Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Banana Spring Rolls

My absolute FAVORITE restaurant is PF Chang's. I love their lettuce wraps, mongolian beef, spicy chicken, and especially their banana spring rolls. This dessert is packed with flavor but small in portion size since it's loaded with calories. This copycat recipe tastes exactly like PF Chang's version. Delicious!

Banana Spring Rolls
ripe bananas
wonton wrappers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon chinese five spice mix*
oil for frying

caramel sauce
ice cream (pineapple coconut, vanilla, etc)

Preheat two inches of oil to 350 degrees in a saucepan. Set two small bowls side by side, one with a scoop of brown or white sugar mixed with the five spice, one with water. Separate the egg roll wrappers you are going to use, one per half banana.

Cut banana in half crosswise, then coat banana in sugar and place in the wrapper. Spread water all over the edges of the dough and roll it up like a burrito, sealing the ends by folding and pushing the dough together with your fingers. If a halved banana is too long, trim the edges to fit the dough. Prepare all the banana pieces before frying. 

Fry one or two at a time, carefully turning to brown evenly on all sides. Remove from oil and slice rolls in half. Serve warm over pineapple-coconut ice cream, with berries and a drizzle of caramel.

*Chinese five spice is made of: cinnamon, anise, ginger and cloves. if you don't have it, shake into the sugar a tiny amount of those spices instead. a. tiny. amount.

**Variation: layer chocolate chips or shredded coconut underneath banana before rolling.

Who Dished it first? Fashionably Foodie, inspired by PF Chang's

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kale White Bean Soup

I'm trying to incorporate more kale into my family's meals. Kale is a "super food" full of healthy nutrients but eating dark green leafy vegetables can be difficult when you have picky children. This soup is packed with flavor and even my kids ate it up.

Kale with Sausage and White Beans Recipe
1 T olive oil
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup onion)
2 large garlic cloves
1 pound kale, center thick rib removed, leaves roughly chopped
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock ***
1 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bulk sausage. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add the onion slices and turn the heat to high. Cook until the onions begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the kale, salt, and chicken stock. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.

Uncover, mix everything well (the kale will have cooked down by now) and add the beans. Cover the pot again and lower the heat to low. Cook another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.

***My notes: The original recipe called for 1 cup broth but we like a "soupy" soup so I add an additional cup or two of stock when I make this.

Who Dished it first? Simply Recipes with slight alterations made by me.

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