Lemon Garlic Swiss Chard with Kidney Beans

The weather can’t completely decide what it wants to do with itself but I think it is getting warmer so now it is time to change from the heavy flavor profile to a more lighter and fresher one!  This recipe is somewhere in between, just like this weather.  It has the bright flavors of the lemon and the freshness from the swiss chard, but it still has that warm and hearty feeling from the beans and broth.  This is the perfect lunch for this in between weather we are experiencing!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bunch swiss chard
  • 3 slices fresh lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper
  • 1 bouillon cube or 1 cup of chicken stalk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 can kidney beans

How to:

  1. Begin by chopping and rinsing the swiss chard. Also rinse the kidney beans and set aside.
  2. In a high walled skillet add the oil and once warm, add the garlic and let saute until golden and aromatic.
  3. Add in the swiss chard, then the stock with water, cover and let cook for 10 minutes until the swiss chard is just wilted.
  4. Then add in the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and lay the slices of lemon on top.
  5. Add in your kidney beans and let cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced.  Eat and enjoy!

Perfectly Pulled

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in 100 directions?  You have 3 group meetings, 2 exams, on top of all your homework and extracurricular activities.  And rushing from one thing to the next, you forget to eat.  One way to combat this is to plan ahead.  I don’t mean making 50 PB&J sandwiches, but something equally as simple but with LOADS more flavor.  This is a ridiculously easy recipe to make pulled pork.  This recipe for pulled pork can be used with BBQ, mexican, alone, however you want.  So set it and forget it in a crockpot, and then eat it all week long however you like!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soda (something clear like sprite or ginger ale)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard (or yellow if you don’t have spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon steak sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pepper
  • center cut pork loin (is what I used but butt works well also)

How to:

  1. Add everything to a crock pot and cook low for 4 hours then high for 4 hours.
  2. BAM, its shredded and delicious.
  3. You can thicken the liquid in the pot to make a delicious sauce or just leave the meat in the liquid so it stays juicy and most.
  4. I ate this as a taco today, but I ate them as stand alone with collards, as BBQ, so many different ways.
  5. Enjoy!

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Pulled Pork Asian Spring Rolls

As much as I love to treat myself to the spring rolls from the Vietnamese restaurant/food truck Bon Me, my college budget won’t allow me make it a habit.  When I’m craving the flavors of Asian cuisine while nursing a broken wallet, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. This recipe was very easy, crazy flavorful, healthy, and surprisingly filling.

Ingredients:

  • Rice paper wrappers
  • Pulled Pork
  • fresh cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • soy sauce
  • scallions/chives
  • jalapeno hot sauce

How to:

  1. Since the pulled pork is already made, this is just a matter of assembling.
  2. Begin with soaking the rice paper in warm water and massaging it until it is soft.
  3. Then lay on a flat surface and fill with pork, sprouts, scallions, cilantro, drizzle with soy sauce. Add few drops of hot sauce, according to taste.
  4. Roll it up tight (folding the sides first) and DONE!

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Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Call me Goldilocks, but I can never get my butternut squash soup to be “just right.” Always too thick or lacking sufficient flavor, I was determined to get it just right for my Fall themed potluck dinner. My guests could not get enough of this soup on the chilly October night of our dinner, so I would call this recipe a success! A quintessential fall vegetable, I think you’ll find that all the flavors and textures of this soup are “just right” for fall.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs butternut squash, cut and peeled
  • 2 medium yams, cut and peeled
  • 1 carton half and half (or milk or a combo of both)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2/3 bay leaves
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced
  • salt and pepper (~ 2 teaspoons each)
  • 1 teaspoon- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 tablespoon butter

How to:

  1. In a large pan, cook onions and garlic. Cook them low and slow until translucent, adding in 1 tablespoon butter toward the end. Add the bay leaves.
  2. Add yams, butternut, bouillon cubes, and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook until very tender.
  4. Puree the soup until smooth.
  5. Return the pureed soup to the pan and add in dairy and spices. Add the dairy until the soup is a bisque consistency, about 2 cups.

