7/17/17

Meatless Monday: Avocado Toast Meets Elote


Love avocado toast? Want to step up your breakfast? I have you covered with my Avocado Toast Meets Elote idea. This works great for a Meatless Monday meal!

This past Saturday night I was sitting on the couch, watching Moana and contemplating what to make for breakfast on Sunday. 

I'm almost always thinking about food. 

I mentally tried to picture the contents of my refrigerator and a few of the items stood out: avocado, fresh corn, and queso fresco. That's when I thought it'd be fun to combine a few of my favorite things: avocado toast and elote

Avocado Toast Meets Elote
Ingredients
sourdough bread, sliced and toasted
avocado, mashed
corn kernels sauteed in olive oil seasoned lightly with salt
sriracha
queso fresco, crumbled
cilantro, chopped
tomato, sliced & salted
iced coffee 
half & half

Directions
1. Top toasted slices of bread with mashed avocado, sauteed corn, sriracha, queso fresco and cilantro.
2. Serve with slices of tomatoes and iced coffee.

This was an awesome breakfast. Slightly messy. Satisfying. Pretty. 

What's your latest avocado toast creation?

7/13/17

Best TV Watching Food: Picnic Dinner

If you love watching TV and eating food as much as I do, I have a strong feeling you'll want to lick your computer screen or your phone screen when you'll see the photos below.

My friends Elizabeth and Sarah have been coming over to my condo on Mondays for The Bachelorette (no shame!) night, and other than catching up and watching the show together, the other highlight of our evenings is the food!!

Here are the photos from our last get together. Keep it simple: finger foods, something you can graze on, and a fun drink are the key ingredients to a fun picnic dinner.

Quick Sangria
Rose
Sliced Strawberries
Sliced Peaches
Leftovers? Make popsicles!

Cheese Plate
Triple Cream Brie
Blue
Cheddar
Baguette
Grapes
Salami


Mostly Vegetarian
Hummus
Cucumbers
Carrots
Olives
Ranch dressing
Dolmas
Salami


Not pictured: cherries for dessert.

What is your favorite TV food?

7/10/17

Meatless Monday: What To Do With Pea Shoots? Vegan Green Salad.


Last week I received a bunch of gorgeous green pea shoots in my latest order from Washington's Green Grocer. They were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I decided to create one of my big ass salads with everything green! You can of course add other vegetables, but I think it's fun to make a monochromatic meal from time to time. This salad is healthy, perfect for Meatless Monday, vegan and most importantly light and summery and tastes great.


The above photo is taken in front of my condo door (inside) which I've recently painted Laser Lemon. I'm in ♥ with how it turned out.

Vegan Green Salad

Ingredients
Boston lettuce
cucumbers, sliced thinly
avocado, sliced
pea shoots
basil
olive oil
salt 

Directions
Arrange the first five ingredients on a large platter, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.


For a non-vegan twist, drizzle the salad with Ranch dressing! :)


I've also used these pea shoots on top of a turkey, cheese, and avocado sandwich, and on top of an egg salad sandwich. Check out my instagram

7/3/17

What To Do With Leftover Sangria: Boozy Popsicles

Do you have a pitcher of leftover sangria? I know it's a relatively crazy question, but you all know I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking.

Unlike white wine that can last a while in the refrigerator, sangria will probably go bad after a day because it has fresh fruit in it. So.....blend it and freeze it in popsicle molds!

My latest sangria was made with rose, strawberries and peaches.

Cheers!


That's a bit of red, white and blue for your 4th of July!

6/26/17

Strawberry & Almond Bread: Fruit By Nancie McDermott


Did you pick up fresh strawberries and want to turn them into a sweet treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack? Then you will definitely want to make Nancie McDermott's Fresh Strawberry Bread.

I received a copy of Nancie's latest cookbook called Fruit for a review and although it doesn't have any photos, it's full of easy to follow and inventive recipes featuring blackberries, cantaloupe, damson plums, figs, mayhaws, grapes, pawpaws, peaches, persimmons (featured on the cover), quince, strawberries and watermelon that are typically grown in the South. Personally, I think an addition of tomatoes would have been clever ;)

Each fruit chapter begins with an overview of the fruit, a few gardening tips and cooking suggestions. The recipes that follow don't have an overwhelming number of ingredients and can be made in a few simple steps.

