easy spicy stir fried noodles with egg.

Asian-inspired food is a favorite here at my home. So much variety, it’s quick to put together, and it always. makes. a. ton.

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Hi! Sorry for my unexpected silence; work, school, my birthday, and valentine’s day have all transpired in the past few weeks and it has meant lots of eating out, frozen pizza (<– ugh, I know), and very sporadic meals. I finally (!) went to the supermarket and did a proper meal plan. Before that however, I decided to use up some things hanging out in the fridge so I wouldn’t be tempted to waste food by throwing it out. We are all about reducing food waste in my household!

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I had some celery that I had been throwing into morning smoothies, so I used that with some sweet onion, aromatics like garlic and ginger combined with a slightly sweet but decidedly spicy sauce tossed with some eggs and a fresh thin Chinese noodles: Chinese takeout fake-out that comes together in less than 20 minutes. This is very similar to my refrigerator clean out stir fry  in that you can use whatever you have on hand! Don’t like celery? No problem – sub in carrots or green beans. Want to add some cubed tofu or leftover ground pork or shredded chicken? Go ahead! Add shrimp at the end of cooking the vegetables if you’re feeling the crustaceans that day. Point is, possibilities are endless, and oh-so-delicious.

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spicy stir fried noodles with egg + veggies.
sauce adapted from budget bytes. 

ingredients
1/2 package (about 8 ounces) fresh ramen or thin lo mein noodles (can also be ‘fresh’ noodles from the frozen section; do not use dried, shelf stable noodles)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
2 eggs, whisked
2-3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
cilantro, chopped, for serving (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, to garnish (optional)

sauce:
3 tablespoons chile garlic sauce (sambal olek)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)

directions
Boil noodles according to package directions (typically boil a pot of water, add noodles and turn heat off. Let cook in hot water for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain.

While noodles are cooking, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the whisked eggs and scramble them into the pan, mixing with the vegetables as they cook. Add the sauce and the noddles and mix well to incorporate, turning the heat to medium/medium-low and allow to cook/stir-fry for additional 1-2 minutes (add a splash of water or a splash of soy sauce (about 1 teaspoon max of soy) if the noodles seem dry.

Remove to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro, lime and sesame oil if using.

Serves 4.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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whole wheat blood orange yogurt loaf cake.

Whew, that’s a title, eh? But it’s all true! This is a version of a loaf cake that I’ve loved for years; I should post that original recipe sometime soon! However. It is citrus season, specifically blood orange season. I have only one other blood orange recipe on this site, these margaritas, which you should totally make sometime soon. It is a bit of a travesty however, that I’ve only featured blood oranges once! Time to change that, and this cake is the perfect remedy.

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This cake is perfect for February, especially Valentine’s Day! Blood oranges will naturally turn the batter pink, a light, blush pink which is so pretty. Most importantly however, this cake is incredibly delicious and refreshing. The smell while it cooks is intoxicating. Bonus? I made this with white whole wheat flour, organic plain yogurt and coconut oil, so it counts as a healthy dessert! Or breakfast. 🙂

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Like most cakes, this is better the day after it cooks as that allows for the flavors to come together. If you’d like, whip up a quick glaze with one cup of confectioners sugar, one tablespoon of blood orange juice and a half teaspoon of zest. Whisk to combine and drizzle over the cake. Any way you slice it, this is so heavenly, and a perfect breakfast to wake up to on Valentine’s Day!

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blood orange yogurt loaf cake.
adapted slightly from an old issue of Gourmet magazine. 

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt (2% or full fat)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar (I use unrefined)
1/4 cup unrefined white sugar
juice one blood orange (1/4 cup)
zest of one-two blood oranges
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (other neutrals oils will work)

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, white sugar, blood orange juice and zest and whisk together to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until just combined (a few lumps are ok). Add in the melted coconut oil and whisk together.

In a loaf pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, scrap the batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Set aside and let cool. Remove from pan after letting rest for 10 minutes.

If glazing, let cool completely first.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

savory cabbage pancakes (okonomiyaki).

These savory cabbage pancakes are a fantastic way to use up leftover cabbage!

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These are called okonomiyaki in Japanese, and  they are such a great way to use up that huge head of cabbage you probably have leftover from another recipe. Perhaps this soup? Even when I ask for the clerk to cut the cabbage in half or me, I still seem to always end up with so much leftover. Never fear though, because cabbage lasts FOREVER.

