Tag Archives: Ginger

Ants Climbing on Branches (Chinese Green Beans over Noodles)

I actually made this recipe a few months ago, kind of assuming it’d be a nondescript and certainly not blog-worthy dinner.  I was quite definitely wrong, so I bookmarked it and set it aside for that future moment when all the pieces fell into place for it to happen again.

Well, my friends, fate has arrived. 

Ants Climbing on Branches (adapted from First Look, Then CookPrintable Recipe Card

  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and washed
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 C chicken broth
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t cornstarch

Start by making brown rice or whole-wheat noodles (I used whole-wheat lo mein noodles) to serve alongside the beans.

Heat up the canola oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat.  Toss in the onions and garlic and saute until translucent.  Add the ground ginger and red pepper and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Next, add the ground turkey and cook thoroughly, about five minutes.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, broth, and cornstarch, and mix to combine.

Toss the green beans on top and cover, simmer for 5-6 minutes until the green beans are cooked (I prefer mine al dente, but it’s up to you).  Remove the lid and allow the liquid to cook down until it’s the desired thickness for another minute or two.

Serve immediately over rice or noodles (serves four).

I absolutely love the combination of ginger (you can and should use fresh if you have it–about an inch long piece), green beans, salty soy sauce, and of course the savory turkey.  Add that to the smooth texture of the lo mein noodles and it is a serious winner.

Fritz also approves.  Whole-heartedly.

He also managed to eat an entire plateful (well, he did move it to a bowl) using plastic children’s chopsticks with a rooster on top.

He has mad skills.

And in other very exciting news, it’s the weekend!  Though it is sadly going to involve massive amounts of studying for my finals next week, it’s important to note that I am soon going to be on vacation! Woo!

The only sad news is that I found out that there’s no internet where we are going (the gorgeous Kootenay Lake in BC, Canada), so I’m not sure what to do about blogging.  I know I’ll miss it a lot, but I’m thinking about just straight up going without for the two weeks we will be gone.

What I don’t want to do is be trying to blog from internet cafes and restaurants on slow speed connections and gettin’ all frustrated while everyone else is frolicking away in the lakes and mountains.

What do you think I should do?


Filed under Entrees

Gingery Bok Choy

So much to talk about!

I guess I’ll have to split it up over a couple of days, ’cause I have some serious test-age coming up this week, and I need to start studying as of three days ago.  So this’ll have to be quick.

We had a mini-BBQ on saturday, and our favorite LI couple, the Jensens, came over to hang out.  They were later joined by Carrie and Mike, and we had a blast just running around and playing (well, the boys did), eating, and taking pictures.

That night, we picked up Fritz’s parents from the airport and his sister from the train station, and a Zietsman fest commenced.  More on that later.

Off in the land of food, I had some CSA loose ends to tie up (meaning: greens to use up before they went bad), and I searched for a quick ‘n’ easy bok choy side dish recipe that only used ingredients I already had in stock, and preferably one that used only a few of said ingredients.  Success.

Gingery Bok Choy  (serves 2-4, original recipe here)

  • 1 lb baby bok choy (the grown-up kind is okay, too)
  • 1 t canola oil
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (I used dried–I know, shame on me)
  • salt to taste

Most important part–cut off the ends of the bok choy and submerge all the leaves in water.  This is vital especially if you got your veggies from a CSA or farmer’s market, ’cause there’s a lot of grit in there that I assume you’d rather not eat.  Leave it in there for a few minutes, swish it around, drain, and rinse one more time.

In a cold wok/pan, add the canola oil, ginger, and garlic and place over medium heat.  I learned this today–start with a cold pan because otherwise the ginger and garlic will burn really fast.  This is especially true for me since I used dried garlic, which is halfway to burnt anyway.

Once it starts to sizzle, add the bok choy leaves and stir it around, allowing the leaves to get nice and tender.  This should only take a few minutes.  Then boom!  You’re done!  Season with salt to taste.

