Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

This week, I made some delicious scrambled eggs with garlicky swiss chard and harissa powder. I just sauteed chopped garlic cloves and chard stems in oil until softened, then added the swiss chard leaves. I mixed together 2 eggs with some almond milk, harissa powder and salt. Pour over the swiss chard and scramble until cooked.

Yesterday was Mike's birthday, but this weekend I threw him a surprise Star Wars party. I'm so happy that he was 100% clueless about the party! I always make cupcakes for parties, but I've had my eye on these meyer lemon yoda cookies. These cookies was amazing for GF and they stayed soft and chewy the next day. The best part is the homemade meyer lemon curd which is SO easy to make and it tastes like lemon meringue pie. These cookies were delicious!

Special breakfast brunch for Mike this weekend: eggs over easy, garlicky sauteed Swiss chard and wonder fries with green onions and miso mayo. 

We've been eating a lot of salads lately and this quinoa tabbouleh salad hit the spot! It had lots of fresh mint, parsley, and the pomegranate molasses was amazing! This salad is a great crisp and refreshing dish for any weeknight or a light dinner. It also gets better when it sits in the fridge for day.

Savory tea...What?? I know it may seem odd, but it was actually very delicious and relaxing. I'd like to experiment cooking with this sometime, maybe making a lazy soup with some cooked rice and vegetables. They have other varieties like tomato mint, cabbage beet, and fennel parsley. I can't wait to try the other flavors!

I've been trying to cook from cookbooks lately, and this creamy sun-dried tomato pasta was INSANELY good. This comes from the book Isa Does It, which is definitely one of my favorite cookbooks. You braise the red onions and broccoli in red wine and garlic, which creates an amazing sauce that is then mixed with a vegan cashew cream. I used GF brown rice pasta for this recipe.

 Last night, Ashley and I went to a macaron class at Savory Spice Shop! We got to see how the macaron batter is made, we practiced piping on baking sheets, then we learned how to make Swiss Meringue buttercream (dairy-free). The best part was getting to assemble macaron shells with different fillings (and taking them home...and eating them...). We had so much fun and it was such an informative class! I'm definitely not as afraid to make macarons now!

Here are the shell varieties we had: chocolate, pistachio, coconut, raspberry and lavender. Filling varieties: plain Swiss meringue, espresso Swiss meringue, vanilla bean pear jam, and lemon curd. They were SO good!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

This is one thing I've been wanting to make for a long time: African peanut stew. I've seen many recipes for it with different variations, like adding quinoa, cilantro, etc. After buying Angela's first cookbook, I vowed to finally try her recipe for African peanut stew because it looks so delicious! And it did not disappoint! This stew came together in no time and it's SO good. Would be perfect for a cold day, which hopefully NC is done with for now! But it still makes a great hearty, healthy stew for a weeknight. 

I've had my ice cream maker for about a year now, and this is only the second time I've made ice cream! I definitely want to start using it more because I forget how easy it is to make vegan ice cream. This time, I made coconut mint with fresh mint and coconut milk. The fresh mint gives it a very different flavor than with mint extract. I loved it with the chocolate sauce (which didn't really melt) and it was SO easy. I will definitely make this again!

I've been eyeing these cocktails for a while and finally decided to try my own spin on them. For mine, I did: 1 shot vodka and some torn fresh mint in a cocktail shaker with ice. After shaking, I poured it in a glass and topped with mango kombucha. For Mike's: 1 shot coconut/whipped rum over ice in a shaker with a generous drizzle of sriracha and torn fresh mint. After shaking, I poured it in a glass and topped with mango kombucha. I can't wait to experiment with other kombucha cocktails! 