I chose the strawberry bread, which let's be honest is more like a cake, because I don't like bananas, and that's the type of fruit that's most often featured in such breads.

I made two minor changes to the recipe: toasted sliced almonds instead of pecans or walnuts and oil instead of butter to butter my baking pans.

Strawberry & Almond Bread
Slightly Adapted from Fruit By Nancie McDermott
Copied with a permission from the publisher

Ingredients
2 cups whole strawberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten well



Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Oil two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
3. Coarsely chop strawberries, place them in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
5. Incorporate nuts and strawberries into the flour mixture.
6. In a separate bowl combine oil with the eggs and incorporate them into the flour/strawberries/nut mixture until you can't see the flour bits.
{NOTE: at this point the batter looked more like cookie dough, which made me very nervous, but magically the bread puffed up in the oven and turned out delicious!}
7. Divide the batter between two loaf pans and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean.
8. Cool the loaves inside the pan on a cooling wrack before turning them over.



This bread had such a lovely aroma! I really liked the combination of strawberries and almonds with a slight hint of cinnamon. Use this recipe as a template and experiment with other fruit such as peaches and blueberries or figs! Let your imagination run wild.



This would be a great dessert to slice and freeze, but I decided to bring it to work and share with a few coworkers, to their great delight.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book for review purposes free of charge, but not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

6/19/17

Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet: Perfect Summer Dessert

 Looking for a ridiculously easy, refreshing and delicious Summer dessert? Make my Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet.


Last week I went to visit my friends Sylvie and Marshall and wanted to bring something for dessert. I had a pineapple from my latest order of Washington's Green Grocer and for a second considered baking a pineapple upside down cake. Alas I did not have all the necessary ingredients and also did not want all the unnecessary calories.

Why not SORBET!? I found a recipe from Cooking Light and decided to add plums and basil. Ta da!


Pineapple, Plum & Basil Sorbet
Ingredients
flesh of 1 pineapple
4 plums, pits removed
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar



Directions
1. Puree pineapple chunks with plums, basil and lemon juice until smooth.
2. Add sugar and puree for a minute or so until the sugar dissolves.
3. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.
4. Freeze the sorbet in a freezer-safe container for at least a few hours.
5. Serve topped with fresh basil.


This sorbet took almost no time or effort, but is so impressive! The basil really comes through and the texture is lovely. I bet this would be good on a bottom of a glass topped with sparkling rose or drizzled with reduced balsamic.



6/15/17

Indoor Plants: Birds of Paradise. Condo Living.


If you follow me on instagram, you know I love flowers and plants as much as I love food.

Last night I finally bought a big plant I've been thinking about buying for months. This gorgeous Birds of Paradise plant is from Little Leaf Shop. It was quite a blast fitting it into an Uber, but I managed ;)

Do you love how colorful my TV credenza is? All the colors of the rainbow, plus a new orchid from Trader Joe's and beautiful peonies.

Let's cross our fingers the plant lives a very long life!

6/12/17

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad

It's too hot to cook!!! Today I am sharing another one of my favorite big ass salads with you: Meatless Monday Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad.


Spinach, Corn & Peach Salad

You really don't even need a recipe for this salad, so I'll give you a few steps/suggestions.

1) Wash and dry spinach leaves. Depending on the size of spinach, you may want to tear the leaves. Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
2) Cut off corn kernels and saute in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3). Top dressed spinach with sauteed corn kernels, sliced juicy sweet peaches, cured black olives and shaved Parmesan.

This is such a satisfying salad. You have the sweet corn and peaches, the salty olives and Parmesan all playing together on one platter. What more could you want?

6/7/17

Quick Dinner Or Fancy Appetizer: Grilled Potatoes With Smoked Salmon & Black Caviar


Do you need a quick dinner idea or a fancy appetizer that requires minimum cooking and is yet flavorful, satisfying, and pretty to look at? If you said yes, make my Grilled Potatoes With Smoked Salmon & Black Caviar.