I love easy recipes like this.

Plus, it sounds fancy because it’s made with bok choy.  Most people have never seen or eaten bok choy (but they should! It’s delicious!).  I love ginger, but even if you don’t, give this a try.  The ginger isn’t overwhelming and goes really well with the garlic.

Oh–someone wants to say hi.

It’s been a while.  He’s feeling much better and back to his evil, biting, cuddling, purring, sleeping on my neck all night long self.  So glad to have him back to normal!

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Filed under Side Dishes

Gingery Green Monster

I’m so glad that I reintroduced myself to green monsters a while back, because I have a feeling that they are going to be a big, big part of my life this summer.  And today it was hot!  Perfect day for a cold green monster with a serious kick.

Gingery Green Monster

  • 1 C cold water
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 -1″ piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 -1 1/2 C frozen fruit (I used pineapple, mango, and peach)
  • 1 t sugar

Layer all of the ingredients in the blender as listed (except for the sugar, which you can decide if and how much to use), and give it a go!

I started off without using any sugar, but I decided to add a bit just to cut the bite of the ginger a bit.  If I had a really ripe banana around, I would have used that and I’m sure it would have been just perfect.

Pour into a glass and you are good to go!  This actually made about a serving and a half, but because it’s so low-calorie (no milk or protein powder in this one), I drank both–the small glass as I was getting ready and the travel mug once I got to school.

Now, please don’t say that I didn’t warn you!  This drink is not for the faint of heart–and if you don’t like ginger, you might want to run in the other direction.  But if you’re like me, and there’s never too much ginger, than go for it.  Plus, ginger is nature’s Pepto Bismol, so if you have upset tummy problems, you might want to try this!  When I took the first few sips, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it or not, but by the time I got to school, I downed the whole mug in about 30 seconds.  It was really, really good, and so refreshing.

Tomorrow’s green monster might involve coffee–I’ve been thinking of other flavors to make so that I don’t get bored!

Fritz just finished dinner–he made grilled turkey burgers with charred pineapple rings and grilled corn on the cob.

Does that sound good or what?

And tomorrow is my last day of case studies week, then I have a week off.  I’m going to see some friends friday, then head to my parents house for most of the week.  When I come back, Fritz will have picked up our very first CSA box!  Can’t wait!

What’s coming up in your life that you are excited about?


Filed under Beverages

Carrot-Ginger Soup

I know that I already claimed that I made my last warm soup for the year, but I lied.  I love soup.  I’ll eat soup in the winter, in the summer, at school, after work, in a box, with a fox…

Seriously, I love soup.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.  So needless to say, even though the last few days have been perfect sunny shorts and tee-shirt weather, I jumped at the chance to make soup today since it never broke 70 (and by now, it’s downright chilly!). 

When it’s gray outside, make the brightest orange soup you can inside.  It’ll cheer you and your sad studying self right up!  I found this recipe in the new cookbook I bought a while ago, and just knew it would be amazing.  So simple, so tasty, so…orange.

Carrot-Ginger Soup (adapted from You Can Trust a Skinny Cook by Allison Fishman)

  • 2 T butter
  • 3/4 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (I used baby carrots.  Sweeter.  More convenient)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly diced
  • (1) 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 t fresh thyme leaves (7-10 short sprigs)
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 3 C chicken broth
  • 1 T chopped parsley, for the garnish

Melt the butter in a largish soup pot over medium heat.  When you are making a recipe like this, where there aren’t a million ingredients, this first step is important–and the butter will make a difference in taste.  Don’t use oil.  Embrace the butter.  Love the butter.

Be careful not to let the butter brown, and add the onion, carrots, and ginger.  Stir in the thyme leaves and salt.  Go easy on the salt–you can always add more, but you can’t take it away.  The chicken broth will also add salt, even if you are using low-sodium.

