4/22/19

Vegan Spicy Smashed Chickpea Salad Recipe


This Vegan Spicy Smashed Chickpea Salad Recipe is adapted from and inspired by a post I saw on Cup of Jo earlier last week. Smitten Kitchen's recipe was inspired by a sandwich on 'wichcraft menu, and I further changed it by swiping the black olives for the green ones, adding the adobo sauce, and using chives instead of parsley.

Vegan Spicy Smashed Chickpea Salad Recipe
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chickpeas, lightly smashed with a fork
8 large green olives stuffed with sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce from chiles in adobo can (use hot sauce or sriracha as an alternative)
olive oil
salt
radishes
wasa crackers

Directions
1. Combine the first 5 ingredients. Drizzle with olive oil and mix to combine. Season with salt. 
2. Serve with radishes and wasa crackers.

4/17/19

Smoked Salmon Spring Salad With Jammy Egg, Potatoes & Asparagus


Oh hi warmer days! The days when I don't want to heat up my kitchen and would much rather put together a meal from random ingredients and eat it sitting on my couch watching TV.

This Smoked Salmon Spring Salad With Jammy Egg, Potatoes & Asparagus was inspired by a photo I saw on Domenica Marchetti's instagram. Domenica made a version of Nicoise salad, but with smoked salmon instead of tuna. I immediately went to my grocery store to pick up smoked salmon, the only ingredient that was missing from all the other parts of the salad I had happened to have in my refrigerator. I also added cherry tomatoes and avocado.

Smoked Salmon Spring Salad With Jammy Egg, Potatoes & Asparagus

Boiled potato, cubed
smoked salmon, flaked
jammy egg, quartered (put eggs into a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let them stand for 6 minutes, then immediately put them into cold water with ice)
Kalamata olives, halved
avocado, cubed
asparagus, pan sauteed
red onion, finely chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
salt

4/15/19

Meatless Monday: Big Ass Salad With Feta


If you follow me on instagram, you saw that I basically ate 10 pounds worth of lamb yesterday at the lamb jam event with my friend Jazmin. 

For something lighter, my lunch today is a version of what I like to call BIG ASS SALAD. What's a big ass salad? It's a salad that has a bunch of fun ingredients served in a large bowl or plated that can be a meal in itself. The salad most often doesn't even have lettuce, and instead combines a variety of vegetables in different colors and textures, with a few fun ingredients such as cheese or nuts or protein.

Meatless Monday Big Ass Salad With Feta
lettuce, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
red onion, finely diced
yellow pepper, diced
cucumber, diced
kalamata olives, halved
avocado, sliced
feta
olive oil
salt
za'atar

Note on feta: I very much prefer to buy a big block of feta instead of crumbles. It's usually more expensive, but tastes better and you can control how to serve it. This time I added a big slab of feta to my salad. 

Note: to "beef" up the salad, you can add a boiled potato and/or chickpeas!

4/11/19

Cocktails Around DC: Hazel & Mi Vida


I wanted to share with you two cocktails at the new-to-me restaurants I had while celebrating my birthday in March (and belated birthday yesterday).

First up, above, is a gorgeous, refreshing, and easy to sip Citrus G & T from Hazel with blood orange gin and winter citrus tonic. Despite the name, this is the perfect warm weather cocktail. Of course you'll not be able to find blood oranges for much longer to use as the garnish, so hurry up and replicate this beauty at home as soon as possible. 

Below is the Ceilo Rojo Margarita from Mi Vida with spicy serrano-infused watermelon, lime, and chile salt. I had two. I usually prefer a sugar rimmed margarita, but the flavor combination in this cocktail was perfection. Don't worry, the spice level will not kill your taste buds.


Tell me what your favorite cocktail has been lately!

4/1/19

Vegan Thai Basil Vegetable Nasoya Dumplings With Colorful Slaw


I'm going vegan!! Just kidding.

This Vegan Thai Basil Vegetable Nasoya Dumplings With Colorful Slaw dish, however, is not only satisfying and colorful, but comes together in minutes and doesn't require a full recipe.

I was contacted by Nasoya and offered a few samples of their vegan dumplings and a stipend to come up with a plant-based recipe. The dumplings are organic and contain 6 to 7 grams of plant-protein (per 5) and no cholesterol! You can buy them at Giant Food, Martin’s, Safeway, Weis, Shop Rite, and Wegman’s. 

I decided to pan-fry the dumplings and add them on top of a colorful crunchy slaw.

The Thai Basil Vegetable Dumplings contain tofu, peas, carrots, peppers, basil, and onion. They take less than 10 minutes to prepare and have a ton of flavor.

For the slaw, I combined yellow and red peppers, cucumber, red cabbage, and dressed it with the combination of olive oil and lime juice and seasoned with salt and cilantro. A drizzle of sriracha, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, and a few lime wedges finish the dish. 

