Power Bowl

IMG_5365

AKA Bowl of EVERYTHING I LOVE. Which results in this being a dinner that I make over and over. And over.

IMG_5364IMG_5369

Also, this is probably the healthiest thing ever.  Boiled: eggs and broccoli.  Pan fried: mushrooms.  Roasted: sweet potato.  And the only seasoning you really need is salt and pepper.

Power Bowl
2 servings

1 small sweet potato, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 eggs
1/2 small head broccoli, chopped
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
salt and pepper
dried basil (optional)
soy sauce (optional)
olive oil

1. Drizzle olive oil unto a baking sheet. Add chopped sweet potato and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until soft, frequently stirring to flip the sides of sweet potato. After baking time, remove and season with salt, pepper, and basil.
2. Meanwhile, boil 2 eggs. In another pot, boil water and add broccoli. Remove from heat and drain broccoli after 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Heat a pan to medium-high and grease with olive oil. Add mushrooms and let sizzle, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until all the moisture evaporates and the mushrooms start to golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of soy sauce at end of cooking for flavor, if desired.
3. Assemble sweet potato, broccoli, mushrooms, and egg in a bowl and enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Deconstructed Turkey Burger

… or I guess I should say half-way deconstructed?  Deconstructing food means taking the ingredients apart and then putting them back in a new/unusual way.  But I just took the individual ingredients and put them in separate piles on the plate.  I can chalk it up to laziness, no creativity, or the pure lack of time and an empty stomach.  (Spoiler alert: it was all three.)

edits (1 of 2)

Our line-up includes ground turkey with cheese and zesty lime juice, a sweet tomato, spinach, and super flavorful mushrooms.

edits (2 of 2)

I love this plate because it’s a game of mix-and-match.  You can eat a bit of everything in one bite, or you can chose to leave out some flavors.

IMG_5353

The burger is SO juicy and packed with flavor.  This is a favorite, easy meal that I repeat often, throwing whatever ingredients I have on had around the burger.  Today it was mushrooms, spinach, and tomato, but I have done a variety of beans, avocado, red onion etc!

Turkey Burger

4 servings

1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1 cup cheddar cheese (but let’s be honest, I just whatever cheese I have in the fridge. Usually it’s mozzarella, today it was parmesan.)
1/4 onion, diced
1 tomato, sliced
2 1/2 cups spinach
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced

1. Combine turkey, citrus juice, cheese, and onion in a medium bowl. Mix until all ingredients are just combined.
2. Form mixture into 4 3/4 inch-thick patties. Cook on a pan heated to medium-high until cooked through, flipping half way.
3. Meanwhile, heat a separate pan over medium-high heat and grease with oil. Add sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Let cook until golden-brown and tender.
4. Arrange pattie, spinach, tomato, and mushroom on plate. Enjoy!

TONKATSU (Pork Cutlets)

College is great for many reasons, one being that there always seems to be an event with free food, or friends who invite you over to eat.  This translated into me barely cooking these past few weeks which was quite exciting at first… especially for the grocery bill.  But then I started to miss it.

IMG_5265

So we’re back at it with TONKATSU. Not only is it a fried pork cutlet, it’s Japanese. Double win. I’ve had it since I was little (thanks mom) but when I was in Japan for a year and a half, it was so fun to see my companions eat it for the first time and fall in love. In one area we would buy lunch once a week and my companion chose this every single time. She loved it too much to risk trying anything else.

IMG_5266IMG_5267

TONKASTU

4 servings

4 pieces pork loin chops, thinly sliced
pinch of salt and pepper
flour, as needed
2 beaten eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
frying oil, as needed
tonkatsu sauce

1. To make the pork more tender, pound out the meat a little bit, and then form it back into it’s shape.
2. Season each side of the pork with salt and pepper
3. Dredge each piece of pork in flour, dip both sides into the beaten eggs, and then coat with breadcrumbs.
4. Heat a large skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil until hot, then put the pork in. Fry until golden brown, turning once and heating all the way through.
5. Place on paper towels to let the oil drip off, cut into pieces, and eat!

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Let February 5, 2016 forever be marked in history. The day I dragged the unopened crock pot out from under my bed and used it for the first time. After chopping the vegetables and dumping everything in the crock pot, I left the apartment for my humanities class praying that the apartment wouldn’t be burned to oblivion when I got back.

