2/13/19

Vietnamese Lamb Meatballs Rice Noodle Bowl


Vietnamese Lamb Meatballs Rice Noodle Bowl is a recipe that comes together quickly, is absolutely gorgeous, and is packed with flavors, colors and textures.

Last week, my friends from American Lamb sent me a pound of ground lamb!! I typically make lamb meatballs with garlic, salt & pepper and maybe feta, but was intrigued by the Vietnamese flavors American Lamb suggested. Sometimes it is actually fun to follow a recipe and go grocery shopping with a list of ingredients in mind. Luckily, the recipe worked perfectly. You can find it here

I made my meatballs into smaller balls than the recipe called for and froze some for future use.

The meatballs are flavored with lemongrass, shallot, garlic, and fresh ginger and don't require an egg, milk, or bread crumbs. Using a little scoop really helps to make sure they are uniform.


I highly recommend you double the Nuoc Cham dressing: it's so good! Don't be afraid of fish sauce.

To build your bowl you'll need rice noodles (I cooled mine before serving), red cabbage, red peppers, cucumbers, peanuts, cilantro, basil, and lime wedges. Of course you can also use carrots, zucchini, avocado, or whatever vegetables you like. 


Thanks for my lamb American Lamb! This post is not sponsored. I received no compensation for it: I just ♥ lamb and am happy to share fun meal ideas with you all!

2/5/19

Tater Tot Tuesday: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers



Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers is a great one skillet brunch or breakfast dish to make to share with friends, or can be an easy dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day.

You know about Taco Tuesday, but what about Tater Tot Tuesday? Let's start this new movement ;)

This past Sunday, a few friends came for brunch at my place, and I decided to make up my own version of a tater tot breakfast casserole after seeing quite a few versions on line.

First, I knew I wanted to make the entire casserole in one dish instead of browning the meat in a skillet and then transferring to a baking dish.

Second, I did not understand why some recipes put the tater tots on the bottom: who wants soggy tater tots?

Finally, instead of prepping all the ingredients first, I chopped peppers and onions while the Italian sausage was cooking, and shredded the cheese while the peppers and onions were sauteing: this saved me so much time!

Tater Tot Tuesday: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole With Italian Sausage & Peppers
Serves 6

Ingredients
16 ounces Italian mild sausage
2 orange peppers
1 onion
salt & pepper
8 ounce block cheese (I used a combination of Mozzarella and Cheddar)
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
28 ounce bag frozen tater tots
parsley, chopped

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. In a large oven-proof skillet, brown Italian sausage.
3. Meanwhile, dice the peppers and the onion.
4. Remove the sausage into a bowl, and use the skillet to saute the peppers and onion seasoned with salt and pepper until tender, about 10 minutes. Depending on the fat content of the sausage, you may need to add a bit of olive oil to the skillet. 
5. Meanwhile, shred the cheese.
6. Add the browned sausage back into the skillet.
7. In the bowl that held the sausage, whisk the eggs with the milk, season with salt and pepper, and add all but 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
8. Pour the egg mixture over the pepper/onion/sausage mixture.
9. Layer tater tots in concentric circles.
10. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes.
11. Remove the casserole from the oven and evenly top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes.
12. Top with parsley.

before

My Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole was a huge success! You can vary the recipe by adding mushrooms or broccoli and changing the types of cheese you use. The leftovers reheat quite well.

This is my table setting: flowers are a must!


2/4/19

Meatless Monday: Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad


Got winter blues? My Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad will surely erase those. You will not find a single banana or an unripe melon in my salad. Instead, I combined seasonal citrus and apples with a tropical mango and a few berries. 

Meatless Monday: Vegan, Raw, Kosher & Fancy Fruit Salad

Ingredients
2 oranges
1 grapefruit
1 bunch grapes
2 apples
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blackberries
1 mango

Directions
1. Segment oranges and grapefruit
2. Slice grapes in half
3. Core and dice apples
4. Peel and dice mango
5. Combine all fruit and berries and serve

1/28/19

Upcycle: Pallet Coffee Table on Pin Legs


Remember when 6ish years ago I made a pallet coffee table that ended up being featured on ApartmentTherapy and then some dude tried to sell it on Etsy? Well, I took the coasters off and added pin legs!!! Love the updated look. 

Below is my original creation! Also an old lamp, painting, table, chairs, and blah walls. 



And now the new table! It was so easy: I took off the red wheels (what should I do with them?) and attached pin legs I bought on Amazon!


And here is how it looks in my living room with my "birch" wall, big plants, new'ish lamp and all the stuff ;)


1/14/19

Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas


Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas is a beautiful vegan dish that brings brightness, color, and at the same time comfort to a snowy cold winter day.

I received a sample of Tuscanini Gigli pasta and LOVED the fun shape which reminds me of a trumpet flower. It's apparently great served with sauce as the sauce sticks to the fluttered edges, but I decided to make it with a bunch of vegetables. In fact, there are more vegetables in this dish than pasta.

Of course you can use whichever pasta shape you love!

Tuscanini Gigli Pasta With Fennel, Tomatoes & Peas
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, then well washed and drained
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
salt & red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup defrosted peas
1 cup defrosted corn
2 cups dried pasta, cooked according to directions {NOTE: I always cook my pasta 1-2 minutes longer because I don't like it al dente pasta}
Meyer lemon zest and juice
dill, chopped
extra olive oil


Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add leeks and fennel and saute until softened, mixing every few minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
2. Add cherry tomatoes, peas, and corn. Saute for a few extra minutes.
3. Add drained cooked pasta. Mix to combine. Saute for a few more minutes.
4. Off the heat, add Meyer lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust for salt.
5. Serve topped with dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

PS Leftovers reheat well and are great with chopped olives!


