Dinner

Better-than-Takeout Potstickers

Gyoza is one of my husband’s favorite meals of all time- and I feel much better about feeding my husband gyoza instead of freezer pizza on busy nights. (We call potstickers by their Japanese name- Gyoza.) My mother-in-law so kindly shared this recipe with me. She lived in Japan for a year and a half and brought home some wonderful recipes! During the past three years of marriage, I have slowly tweaked the recipe (Such as amounts of garlic or soy sauce) to make the gyoza exactly how we want.

Something I figured out pretty early on is that gyoza is actually an easy freezer meal! While it is time consuming to fold all of the gyoza, after that, it’s super simple to pop some of the frozen gyoza into a pan and put some rice in the rice cooker and voila! A quick and delicious dinner in under an hour for busy weeknights!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped finely
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of quality soy sauce (I like using 1/3)
  • 1-2 packages of gyoza wrappers
  • A small bowl of water for sealing the gyoza
  • A pan with a lid- I prefer to use a cast iron pan

Directions:

  • Mix everything together in a bowl.
  • Scoop about 1/2 a teaspoon of the mixture into a gyoza wrap.
  • Dip your finger into the water and brush it along half of the gyoza wrap’s edge.
  • Press to seal.
  • Crimp the edges.
  • At this point you can either put them on a baking tray to flash freeze them before placing into a container or you can cook them.
  • To cook, place 1-2 Tablespoons of oil into a heated pan and pan fry the gyoza for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  • Steam the gyoza until the water is gone.Serve with hot rice and steamed carrots or broccoli.

Side Notes:

  • Gyoza wrappers and wonton wrappers are not the same thing! Wonton wrapper fry up nicely, but don’t steam very well.
  • If the water is gone and you aren’t sure if the gyoza are done, cut open one of them to see if they are still pink.
  • For the frozen gyoza, you cook it the same way as the fresh gyoza. They take a little bit longer, but you don’t need to add extra water.
  • You can serve these with soy sauce, but our favorite way to eat them is with our teriyaki sauce recipe here.
Breakfast

Lactose-Free German Pancakes

Breakfast foods are so versatile- they make Saturday mornings memorable, bring friends together for a late brunch, or make dinner quick and easy. Even though we don’t have kids, we still have plenty of days when I come home exhausted and don’t want to make a true dinner- so we have breakfast for dinner at least once a week.

One of our favorite things to eat for breakfast (or dinner) is German Pancakes. They have six eggs in them, which is three times the amount I put into normal pancakes, so I like to think that we get some protein in under all that syrup.

I prefer to bake the German pancakes in my cast-iron skillet, but it’s perfectly fine to bake it in a 9×13 glass pan too.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of lactose-free milk
  • 4 Tablespoons of lactose-free melted butter, plus 2-4 tablespoons more for melting in the pan
  • 1-2 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of flour
  • One thinly sliced apple (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the 9-inch cast-iron pan or the 9×13 pan into the oven.
  2. Place all of the ingredients except for the flour into a blender.
  3. Then add the flour.
  4. Blend together until smooth, scrape down the sides of the blender, and blend again for a few more seconds.
  5. Add the 2-4 tablespoons of butter into the preheated pan and let it melt. It should only take a few seconds.
  6. Pour the blended mixture into the pan and bake for 15-18 minutes. The edges of the German pancakes should be golden brown and puffed past the sides of the pan.
  7. Top with maple syrup and sautéed apples (optional).

Side Notes:

  • You can mix everything in a bowl with a whisk, of course, but the texture isn’t as smooth without the blender.
  • I prefer baking German pancakes in a high-sided cast iron skillet because it turns out thicker and has a custard-like consistency, but they are delicious no matter what you bake it in!
  • I like to put apple slices on the bottom of the pan and bake the German pancakes on top, but my husband doesn’t like the texture. So I sautéed the apples until soft in some Ghee, honey, and a little cinnamon to top my German pancakes. Delicious!
  • If you are wondering where I get my lactose-free butter and milk, I have recipes on how to make your own on the blog.
Lactose-Free Dairy

Easy DIY Lactose-Free Milk

This is less of a recipe and more of a life hack to save money- and your stomach! Milk is used in so many ways that it’s hard to cut out of my diet. My husband prefers me to use milk over milk alternatives when baking, and truthfully, so do I.

Of course, I enjoy a good bowl of cereal with some chocolate almond milk, but it’s hard to convince my husband that almond milk is tasty.

So I turn to lactose-free milk instead of dairy alternatives but it gets expensive. That’s why I decided to make it myself. It’s super easy and cheaper!

Now I don’t have to worry about buying two kinds of milk every week for my husband and me. Such a relief!

If you are like me, you need a nice glass of milk with just-out-of-the-oven cookies. Now you can have that creamy milk without worrying about paying more than you actually need to!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Gallon of milk
  • 2-4 tablets/ drops/ caplets of lactase

Directions:

  1. Take 2-4 tablets/ caplets/ drops of lactase and put them into your milk. Shake the milk well and let it sit for at least 24 hours. If needed, let the milk remain in the fridge for up to 4 days before using.

Side Notes:

  • This recipe does need you to know how sensitive you are to lactose. If I put two tablets of lactase into a gallon of milk, I can use it within 24 hours. But other people might need to wait 3 or 4 days before using it.
  • If you use lactase tablets, I recommend crushing them up before putting them into the milk. If you use caplets, I would open the caplet and put the powder directly into the milk. I haven’t used lactase drops before, but I know that you can buy them on Amazon. Let me know if you use them and what your experience is like!
  • On occasion we see some funky clumps of milk, but it has never bothered us. I am guessing it has to do with something the tablets or caplets have in them. If this would bother you, I would recommend buying the lactase droplets instead. (Although I don’t know if it eliminates the lumps because I haven’t used them before.)