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Pineapple-Fried Rice

18 Oct

Some of you might remember my post about Ginger’s from my trip to the Big Apple in August.  Those of you that read that blog post, probably remember how much I raved about my meal there: Pineapple Fried Rice w/Chicken.  I’d never heard of it before, but took a chance and fell in love! Well…I really enjoyed it at least!  For awhile I’ve been wanting to recreate this dish, so after finding some canned pineapple in my while grocery shopping in my parents cupboards (what can I say? I’m a broke college student!) I decided I was going to go for the win and give it a try minus the chicken to make a vegan fried rice.

I looked up a recipe online, which you can find here, & gathered up the necessary ingredients.  To make fried rice, you should typically make the rice the day before (great way to use up leftover white rice!), but since I didn’t really plan ahead, I just stuck mine in the fridge for an hour (uncovered).  After an hour passed, following the recipe I added oil & soy sauce to my rice, and set it aside.

Veggies & Cashews

Next I heated up a pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil until it got hot and added my cashews.  Instead of using fresh garlic (which I’m sadly out of), I added garlic powder instead.  I let the cashews cook for a minute with the garlic powder before next adding about half a bag of Wegman’s Frozen mixed vegetables (mine had green beans, carrots, corn & peas). Then I stir fried these vegetables for about minute.  I chose not to add the egg (to keep this a vegan friendly dish!), but if you were going to do that (typically there is an egg in fried rice), this would be when you do it.

My next step was to mix in the canned pineapple (drained) to the pan, then the rice with soy sauce.  I kept stirring the rice until it made popping sounds & then I served it up in a nice big bowl! YUM!!!!

 

Next time I will definitely try it with the chicken because I loved that.  I will also maybe try using the egg next time as well.
My only tip for this week, is definitely use the cashews! That is what makes this so yummy!!!

WE ARE…recreating Ginger’s on Fashion Ave!

Ginger’s on Fashion Ave

19 Aug

Hey everyone! Sorry for the late update! It’s been a busy week!  This past weekend, I was in restaurant heaven — NEW YORK CITY!!!

I figured what better way to do my first restaurant review on LION BITES, than to do it in New York! While there were many restaurants I would have loved to have eaten at, we were on a budget (a budget spent on purses 🙂 ). It was my goal to find one interesting and good restaurant while we were there, and eventually we did when we found Ginger’s, an Szechuan & Chinese cuisine restaurant located on Fashion Ave between 37th & 38th.

For us, it was something quick & different.  We were surprised by the service, speed, taste & portions of the food here!  Especially for the prices! They hovered between $9-15ish. As soon as we were seated, our orders were taken, with each of us choosing a different dish (pretty typical, right?) & some hot tea.

What made Ginger’s not typical was how the food was served. First, it was so quick! We ordered and then our food was there, just like that! Also, while not served family-style, per se, we were each served our own HUGE portion of each dish & given an empty plate to fill with all of the different food (given that everyone is in the mood to share this is great!).  Gorgeous place settings! Love the teal!

I loved it because I enjoyed trying everyone else’s food as well as my own.  My family all went with pretty standard order dishes they stick with and love: General Tso’s Chicken, Chicken & Broccoli and Sweet & Sour Chicken.  I wanted to try something new (this was New York after all) and went with Pineapple Fried Rice with Chicken.

There are an abundant amount of selections on the menu and all of the dishes we had were great. The broccoli in the Chicken & Broccoli was so fresh tasting which really made the dish much more enjoyable than standard mediocre Chinese takeout.  The Sweet & Sour chicken was not greasy and fried as you sometimes get.  I actually enjoyed it, even though it’s not usually my favorite.  The General Tso’s was good as well and had a beautiful presentation with a cute carrot flower on the side.General Tso's Chicken

My dish was my favorite: Pineapple Fried Rice & Chicken.  I could just slightly taste the pineapple flavor in the rice which was nice.  There were vegetables, pieces of pineapple, chicken & cashews in it as well.  The cashews really made the dish in my opinion.  I can’t wait to try and replicate this dish at home!

