Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creamy Corn

This makes a delicious side dish and works well on salads with black beans.

Creamy Corn
from Cookie Monster Cooking

10 oz. corn
3 Tbs. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped
2 Tbs. parsley, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup sour cream

1. If using frozen corn, cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally (~5-10 minutes).
3. Set heat to low, and stir in parsley, salt, pepper, and thyme. Add corn and sour cream. Mix until well combined.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pinwheels

Ah, Thanks giving day! A true foodie holiday. My immediate family and I went over to my aunt's on my mom's side and had our feast there. But before going, I asked my mom (same morning, of course): What are we supposed to bring? She tells me a vegetable dish and an hors d'oeuvres tray. When I ask what vegetable and hors d'oeuvres, she said sweet potato and pickles (respectively). I had a minor panic, knowing that neither of those would be the options my aunt was looking for. Sure enough, when my mom called over to see if sweet potato would be an acceptable vegetable substitute, someone else had already been assigned the task of brining the sweet potato side, so I quickly whipped up these little guys for hors d'oeuvres and a ratatoulli (which ended up becoming a south-west vegetable fry, because chili-ready diced tomatoes != diced tomatoes).

In the end, it all worked out. Everyone loved the pinwheels, so much so that I didn't end up taking any of these little guys home (probably for the best, given all the days of over-eating unhealthy foods to come). With these, I substituted in toasted blanched almonds, chopped finely because my parents' pinenuts had gone bad, but it worked out quite well! Feel free to make said substitution yourself. I didn't happen to have scallions on hand (as my dad doesn't like onions of any kind), but they would definitely make this appetizer pop.

I hope everyone got to enjoy their family and good food this Thanksgiving holiday, and bon appetit!

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pin-wheels
from cook and be merry


3 eggs
1.5 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10 oz. fresh spinach
1 cup finely minced scallions (I omitted)
olive oil

16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs vodka
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and minced
3 oz (1/2 cup) toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped

1. Heat a skillet over medium-heat. Add about 1 Tbs. of oil, and saute spinach until completely wilted. Remove from pan and finely chop.
2. Whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Whisk in minced spinach.
3. Heat a pan (or multiple) on medium-low heat, add a little bit of oil to coat the pan, and add 1/4 cup batter. Swirl around to evenly coat the pan. Cook the crepe until the crepe stays together enough to be flipped, then flip and cook until the other side has set. Place to the side on a plate and repeat with remaining batter.
4. Mix together all filling ingredients.
5. Take a crepe, spread 1/4" thick filling across the top, and roll together. Place on a plastic wrapped tray and repeat with remaining crepes and filling.
6. Cover finished rolls with more plastic wrap and chill for an hour to over-night.
7. When ready to serve, take out and slice slightly diagonally (if desired), munching on the ends as you go, and place pin-wheels on a platter. Serve cold or room temperature.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Naan Pizza

I'm up visiting my college friends in St. Paul, MN and for dinner our second night we  did made-your-own naan pizzas. So simple, genius, and delicious. This is something I might just keep on hand at all times (freeze some shredded cheese and naan and keep a jar of sauce in the pantry).

Naan Pizza

1 piece of naan bread
handful of cheese (mozzarella, goat, etc)
pizza sauce (to taste)
1 - 2 toppings (bell peppers, olives, spinach, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Prepare naan pizza: spread sauce over the naan, top with cheese, and place all desired toppings on that.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and turning golden-brown on the top.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Empanadas

These things are additively delicious. Please be careful!

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Empanadas
from Sandy Hoopes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup butter, cold and diced
3/4 cup ice water

2.5 cups butternut squash, diced very small
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs oregano or rosemary, diced
1/2 tsp crushed red chili pepper
2 eggs, divided
1.5 cups ricotta (recipe here)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbs parsely, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs milk

