Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup


I know that soup isn't necessarily the first thing you crave when it's summer and the sun is out...but, if you live in Seattle, where the sun isn't out, you crave soup. So today, I made this quick pot of delicious soup for lunch! It's extremely filling and full of yummy veggies. It's vegan too! I'd have to say that it was souper! Ha...


Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from Kiss My Broccoli

  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter butter
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • peanuts for garnish
1. Combine all ingredients except for almond butter and spinach in a large pot over medium high heat.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Just before serving, stir in almond butter and fresh spinach.
4. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and peanuts.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Beef Bulgogi

Beef Bulgogi


This past Friday night I had the great pleasure of learning how to cook Korean food with my wonderful best friend Michelle and her amazing mother. I had SO much fun cooking with these talented and beautiful women! We made a feast for ourselves. I felt so spoiled! We made dumplings, cucumber kimchi, tofu soup, stir-fry noodles with beef and veggies, and my all time favorite beef bulgogi. Oh my goodness, I cannot even describe to you how happy my tastebuds were. I am so happy I finally got a chance to learn Korean cooking and I cannot wait to recreate what I've learned!!! Thank you Michelle and Mrs. Kim, I love you both!


Beef Bulgogi

1 lb beef, sliced paper thin (must be a good, marbled cut of meat, preferably sirloin steak)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Korean style soy sauce (or just another Tbsp of regular)
2 Tbsp rice wine
2 Tbsp sugar
Black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp sesame oil (and more for sautéing)

Mix soy sauces, rice wine, sugar, and several grinds of black pepper in a bowl. Add in meat and gently mix, covering meat entirely. Add in garlic, onion, and sesame oil, and mix. Let sit for 1-3 hours. 

When ready to eat, heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the beef and marinade and cook about 4-5 minutes until cooked through.

Note: Pre-sliced steak is sold in Korean grocery stores as bulgogi. In a non Korean store, ask your butcher to slice it for you. Or if that isn’t an option, put the steak in the freezer for 30 minutes (to make it easier to cut) 
and then slice it as thinly as possible with your sharpest knife.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Mushroom Quesadillas

Mushroom Quesadillas


This past week I had the extreme pleasure of hosting my darling friend Catie! She came ALL the way from Texas to visit me and the beautiful Northwest. We had a blast touring Seattle, picking blueberries, and eating ourselves silly. We also had the awesome opportunity to visit her aunt and uncle in the San Juans, at their beautiful home on Lopez Island. Wow. These are some of the most down-to-earth and genuinely beautiful people I've ever met. We had so many thoughtful conversations and I feel so blessed to have met them! In addition to their sweet personalities, they are both fantastic cooks! We made these simple, yet OH-SO-DELICIOUS quesadillas while we were there. So good. Oh yeah, and they live in an old church with the sweetest kitchen EVER. Doesn't get much better than that. Thanks Bill and Laura!


Mushroom Quesadillas

Olive oil
Butter
Pressed garlic
Red wine
Cremini mushrooms, sliced
Cheddar goat cheese, shredded
Corn tortillas
Sweet chile sauce
Hot sauce to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add mushrooms and garlic. When almost cooked, add a splash of red wine and finish cooking. Remove from heat. Heat a large griddle and slightly crisp corn tortillas. Remove tortillas to a large surface and top with generous servings of cheese, mushrooms, and a drizzle of chile sauce. Place another tortilla on top and return to the griddle. Cook until cheese is melted. Serve with hot sauce.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chickpea and Chard Saute

Chickpea and Chard Saute


Summer is such a bountiful time! I love all the fresh vegetables and fruits that are all around. I think I consume more fruits during summertime than I do in the whole rest of the year combined. If you put a bowl of raspberries, or blueberries, or cherries (etc) in front of me, I will seriously eat the whole thing. And will probably ask for more. Along with all the fruits we have thriving in our yard, we also have a beautiful veggie garden thanks to Momma Tott. I found this recipe to put our swiss chard to use one night, and boy was this dish a hit. Very satisfying, yet light and flavorful. YUM.


Chickpea and Chard Saute Adapted from The Devil's Food Advocate

1 pound Swiss Chard (preferably rainbow variety)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 purple onion, chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups freshly cooked chickpeas (canned are fine, rinse well and drain)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil


Separate the chard stalks from the leaves.  Blanch the stalks in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3 minutes (they may need less if the chard is very young and tender).  Add the leaves and continue cooking for 2 minutes, then drain everything.  Refresh under cold running water and squeeze dry, then chop roughly.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan.  Add the carrots, onions, and caraway seeds and saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add the chard and chickpeas and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.  Add the garlic, herbs, and some salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and cool down a little.  Taste and adjust the seasoning; add the lemon juice just before serving so as not to dull the vibrant green of the chard and herb leaves.  Mix together the yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Pile the vegetables on serving dishes or in bowls and spoon the yogurt on top.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Buttered Popcorn and Malted Milk Ball Cookies

Buttered Popcorn and Malted Milk Ball Cookies



I made these cookies today and I'm SO EXCITED about them that I had to post them right away! Despite my large list of recipes that I need to still post...

These cookies are so wonderful. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Mmmmmmmm. It's literally like a trip to the movies all rolled up into a ball of dough. And you all know how much I love my popcorn. I can't even keep it out of my cookies! But seriously, if you're skeptical I understand, but these cookies are worth the risk. Plus you'll impress your friends by making something WAY more interesting than the go-to chocolate chip cookies. Enjoy!



