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!