12/9/16

Weekend Vibes: Pantone 2017 Color of the Year


Pantone announced its color of the year for 2017 and I could not be happier. It's called Greenery and it's a bright, happy-looking, and vibrant green. Never mind that the name sounds close to an ex boyfriend's last name, this color has been my favorite for years.

If you've been to my condo, you know my kitchen is a bright apple green color.

This color is also something I love in plants, doors, my wallet and handbag.

I think this is the perfect time to look at some greenery and get excited for the weekend ;)

12/7/16

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Chorizo "Lasagna"



Love leftovers?
Love lasagna?
Love cheese?
Love a casserole?
Well, then you MUST make my Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Chorizo "Lasagna!"

I made this dish a few weeks ago and froze most of it after having a few servings because 1) it's pretty decadent and there's no need for me to eat this 4 times in a row 2) this is a great dish to freeze and have over a few weeks when you need a random lunch or dinner 3) when you come back from a vacation to an empty refrigerator, it's nice to have a full meal in the freezer.

I don't have any hate for noodles, but sometimes it's fun and more nutritious to play around with other ingredients. In this case, I roasted disks of butternut squash and sweet potatoes and used them instead of noodles to layer this "lasagna." You can choose to use all butternut squash or all sweet potatoes, or even add a few layers of lasagna noodles.

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Chorizo "Lasagna"
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
"trunk" part of butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/4" thick slices {use the bottom part of the butternut squash, where the seeds are, for something else}
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4" thick slices
olive oil
salt & pepper
10 ounces Mexican chorizo, browned
24 ounces tomato sauce {I used Terlato Kitchen Pomodoro because the company sent me a few samples: I'm not being paid for mentioning them}
3 cups full fat ricotta
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons adobo sauce {leave out if you don't like spicy food}
2.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup panko crumbs

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Coat sliced butternut squash and sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a single layer for 10 minutes on each side.
2. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a baking dish {I used 8x10 inch rectangular Le Creuset}
3. Add an overlapping layer of roasted vegetables.
4. Add 1/2 of chorizo.
5. Mix together ricotta with an egg, thyme leaves, adobo sauce and salt and pepper. Add half of the mixture on top of chorizo.
6. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella.
7. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce.
8. I'm getting tired of typing this ;)
soooooooooooooooo
layer of roasted vegetables
the rest of chorizo
the rest of ricotta
1 cup of mozzarella
the rest of the sauce
NOW combine the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella with the panko crumbs and top your concoction
9. Lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake your lasagna for 30 minutes. As an option: put it under the broiler for a few extra minutes.
10. Allow the lasagna to "chill out" for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.


Notes
1. Leave out chorizo for a completely vegetarian dish
2. Feel free to use more cheese
3. You may have some roasted vegetables leftover. No worries: eat them for another meal.

12/5/16

Meatless Monday: Ricotta With Radishes And Marcona Almonds


I love avocado toast. But it's rare to find avocados that are perfectly ripe exactly when you want to eat them. Also, I've been trying to cut down on carbs, which makes the "toast" part somewhat problematic.

Still, occasionally I crave something smooth and decadent with a bit of heat (in avocado toast I add sriracha!). That's how this Ricotta With Radishes And Marcona Almonds idea came about. You get the creamy ricotta, which has zero need to ripen, the crunch or radishes, similar to a toasted piece of bread, and a drizzle of chili oil instead of sriracha, with a few extras thrown in.

1) using a fork, vigorously whip ricotta in a bowl
2) spoon ricotta onto a shallow plate or a board, or if you desire a toasted baguette slice
3) drizzle with chili oil
4) top with radishes, Marcona almonds, celery leaves
5) sprinkle with Black Truffle Sea Salt {shout out to San Francisco Salt Co for sending me a few samples}


This makes a great side salad, light lunch or an appetizer.

12/2/16

Cheers to the weekend

TGIF. I'm no longer in Austin, but I have plans for good friends and food this weekend. And perhaps some laundry.

Hope you do too!


11/23/16

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!  I'm away on a mini vacation and relaxation. Follow along on instagram for all the happenings.




11/21/16

Meatless Monday: Vegetable Soup With Leftover Ramen Noodles

Whether you are traveling for Thanksgiving and want to clean up your fridge, or are simply looking for a quick dinner to make tonight, my Vegetable Soup With Leftover Ramen Noodles is perfect. Bonus points: it perfectly fits Meatless Monday movement.

Whenever I go out for pho or ramen, I only ask for half the noodles because the broth is the star of the show in my opinion. When I went out for ramen with a friend to Haikan, they said they could not just give me half the noodles, but instead would bring the noodles in a separate bowl and I could add as much as I wanted to the broth. Strange, but alright. I used half the noodles and took the leftovers home.