1) Brush sliced potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and grill until tender: you can do it outside or in the oven or in a Panini maker.
2) Allow potatoes to cool slightly. 
3) Add thin slices of cucumbers and radishes and season lightly with salt.
4) Top with smoked salmonfull fat Greek yogurt, black caviar and dill.
5) Serve with a Bloody Mary ;)

6/5/17

Spicy Virgin Bloody Mary Recipe

If you love anything with tomatoes as much as I do, you'll need to make my Spicy Virgin Bloody Mary recipe. And if you are making this after work, feel free to spike it with some booze.


For the longest time I stayed away from Bloody Mary cocktails. I honestly don't know why...after all, I love tomatoes and tomato juice and cocktails. Then things changed and it became my boozy beverage of choice for brunch. I also love a Bloody Mary with burgers.

Last weekend I decided to make my own version but make it sans booze. There are three sources of heat in my recipe: horseradish, chipotle adobo sauce and hot sauce. They all serve a different purpose, but interact quite nicely. You can use more or less of each as you please.

Feel free to add a stick of crispy bacon into your drink ;)

Spicy Virgin Bloody Mary
Serves 2 {I drank it all in on seating}

Ingredients
14.5 ounce Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes {That's my favorite brand. I buy it with my own money.}
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoon chipotle adobo sauce {take a can of chipotles in adobo sauce and puree}
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup ice
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, more if preferred
splash Worcestershire sauce
garnishes: cucumber and radish slices, lemon slices, pickled okra

Directions
1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender other than garnishes. Serve straight up or over ice. Garnish.


Cheers!

6/1/17

Red Kale, Mango & Cashew Salad: Picnic Ready


I have been trying really hard to stop wasting produce lately. It's been a hit and miss if I'm to be completely honest with you.

Last week I created a Red Kale, Mango & Cashew Salad mainly to make sure I don't let the red kale to completely wilt in my refrigerator.

How did the other ingredients get into this salad? Well, first, you know I love mangoes and adding a bit of sweetness to my salads.

But did you know that mangoes and cashews are related? Well, now you do! The salted toasted cashews add a bit of crunch and texture to the salad as do the red peppers. The mild mozzarella balls are a bit of a splurge, but worth it.

This salad is great on its own and is perfect for summer picnics. You can add protein such as grilled chicken or roasted lamb on top.

Red Kale, Mango & Cashew Salad
Ingredients
red kale, washed well, patted dry and cut into thin stripes
mango, peeled, cubed
small mozzarella balls, halved
red pepper, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
chili oil
roasted and salted cashews

Directions
Either mix all the ingredients together or arrange them on a big platter.

How do you make sure not to waste produce?

5/26/17

Boozy Cherry Orange Cocktail: Memorial Day Weekend

Let the 3 day weekend begin! I have zero plans, so why not start day drinking?

Here's a quick boozy beverage that you can make in under a minute in a blender.




Boozy Cherry Orange Cocktail
Serves 1

Ingredients 2 cups ice 
1/2 cup 🍒 juice 
50 ml 🍊 vodka
1 orchid bloom

Directions
1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
2. Pour the cocktail into a pretty glass.
3. Garnish with an orchid bloom in matching or contrasting color.
4. Sip or use a straw.
5. Drink responsibly!

Have a great weekend everyone!

5/23/17

Hostess Gift: Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe

Need a hostess gift idea? Make my Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe!



This past weekend I took the train down to Williamsburg to visit my friend Evi and her husband and daughter. Being raised well (thanks parents!) I wasn't going to show up empty handed. Alas Evi wasn't very helpful in giving me ideas of what I could bring other than myself :/

That's when I had a brilliant idea of checking Evi's Pinterest boards to see if they'll give me ideas. And they did! I found a recipe Evi pinned for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp Bars and decided it'll be a fun treat to bring over.

My store was out of rhubarb unfortunately. Instead, I decided to use blueberries and then switch a few other ingredients and introduce fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper to these bars to make this recipe my own. It was quite successful.




