Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

As someone who’s Vietnamese, naturally I LOVE Vietnamese food. Unfortunately, since most Vietnamese dishes contain fish sauce (a very potent, salty sauce), Bob tends to not like it so much. Many non-Vietnamese people probably feel the same way. Even so, there are a few dishes that many people, regardless of their cultural background, seem to gravitate towards. One dish is called Pho, a noodle soup with a base made from cooking bone marrow, onions, and ginger. It takes many many hours to get the right flavors for the broth and is served with rice noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken. Another dish you may have heard of is called Banh Mi. A French-influenced sandwich stuffed with a variety of meats and usually includes an asian mayo, soy sauce, and pickled carrots and daikon. Finally, there is the ever-so-popular Bo Luc Lac or “Shaking Beef.” A dish made with tender, cubed steak and usually served with rice and a vinaigrette salad.

My mom is an EXCEPTIONAL Vietnamese cook. Really, I’m not just saying that because I’m her daughter 🙂 Needless to say, I will never cook at her level by any means. She wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to make the perfect Pho broth and is constantly being praised left and right for her cooking. Well, I won’t be waking up at the break of dawn to cook any time soon but what I can do is make a Dukan-friendly version of this dish: Bo Luc Lac. Do NOT be afraid of the fish sauce, it really gives the dish a great flavor! In fact, one of the winners of Top Chef was a Vietnamese chef that was known to put fish sauce in ALL of his culinary creations!

Vietnamese Shaking Beef / Bo Luc Lac

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs lean steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/2 onion, sliced

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow steak to marinate.
  2. Heat a wok/large pan on high heat with cooking spray.
  3. Cook steak/onions in batches to avoid overcrowding the meat. Brown on all sides. (note: you want to cook the meat fast to get the nice brown color while keeping the meat tender)
  4. Optional: Serve with some fresh, sliced cucumbers.

(source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/05/vietnamese-shaking-beef-bo-luc-lac.html)

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Triple Chocolate Pancakes

I must warn you.. these pancakes are insanely delicious. Not delicious as far as the Dukan Diet goes. Not delicious as far as any diet goes. Just DELICIOUS.

Why triple chocolate? Well, the reasons are three-fold: 1) chocolate soy milk, 2) cocoa powder, 3) sugar-free chocolate sauce. So, yes.. it is truly a triple chocolate dessert!

Triple Chocolate Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4.5 tbs oat bran
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 packet splenda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbs low-fat chocolate soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs Walden Farms chocolate syrup

Directions:

  1. In a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder, process the oat bran to a powdery, flour-like consistency.
  2. Pour oat bran into a bowl along with the baking powder, cocoa powder, splenda, and salt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, soy milk, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix well.
  5. Heat a pan on medium-low heat with cooking spray.
  6. Pour in 1/3 to 1/2 of the pancake mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes until bubbles form and edges begin crisping.
  7. Top with cooking spray, flip, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Serve pancakes with chocolate sauce.

(source: http://sheisred.com/2012/05/29/dukan-brownie-pancakes/)

Japanese Sticky Chicken

Japanese Sticky Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 8 drumsticks, skin removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2.5 tbs splenda brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pan over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Increase the heat while turning the chicken often until the sauce turns into a sticky glaze.
  4. Remove garlic cloves and serve.

(source: http://www.food.com/recipe/japanese-mums-chicken-68955)

Swedish Meatballs

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As a Dukaneer, I have had my share of meatballs (and I’m sure you have, too!). After all, you can season them with just about anything, pop them in the oven and you have yourself a Dukan-friendly meal! But what makes the perfect meatball? I haven’t a clue but what I do know is that these Swedish Meatballs are melt-in-your mouth delicious! The meatballs themselves are tender and flavorful and the sauce is to die for. It may even give Ikea a run for their money 😉

Swedish Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbs dried parsley

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fat free beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbs hot water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the meatballs.
  3. Form 2-inch meatballs and place on baking dish. (tip: I found that meatballs come out more tender when I bake them in a muffin pan)
  4. Bake for about 18 minutes.
  5. In a medium pan, heat 2 seconds of cooking spray on medium heat.
  6. Add beef stock. Then, slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil.
  7. Turn heat to low and add sour cream, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Plate meatballs and top with creamy sauce.

