8/26/16

Weekend: Another Hot One

This is how I feel about another weekend of 90+ degrees weather.

Dear Seattle, please start getting ready for my September trip: can't wait for fall.


8/19/16

Weekend: Monochromatic Flower Arrangement

If you follow me on instagram, you know I love flowers and buy them for myself often.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I was thinking about random flowers I had in my condo and how I could combine them into an arrangement by color. Ta da: purple beauty!

Have a great weekend!


8/17/16

How To Make Pulled Pork In A Pressure Cooker

I hope you are willing to take advice from a Jewish girl on cooking pork because this quick pulled pork recipe I made in my electric pressure cooker was amazing! Yes, amazing. I don't say this often, but in this case it was true.

Pork loins were on sale and I bought a pack of 2 on a whim. I considered roasting them, but then decided to try making pulled pork. It was beyond easy, juicy, flavorful and required so little clean up!

So far I've used my pressure cooker to make mostly chickpeas and black beans. Pork was something new. I looked at a few recipes on line and then made up my own.

How To Make Pulled Pork In A Pressure Cooker
Ingredients
olive oil
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
1 large onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
14. 5 ounce fire roasted tomatoes {I used Muir Glen brand because that's what I order in bulk on line}
2 bay leaves
1 cup water {after making the recipe, I think it's safe to say you can leave the water out!}

Directions
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Brown the pork tenderloins and onions seasoned with salt and pepper for about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, pork loins and onions to the pressure cooker. Set it for 1 hour on "meat" setting. Go clean, dance, watch a few shows, read a book, paint your nails, whatever you want.
3. Once the pressure cooker reaches the necessary pressure and then "cooks" for an hour, release the steam, carefully open the lid and smell the divine aroma. Using 2 works, carefully pull the pork apart {after taking out the bay leaves}.

A video posted by Olga Berman (@mangotomato) on



I served the pulled pork with sweet potato wedges and lightly pickled cucumber and red onion spiralized salad. This was a really satisfying meal.


For the sweet potatoes, cut large sweet potatoes into 8 wedges, Season with salt and chili powder after drizzling with olive oil and roast for about 40 minutes at 425F.

Here's a little spiralizer video that got over 5K views on instagram!

A video posted by Olga Berman (@mangotomato) on

Tonight I'm planning on making pork ribs in the pressure cooker. Stay tuned and follow on instagram to see how those turn out. Wish me luck!

8/15/16

Meatless Monday: Big Ass Dinner Salad


You guys! There's another heat advisory in DC! I cannot wait for the temperatures to get below 80 degrees: I'll even take 82 ;)

If you don't feel like cooking tonight, make one of my Big Ass Salads! You don't need a recipe. Combine your favorite vegetables, chickpeas for protein, maybe some cheese, and add one fun ingredient, and you are set!

Big Ass Salad
chickpeas
tomatoes
red onion
feta
avocado
marinated artichoke hearts
basil
mixed greens
pickled watermelon
olive oil
salt

All done! This is a perfect dinner for Meatless Monday. Add grilled corn on the cob and a glass of wine and you are set!

8/12/16

Weekend Meditation

Stay cool.
Relax.
Have fun.


8/10/16

Dinner Under The Broiler: Whole30 Sweet Potatoes, Broccolini & Chicken Sausage


When it's too hot too cook, I either don't cook, or make something broiled. For some reason, heating a broiler seems more reasonable than heating an oven. Maybe it's that things cook quicker under the broiler?

I made the above-pictured dinner a week ago and it was really good. The star of the show, so to speak, was the dipping sauce!

Sweet Potatoes, Broccolini & Chicken Sausage With Lemony Tahini Sauce

1. Heat your broiler.
2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2" thick rounds, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and aleppo pepper.
3. Broil the sweet potatoes for 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, coat 1 bunch of broccolini with olive oil and season with salt. Slice a chicken sausage.
5. Turn the sweet potato rounds over and add broccolini and chicken sausage and broil for another 5 minutes.
NOTE: depending on how much you want the broccolini to be cooked, you may want to broil it for longer than 5 minutes, but make sure to take out the sweet potatoes, or they'll get burned.
6. Make the sauce by mixing together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and salt to your liking.