This soup is incredibly quick to make, and you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand. The key is to thinly slice your vegetables so they will take a short time to cook.

1) Bring vegetable broth to a simmer.
2) Add thinly sliced vegetables and frozen vegetables {if using}, and bring the soup to a boil.
3) Lower the heat and simmer the soup for about 10 minutes.
4) Add leftover ramen noodles and reheat. 
5) Drizzle with sriracha for an added kick of flavor.

For my soup, I used portobella, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and frozen corn. Look at all the colors!


What are you eating tonight?

11/18/16

Happy Weekend: Weekend To Do List

TGIF! This is the last weekend before Thanksgiving, and the last weekend before my vacation.

This weekend I'm planning to clean house, go on a neighborhood walk, and cook.

Here are some photos to inspire you to do the same.




11/17/16

Andouille Corn Chowder: The Gourmet Kitchen Cookbook



My friend Jennifer published a cookbook. I know famous people y'all ;) Not only did Jennifer create over a hundred recipes in The Gourmet Kitchen, but she also shot all the photos. If you are familiar with her Savory Simple blog or follow her on instagram, you'll easily recognize Jennifer's stunning photos. 

Don't be afraid of the gourmet in the title of the book. The recipes are approachable, incredibly well explained, and can be made by cooks of any level of expertise. If nothing else, buy the book for the gorgeous photo of eggs: tear out a page and frame it for your kitchen gallery wall {yes, I'm planning to do just that!}.

When Jennifer sent me her cookbook, the recipe I wanted to make immediately was Andouille Corn Chowder. Luckily, I bought all the groceries before getting sick and had a large pot of this spicy, creamy and decadent soup to last me through the weekend and a few extra days this week.


A video posted by Olga Berman (@mangotomato) on


Andouille Corn Chowder
Copied with permission

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
YIELD: 5 to 6 servings

Ingredients: 
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 ounces (approximately 3 links) precooked turkey Andouille sausage, diced small
  • 1 1⁄2 cups diced yellow onion (approximately 1 large)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 
  • 1 medium russet potato
  • 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • Kernels from 4 medium ears of corn (approximately 3 cups)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to finish (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions: 
  1. Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan. Brown the sausage over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and a pinch of salt to the Dutch oven. Place a liquid measuring cup filled with water near the stove. Allow the onion to cook for several minutes, stir- ring periodically as it begins to caramelize. A brown glaze will begin forming on the bottom of the pan. If at any point the bottom of the pan looks like it’s about to become too dark and start burning, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved water and scrape the brown bits back into the onion. Once the onion is soft and lightly caramelized, add the flour, tossing it with the onion to coat. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. A brown coating should begin to form on the bottom of the pan, this time from the flour. Once the pan has a brown glaze, add the chicken stock and use a spatula to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan so they combine with the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  4. While the stock is heating, peel and dice the potato (a small or medium dice). Once the stock is boiling, add the milk along with the diced potato. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the corn kernels and simmer for another 8 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sausage, salt, and pepper and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. If using butter to finish, stir just after removing the pan from the heat. Top each serving with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

The soup could not have been easier to make. Although this was my first time making a chowder, it will not be my last. Easy to follow steps, normal ingredients, and a delicious final product make this recipe something I'll make again and again (and I've already told my mom and a few friends about it).

You could definitely make this soup without the sausage, but I loved the spicy kick the andouille sausage gave to the chowder. I think it'd be fun to use butternut squash instead of potatoes for a more winter feel.

Final note: I used frozen corn which was very convenient! Can't wait to heat up the last portion of this chowder for lunch today.

11/7/16

Meatless Monday: Vegan Cream of Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup


Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend. I was a bit indulgent in what I ate: pizza, cider, bagel, and biscotti to name a few of my carb'y decisions.

For dinner last night I decided to eat something slightly lighter and healthier by turning a curry from that week into a soup.

Yes, you can do that!

Let me first tell you about the curry:
sauteed fresh garlic and ginger with curry powder, cumin powder and salt & pepper
roasted sweet potato cubes
parboiled cauliflower florets

I finished the curry with coconut milk and a bit of the liquid from parboiled cauliflower and a hand full of defrosted peas.

I like serving curry with freshly chopped parsley and red onion.

Last night, then, I pureed the leftovers from the curry, reheated it, and served in a plate drizzled with chili oil and topped with chopped red onion and parsley. The color isn't the most appetizing, but the flavors are great. If needed, you can thin out the puree with a bit of water or vegetable broth.

In fact, I had some of the soup leftovers for breakfast today ;)

11/5/16

Happy Weekend!