Butternut squash + turkey hash

Butternut squash for 59 cents at Aldi?! Clearly, fall is here!

Butternut squash + turkey hash

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  • butternut squash
  • ~3 oz lean ground turkey (mine is 93/7)
  • oil (I used both EVOO and canola)
  • onion
  • spinach
  • cinnamon, salt, any other seasonings optional
  1. Cut butternut squash into large chunks and microwave face down with a small amount of water to steam. I overcooked mine…best idea is to do it for 4-5 minutes so it’s not completely cooked, then cut into bite-size chunks.
  2. Coat a pan with EVOO on medium heat, sauteeing diced onion and butternut squash until the onion is mostly translucent.
  3. Add the rest of your oil (here’s where I used canola), throw in the turkey (crumbled up) and spinach until the turkey is cooked through and the spinach is wilted.
  4. Turn heat up to medium to crisp it up a little and add a couple big shakes of cinnamon and salt to taste.

Happy fall! :)

Salmon rosti

I have a GIANT bag of potatoes in my kitchen that I’m trying to keep from going bad. I love shredding them for hash browns and just frying a couple eggs to go on top, but that meal is starting to get boring, so tonight for dinner I decided to mix it up…

Salmon rosti (fish cakes)

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  • about 1/3 cup of canned salmon (mine is wild pink salmon)
  • 1 cup shredded potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • Dijon mustard, salt, pepper
  • oil or fat of choice (I used canola oil with a pat of butter)
  • ketchup (optional)
  1. In a bowl, mix the potatoes and salmon together and crack in an egg to bind the whole thing into a batter.
  2. Add in a generous squirt of Dijon and salt and pepper (you can err on the side of seasoning too little because you can always add more when it’s cooked).
  3. Heat a pan on medium and add in oil/butter, then add potato/salmon/egg mixture.
  4. Let it cook until edges are browned and you can flip it in small sections to create several little cakes.
  5. Once the other side is browned, you’re good to go!
  6. Serve with ketchup if you want. I also steamed some broccoli on the side and added salt and pepper to everything.

Dijon bacon + beans

I make a huge pot of dried beans every week to eat in my lunches and dinners. Endless possibilities, but sometimes I get in a rut and just eat the beans straight along with corn tortillas (another staple for me). Today, since I’m off from work, I stepped up my game a little…

Dijon bacon + beans

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  • 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans (I used cooked dried ones but canned are fine)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp of crumbled or chopped bacon (probably equivalent of 1 strip)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2 corn tortillas (optional)
  1. Microwave or heat in a pan: beans, spinach and bacon.
  2. Add in a squirt of Dijon and heat again til warm. Stir it all together.
  3. Serve with corn tortillas on the side!

Super, super easy and tasty. Another great idea would be to add a little brown sugar or maple syrup to make these more “baked beans” flavor. The bacon I used was already crumbled so it had a little brown sugar in it. And while I am an advocate of bacon in everything, it can easily be left out if you don’t eat or like bacon!

Coconut mug cake + PB “frosting”

I’ve been super into “cake in a mug” recipes lately. It’s easy, quick, microwaveable and it means there’s no way I’ll accidentally eat a whole cake! Plus, since I don’t really eat gluten anymore, I don’t think a whole gluten-free cake would be that appealing. So I give you tonight’s creation…

Coconut mug cake + PB “frosting”

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  • 3 T coconut flour
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • shake of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • couple splashes of almond milk
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp cream cheese
  • spoonful of maple syrup
  1. Mix coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, egg and milk in a small bowl.
  2. Grease or spray a small mug or jar and pour batter in. Microwave on full power for about 1:30-2:00.
  3. Slide it out of container and onto a plate–there’s your cake part!
  4. In a separate container, mix the peanut butter, cream cheese and maple syrup. You could also use Greek yogurt! That’s your frosting. :)

Zucchini pancake + eggs

Came home from work feeling super hungry and very unmotivated to cook. I even told my dad on the phone that I thought making eggs sounded like too much work! He asked if I had any zucchini, which I did. I’ve been eating it raw all week (it’s one of the veggies that makes me gag if I eat too much of it raw). His suggestion…

Zucchini Pancake + Eggs

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  • zucchini (I used about 2/3 of a normal-sized one)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-3 T flour (I used gluten-free, but normal works fine too!)
  • salt, pepper
  • baking powder
  • oil or butter (or both)
  1. Grate zucchini into a bowl (probably about 2/3 cup, but any amount will do.)
  2. Add salt, pepper, a small amount (1/2 tsp?) baking powder, ONE of the eggs, and the flour. Stir into a batter.
  3. Pour a small amount of oil or butter into the pan (I used canola to coat the pan and a pat of butter for flavor). Add zucchini pancake batter. Cook on medium-high. Edges will start to brown.
  4. Eventually, once it’s solid enough that you can run your spatula under the edges, flip one end of the pancake onto the other — like folding an omelet. In the empty space, add another pat of butter and crack in your second egg. Let both cook on medium heat until done.
  5. Pop ’em onto a plate, add ketchup or whatever…and eat!

