I’ve moved!

Hello! It has been a while. Now that I am done writing thesis, I’ve decided that it is about time to start up the blog again. Additionally, I’ve decided to move it to J’s page so we can both contribute: http://cookingcampus.falselogic.net/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Menu Plan: Week of February 20th

Image

I forgot to post this weekend. Woops. Guess I was enjoying my weekend too much. Not much to report around here.

Saturday-Crock pot vegetable soup and Alton Brown Soft PrezelsThe vegetable soup is nothing to write home about except that it is healthy and is super easy to make. But these pretzels are amazing. 

Sunday-Brinner (coconut waffles and fruit salad). I had wanted to make fancy dinner for J, but I was stressed and decided to make dinner from items in my pantry. I also made blood orange bars (think lemon bars, but with blood orange) and ate 1/4th of them in one sitting.

Monday-Vegetable stir fry on buckwheat soba noodles. This recipe is also not very inspired. I made a vegetable noodle stir fry last week from Vegetarian Times. While it was good, it was not amazing. I’m going to make it again and try to change it up a little. 

Tuesday-Arugula pizza. Since my two week reduced diary experiment, I am kinda worried about eating pizza. But we have a lot of arugula in the garden and this is quite a tasty recipe, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Wednesday-Vodka pasta and broccoli. A while ago J and I went to the store to buy Amaretto for a dessert. While we were there, we also picked up a very large bottle of vodka, just in case. Since neither of us drink vodka, it is still sitting there. My mission-to use up as much vodka is possible. 

Thursday-Chicken gumbo. 

Friday-Leftovers. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Chicken Korma

It all started with a bet that I lost… And a promise to make a surprise fancy dinner for J. I stressed for days over the perfect menu. And finally, with some help from friends at work, I decided on an Indian theme.

Both J and I love Indian food. Every time we’ve made it at home, it has tasted good, but not restaurant quality. This is no surprise as I skip over every recipe with copious amount of cream or oil or butter. Because this was a special meal, I decided that I was going to go all out. A pound of butter? No problem!

The Menu:

  • Chicken Korma (cashew-based chicken)
  • Chole Saag (garbanzo bean and spinach curry)
  • Naan
  • Basmati Rice
  • Chai cupcakes

The recipe: Lamb Korma (I used chicken instead)

The verdict: Very tasty. We had no problem eating all the leftover. It didn’t quite taste right (although I am not sure what right it), but it was very good . Substitutions-I used cashews instead of almonds. I also cut cream from 300ml to 250ml. And it was still waaay too much cream. I was worried during the cooking process that it would not thicken, however as soon as I added golden raisins, it became the right consistency. Don’t leave them out even if you don’t like raisins (like me).

CHICKEN KORMA

serves: 8

1 kg chicken, diced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
8-9 garlic cloves, made into a paste
7 tbps cashews, chopped
4 tbsp water
7 tbsp vegetable oil
10 cardamom pods
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/8 tsp chilli powder (or more if you like hotter curries)
7 tbsp yogurt
1 ½ tsp salt
240 ml cream
1 cup golden raisins
½ tsp garam masala

In a mortar and pestle, grind 5 tbsp cashews into thin powder.  Add 4 tablespoons of water, ginger, garlic pastes, cumin powder, and chilli powder. Mix well. Since my mortar is tiny, I used my food processor. It worked just fine.

Heat oil in wok over high heat. Brown chicken and then remove with slotted spoon to a bowl.

In the same oil, sauté the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and fry them until soft and lightly browned. Stir in cashew paste and fry until spices are lightly browned (~3 mins).

Add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt, and fry it for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Repeat with remaining 6 tbps yogurt (adding in 1 tbsp at a time) until all the yogurt has been incorporated.

Return chicken cubes to the wok along with juices, heavy cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour. Add water if it gets too dry. (I didn’t need to do this.)

Add the raisins and garam masala. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat and continue cooking in covered wok for another 30 minutes.

Serve with rice or naan and sprinkle with remaining cashews.

Posted in Dinner, Indian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Menu Plan: Week of Feb 11th

Throughout the week I jot down meal ideas when I’m hungry. When it comes to menu planning time, I’m not forced to come up with seven meals at once. This week I wanted to have broccoli centered stir fry, arugula pizza, and soup. As I looked over Vegetarian Times this morning, I decided to boot most of them.

The Vegetarian Times issue this month (“One-Dish Meals in 30 minutes) looks amazing. Arugula…quinoa…gnocchi…granola….Asian curry…I couldn’t be happier! I seriously want to make every recipe from this issue. However, I’m going to limit myself to two this week.

The theme this week is Asian fusion, as 4/7 of meals fall into this category. As always, I’m trying to keep things thing rather healthy. Also, no dairy again this week.

************

In the pantry: quinoa, rice, cashews.

In the fridge: leftover vegetable soup, chili, vegetarian noodle stir-fry, tortillas.

Saturday-Leftovers all day. I think I’ll have soup for lunch and stir-fry for dinner.

Sunday-Ham, collard green, and black eyed pea soup with homemade bread. J and I were so happy with our vegetable soup last week (garbanzo beans, collard greens, fennel, cabbage, quionoa, celery, and carrots), we decided to do soup with collard greens again! J can eat the tortillas for breakfast as I’m not a big tortilla fan.

Monday-Chili-Lime Glass Noodles with tempeh and vegetables (VT). Because Asian fusion is delicious and I’m a sucker for quick meals on swim night. I’m not sure that it is going to be filling enough at 400 cal.