1. In a food processor combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and process until just incorporated. Slowly drizzle in water while processing until water dough mostly comes together. Dump onto a surface, shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refridgerate for at least an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3. Peel, seed, and dice butternut squash (very small-ly). In a large bowl, combine the squash, oil, herbs, and chili pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, until fork tender. Then remove from oven and chill.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat an egg. Then add ricotta, parmesan, parsely, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill.
5. Roll out the dough into 1/8" thick circles. Cut into 4" circles with a biscuit/cookie cutter.
6. Place a spoonful of chilled squash and a spoonful of ricotta onto the center of each circle. Fold one half over the filling to form a half-moon, then seal the edges by pressing with your fingers (or a fork). Then fold the edge back to create a ridge around the seam. Place onto a baking pan lined with foil or parchment paper.
7. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the milk. Brush over the empanadas, cut 3 small holes into the top of each, and bake for 16 minutes (or deep fry)

Sriracha Maple Pumpkin Seeds

Super simple recipe! Since the maple syrup is so sticky, you don't have to stir constantly. But, they will tend to stick together even after storing, but the pop right apart (with a little prodding).

Sriracha Maple Pumpkin Seeds
from Savory Simple

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
2 tsp Sriracha
1 Tbs maple syrup
3/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Toss pumpkin seeds with Sriracha and maple syrup, then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, then let sit and dry before storing.

Hard Cider Sweet Potato Bisque

Filling yet so fresh. I really enjoyed this soup, and garnished it with my baked pumpkin seeds!

Hard Cider Sweet Potato Bisque
from Bakeaholic Mama
serves 6

2 large sweet potatoes
1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 small apples, peeled and cored
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
4 cups vegetable stock (or chick'n)
1 bottle hard cider
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 cup cream

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, add onion, apples, garlic, and butter to a large pot over medium heat. Saute until apples break down and onions are translucent.
4. Add stock, cider, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Simmer on medium-low heat until potatoes are finished baking.
5. Once potatoes are cooked and have cooled enough to handle, cut down the middle and scoop our the flesh. Add to the pot.
6. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend soup until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cream and serve.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Simple and delicious enchiladas! Just the perfect amount of spicy, and a great way to let those in-season sweet potatoes shine.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
from a Couple Cooks
serves 4 - 6

3 cups diced sweet potato
15 oz. can black beans
8 oz. canned diced green chillies
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
~2 cups salsa verde
6 - 8 oz. Colby jack cheese, shredded
14+ bag enchilada-sized tortillas
Optional: sour cream and cilantro to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
2. Place sweet potato in a pot, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender  (~12-15 mins)
3. Drain and rinse the black beans.
4. In a large bowl, combine black beans, sweet potato, onion, chilies, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, and ground pepper. Mix to combine.
5. Warm the tortilla for a minute in the microwave. In a large baking pan, add enough salsa verde to cover the bottom.
6. Fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup of filling and a handful of cheese. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until the filling runs out. Top with remaining salsa verde and cheese.
7. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

Apple Almond Quinoa

My second use of quinoa! It's quickly becoming my new favorite food. So fast and simple to make, it has amazing texture, and from all I've read, it's relatively good for you.

Apple Almond Quinoa
from a Couple Cooks
serves 2

1 cup quinoa
1 apple (I used Jonathan), cored and finely chopped
1.5 Tbs. chives, thinly sliced
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup craisins
1.5 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
dash of lemon juice (optional)

1. Add quinoa,  1.5 cups water, and a pinch of salt to a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 13-15 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Place the almonds in a dry skillet and toast over medium low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
3. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and allow to cool for a bit. Add all remaining ingredients to the quinoa, toss to combine, and serve.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Butternut Squash and Tahini Dip

I've become rather addicted to tahini, ever since my excursion into middle eastern food with the falafel expedition (lightly explained in my falafel post). This dip is great, and my friend and I ate the whole thing up in just a few days x.x Serve with traditional pita bread or on crackers. Don't over process like I did! I've gotten to used to making pumpkin purée which takes a good 5 minutes to process and after that it STILL isn't completely smooth, but this processes super quickly.

