I don't know if this will only resonate with my ~women out there~ but do you ever have those sore, achey, tired, and lazy days that just call for soup? Like only soup. Those days that are so long and trying that the only thing you can fathom doing after work is sitting on the couch and eating a big, warm, tasty, comforting, bowl of soup? Likewise, are you that kind of person who wants to indulge in emotional comfort eating but also get your greens in? If so, continue reading.
This ramen recipe is simple, straight forward, quick, and totally satisfying. It's also as customizable as you want it to be, which is my favorite kind of recipe. The final product is tasty, warming, and nourishing, and just as impressive as the restaurant version, even without the artistic presentation of the vegetables as it's normally served. That's why I call this "lazy" ramen- you're gonna kick it old school and just dump your soup into a bowl and enjoy.
Click the link below to continue reading!
I love weekend dinners at home. I like to use the extra hours to make some of Sterling's favorite meals that take a little longer to make than week nights allow. Today we started our day with some errands and a hike up Stone Mountain, and then spent the afternoon relaxing and watching our favorite show, Power, while I made these veggie steak roll ups with a sweet soy mirin glaze. It was a great ending to a great weekend.
Cook Time: 15 min, plus 2 hours to marinate (or at least 20 min)
For the veggie steak roll ups
• 3/4 lb thinly sliced sirloin
• 1 large red pepper, sliced into matchsticks
• 1 large orange or yellow pepper, sliced into matchsticks
• 1 large carrot, julienned
• 4-5 green onions, thinly sliced in long strips
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 tsp coconut sugar or light brown sugar
Tools: julienne peeler (optional, may manually cut carrots into matchsticks but it's annoying and a lot of my recipes require a julienne peeler so just get one they're inexpensive), toothpicks.
For the Soy Mirin Glaze
• 3 garlic, diced
• 2 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias, plus more for garnish
• 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup mirin plus 1 tsp for later
• 3 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp ginger (freshly grated or tubed)
• 1/2 tsp each white and black sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
• 1-2 tsp ground red pepper powder (optional, for heat)
• Pat steak dry and place in large, shallow dish. Combine all glaze ingredients and pour over steak, covering completely. Cover dish and refrigerate for 1.5 hours, then remove and bring to room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
• Heat half a tsp of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add peppers and cook another minute. Add green onions, then season with salt and pepper, 1 tsp of mirin, and coconut/brown sugar. Remove veggies from skillet and just slightly increase heat.
• Remove steaks from dish and arrange on a cutting board- RESERVE the sauce for later. Lay a small bundle of veggies at most narrow end of steak, then roll tightly tightly inward toward wider end. Secure with toothpicks. Starting seam side down, cook steaks for 2-3 min on each side, or until desired doneness. Remove steaks from skillet and reduce heat to medium.
• Add sauce to skillet and cook until liquid starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir frequently until thickened. Remove from heat.
• Remove toothpicks from steak roll ups, then spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and more green onion.
• Serve hot and enjoy!
Alia is my mom and this is her recipe :)
My mom's been making this recipe in chicken form since I was born. It was always the number 1 most requested dish for parties and BBQs, and my personal request for all holiday meals. Imagine crispy fried slices of chicken breast smothered in sticky, sweet, spicy, garlicky sauce. It was like crack. She'd make double batches so that I could have leftovers the next day, and I would always eat the leftover chicken cold- directly out of the tupperware because it was so good I wasn't willing to wait the 1.5 minutes it would take to heat up in the microwave.
Well, in the summer of 2012, Sterling came to visit me at my parent's house in Chicago. My mom, the ultimate number 1 most gracious host and human on earth, knew that Sterling's favorite food was shrimp (in almost any form), and so, for the first time in 20 something years, made a shrimp version of her famous chicken. The game was changed forever.
I've gone back and forth on whether I wanted to share this recipe. Part of me is like- this is my claim to fame... I get to say shit like "my mom makes the best shrimp you've ever had" and be right. Do I really want to give up those bragging rights? But, after much deliberation, I decided it's my responsibility as a good friend to share this with you. And ultimately, none of us can really make this as good as my mom, so might as well spread the love.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Adapted from my mom's recipe
• 1 lb frozen raw shrimp (shelled, deveined, and thawed)
• 1.5 cups cornstarch, plus 1 half tbsp
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup sesame oil
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3 tbsp light brown sugar or coconut sugar
• 1 heaping tsp green onion, plus more for garnish, thinly sliced on the bias
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
• 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1.5 tbsp garlic, minced
• 1.5-2 cups vegetable oil, or enough to fill a pot 2-3 inches deep
• 1 tsp coconut oil or sesame oil
• Salt and pepper
• In a large pot or wok, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
• While oil is eating, take cleaned shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add beaten eggs to a large mixing bowl and season with pepper. Add cornstarch to a separate large mixing bowl. Toss shrimp first in eggs, then in cornstarch until thoroughly coat. Add more cornstarch if necessary, until shrimps are all evenly and thickly coated.
• Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, slowly add shrimp 1 by 1, and let fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook no more than 10 shrimp at a time (overcrowding will reduce the temperature of the oil).
