Category Archives: Recipe

Mexican Burrito Bowl

I love easy dinners. You know those dinners that take less than 15 minutes to prep and serve? This is one of those dinners. The best part? It’s healthy Mexican. Yup, you heard me, healthy and Mexican in the same sentence.

We start with a layer of brown rice. I happened to have some leftover rice in the fridge, but the only real “prep” work you will need to do is making some rice. The next step is adding some black beans, Mexican cheese, diced tomatoes, avocado and salsa to the bowl. Quickly fry an egg. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top and DONE.


I love this bowl because it is not only simple, but also delicious. It has plenty of protein to keep you full (the beans and the egg) and is just the right amount of food. You know that overly full feeling you get after Mexican? Not with this dish. This is one of my all-time favorite 15-minute meals. Enjoy!Mexican Burrito Bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup your favorite salsa (or more to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Divide the brown rice, black beans and cheese in half. Layer two bowls with the three ingredients, placing the rice first, then the black beans and then sprinkling the cheese over the top. Microwave (or heat) each bowl for 30-45 seconds until cheese has melted and ingredients are warm.
  2. Top each bowl with tomato, avocado and salsa. Set bowls aside.
  3. Spray a medium frying pan with Pam (or other baking spray) and heat the pan on high heat for at least 30 seconds. Crack one egg into the pan. Let the egg sit and cook. It is done when the whites are cooked through and the edges begin to turn up. Remove egg from pan and place on top of one of your bowls. Repeat with second egg and place on top of second bowl.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of each bowl and enjoy.
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Filed under Cooking, Main Course, Recipe, Vegetarian

Recent Pins

I have recently fallen in love with Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard which lets you organize and share recipes/photos/ideas which you find on the web. I like to use Pinterest for recipe ideas. I read a LOT of blogs (almost 200 a day) and get tons of ideas from them. Instead of printing and filing them, I simply “pin” them to my recipe boards and look back on them whenever I have a “What should I make for dinner?” sort of night. I wanted to share a few of my recent pins, since I love to share the blogger love and think these are some great looking dishes!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls from Cate’s World Kitchen

Brownie Cookie Dough Sandwiches from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce from A Cozy Kitchen

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup from Spoon Fork Bacon

Baked Pumpkin Ice Cream Glazed Doughnuts from Picky Palate

Autumn Orzo Salad by Savvy Eats

Mushroom Lasagna from NY Times

Cheddar Scallion Cornbread by The Curvy Carrot

These are a few of my recent favorites, if you would like to see the rest of my recent recipe pins, follow me on Pinterest HERE. Also, I’d love to see some of your pins, leave me a comment below letting me know your Pin name!

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Filed under Recipe

Preserved Lemon and Spring Vegetable Risotto with Grilled Shrimp

Fall is finally here. And in LA that means the temperature has dropped to below 60 (gasp!) and that there have been some rainy days. Yesterday was a rainy Sunday, so my mom and I decided to take advantage of staying indoors all day and make risotto.

Risotto is time consuming, but SO worth it. You know I love my crockpot wonders, but every once in a while, it’s really nice to spend some serious time in the kitchen. This risotto requires some serious prep work (blanching asparagus, lots of chopping and ingredient prep) and once on the stove, you are stirring like a crazy woman. But the end result is pure heaven.

(Yes, I cook in Q’s big sweatshirt and no make-up… don’t judge) 

I would recommend making this dish for a special occasion or when you have a rainy Sunday afternoon and happen to have all the ingredients in the fridge like we did! This dish is truly exceptional, just make sure to read through those directions a FEW times before embarking on this one!