Strawberry & Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon fig balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
optional: powdered sugar

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Line 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugar, butter and salt. If the texture feels too wet, add a bit more flour.
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Dump the remaining mixture into the baking dish and press to form the bottom layer of the bars.
5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine strawberries, blueberries and vinegar and let stand for about 15 minutes.
6. Strain the berries {you can use the vinegar to make a salad dressing} and mix them with cornstarch, basil and black pepper.
7. Add the berry mixture to the baking dish and top with the remaining half a cup of the crumble mixture.
8. Bake the bars for 35 minutes, allow to cool, then refrigerate before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


These were so easy to make. Think of all the different flavor combinations you can use! These are great for breakfast with coffee or as a mini dessert.

The flavors of fig balsamic vinegar, basil and black pepper did not overwhelm the fruit, but did leave a bit of lingering heat which I liked. These bars weren't too sweet and traveled well. You could eat them cold out of the refrigerator or reheat in the oven. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not hurt.


5/19/17

Weekend Edition: Tulips And Chives

TGIF! Wishing you an awesome weekend! I'm taking a train south to Williamsburg to visit my friend Evi for the weekend! There'll be food, catching up, a bit of shopping and staying in HarmonAirBnB ;)

I leave you with a bit of flower arrangement I did with white tulips and blooming chives. Don't you love the combination?


5/17/17

Bon Appetit's Burmese Chickpea Tofu with Spicy Dipping Sauce


Sometime last week my friend Naomi tweeted a link to Bon Appetit's Burmese Chickpea Tofu with Spicy Dipping Sauce and told everyone to make it.

It took me a few minutes to understand why tofu wasn't on the list of ingredients. You make tofu!! In this case, you actually use chickpea flour to make tofu which is incredibly easy, flavorful, especially with the addition of turmeric, and the final result is basically chickpea fries.

This dish is vegan, if that's something you care about ;)

I followed the recipe from Bon Appetit to the t, and was very happy with the results. I added a side of broiled asparagus to make a full meal out of this. I'm sure I'll make it again.


What shall I do with the remaining chickpea flour?

5/15/17

Meatless Monday: Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts


If your air conditioning is working, or if it's not too hot where you live, my Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts would be perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner tonight. 

I love a creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese, but this time decided to switch things up a bit and add a few ingredients to the soup to elevate the flavors. I think you'll really like it.

Creamy Tomato & Fennel Soup With Cheesy Toasts
Serves 1-2 depends on how hungry you are

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, outer layer and core removed, sliced
1/4 white onion, sliced
14.5 oz can Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chile sauce {take a can of chiles in adobo and puree it to make the sauce}
salt & pepper to taste
a splash of half & half
optional: blooming chives
2 slices sourdough bread, toasted
1/3 cup shredded cheese {more or less as you wish}

Directions
1. Heat a soup pot and add olive oil. Saute fennel and onion for about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, water, chile sauce, salt & pepper, and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or a food processor carefully because it will be really hot. Add half & half and adjust the seasonings. Top with blooming chives.
4. Meanwhile, top toasted slices of bread with shredded cheese and melt the cheese under the broiler making sure not to burn it.


Isn't the color stunning? I ate most of the soup in one sitting and used leftovers the next day for breakfast in a shakshuka.

5/8/17

Meatless Monday: Vegan Red Lentils With Carrots & Tomatoes


Red lentils come to the rescue for those evenings you need a quick healthy meal and have barely any time or groceries!

Meatless Monday: Vegan Red Lentils With Carrots & Tomatoes 

This is more of a guide than a recipe. If you've read my blog for a while, you must be accustomed to this by now ;)

Ingredients
olive oil for sauteing 
2 carrots, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
diced fresh tomato
sliced scallions

Directions
1. Heat a shallow pan and add olive oil. Add diced carrot and onion and saute for about 7 minutes.
2. Add garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry powder and saute until fragrant. Be careful not to burn anything.
3. Add lentils and coat with the ingredients already in the pan.
4. Add water, bring to a boil, season with salt & pepper, lower the heat, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and falling apart.
5. Adjust the seasonings as needed and serve topped with diced tomato and sliced scallions.