Saute for a few minutes until the veggies begin to soften, about 5-6 minutes.  Pour the broth in, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are completely cooked, roughly another 15 minutes.


Here comes the fun part.  Pour the soup in the blender and give it a whirl.

The cookbook says to take the plastic part of the lid out, so the steam doesn’t build up in the blender and explode an orange mist all over your ceiling.  I don’t want that, and I’m fairly certain you don’t want that.  Plus, you get to watch the steam make some very pretty patterns as it blends.

Once blended, pour into bowls and top with the parsley. 

The garnish gives the soup a nice bright finish, and tastes perfect with the warm carroty base.  And be prepared–that big hunk o’ ginger gives it quite a kick!  You’ll be feeling warm and fuzzy in no time.

And don’t forget to admire that beautiful color.  When shades like this are found in nature, they are made to be celebrated.

Anyhoo–I’m headed back to the jail cell that is my desk.  Only five finals and a project to go this week, then I’m visiting my sister in Boston for her birthday.  I can’t WAIT.


Filed under Soups/Stews

Soba Noodles with Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

Despite that there were a few flakes of snow threatening my peace of mind yesterday,I was so glad that today was a (chilly) but beautifully sunny day–still light out at seven!  I went to the gym today for the first time since midterm week started, and even though it was hard getting back into the swing of things, it’s nice to experience that post-workout high again (it helped that the sun was just setting as I left the gym).

However, I have to admit something to you about the upcoming recipe.  It’s all about a cold soba noodle salad, with an orange-ginger miso dressing–perfect for a quick lunch during midterms week when Fritz wasn’t around.  Except…midterms week was last week.  I made this an entire week ago.

This isn’t normally much of a problem, except that I didn’t write the amounts of anything that I used, so I have to kind of guess at what actually went into this dressing.  Luckily I have pictures as a reminder.  It was really good though, so I’d like to suggest that you use this recipe as an inspiration for a soba salad of your own–and if you do use my recipe, taste it as you go an adjust accordingly to your taste.

For myself I’ve found that’s true of any recipe using miso–I am still getting used to the strong and salty taste of miso, so I like to go slow as it is.  Miso and I are still taking baby steps as we get to know each other. 

No rushing into this relationship.

Cold Soba Salad with an Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

  • 6-8 oz uncooked soba noodles
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (I’d definitely roast the pepper first next time)
  • 1-1 1/2 T miso
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • juice of one small orange (I used a tangelo)
  • 2 T tahini

Cook the soba noodles as instructed on the packaging (it only takes a few minutes in boiling water) and douse them with cold water once they are done to prevent them from overcooking.

Once they’ve cooled off and been drained, add the shredded carrots and bell pepper.

Next, mix the last four ingredients together to make a dressing.

Pour that right over the noodle mixture.

Give the noodles a good toss, and there you have it!

A light but filling (and healthy) salad.  Perfect for a meal on the go, or as a side dish for a heartier meal.

Tomorrow I plan on making a cake in the morning to celebrate our friends Steve and Gill’s first anniversary (congrats guys!) and then Fritz and I are having dinner at the Jensen’s house.  Should be a lovely day.


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Gingery Beef Stir Fry (with Chinese Forbidden Rice)

Woo!  Yesterday I was “Freshly Pressed” as I sure some of you saw, and I got so many visits and likes and comments–it was so exciting and fun!  Thanks so much for the accolades, friends.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this week–I started studying for my midterms week, which is both an up (for not procrastinating) and a down (I despise studying).  I also wasn’t eating the best this weekend (mostly due to the stress-snacking that comes along with studying),  but I’ve been reminded by Fritz and my best friend Jen that each day is a new day, and this week I’m managing to turn that around again.  Jen was the absolute best when she told me this incredible pearl of wisdom:

We love food.  And we don’t want to ruin that relationship with guilt.

You know the truth when you hear it.

However, one definite up was a stir fry that I made.  A beefy, gingery, delectable stir fry. 

Remember this?