Buttered Popcorn and Malted Milk Ball Cookies
Recipe from Sift and Whisk
Ingredients:
4 cups popped popcorn (plain)

1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1¼ cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup (109 grams) light brown sugar, packed
⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (100 grams) roughly chopped malted milk balls
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Place popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl, avoid getting unpopped kernels in the bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over the popcorn, sprinkle with salt and toss.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until completely mixed in. Scraping down the sides when necessary. On a low speed, gradually add flour mixture, and stop mixing when there is still a little flour visible.
Gently fold popcorn into the dough and be careful not to crush them too much. Add chopped malted milk balls, and fold into the dough.
Scoop balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the tops of each dough ball with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges slightly brown.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Best Bran Muffins

Best Bran Muffins


I am LOVING my healthy baked goods these days! These bran muffins are SO crazy healthy and they don't even taste it. I made a half batch of these babies the other day and had one for breakfast every morning of the week. I just popped em in the microwave for 20 seconds and BAM they were all warm and delicious. Perfect for my consumption. And boy do they fill you up. AND keep you full. I was also really surprised at how buttery these muffins tasted despite them having zero butter...you'll understand when you make them. Which you should.


Best Bran Muffins
Recipe adapted from Wanna Come With
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup skim milk
2/3 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup almond oil (or a vegetable oil)
Optional Additions (I just put chopped up fresh strawberries in mine)
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon hemp hearts
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup fresh or frozen fruit
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease your muffin tin, both inside and along the top edge. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and any other dry additions you’d like to add. Whisk together well.
In another bowl or a large measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs. Add the yogurt and milk and stir well. Then add the molasses, honey and oil and stir until combined – the molasses and honey will have sunk to the bottom, so it will take a minute or two of stirring to get them mixed together.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and gently stir together. At this point you can add the fruit, or even some nuts if you like. Stir together until just blended.
Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, portion the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin, otherwise they’ll just fall apart.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Caruru de Camarao (Shrimp Gumbo)

Caruru de Camarao (Shrimp Gumbo)


You guessed it! I've been experimenting with more fantastic Brazilian recipes! This time I roped Austin and Michael into helping me. We had a swell time making this together and conquered an intense coconut in the process. Well, actually Austin did. I know cracking open a coconut and then grating all doesn't exactly sound like a blast, but it is such a perfect addition to this gumbo! Don't skip it. This is not your Louisiana style gumbo, so don't expect it to be. It's nice and light, and oh so delicious. Serve it with some basmati rice and lime wedges and you'll be in business.


Caruru de Camarao (Shrimp Gumbo)
Adapted from Easy Brazilian Recipes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound shrimp medium, shelled
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 pound okra fresh, or 10 ounces of frozen
1/4 pound dried shrimp
2 cups fresh coconut, grated
1 1/2 cups water, boiling
2 tablespoons Manioc meal (or plain bread crumbs)
1/3 cup olive oil or spanish oil
1/3 cup peanuts, roasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Melt butter in 2-inch skillet over high heat; add shrimp (fresh). Cook, stirring constantly, until opaque and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to platter; reserve.
Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté onion in same skillet, stirring frequently until soft, 5 minutes. Add green pepper, tomatoes, okra and ground shrimp. Stir. 
In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over coconut. Mix with manioc meal (or plain bread crumbs). Stir into tomato mixture. Simmer covered over low heat until okra is tender, about 20 minutes. Add reserved shrimp to tomato mixture; cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are hot. Stir in oil, peanuts and cilantro. Season to taste, serve with lime wedges and rice. Enjoy!
Note: If you can't find dried shrimp, substitute the water for fish/seafood stock

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fiesta Popcorn

Fiesta Popcorn


Summer is a wonderful time. Not only is it GORGEOUS outside (at least right now), but I also get to come home and hang with my fam! My family is SO amazing, and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. Another great thing about family is that you can be yourself with them! In my case, eat as much popcorn as humanly possible. Absolutely no judgement. Actually, I'm pretty sure my mom could show me up in a popcorn eating contest. Popcorn is a staple in my family and I'm having a blast trying out a bunch of different flavor combos! This recipe was originally called "Mexican Popcorn", but I think this title is much more fitting because it is literally like a fiesta in your mouth.


Fiesta Popcorn
Adapted from Fabtastic Eats
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 small lime, juiced and zested
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped (about 12 cups of popped corn)
Directions:

  1. In a small pan over medium-low heat, melt coconut oil.
  2. Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and lime juice.
  3. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and stir occasionally while you're preparing the popcorn.
  4. Once you've poured your popcorn into a large bowl, pour over half of the spice mixture across the top, and toss, toss, toss.
  5. Pour the remaining spice mixture on top as well as the lime zest, and toss, toss again until best coated.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tropical Banana Bread - Vegan

Tropical Banana Bread - Vegan


I've recently been on the hunt for healthy baked goods. I like taking recipes labeled as "healthy" and making them even healthier! But there is a catch. It can't taste healthy. That is my challenge. Delicious baked goods that are good for you but taste like they aren't ;) I modified this recipe that I found online. I'm usually skeptical of vegan baked good recipes, but this one was in no way dry. It stayed moist until I finished it 5 days later even! This is a definite win in my book. Give it a try!


Tropical Banana Bread - Vegan
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

3 medium very ripe bananas
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the sugar, pineapple, oil, and vanilla, and whisk briskly to incorporate.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.  Fold in the coconut and raspberries very gently!
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle with extra sugar if you’d like.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before transferring out of a pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.