Posts tagged ‘recipes’

So Long Sweet Summer

Happy Labor Day Weekend Friends! This weekend traditionally marks the unofficial end of summer or, to anyone who grew up near the beach, the end of shore traffic. This summer has certainly been eventful, though not in ways it has been in the past. While I haven’t taken any vacations or blogged very much, I do feel quite accomplished. I started my intern year, “caught” more than 20 babies, and did not catch the “peds virus.” I have settled into my new roles of wife and doctor, as well as into my new house and city. I have found new friends and a new church, and have explored some of the surrounding area with my loving husband and puppy.

And I have cooked. A lot. I have fully embraced trying to eat as locally and seasonally as possible, and am loving every minute of it. Since no summer meal is complete without tomatoes, zucchini or corn, here is a mini-roundup of some of my summer favorites! Hopefully you can still find some great tomatoes and zucchini in your garden or farmers market before fall is officially upon us!

Zucchini Fritters

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Fresh Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes and Eggs

Gnocchi Skillet with Blistered Tomatoes

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Tomato and Zucchini Frittata

August 30, 2014 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Summer BBQ

Everyone has a slightly different meaning of appropriate cook-out foods depending on your cultural and regional backgrounds. Growing up in NJ, a summer BBQ always meant hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad, and chips. To my husband, who was born in Brazil, no cook-out is complete without linguica (Brazilian sausage) and short ribs. I have also heard that BBQ and cook-out can signal two totally different affairs if you are from the southern US.

No matter what, it is hard to disagree that anything off the grill just screams summer. My husband got a new Weber charcoal grill for his birthday yesterday, so we are excited to have many grilled treats this summer. Here are some of my favorite summer recipes for the grill. These are all perfect for any special graduation celebrations or Memorial Day BBQs coming up!

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Homemade Shake Shack – Two Ways

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Fingerling Potato and Asparagus Salad

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Grill Basket Veggie Panini

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Sweet Potato Grill Fries

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Greek Herbed Turkey Burgers

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Grilled Pizza

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Beer Can Chicken

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Drunken Grilled Fruit

May 23, 2014 at 7:43 am 1 comment

Thinking of Thanksgiving

written by Jen

Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays. Growing up in a family of fantastic home cooks has always meant some pretty spectacular feasts. As a kid, Thanksgiving was always held at my maternal Grandmother’s house. We would start with Sweet Potato soup, a pureed soup similar to butternut squash soup but slightly thicker. Turkey was, of course, a highlight, but her creamy garlic mashed potatoes stole the show. After they retired to Florida, my mom took over hosting this holiday meal. Several new traditions were born, including a flavorful Cranberry-Apricot sauce and a crowd-pleasing French Bread Stuffing with Fennel and Sausage (both adapted from a Cooking Light cookbook). This year, I have the honor of hosting Thanksgiving in my Boston home. I will be keeping some traditions, as well as finding my own signature contribution. Here is a preview of some things that have caught Chelsea and my eyes stomachs, all brought to you from fellow bloggers!

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas by Two Peas & Their Pod

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Rosemary and Garlic by Oh She Glows

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon by My Kitchen College

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls by Averie Cooks

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Apples by Little Pink Monster

Bourbon Apple Sangria by Climbing Grier Mountain

November 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm 1 comment

Salad Weather

Summer happened overnight in Boston, it seems. It has been warmer here than it has been in Southwest FL for the past few days! Now that is hot. When my thermostat reads 88F INSIDE the house, there is absolutely no way you can convince me to turn the stove on for longer than absolutely necessary, let alone even think about using the oven. I have survived 4 Boston summers with no A/C, but if it stays this hot for much longer I might break!

To beat the heat, I end up eating a lot of salads in the summer. While I love my leafy greens, salads don’t have to be so monotonous. Here are some of the things I have been making lately:

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A lovely, multi-colored, Mexican-inspired salad that is sure to brighten up any meal. I mixed mine all together right away and have enjoyed it for lunch for the past few days. You can eat it plain, serve it as a side for taco night, or even fill a tortilla with it! For those of you afraid of the long ingredient list, most of the work is just simple veggie chopping! Jicama is the most unfamiliar ingredient, but is a wonderful, naturally sweet, tropical starch-y vegetable that adds great crunch and flavor. I can see this recipe easily becoming a summertime lunch staple! I think it would be fun to turn it into a layered jar salad the next time I make it!

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Who said fruit salads are just for dessert? This Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad also makes for another great lunch salad! The lemon-basil dressing is refreshing, and the blueberries and mangoes are unexpected but delicious. This is a must-make for any fruit lover!

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The last summer salad I made to go along with these delicious Chipotle Shrimp Burritos with Avocado Crema. I would highly recommend these burritos – simple, spicy, and flavorful. I cheated on the avocado crema and simply mixed a store-bought packet of guacamole with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, some extra cilantro and lime. To balance out the spicy shrimp, I kept the salad on the lighter side. This literally came together with the odds and ends left in my fridge, freezer and pantry from the week! The palmitos are acidic, soft, and refreshing. The edamame provides protein and substance, and the corn has a great natural sweetness. The dressing is heavy on lime, giving it a nice, fresh summer flavor. It reminds me of a grown-up version of succotash with a little South American flavor. It could easily be made into a main meal by adding some avocado and increasing the portion size!

