The “Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Cabbage and Dumplings,” from Express Lane Diabetic Cooking, by Robyn Webb (recipe below), will appeal to you if you have a reliable source of frozen dumplings. Read on…

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Cabbage and Dumplings
Express Lane Diabetic Cooking, Robyn Webb
4 servings

16 frozen vegetable dumplings (2 (6.4 ounce) packages)
1-1/2 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded cabbage and carrots (pre-shredded coleslaw mix)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Combine broth, cabbage and carrots, and green onion in a wok and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Combine the ground ginger, onion powder, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Add to the cabbage-carrot mixture. Add dumplings at end and cook until heated through.

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I used Ohana House Tofu & Vegetable bite-size won tons and enjoyed an easy, quick dish that was perfectly sweet, tangy, and vegan (I used vegetable-bouillon broth instead of chicken broth). Rather than green onions, I used garlic scapes. I cooked my whole mix in a big pot, rather than in a wok. All of the spices, honey, oil, soy sauce, and vinegars work to make a great whole. It’s so nice to make a great dish out of a frozen “convenience” item such as these dumplings. Mine were heated through in 3 minutes.

Here’s a recipe that’s been teasing me for a long time. I customized the “Fig and Ricotta Crostini” from All Recipes, for six servings. I openly admit to my love affairs with both ricotta cheese and fresh figs. My half baguette produced 20 slices of crunchy toast, with five black mission figs included in the addictively sweet toppings.

I treated this recipe more as a “suggestion,” rather than sticking to hardcore measurements. I used the lovely purple Thai basil that looked great in my market. I freely drizzled the balsamic vinegar. I sprinkled salt and pepper until it suited me. Oh, this is such a great appetizer/side dish/tapas/fun food. You’ll enjoy every crunch of this one.

RECIPES: this oddly combined meal is easy to prepare and is quite a flavorful treat
you’ll have a fun meal in less than 30 minutes
sweet and tangy dumplings combined with deliciously sweet crostini

I want to cook another oddball meal, next time. I’ll combine the “Goan Shrimp in Roasted-Coconut Sauce,” from the May 2008 issue of Gourmet, with the “Avocado-Orange Salad,” from the June 2008 issue of Cuisine at Home (recipe below). Come back to my site on Wednesday, September 3, to see the results of my meal.

Avocado-Orange Salad
Assemble this salad up to 2 hours in advance, but don’t add the avocado and onion until just before serving.
Makes 5 cups; Total time: 25 minutes

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste
4 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, diced
2 cups orange segments (4-5 oranges)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

Whisk lime juice, oil, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.

Add avocado, orange, and onion; toss to coat.