What I'm Loving: 8.8.09

I like a quick lunch.  I've got stuff to accomplish, and not much time.  And then there are those days when I want something fancier for lunch, but I don't want to take the time to go out.  Nothing in the fridge appeals, and I don't want to make something from scratch - I do a lot of cooking later in the day, right?

This week I found a new solution at Trader Joe's.  Their frozen Mini Cilantro Chicken Wontons and Chicken Shumai are tasty and not crazy for calories. To prepare them, I put a damp paper towel on a microwave safe plate, add the dumplings and the shumai, and then cover them with another damp paper towel - microwave for 2-3 minutes.  The wetter your towel, the less chance of the wrappers on the wontons getting dry and chewy.

Now folks, I realize that frozen mass-marketed dumplings are a poor cousin of homemade.  But the TJ's  dumplings are pretty good, and compared to other convenience foods that are loaded with artificial preservatives and ingredients, these are made from relatively wholesome ingredients.  And when you're feeling lazy but in need of an Asian fix, they'll meet the need.

There is dipping sauce included with the shumai, but I've never tried it - I make my own, very easy sauce and use it on both the shumai and the wontons:

~2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce
small dollop of toasted sesame oil
hot chili-garlic sauce (or sriracha) to taste

Stir.  Dip.

I also steam up some edamame (did you know you can microwave the shelled beans?  Yes - put them in a Pyrex bowl with a lid, and zap 'em for a minute.  Stir, zap until tender).  The sauce is good on these, too.