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Question: How do you stay cool on hot summer days? My favorite response from a friend: “I eat popsicles in my underwear.”

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Palmitos Succotash

serves 3-4 as a side dish

1 can hearts of palm (palmitos), drained and sliced

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package instructions

2 ears corn, steamed (about 1 1/2 cups if using frozen)

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, minced

3 scallions, greens and whites, sliced

3 limes, juiced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt and garlic powder (or to taste)

Cook the edamame according to package instructions. Allow to cool. Steam the corn for 3-4 minutes. Once cool, cut the kernels from the cob. Mix the corn, edamame, and sliced palmitos together in a bowl. Add the sliced scallions and minced cilantro. Whisk together dressing of lime juice, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and garlic powder, then stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

June 3, 2013 at 5:20 am 1 comment

Fusion Food

Everywhere I look lately, there are tacos. Really fun and interesting looking tacos. Like these and these and these. I even made my own! I would venture a guess that tacos are one of the trendy foods this season, and I am loving it! Bright colored veggies packed with flavor on a warm corn tortilla is totally my idea of fun backyard summer food! More so, I love the ideas that are breaking tacos out of the box. These recipes are certainly more creative than my memories of family taco nights, and are sure to liven up your dinner table!

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These tacos are a fusion of cooking influences in my life right now. My boyfriend, who is Korean, has been teaching me some basics about Korean cooking, and I have learned how to make some simpler traditional dishes like kimchi jjigae and ssam jang. Learning this new style of cooking, and having a fridge full of new-to-me condiments, has started to spark my creativity and put ideas in my head of how to combine our food heritages. Thus, after a weekend of Korean cooking and a brief glance through the most recent Cooking Light magazine my mom lent me, the idea for these tacos were born! Korean pulled pork, a simple ginger cucumber, and a great scallion slaw, and it worked! The meat is tender and flavorful, with rich and complex notes upfront and a slow spice that follows. The cucumbers and carrots are crisp and refreshing, and the scallions nicely finish off the taco.

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Some notes on the recipe: First, you might be scratching your head about the pork. Isn’t she a vegetarian? Well, recently, I have slowly started to add meat back to my diet. (My decision was made mostly for personal health reasons that I won’t fully discuss here.) I am still eating vegetarian meals 80% of the week, but am making a conscious effort to make a meal that includes meat at least once a week. After 5-ish years of vegetarian cooking, this has required a little more planning and experimentation than I expected! Also, don’t be intimidated by the super long ingredient list that follows– most of it is for the meat marinade and is pantry-based. The only “specialty items” are the Hoisin sauce, which can be found in most major supermarkets, and the gochujang. That might be a little harder to find, unless you have an Asian food market in your area. It is essentially a red pepper paste that adds a slow, sweet spice to your meat. If you can’t find it or don’t love spice, replace it with ketchup. Lastly, make sure that you take the time to toast your tortillas! A warm corn tortilla is much more pliable and tastes better, really giving the finishing touch to this dish!

Question: How do you feel about the changes on my blog? Over the past two years, this blog has been an outlet to record and share what I have been making and the things that excite me. I realize that I have many vegan/vegetarian readers, but feel that it is important for me to share how I have been eating! Like I said, most of my meals will still be largely vegetarian, but I hope to reflect the new styles of cooking I am learning to incorporate as well. I hope you will continue as I adventure in cooking and healthy living!

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Korean Pulled Pork Tacos with Sesame Ginger Cucumbers, Carrots and Scallions

inspiration for the meat from here and the cucumbers from here, serves 4-6

12 corn tortillas

pulled pork:

2 lb pork (shoulder, butt or loin all work well)

1-inch piece ginger, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp Hoisin sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame seed oil

3 tbsp gochujang paste (or ketchup)

3 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 star of anise

1/4 tsp fennel seed

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Set to low and cook for 7-8 hours. Pull meat apart using two forks to create pulled pork. Mix desired amount of residual sauce into meat.

cukes and carrots:

4 medium pickling cucumbers, julienned

3 carrots, julienned

2 clove garlic, minced

2-inch piece ginger, minced

4 tbsp rice vinegar

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp sesame seed oil

Combine the matchstick-sized cucumbers and carrots with the marinade ingredients. Shake and then refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour.

scallions:

2 bunch scallions (greens only), julienned

1.5 tbsp sesame seed oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1.5 tbsp red chili flakes

Cut the scallion greens into 2-inch chunks, then julienne into thin strips. Combine with remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour.

to assemble:

Warm a corn tortilla in a skillet or griddle. Layer cucumbers, carrots, scallions and pulled pork. Fold and enjoy warm!

April 27, 2013 at 7:00 am 4 comments

Just Saying HI!

Friends, I miss blogging. I have thought of you all often, and still am reading and perusing the blogosphere! However, my camera is still out of action and I have been to cheap lazy to look into replacement cords or card readers.