Ginger’s is a great little place & I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the Garment District craving Chinese food, skip the random takeout stand and stop by Ginger’s! The reasonable prices, quick service & yummy food options will leave you wanting to go back again (I know I do). Just don’t be surprised if later you find yourself really hungry for pineapple fried rice!

If you want to read more reviews of Ginger’s click: Here

WE ARE… hungry for Chinese food…

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry & a Special Summer Treat!

25 Jul

Hey everyone!  This week I’ve got an easy meal for you all that is made all the time in my apartment: STIR-FRY!!!! My one roommate loves it and I swear she makes it once a week (okay, I’m exaggerating a tiny bit but still she makes it A LOT).

My friend from high school, Amber, came to visit me this weekend & we wanted to make a dinner at home since we went out for lunch.  We practically stuffed ourselves yesterday between steaks at Outback, a cupcake adventure at Sugar On Top (located in State College behind Rita’s Water Ice), dinner & our special summery dessert!

Since we had steaks for lunch, we opted to go with a chicken stir fry.  So we headed over to Giant to buy our ingredients for what had to be an overstuffed stir fry.  We both picked out ingredients we liked & threw it all together.  Seriously, we didn’t even use everything and it hardly fit into the pan!

Our Ingredients

Our Shopping List: Chicken tenderloins (easy to cut/cook), teriyaki sauce, water chestnuts, fresh mushrooms, an onion, a green bell pepper, baby corn (Amber was so excited about this one haha), carrots, & broccoli.  We also got stuff to make a special yummy dessert!

Be creative with your stir fry. Use what you like, there’s not really a need to follow any set recipe.  Another thing that’s nice about stir fry is that if someone doesn’t like something in it, it is really easy to eat around. For example, I love bell peppers in stir-fry, but Amber really doesn’t like them, so I she just pushed them to the side of the plate.

Back at my apartment, we started chopping up ingredients, myself working on the stir fry & Amber the dessert.

Vegetables w/Teriyaki Sauce added

Once everything was rinsed & chopped up, I put all of the vegetables (minus the mushrooms — which I added later to keep from getting mushy) into a large skillet with just a little bit (hardly any) water, covered & allowed to cook.  While the vegetables were cooking, I tossed the already diced (into bite-sized pieces) of chicken into a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Once the vegetables (mushrooms added in) & chicken had cooked through, I added a little bit of teriyaki sauce (We used La Choy Teriyaki in the purple bottle.  I also recommend Kikkoman Teryaki — it’s also in a purple bottle) into each pan, mixed it in & let it simmer.  Keep an eye on the chicken pan especially so that the sauce doesn’t burn to the pan!

Once the sauce was good and sticky on the chicken we were ready to mix it w/the vegetables & enjoy our delicious stir-fry dinner!

I bet some of you are wondering if I forgot about the dessert.  No worries, I didn’t.  I couldn’t if I tried because it was delicious & simple and I’m eating a leftover bowl of it right now for a snack!

BERRY BLAST Fruit Salad (named lovingly by Amber 🙂 )

Refreshing Berry Salad

Inspired by some delicious looking strawberries, Amber came up with the idea of a fruit salad for dessert.  So we picked out various berries & found a precut mixture of strawberries & sliced kiwis.  The strawberry/kiwi cup was so convenient & a lot easier than cutting up the strawberries ourselves.  Plus we also got to have kiwis which we would have never thought to buy if we hadn’t seen this pre-sliced cup! Amber cleaned the berries/fruit & tossed in a bowl with some sugar, the salad was sweet, but healthy & satisfying!

My Tips:
  • Instead of chicken, try sliced steaks (or tofu for you vegetarians!) in your stir-fry.
  • Mix up the vegetables. Try different colors of bell peppers in your stir fry for more color!
  • To make the stir-fry go further if you are feeding lots of people, make some white rice & serve mixed with the stir-fry. We almost always do this when we make stir-fry because my roommates and I eat rice a lot. (Think having to buy a 5 lb box from Sam’s Club.)
  • For the fruit salad –> use any variety of fruits that you like! Summer is a great time to enjoy fruits since they are so fresh!
  • Recruit a friend to help you cook. It’s fun to have someone else helping with dinner 🙂
WE ARE…going to have leftover stir-fry for dinner tonight!!!