Well, this slow roasted beef (recipe here) was reincarnated as this stir fry.  As I said before, we don’t eat beef that often (that’s mostly due to budget issues, plus I tend to like white meats better) but when we do, it tastes so good (and Fritz is so happy).

Not to mention I could use a serious iron boost every once in a while.

Gingery Beef Stir Fry

  • 1/2 lb beef (steak, roast, etc) cut into thin strips
  • 1 t canola or olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 C carrots, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 C broccoli
  • 1/2 C frozen edamame
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t honey
  • 2 T soy sauce (I prefer to used reduced-sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked rice (I used Chinese forbidden (or black) rice)

This is a fairly simple recipe, but a great way to use up all the odds and ends you have sitting around in your fridge.  Before you get going on the stir fry, start the rice.  My mom is known for sending me amazing new things to try that she stumbles upon while out and about, and this Chinese black rice was the latest care package surprise (thanks, Mom!).

I googled it, of course.  It’s also called forbidden rice (so much sexier, right?), and can be used in lieu of white or brown rice in savory dishes, and is often used in sweet puddings and such because of its beautiful indigo color when cooked. 

Bring 3 C water to boil, and add the rice.  Reduce to low, cover, and let simmer until all the water is absorbed.  That should be around the same time that your stir fry is all set to go.

Heat the oil in a large wok or pan over medium heat and toss in the onions, and after a few minutes, the bell pepper.  Once they are softened and browning (five more minutes), add the minced ginger and stir.

How can one live without the smell of ginger?  (And for those of you who would prefer to live without ginger, add a little less if you like, but I promise the gingery taste is not overwhelming).

After two minutes, add the beef strips and vegetables.  Pour the honey and soy sauce over the top and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables (mainly the carrots) are softened.

Serve immediately over the rice–this makes 4-6 servings, depending on how ravenous you are.  It rewarmed perfectly the next day for a hot lunch in class (and I meant to top it with toasted sesame seeds, but I totally forgot until…just now).

It’s ideal if you eat this with a pair of goofy chopsticks, preferably if they’ve been given to you by a close family member (Thanks Eber!).


We found Henry totally conked out on my gym/errands bag yesterday–he’s been playing so much more lately since it’s been lighter out longer.  He’s like a more energetic version of his kitten-self (and he sleeps like a kitten again too–right where he stopped playing):


Anyway, what do you make when you have to use up a lot of leftovers?  I always need new ideas!


Filed under Entrees

Ginger and Molasses Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes I just crave a cookie that is sweet but not too sweet, chewy, and just a touch spicy.

I actually crave this a lot, but only every once in a while do I give into my cravings and actually make them.  After this recipe, though, I may give in a little more often.

I just love a healthy cookie.

Ginger and Molasses Oatmeal Cookies (inspired by this recipe)

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1 C whole-wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • flax egg (2 T ground flax in 1/3 C warm water)
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
  • 1/2 C blackstrap molasses
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 C-1/3 C crystallized ginger, chopped

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In my mixer, I combined the flax egg, banana (not mashed, just broken into pieces) and molasses, and mixed to combine.  Next in were the spices (salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger), pumpkin seeds, and wheat germ.  Mix for a few seconds, then finally add the flour and the oats and beat until combined.

It should look like this:

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I couldn’t get over that beautiful molasses color.

Drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  These won’t spread out as they bake, so press down on them lightly to flatten.

Bake for about fifteen minutes on the middle rack.  You won’t be able to tell by the color that they are done, so I guess you’re gonna have to keep tastin’ ’em.  They’ll be just a touch crispy on the outside and super chewy on the inside.


I admired this glass jar at Cait’s house a while ago, and being the amazing woman that she is, she remembered and bought me one for my birthday!

Now I have to make cookies more often!

