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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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)

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)

Sweet N Sour Chicken

Sweet N Sour Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs splenda brown sugar
  • 4 tbs red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat with cooking spray.
  2. Cook chicken until cook through and brown.
  3. While chicken is cooking, cook minced garlic with cooking spray in a separate pan until fragrant.
  4. Add bell peppers and onions and cook until slightly tender.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar.
  6. Once chicken is done, add chicken to sauce and cook for another minute.

 

(source: http://dukanitout.com/sweet-and-sour-roasted-tofu/)

Baked Southwest Chicken

Baked Southwest Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay chicken breasts in a greased baking dish, top with salsa, and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Cover dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

(source: http://www.3fatchicks.com/diet-recipes/salsa-chicken/)

Garlic & Horseradish-Crusted Steak

So.. Bob loves horseradish and I love garlic. The perfect compromise — Horseradish & Garlic-Crusted Steak! Watch out because this steak is full of flavor but very bold and strong flavors. Lovers of the two main ingredients like Bob and I will gobble this up!

Garlic & Horseradish-Crusted Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs sirloin steak
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup non-creamy horseradish
  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbs pepper
  • salt to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl. Rub the marinade on the steaks and refrigerate for 2 or more hours.
  2. Preheat broiler at 500 degrees.
  3. Spray a baking dish or sheet with cooking spray and place steaks on top (make sure to have a nice spread of marinade on the steaks). Spray top of steaks as well.
  4. Cook for about 10-20 minutes depending on how well you like your steak cooked.

(source: http://www.food.com/recipe/garlic-horseradish-crusted-steaks-28520)

BLT Egg Salad

BLT Egg Salad

Ingredients:

  • 12 extra large eggs
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 12 strips lean center-cut bacon (6% fat or less)
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayo
  • 1/8 cup fat free sour cream
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Boil eggs for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp and crumble. Set aside.
  3. Remove eggs from water and rinse in cold water for 15 minutes.
  4. Peel eggs and cut each egg in half and remove egg yolks. Toss yolks.
  5. Cut each egg-white half into 6 cubes.
  6. Place eggs in refrigerator to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs-whites, bacon (reserve a small handful for garnish), mayo, sour cream, and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Add tomatoes and lettuce and lightly toss. Serve and garnish with remaining bacon.

(source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/blt-pasta-salad-recipe/index.html)

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

I am in such an appetizer mood! It must be because the Fourth of July is tomorrow and that means BBQs and lots of finger food. Note to self: BE GOOD!! And on that note, one great way for all of us to be good while eating yummy holiday food is to make these overstuffed cheesy mushrooms. They are awesome!

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

First, make the 1/3 of the Oat Bran Breadcrumbs recipe found here.

Then, follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbs Oat Bran Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs reduced fat parmesan/mozzarella cheese mix (+extra for topping)
  • 1 tbs cream cheese
  • dash of italian seasoning
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 6 whole mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms and place in food processor along with the first 5 ingredients and blend together.
  3. Generously stuff mushrooms with cheese mixture and place mushrooms on greased baking sheet.
  4. Top each mushroom with a pinch of parmesan/mozzarella cheese.
  5. Spray tops of mushrooms with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes.

Garlic Parmesan Tofu Fries

You can do so much with these tofu fries. Toss them in dry seasoning, cover them with cheese, dip them, or eat them plain! I did a little bit of everything!

Garlic Parmesan Tofu Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • cooking spray
  • garlic salt
  • 2 tbs reduced fat parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Strain tofu and pat down with a paper towel.
  3. Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Use paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible from each slice.
  4. Cut slices in three to form fry shape.
  5. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place tofu on sheet. Top with more cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan.
  8. Serve immediately.

To make a low-fat ranch sauce for dipping, buy a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix. Prepare according to package directions with low-fat mayo and skim milk.