

          Bok choy is a dark leafy green cabbage family generally associated with oriental recipes often found in soups, stir fries and as a steamed side dish. Bok choy is chock full of vitamins A and C and calcium and delicious. Hummm, remind me again why I don’t use it as often as I could or should.  

Bok choy is pretty much available year around.  You should look for firm stalks and pass up any with brown spots. When you’re getting ready to use it cut off most of the base of the stalks before washing it so that the dirt that collects between the stalks can be thoroughly washed away. Some people like to separate the stalks from the leaves before they cook it because the thicker stalks have a longer cooking time than the leaves. If the stalk isn’t cooked whole, bok choy is typically shredded because it’s quicker to cook if cut into smaller pieces. Whichever cooking method you choose, be sure not to overcook the bok choy, the stalks should cooked to be just tender and the leaves should be just wilted.
         Bok choy pares well most oriental flavors and is especially tasty with soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. With its subtle flavor and crispy texture, bok choy can be used as a substitute for cabbage in most dishes. It’s equally delicious raw, steamed or stir fried and its inexpensive so that it’s a perfect fit for every budget.

 

ALLISON’S ORANGE AND BOK CHOY SALAD (pareve)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper

6 cups bok choy, shredded

2 cups red cabbage, shredded

1 red onion, sliced thin

2 10 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained

2 avocados slice and chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 to 2 packages Ramen noodles, crushed (discard the seasoning packets or save for later)

In a bowl combine the oil, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a bowl combine the bok choy, cabbage, onion, oranges and avocado.  Toss to combine. Pour the dressing over salad and toss to combine. Top with the almonds and ramen noodles. Toss to combine. Serves 6

Submitted by Allison Garrison Chicago IL

ORIENTAL BOK CHOY AND CHICKEN SALAD (meat)

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, grilled, cut into bite sized pieces (or leftover chicken)

1/3 cup green onions, sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 lb pea pods, cut in half diagonally, blanched

1 lb bok choy, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half, seeded and sliced thin

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 red pepper, diced

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 cup rice noodles or chow mien noodles

 In a large bowl combine the chicken, parsley, cabbage, green onions, peas pods bok choy, cucumber, red pepper and garbanzo beans. Mix to combine. In another bowl combine the vinegar, oils, ginger and peanut butter. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper. If the dressing is too thick add a little more vinegar. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Top with the rice noodles. Serves 4 to 6.

VIETNAMESE STIR FRY BEEF WITH BOK CHOY WITH CRISPY NOODLE CAKE (meat)

1 pound  steak

1 pound bok choy (3 cups sliced)

10 green onions, sliced

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

Dash or two of hot sauce

1 tablespoon minced ginger, divided

2 cups red bell peppers, sliced

Crispy Noodle Cake

Vegetable-oil cooking spray

3/4 pound angel-hair pasta or thin noodles

2 teaspoons oil

Sauce

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Crispy Noodle Cake: Preheat boiler. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles. As soon as water returns to a boil, drain noodles and rinse under cold water. Shake dry and spread out evenly on the baking tray. Sprinkle oil over noodles and spray with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Place noodles on the middle rack of the oven. Keep an eye on them as you prepare the beef. When noodles are crisp, after about 10 minutes, remove and flip onto other side. Spray with oil again and return to broiler for another 5 minutes. To serve, cut noodles into 4 portions with sharp scissors or a knife and transfer to individual plates. Cut each cake into 2-inch squares. Spoon beef, vegetables and sauce on top.

Helpful Hint: The noodles will need to be turned. The easiest way to do this is to loosen them on the tray all around the edges, cut into 4 sections and, with a spatula, flip each section.

For sauce: Mix all ingredients together.

For beef and bok choy: Remove fat from beef. Slice into 1/2-inch-wide strips 2 to 3 inches long. Wash and dry bok choy. Slice on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Slice scallions on the diagonal.

Heat wok and add oil. Add half the garlic and half the ginger and fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, green onions and peppers and stir-fry until wilted but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Remove to a warm serving plate. Add remaining garlic and ginger to wok and stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Add beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove to plate with vegetables. Add the sauce and hot sauce to wok and stir to prevent lumping. Heat until sauce bubbles. Add vegetables and beef to sauce and toss several times. Remove wok from heat. Spoon over noodles and serve immediately.

Modified from Dinner in Minutes by Linda Gassenheimer

MOCK CRAB AND BOK CHOY

1 cup vegetable or pareve chicken broth

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 lb. linguini noodles, cooked according to the package instructions, drained

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 cups sliced bok choy

1 1/2 lb mock crab

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced green onion

1 can sliced water chestnuts

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

In small bowl combine the broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch; set aside. Heat the oil in a wok and add the broccoli, and red bell pepper and cook stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the mock crab, bok choy, mushrooms, green onions, water chestnuts and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 or minutes or until the mock crab is hot but the vegetables are still crisp tender. Stir soy sauce mixture into the vegetable mixing to coat. Cooking, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the cooked noodles and toss to coat. Serves 4

Modified from about.com

CRUNCHY BOK CHOY SALAD (pareve)

Dressing:

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salad:

1 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles

1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

3 cups thinly sliced bok choy

1 cup very thin red bell pepper strips

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup diagonally cut green onions

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.

To prepare the salad, crumble noodles; discard seasoning packet. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts; saute for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat. Combine crumbled noodles, peanuts, bok choy, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2001

QUOINA AND BOK CHOY TURKEY PASTRAMI SALAD

1 cup quoina

2 cups of chicken broth

2 portabella mushrooms, chopped

2 tablespoons oil

1/3 to 1/2 lb turkey pastrami, chopped

2 cups sliced bok choy

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Cook the quinoa in the chicken stock according to the directions on the package and cool slightly. Place it in a large bowl. In a skillet cook garlic and red onion together in the oil until the onion is soft. Add the bok choy and cook 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and turkey pastrami and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mixture to the quinoa.  Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish. Serve hot or cold.

Submitted by Claire Louise Smart Bloomington IN