So I finally started loving cabbage, and now I'm a little obsessed, but now I'm trying to get us to eat it every week. It has so many health benefits that we'd be crazy not to! I made this Asian rainbow salad with spicy mango dressing and sesame broiled tofu for dinner this week. These salads were HUGE! It took me a solid 20-25 minutes just to eat one! It's filled with napa and red cabbages, romaine, avocado, toasted sesame seeds, chopped red onion, chopped carrots, cucumber, and cilantro. The dressing is awesome and spicy, but on the second day I also used some bottled GF peanut sauce which was also great. I will post the sesame tofu recipe from Isa Does It because it's my favorite, quick way to make tofu:

Preheat oven to broiler (high setting). Chop a block of tofu into 8 pieces widthwise (press tofu if you have time). On a dinner plate, mix 3 TBS (GF) soy sauce and 2 TBS sesame oil. Dredge each tofu slice in this mixture and place on baking tray. Broil, 3-5 minutes on each side, being careful it doesn't burn and flipping after the first 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into any shape

More easy meals this week: lentils with spicy tomatoes over polenta with harissa! This was super filling, easy to make, and the polenta was delicious. I skipped the 8 hour setting time for polenta and just served it mushy and warm like it is (because I am supremely lazy, or a student). To make it vegan, I skipped the cheese and used a mix of vegan butter, veg broth, garlic powder, salt + red pepper flakes to add flavor to my polenta. I will definitely use more harissa powder next time because it wasn't very spicy to me.

I love love love trying new spices. Here's a few that maybe you haven't tried yet: garam masala (favorite), za'atar, berbere, coriander, harissa, chinese 5-spice, herbes de provence, Jamaican curry powder, panch phoron. Do any of these ring a bell? I guess when all you do in your free time is cook/bake/read food blogs/read cookbooks/read about food, you start to become familiar with these weird things. So yes, I love buying spices and I finally went to my local Savory Spice Shop to register for a class when I came across panch phoron. Panch Phoron is a Bengali spice blend of (essentially) cumin seeds, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and other delicious spices. I used it in this DELICIOUS cauliflower red lentil dal, which is possibly my new favorite Indian dish. This spice blend has so many layers of flavor that change through out eating this dish. I seriously can't wait to try other spices and other dishes with panch phoron. My advice about new spices is give it a shot! Buy the smallest amount possible (I bought 2 oz of panch phoron for $2) and try it out. You will be amazed at what new flavors you discover!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

These little gems are something my best friend Ashley and I have been making for years. But this time, I added a few extra ingredients and used some 'traditional' deviled egg ingredients too. I hated deviled eggs for most of my life, which is odd for a Southern gal, but after making them on my own a few times I've grown to love them. I have to admit, these were breakfast for Mike and I this weekend after Ashley gave us a carton of hard-boiled eggs (leftover from April Fool's day pranks). If you serve them with Cajun home fries, no one would judge you 
(because we totally did too)

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Yields 12

- 6 eggs, hard-boiled (make sure they're cold)
-1 green onion; light green/white parts sliced and dark green parts reserved for garnish
-1 TBS vegan mayo (or plain hummus, if you hate mayo)
-1/4-1/2 tsp yellow mustard
-1 tsp (or more) of sriracha (we used about 2 tsp)
-1 TBS minced fresh cilantro
-pinch of garlic powder

  1. Remove the hard-boiled egg yolks and place in a bowl. You should be able to pop them out easily. Be sure to keep the egg white in tact! (I tore one or two)
  2. Mash the yolks with a fork until crumbly and no big pieces remain.
  3. Add the green onion (white and light green parts only), mayo or hummus, mustard, sriracha, cilantro and garlic powder. Stir, while mashing, until everything is incorporated. Taste and adjust spice level and seasonings to your liking.
  4. Spoon (or if you're Martha Stewart, pipe with a piping bag) the filling back into the egg. I use a teaspoon measurement for this which worked great.
  5. Garnish with dark green onion slices and extra sriracha. Dig in!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Dark & Shirley

This drink was created after a craving for kraken and grenadine. Lately, I've been alternating between burly temples and GF beer. I love grenadine, but wanted something a little different. So the dark and shirley was born: a cross between a burly temple and a dark n' stormy.