IMG_4749

The good news is that the only thing it did was turn these rock-hard dried split peas into mushy goodness.

Also, the load of vegetables will leave you feeling healthy for days.

IMG_4770
Cheese croutons… it doesn’t get any better

IMG_4775

This soup has some serious deep flavor and it infinitely better than the kind that comes out of the can.  Try it out!

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
from The Kitchn // makes 4 servings

1 pound dried green split peas
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups water

1. Place the split peas in an even layer in the insert of a slow cooker. Add the onion, carrot, celery, oil, bay leaves, salt, and season with pepper. Add the water (no need to stir), cover, and cook until the peas are soft, 5 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.

2. Stir the soup to incorporate the peas and broth, taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Done!

 

 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

sweet and sour (1 of 1)

Sweet and tangy. I’m pretty sure this type of chicken is what keeps food courts across the country in business, because it’s what the taste buds are made for. But I avoid these like the plague at the food court because even just eating a sample makes me feel like I just ate something greasy and unnatural and I should avoid eating in general for the next day to make up for it.

IMG_4531b

This chicken, on the other hand, is full of goodness covered in a mix of sugar and vinegar, among other things, so it turns into sweet and sour goodness coming out of YOUR OWN OVEN. Sweet and sour chicken is, to me, something that sounds hard to make…but it’s so easy! So eat chicken and be merry. The end.

IMG_4533

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe // Makes 4-6 servings
Chicken:
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola, vegetable or coconut oil
Sauce:
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want the sauce)
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken.
3. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow pie plate. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very hot and rippling. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet.
4. Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side until the crust is golden but the chicken is not all the way cooked through (this is where it’s really important to have a hot skillet/oil). Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in a 9X13-inch baking dish and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
5. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken. Bake for one hour, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
P.S. Props to my twin Annie for actually making this while I dashed home from the library.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I’m back from a year and a half in Japan, yet I bring to you cashew chicken lettuce wraps.  Not exactly the most Japanese dish.  But, I snagged the recipe from a site I love, and I guess it makes sense that coming back to home would mean coming back to old habits and beloved cooking blogs.  But don’t worry, the Japanese recipes will be coming sooner or later!  But for now: cashews and chicken.

The lettuce is crisp, the tomatoes fresh, and the cashews bring in a nice, deep flavor.  Then add the chicken, soy sauce, syrup, onions, carrots, and garlic and it’s… gone in five minutes.  But the good news is that it takes not much longer than that to prepare.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe/makes 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup finely diced (or shredded) carrots
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup *I substituted honey in for syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews (lightly toasted, if desired)
  • Bibb or green leaf lettuce leaves for wrapping
  • Chopped cucumbers and tomatoes for serving
  1. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and carrots. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Season the chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper and add to the skillet with the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken pieces are cooked through, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce and maple syrup and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, letting the soy sauce and maple syrup bubble and simmer.
  4. Stir in the cashews, cooking until they are just heated through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve in lettuce leaves topped with tomatoes and cucumbers

Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Tzatziki

IMG_3573

IMG_3575

There’s a place called The Olive Tree. The Olive Tree is a Greek/Mediterranean Café that happens to serve the best kofta kebabs ever. They’re so good that I wanted to learn how to make them so that I could have them whenever I wanted. And I am sooo glad I did because these kofta kebabs– made with ground lamb, garlic, onion, and a ton of spices– are so juicy and flavorful that you won’t even feel bad that you’re eating a little lamb. And they’re even better with tzatziki, a greek sauce made with yogurt and cucumbers. After making this dish, you’ll feel like you belong in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Originally from Food Network [makes 4-6 servings]
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1 pound ground lamb
3 tablespoons grated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt with the meat, onion, parsley, and spices.
2. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Divide the meat mixture into 28 rough balls. Mold each piece around the pointed end of a skewer, making a 2-inch oval kebab that comes to a point just covering the tip of the skewer. Lay the skewers on the pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours. (Or just stick the balls on the stick like I did because it’s way easier.)
3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare a grill. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, until brown all over and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with tzatziki and flat bread.