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To make these, we are simply shredding the cabbage, carrot and adding them to a quick batter. To make quick work of this, you can use the grating blade of a food processor like me, or simply grate over a big box hole grater. In a method similar to these fish cakes, I really like to form the patties and let them set up for a few minutes before cooking; it’s paramount to the success of them holding their shape. Carefully flatten the cakes while in the pan, and they’ll achieve a nice, even browning and cook faster, due to them being flatter.

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I enjoyed these simply with some sriracha drizzled over them, but some toasted sesame seeds would be equally divine!

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okonomiyaki.
adapted from budget bytes.

ingredients
2 eggs
1/2 cup tepid water
3/4 cup white rice flour (up to 1 cup)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1.5 tablespoon tamari or GF soy sauce
4-5 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grapeseed oil, divided into 1 tablespoon portions
1 teaspoon sriracha, for topping

directions
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, sesame oil and tamari. Add flour by the 1/4 cup to prevent lumps. Add the cabbage, carrot and scallions and mix well to combine.

Form into 10 patties, about 1/4 cup mix for each patty. Set them on a platter and refrigerate them for 10-20 minutes.

Heat one tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, slightly flattening the patty to ensure an even cook on each side. Using a fish spatula or other thin spatula, flip over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until golden brown on each side.

Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm (alternatively keep warm in a 250 degree oven). Serve drizzled with sriracha.

Makes 10 cakes.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

sesame-tahini chicken noodles.

This dish. Oh my, you guys, this. dish. More specifically, this sauce. Who knew tahini was so amazing in an Asian-inspired dish?? Chrissy Teigen, that’s who. Yes, this recipes comes from her fabulous cookbook, Cravings, which I bought for my food-loving friend MC. She almost didn’t get it because once I flipped through it, I found about 800 recipes that sounded incredible and that I needed to make. Clearly, I’ll be buying a copy for myself!

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I did however, jot down a few of the recipes to make sooner rather than later, and man, if the rest of the recipes in her book are as good as this one…. I’m a goner.

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This recipe puts a delicious, luscious twist on sesame noodles by including tahini in the dressing. It provides a nutty flavor and thick, smooth sauce. I recommend blending the sauce instead of whisking, to completely puree the garlic and help everything emulsify. Make sure to toss the noodles with the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to help prevent them from sticking together. To round out the meal, serve with some steamed broccolini, green beans, or bok choy.  To make gluten free, use rice noodles in place of the pasta.

Most importantly: make this. It’s DELICIOUS!

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sesame-tahini chicken noodles.
slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

ingredients
sea salt
8 ounces chicken breast
8 ounces dried thin spaghetti/linguine
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or peanut oil
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 garlic clove, minced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
steamed chinese broccoli, to serve alongside, optional

directions
Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil and add a pinch of sea salt. Poach chicken for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked thoroughly, remove to a plate and let cool. Save the poaching liquid and bring it back to a boil if needed. Cook the pasta noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse.

While noodles are cooking, add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, peanut/grapeseed oil, tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, honey, cayenne and garlic to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl or jar and set aside.

Transfer noodles to a large bowl and use a clean paper roll to gently pat noodles dry. Toss noodles with remaining sesame oil.

Shred chicken and add to noodles. Add dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

chicken, tomato + cabbage ditalini soup.

Yes, I’m bringing you another soup. What can I say, my blog is a true reflection of what I actually eat, and I’m eating soup. You would be eating it as well, with single digit temperatures and feet of snow on the ground! And you should, regardless of the weather outside! This is flavorful, filling, healthy, and satisfying, thanks to the addition of pasta in the soup.

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I very rarely use pasta noodles in my soups, but I was craving a ‘noodle soup’, and I’m a frequent visitor to reddit’s r/eatcheapandhealthy subreddit, and they had a thread some months back about favorite soup recipes. So many of them sounded delightful, but there was one in particular that caught my eye: a tomato and cabbage broth-based soup that used ground turkey and orzo, but I swapped in a diced chicken breast and ditalini pasta. Any small, short pasta will work in this, and feel free to use ground turkey or chicken in place of the cooked, diced chicken. You’ll be surprised at how far a single chicken breast and a half cup of dry pasta will go in this veggie-packed soup.

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Serve with a slice of toasted, seeded whole grain bread and enjoy this twist on chicken noodle soup. As a very January-esque bonus, a serving of this soup is under 200 calories! So go ahead, have some bread. 🙂

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chicken + vegetable ditalini soup.
inspired by and adapted from a reddit eatcheapandhealthy subreddit! 

ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups savoy or green cabbage, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup ditalini pasta, uncooked
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 dried bay leaf

directions
In a 1.5/2 quart pot, heat water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and the chicken breast, and poach until the chicken breast is cooked through, about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat the tablespoon of oil and add the onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent browning. Add the cabbage, salt, basil and turmeric and stir, allowing the spices to become fragrant and coat the onions, garlic and cabbage. Cook for 2 minutes further until the cabbage begins to soften and the onions are translucent.

Add the stewed tomatoes (undrained), chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken and bring to a boil. Add the ditalini pasta and reduce to a simmer (medium/medium-low), stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot and cook for 15 minutes until the pasta is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and add the pepper. Stir, taste to add more salt if desired.

Serve immediately or allow to continue to cook on very low until ready to serve. Freezes well.

Serves 6.

Indian mulligatawny lentil soup.

Hello from crazy, unpredictable upstate NY! Our weather here has been all over the place, with the past two days reaching in the high 50s, with a forecasted low tomorrow of -1! Never fear, however, because I have just the recipe to fill you up, keep you warm, keep you energized for all that shoveling (boo) with this vegan, gluten free soup! That’s right – SOUP season is back with a vengeance. Hooray!

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Today it’s Indian mulligatawny soup, which I made recently during the cold snap that hit much of the U.S, with temperatures in the negative 20s and 30s with the wind chill. Mulligatawny is a British soup with Indian origins, and literally means ‘pepper water’. This soup is very spicy, but you can scale the pepper down to your taste preferences. We get some of the spiciness from all the warming spices, as well as the fresh ginger. The coconut milk added at the end cools it down some and adds a nice creaminess to the finished soup. This freezes beautifully, so make a double batch for an easy dinner when winter seems never-ending. 🙂

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Indian mulligatawny soup.
inspired by the wanderlust kitchen.

ingredients
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced (can sub 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced, (scale back to 1 tablespoon if you prefer less heat)
1 medium firm apple, peeled and diced
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
cilantro, to garnish
slivered raw almonds, to garnish

directions
Heat a large, heavy soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once shimmering, add the onion and carrot and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once onions and carrots are slightly softened, add the garlic, pepper, ginger and apple and cook, 2-3 minutes longer, until all the vegetables are tender, reducing heat to medium if needed (you want the vegetables/fruit to sweat [cooking with no color]). Add the tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Add the 3 cups of vegetable stock and lentils and stir to combine again.

Increase heat to a rapid simmer and then reduce to medium-low and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened.

Using an immersion blender (or a stand blender), puree about 50-75% of the soup (I pureed about 75%, but next time I would go a little less, I like a chunkier texture). Taste, and add the sea salt and pepper. With the heat on very low, add the coconut milk and stir to combine and let rest for 5-10 minutes for flavors to meld.

Serve, topping with chopped cilantro and silvered almonds. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter course.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

winter wassail cocktail.

Hey you! How were your holidays? Mine were full of family, friends, and food. So much food. It was glorious. I served up this cocktail, which is delightfully festive and perfect for any New Years Day celebrations you may have… even if your plans are akin to mine, aka loafing around in your comfy clothes, watching tv, and maybe, just maybe, doing some light housework. Hey, at least you’ve got a cocktail in hand!

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This cocktail was mentioned to me by a friend who tried a sample of this winter wassail juice from Trader Joes, and while the clerk mentioned that it’s wonderful warmed (yum!), he immediately turned it into a cocktail.

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As mentioned, the main ingredient it is this winter wassail, which is essentially an apple/berry juice with mulled spices, so any juice combined with classic mulling spices would be perfect! Classic mulling spices are cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, orange peel, etc. You can even make your own wassail juice by picking up a mulling spices jar at your market and combining it with an apple or cran-apple juice! So many options! Be sure to use real maple syrup here, garnish with a cinnamon stick, or even a cinnamon sugar rim and a burnt orange peel if you’re feeling extra fancy. Cheers to 2018!

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winter wassail cocktail.

ingredients
1.5 ounces brandy or cognac
3/4 ounces pure maple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
winter wassail juice
ice
cinnamon stick, to garnish
white sugar/ground cinnamon (optional, to rim the glass)
lemon or orange peel (optional, to garnish)
rocks glass

directions
Pour ice into rocks glass. Add brandy, maple syrup, lemon juice and top with winter wassail juice. Stir virtuously to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Makes one cocktail. 

sausage, egg + biscuit breakfast casserole.