The Dark & Shirley

  • ice
  • 1 shot grenadine  (for a stronger drink, use 1/2 shot grenadine)
  • 1 shot Kraken spiced black rum
  • ginger ale/ginger beer (ginger beer for more spice)
  • lime wedge (optional)

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add 3-4 cubes of ice, grenadine and rum. Shake vigorously.
  2. Pour, with ice into a short glass. Add ginger ale/beer to top off. Serve with a squeeze of lime.
  3. If you want a more "traditionally served" dark n' stormy type drink: shake the grenadine and black rum together. Get a glass with some ice. Pour ginger beer in. Add the grenadine/rum on top. Serve with lime

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

I've been craving bibimbap recently, so I finally got around to making some. The great thing about bibimbap is you can you seriously put anything in it and it's awesome. For this version, I used cooked short grain brown rice (jasmine would also work), sliced cucumbers (feel free to pickle them!), sliced + steamed sweet potatoes, sliced radishes, sliced green onions, miso horseradish kimchi, fried eggs + sriracha. If you want a 'real' recipe: vegetarian sweet potato bibimbap, with crispy tofu + kale and with pickled cucumbers + black rice

We love pasta, but I always want to try different variations on it. Last week I adapted this lemon garlic cream pasta to be GF/V. I used 1/2 almond milk instead of cream, no cheese, and GF pasta. This pasta is SO easy to make and such a great variation on basic "red" pasta. Next time I will definitely add greens, which I forgot. I also added a bit of vegan butter at the end to make it a little more decadent. 

Raw burritos we got at Lunas Living Kitchen in Charlotte this weekend! They were made of collard wraps, raw cauliflower rice, raw "refried" sunflower seeds, pico de gallo, guacamole, raw hot sauce, and a raw salad with brazil nut "parm". This was SO good, but definitely not cheap. I can't wait to try re-creating this at home!

Also from the raw restaurant: raw lemon raspberry cheesecake topped with microgreens + raspberries. I will definitely be trying my hand at raw desserts/food soon! Eating at Luna's really inspired me to branch out with more raw foods.

This is officially my new favorite vegan sandwich: blackened tempeh sandwiches with sriracha mayo, lettuce + tomato. This tempeh is so easy to make because it requires no marinating, just a dry rub/oiling process. The flavors of the blackening spice reminds me a lot of spicy chicken sandwiches that I used to love, but this is obviously the cruelty-free and healthy version! I can't wait to make these all the time in the summer.

I love recipes that are I can add fridge items to. I almost always have ingredients to make this rainbow rice + beans, as it turns out, which makes me really happy. I try to always have frozen organic peas and corn in my freezer, rice in the pantry, and these spices are pretty much always in my spice drawer. I used chickpeas instead of black beans because that's all I had, and I also added a thinly sliced jalapeno. The spices are a strange mix, but they work very well: coriander, mustard seed, oregano, fresh cumin seed, vegan soy sauce + vegan worcestershire. 

Since the weather is finally warmer, I've been trying to make us eat more salads lately. This rainbow jeweled beauty is a crunchy peanut quinoa Thai salad with peanut dressing. It was super easy to make and very satisfying on a warm day! I don't eat enough red cabbage, so I'm trying to try different recipes with it now. Also, because I had just returned home from a business exam, I used this GF peanut sauce with a squeeze of lime instead of making the dressing.

I think it's a common misconception that making ethnic food at home is complicated. This is funny to me because making ethnic food at home is almost always easier to make than other recipes. This Indian butter tofu took 30 minutes to make and it was cheaper, healthier, and tastier than any Indian food I've ever had a restaurant. Don't fear making ethnic food at home! I feel like I have more freedom making this at home, mostly because most restaurants do not have GF options.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Les Bouchées Quotidiennes

When I made fajitas a week or so ago, Mike claimed that we don't eat Mexican food enough, and I must agree. So now I'm trying to incorporate it into our weekly meal plan a little more often. Last week we made these sriracha sweet potato black bean tacos with homemade guacamole. Mike had never had sweet potatoes with black beans, which is always amazing! The sriracha marinade is a little sweet, which gives the sweet potatoes a great flavor. These were definitely a favorite for both of us!