PS here's a coupon for you!

3/27/19

Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes


Knock knock. Who's there? FedEx delivering a lamb shank from Superior Farms.

Oh, this doesn't happen to you? Well, then you'll just have to go out and buy your own to make my Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes recipe.


Last week I received a free lamb shank from Superior Farms and created a quick'ish recipe that only takes 40 minutes in a pressure cooker. You could use the same ingredients and roast yours in the oven, but it'll take hours.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. I'm not getting reimbursement: I just love lamb and was happy to receive a sample. 

Lamb Shank With Fennel, Onions & Potatoes
Serves 1, but you can easily double the ingredients

Ingredients
1 fennel, sliced into 1/4" planks
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup cider (or use wine or chicken broth)
1 lamb shank, extra fat removed, seasoned with salt and pepper
pan roasted potatoes
fennel fronds

Directions
1. Add fennel, onions, cider and lamb shank to your pressure cooker/instant pot and pressurize for 40 minutes. Allow 10-15 minutes for natural pressure release.
2. Spoon out fennel and onions onto a plate, place the lamb shank on top and drizzle with some of the extra sauce. Top with fennel fronds and serve with potatoes. 

3/25/19

Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe


This Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe comes together in minutes, will impress your guests, and can be served hot or at room temperature.

The recipe is inspired by and adapted from a recipe from my friend Marnely. Yes, we are friends even though we've never met in real life, which I hope changes very soon!

I changed Marnely's recipe for Plum Pistachio Ricotta Crostata by using mangoes, adding lime zest, bourbon maple syrup, and crystallized ginger, and purchasing the pie crust at the store.


Mango, Ricotta & Pistachio Crostata Recipe

Ingredients
1 pie crust (purchased or made from scratch)
1/2 cup full fat ricotta
zest of 1 lime
1/3 cup pistachios, food processed until they resemble the texture of sand {I used salted roasted pistachios}
2-3 mangoes, sliced
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons bourbon maple syrup
extra pistachios for topping
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Roll out the pie crust onto a parchment covered baking sheet.
2. Combine ricotta with lime zest and pistachios and spread on the pie crust leaving about 1/2" all the way around.
3. Layer sliced mangoes. Crimp the edges of the crust and brush them with a whisked egg.
4. Bake the crostata for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush the mangoes with bourbon maple syrup and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Bake for another 10 minutes.
5. Remove the crostata from the oven and sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger.
6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

3/20/19

One Hour Brisket In A Pressure Cooker


This past weekend I was walking through my grocery store and saw corned beef on sale. I decided to buy about a 4 pound hunk of meat. Corned beef and brisket are the same cut of meat, but corned beef is brined.

I wanted to make a quick version of a brisket in a pressure cooker instead of roasting it for about 3 hours in the oven and used this recipe from Dad Cooks Dinner.

I threw away the spice packet that came with my corned beef, but did not account for the brining: the meat came out a bit too salty. Still, this was not the recipe's fault. You will only need salt, pepper and cayenne. Season the meat, add some water and a bit of Worcestershire and pressure cook for an hour!

I added chopped onion and carrots with the meat and pulverized the vegetables with some of the broth to use as the sauce once everything was tender.

To serve, I combined home-salted cabbage and beets with a bit of Russian sunflower oil and sliced scallions.

IMPORTANT: make sure to cut off as much of the fat from the meat as possible before cooking. 

3/11/19

Meatless Monday: Saag Paneer From Scratch


I don't say this often, but I was so proud of myself yesterday after making Saag Paneer from scratch at home!

It all started after a coworker shared a recipe he made in his pressure cooker for saag (an Indian spinach side). I thought I will do the same, and also make paneer (Indian cheese).

Special thanks to my friend Sangeetha for providing dried fenugreek leaves: they add a great depth of flavor to saag.



I used My Heart Beets' Recipe for saag with a few changes:

1) I used 36 ounces of spinach because I could not find mustard greens
2) I did not have ghee, so used olive oil
WARNING: use less salt than what the recipe calls for. Don't freak out about how much spinach you have in the beginning: add it to the pressure cooker in batches and allow it to wilt before adding more.

For the paneer, I used Swasthi's recipe. I had to add more lemon juice, but the final result was pretty good, if not perfectly shaped as I had to run out to a museum outing with my friend. I used the leftover liquid from paneer to cook basmatti rice.



Leftovers for lunch will be awesome!

3/8/19

Weekend Inspiration: Macrame Wall Hanging


TGIF! Happy Friday and happy International Women's Day.

I wanted to share with you the latest arts & crafts project I made last weekend: Macrame Wall Hanging. Doing this simple wall hanging reminded me of all the macrame projects I did at a summer camp in Moscow. There's something magical about completing a project that is seen daily in your home.

Go create something!