Dislaimer: I received a sample of pasta free of charge, but this post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.

1/11/19

Weekend Edition: Apartment Therapy's January Cure


DEHOARD. CLEAN. ORGANIZE. Those are just some of the things I've been doing for the last week or so thanks to Apartment Therapy's January Cure

Who knew I had so many random notebooks and notepads?

Who knew I did not actually lose those international electricity converters? They just fell behind my suitcase.

Who knew how much dust was hiding under my bed, in my closets, and behind my dressers?

Who knew I have at least 15 random glass jars from jams, pickles, etc?


I KNOW all that now!

The plan for this weekend is to go through all my kitchen cabinets.

Good thing my galley kitchen is pretty small. I've already found bowls and glass containers I'm giving to a friend because I have too many. I put post it notes on each cabinet and drawer for an easy visual of what needs to be done and for the sense of accomplishment of taking them off once that space has been cleaned.

I'm also going to clean the fridge: now is a good time because I don't have that much in it.

And those flowers? They were actually also an assignment: the easiest one because I buy flowers for myself all the time.

Share with me your cleaning and dehoarding tips. 

1/7/19

Vegan Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Red Curry


Vegan Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Kale Red Curry
Serves 4-6
Inspired by Washington's Green Grocer

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, more if needed
5 cups bite-sized diced butternut squash
1/2 diced onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
13.5 ounce can coconut milk (full fat!)
1 cup water
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 handfulls chopped kale
juice of 1 Meyer lemon
chopped parsley or cilantro
chopped smoked almonds (or any other nuts you like)

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add butternut squash and saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 3 more minutes, adding a bit more oil if needed.
3. Mix in red curry paste, turmeric, salt, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is tender but not mushy.
4. Mix in chickpeas and kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until kale has wilted.
5. Off the heat add Meyer lemon juice. Adjust for seasoning.
6. Serve topped with parsley and almonds. 

You can eat this as is or over rice. This curry reheats great for leftovers: you may need to add a bit of liquid to thin it out.

1/2/19

Richard Sax's Chocolate Cloud Cake



The second I saw a recipe for Richard Sax's Chocolate Cloud Cake on Food52, I knew I wanted to make it for NYE party at a friend's house. And I did! The hardest part was figuring out whether to wait for the actual party to try the cake...because how could I take photos so late at night!?

Instead, I made this gorgeous cake in the morning, and my friend and I dug into it after her two daughters napped...I could not nap because I was so excited!! Even the 3 and 5 year olds liked it, but only had a few bites because it was too chocolaty :) No problem: more for us!


I've made another recipe for flourless chocolate cake many times, but this recipe stood out because of a cloud of whipped heavy cream slightly sweetened with confectioners' sugar and a bit of vanilla extract. I used dark chocolate chips and a bar or dark chocolate for the decorative shavings. You can use semi sweet chocolate I suppose, but please don't use the milk variety.

This was a dream! Relatively easy to make (I just had to read directions 5 times because I basically have ADD), beautiful, not too sweet, not too heavy, AND it tasted great the next morning!


I left the leftovers at my friend's house because that's how generous I am ;)

12/26/18

RESET: Pinto Bean & Kale Soup


If you need a reset after the countless cookies, pies, cakes, and who knows what else you ate over the holidays, this Pinto Bean & Kale Soup is for you!

The soup takes less than 30 minutes to make and is full of flavor, vitamins, color, and still fits the comfort food label. I used defrosted pinto beans from Camellia beans I cooked in my pressure cooker and defrosted chicken broth. If you want to make this soup vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth. For a vegan version, leave out sharp cheddar.

RESET: Pinto Bean & Kale Soup
Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 carrots, diced (no need to peel)
3 celery ribs, peeled, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt & red pepper flakes to taste
4 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked pinto beans
4-6 cups chicken broth (depends on how thick you want the soup to be)
chopped parsley
sharp cheddar, shaved
toast

Directions
1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and saute for 10 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add kale. Saute for a few minutes until kale has wilted.
3. Add beans and chicken broth. Bring soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Serve topped with parsley and cheese and a side of toast.

This soup keeps well for days in the refrigerator and is great as leftovers.

12/17/18

Raw Brussels Sprouts, Red Cabbage, And Carrot Slaw


Raw Brussels Sprouts, Red Cabbage, And Carrot Slaw is the perfect way to use winter produce literally in minutes! This slaw is colorful, crunchy, keeps well in the refrigerator, and is basically negative calories dish: you'll burn more calories chewing ;)

I had a bunch of produce from my latest Washington's Green Grocer order and instead of roasting the Brussels sprouts and making a cabbage soup, decided to thinly slice all the vegetables and mix in the beautiful pomegranate arils. 

For the dressing, I used tangerine juice, olive oil, and whole grain mustard. You can use as little or as much of each of these ingredients depending on how spicy or sweet you want the dressing to be. In fact, feel free to add a bit of honey or lemon juice.

Also, I used a food processor to shred my vegetables. You can use a knife or a mandoline if that's what you have.

Raw Brussels Sprouts, Red Cabbage, And Carrot Slaw

Ingredients
Brussels sprouts, shredded
carrots, thinly shredded
red cabbage (or purple) thinly shredded
pomegranate arils (leave some for garnish)
salt and pepper
olive oil
fresh tangerine juice
whole grain mustard

Directions
1. Combine the vegetables in a very large bowl. 
2. Sprinkle most of the arils on top, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil, tangerine juice and top with a few tablespoons of whole grain mustard. 
3. Gently mix to combine: you don't want to crush the pomegranate arils.
4. Serve in individual bowls topped with extra arils.