Meatless Monday: Fennel & Gigante Beans Robust Salad

I believe in lettuce-free salads. Yes, occasionally I use Romaine or Boston lettuce (or arugula and spinach), but usually my salads rely on other ingredients as their base. In this case, I used fennel and Gigante beans with a few fun additions to make a robust salad that can stand on its own as a meal.

Meatless Monday: Fennel & Gigante Beans Robust Salad
fennel, thinly sliced
Gigante beans {or any other white beans you like}
hearts of Palm, thinly sliced
radishes, thinly sliced
olive oil
Meyer lemon juice
salt & pepper

1. Mix together the first five ingredients. 
2. Dress the salad with Meyer lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.

This is the perfect salad for Meatless Monday and first day of Spring. I can't wait until it's tomato season though!!


Savory Oatmeal: Put A Soy Sauce Egg On It!

This Savory Oatmeal with Soy Sauce Egg is so good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

There's really no recipe per se. Make oatmeal whichever way you usually cook it (but make sure to leave out sugar!). Add halved soy sauce egg, sliced tomatoes, fresh parsley and thinly sliced shallots and drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Ta da! I much prefer savory oatmeal over the sweet one, and this idea is great for Meatless Monday.

Tell me how you eat oatmeal!


Weekend Inspiration DIY: How To Paint A Modern Canvas For Your Bedroom

Want to do something crafty this chilly weekend that will immediately transform the look of any room in your home? Take an old canvas art piece (unless it's original Van Gogh or something like that) and paint it over! 

WARNING: there is no food involved in this post ;)

Below is a photograph of my bedroom with a canvas from World Market I've had for 6 years. It's pretty, but I've been wanting something modern and graphic for a while.

When I saw the photograph below on West Elm's instagram, I knew what I would need to do. No, not buy the image in the photo...try to recreate it!

Step 1: cover the old canvas with 3 coats of paint making sure to let each coat to dry thoroughly before painting the next one. Depending on the color you choose and the original color of your canvas, you may need more or fewer coats of paint.
Step 2: paint the design of your choice.
Step 3: allow the paint to dry completely.
Step 4: hang your new art piece!

At first I wasn't completely sure what I thought of my new art piece, but after living with it a few days, I really like it!!! And the best part: it cost me nothing because I already had the paint!

Go do something creative this weekend!


Put An Egg On It: Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi

Looking for a fun twist on eggs? I've been loving these Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi and have made them twice during the last week and a half.

I remember the time when I was against joining instagram. What was I thinking? Why do I have to be such a late convert to new technology? Now people probably wish I stayed off instagram and did not post a zillion photographs...but that's not my problem ;)

One of the reasons I love instagram is that it serves as inspiration for places to visit, books to read, and recipes to make. Recently I saw a photo of Momofuku soy eggs on Laura's instagram and decided I needed to make them as soon as possible! 

The recipe that Laura used and that I used as a template comes from Food52. After reading the comments, however, and using some common sense, I knew I'd have to make several changes.

1) I changed the method for cooking the eggs.
2) I decreased the refrigeration time because a) I did not have the patience to wait the original two hours and b) after 1.5 hours the eggs were plenty salty. I can't imagine what they'd taste like after six hours even if using low sodium soy sauce. Oy.

Soy Sauce Eggs With Togarashi

4 eggs
6 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar {I used 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, but you can use whatever you have on hand}
3/4 cups soy sauce
4 eggs
togarashi {read my previous post about my obsession}

1. Place the eggs into a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn off the heat and let stand for 8 minutes.
2. Remove the eggs from the hot water, dunk them into a large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes and peel after about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in the warm water and whisk in vinegar and soy sauce.
4. I found it best to use a tall container for marinating the eggs. Place the eggs in the tall container, pour over soy sauce mixture and refrigerate for 1.5 hours. I used a small saucer to push down the eggs so they were fully immersed in the solution.
5. Remove the eggs and serve halved or quartered topped with togarashi with a side of toast, avocado and tomatoes.
6. If you aren't going to use all the eggs at once, store the remaining eggs in a separate container from the soy sauce mixture, which you could reuse later!

I LOVED these! The yolk was slightly undercooked, there was no need to add any salt, and the togarashi added great texture and a bit of heat.

Come back to see another way I ate these eggs later this week or next week or go check out my instagram feed ;)


Meatless Monday: Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi

If you love avocado toasts as much as I do and are looking to make a few upgrades to this well-deserved food trend, you need to make my Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi.

