May 30, 2012
I’m two days into my “detox”, after a weekend of gluttony in LA for the Memorial Day holiday, and all I can think about is some good old greasy fake Chinese food. Here was my compromise:
This is a WONDERFUL imitation beef. Good firm texture, minimal soy flavor, and the best part? “Lightly Seasoned.” I don’t have to worry about my stir fry tasting like thyme and parsley. This makes them very versatile. At ~$3 bucks a package, I will be stocking up.
I love Trader Joe’s. I love their prepared food section, I love their affordable prices, and most of all, I love SPECULOOS. Holy crap. speculoos filled chocolate bars? Screw this diet. For those of you who are all “speck-you-what?” Speculoos is a nutty spread, much like an illegitimate love child of nutella and caramel. Too good to be true. But oh. It is. Ladies and gentlemen, speculoos IS real. Say it with me now: speculoooooos. And it is slathered over many a waffle in the food truck lined streets of New York City. So delectably decadent, that the last time I was in New York, the whole city was SOLD OUT. I kid you not.
But I digress. Back to fake – fake Chinese food.
- 1 package of Trader Joe’s Beef-Less strips
- ~2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ~2 tbs soy sauce*
- 3-4 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 dash sesame oil
- 1-2 tsp corn starch
- 1/3 cup water
*like all chinese stir fry, I season to taste. Excuse my approximations. Soy sauces very widely in saltiness.
- In a small mixing bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and slowly stir in corn starch to thicken into a consistency of ….thick chowder. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
- Warm a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add broccoli and a dash of water. Cover and steam, shaking pan frequently without removing cover to mix. Steam ~3 minutes. Uncover and remove broccoli.
- Heat 1-2 tbs oil in skillet until shimmery hot. Add beef and break up the strips. Lightly brown evenly. Strips are already cooked. You are basically just browning and warming.
- Add florets, garlic, and toss. When garlic becomes fragrant (~1 min), add sauce. Mix. Thin with a water if you want soupier sauce.
Mmm, mmm good. And healthy! AND vegetarian!
May 25, 2012
Very fun to make. Perhaps will mix in white flour next time so it’s not as tough. Also, must invest in real rolling pin instead of using my water bottle. I did not get the skin thin enough, I don’t think. (: Pictured: topped with homemade mango chutney, raita, and baked curry tilapia with raisins and almonds.
May 4, 2012
Adapted from my hero, Alton Brown.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 whole pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tsp adobo sauce from the can
- ~1 cup milk or cream
- 1 tsp+ dried chives (if using fresh, use 2 tsp)
- 1/4 cup+ grated Parmesan
- Dice sweet potato uniformly into 1 inch cubes. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with wet paper towels. Microwave for 6+ minutes or until fork tender.
- In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, minced pepper, adobo sauce, and butter. Add milk bit by bit as you mash, adding more until you reach the consistency of mash potato that you prefer.
- Fold in cheese and chives. Salt to taste.
Note: for some reason the potatoes I bought today had white flesh, not orange like your typical sweet potato o_O… had the texture of sweet potato, but it wasn’t nearly as pretty.
Served with sautéed spinach and pan seared scallops:
For a How-To on scallops, feel free to review my previous post!
May 2, 2012
Just arrived in southern California where I’ll be living for the next 4 months or so! First thing on my agenda? Groceries.
There is a Whole Foods AND a Trader Joes, all within 1 mile of my apartment. I think I’m gonna like it here…
Here’s the original baked zucchini recipe. Although with this type of squash, the stuffing got a bit too runny. I think I may have to precook the shell and drain it before I stuff it.
February 3, 2012
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 stalk of green onion
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 tbs rice wine
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
Mix rice wine into beaten eggs. In a wok or frying pan, heat a bit more sesame oil or vegetable oil over medium heat. Scramble eggs until still a bit runny. Remove and set aside. Raise heat to medium high and add tomatoes to pan. Add a pinch of salt. Stir fry until soft and some of the liquid is reduced ~ 3 min. Add green onions and egg back in. Stir and mix, breaking up the larger pieces of egg. Salt to taste. Remove and plate.
February 1, 2012
Weeknight throw-together meal. Good for lunch for the rest of the week. Lots of fiber! Keeps you full. It’s really a make it up as you go kind of recipe…
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1.5 tbs curry powder
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 sweet potato, diced in small cubes
- 1.5 cup lentil
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen veggies, roasted
Serve w/ yogurt.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in dutch oven/large pot on medium high. Saute onions. Salt and add the spices. Continue sauteing until onions are translucent and very soft.
- Add a dash of stock and deglaze pan. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 min or until sweet potatoes are fork tender and lentils are soft.
- Preheat oven t0 400F or set on broiler. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease generously with olive oil. Toss in frozen veggies and spread out evenly across pan. Broil until edges just begin to brown.
- Stir in veggies.
- Top and serve with greek yogurt.
January 5, 2012
I found my new go-to salad recipe! Who would’ve thought raw kale could taste so good…I had a similar salad at Brooklyn Winery during my winter vacation in New York this December (awesome place, btw. we won trivia night last week!), and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
Solution? Some reverse engineering. Ok, so BKWinery’s salad still has some magical touch that makes it taste beyond amazing, but this recipe has passed my live-in New Yorker’s taste test, and he’s OK-ed it for our dinner rotation.