Ideally, I would have added in some Romano or Parmesan cheese to the pancake batter, but I didn’t have any. Cheddar or a strong cheese would be great too, or even Gruyere…but let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got money for that. ;)

Shrimp & Penne Pasta Salad

I pack lunch most days, so I try to keep things interesting and mix it up. Usually it ends up being a salad (different ingredients every day)…reliable, but boring. Dan suggested I try pasta salad, so I cobbled one together for lunch today and it was such a nice change.

Shrimp & Penne Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium size shrimp
  • short pasta (I used Barilla PastaPlus penne) — any amount
  • diced green bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • kalamata olives
  • tomato
  • salad dressing (I used balsamic vinaigrette)
  • EVOO
  • garlic salt, white & black pepper
  • pecorino romano (or any grated cheese)

Cook a random amount of pasta until al dente, then measure out desired amount (I used 3/4 cup cooked pasta) and rinse under cool water. (NOTE: don’t ever do this for pasta you’re mixing with a sauce & serving hot! Rinsing totally ruins it). Leftover pasta can just be put away — or you can make it all at once.

Steam or saute shrimp (I let mine thaw in a colander and then dropped them in the pasta water toward the last minute or so of cooking). Cut into small pieces.

In a bowl, combine cooked pasta, cut shrimp and all veggies. I made my veggies fairly small — not minced, but diced or a bit larger.

Add dressing and mix well, then add a large drizzle of EVOO, along with garlic salt, white pepper & black pepper. Other spices might be good too — garlic powder, cayenne, anything really.

After the entire thing is mixed together, you can grate some hard cheese over it. I grated Pecorino Romano from a block, but I think parmesan would work as well. I’d recommend grating it fresh if you can instead of getting it pre-grated…tastes better!

It feels like the weekend…

I’ve been absent from the blog for a loooong time. I spent my winter break interning in Boston and had a great experience (not to mention a lot of fun). Back in the ‘Cuse now, and definitely going to be updating this more with recipes. I don’t have class two days a week, so I’m spending that time doing things I love, like cooking more.

Dan is here visiting for the week (!) and I’m using that as a great excuse to cook more exciting things (since it’s easier to try out a new recipe on two people). First, my dinner creation last night:

Peanut Soba Stir-Fry (note: recipes are mine, but credit given for direct inspiration/adaptation)

  • veggies: carrots (cut like matchsticks), white button mushrooms, broccoli, kale, fresh ginger, onion
  • canola oil
  • buckwheat soba noodles
  • extra-firm tofu (cubed)
  • peanut sauce (adapted from Cooking Light): water, natural PB, sriracha, rice vinegar, citrus soy sauce, brown sugar)
  • blanched slivered almonds

After cubing the tofu, spray a baking pan with cooking spray and place tofu in it. I seasoned with garam masala and then sprayed again, but you could just do salt & pepper (or whatever spice you want). Bake in 350* oven until crispy (30-60 minutes).

Cook soba noodles in boiling water (as you would with pasta) for just a few minutes (usually about 4-5) until tender, then drain.

For peanut sauce, combine a small amount of water with a large spoonful each of brown sugar and peanut butter. Squirt in sriracha, rice vinegar and soy sauce, then stir all of the ingredients together and add more of any of them to taste.

Toast the almonds in the microwave — spread them on a small plate in a single layer, then microwave for around one minute.

Cut veggies into very small pieces. Drizzle canola oil into skillet (~1 tbsp) and add all veggies. Once kale cooks down, add in tofu and noodles, then slowly add the peanut sauce and the almonds.

I served it with sliced comice pear on the side (sort of tastes like a hybrid apple/pear, with very porous flesh).

And then…brunch today also turned out worthy of a recipe post on here.

Coconut French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

  • 2 egg whites
  • ~1/3 cup one-percent milk
  • splash of coconut milk (unsweet)
  • cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup
  • 3 slices of Ithaca Bakery oatmeal whole wheat
  • bananas (2)
  • canola oil & cooking spray
  • walnuts
  • raspberry jam
  • Greek yogurt

Combine egg whites, milk and coconut milk, a few shakes of cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup in a bowl. Soak each piece of bread in it, but not for too long or it’ll get too soggy to put in the pan.

In one skillet, add a big drizzle of canola oil and put slices of banana in it to cook on low heat until they caramelize (as a topping for the french toast).

In another skillet, spray very well with cooking spray (mine is EVOO spray but canola works also). Add in the pieces of bread (one at a time is easiest in a small-ish skillet). Flip the toast once it’s browned a bit.

Top each piece with the caramelized bananas, pieces of walnut and either maple syrup or jam (both are yummy). I had my piece with plain Greek yogurt and a cafe au lait on the side.

Buon appetito! :)