Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cauliflower Pineapple Curry

I wanted to make the cauliflower rice with mango that Michelle posted earlier this month, but I only had the cauliflower (and was tired) so I made this instead. It only takes a few minutes and is all done on the stovetop, so no heating up the oven. Now I need to buy another head of cauliflower so I can make Michelle's recipe!

Quick Cauliflower & Pineapple Curry

1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the cauliflower for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and pineapple and cook for another couple minutes, stirring until the garlic is fragrant and only slightly toasted. Add the curry paste and mix until it coats everything. If using, add a little heavy cream (or half & half) and stir. Cook for another minute or so and add the green onions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Miso Ramen

I have an obsession with Ramen. My two favorite places in Pittsburgh to go to are Ramen Bar in Squirrel Hill and Fukuda in Bloomfield (my old stomping grounds!) Just Yelping it now, Fukuda is now closed. RIP best ramen ever with pork belly. 

It's crazy how much the restaurant scene in Pittsburgh has changed since I've left!! So many new places to try. To be honest, I'll probably just continue to go to my favorites like OTB. I do want to try the new Smoke location though.

I haven't had ramen yet in Philly but I heard there's some good hipster Jewish ramen in south philly!! My cousin told me about it!! Can't wait to try.

I have had ramen at Momofuku in NYC and it is fantastic. Also when we had ramen in Japan, there were lots of hungover dudes at the same place as us. Ramen = the best hangover food ever I guess?? Either way I'm all about ramen for breakfast.

I found large packets of ramen noodles (instead of the instant ones) at whole foods. You can also find fresh ramen noodles at certain whole foods or Asian grocery stores.

Sorry in advance for sucky pictures. I was in a hurry to eat. Will replace later.

Mango Smoothie

I've been meaning to do a mango smoothie post for ages now. This one is based off of the blood orange smoothie post but with mango instead!! These saved me when I was in Vietnam. I love mangoes. I would eat them daily there. Here, I just settle for frozen mango smoothies. Still delicious!

This recipe makes 2 servings 

1 ripe mango (or equivalent amount frozen mango)
1 large ripe banana, frozen
6 clementines, peeled
1 can light coconut milk 
1 tbsp hemp seeds
5 ice cubes
Coconut flakes for topping 

Peel and cube the mango. Slice the banana. Place all ingredients in blender except ice and blend on high for awhile. Since we're adding whole clementines it takes longer to blend the pith. Add the ice and blend for a bit. Then pour into glasses and top with coconut flakes and additional hemp seeds. Also you can throw in a handful of spinach but it'll change the color.

Croque Monsieur Overnight French Toast

Overnight French toast is a staple for my group of high school friends. We've been making it forever. It has gotten us through many a rough morning after lots of crazy nights. You do all the prep the night before and in the morning all you have to do is get up and put it in the oven. Any hungover or sleepy person can do it. Really. Usually we do a sweet version with cream cheese or brown sugar. But this bread pudding takes it to another level. It reminds me of my asparagus and mushroom strata and Laura's croque monsieur sandwich- like if they had a baby this Croque French toast would be it. I found this recipe on the blog Salt and Wind. The original recipe calls for Canadian bacon but I don't know what that is so I didn't use it. I even tried to google it and got even more confused. I fail on the bacon front.

You will need:

1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
1/8 tsp cayenne powder 
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound loaf stale French bread (1 + 1/2 baguettes), cubed 
3 cups shredded cheddar and Gruyere cheese
1 pound thick sliced ham, cut into smaller pieces

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kind of Cuban Sandwich

I've been vaguely craving a Cuban sandwich since I saw Chef, the Jon Favreau movie with the Cuban food truck (which is on Netflix Instant now!), a few months ago. Such a cute movie! I kept expecting something terrible to happen with the kid, but (spoiler alert?) everyone just keeps getting happier and eats delicious-looking meat.

Making this sandwich reminded me of the Croque Monsieur I posted a while ago - I need to make that again!! It was pretty simple and very very good.

Kind of Cuban Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich, multiply for more

1 roll of bun (It should be crispy outside, soft inside. I used both ends of a loaf of ciabatta for this one.)
3 slices pork (I had roasted a pork tenderloin)
2 slices turkey
2 slices dill pickle
2 slices provolone cheese
1 tsp yellow mustard

Spread yellow mustard on the inside of the bread. Layer on the pork, turkey, pickles and cheese. Then either use a panini press or grill in an oiled skillet by placing something heavy on top - I used a bigger cast iron skillet and a smaller on top. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Burrito Bowl

On my way home I was really tempted to go to Chipotle but I stopped myself because 1.) Chipotle is kind of expensive and I've been eating out more than usual and 2.) I might as well make that stuff at home. I thought about making a copycat version of their burrito bowl, but I ended up making my own simple version that's more like a normal-ish salad, mostly by cutting out the cilantro rice and adding a scrambled egg.