Since I have none of my own pictures, here are some links to what I have been loving lately!

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Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats: I know I am late on the bandwagon, but these are AMAZING! The fact that I can throw stuff in my crock-pot overnight and wake up to the smell of apples and cinnamon wafting through my house is enough to sell me on these oats. But add the fact that I now have 5 days of amazing, healthy breakfast ready, cutting time off my normal morning routine? That is pretty amazing. I have made a loose interpretation of these once so far and added some shredded carrot, which added sweetness and blended in well. Nutritious oats made at the end of a lazy Sunday, ready to enjoy all week… my new favorite!

Slow Cooker Beans: Speaking of the slow cooker, I am also looking forward to trying this method for cooking dried beans. I don’t always remember to pre-soak my beans and often don’t have hours to spend cooking my dried beans, so this seems like a handy trick! I will let you know if it works! Do you have any experience?

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Feijao: Speaking of beans that I did remember to soak… My Brazilian-born boyfriend introduced me to this amazing national dish, and I instantly fell in love. My heart broke when I learned that it is traditionally made with bacon and pork skin, but I knew I could find a way to veganize it, and I did! The beans are spicy, the collard greens sing with garlic, and the rice rounds out the meal. For you carnivores out there, the original recipe can be translated and makes an awesome hearty winter dish. For my plant-based friends, I will perfect my version (AKA actually measure ingredients) and post the recipe next time I make it! (Spoiler alert: I used nori to replace the umami flavor of the pork fat. My boyfriend almost fainted when I told him of my plans, but he ate two huge helpings and said I should make it again, so I guess it worked!)

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Buffalo Chickpea Dip: I might have a minor obsession with hot sauce. I may have even put it on popcorn once. (Sillier things have been done by hungry college students.) I often crave the buffalo chicken dip that is laden with grease and dairy, and was so excited to find that there is a vegetarian/vegan recipe that can replicate this game day favorite. I made this for the Superbowl and the pan was licked clean by half time… everyone loved it! I cannot express enough how tasty this is, so you should just find out for yourself. I used regular cheddar, and am pretty sure you could use all white beans instead of including cashews in the base (if you are looking to simplify the recipe). Make and enjoy!

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Winter Red Curry: I am knee-deep in root vegetables! As much as I love the change of seasons and commitment to eating as locally as possible, I am ready for a little more variety in my produce options! To spice things up a little, I figured everything tastes good in a curry! And it does. I made a loose interpretation of this curry with some added kale and served it over brown rice. Root vegetables, you have not conquered me yet.

For more of what I have my eye on, follow me on Pinterest. Until next time friends!

Question: What have you been loving lately?

February 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm 1 comment

It’s Fall Y’all: Ginger

Ginger might not be the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of fall, but in reality is one of the unsung heroes of this culinary season. That might sound a bit extreme, but bear with me. What makes the pumpkin in pie sing? Ginger. A really great apple or pear crisp? Ginger. Breads, cookies, pies, and fruit crisps all rely on cozy spices to make them truly come to life. Ginger happens to be one of my favorite flavors, but can be a bit aggressive and divisive. If you love strong ginger flavors, then this post is for you.

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First attempt at homemade candied ginger

It all started out with the goal of making homemade candied ginger. I love the store-bought version, but it is expensive and very sugary. I set out to make my own and, thanks to Pinterest, found this great recipe and tutorial. The cashier at my grocery store looked at me funny when I walked away with a rather large ginger knob tree, but I was determined to accomplish my goal! The result – decent. Honestly, not as great as the store-bought version, but also could be cook’s error. My syrup over-boiled, dried out, and likely didn’t cook for quite long enough. The candied ginger is tasty, but not a solely edible treat like its store-bought counterpart. The resulting ginger syrup, however, is delectable. I cannot get enough!

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The resultant ginger syrup

Here are some ideas of what I have been doing with my ginger creations!

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Homemade Ginger Ale: Mix a few spoonfuls of the syrup with seltzer water for a tasty homemade soda!

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Adult Ginger Ale: Add a shot of whiskey to the above for an adult version. (Or a shot of rum and a squeeze of lime, with a little heavier hand on the ginger syrup, for my favorite– the Dark and Stormy!)

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Honey Ginger Butter: Mix 1/4 cup of ginger syrup, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 stick softened butter. Whip with an immersion blender, and then refrigerate in a small container until solid. Goes great with pancakes, waffles or this amazing Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread!

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Coconut Ginger Granola: Maybe the best granola I have ever made… seriously. I made a few changes, like using butter instead of coconut oil and adding a dash of ginger syrup and it is DELICIOUS! You should definitely try this.

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Stuffed Delicata Squash: In danger of recipe overload, I am going to tease you with these pictures and post the recipe later in the week! Definitely stop back– you don’t want to miss this one!

In case that isn’t enough for you, here are some ginger recipes I tried out last year…

Gingersnap Oatmeal

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Gingerbread Cookies

…and some I have my eye on!

Ginger Sangria

Gingersnap Martini

Ginger Cookies

Question: Are you a ginger fan?

October 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm 6 comments

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