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.
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Homemade Dairy-free Granola

Granola is a versatile breakfast item. You can add it to a smoothie bowl, a bowl of yogurt, or have it with milk. I really enjoy Green Valley’s lactose-free vanilla yogurt or some chocolate almond milk to go with a bowl of granola to add some protein.

I like to have granola on hand because it makes breakfast quick and easy. My husband likes quick breakfasts that he doesn’t have to cook, so this works perfect! I also like knowing exactly what we are eating for breakfast. A tad healthier than [Your Favorite Brand-Name Cereal], right?

My mother-in-law was kind enough to share the original recipe with me when my husband started asking for me to make it. I have tweaked it over time to fit what we like- and that’s the beauty of this recipe! It is easy to customize to fit your taste and diet.

When I made this granola I decided to go with larger pieces of coconut, a couple teaspoons of cinnamon, and sliced almonds to customize it. However you choose to customize it, I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 7 cups of quick or rolled oats (I like a mix)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded coconut
  • 1-2 cups of ground flax seed, wheat flour, chia seeds, quinoa, and anything else you want to add! I generally add 1 cup of flax seed and make up the other cup with the other seeds and grains I happen to have in my pantry.
  • 1-2 cups of your preferred nuts (optional)- I like pecans, walnuts, and almonds.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup honey- I suggest using local honey because local beekeepers are more likely to treat their bees well and the honey tastes better too!
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • Raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the oats, shredded coconut, seeds and optional nuts into a large bowl.

3. Add honey, brown sugar, oil, water, and vanilla into a saucepan.

4. Set the stove to medium heat and let the mixture simmer until the sugar and honey are dissolved, stirring occasionally.

5. Pour the hot mixture into the large bowl with the oat mixture. Stir it until everything is coated evenly.

6. Scoop the mixture onto two large jelly-roll size baking pans and spread it out thinly. Don’t press it into the pan or it will turn into weird granola bars.

7. Place your two pans into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take the pans out and give them a good stir. Move the top pan to the bottom rack and vice versa to make sure they are cooking equally.

8. Repeat the last step another three to five times or until the granola takes on a golden color and everything starts separating and being less clumpy. It won’t get very crispy until it has cooled, so don’t bake it for too long or it might burn!

9. After the granola has cooled, add dried fruit. I personally don’t like the flavor of baked dried fruit as it tends to get harder and slightly burnt, so I omit it until this step.

Side Notes

  • I generally use vegetable oil because I usually have it on hand, but coconut oil, ghee, or avocado oil all should work as well. I don’t know the exchange between vegetable oil and the others, but I am sure it is a quick Google search away.
  • I haven’t tried maple syrup or coconut sugar in this recipe yet, but I am sure it would be delicious! It would be easy to make a maple almond granola with real maple syrup. Mmmm!
  • It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour for the granola to bake. It depends on what you added, the moisture in the air, and if you are wearing your lucky socks. But seriously, granola is hard to mess up. The only way I have messed it up before was by burning it because I was trying to get it extra crispy. Oops!
  • Have you tentatively taken your granola out of the oven for fear it will burn only to find that it isn’t quite crispy enough? Never fear! You can put it back in a 350 degree oven for another 5-10 minutes to crisp it up. It’s okay to do this even if the granola has cooled.
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Lactose-Free vs. Dairy-Free

Some people don’t think there is a difference between dairy-free and lactose-free, but there is! Lactose-free products are still the dairy we know and love, just without the pesky lactose. Dairy-free alternatives (almond milk, coconut yogurt, nut cheese) are obviously dairy and lactose-free.

Dairy adds flavor, texture, and color to many recipes that just isn’t the same without it. That’s why certain recipes don’t work without the dairy-free counterparts. If I have the option, I use lactose-free products in baking because I prefer it.

Don’t despair if you have a milk allergy! There are still many wonderful ways to use dairy-free alternatives. I like to find recipes that are specifically dairy-free that work with the alternatives rather than using them to replace dairy.

On this blog, you will find a variety of recipes that are either lactose-free or dairy-free. I hope you enjoy learning about the ways to make tasty food and have a happy stomach!