This is a great meal on its own or can be served on top of rice or with steamed vegetables or with a poached egg (although that will no longer count as vegan). The recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

5/3/17

Carrot Oat Muffins With Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts

Who wants a bite of my Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts? They are oil free, quick to make, and are chewy, sweet and have a bit of heat from the crystallized ginger. Pull up a chair and let me tell you how these came about.


Monday I saw a tweet from my friend Liren with a link to her Carrot Oat Muffins. The photos were gorgeous, and having made a few of Liren's recipes before, I knew these would be solid.

And then I went ahead and changed about a zillion things about her original recipe ;)

First, I'm not a fan of cinnamon or nutmeg, so I took those out. I used unsweetened apple sauce instead of canola oil. And then I added some of my favorite ingredients: dates (because god know I'm lacking in the real ones!), orange zest, crystallized ginger and walnuts. 

Ta da!


Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts
Inspired and adapted from KitchenConfidante
Makes 12

Ingredients
2.5 cups grated carrots
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (plus more for the optional topping)
zest of one orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
10 dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 muffin liners

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl combine the first ten ingredients.
3. In a smaller bowl whisk together the egg with apple sauce, two types of sugar and vanilla.
4. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry and using a scoop divide equally among twelve lined compartments of a muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with extra oats.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean.


These aren't the ginormous muffins you'll find in Costco, but they don't need to be because they have so much flavor and sweetness and texture! Don't chop dates or walnuts or crystallized ginger too small: you want to be able to know what you are eating. 

With the oats and the dates and the apple sauce, these are basically a health food ;)

Have one or two of these for breakfast or dessert or a snack. I bet they'll freeze well too!

Thanks Liren for the inspiration!


PS Loving my henna drawing I got at work ;)

5/1/17

Meatless Monday: Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado

Are you looking for a quick meal that's satisfying and good for you? Then you need to make my Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado.

You don't need a spiralizer for this recipe, although it makes for a fun kitchen tool. You can use a peeler to make ribbons of zucchini or simply dice it. This dish is perfect for a light Meatless Monday lunch or dinner and is a good way to use in season asparagus. Mine came from my weekly Washington's Green Grocer order. 

The soy sauce egg makes an appearance once again...because I'm addicted to it.


Spiralized Zucchini With Asparagus, Soy Sauce Egg & Avocado
Serves 1

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 zucchini, spiralized
3 asparagus spears, sliced on a diagonal
1 garlic clove, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
1 soy sauce egg
1/2 avocado (or just go ahead and use the whole one!)

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Quickly saute zucchini, asparagus and garlic, seasoning with salt & pepper and red pepper flakes. Don't cook the vegetables to death and don't burn the garlic.
2. Serve the vegetables in a bowl {I made this one in a pottery class!} with a halved egg and avocado slices seasoned with Kosher salt.



Have a twirl of a Monday ;)

4/27/17

A Taste Of Hong Kong In Washington DC: Tiger Fork



There is no end in sight to new restaurants opening in Washington DC. How to even choose where to go? And once you settle on a new place, would it live up to its hype?

In the case of Tiger Fork, the answer is yes! Last night was my second attempt at having dinner at Tiger Fork, and this time there was no wait! I guess sometimes it pays to be patient and also showing up at 6 pm on a Wednesday works better than 7 pm on a Saturday!

Because I've never been to China, I can't attest to the authenticity of Tiger Fork, but I can tell you that the food was fantastic. The cocktail was strong, and the service was top notch.

I chose the seasonal cocktail made with the variety of citrus juices with a bit of bitters. It was almost like drinking punch, but not too sweet and definitely very refreshing. My friends and I also shared a bottle of rose. I was a bit tipsy by the end of the meal. Shocker!!


I knew I would have to try one of the most instagrammable dishes from Tiger Fork: Cheung Fun. It's hard to tell what I liked the most: the rice noodles stuffed with shrimp or the aromatic sauce. I was tempted to tell the waiter not to take the plate away before I could lick the remaining sauce, but managed to control myself. 