• Once shrimp are golden brown and crispy, remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a lined plate. Repeat until all shrimp are fried.
• Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, green onion, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.
• While shrimp is cooking, heat tsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and golden. Add sauce mixture and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.
• Combine half tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water. Stir into the sauce and let simmer until sauce thickens. Stir frequently, careful not to let burn. Reduce heat as necessary.
Note: sauce is done when you can run a wooden spoon down the pan and draw a quick line through the liquid
• Turn off heat, add shrimp, and stir to coat. Garnish with more sesame seeds and green onions and serve immediately.
Goes GREAT with garlicky mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts... just sayin.
Warm and comforting, hearty and healthy. Mostly savory, but a little sweet and a little spicy. It's everything you need, really. I made this as an extension of Cookie & Kate's recipe, and it was delicious. I added some heat, a few extra veggies (I post way too much broccoli on this blog), and served it on top of a big bed of black rice- which allegedly contains more antioxidants than blueberries, fun fact. Another fun fact, I cannot make rice to save my life. It's always either over cooked or under cooked. My mom actually bought me a rice cooker for Christmas- it's that bad. Sterling can attest. So, if you want to learn how to make rice, please google it, because I really just cannot help you, I'm sorry. The rice you see up top turned out pretty good, but that was a fluke and I don't trust myself to tell you how to replicate the process. So sorry, love you forever.
Anyway! If you want to make this with meat, just add chicken to the pan before adding the veggies, cook until outsides are browned, but not cook through. Then proceed according to the rest of the instructions and let simmer until chicken is cooked through. Or, if you don't eat meat, and want to share this meal with someone who does, just make the chicken in a separate pan by sautéing bite sized pieces in some garlic and curry paste. Top the veggie curry with the chicken and your dinner guest will be good to go!
Ingredients (makes approx. 4 servings):
• 1 cup rice of choice
• 1-2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
• 1 small white onion (diced)
• 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or the tubed kind!)
• 1 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1 red bell pepper (sliced in thin strips)
• 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced in thin strips)
• 3 carrots (peeled and sliced diagonally into 1/4" rounds)
• 1 cup broccoli florets
• 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
• 1 cup lacinato kale (cut into thin strips, ribs removed)
• 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste (I strongly recommend using this brand)
• 14 oz full-fat coconut milk (there are several brands of coconut milk with lots of additives. the only ingredients you should see are: coconut, water, and guar gum)
• 2 tsp coconut sugar
• 2 1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
• 1/2 tbsp ground red pepper
• Basil for garnish (strongly suggested! didn't have on hand when I created this post)
• Cook rice according to instructions from someone else (see note in first paragraph of post)
• Heat a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tbsp of oil, onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir continuously.
• Add 2 tbsp of the curry paste and stir to combine. Cook for about 30 seconds, allowing the paste to soften up and become fragrant.
Note: if cooking with chicken, you would add the meat at this stage and cook until browned, but not cooked through, then add veggies and follow remaining steps, allowing broth to simmer until chicken is fully cooked
• Add broccoli and cauliflower and cook until veggies are tender and broccoli is bright green. The broccoli should still have a slight crisp to it. You may need an additional tbsp of oil.
• Add peppers and carrots, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
• Add remaining tbsp of curry and stir to combine
• Add coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, kale, and coconut sugar, and stir to combine. Adjust heat to bring liquid to a low simmer, and cook for 5-10 minutes, allowing all of the flavors to come together.
Note: if you are using canned coconut milk, there will most likely be a thick layer of coconut cream on top. Just blend this into the coconut water at the bottom of the can before adding to the curry.
• Remove from heat and add rice vinegar, soy sauce, ground red pepper, and a pinch more salt (if needed)
Off the bat I will let you know that you'll need a julienne peeler for this recipe. They're only like 10 bucks for a pack that comes with both a julienne peeler and a regular peeler, so it's well worth the investment, IMHO.
So, zucchini noodles. I'm gonna keep it real with you and admit that I do not consider zucchini noodles, or zoodles, to be a great substitute for pasta. At the end of the day, it's a vegetable, and it will never have the carb-y caress of a real noodle. But, as a salad, I am fond of zoodles. My favorite salads are crunchy and colorful, and using zucchini and carrot noodles is a great way to achieve this.
I used a nut butter based dressing for this salad. It's creamy and zesty, and pairs perfectly with the sweet & spicy tofu. The tofu is first seared on a grill pan for about 5-7 minutes, to give it those nice grill marks, and then cooked under the broiler for about 16-20 minutes. The long cook time helps to remove the excess moisture in the tofu, leaving with is a crispy, meaty lil nugget that makes this salad a filling, satisfying, and delicious meal. For real- I was sad when it was over.
• 2 1/2 zucchinis, julienned
Note: you only want to use the firmer, meatier part of the zucchini. 3 peels per side will get you right to the softer, mushier core, which is the part you don't want to use. I know, I know. It feels very wasteful. You can save the core for homemade veggie broth, or add it to a smoothie (it has no taste).