- 1 batch of kale
- 1/2 small butternut squash
- 1/2 cup hulled barley or farro, cooked in chicken stock
- 1/2 small apple, sliced
- 1 cup candied walnuts* (adapted from SimplyRecipes)
- ~1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinaigrette**
- Soak barley over night or for several hours. Rinse and drain. Add to a small sauce pan with 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until barley is cooked through. Stir when needed to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Wash kale thoroughly. Pull stems off leaves and discard. Stack a few leaves on top of each other and roll like a cigarette. Slice from one end to the other. (aka chiffonade) This prevents bruising of the leaves. And it’s less messy and produces more uniform results than hacking at the leaves. Set aside in colander to drain.
- Peel skin off squash with a vegetable peeler. Dice into small cubes. Line a baking pan in aluminum foil. Add cubed squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Spread out evenly across the pan, and bake on 400F until soft. ~2o min.
- Add kale into a large mixing bowl with the vinaigrette. With your hands, massage the kale until it soaks up the vinaigrette and softens a bit.
- Add apples, squash, grains, and nuts. Mix and serve! (I served it with a spicy pan seared white fish.)
Toast 3/4 cups of crushed walnuts in toaster oven on 350F, for about 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat 2+ tbs brown sugar until it just begins to darken and caramelize. Add a pinch of salt. Toss in walnuts, stir, turn off heat, and continue to stir, on and off the hot stovetop until walnuts are well coated and not sticking together. Spread out on a flat surface and let it cool. I like my walnuts to have little grains of crunchy sugar, so I dont wait for all of the sugar to melt. You can do that instead if you want glossy coated walnuts.
**Apple Cider Vinaigrette (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4+ cup olive oil
- salt/black pepper
January 5, 2012
I promise I’m not under endorsement contracts, I just happen to be rather brand loyal. When I find something that works, I stick to it! Also, I promise I did not intend to create something with so many specific brands in the recipe, feel free to substitute. I just happen to particularly like the end result with this combination of flavors, so I’m including the brands for my own future reference.
- 6 eggs
- 1 package of Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 medium bell pepper, diced finely
- chili powder (Mexene is my favorite brand)
- cayenne pepper
- 8 mini tomatoes (2 buches, still on the vine. )
- 1 small avocado
- 1 lime
- olive oil
- 9-10 small corn/wheat tortillas
- In a skillet, heat plenty of olive oil on medium high. place tomatoes, still on the vine, flat on the skillet. Let them sit until charred on the bottom ~10 min. Flip and char other side.
- In a separate non-stick pan, heat another tbs or so of olive oil. Saute onions until soft ~5 min. Season with chili powder and a pinch of salt. Add bell peppers. Saute another 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add chorizo and break it up in the pan. Stir until heated through. Remove and set aside.
- Add another tbs of oil if needed, and brown potatoes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Season with a generous sprinkle of salt, lots of paprika, a pinch of cayenne, and another pinch of chili powder. OPTIONAL: add a dash of chicken stock and cover, letting the potatoes soften under the steam. This is my way of using less oil when the potatoes begin to dry out. Otherwise, add more oil and continue cooking until potatoes soften and brown on the outside. Remove and set aside.
- Toast tortillas.
- Beat eggs. Add onion/bell pepper mixture into eggs. Reduce heat to medium and pour eggs into pan and scramble. Set aside.
- Slice avocados and drizzle generously with lime to prevent browning.
- Serve everything in separate bowls/platters and let everyone make their own breakfast tacos.
I think the charred fresh tomatoes are rather paramount to this recipe. The taco is otherwise composed of rather dry ingredients. Other alterations to consider: keeping the eggs separate (or mixed with the potatoes) and making a sort of onion/bell pepper/tomato salsa. The reason i didn’t go with a salsa is because for some reason I had a very specific craving for charred tomatoes. On the vine. Drizzled in olive oil and with lots of black pepper. I think I’m gonna go open my left overs container now…
December 2, 2011
WARNING: Incredibly healthy and delicious! So if you’re a skeptic and think all things healthy should taste like crap, go away. I’ll keep this secret to myself.
Makes a huge portion. Great for sharing. And giving to friends. Which I had to do because I ate it for 3 days straight, lunch and dinner, and still had plenty left over.
That’s ok. I’ll still make it again. It was that good.
Adapted from this recipe: http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2011/03/24/lasagna-soup/
- 8-12 oz package of italian sausage seitan/vegetarian sausage
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 cup egg plants, diced
- 1+ cup yellow squash, diced
- 1+ cup green squash, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, w/ basil
- 5- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbs oregano
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbs white sugar
- fusilli pasta, cooked
- low fat ricotta
- shredded parmesan
- cooking oil of your choice
- Heat oil in a 5qt dutch oven or pot. Brown sausage and break it up into small pieces with your spatula. Remove and set aside.
- In remaining oil (adding more if necessary), saute onions until just soft. Add garlic, eggplant, and squash and saute another ~3 min.
- Then add sausage back in along with all the spices, sugar, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Stir, cover, and let it simmer for ~1 hour.
- Spoon cooked pasta into a bowl, fill and cover with the soup, top with a big spoonful of ricotta, slices of mozzarella, and a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Set under broiler until cheese melts and browns. Serve.