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Saturday, September 23, 2017


Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Chewy, crunchy, full of nuts and/or fruit and/or chocolate, this non-dairy/pareve mandelbread recipe is versatile and adaptable to many tastes. It's simple to put together and makes a great project for kids, who can help mix the dough and pat it onto the baking sheets. That's how Food section staffer Becky Krystal learned how to make her grandparents' recipe.

The recipe can easily be halved or doubled.

Make Ahead: The mandelbread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. The slices can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in a zip-top plastic bag for several months.

Tested size: 24 pieces

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may replace up to 1 cup with an equal amount of whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit or other mix-ins of your choice (chop as needed)
4 or 5 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract, or a combination

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have two large rimmed baking sheets at hand.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit or other mix-ins.

Whisk together 4 of the eggs, the oil and the vanilla or almond extract in a medium bowl until well incorporated.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; use a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine. If the mixture seems too dry, stir in the remaining egg. You might need to use your hands to knead the dough to ensure it is fairly uniform. (A little unincorporated flour is fine.). Don't worry about overworking the dough.

Divide the dough into quarters, arranging two of them side by side on each (ungreased) baking sheet. Shape each section of dough into an oval 8 to 9 inches long and about 1/2 inch high.

Bake one sheet at a time for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mandelbread loaves are dry to the touch on top. They will not be cooked through.

Remove from the oven; transfer each parbaked loaf to a cutting board. Cut each loaf into 6 equal slices, laying them flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or longer, depending on how crisp you like your mandelbread. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring the slices to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining loaves.

Rating ***[2]

From Food section editorial aide Becky Krystal.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per piece: 240
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 12g 18%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 30mg 10%
Sodium: 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates: 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 12g
Protein: 4g

Mexican Chicken Tenders and Rice

Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel


For quick cooking, chicken tenderloins are a great choice. But they require a good bit of seasoning. In this take on arroz con pollo, the tenders get a double dose of it: Spices, lime juice and oil are used to season the tenders themselves, and they're served atop a flavorful rice pilaf.

This dish can be assembled in no time if you dice the vegetables in advance.

If you prefer, you can use brown rice; adjust the cooking time accordingly. As for the bell pepper, you can choose whichever color you favor. Green bell pepper is traditional, but milder red, yellow and orange ones can be used instead.

Make Ahead: The onion and bell pepper can be diced up to 24 hours in advance.



1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1 pinch of it
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mild chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
2 large limes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1 medium bell pepper, green, red, orange or yellow, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste or 2 tablespoons regular tomato paste
1 1/2 cups (uncooked) long-grain rice, rinsed (see headnote)
3 1/4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on the counter.

Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano in a small bowl.

Arrange the chicken on the foil in a single layer. Use half the seasoning mixture to sprinkle the tenderloins evenly on both sides.

Cut one of the limes in half, squeezing all of its juice evenly over the chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Rub the chicken on both sides to evenly distribute the spices, juice and oil. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a 4-quart shallow nonstick braising pan, ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the spice-rubbed chicken; cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining chicken.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper and a pinch of salt to the pan, skillet or Dutch oven, plus more oil if needed; cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the tomato paste and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring to combine, for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to incorporate. Add the broth; increase the heat to medium-high and stir to combine; cook until the broth begins to boil.

Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and arrange the cooked chicken over the rice. Cover and bake for 8 minutes, then check to see whether the rice has cooked through and all of the broth has been absorbed; if not, bake for 5 minutes or until rice has cooked through. Remove from the oven, uncover and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Serve right from the cooking vessel at the table, shielding the hot handles with pot holders. Cut the remaining lime into wedges to serve on the side.

Rating *****[3]


From Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 370
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 8g 12%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 80mg 27%
Sodium: 350mg 15%
Total Carbohydrates: 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 3g
Protein: 32g

Oatmeal Coco-Nutters

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


These are no-bake and kid-friendly to assemble once the heated mixtures have cooled.

Make Ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 month.


