pork pot stickers

pork pot sticker

I have always vowed that I wouldn’t be that mother that served dinner like a diner.  For the most part, I have upheld that vow.  My kids have always been pretty good about trying different things and we are lucky they eat what I serve.  That is probably attributed to the fact that they have learned that if they don’t like it, they get the ‘too bad’ face, and the ‘better luck next time!’ shrug (insert emoticon here).  Now I am not completely insensitive to their ever-changing preferences or aversions, but I don’t cater to just their favorites either.  If I did, I’d be eating orzo and hot dogs everyday.  Right now, my daughter seems to be anti-red sauce so she is getting zero sympathy from me in that department.  One dish we all can agree on though, is pot stickers.  Maybe because it is similar to ravioli or tortellini which the kiddies love.  My problem is that I need to be sure I don’t eat 30 of the tiny pockets of yumminess.  If you check out the original recipe, it calls for only 8 ounces of pork, whereas I used twice that.  I have issue with using parts of packages, or 1/2 of a can of something, so I tend to modify recipes to try to use things in their entirety.   This does produce mass amounts of food sometimes, but in most cases, it equals another dish the next day, or a frozen mixture for round two down the road.  I would rather refrigerate or freeze a meal, or the mixture for a meal, than have a leftover can of corn or  frozen blob of pork.
I was only feeding three of us this time, so I only made 18 pot stickers and kept the pork mixture and used it in a cold noodle salad for four of us the following day for lunch.  It also would work on a salad with an orange vinaigrette.  Leftovers are heaven.  Otherwise this would make 36-40 pot stickers.

napa cabbagescallions

pork pot stickers (basically from Cooking Light)

Cooking spray
1  lb. package of lean ground pork
1/2  cup green onions, chopped
1  jalapeño, minced
2  tsp. ginger, grated
2  TB low sodium soy sauce
2  tsp. sesame oil
1/2  head Napa cabbage, shredded
3  carrots, shredded or Julienne
peanut oil

pork and scallions

get started on the pot stickers:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add pork and cook 6 minutes or until almost done, stirring to break up into tiny pieces.  Add green onions, jalapeño and ginger and stir to combine.  Add soy sauce and sesame oil cooking for another minute.  Stir in carrots and cook for a minute, then add the cabbage and cook until cabbage just wilts.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

pork mixturedumpling assembly

Place a small bowl of water near where you will be assembling the pot stickers.  Lay out six wonton wrappers, keeping the remaining under a damp paper towel (so they don’t dry out).  Spoon a teaspoon of the pork mixture into the center of the wonton.  Moisten the edges around the mixture with water, using your finger or a brush.  Take opposite corners of the wrapper and fold and seal and then fold up the remaining corners and pinch to seal at the top.  If any edges aren’t sealed completely, dab with water and pinch closed.

wontonsraw dumplings

Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Arrange six pot stickers in the pan in a single layer.  Cook two minutes or until browned on the bottom.  Add 1 cup of water to the pan and cover and cook 4-5 minutes.  Uncover, and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, assemble the next six pot stickers.  Serve immediately with soy sauce or your choice of dipping sauce. (jacked up with jalapeños!)

pot stickers cookingpot stickers

note:  serving portion is 3 pot stickers at about 120 calories total.  (so obviously eating 30 is not recommended!)  Depending on how many pot stickers you want and can fit into your pan, realize that you need to cover your batches to keep warm and moist, as it is 7+ minutes until the next batch is ready.  YUM!

plate of dumplings


turkey sausage and spinach lasagna

lasagna slice

I have a new friend.  His name is turkey sausage.  Wow that sounds bad.  Anyway, I meant to say that I have been getting bored with always substituting ground turkey in dishes to get away from beef and so when I came across this recipe in Cooking Light using turkey sausage, I had an ‘aha’ moment.  I ripped that recipe right out and I am really glad I did.  This recipe rocks.  I was doubly excited because it wasn’t a lasagna with red sauce which my daughter isn’t fond of…(need to change that!).  It really was a hit with them.  Now if you want the 332 calorie version you need to follow the Cooking Light recipe.  I couldn’t fathom only using 2 links of sausage.  How was that going to distribute over an 11×17 space and inside 2 layers?  Not happening.  4 links it is.  I also couldn’t understand using only one ounce of shredded mozzarella cheese.  What’s the point?  Is that a pinch?  So I shook out enough cheese to nicely cover the entire lasagna without being disgusting.  Oh and the funniest change I had to make was to the stingy 2 lasagna noodles per layer.  I used enough to cover the pan – about 5.  So they say the way to hell is paved with good intentions.  It was damn good lasagna.

turkey sausage and spinach lasagna  (adapted from Cooking Light)

Cooking spray
4  4 oz links hot turkey sausage
1  cup Portobello mushrooms, diced
1  cup yellow onion, diced
1  clove garlic, minced
1  10 or 12 oz pkg. spinach
1/4  cup flour
1  cup 1% milk
1  cup unsalted chicken stock
2  TB olive oil, divided
2  bay leaves
1/4  tsp kosher salt
1/2  tsp ground black pepper
15  no-boil lasagna noodles
4  oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1  oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese

onions & mushrooms

get started on the lasagna:

Preheat oven to 375.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Spray pan with cooking spray.  Remove casings from the sausage and add to the skillet, breaking up into small pieces.  Cook 4 minutes or until browned.  Add mushrooms and onions.  Cook until onions are softened and then add the garlic.  Add spinach and cover with lid.  Cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.  Stir to combine.  Remove pan from heat.

spinach and sausage mixture

Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Combine flour and next four ingredients (through bay leaves), in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk.  Cook 8 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper.  Spread 1 cup of the milk mixture in the bottom of an 11×17 glass dish coated with cooking spray.

slurrylasagna building

Arrange 4 noodles across milk mixture, slightly overlapping, with a fifth one cut to fill in the bottom space.  Top with 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and one-third of spinach mixture.  Repeat mixture twice.  Sprinkle finished lasagna with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Remove foil.  Change oven temperature to broil.  Broil for 4 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.  Let stand ten minutes before serving.

lasagnalasagna slice

Note:  serves 6.