Tuesday-Lentil-quinoa pilaf over wilted arugula (VT). I only have to buy lentils. Yes!

Wednesday-Rice bowl with chrispy tofu and vegetables (America’s Test Kitchen). J and I have made these before. Very tasty AND aesthetically pleasing with not much effort.

Thursday-Udon noodle bowl with flank steak, egg, celery, and garden vegetables.

Friday-Date night. We will most likely have Indian food or Irish food.

Posted in Menu Plan | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Menu Plan: Week of Feb 4th

So…I may or may not be lactose intollerant. In any case, I am kinda sick of cheese. Is that even possible? This week I’m giving up dairy (cheese). I’ll still be eating plain yogurt for breakfast because 1) I have half a container in the fridge and 2) I really like it.

In the pantry: Not much. I think I have some cashews which may or may not be roasted and sprinkled in various dishes.

In the fridge: N/A; Condiments.

Saturday-Quinoa salad. My friend told me about an awesome barley, squash, shallot, and broccoli salad she made. I want to follow her recipe, but can’t seem to stop tweaking things. I’m going to substitute quinoa for barley, cashews for almonds, and throw in some leftover pinto beans.
Sunday-Pulled pork sliders and slaw. I won’t be watching any football, but I’ve been drooling over all the blog posts about game food. Keeping with ‘tradition’, I’ll be making pulled pork and slaw. 
Monday-Vegetarian chili.
Tuesday-Tofu, noodle, and winter vegetable stirfry. This is the best way I could come up with using up the cabbage from sliders, choy/spinach in garden, and celery/carrots from chili.
Wednesday-Fish, rice, and broccoli.
Thursday- Breakfast burritos w/ fruit.
Friday- Veggie soup with flat bread.

Posted in Menu Plan | Tagged | 1 Comment

Winter Vegetable Fried Rice

Growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of eating vegetables. We had at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal and it wasn’t an option not to eat them. And like most children, I didn’t want to eat my vegetables. Kale and arugula were too bitter, and I hated organic broccoli because I loathed the thought of eating aphids. I would play with my food or try to feed it to my dog, probably crying inside because my family would never condone slathering my broccoli  in cheese or bribing me with extra dessert. (J was forced to eat vegetables plain too. Such cruelty.) And then one day I started to like dark leafy greens. And now I won’t cook a meal unless there is green alongside the plate. Funny how things change and we grow up. I bet I wouldn’t eat salad now if I hadn’t had it at meals as a child. Which brings us to this recipe, which is a mix between leafy greens and fried unhealthy goodness.

A friend posted this link to ginger fried rice a few weeks ago. I took one look at the recipe and knew I had to make it as both J and I love fried rice (and leeks, although we are not always Bittman fans). The picture on the blog looked amazing, but it was missing something green. When I planned my meals this week, I had intended to pair this dish with a side of wilted arugula from the garden. But then I got sick, and lazy, and decided to throw vegetables I had on hand in the fridge in instead. Then I added some extra spices because it isn’t fried rice without Chinese Five Spice and Sriracha.

Winter Vegetable Fried Rice

adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Mark Bittman.

  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice (chilled in the fridge overnight)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbps canola oil (plus more for frying eggs)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 leeks (though green bits removed, patted dry, and cut into thin slices)
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage (patted dry)
  • 2 cups dino kale (washed, patted dry, deveined, and sliced into thin ribbons)
  • 2 cups chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • sriracha

In a wok over medium, heat 1/4 cup canola oil. Add ginger and garlic and saute until golden brown and crispy. Transfer garlic and ginger to a paper towel, leaving oil in pan.

Turn heat to high. The original recipe suggests you turn heat down, but I think you’ll find that all the vegetables adds a considerable amount of water you’ll want to cook off. I also reduced the amount of oil because it was not necessary in my wok. Add remaining tbsp of oil, five spice, salt, black pepper, leeks, cabbage, kale, and mushrooms. This will look like a lot, but it will all cook down. Saute, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and liquid has evaporated (~8-10 minutes).

Add rice and cook until rice is warm and coated in oil. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Fry eggs however you like. I did it in a nonstick skillet with 1/2 tbsp of canola oil.

Put fried rice in warmed bowls. Top with 1 tbsp cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and fried egg. Sprinkle fried ginger and garlic over egg and drizzle with sriracha.

My photography skills (or lack there of) may not be on par with these other blogs, but I think my adaptation is pretty tasty. This meal is a nice mix of protein, carbs, and vegetables (and oil, which is good for the skin or something). Oh and it is vegetarian.

Posted in American, Asian, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Menu Plan: Week of January 27th

Image

This is going to be a quickie. The theme this week is fast and moderately healthy.

Sunday- Enchiladas. Enchiladas are usually time consuming, however J’s mom was nice enough to can a bunch of enchilada sauce for us. So all we have to do is dip tortilla in oil and add some sauce and cheese. This is one of J’s favorite recipes.

Monday-Vegetarian (leek and mushroom) fried rice and mix green (arugula and spinach) from the garden. Thanks Smitten Kitchen for the recipe.

Tuesday-Cabbage, pork, and rice. The recipe for the cabbage is from a friend of mine. I’m always excited to try new food and cabbage with turmeric sounds delish.

Wednesday- Vegetable  soup (with the leftover cabbage) and bread.

Thursday- Date night. We’ll probably pick up takeout after swim practice.

Friday- Bean burritos. I’ll be making the beans and using up leftover tortillas from enchiladas.

Posted in Menu Plan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment