Lazy Veggie Ramen
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.
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I feel like an angel when I eat this breakfast. It's so nutritious, filling, and satisfying that it keeps you feeling revitalized and full for hours. It's an awesome post-workout breakfast, but also a great hangover helper. The cauliflower does a good job of satisfying your meat and potato needs- it lends that hearty, carby quality I personally crave in a breakfast. Please note that the eggs are crucial here- the thick yolk gives the veggies a creamy and decadent texture. This breakfast is so so good... I shouldn't have to cook for free.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup onions, sliced in half inch pieces
• 3/4 cup red or green pepper, chopped in half-inch pieces
• 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced vertically
• 2 cups hearty greens (I used kale and collard greens), chopped
• 2 cups cauliflower florets, in bite sized pieces
• 2 tbsp green onion, chopped
• 2 tsp rice vinegar
• 1.5 tsp garlic powder
• Crushed red pepper flakes
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Cracked black pepper (optional)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
For the veggies:
• In a nonstick skillet or wok, heat half tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add onions and cook until they start to color (about 2 minutes), then season with salt and pepper and add cauliflower. Season with half tsp garlic powder and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until cauliflower are tender. Add more olive oil as needed.
• Reduce heat to medium. Add greens and season with salt, pepper, and half tsp garlic powder. Continue cooking until greens have wilted and released most of their moisture (about 3 minutes). Season with 1 tsp rice vinegar and cook another minute.
• Add peppers, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 3-4 minutes, or until peppers are tender, then add tomatoes. Season with remaining garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tomatoes are tender. Like 2-3 min.
• Add half of the green onions, stir, and turn off heat.
For the poached eggs (this is my fool proof method):
• While veggies are cooking, fill a small sauce pot with 2 inches of water. Pour egg into a small saucer and keep cold.
• Bring the water to a gentle simmer over med-high heat (small bubbles should be rising to the top of the water, without actually causing the surface of the water to "roll" ya feel me?)
• Once simmering, add 1 tsp each of rice vinegar (or white, if you don't have rice) and salt. With a spoon, quickly stir the water to create a cyclone. Pour the egg into the center of the cyclone, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and cook for 4 minutes and 45 seconds. Do not uncover until the time is up. Just trust the process, and me.
Note: 4 min and 45 seconds will yield a thick and creamy, but runny yolk. less time will make a looser yolk, more time will make a firmer yolk. 'tis science.
Another note: the vinegar helps to keep the egg whites together. vinegar is not necessarily crucial, but it is helpful. I use rice vinegar because it vaguely seasons the water. White vinegar is flavor neutral.
• After desired cooking time, remove egg with a slotted spoon and place on a napkin to dry
Pour veggies into a bowl, top with poached eggs, season with freshly cracked black pepper, remaining green peppers, and crushed red pepper flakes to desired heat preference.
Serve hot and enjoy!
This is a simple, elegant looking app that's easy to whip up. I love a good cheese plate, but I thought this would be a fun and unique alternative. I've made two versions here- goat cheese, honey, and walnuts (creamy, crunchy, sweet) and herbed goat cheese, chives, and lemon zest (salty, savory, herbaceous). I'll never say "herbaceous" again, I promise. Anyway, I think the...herby... one would be GREAT with pomegranate, but allegedly they were out of season when I made these, womp womp.
You're just going to add portions to your liking, so I don't have a recipe with exact measurements for you, but here what you'll need.
• 2 endives (will yield about 18-ish useable leaves)
• 1-2 tbsp honey
• A couple tbsp of chopped walnuts
• About 3 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
• About a tsp of garlic powder
• About 1/4 tsp of dried oregano
• About 3 fresh chives, chopped
• Tbsp of fresh lemon juice, plus half tbsp of lemon zest
• Sea salt, to taste
• Cracked black pepper, to taste
• 3-4 oz goat cheese
Optional toppings: balsamic glaze (highly recommended!), pomegranate
In a small bowl, mix half of your goat cheese with the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Spread on half of your endive leaves, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with lemon zest. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.
Take the remaining goat cheese and spread on the second half of your endive leaves. Top with salt, walnuts, and a drizzle of honey
That's it! Keep cold until ready to serve.
Leftover Veggie Kabob Pasta
Hello from Atlanta!! As most of you know, Sterling and I moved from Chicago to ATL last week. He received a promotion (woop woop!) about 6 weeks ago, and it brought us here. I'll be doing a little blog post about the move in the next coming days... right now let's focus on the food.
Memorial Day was this past Monday. Sterling grilled up some chicken, burgers, and hot dogs on the balcony, and I made mac & cheese, creamed corn, baked beans, and veggie kabobs. We had a few new friends over, drank a few drinks, ate a few plates of food, and lounged by the pool. Summer is approaching (allegedly it's not actually summer yet, although this Atlanta HEAT is telling me otherwise), which means cookout season is upon us. One of my new goals is to be more conservative with the amount of food I waste, striving to make meals solely with what I've got in the fridge and pantry. Back in Chicago, we were around the block from a grocery store, so I literally stopped in every day after work to pick up ingredients for dinner. It was expensive and wasteful. So, in the light of conserving food and embracing cook out season, I came up with this quick and easy pasta idea that uses leftover veggie kabobs.
