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!
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.
Let that sink in. Creeeeamy grits with crispy bacon and caramelized corn (cooked in the bacon fat, hello!) topped with cajun shrimp and shallots. Hello, I said. Hello.
Cook Time: 25-ish minutes
Adapted from Wendy Weekend Gourmet
***Can be made dairy-free by omitting cheese (the corn adds hella flavor anyway) and subbing half & half with dairy-free milk of choice (I prefer almond)***
• 3 slices of bacon, chopped
• 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
• 1 cup chicken stock (or veggie for my pescetarian frenz)
• 1 cup half & half
• 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 2 shallots, diced
• 2 green onions, finely sliced on the bias (plus more for garnish, if desired)
• 1 lb shrimp
• 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
• 1/2 tbsp thyme
• 2 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
• Freshly cracked black pepper and salt to taste
• Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon and set aside.
• Drain all but 1 tbsp of the bacon grease and add the corn. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until corn is golden brown and bacon-y. Stir occasionally. Once browned, remove corn and set aside.
• In a medium sauce pot, add half & half and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until cornmeal is incorporated. Add salt, pepper, thyme, corn, and cheddar cheese, and cook until cornmeal has thickened. Honestly, this could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Don't ask me why. I think it has something to do with how hot your milk and stock are. I'm not a scientist, though.
Note: add more milk as needed if grits get too thick. you want them to be nice and creamy.
• While the grits are cooking, add coconut oil to the same skillet that you cooked the bacon in, and heat over med-high heat. Once hot, add shallots and green onions, and cook until shallots are translucent, about 30-45 seconds. Add white wine and cook down for 30 seconds, then add shrimp and cajun seasoning. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
• Cook shrimp until pink, about 3-4 minutes per side, and remove skillet from heat.
• Pour a hearty bowl of grits, sprinkle generously with bacon, and top with a heaping helping of shrimp (make sure to get the shallots and green onions in there). Top with fresh green onion and serve hot.
Man, this pasta is BOMB. It's creamy and hearty with a hint of sweetness from the caramelized onions, and a delicious earthy note from the mushrooms. My secret is that I use dried mushrooms when I make this pasta. Don't be intimidated by dried mushrooms- they can be found in any grocery store, usually right next to the fresh mushrooms or in the canned foods aisle, and just require 1 or 2 more steps than when working with fresh mushrooms. Of course, you can totally use fresh shroomies, but I love using the dehydrated puppies because their flavor is more concentrated, and the rehydrating liquid adds amazing depth to the cream sauce. The results are tremendous! When paired with a nice, full bodied red wine, this dish is the ultimate comfort food. Also pairs well with Netflix and a Saturday night in.
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.
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!
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)
Hi! I'm Shantal.