Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Simple Steamed Meals

First off…

Before my summer was kind of up in the air so to speak, and all of a sudden my dream job fell into my lap. I am now employed as an assistant chef for the Concordia Language Villages which is such an amazing program and I feel so blessed to have an opportunity to be a part of it. I will be starting mid-June and running until the beginning of August. I get to cook so many different cuisines from around the world, who needs culinary school when you get hands-on experience, right?! I am going to try to document my time as much as possible, because I am sure it will be worth sharing!

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The other day, I mentioned how once the weather gets warmer, I look for quick meals  to get me in and out of the kitchen before I break a sweat. Last week it was simple skillet meals, and this week the quick fix is attributed to Ziploc Steam Bags. Back when I first heard about these, I was a bit skeptical about microwaving my food in plastic after all the BPA chemical hype lately, but Ziploc ensures, “SC Johnson does not use BPA in its plastic products, Ziploc® Brand Bags and Containers.
SC Johnson is a leader in providing high-quality products. All of its products are extensively evaluated for toxicity and safety and comply with—and often even exceed—applicable quality and safety regulations.”
  So after my initial concerns were addressed, these bags have become a staple in my pantry.

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  • Ideal for steaming fresh or frozen vegetables, potatoes, fish, poultry and more.
  • Each bag holds 2–3 servings.
  • Microwaveable (use as directed).
  • No cleanup—simply toss the bag and mess away!
  • Microwave cooking means quicker, easier meals.
  • Each bag is printed with useful guidelines for cooking times.
  • I decided to try two of the recipes that came inside of the package (by the way, a .55 coupon comes inside each package too!), and surprisingly both were tasty for being microwave food—I wish I would have known about these in my dorm days! The second recipe containing chicken is by far my newest go-to chicken recipe whether I have a lot of time or not.

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    Shrimp with Pepper Medley

    4 servings

    Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (either thawed raw shrimp or frozen cooked shrimp)
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  • 1 1/4 cup chopped green pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped red pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped yellow pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed OR dried crushed rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a Medium Ziploc® Zip’n Steam® Bag.

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  • Seal bag and shake gently to combine ingredients. Stir ingredients with a spoon if necessary to ensure shrimp and peppers are evenly distributed.

  • Place bag in microwave. Cook on full power for 5 to 5 1/2 minutes or until all shrimp are fully cooked and opaque throughout. If needed, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until shrimp are done.

  • Allow bag to stand 1 minute before handling. Carefully open bag. Pour shrimp and peppers from bag.

  • Garnish with lemon wedge if desired and serve.

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    I served mine with sliced butternut squash that I also popped in a Steam Bag.

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    Greek Chicken with Potatoes & Feta

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves (6 - 8 ounces each), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 small potatoes, quartered and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Directions:

  • Combine the chicken, potatoes, feta cheese, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, dried oregano, salt and black pepper in a Medium Ziploc® Zip’n Steam® Bag.

  • Seal bag and shake gently to combine ingredients. Pat ingredients into single layer. Place bag in microwave.

  • Cook on full power 7 - 7 1/2 minutes (Medium bag) or 6 - 6 1/2 minutes (Large bag), until chicken is cooked through, with no trace of pink. If needed, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until chicken is done.

  • Allow bag to stand 1 minute before handling. Gently shake bag to distribute seasonings. Carefully open bag.

  • Garnish with additional 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta and 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, if desired.

  • Some other recipes I want to try with my Steam Bags?

    Have you tried, or do you currently use Ziploc Steam Bags?

    8 comments:

    Jessica said...

    CONGRATS on the job! That's fabuous! What a perfect way for you to spend your summer! Great job!

    Lindsay @ http://pancakesnpajamas.blogspot.com/ said...

    I haven't tried these bags yet, but they seem so convenient! How did the squash turn out when you steamed it?

    sophia said...

    I think I've heard of this before, but never tried them. It sounds so convenient! I wonder what the environmentalists will say though?

    CONGRATS ON YOUR JOB!!! Oh Casaundra, that is WONDERFUL!!! I am SO excited for you!!! I can't wait to read all your documentaries on it!

    Krista said...

    CONGRATS on the summer job, girl!!!

    I've never used the steam bags before.....

    Erica said...

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! What a great job opportunity! You will do amazing there. I haven't used the steamer bags because I'm not wild about the idea of cooking in plastic. The potatoes and feta combo sounds pretty tasty though!

    Sook said...

    Congratulations!! That is GREAT news!!

    Kelsey said...

    so glad u found my blog- thanx for the comment. u have such a cute blog oh my! and the header pic is amazing! love it!!

    brandi said...

    congrats on the job, girl! That's so exciting!!!