Butternut Squash and Tahini Dip
from Playin with my Food

2.5 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and diced (7 cups)
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 Tbs. tahini
6 oz. Greek yogurt
2 small cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1.5 tsp. maple syrup (or date syrup)
Optional: 2 tsp. cilantro, chopped (to garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Toss squash with olive oil on a roasting pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 40 mins (or until soft)
3. Set squash aside and let cool.
4. Transfer cooled squash to a food processor, add tahini, yogurt, and garlic. Pules until a coarse paste is formed. Salt to taste.
5. Spread onto a flat plate in a wavy pattern, sprinkle with sesame seeds, drizzle over syrup, and garnish with cilantro (if using).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Gruyère Risotto

Cheesy and delicious, like a rissoto should be. Don't be lax about the frequent stirring! Medium-high heat is not a joke.

Pumpkin Gruyère Risotto
from The Craving Chronicles
serves 2

2 Tbs. butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 - 4 cups vegetable or chick'n broth
1/2 cup pumpkin purée (instructions here)
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated + more for garnish
1/2 cup Gruyère, grated
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh herbs to garnish

1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft (~5 minutes). Add rice and cook for 2 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Add wine to rice and cook until wine has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Heat 2 cups of vegetable broth in the microwave for 2 minutes.
3. Raise heat to medium-high, add 1 cup of broth, and cook until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.
4. Repeat adding 1 cup broth and cooking until it's absorbed (all the while stirring frequently), until the rice is al dente and creamy.
5. Remove from heat, stir in pumpkin, Parmesan, and Gruyere. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
6. Garnish with extra Parmesan and fresh herbs.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

The Students for Middle Eastern Peace club on campus does a falafel fund-raiser every year, and one of my friends who dines with me mostly every night is the president. As it's an extremely small club (think 6 people), my food processor, my senioritis, and my love of cooking made me the perfect candidate to help in this endeavour. I made a x8 batch of this, over 360 falafels. I'm proud to say that most all of them got sold, but those that didn't were frozen. This is such an easy go-to meal that I might just start keeping a batch frozen, along with a bag of pitas and a recipe of the tahini sauce that goes with it (recipe below).


by Tyler Florence

2 cans of chickpeas
1 tsp. baking powder
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. cumin seeds (or powder)
1 Tbs. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup corn starch
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pour refined peanut oil into a deep-fryer and turn on.
2. Rinse the chickpeas in a colander until no longer foamy, then drain. Add to the food processor and process until coarsely ground.
3. Add all other ingredients (minus salt and pepper) and process until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Form into 1.5" balls. If they are falling apart, add more cornstarch. If they are too dry, add more water.
5. Slip a few balls at a time into the deep fryer (making sure they don't stick to the bottom), and cook until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a plate lined with paper towels.

Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and paprika to taste

1. Combine tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic. Add salt and paprika to taste.

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

My first frozen yogurt! It's actually pretty healthy, so I don't feel bad about eating it my pumpkin granola for breakfast <.<

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
from Kitchen Corners

1.5 cups pumpkin purée (instructions here)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 cups honey Greek yogurt

1. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the yogurt, and fold over until well incorporated.
2. Add the mixture to the ice cream maker, and follow manufacturer’s directions to freeze.

Roast Pumkin Puree

Such cute pumpkins! Pumpkins soon to be shoved into the oven and roasted, then put through the food processor until it's hardly recognizable as the baby pumpkin face pictured above. And who said that vegetarian's aren't ruthless??

But pumpkin (and other squah) puree is pretty much my favorite thing right now. I bought 6 baby pumpkins like this, 2 acorn squash, and a butternut squash at the farmer's market two weeks ago, and have used all of my pumpkin already!

Things they've gone into:
Gruyère Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin Cream Fettucchini
Chickpea Ginger Pumpkin Patties
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
Rosemary Balsamic Pumpkin Seeds

Roast Pumkin Puree
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 small pumpkins

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. With a butcher's knife, take out the stem (like when prepping to carve a pumpkin), but cutting the smallest possible area to take out the stem.
3. Cut the pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds (save for roasting later), then cut each half into thirds.
4. Place all the pieces on a baking sheet skin-side down/cut-side up, and bake for 45 minutes, or until fork tender and golden-brown.
5. Scoop out the flesh from the pieces and place in a food processor. If your pumpkin is older/tougher, the skin will probably peel right off. Chop the pieces up before putting into the processor if this is the case.
6. Process until completely smooth (5 minutes), pushing down large chunks if they don't readily process.
7. Store in the refrigerator until needed, or place into re-usable containers in pre-measured amounts and freeze until needed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nutella Ice Cream

Simple and delicious, no cooking or anything. So excited to have made my first batch of ice cream!! Now I have so many goals for frozen treats to come : ) Be prepared....