(source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/swedish_meatballs/http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-italian-melt-in-your-mouth-meatballs-69173)

Sirloin w/ Parmesan Cream Sauce

Sirloin w/ Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs top sirloin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup fat free cream cheese
  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 1 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Season steaks with salt, pepper, and any other desired steak seasoning.
  2. Grill for 2-4 per side or 4-7 in George Foreman Grill depending on how well you like your steak.
  3. Heat a medium pan with 2 seconds of cooking spray on medium heat.
  4. Add garlic and onions and saute for about 1 minute.
  5. Add cream cheese, half & half, and parmesan cheese. Stir over heat until cheese is melted and smooth.
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste and finish with parsley and remove from heat.

(source: http://kitchengirljo.blogspot.com/2009/03/giveaway-steak-with-shrimp-and-creamy.html)

Caramelized Onion Chicken

Caramelized Onion Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup splenda brown sugar
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Use cooking spray to grease a large baking dish.
  2. Place chicken in the dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven at 425 degrees F.
  4. Heat pan on medium with cooking spray.
  5. Add garlic and onions and top with more cooking spray.
  6. Cook onions until soft. Then, add brown sugar, vinegar, and salt to taste.
  7. Cook for about 7 minutes and remove from heat.
  8. Place onions on top of chicken breasts and bake for 20 minutes.

(source: http://americanfood.about.com/od/meatsandpoultry/r/caronichic.htm)

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

Soft Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 9 packets splenda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Use an electric mixer to egg yolks until smooth.
  4. Slowly mix in water, cocoa powder, splenda, vanilla extract, and salt. Set aside.
  5. With a clean bowl and beaters, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until very stiff peaks form.
  6. Carefully fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
  7. Spoon cookie-size mounds onto parchment paper and bake for 14 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool for at least 30 minutes.

 

Filling

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbs fat free cream cheese
  • 6 tbs fat free vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • splenda to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and sweeten with splenda to your liking.

Place a dollop of filling onto a cookie and spread evenly. Top off with a second cookie.

 

(source: http://www.audacityofcooking.com/2011/01/flourless-sugar-free-red-velvet-mini.html)

Flourless Cinnamon Bun

Tonight is Bob’s softball night. So, left to my own device, I completely wrecked our kitchen in the process of testing out some dessert recipes. Luckily, the disaster was not made in vain as I was able to cook up an easy, fat free, flourless, no-bake cinnamon bun recipe — yes, if it didn’t exist before, now it does!!

..Hopefully if I give Bob a piece of the cinnamon bun, he won’t be too upset about the tornado that hit our kitchen 😉

Flourless Cinnamon Bun

Cinnamon Bun

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbs unflavored protein powder
  • 4 packets splenda
  • 1 tbs splenda brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbs corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2.5 tbs fat free half & half
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together until smooth and pour into a souffle cup. (note: only fill cup 1/3 full as it will rise like a souffle in the microwave)
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs fat free cream cheese
  • 2 tbs skim milk
  • 1 tbs fat free half & half
  • 2 packets splenda

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Whisk together constantly until cream cheese is melted.

Top cinnamon bun with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Pesto-Rubbed Tri-Tip

This recipe may look similar to the Juicy Tri-Tip recipe I posted earlier but the herbs really give it a different flavor. It gives it more of a pesto taste which I just love!

Pesto-Rubbed Tri-Tip

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs tri-tip roast
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbs garlic powder
  • 3 tbs dried basil
  • 1.5 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, process soy sauce, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper.
  2. Rub marinade on tri-tip and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  3. Roast in oven at 375 degrees F for 1 hour.

(source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-steak-marinade-in-existence)

Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers

Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 10 strips of lean, center-cut bacon (6% fat or less)
  • 1/3 cup splenda brown sugar
  • 1 tbs chili powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine and mix brown sugar and chili powder in a bowl.
  3. Wrap each chicken cube in a half slice of bacon.
  4. Place about 5 bacon-wrapped chicken cubes on a skewer and coat with brown sugar mix.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

(source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/sweet-chicken-bacon-wraps-recipe/index.html)