One World One Dream

Today was an opportunity for Nishad to get acquainted with the Olympic Games, but most importantly for Nishad to learn that the message during the activities is one of friendship and peace. People playing and working together in peace and friendship makes for a better and beautiful world.

As we watched the Opening Ceremonies, we made sure to cheer for countries with smaller representation- not just the popular ones. I feel that it’s the people from those smaller, poor countries, that really bring forth the Olympic spirit as they are there representing their country, against all odds. Despite the annoyingly bias and ‘political’ commentary the hosts, it was an impressive show.

There were so many highlights and how could there not be on a 300 million dollar masterpiece? I have to admit that one of my favorite parts was the dancers who seemingly used their body’s as an extension of a pen. As they danced, Chinese calligraphy ‘magically’ appeared and trailed behind them. I also found it very moving when they had the boy from the earth quake zone walk in the parade. They certainly did the Olympics proud. I’ve almost forgiven our NBC for upsetting my hubby by not broadcasting the ceremony live.

Our celebration began this afternoon. In preparation of the games we learned about China, made a Chinese lantern to decorate our dinner table and created a panda bear stick puppet. This weekend we’ll continue on with our Olympic theme by creating a torch, flags and playing some Olympic, tot-size games.

For dinner, I made a better-than-take-out Chinese dinner! On the menu was Ma Po Tofu and Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. FANTABULOUS! Below are the recipes- You simply must try them. Your taste buds will jump up and down and give you a “perfect 10!”

Ma Po Tofu (Auntie D’s recipe)
1 (1-pound) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 6 slices
1/2 cup vegetable broth1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger (recommend mincing)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Place a dinner plate on top of covered tofu; let stand 30 minutes. Remove plate; discard paper towels. Cut tofu slices into 1/2-inch cubes.Combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili garlic sauce, stirring with a whisk.
Heat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add green beans; saute 8-10 minutes or until cooked and crisp. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tofu; cook 7-8 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle with onions.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce
This is the recipe for shrimp with lobster sauce (without the black beans) that is often featured at Chinese take-outs and restaurants.
Fresh shrimp, deveined and butterflied, 10 – 15 per person
4 to 8 spring onion (green onions, scallions), chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped or minced
2 cups of chicken stock (*I substituted vegetable broth)
4 tablespoons of sweet white wine, such as sweet Glen Ellen White Zinfandel
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons of Cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water
4 egg whites, beaten with 1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
Preparation:Rinse the shrimp in warm water and pat dry. Rinse the spring onions, drain and chop. Chop or mince the garlic cloves. Combine the chicken stock, white wine, soy sauce, and sugar and set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into 1/2 cup water. Whisk the egg whites into 1/4 cup water and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, large pot, or frying pan or skillet on medium high to high heat. Stir fry the garlic and spring onions for about 30 seconds to a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.Add the shrimp and stir fry for 2 minutes.Add the chicken broth mixture, bring to a boil and boil about 1 minute.Re-stir the cornstarch and water mixture and stir it into broth. Immediately afterward, slowly pour in the egg whites, breaking them up by gently stirring them with a fork (stirring them twice across and then twice across again in a tic tack toe pattern). Be careful not to over stir the egg whites. The dish is ready when the sauce begins to boil and thicken.

Nutritional Breakdown (based on 3 servings, with 30 shrimp total: Each serving includes: Calories 250, 14 g Carbohydrates, 19 g Protein, 10 g Fat, (1 g Saturated Fat, 6 g Monounsaturated Fat) 91 mg Cholesterol, 1 g Fibre, 2005 mg Sodium, 338 mg Potassium. Note: To reduce the sodium, use store bought low sodium chicken broth