Not now though.  Sadly I’m off to school.  The worst days of the week are over though, and soon it’ll be the weekend–and I hear the weather is supposed to be practically balmy!  Finally!  The sun outside has been tantalizing me for days, and I’ll take a few early warm days as a sign that spring really is just around the corner.

I need it.  I’m dying to be outside.  I don’t want to be cooped up anymore!


Filed under Desserts

Healthy Ginger Bars

Now please don’t get me wrong.  When I say a dessert is “healthy”, I usually mean compared to other desserts.  So I wouldn’t suggest eating more than one or two of these at a time, even though they are only 70 calories each…and even though Fritz and I have finished more than half of them in a 24 hour time period.  It’s kind of a “do what I say and not what I do”-type situation.  And just so that you are aware, these bars are really, really, really delicious.  Probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve made in a while.  They are sweet (but not too sweet), buttery (but not too buttery), and have the perfect amount of ginger zing to ’em.  I’m just gonna say it–you’ll probably end up finishing them all off way too fast, too.  But don’t say you haven’t been warned.

I found this recipe in Woman’s Day magazine, and discovered that I actually had all of the ingredients on hand.  I definitely inherited my love of ginger from my father (hi Dad!).  I can easily eat large pieces of it, and always try to give it to people who have upset stomachs and get sad when they hate it.  My family always finds ourselves wandering in Chinatown during their semi-annual NYC visits, and there is a candy store that sells various flavors of candied ginger, and we buy it by the pound.  I happened to have a small bag of fruit-flavored crystallized ginger (plum? fig? I can’t remember, and the fruit is by far overpowered by the ginger taste) from the last time that fit the bill for this recipe perfectly.

And for your information, ginger has long been renowned for its gastointestinal distress-alleviating effects (that’s why we drink ginger ale when our bellies hurt).  It’s an anti-inflammatory, and helps with nausea, even in pregnancy and motion sickness.  One study even showed that it was more effective than Dramamine (Jordi!), and some studies show it may help prevent colorectal and ovarian cancer.  So yeah, that’s some good stuff.  Plus it’s delicious!  So if you want to try it for yourself, here’s the recipe:

Healthy Ginger Bars (From Woman’s Day magazine)

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 C) butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar (we had run out of brown sugar, so I used white with a T molasses for taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 C whole-ground flax-seed
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8-1/4 C chopped crystallized ginger (the original recipe called for 1/2 C, but I thought that might be a bit much.  I used 1/8 C)


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9′ x 9′ pan with foil.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour into mixing bowl, and add sugar, egg and vanilla.

Whisk in the flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt and ground ginger.  But first you may have to actually grind the ginger.   A while ago I bought a ginger root, sliced it thinly, and dried it on a cookie sheet out in the sun.  I stored it in a glass canning jar for an occasion such as this one.  Hello coffee grinder!

Chop the crystallized ginger into small pieces and stir into the batter.


Spread evenly into the prepared pan-there is no need to grease or oil over the foil.

Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  I went for the low side of the time range, and they were incredibly moist; a brownie-type texture.  If you want them to be crisper and bar-like, I’d go for the full 24.  Either would be delicious.  Cut into four rows and six columns (or four columns and six rows?) for the 70-calorie serving sizes.  Or go a lot bigger for some decadence. 


Go bake them now.  You can thank me later.

Ironically, I had woken up yesterday morning at 6:30 with an upset stomach, so I got out of bed early to read and drink tea on the couch before I started baking (I finished Kite Runner, and cried the entire time).  Fritz woke up about an hour later and got scared that I wasn’t in bed (awwww…).  He came out to find me, and decided to nap for a little longer on the couch.  Henry (who is cuddly only during sleeping-time hours), came out to show a little more love.  It was such a cute snuggle-fest!


That image, plus some ginger bars, took care of my upset stomach right away.

That is, until the cake pops adventure began, and I ate about 30 pounds of chocolate cake, 12 pounds of chocolate frosting, and 16 pounds of candy melts.  I never want sugar again.


Filed under Desserts