Mike was away this weekend, which almost always equals mac and cheeze. This weekend I was out of cashews however, so I had to do some quick searching for a vegan recipe without cashews. I stumbled upon this baked mac with peas that is made with coconut milk, GF flour, and other delicious things. I put them in individual baking dishes topped with GF panko, which made them even tastier! The crazy part is Mike actually ate this, even though it had nutritional yeast in it (note: this is unheard of for him). 

I've been falling behind on making us salads lately, so I made us gigantic bowls with Cajun roasted broccoli, carrots, cucumber, chickpeas, iceberg lettuce (underneath everything), fried polenta rounds and vegan ranch hummus. I was going to follow the original recipe, but it was a little too involved/salt-heavy for me. The hummus is a great topping for this or any other salad, and it really does taste like ranch! It also makes a great dip for carrots, cucumber, and chips. 

I felt guilty about not making us a St.Patricks day meal, so we celebrated (more than a week late). We had garlic roasted cabbage, garlicky pepper tofu and salt n vinegar kale mashed potatoes. This is a little more involved than most of my weeknight meals, but I guess the craving really hit! This tofu recipe is awesome because it requires no marinading and it has a lot of flavor (especially with hot sauce!). The roasted cabbage was amazing and had to be put up before we both ate all of it. Oh and the mashed potatoes were obviously my favorite. They weren't hard to make and the flavor is awesome. Next time I will definitely put them under the broiler, as the recipe says. 

For roasted cabbage: preheat oven to 400. Slice cabbage into 1/2" "steaks" or wedges (good luck because mine didn't stay intact). Spray a large baking tray or two with non-stick oil. Place cabbage pieces on top. Smash 3 garlic cloves and rub each cabbage piece with garlic (I kept the garlic in the pan to roast with the cabbage). Brush each piece of cabbage with olive oil. Roast 30 minutes, flip, brush with a little more oil, and roast 30 minutes more until starting to brown. Smaller pieces may brown more quickly, so be sure to remove them first. Roasted cabbage is also incredible with hot sauce (like everything else).

Sometimes cooking in the middle of being really busy is actually very rewarding. It lets me shut my brain off and not think about the 500 things I need to do. Last night's distraction consisted of this lovely French lentil soup with fresh fennel, kale and chipotle "yogurt" (I used vegan mayo instead). This soup was super easy to make and you definitely can't skip the mayo because it gives it a lot of flavor. I love French (de puy) lentils because of their shape and when they cook, it smells like tea!...okay, am I the only person who thinks this? Maybe I'm nuts. Anyways, this is a great easy soup for any weeknight!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Links

1. Maybe it's because I want warmer weather, or because Molly is my favorite, but these marzipan peach hand pies are SO cute. And anything almond is automatically my favorite.

2. These photos of low-cost cosplay made me chuckle. They certainly saved the best for last.

3. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard for me to read about cricket flour bars without gagging, but I'm curious: would you try it? I'm an adventurous cook in my own kitchen, but I don't think I could eat milled crickets. Blech.

4. This mash-up of True Detective and King of the Hill is almost too perfect!

5. The set for American Horror Story's fourth season has been released! So excited! I still have some catching up to do from Season 3. 

6. The cutest thing I found on the Internet this week: this video of a baby bulldog who loves rolling down hills!

7. Have you seen the trailer for the new FX show, Fargo? It looks amazing! Can't wait!

8. This isn't brand new, but I finally looked into Turntable Kitchen and realized its a monthly box with food goodies, recipes and a vinyl! WHAT?? I don't think all of the recipes are vegetarian and I'm not sure it's customizable, but this is such an awesome idea!

9. I've been making kimchi soba or miso soup a lot lately, so this sweet potato sriracha noodle soup sounds incredible right now! (PS: so does this sriracha lime spiked miso ramen)

10. I can't wait for The Grand Budapest Hotel to get here! In the mean time, watch this supercut of centered shots from Wes Anderson's films.