Although I prefer to make everything from scratch, sometimes that is just not realistic. Especially during the busy holiday season! This easy breakfast casserole made the perfect dish to make for my dad and stepmom; the latter of whom is recovering from a head injury, and needs comforting foods that will appeal to her limited appetite. Using pre-shredded cheese and refrigerated biscuit dough makes this a snap to pull together.

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This recipe is incredibly basic, but you can jazz it up in a variety of ways: saute some onion, bell peppers and/or mushrooms with the sausage to add some veggies. Switch up the cheeses, swap bacon or ham for the sausage, or add in some seasoned salt for a flavor boost. I kept it simple: but that’s the beauty of classic recipes such as this. As a bonus, this keeps well for leftovers, and is great at room temperatue for easy entertaining. If you’re having guests for the holidays, I suggest adding this to your menu. You can even prep it all the night before, which will make breakfast a breeze!

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sausage, egg + biscuit breakfast casserole.

ingredients
1 16 ounce can refrigerated biscuit dough
16 ounces ground breakfast sausage (poultry or pork)
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 eggs
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1/2 cup cheddar or jack cheese, one tablespoon reserved
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausge. Cook for 5-7 minutes, breaking it up, until it’s cooked through. Drain off all excess oil and set aside.

Open the can of biscuit dough and cut each biscuit round into six pieces. Place them evenly in the baking dish. Top with the cooled sausage and sprinkle on the 1/2 cup cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the biscuit pieces/sausage/cheese and top with the remaining tablespoon of cheese.

Bake for 25-30 mintues or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Serves 8. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

smoky maple bacon mashed sweet potatoes.

When faced with two leftover sweet potatoes and a smattering of cooked, chopped up bacon pieces, what’s a girl to do? Why, make an impromptu dish of mashed sweet potatoes, of course!

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In truth, I had an entirely different recipe planned for you today, but despite liking it, I still felt (and feel!) that something was missing, and it needs a bit more tweaking before it makes its way to you. Instead? I turned some leftover ingredients into a decadent yet relatively healthy (yes!) side dish.

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Now I know sweet potatoes are considered a staple on Thanksgiving holiday tables, but why regulate them to just that holiday? I love love love sweet potatoes, especially when they are paired with more savory ingredients – like the bacon, chipotle pepper in adobo here. Chipotles in adobo comes in little cans that you can typically find in the International foods aisle in your supermarket, but if you can’t find them or don’t want to purchase a whole can for this recipe, you can substitute one teaspoon of chipotle chili powder. However — the chipotles in adobo freeze really well, so I encourage you to buy the can! The leftover chiles are amazing in chili. Enjoy these – they are simple to make yet fancy enough for your holiday table!

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smoky maple bacon mashed sweet potatoes.
adapted from cooking light. 

ingredients
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 3-4)
1 tablespoon grassfed butter
3 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo, minced
sea salt and black pepper

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and roast 60 minutes or until a fork would pierce the whole potato easily. Once cooked and cool enough to handle, remove the skins and place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl, mashing slightly.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towel and roughly chop.

Add the bacon, maple syrup, chopped chipotle chili, sea salt and pepper and mix well. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2-4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

hoisin chicken stir fry with sweet potatoes + cabbage.

During these busy days of December, I rely on recipes that are super quick to whip up so I can save myself from an unhealthy meal on-the-go while running seemingly endless errands for the upcoming holidays. This hoisin-spiced stir fry definitely fits the bill of fast, simple, healthy, and oh-so-delicious!

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I normally dislike when hoisin sauce (essentially a Chinese barbecue sauce) is a major ingredient: I find that on its own, the flavor is overpowering for me. However, mixed with the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, a pinch of red pepper flake and the vegetables: the finished dish was aromatic, complex and balanced.

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The longest part of this dish is the cooking of the sweet potatoes: covering the skillet partially and slicing them relatively thin is essential to keeping the cook time under 12 minutes. Adding a splash of water helps prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan and avoiding too much browning. Once that’s done, the rest of the cooking comes together in no time flat.

I think you’ll love this creative take on a stir-fry as much as I did! It’s wonderful for using up leftover produce – as a bonus, cabbage, celery and sweet potatoes last forever in the fridge and pantry, so this is easy to whip up any time!

hoisin spiced chicken stir-fry with sweet potatoes.

ingredients
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped into half moons
8 ounces skinless boneless chicken, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/4 medium head)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

directions
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and onion; stir-fry until yams are just tender, adjusting heat if browning too quickly and adding water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from the pan, set aside on a plate.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 3-4 minutes. Add cabbage; stirfry until chicken is cooked through and cabbage is wilted but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro.

Transfer stir-fry to serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*