Chef’s Note: Only add dairy to the portion of soup you will be eating right away! If you’re making a week’s worth of soup, refrigerate puree and add dairy when you’re ready for the next bowl.

 

Colorful Corn Chowder

 

 

On a rainy fall day like today, what could be better than a nice cup of chowda! A lot of people turn to using can soups because they think homemade soup is difficult, but it isn’t! Also canned soup contains a lot of salt and can loose nutritional value a homemade soup would have.  So skip the can and make a delicious pot of corn chowder today!

Ingredients:

  • 2 strips cooked bacon
  • 5/7 small colored potatoes (red, purple, whatever)
  • 1 onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 and 1/2 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1 tablespoon flour

How to:

  1. Begin by slowly cooking your chopped onions in 1 tablespoon oil.
  2. Just before they begin to turn translucent add in your chopped bacon and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and let it get a little bit of color before adding in your chopped raw potatoes (I was too lazy to peel them)
  4. Cover with water and cook covered at a rolling boil temperature add some salt.  Continue to cook until the potatoes begin to get tender.
  5. Once tender, reduce heat and add cream, salt and pepper.
  6. Now it is ready to enjoy!

 

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Kale and Bulgur Salad

Salads are usually my go to lunch, and when you are eating salad every day, this can lead to a really boring lunch time.  So to shake it up I try to use new ingredients and flavors so I never get bored!  This salad is really hearty and healthy, it will keep you full without packing on pounds.  I encourage you to try bulgur, but this salad could work with any grain!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • handful fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • salt and pepper

How to:

  1. Begin by cooking you bulgur according to the package instructions
  2. While that is cooking, chop up your kale, cucumber, and peppers.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the oil, vinegar, mustard, and spices (including the basil)
  4. Then pour your warm bulgur over your kale, and the dressing over everything
  5. Then enjoy!!

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Bean Sprout Fried Rice

About a year ago this time I went to a restaurant for some Chinese food in a town I wasn’t all that familiar with.  I had just grown this new love for bean sprouts and when I saw they had bean sprout fried rice on the menu I knew I had to try it. Well it did not disappoint.  It is really simple but so tasty, especially if you like bean sprouts.  This is my take on that recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepper
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • garlic powder
  • lima/ edamame beans
  • red pepper flakes

How to:

  1. Begin by sautéing your peppers, onions, and sprouts.  Cook in a little bit of oil on medium heat and add the bean sprouts and lima beans a few minutes after the peppers and onions. Sprinkle with just a bit of garlic and red pepper flake
  2. Once they are tender add in your rice.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the egg with the soy sauce
  4. Turn the head up a little bit and add the egg to the rice and veggie mixture.
  5. Continuously stir the pan to get that scrambled egg mixture.
  6. Once the eggs are cooked, its ready to eat!

 

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New Toy for A Fresh Favorite

My amazing parents came and brought me all sorts of great things this weekend, one thing my Mom was particularly excited about was a mandolin. A mandolin can be used a variety of ways.  To make very thin slices, to grate things, or to slice off your finger.  Although it is a great tool, it usually is where people hurt themselves on cooking shows.  Regardless, I use mine with the upmost care and respect and am super excited to start making recipes with it!!

Also this weekend my parents took me to my favorite Italian grocery store Russo’s. Where they have everything you could imagine in terms of fruits and vegetables (even ones you didn’t knew existed) and also other products such as dried fruit and homemade pasta.  Its a great location with also really great prices.  While there I saw something I NEEDED to have for my apartment, a basil plant.  I’ve wanted one for a really long time, and the windowsill in my kitchen was the perfect place for its new home.

This recipe combines both of my new toys; the mandolin and basil plant, and makes a fresh favorite even more fun.

Ingredients:

  • tomato (very stiff one)
  • cucumber
  • fresh basil
  • salt
  • balsamic reduction
  • fresh mozzarella if you have it

How to:

  1. If you do not have a stiff tomato, I would suggest not using the mandolin because it will all just be mushy.  Either way, slice up your tomato and cucumber.
  2. Then ribbon your basil
  3. In a bowl mix all together, sprinkle with salt and drizzle in balsamic reduction and done.
  4. Elegant and flavorful but brilliantly simple!

 

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