Preserved Lemon and Spring Vegetable Risotto with Grilled Shrimp

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Shrimp:

  • 24 to 32 deveined shrimp, shell on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod (or another anise aperitif)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Zest of 1/2 large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Risotto:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup Pernod, or other anise aperitif
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons rinsed and finely diced preserved lemon rinds
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 cups peas (frozen are fine)
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

  1. In a shallow dish just large enough to hold the shrimp, mix the shrimp with the olive oil, Pernod, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Let the shrimp marinate at room temperature while you make the risotto.
  2. Prepare all the risotto ingredients: Blanch the asparagus for 1-2 minutes in salted, boiling water and set aside. Heat the stock in a medium saucepan over low heat. Have everything measured and close at hand by the stove. Once you start stirring the risotto, there’s no stopping.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (like a Le Creuset). Add the onions, fennel, and garlic and sweat over low heat for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Season with salt to taste, about halfway through.
  4. Add the rice and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir to coat and slightly toast the rice, about 3 minutes. You should hear a lively crackling in the pot. The rice will take on a shiny, translucent coat.
  5. Add the Pernod and lemon juice to the rice and continue stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  6. Add a ladleful of hot stock to the rice and continue stirring. It’s important to regulate the heat at this point. The rice should neither boil vigorously nor cook too slowly. You’re looking for an even, medium heat that gives the rice a billowy loft and brings some bubbles to the surface.
  7. As the stock is absorbed, continue adding it by ladlefuls and stirring. If you watch carefully, you’ll see that toward the end the rice really gives itself over to the liquid, releasing its starch to make a kind of cream. Stop incorporating stock once the rice is creamy but still al dente, cooked but not too soft. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes, and between 6 and 8 cups of stock. (*Our rice was really dry so it took all 8 cups).
  8. Remove the risotto from the heat and immediately fold in the butter, mascarpone, preserved lemon rind, most of the mint (save some for the garnish), the peas, and several grinds of white pepper. The risotto will cook the peas. Stir slowly to blend, check a final time for seasoning, and carefully fold in the asparagus. Put a lid on the risotto and let it rest while you prepare the shrimp. The risotto will expand slightly in volume, and take on a marvelous sheen.
  9. Grill or broil the shrimp for about 60 seconds on each side, or until the flesh is completely opaque.
  10. Top each serving of the risotto with 4 shrimp, garnish with the remaining mint and a flourish of pepper and serve.

Slightly adapted from The Food52 Cookbook

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Filed under Cooking, Grains, Main Course, Recipe

Deconstructed Spicy Tuna Roll

I feel like lunch is a pretty boring meal…kind of a midday, on-the-run, place holder between breakfast and dinner. This may also be because of my love of breakfast (I could eat it for every meal if I had the chance) and the sociability of dinner (some good food, good wine and friends). But lunch? Just an inbetweener.

My mom and I made this deconstructed spicy tuna roll over the weekend for lunch and it was the best meal I had all day (and pretty much all week). It really put my “lunch as a place holder” theory to the test, since I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The bowl is a combination of all things spicy tuna (rice, tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, seaweed with the addition of some tomatoes). I love how this bowl turned out in texture and flavor and would make this again and again to “spice up lunch” (I couldn’t help it with the pun there).

Deconstructed Spicy Tuna Roll

Serves 2

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers (or 1/2 an English cucumber deseeded), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound sushi grade tuna, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Spicy Mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • Roasted Seaweed Pieces, shredded
  • Soy Sauce (for drizzling)
  • Wasabi, to taste

Directions:

  1. Divide the rice between two bowls.
  2. Make a bed of cucumbers and tomatoes in a flat circle on the rice. Set the tuna cubes on the cucumbers and tomatoes.
  3. Combine the avocado, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and mix gently. Arrange the avocado on top of the tuna.
  4. Place a dollop of the Spicy Mayonnaise dressing in the center of the tuna with a dab of wasabi.
  5. Sprinkle on roasted seaweed shreds and add. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

Spicy Mayonnaise

Makes 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sriracha (or spicy chili oil)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, preferably low sodium

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Adapted from My Japanese Table

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Filed under Cooking, Fish, Grains, Recipe, Sauces/Dips

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Top 4 Reasons Why I Love Halloween:

1. Dogs in costumes.

2. Guilt free unlimited candy consumption.

3. It’s my birthday. As a kid this was awesome since trick or treating at the neighbors’ houses resulted in extra treats for the birthday girl. Now, it is an excellent excuse to have a Halloween party.

