Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic and restful Thanksgiving :) I know I ate a TON and also caught up on some much needed sleep. For my family, thanksgiving isn't complete without appetizers, a pasta intro, and a turkey with more sides than you can count, so clearly I ended up bringing some leftovers back to school with me.
Since it's been getting colder, I wanted to make a warm lunch today and decided to use the leftover sauce from thanksgiving to make some eggs in tomato sauce. At first, I know this meal can sound a bit weird but I PROMISE you, if you have never tried eggs cooked like this, you're missing out! This meal has been a staple in my family for when we need a quick and pretty cheap meal to make. Sometimes referred to as "uova in pomodoro" or "uova in purgatorio" (eggs in purgatory), this meal was considered a form of "poor man's food" in the region of Campagna, Italy where my grandma is from. Similarly, there is a middle-eastern version known as Shakshouka where the eggs are typically cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with different seasonings. But regardless of how you want to season this dish, essentially what you do is cook the sauce first, drop the eggs in, and have them poach in the tomato sauce, leaving a runny yolk perfect for dipping bread in! The best part is, you don't even have to make the sauce fresh-- you can use a frozen batch or pre-made sauce from a can. For the purpose of this blog, i'll show you how to make a fresh, quick marinara, and chances are, you already have some of these ingredients lying around! Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
To make the marinara:
Begin by heating up a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat and drizzling in some oil. Add in the garlic cloves, and cook until golden brown.
Pour in the cup of tomato sauce and add in the water. This will help to prevent the sauce from thickening too much while you cook it.
Season the sauce with the basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and is full of flavor. The longer it cooks, the better it will taste, just be mindful of the heat!
If you don't have time to start a fresh sauce, simply heat up a batch you have frozen or a can of pre-made sauce. When I made this today, I actually used some homemade bolognese that I had frozen. While this is a less-traditional way of making the dish, it sure gets brownie points for the extra protein and veggies!
Once the sauce is heated and cooked, use a spoon to make an indent in the sauce where you want to drop an egg. (The "indent" won't be that big, but you just want the egg to get closer to the heat).
Try to spread out the eggs throughout the pan so they cook evenly and don't connect.
Cover the pan and let the eggs simmer until the white is set and no longer see-through. If you like your yolks less runny, let the eggs cook longer until they don't wobble when you move the pan.
Scoop the eggs out into a plate or bowl and serve with bread for dipping! If you would like, top it off with some grated cheese, too!
Buddha Bowls have been taking over Instagram and Pinterest feeds left and right but I'm sure you're all wondering- what is it?!? Basically, a Buddha bowl is a vegetarian dish that is packed with roasted veggies, grains, greens, and it usually has dressing to go along with it. I had my vegetarian friend over last night for dinner so I decided to take a go at creating a Buddha bowl and it was delicious! I was also craving peanut butter for some reason, so I decided to make a Thai peanut dressing to top it off. This bowl is packed with red quinoa, kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and carrots for an earthy, delicious, and filling meal. Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin with preheating the oven to 425°F.
Cut the sweet potato into small cubes around the same size (this helps them to cook evenly), and spread them out onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, and season with salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic powder, and cinnamon to taste.
Combining the rosemary and cinnamon may sound weird at first but it really brings out the flavors of the sweet potato!
Bake the sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes, until they are tender.
While the potatoes are roasting, make the quinoa according to the directions on the bag.
To make the dressing, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey in a blender, and blend until mixed and smooth. You can also add in as much spice as you'd like. I opted for some hot sauce but you could also add in red pepper flakes or chili powder, or take a more authentic route with Thai red curry paste.
Depending on how you like your dressing, you can add in more peanut butter to make it creamier or more coconut milk to make it thinner.
Once all of the ingredients are prepared, assemble the Buddha bowl with the Quinoa as the base, then add in the sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and dressing.
Tip: If you aren't a fan of the course texture of kale, use baby kale leaves or massage the kale for 3 minutes-or-so in a mixture of lemon juice, salt, and olive oil until it softens up.
Optional: If you'd like an additional crunch, feel free to add in chopped peanuts.
Even though it is officially fall, the weather has been so nice recently! Summer is my favorite season, by far, so a few more warm days are fine by me. Warm weather always makes me want to cook fresh food, so for dinner last night I made a fresh pesto sauce. If I had to choose my favorite sauce for a pasta, it would be a tie between a fresh bolognese sauce and a fresh basil pesto. My family likes to make pesto full of basil, and slightly thicker than the store-bought options which are made up of mostly oil. To me, pesto should have a ratio of more basil to oil, not the other way around. I love this recipe because there is so much basil in it, and instead of using milk to thicken the sauce, this recipe uses a bit of low-sodium chicken broth. I also love this recipe because you can make the raw pesto and use it as a dip with appetizers or as a spread on sandwiches, or you can take it a step further and cook it to use as a sauce with pasta. The raw pesto also freezes very well so when it's time to use it, all you have to do is defrost it and cook it according to the instructions below! Basil is a flavorful herb that contains antioxidants and has been rumored to help with inflammation, so pair that with some fatty acid rich extra virgin olive oil, and you have a delicious meal! Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin by rinsing the basil leaves and patting them dry. Don't worry too much about drying them though, the extra water helps to make the sauce.