All done!

This also keeps well as leftovers and can be eaten at room temperature!

8/8/16

Meatless Monday: Whole30 Cold Beet Soup To Beat The Hot Weather


Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.

Last week my twin started #whole30 meal plan for the month of August and asked me to join. I did not want to give up beans, half and half for my coffee, all the boozy beverages and all the carbs. Instead, I agreed to do a modified version of the plan and cut down on white refined carbs, added sugar, and limit my alcohol intake to one or two glasses a week. Not bad.

This cold beet soup is perfect for those of you following #whole30, or Meatless Monday or for anyone who loves beets and wants a refreshing dish for hot summer days.

1. Scrub and dice a few beets. Cover the beets with water, season with salt and cook until the beets are tender. Allow the beets and the liquid to cool completely in the refrigerator.
2. In a soup bowl place cubed beets, cooked cubed potatoes, diced red onion, chopped radishes, diced pickles, sliced hard boiled egg and fresh basil.
3. Pour the cooking beet liquid over the vegetables. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper and a bit of liquid from the pickles.
4. Enjoy!

A video posted by Olga Berman (@mangotomato) on



I typically have this soup with an addition of buttermilk, but it was good without it as well. You can add cucumbers and dill and red peppers. This is a great start to dinner or can even be served as breakfast!

8/5/16

Weekend Breakfast For One: Treat Yourself


Whether it's been a slow week or the days have gone by quickly, I'm always looking forward to the weekend. Ideally, I like to sleep in and make something a bit more elaborate for breakfast than a hard boiled egg with chickpeas, salsa and a slice of cheese, which has been my breakfast at work this past week.

Sometimes I go to bed Friday night dreaming of iced coffee, challah toast slathered with mayonnaise and topped with thick slices of tomatoes or avocado toast with sea salt and pistachios.

Occasionally I defrost a croissant from Trader Joe's and impatiently look at the oven clock for 20 minutes while the croissant expands and bakes in the oven.

Last weekend I made something savory and fast: potato and red onion hash with a fried egg and sliced avocado topped with sriracha.

You really don't need a recipe for this of course. The important part is to dice your potatoes into even pieces and start cooking them before adding the onions. Make sure to season your hash with salt and pepper. If you are cooking for one, you can use the same skillet to fry the egg once the potatoes are just a few minutes from being completely done.

Having fresh flowers and iced coffee with a fun straw elevates this simple breakfast for sure!

What are you dreaming of for this weekend? How do you treat yourself?

8/1/16

Two Watermelon & Tomato Salads With Seasons: What To Eat When It's Too Hot Out

Today I present to you not one, but TWO, big ass salads** that are not only gorgeous, delicious and quick to make, but are also satisfying when served as lunch or dinner. Both salads feature watermelon, tomatoes and seafood.

** big ass salads is something I lovingly call my creations that are heavy on produce with a few fun additions that don't leave you hungry for quite some time

Watermelon is in season. Tomatoes are in season. Why not put them together?

The first salad was a special at a Richmond based restaurant called Pasture I visited last week thanks to Sabra. Once our waitress told us about the special of the day, I knew I'd be getting it. The salad included red and yellow watermelon, thinly sliced radishes, edamame, tomatoes, ricotta and perfectly grilled shrimp with a lemony vinaigrette on a bed of arugula. I'll be honest: I felt pretty smug about my choice! I could eat this daily.


After three days of eating out in Richmond, think Southern fried food and plenty of cocktails, I wanted something lighter for Friday dinner. Clearly, I was still thinking about the salad from Pasture because I created something similar using scallops instead of shrimp and feta instead of ricotta.

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Seared Scallops

Here's what you do:

1) Dress salad greens with olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
2) Top the greens with a mixture of watermelon cubes and halved cherry and grape tomatoes.
3) Scatter feta over the salad.
4) Top the salad with perfectly seared scallops {make sure to dry the scallops before searing them in oil and seasoning them with salt and pepper}.
5) Drizzle the entire creation with a bit of olive oil and top with fresh basil.


Happy Monday!
How would YOU combine tomatoes and watermelon?

7/29/16

Happy Weekend

Wishing you all the happy things this weekend with some of the murals from Richmond,VA.