2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-process)
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (do not use instant)
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chopped unsalted nuts, preferably toasted (see NOTE)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Combine the sugar and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the butter has melted and the mixture is well blended. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk; increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the vanilla extract, then let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the oats, salt, nuts and coconut and mix until evenly coated and distributed; the chocolate mixture will be a little runny but should evenly coat the dry ingredients.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.

Drop the mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto wax paper, spacing them fairly close together. Refrigerate until firm, for 1 to 2 hours. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Transfer to airtight containers; the cookies can be kept either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

NOTE: Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool before using.

Adapted from "Old-Fashioned Cookie Recipes," by J.S. Collester (Bear Wallow Books, 2001).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per cookie (using low-fat milk): 100
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 4g 6%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 5mg 2%
Sodium: 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: 10g
Protein: 1g

Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables

MAR 8, 2006

Italian salad dressing, balsamic vinegar and a touch of honey form the basis of the dressing for this chicken with carrots and asparagus that is popular at Bowdoin College, whose campus food was ranked No. 1 among students in the 2006 Princeton Review guide.



1/4 cup bottled light italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound chicken breast tenderloins
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, cut in julienne (very thin strips)
10 ounces/280g asparagus (about 2 cups), cut into 2-inch lengths, or one 10-ounce package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
Freshly ground black pepper
1 plum tomato, coarsely chopped, for garnish


In a small bowl, combine the salad dressing, vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. When it is shimmering, add the chicken tenderloins. Cook until tender and no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes total, turning once. Transfer to a serving platter and loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the carrots and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp and tender. Transfer to the serving platter.

Stir the dressing mixture and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits that are sticking to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with tomato, and serve hot.


Adapted from a recipe at Bowdoin College.

Tested by Yuki Noguchi.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 233
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 2g 10%
Cholesterol: 49mg 16%
Sodium: 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 22g

Barbecued Chicken, Spicy Southern Style

AUG 14, 2005

We checked out some recipes advocated as healthy by the government in various booklets and Web sites. We wanted to see if flavor was sacrificed to make the recipes healthy.

For this one, cayenne pepper gave the sauce some heat, and despite the honey and molasses, it wasn't overly sweet. We thought this tasted very good, but there wasn't enough meat for 6 traditional servings, so we've changed it to use boneless chicken pieces and adjusted the cooking time. Even so, this recipe yields 3-ounce portions of cooked chicken, which meets the government standard but might seem skimpy.



5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts


In a small pan over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients except the chicken and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Wash chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a large platter and coat evenly with half the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil and place the chicken on the pan. Broil 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken. Cover and continue baking for 10 minutes. Remove thighs; bake breasts 10 more minutes. Serve hot or cold.


Adapted from "Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute."

Tested by John Allen.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving: 107
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 2g 3%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Cholesterol: 48mg 16%
Sodium: 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates: 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 15g

Friday, September 22, 2017

Asian Shredded Chicken

Julia Ewan


In its infinite variability, this bright-tasting salad is one you can make uniquely your own. Prefer button mushrooms to shiitakes? Substitute. Don't like red bell peppers? Omit. Want more of a lime kick? Grate in some zest. Have shrimp on hand instead of chicken? Enough said; you get the idea.

This must be prepared several hours, preferably a day, in advance to allow the flavors to develop.



1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water, or a combination
1 3-inch piece ginger root, thinly sliced, plus 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups julienne-cut carrots (from the grocery store salad bar)
1 medium red bell pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced thin
6 scallions, white and green parts, cut crosswise into thirds, then lengthwise into julienne strips
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, to taste
1/2 cup chopped unsalted or lightly salted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
Soft-leafed lettuce or summer roll wrappers, for serving (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper


For the dressing and dipping sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes and sesame oil in a medium bowl.