4. My mom makes me a dessert of my choosing for the big day. This year, I opted for coconut cupcakes (my absolute favorite kind).

My mom makes the BEST cupcakes I’ve ever had. They are fluffy, moist, flavorful and perfectly frosted and covered in sprinkles. This recipe has been one we go back to often since it has never done us wrong. One word of caution with this one: don’t be afraid of the massive quantity of butter used… just close your eyes and pretend it’s healthy.

This year, we decided to make our cupcakes a little Halloweeny by adding some fun sprinkles on top. I got a big case of Halloween sprinkles from Target and went to town. It gave them a fun little touch and ensured that no cupcake looked the same.

Last Halloween thought of the day – in New York, how do kids trick or treat? Apartment door to apartment door? Do they go out to the suburbs? In LA, I used to do a quick trick or treat around my small neighborhood early and then my parents would drive me to Hancock Park to meet up with my friends and do a full 2-hour door-to-door trick or treat marathon.

Halloween Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Makes 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Cream Cheese Icing (directions below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minues. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
  4. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. FIll each cup to the top with batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with remaining coconut and sprinkles.

Cream Cheese Icing

For 18 to 20 large cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 

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Filed under Baking, Cupcakes, Recipe

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

I love a good salad dressing, well actually I love a good vinaigrette. Now that I have mastered the basic vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper), I am always looking for new variations.

Last week I posted the recipe for these Coriander Chicken Patties, which we served on a bed of lettuce topped with this Pomegranate Vinaigrette. After finishing the chicken and the salad, we were left with almost 3/4 cup of this dressing (the recipe makes a LOT). For the next week, I had it every night and I enjoyed it more and more each time.

(The Pour)

The dressing has a great fruity, but not too sweet flavor that works well over any type of salad. I had it over plain mixed greens as well as a few fancier salads (pomegranate seeds and pistachios/ dried cranberries, goat cheese, and pecans) and it worked well with both. This recipe makes a lot of dressing, I recommend using a mason jar to make it and storing that in the fridge for future use.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Makes 1 Cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (like this)
  • 1 tablespoon fruit flavored vinegar or balsamic (we used Cherry Balsamic Vinegar)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a smal mason jar with a lid, combine ingredients and shake well.
  2. Serve at room temperature. (If you refrigerate the vinaigrette, make sure to stir it with a whisk before serving as the molasses will thicken and separate in the fridge. With a little stir, the dressing mixes. If still too thick, add a little more olive oil and stir).

Adapted from 2BeSatisfied

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Filed under Cooking, Dressing, Recipe

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know I make a lot of banana recipes, but I hate letting browning bananas go to waste. Last night I had a few bananas that were past their prime and I wanted to try the combination of bananas & chocolate chips, since I was craving a dessert/treat and not a breakfast banana bread (my usual go to with brown bananas).

The result? A delicious cakey, not too sweet muffin. The bananas weren’t overpowering (which I like) and the chocolate chips added a nice “treat-like” quality to the muffins. I had one after dinner and it completely satisfied my sweet tooth.

This recipe is basic and easy to complete. I also really like that  you don’t have to haul out your stand mixer and can do it all by hand. I adapted the recipe below from Bon Appetit (although my batter created 15 not 12 muffins). In other reviews I read, people suggested using apple sauce or Greek yogurt instead of butter as well as adding a little vanilla and cinnamon to the batter. I think both variations would work well if you are looking to make a healthier muffin.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 15 muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line fifteen 1/3-cup muffin cups with muffin liners.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a ricer, mash the 3 bananas into a medium bowl. If you do not have a ricer, use a large fork instead. Add egg, melted butter and milk and mix.
  4. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients using a spatula and folding the mixtures together. Stir until just blended (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter amont prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and tester inserted into center comes out with some melted chocolate attached, but no crumbs. About 30 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 1999 

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Filed under Baking, Muffins, Recipe