Turns out the name Cheung Fun comes from the fact that these noodles look like pig intestines!


Calla, Laetitia and I also shared a side of cucumber salad which offset the heaviness and fattiness (in the best way possible) of Beef Chow Foon: noodles with brisket and bok choy. I could probably eat that dish daily!

Another highlight was an order of beef patties with spicy dipping oil. Meat stuffed in dough and crisped up in a skillet? Yes, please.

We also tried the over the top dessert of two types of ice cream in freshly made waffle bowl. It was quite something ;) Have you ever tried green curry ice cream? I wasn't a fan of the savory and spicy flavor, but did appreciate the playful nature of the dish.

Basically, go get yourself to Tiger Fork! 

4/24/17

Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea & Tomato Salad Recipe

How often do you bookmark a recipe only to never actually make it? I'm trying really hard to change this habit.

Last year I bought a 3 year subscription to Real Simple: I love paging through this magazine, especially when traveling, learning about new products, reading inspirational quotes and stories, and seeing easy to make recipes. I decided I should actually make one of those recipes!


Real Simple's Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad looked like something I'd love especially after I made a few changes. I took out the pasta and added chickpeas and arugula. Instead of oregano I used scallions. I also added whole grain mustard. This is a recipe you can easily customize to your taste buds!


Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant, Chickpea & Tomato Salad
Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 small eggplant diced into 1/2" pieces
15.5 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups arugula
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup halved kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 475F. Drizzle cubed eggplant with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast in a single layer for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients. 
3. Add cooled roasted eggplant to the salad. Serve.


I loved all the flavors in this salad. If you happen not to be a fan of eggplant, substitute roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, peppers or zucchini. This salad keeps well as leftovers and I actually had it for breakfast. It'll also be perfect to take on a summer picnic!


What recipe from a magazine have you tried lately?

4/19/17

Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza Made With Oxo


My Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza is pretty easy to make, a fun twist on your typical tomato sauce based pizza, and is great as leftovers for lunch.

My friends at oxo sent me 3 new-to-me products to try and use to make this pizza, but I received no monetary compensation, and as always, all opinions are my own.
  • Non-Stick Pro Pizza Pan features a micro-textured pattern to improve airflow for even baking and rigidity for strength and durability. 
  • Complete Grate & Slice Set includes coarse and medium grating and straight and julienne slicing surfaces. Each can be used over bowls or plates or placed on top of the lid, which doubles as a container for collecting and measuring.
  • 4" Pizza Wheel's clear plastic wheel won't damage non-stick pans, and the slick surface prevents cheese from sticking.

Let's talk about the pizza pan: it has a good weight to it, browns things evenly, and can be easily used for baking cookies, free-form tarts or even roasting potatoes.

I loved the grate & slice set because of the ease of use and because all the components nest into one container!

The pizza wheel worked pretty well, but I did have to apply more pressure than I expected.

Ok, let's talk about the pizza! I need to give thanks to my twin Anna for the ricotta suggestion. The rest of the ingredients/steps were my own ;)

Ricotta, Potato & Asparagus Pizza Made With Oxo
Ingredients
olive oil
1 ball of pizza dough or rolled out dough {I purchased mine from the grocery store}
1 red skinned potato, thinly sliced 
8-10 asparagus spears, sliced lengthwise and then in half
2 ounces dry sausage or salami
1.5 cups ricotta
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan
10 basil leaves, chopped


Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly oiled pizza pan and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the pizza. You want to pre-bake it slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients.
3. Meanwhile, simmer potatoes for 5 minutes in salted water, then add asparagus and continue simmering for another 3 minutes. Drain and cool.
4. Spread ricotta on pre-baked pizza dough and season well with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange potatoes, asparagus and sausage in a fun pattern.
6. Bake pizza for 15 minutes.
7. Top the pizza with red onions, drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
8. Top with fresh basil.




Isn't this a pretty pizza? You can completely leave out the sausage if you want to keep it vegetarian.