Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuscan Kale and Sausage Stew

September is here, and with it comes all of those urges for warm and comfy autumnal foods. This hearty and easy-to-prepare "stew" satisfies all of those comfort food cravings and comes together in a little over half an hour, making it an ideal weeknight dinner. 

The light broth takes its strong and comforting flavors from the garlicky fennel-laced Italian sausages, with a creaminess that comes from cooking the pasta in the broth (a little culinary magic there, without the added guilt of heavy cream). 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi {Gluten Free}

I'd like to think that I cope pretty well with a gluten-free lifestyle, and I don't tend to particularly miss it, except for when I have a craving for homemade pasta. My stomach started rumbling yesterday, and that got me to thinking... surely if gnocchi is mostly made up of potato, I could easily substitute the flour with a gluten free alternative?

Well, after a little experimentation, I think I've figured it out. The problem? I have no idea what the measurements were. I'll list how much I *think* that I used, but next time I put the recipe together, I'll be sure to measure so that  I can update this post with a real recipe. If you're the adventurous type in the kitchen, just give it a go, and let me know how if you can figure out the exact proportions!

Also, for the record, I served this to non-gluten-free humans, and they gobbled it up without being any wiser to my little substitution. I imagine that you could use regular flour, but it'll probably require less,  and the preparation will be different, so  I don't recommend following my method if you do.

Basically, I started with two peeled, diced, and boiled sweet potatoes. (There's another difficulty in the recipe, because the quantity of flour needed will vary based on the size of your potatoes. Oof!) Then I mashed them by hand, but you could use a food processor or electric hand mixer if you'd rather not do all of the mashing work.

I then added to my mash 1 egg, and (I think) 1/4 cup of cornstarch (cornflour), and about 1 cup of rice flour, though I added 1/2 at a time. The mixture sort of resembled chocolate chip cookie dough - thick and sticky, but could be rolled up into a (sticky) ball. I transferred the mixture to some non-stick paper (you can use wax paper or plastic wrap), wrapped it into a square parcel shape, and flattened it to about 1" in thickness. Then I chilled it in the fridge for about 3 hours, until it was nice and firm.

When I removed it from the fridge, I sliced it into 1/2" thick strips, and then sliced the strips into about 1/2" to 3/4" nuggets. *IMPORTANT: You're going to need to continuously wet your knife, and fingers, during this part to prevent the dough from sticking.* Then I sort of rolled each piece along the cutting board using my finger and the back of a fork, to give it that traditional gnocchi look, before dropping it into a pot of boiling water. Within 3-4 minutes, the cooked gnocchi bobbed to the top. A quick taste test deemed that they were fully cooked, and  I transferred them to a pan to saute in a bit of sauce before serving. I don't have a photo of the balsamic chicken that it was served with last night, but that was another big hit of a first-time recipe, so I promise it will be on here eventually. I tend to use my family and friends as guinea pigs before subjecting the outside world to my recipes.

The chilled dough will last in the fridge for up to a week, and you can slice off as much as you need for each meal. Just today I cut about 8 pieces and cooked them with some broccoli, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan for a light but really satisfying lunch.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Recipe Post Fail: Apple Chips

I made apple chips, and they were great! But there's bad news - I have 0 photos of the finished apple chips. I'm really, really sorry. I ate all of them before I had time to take a photo - no lie. Camera battery had died, and I was hungry and not about to wait.

When you spend 2 hours  anticipating something delicious, sometimes these things just happen. If I make them again in the future, I promise to take a photo and add it on here. Or on my Instagram. Just please trust me that these turn out ok, and follow this super simple recipe for a delicious healthy snack!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A "Supreme" Breakfast

I have always been a "supreme" pizza lover. You know, with the spicy pepperoni and sausage, sweet peppers, and onions piled on top. YUM. And one of my favorite ways to eat my beloved supreme pizza is cold and leftover for breakfast.