This may come as a surprise to you, but veggie kabobs are usually the last to go at a cookout, so there are usually plenty of skewered leftovers. Add 'em to some whole grain pasta with sautéed garlic and tomatoes, and you're good to go. It aint fancy, but it's delicious, quick, and practical.
Cook time: 15 minutes
• 8 oz whole grain pasta
• 2 veggie kabobs, removed from skewers (should yield about 1 heaping cup of veggies)
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
• Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
• Quarter tsp garlic powder
• Half tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• 1-2 tbsp olive oil
Optional toppings: chopped italian flat leaf parsley, basil, sun dried tomatoes
• Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside
• Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet and add leftover veggies until heated through
• Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
• Add tomatoes, stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until tomatoes have softened without becoming mushy
• Stir in pasta, season with salt/pepper and garlic powder, and drizzle with remaining olive oil, as desired
• Finish with optional toppings of choice and serve hot!
When I was in high school, I went to the same restaurant for lunch every thursday. I always sat in the same booth, and I always ordered the Penne Puttanesca. I love the tangy tomato sauce with the salty capers and the briny olives. I would smother my pasta in parmesan cheese and finish the leftover sauce by spreading it onto half a loaf of french bread. Now, while I will not sit here and pretend that I don't do the exact same thing when I go out to eat now, I will say that I have lost my teenage metabolism and do strive to lighten it up now and then. This puttanesca that I present to you tastes almost exactly like that dish I remember so fondly- only it is carb and anchovy free. Which means that now I can eat that half loaf of french bread without thinking twice.
I know I previously said that I don't consider zucchini noodles to be an adequate substitute for pasta, but I was wrong. I was so wrong. Today I've learned that it's all about the sauce, man. I've made a pretty vast range of sauces to cover my zucchini noodles in the past- alfredo, creamy red pepper, lentil marinara, pesto- and while it all tasted good, it just never felt as satisfying to me as a big ass bowl of pasta. I do not know what the difference is here today, but I have half of this puttanesca left over and I am so satisfied that I am actually leaving it for my lunch tomorrow. It's salty, briny, tangy, spicy, texturally pleasing, smells amazing. I dunno. It just works. It is really damn good, and I am so excited to share it with you.
Serves: technically makes 4 servings, but it's zucchini which means it's less filling than real pasta so let's call it 2 servings, shall we?
Cook time: 10 minutes (no joke)
• 3 zucchini, julienned. (as mentioned in my last zucchini noodle post, you'll only want to use the firmer parts. stop peeling once you've reached the seedy, softer center)
• 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (I use the "fire roasted" flavor)
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• Half a large sweet or white onion, diced
• 1 1/2 heaping tsp capers
• 2 heaping tbsp kalamata olives, sliced thinly
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings: red pepper flakes, fresh basil, shaved parmesan
• In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
• Add garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
• Add diced tomatoes, and heat for a minute, stirring occasionally. Then add olives and capers, and stir to combine. Let simmer for 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
• Next, add the zucchini in bunches. It'll seem like too much zucchini at first, but as it cooks, the zucchini will release its' moisture and get smaller. Keep adding and stirring continuously until all of the zucchini has been incorporated. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until all of the zucchini is coated in the sauce and heated through. It should still have a bite to it.
• Remove from heat, top with desired optional toppings of choice, serve hot, and enjoy :)
My girlfriend Julian came over for dinner last night. We drank red wine, listened to jazz, watched a movie, and had a feast. On the menu was this amazing grilled peach flatbread with whipped honey ricotta and basil. I'll let you take a minute to reflect. This honestly might be one of my favorite things I've ever made.
Every single component is wildly delicious. The naan is perfectly crisp with a chewy center. The peaches are sweet and tart with a beautiful char. The ricotta...my god, the ricotta. It's light, and creamy, with just a hint of sweetness. I had some leftover and straight up ate it by the spoonful as I assembled the flatbread. I actually have a little bit more in the fridge that I'm about to spread onto some toast. And finally, the basil helps to balance out the richness, and adds beautiful color, making this the most scrumptious little bite of heaven.
• Flatbread of choice (I used this naan flatbread)
• 1 cup ricotta
• 1.5 tbsp honey
• 2 small peaches, sliced very thinly (I used 1 yellow and 1 white fleshed)
• 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
• Pinch of salt
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees and fit a baking rack over a baking sheet
Note: If you don't have a baking rack, just lay your flatbreads directly onto a lined baking sheet. Using a baking rack will allow the heat to circulate under the flatbread, with helps cook everything more evenly, but this will still turn out great without one)
• Heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with non-stick olive oil spray. Once hot, arrange peaches in one layer and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until each side has deep grill marks and the slices have softened, without becoming mushy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
**before flipping the peaches, spray the uncooked tops with the olive oil spray, and sprinkle with salt, then flip and cook the other side
• In a blender or food processor, blend the honey and ricotta until the ricotta is light and silky. This should just take a few pulses
• Spread the ricotta mixture over the flatbread, stopping about half an inch from the edge, and top with the grilled peaches. Place onto baking rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crispy. Remove and top with chopped basil. Add back to the oven for about 30 seconds, to bake the basil into the peaches and ricotta. Quickly remove so that the basil doesn't burn.
• Serve hot and enjoy!
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!
Hi! I'm Shantal.