Combine the basil, pignoli nuts, garlic, and olive oil in to a blender and blend until combined and smooth.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
*Optional: if you really like a garlic flavor, you can also add some garlic powder to taste.*
If you wish to cook the sauce to use with pasta:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the pesto, chicken broth, and grated cheese to taste.
Stir and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or so, until the sauce has thickened, appears "creamy", and turns a bright green color.
Serve with some cooked pasta, extra grated cheese, and enjoy!
Hey everyone, I'm back! It's been quite a few weeks since I've posted any recipes, the main reason being: I'm back at school! This is the first year I have an apartment and my own kitchen, so making my own meals has come with quite an adjustment. I don't mind cooking (obviously), and I've taught families how to budget while grocery shopping, but finding the time to do so has been the hard part. Now that I'm a few weeks into classes I have settled into more of a schedule which (hopefully) will allow me time to cook some awesome meals to share with you all!
With that being said, yesterday I decided to bake some banana bread :) My roommates and I had bought some bananas a while back and they were just staring me in the face once they began to brown. I decided to try out some banana bread sweetened with only honey, and made with some Siggi's vanilla yogurt. The result was a super moist and delicious banana bread packed with protein and potassium! Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin by heating the oven to 325°F, and grease the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey and oil until combined, then add in the egg, vanilla yogurt, and mashed bananas.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, then slowly add the mixture into the wet ingredients.
Stir until just combined (batter may be slightly clumpy), and pour the batter into the greased pan.
Top off the banana bread with the walnuts and any other add-ons.
Bake for 30 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes.
I was craving some Thai curry recently, so I decided to make a quick coconut curry for dinner the other night. This recipe definitely packs on the spice, but you can make it as spicy or mild as you like (just adjust my measurements)! I used simple ingredients, with some coming from my garden, and added in some fresh mango to combat the spiciness. Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin by marinating the cubed chicken in the tamari, lime juice, and ground ginger, and let it sit while you chop and prepare the other ingredients.
In a medium saucepan, drizzle the pan with a small amount of olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add in the ginger, garlic, and onion, cooking until the ginger becomes fragrant and the onions begin to brown, about 2 minutes.
Add in the chicken with the marinade, and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
Add in the chopped jalapeno, broccoli, curry powder, and red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute.
Next, add in the coconut milk and reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the pan to simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
Then, add in the chopped pepper and frozen peas, and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add in the cubed mango, stir until combined, turn the heat off, and let sit for 2 minutes or so before serving. Top with the fresh cilantro.
You can eat this dish alone or with some brown rice, quinoa, noodles, etc! I chose to eat it with some brown rice noodles and it was fantastic.
Yesterday I went shopping at IKEA and realized they have an entire food section (like what)!!! As if I didn't love the store enough. I immediately went to buy the organic lingoberry jam they sell since it's a favorite of mine, but I also spotted mini tart shells, and just HAD to buy those! I decided to fill the shells and make some mini tarts with dinner, and my experiment turned out pretty good! The two versions I made were a honey, date, goat cheese, and rosemary tart and a blackberry lingonberry tart. This recipe is super simple and quick to make, all you need are some pre-made tart shells.
You will need:
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream, then stir until combined.
Fill each tart shell to the top with the cream cheese mixture.
For the honey, date, goat cheese, and rosemary tarts:
Top the filled tarts with crumbled goat cheese.
Chop the medjool dates into tiny cubes and place on top of the goat cheese.
Add 3-4 fresh rosemary leaves.
Drizzle with honey to finish it off.
For the lingonberry and blackberry tarts:
Cut a blackberry into thirds and place one third on each tart.
Add a scoop of lingonberry jam to top it off.
Hi everyone, I'm back! For those who don't know, I was on vacation last week and didn't have the chance to cook up some new recipes. It's safe to say that after a week away, I had the urge to get back in the kitchen. While it's nice to have every meal made for you, it's also nice to have some homemade food :).
Today I wanted to bake something and turned to my recipe for citrus chia-seed cupcakes with a matcha buttercream frosting. I'm a sucker for cupcakes so when I realized I had all the ingredients to make these, I got super excited. I know chia seeds are not a conventional ingredient in cupcakes, but I like to think of it like a lemon poppy-seed cupcake, except it's citrus chia-seed. Here's what you'll need:
For the cupcakes, you will need:
Begin with preheating the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Mix together until the brown sugar is not clumped and evenly dispersed.