Tzatziki
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 clove garlic
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled

1. If you’re using plain whole milk yogurt, line a small sieve with a coffee filter. Put the yogurt in it, set it over a bowl, and refrigerate 12 hours. Discard the expressed liquid and put yogurt in the bowl.
2. Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater into another bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt and rub into the cucumber with your hands. Set aside 20 minutes, then squeeze the cucumbers to express as much liquid as possible.
3. Smash the garlic, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Stir the cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and mint into the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters with Lemon Curry Yogurt

IMG_3570

IMG_3572

And now on to India! I wanted to make these because 1)fritters sound exciting 2)Indian flavors are amazing and 3)this is a type of food that I would usually never try. This recipe requires a lot of time with the grater, but it’s worth it! The fritters have a crispy exterior and although the vegetables are delicious alone, the lemon curry yogurt takes them to a whole new level with amazing flavors and a nice, acidic zest.

Originally from Smitten Kitchen [makes about 18 pancakes]
1 medium onion, peeled
1 large russet or Idaho potato, peeled
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled
1 large or 2 thin carrots, peeled
1 zucchini
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place two nonstick baking sheets in oven.
2. Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion, potatoes, carrot and zucchini and place in colander set in sink, setting aside to drain.
3. In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in flour, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Mix in ginger, cilantro, and peas.
4. Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to bowl. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.
5. In heavy-bottomed, 12-inch non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil or butter until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-cup portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes.
6. Fry until bottoms are golden-brown (the color really counts on this; the darker you let it go, the more the pancake holds together – this goes for both sides.), 4 to 5 minutes, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes.
7. Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. And 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 to 2 tablespoons oil before each batch.
8. Serve pancakes hot with Curry-Lime Yogurt.

Curry Lime Yogurt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
A squeeze or two of fresh lime juice, to taste
Salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together! And that’s it!

Black Bean Burgers

Introducing: GUEST POST BY MY TWIN SISTER (!!!) Don’t know why I need to introduce her because she’s the only one who visits my little website. But nonetheless, here she is with her recipes that my taste buds applaud.

Hello everyone! I’m Anna, Erin’s twin sister and fellow kitchen-experimenter. Today I’m guest blogging to share two of my new and favorite recipes, a perfect dinner-dessert combo: black bean burgers and lemon cookies. (Lemon cookies on the next post!)


bean        bean1

A couple months ago I tasted “fake” meat for the first time. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that the “chicken patty” had no chicken in it. The lack of an ingredient list also left me dubious, as I had no idea as to whether to patty was filled with chemicals or not.

When I saw this recipe from Eating Whole, I knew I had to try my hand at a vegetarian “burger”. I made this out of pure curiosity, and was pleasantly surprised when it came out to by flavorful. It evolved from a one-time-try to a fun meal to make once in a while. Although it tastes nothing like a real burger, this may be a nice substitute for those who are too nervous to deal with red meat in the kitchen.

From Eating Whole [makes six patties]
1/6 of an onion, chopped
1/2 of a celery stalk, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
dash of each: cumin/paprika/salt/pepper
1 can of black beans, drained
1/2 of a steamed sweet potato
1 egg
¼ cup corn

1. Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until they begin to soften.
2. In a bowl, mash the steamed sweet potato and black beans into a chunky paste. Add the egg, corn, spices and sautéed ingredients until and mix with for until well combined. The result should still be chunky, not a paste.
3. Form into 6 patties, and then cook in a skillet for 2-4 minutes on each side.

 

 

 

Salmon Burgers

IMG_5911 (2)

I was skeptical about these burgers because they’re on an entire different field from the usual beef or turkey burger. I mean, people don’t usually eat fish burgers. But, I’m happy to say that I was wrong to doubt them, because they were delicious! Packed with flavor from the Dijon mustard and fresh dill, these salmon burgers are kind of addicting.

Original recipe from Real Simple [makes 4 burgers]
2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 slice bread, ground in a food processor)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 brioche buns, toasted (I used homemade hamburger buns)

1. Finely chop the salmon. Place half in a large resealable plastic bag and use a flat-surfaced meat pounder or a rolling pin to mash it. (I just finely chopped it and skipped the rest of this step.)
2. Place all the salmon in a large bowl. Combine with egg whites, mustard, bread crumbs, dill, and ½ teaspoon salt. Form inch-thick patties.
3. Heat the oil in a grill pan over medium heat and cook patties 5 minutes per side.
4. Serve the patties on buns.