Nutella Ice Cream
from Sunday Supper
Makes 1 pint

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbs. Nutella
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on low speed until just combined (~15 secs)
2. Pour into electric ice cream container and freeze according to instructions.
3. Eat immediately as soft-serve, or freeze for several hours until hardened.

Tofu Marinara Pasta with Kale

Simple, tasty, healthy main dish. First time I've used nutritional yeast, and to be honest, I was a little bit scared. Maybe it's because when I was a child, my dad told me that the yeast in the freezer was dip and dots ice cream, so I ate it and was totally disgusted by the flavor and have been slightly scared of yeast ever since. Maybe it's because yeast is a living organism and it's odd to me to eat it whole in food. Anyhow, it was tasty and pretty quick meal, packed full of protein.

Tofu Marinara Pasta with Kale
from edible perspective
makes 6 ramekins full

8 oz. dry short pasta
7 oz. soft tofu, drained
1.5 cups marinara sauce (recipe here)
2 Tbs. Parmesan OR 1.5 Tbs. nutritional yeast + Parmesan to garnish
1/4 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 head kale, chopped small
1 tsp. oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: red pepper flakes (to garnish)

1. Pre-heat oven to broil.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Add tofo, marinara, yeast, garlic, and oregano to a blender and blend until well combined.
4. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add kale and cook for 2-4 minutes, until wilted, stirring frequently.
5. Combine pasta to the kale, add sauce, and heated until hot.
6. Spoon pasta into ramekins, top with extra Parmesan cheese (or other cheese), and broil for 203 minutes, until bubbly. Top with red pepper flakes (if desired) and serve.

Tahini Broccoli Salad with Almonds

Flavorful, fast, and delicious side. And using the last of the farmer's market broccoli! Amazing they still had some so late in the season.

Tahini Broccoli Salad with Almonds
from Anja's Food 4 Thought
serves 3 - 4

1/4 cup almonds, whole and raw
1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets and thin stems
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
hot water (as desired)
2 Tbs. sesame seeds (to garnish)

1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat, and toast almonds until fragrant (5 minutes), stirring frequently to avoid burning. Let cool, then chop.
2. Steam broccoli florets for a few minutes until just tender, then blanch. Set aside.
3. Whisk together tahini, olive oil, salt, and garlic. Add hot water to achieve desired consistency.
4. Combine broccoli and tahini sauce. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and sesame seeds. Serve room temperature or cold.

Avocado Scrambled Eggs

Basically this is just another way to eat more avocado than you're already eating x.x The avocados give such a great, creamy texture to the eggs.

Avocado Scrambled Eggs
from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
serves 2

4 eggs
2 Tbs milk
2 tsp. butter
1 avocado, diced
salt and pepper
2 tsp. chives, chopped (to garnish)

1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Beat together milk, eggs, and salt and pepper.
3. Once butter is melted, swirl to coat pan and add eggs.
4. Cook eggs until they start to set, add in avocado, and cook until eggs are fully cooked. Serve with chives sprinkled on top.

Ricotta Kale Pistachio Lemon Pasta

Delucious pasta dish with some classy and complex flavors : ) Enjoy!

Note: Substitute lemon juice and oil for 1.5 Tbs. lemon olive oil, if you have that.

Ricotta Kale Pistachio Lemon Pasta
from A Food Centric Life
serves 3

6 oz. long, whole wheat pasta
3/4 bunch kale
3/4 cups ricotta (recipe here)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3/4 oz. pistachio nuts, chopped
5 Tbs. Parmesan, grated
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, over medium-high heat. Chop kale, using whole leaf if tender or stripping leaves from center rib if tough.
2. Add 1 Tbs. salt to the ater, and boil kale for 4 minutes, then take out using a slotted spoon. Add pasta to water, and cook according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
3. Drain pasta and put back into pan, add ricotta, olive oil, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve in bowls, and garnish each bowl with pistachios and parmesan, and lemon zest.