 Today, I warmed it up a little and added my other favorite food - eggs - to make a delicious (and healthy) baked breakfast treat, with all of the yum factor of my favorite pizza. It's hearty enough to have as a quick dinner, too, if you're looking to cut out the crust of pizza altogether. If you want to turn this into a weekend brunch, simply multiply the recipe and use a large baking dish. You can get really creative with the vegetables, too, as long as you don't use anything that takes too long to cook (like potatoes).

To jazz it up a little, for this recipe I used chorizo instead of pepperoni (but you can use whichever you happen to have). Spicy or sweet italian sausage would be a great addition, too, if you have some already cooked on hand. And if you're a real spice lover, top it off with some chili flakes. Today I garnished with basil for a little added freshness, but parsley or oregano would add plenty of flavor as well.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Souper Creamy Spinach Soup

It's no secret, I'm a soup junkie. And on frigid days like today, I immediately think of rich, warm, hearty soups and stews as my first choice in a meal. Packed with all of the goodness that spinach has to offer, this is a great healthy recipe to keep on hand. It's easy to make at this time of year, since it uses up some staple pantry and freezer ingredients (instead of relying on fresh vegetables in the dead of winter). The bright, refreshing flavors are a welcome warm pick-me-up when you come in from the cold.

This deceptively simple soup is a definite belly-pleaser, and the addition of hearty cannellini beans add protein and richness, so you won't be hungry again in an hour. If you're looking to make a fully "Meatless Monday" vegetarian or vegan interpretation of this dish, simply omit the ingredients with an "*" next to them.

I like to garnish my bowl with a dollop of fresh yogurt and a sprinkling of parsley, and a little bit of freshly cracked pepper, but you can also add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or even some chili oil for a little punch!

Friday, January 9, 2015

"Street Meat"


As a former New Yorker, there are a few foods that really tug on your heart strings when you're gone. One of my biggest cravings these days is the indispensable flavor of the halal cart, affectionately known to many as "street meat". It's just seasoned chicken over rice... or is it?

I've used a chicken tikka masala seasoning that I bought at a local Indian grocery store; here is a favorite foolproof brand that you can find in most middle eastern shops (or on Amazon!). If you're lucky enough to live in New York City, hop on over to Brooklyn and head to Oriental Pastry and Grocery in Cobble Hill. This is where I had my chicken tikka spices hand-mixed, and you won't get a better flavor anywhere.  I put this stuff on everything when I had the chance, and I miss it. A lot. (Get some Turkish coffee and some amazing pastries while you're there, too.)

As a standard, I serve up my beloved street meat at home with some salad of cucumber, tomato, and onion, and basmati rice cooked with chicken stock and turmeric for that trademark bright yellow color. Plain yogurt with a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper makes a great (and healthy) "white sauce", and I use sriracha as my hot sauce. Taste-wise, I actually prefer my homemade to the original, but it still holds a very special place in my heart.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year Eats!

Happy [Belated] New Year! I hope everyone had wonderful (and delicious) holidays.

I must have been a good girl this year, because there were two particularly exciting presents under the tree for me: new cookbooks!!! I know I've mentioned before wanting an Ottolenghi cookbook, so I was super thrilled when I unwrapped the newest one, Jerusalem. It's a fantastic read and beautifully photographed book, as well as being chock full of yummy recipes that I can't wait to try out. If you're a fan of fusion, you're going to want to get your hands on this one. With its rich cultural and historical backgrounds, I had no idea how diverse the cuisine of one city could be.

Then, a total surprise, a cookbook on Southeast Asian cuisine! Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysia, China... this book's got a little bit of everything, and a whole lot of recipes that are brand-spanking-new to me. It also has a great guide on unfamiliar ingredients, and tips on authentic preparation of the dishes. The anticipation to get back into the kitchen after all of this holiday mayhem is absolutely killing me. I have so many new things I want to cook (and eat!!)

So get ready, because I have tons of new culinary inspiration for the start of 2015!