• 3 large carrots, julienned
• 1/3 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 tbsp green onion, thinly chopped
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
• 1/2 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp chili paste
• 1/2 tsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp rice vinegar
Optional toppings: black and white sesame seeds, chopped peanuts
• 6 oz extra firm tofu
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 tsp ginger (freshly ground or tubed.. both are fine)
• 1/2 tsp sriracha (or more, depending on desired level of spiciness)
• 1/4 tsp lime juice
• Pinch of salt
• Cutting across the shorter length of your block of tofu, cut 3/4" thick slices. Place slices on a napkin or paper towel, and pat dry.
• Add all tofu marinade ingredients to a bowl, and stir to combine. Add tofu, flipping to cover both sides, and let marinate for 15 minutes. Make sure to save the marinade for later.
• Add carrots, zucchini, and cabbage to a bowl. Mix your nut butter, honey, sesame oil, chili paste, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a separate bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
• Heat grill pan over high heat and spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Once hot, add tofu and let sear for 3-4 minutes per side. Shift the tofu after a couple of minutes on each side, to keep it from sticking to the pan
Note: if you don't have a grill pan, you can sear the tofu in a regular skillet
• Adjust your oven rack to 8 inches below your broiler. If your oven gives you the option of low or high (mine does not, so no worries), keep it on low. Mine's super hot but it worked out just fine.
• Place tofu on a greased baking rack and place the rack on a lined baking sheet to catch the drippings. Cook the tofu under the broiler for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until the tofu is golden brown, and the edges are crispy. Assuming your uncooked tofu was a 10 on a scale of 1 to tender, the center of your tofu should now be at a 6. Be sure to rotate your baking rack every few minutes, to get an even cook.
• Remove the tofu from the oven and brush the top with the remaining marinade. Place back under the broiler and cook for another minute or 2, until the glaze has caramelized.
• Remove, let cool, and cut into bit sized pieces. Dress your salad, top with your tofu, and enjoy!
Stir fry is one of my favorite week night dinners to make. It's quick, easy, healthy, and a great way to use up almost any leftover veggies you've got in the fridge. I'd say the two keys to making a good stir fry are 1) keeping just the right amount of crispiness in the veggies, and 2) the SAUCE. After experimenting with dozens of stir fry sauces, I can confidently say that THIS one is perfection. It's creamy, savory, and bright, with a hint of spice. After adding it to the noodles, I can usually be found scraping the remaining sauce out of the bowl and spooning it into my mouth. No judgment.
This stir fry also goes well with shrimp (if you're into that, which I am not, but Sterling is), so I'll give you the ingredients for the quick marinade I like to make for the shrimp, and how to prepare them.
This is my ultimate number one favorite stir fry that I've made to date. It's so colorful, vibrant, quick to make, and deeelicious. I think it'll be your favorite too.
Ingredients (makes approx. 4 servings):
• 10 oz stir fry rice noodles (I like this kind from Thai Kitchen)
• 1-2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
• 1 heaping cup broccoli (cut into florets)
• 1/2 cup cauliflower (cut into florets)
• 1/2 cup red cabbage (sliced)
• Half large red bell pepper (sliced)
• Half large green or yellow bell pepper (sliced)
• 3 large carrots (julienned and cut into 1-2" slices)
• 1/3 cup frozen edamame (thawed)
• 2 cloves garlic (diced)
Sauce (increase by 1 unit per ingredient if you like it mo' saucy)
• 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
• 4 and 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp sriracha (or more, to taste)
• Half tbsp fresh ground ginger (or the tubed kind)
I use the large frozen ones, shelled and deveined. Since I'm only ever making the shrimp for Sterling, I typically make like half a pound, give or take, so please adjust your marinade ingredients accordingly. In any case, you don't need a lot of marinade, just enough to mostly cover the shrimp.
• 2-3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp sriracha
Toasted sesame seeds
Sliced green onions or scallions
• Cook rice noodles according to package instructions, and prepare sauce (by whisking all sauce ingredients together) for later.
• In a large skillet with deep sides (I use a small wok... That I own.....), heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add broccoli, cauliflower, and a dash of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until both are tender and broccoli is bright green. Add 1 more tbsp of oil if needed. The broccoli should be totally cooked through and tender, but should still have a slight crisp.
Note: my favorite trick to cooking fibrous veggies, such as broccoli, without extra oil is to add a tbsp of water to the skillet. My mom taught me this.. Hi Mom! Stir continuously until water evaporates. Keep doing this until you've reached desired tenderness. Add an additional pinch of salt as well.
• Once broccoli and cauliflower are tender, add cabbage, peppers, and carrots. Cook about 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally.
• Add edamame and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant
• Pour half of your sauce over the veggies, then add the rice noodles and top with remaining sauce. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Garnish with sesame seeds and onions
• Add marinade ingredients to a bowl, add shrimp, and toss. Let marinate for 10 minutes
• Spray a large skillet or grill pan with non-stick cooking spray, and heat over medium high heat
• Once hot, add shrimp and cook each side for 2-3 minutes, or until opaque and slightly pink
Top your noodles with your shrimp (or dont!) and enjoy!!
Hi! I'm Shantal.