Burrito Bowl
Serves 1

Handful of salad greens (I used baby kale)
1 chicken thigh
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp veg oil
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1/2 avocado, cut up
1/4 cup pinto beans
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shedded
1 egg, scrambled
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salsa or hot sauce (I used Trader Joe's Hatch Valley Salsa)
Maybe a squeeze of lime?

Season both sides of the chicken thigh with the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Saute the chicken thigh in the oil over medium high heat for a few minutes, until cooked through. Cut it into bitesize pieces.

Combine the salad greens, cilantro, avocado, pinto beans, cheese, scrambled egg, black pepper and salsa. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Coconut Cherry Cobbler

Cooking gluten free and vegan recipes generally directs me to a lot of paleo sites. Surprisingly I really like all of the recipes! They are really creative and use ingredient in ways I never thought of. For example, this cobbler from Predominantly Paleo. The recipe was fantastic and I'll definitely be making it again. 

2 cups cherries, pitted (I used frozen)
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut shreds (unsweetened)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add the cherries to the bottom of a small dish. I think mine was 5x7?? I have no idea really. Do what you want. I am the worst blogger. Anyways sprinkle cherries with 1/4 cup sugar.
Combine the rest of the ingredients minus the coconut oil. Then add the coconut oil and use your hands or a fork to cut into dry ingredients.
Bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Serve warm or cold. If the cobbler is served cold, it's extra crunchy! Yum!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Fig Jam + Goat Cheese

I had these brussels sprouts at a restaurant near my work called Aksum. It's a Mediterranean restaurant in West Philly. I went with my cousin Sara and her roomie on a rainy day. All I can remember is this side dish. Originally the sprouts included bacon but I skipped it. I'm kind of meh about bacon anyways. I usually just give it to Rex because  I like to spoil him. Originally Nick and I didn't want him to have any human food. Then we met him and fell in love. Now he eats all of the human food. His favorites are plain yogurt, all meat, sweet potato, fruits (mango + blueberries), and Brie cheese. Since I cook mostly vegetarian when he goes to my parents house he is the happiest pup! Over the weekend, my mom gave him a chicken heart. He was so pumped. 
I don't know how went into this tangent about my puppy, but sorry! Just skip to the recipe if you're uninterested. I just can't help it. I'm pretty obsessed with him.

So back to the recipe, finally:

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts (don't even try the frozen stuff)
1/2 cup candied pecans
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup fig jam
Olive oil + salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim any yellowing leaves off the sprouts. If they are large, slice them in half or quarter them and place on prepared baking sheet in one layer. If they're on the smaller side, you can leave them whole. You can also slice off the tough end of the vegetable but I usually leave them on. Then drizzle with plenty of olive oil (don't skimp, you're going to want all the browned goodness happening in the oven). Bake for 15 minutes, turn over the sprouts with a spatula, and bake for about 15 more minutes. The baking time is approximate and depends how you like the sprouts. 
Immediately after removing pan from oven, sprinkle the Parmesan over top. Add the sea salt and pepper. Then let cool for bit add the nuts, goat cheese, and dollops of fig jam. You can also heat up and thin out the jam with some water to drizzle over the sprouts. The amounts of these ingredients are what I like. Change it up according to your taste. I also added cubes of Comte cheese because I needed to use it up.

Toasted Oatmeal

I've been eating oatmeal daily with a cherry smoothie. This is how I've been making it! Actually I've been making toasted oats and oats the regular way too depending on how much time is on hand. The toasted oats from A Couple Cooks take oatmeal to another level. So yum. Also coconut manna is a must. I am so obsessed. You can make it at home easily in a food processor.

The goji milk is part of recipe from Earthsprout's 30 raw breakfasts app. It's actually the first thing I've made from Elenore's recipes. Check out her blog from Sweden! It is gorgeous. Also she just posted about foods that we can use for skincare! 