For the chicken: Pour 1 1/2 inches of chicken broth into a deep medium skillet or medium saucepan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Add the slices of ginger and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to low. Cook, adjusting the heat so that the water moves but does not boil and turning the pieces over once, for 8 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate to cool; discard the ginger slices and reserve the broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, tear it into fine shreds and place in a large mixing bowl.

While the chicken is cooling, add the carrots to the hot broth and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to soften slightly. Transfer to a colander, rinse quickly with cool water, drain well and pat dry.

Cut the red bell pepper into quarters, trim off the curved ends and slice into very thin, straight julienne. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until they are golden. Add the scallions, red bell pepper, garlic and salt and pepper to taste; cook for about 1 minute, stirring, until the scallions and peppers are just softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Add the carrots, cilantro, minced ginger and mushroom mixture to the bowl of cooled, shredded chicken, then add two-thirds of the dressing and toss well. Chill overnight or for at least 6 hours. When ready to serve, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Top with the chopped peanuts. Serve the chicken with lettuce leaves or summer roll wrappers for wrapping if desired, and use the remaining dressing for dipping.


Adapted from a recipe in the May 2001 issue of Gourmet.

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 186
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 7g 11%
Saturated Fat: 1g 5%
Cholesterol: 43mg 14%
Sodium: 572mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates: 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: n/a
Protein: 22g

asian Sloppy Joes

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


The recipes in Ming Tsai's latest cookbook, his fourth, are the simplest ones he has published. Did that have anything to do with reaching out to a new, younger demographic, one of his goals in competing on Food Network's "Next Iron Chef"?

"Sure. It's a nice bonus," says the 46-year-old chef-restaurateur, who has just completed taping his eighth season of shows for public television. "But the book is really for cooks of any skill level. It keeps things easy and affordable, but tasty."

This preparation is a fine example of what the chef does well: He honors his mother by tweaking a dish she made for her family. Hoisin sauce provides sweetness; pork adds flavor; ginger and a bit of chili sauce bring the heat (which we have adjusted to suit younger palates). Leftovers can be frozen.

For more on chef Tsai, see Thursday's All We Can Eat blog.

Serve the sloppy Joes with brown-rice chips and pickles. To drink, Tsai recommends a Pilsener lager such as Stella Artois.



2 medium red onions
3 or 4 ribs celery
6 or 7 cloves garlic
2-inch piece ginger root
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce, such as Sambal Oelek
1/2 to 1 cup hoisin sauce
3/4 pound lean (93 percent) ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
8 ounces/224g fresh or canned no-salt-added Roma tomatoes (4 to 5 canned tomatoes or more as needed; see directions)
1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns, preferably whole-wheat


Cut the onions into 1/4-inch dice to yield at least 2 1/2 cups. Cut the celery into small dice to yield at least 1 cup. Mince the garlic (2 tablespoons) and ginger (1 tablespoon); this can be done together.

Heat a large skillet (at least 12 inches) over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom; once the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, garlic, ginger and hot chili sauce (to taste), stirring to coat evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables have started to soften.

Add the hoisin sauce (to taste) and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the beef and pork in pinches. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often to break up the meat, until it is no longer pink.

While the meat is cooking, coarsely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices (the juices should yield at least 1/2 cup; if not, add more from the can or from another tomato as needed). Cut the lime in half horizontally. Shred some lettuce leaves for serving.

Add the tomatoes and their juices to the skillet, then squeeze in the juice of the lime halves. Season with pepper to taste. Stir to combine; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Some of the liquid will evaporate.

While the sloppy Joe mixture is cooking, split and toast the buns. Place a bottom half on each plate. When the mixture is ready, place a generous portion of sloppy Joe mixture on each bottom bun, then place lettuce on top. Add the bun tops; serve hot.

Rating ***** [1]

Adapted from Tsai's and Arthur Boehm's "Simply Ming One-Pot Meals" (Kyle, 2010).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 8, with bun): 340
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 16g 25%
Saturated Fat: 5g 25%
Cholesterol: 55mg 18%
Sodium: 550mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates: 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 20g

Main Course