In a small mixing bowl, add in the milk and apple cider vinegar, then let sit for 1-2 minutes, allowing it to curdle.
Add in the vanilla extract and oil into the milk mixture, stir to combine, then add into the dry ingredients.
Mix together until a smooth batter forms. Add in the matcha powder, citrus zest mixture, and chia seeds. Stir until combined.
Scoop into the muffin tin and cook on the center rack for about about 18-20 minutes.
For the buttercream, you will need:
Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter for a few minutes until it begins to soften.
Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar in small intervals, then do the same with the matcha powder.
Ice the cupcakes once they are completely cooled and garnish with some more zest if desired.
There's nothing I love more than some warm pancakes for breakfast... especially blueberry pancakes. I decided to make this oat version for a more filling alternative this morning, and boy were they delicious! I sweetened them slightly with some honey and vanilla extract, and topped it off with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.
You will need:
Measure out the oats into a mixing bowl, add in the milk, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, and let sit a few minutes allowing the oats to soften up.
Beat in the egg, then add in the flour, baking soda, and blueberries.
Scoop the batter onto a heated skillet, and flip when the edges are firm and there are bubbles in the center of the pancake.
Serve warm with some fresh berries and a drizzle of honey!
In one of my classes this past semester, a professor of mine mentioned a book titled "In Defense of Food", by Michael Pollan. He talked about how the book followed foods from their origins, through food manufacturing, and to our plates. The book seemed interesting, but I knew I was never going to have the time to read it. While on Netflix the other day, however, a documentary popped up with the same title, and I got probably a little too excited. I sat down to watch it and was surprised when Pollan mentioned seven tips and tricks on how to eat your way to a healthier lifestyle. The biggest tip that stuck with me the most, however, was the idea to, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants".
This mentality combats what is called the "Standard American Diet". Let's face it, in America, we eat a lot of processed food, a lot of meat, and our foods contain a lot of words we can't pronounce. The portion sizes are also a lot larger than most other countries, and by the time the food reaches our plates, it is disconnected from the original food supply. This, in turn, makes it harder for us to realize what exactly we're eating, making us more prone to overindulge. At the same time, the least healthy food is always more accessible and convenient for the hectic on-the-go lifestyles we lead, whether it be pre-packaged or waiting for us at a drive-thru.
I love Pollan's quote because it is a simple rule that is easy to remember when you're thinking about what to eat for the day. You should try not to overindulge in too much of one thing, and always eat plants. As mentioned in an earlier post, eating a variety of fruits and veggies daily is recommended by the USDA and it nourishes your body. Similary, eating more than one serving of meat a day is proven to increase your risk of certain cancers and potentially diabetes. Confused about what Pollan means when he says "eat food"? Simply put, he mentions you should avoid "food" your great-grandmother would not recognize as food. In their past lifetime, food was significantly less processed and there were no ingredients that couldn't be pronounced. Today, the food industry focuses on mass-production which puts out items that are edible, but may not have a significant nutritional value.
All in all, this documentary was a great reminder to be mindful of what you are eating. I would greatly recommend watching it if you want to learn more about health issues such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, how certain foods affect the body, and the food disparity the Unites States faces in primarily lower-income communities.
I am a huge fan of Mexican food, but I've found that sometimes it can be cooked with excess oils, salt, or unnecessary ingredients. I stumbled across a recipe about a year ago for a healthier version of steak fajitas that used broth as a main way to cook the meat. After trying it a few times, I can honestly say this recipe is fool proof! I love it because it only uses only one pan, has tons of veggies, and is super easy to make. You can also make it the same way using chicken, and it still tastes SO GOOD.
Here's my take on the recipe:
You will need:
Begin by cleaning and slicing the peppers, onion, and skirt steak into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Heat up a large pan, and add in the steak over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Sear the meat until it begins to brown, and add in the chicken/beef stock. Scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Next, add in the peppers and onion and let simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the lime juice, can of chilies, fresh chopped cilantro, and any other seasonings you'd like.
Let cook until the peppers, onions, and meat are cooked as desired. Serve hot.
~If the pan seems as though it's drying up, add more broth as necessary. You can never add enough!~
I prefer to eat the fajitas in a whole wheat tortilla, but another great option is to eat them with bibb lettuce. You can also top it off with anything you'd like, but the options I tend to go for are;
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it's super flexible and you can add anything you'd like to it. As I said before, it really is fool-proof, and the more fun you have with it, the better it tastes.
~adapted from Haylie Pomroy~
Inspiring others to lead healthier lifestyles, one recipe at a time.