Toasted oats (serves 2 people):

1 cup rolled (old fashioned) oats
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup cashew milk 
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the oats and toast for about 5 minutes until they smell nutty and delicious. Don't toast so much that they start browning. 
In a separate pot, boil the water, milk, salt, and cinnamon. Turn off the heat as soon as this happens, add the oats, cover, and let sit for 7 minutes. Serve with goji milk and toppings!

Goji milk:
1/2 cup cashew milk
2 tablespoons goji berries, soaked overnight in 1/4 cup water

Blend cashew milk, goji berries, and soaking water until completely smooth. This recipe makes extra.

Coconut manna (same as coconut butter)
Goji berries
Almond butter
Maple syrup 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Banana Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes

I made these for a quick weekday dinner the other night and they were perfect, just what I wanted to eat right then. I've been working a lot of evenings lately so I come home, feeling like I've worked a full day, and then I need to go back out for another hour or so - I need something to pick me back up. Since I was making them just for myself, I ate half the batch for dinner and the other half for breakfast the next morning.

Banana Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Inspired Taste

Makes 6-7 smallish pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Friday, April 17, 2015

Baked Brie with Oats & Apple Topping

This is basically a quick version of baked brie + apple crisp! I was very impressed with this idea, and it makes a great snack.

Baked Brie
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

16 oz brie (1 round or a couple wedges)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecans (or pecan pieces)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 apple, cut into 1" pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a baking dish or cast iron skillet. In a bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, pecans and butter. Mix in the apples. Place the brie in the skillet and top with the oats mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the apples are softened and the topping is a little browned. Serve with crackers or just eat with a spoon.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Vanilla Extract

When we were in Bali (just a little over a year ago!), I made it my goal to buy vanilla beans in bulk. I bought a lot. I don't remember the exact amount, but maybe 5 pounds or so? Either way extract is super easy to make! I'll share a basic ratio that I got off the internets and you all can do the math to make as much as you want! The vanilla bean insides (caviar) settle to the bottom, so if you wanr them to show up in a recipe (ice cream perhaps) just shake up the jar!

1 cup vodka
3 vanilla beans

That's it!! Slice the vanilla beans in half, leaving one inch intact. Place in mason jar, and pour vodka over beans. Store in cool, dark place. Give the jars a good shake every so often. Ideally you want to wait 3 months + for the most flavor, but I've seen sites say 1 month is ok.
You can also use bourbon instead of vodka. I personally prefer vodka.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cauliflower Rice + Roasted Mango

This is all I want to eat right now. Can I just say that cauliflower is the coolest? You can make steak, couscous, or even purée out of one vegetable. I also like to eat the leaves. I used purple cauliflower because SPRING! Also the mango "chutney" goes really well with the curried cauliflower. I decided to just roast the fruit since the oven was on anyways. This recipe is from Comfy Belly. Next time I make it, I'll probably make the dal too. I just didn't have red lentils on hand.

We spent Easter at the beach. It's off season which means all the dogs are allowed on the boardwalk and beach. Though the water was freezing, Rex still went for a swim. This was probably the happiest I've seen him since summer. Lots of boardwalk fries were definitely consumed. We also found this amazing donut place called the Fractured Prune that makes each batch fresh and allow you to choose your own toppings. Our favorites were blueberry, lemonade, and Rolo! Everyone come visit and we can have all the donuts!!

Cauliflower Rice:
1 head cauliflower
spices- turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cardamom
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roughly chop cauliflower into large pieces. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle any amount of the spices you want. I did equal parts turmeric, cumin, and cardamom. Then just a bit of cayenne and sea salt.

Roast for 15 minutes, let cool a bit. Then put cauliflower a bit at a time into a food processor or vitamix on setting 3. The cauliflower will turn into rice like granules! Since I included the leaves, some parts were stringy but I didn't mind. Place the rice into a large bowl to serve. I warmed mine in the oven right before serving.
Another good addition would be some sautéed onion which I forgot.

Roasted Mango:
2 mangoes, peeled and cubed
1 red pepper, diced

Line another baking pan with parchment paper and add the prepared fruits. Drizzle with olive oil, some salt, and a drizzle of honey. Roast for 25 minutes until pepper is cooked through. Let cool and place in a separate bowl from rice.

Roasted Kale and Brussels Sprouts:

I just used TJ's shredded kale and greens mix, drizzled olive oil, and roasted for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until crispy.

Yogurt Dressing (original recipe did a cucumber mint raita)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp dried dill

Mix and let sit for as long as you can before serving.

Combine rice and mango into individual serving bowls to serve and top with the yogurt drizzle.


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