I write about my food obsessions quite a bit. Avocado toast. Savory oatmeal. Halva. Well, add togarashi to that list. Togarashi is a Japanese mix of seven ingredients that includes chili peppers, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, nori and mandarin peel to name a few.

I found a jar of togarashi in my spice cabinet and decided to start experimenting with it. I'm a fan of the bright color, the distinct flavor and the variety of textures packed into one jar.

Meatless Monday: Avocado & Mango Toast With Togarashi

challah, sliced, toasted
avocado, sliced
mango, peeled and sliced

1. Top challah toast with alternating slices of avocado and mango.
2. Sprinkle the toast with salt and togarashi.

Sweet, savory and spicy: you get it all in one bite!

Stay tuned for another recipe featuring togarashi!

Questions for you: 

1) what's your favorite take on avocado toast? 
2) how do you like to use togarashi?


Meatless Monday: Vegan Roasted Mushrooms & Potatoes

 Have only 30 minutes to make dinner tonight? I have an updated, elevated and yet simplified version of my favorite Russian mushrooms and potatoes dish.

This past Sunday marked 24 years since my family moved to United States from Russia. Time flies! 

Remember my Russian Recipes Revisited series? Well, I'm adding another quick and easy recipe to it today that is perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner. Instead of boiling potatoes and topping them with sauteed mushrooms and onions, I decided to roast mushrooms and potatoes together and top them with raw onions, sunflower oil I picked up at the Russian store, parsley and a side of pickles and marinated tomatoes. You'll need less than 5 minutes hands on time, the rest is taken care in the oven.

Vegan Roasted Mushrooms & Potatoes
mushrooms, stems removed {use them to make mushroom stock}, caps halved or quartered depending on the size
tiny potatoes {or chop regular sized potatoes to match the size of quartered mushrooms}
olive oil
salt & pepper
sunflower oil
white onion, chopped
parsley, chopped
marinated tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
2. Drizzle mushrooms and potatoes with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast on a cookie sheet in a single layer for about 30 minutes making sure to shake the sheet occasionally.
3. Serve with sunflower oil, white onions and fresh parsley and a side of pickles and marinated tomatoes.

The photograph above is the beauty shot. The one below is how I actually eat my food: on a cookie sheet while sitting on the couch watching TV :)


Weekend Inspirations: Succulents


2 Ingredient Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork: Pork Tenderloin + Puttanesca Sauce

Want juicy and flavorful pulled pork that takes only one hour and two ingredients? I have you covered!

All you need are  two pounds of pork tenderloin and three cups of Puttanesca sauce from Terlato Kitchen. I received the sauce to taste test and loved that it had olives and capers and all the needed seasonings: no need for added salt of pepper for your pulled pork.

I used my electric pressure cooker for this: add pork tenderloin to the pressure cooker, cover with Puttanesca sauce, set for 1 hour on meat setting.

Once the pressure is released, carefully use two fork to pull the pork apart.

This pulled pork is great for lunch, brunch or dinner. Last weekend I piled the pork on a mixture of potatoes, black beans, red peppers and onions and topped it with a fried egg and a side of avocado. So good!

Disclosure: I received a few samples from Terlato Kitchen, but am not being monetarily compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. 


Weekend Inspiration: 5 Key Ingredients

Today I asked my instagram followers which 5 Key Ingredients they like to have on hand. I also shared mine: garlic, onion, eggs, coffee and half & half. See their responses, follow their accounts, and share yours!

Have a great three day weekend.


Green Mango Smoothie Recipe

Want something quick and easy for breakfast that you can take on the go, and yet is satisfying, filling, and nutritious? Make my Green Mango Smoothie!

You know my love for mangoes! I typically prefer fresh ones, but picked up a bag of frozen mango cubes at a grocery store over the weekend. I also picked up a bag of baby spinach. While wondering around the grocery store picking up random ingredients, I remembered I had a lone banana in the fridge: SMOOTHIE, I thought.

I grabbed a container of almond milk and made Green Mango Smoothie the following day. The green comes from spinach, but you seriously can't even taste it!

Green Mango Smoothie
Makes 2
2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 ripe banana

Pure all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

This smoothie was so good! I had it for breakfast on Monday and Tuesday and it kept me pretty full until lunch time (there was also a large mug of coffee). The smoothie mixture did not separate as it sat in the fridge, and the texture remained smooth and silky.