Monthly Archives: October 2010

Why does every post with Quinoa start with this?

Pronounced: Keen-wa. Why does every post regarding Quinoa start with this? Then the history and the benefits of Quinoa soon follow. I feel like Quinoa has now been around fairly long enough for people to know how it is pronounced. What is a fairly new phenomena is the use of quinoa in desserts and as stuffing for Turkeys (anyone willing to go a little exotic for Thanksgiving Day this year?). This salad is not that unusual but I feel like a lot of people do the typical red onion-tomato-cilantro-lemon juice recipe over and over again so this can be another quinoa salad recipe that they can add to their collection.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa (it like triples in quantity once you cook it), 10-12 small radishes, 3 cucumbers, bunches of fresh cilantro chopped, fresh juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup of feta or goat cheese crumbled, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Begin by cooking the quinoa according to the instructions on the box. Let the quinoa cool.

Once the quinoa is cooled add the cilantro

Next chop up the radishes and the cucumbers

Add to the quinoa. Crumble the cheese into the bowl

Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Pour in the olive oil and mix all together.


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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

Quickfire Salmon Throw Together

I am very suspicious when it comes to eating fish with a heavy sauce. I think I have partially Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential to blame which advises to steer away from any fish that is covered in sauce especially if it’s a Monday special. And while I know that Kitchen Confidential advises against eating a whole lot of other foods in restaurants (no one remind me about the mussels, I will still love them anyway!), it is just the fish in sauce that gives me the heebies-jeebies. It is also partially my fear of ruining fish that leads me to make and order in restaurants the simplest of fish dishes. And simple usually means baked in oven and drizzled with fresh lemon juice. So this, for me, is taking it to a whole 4-ingredient-different level.

Ingredients: 2 salmon fillets, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1/2 tablespoon honey

Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Story of my bloglife, right? In a bowl whisk together the honey, dijon mustard and soy sauce.

Lay the fillets in a buttered pan (because otherwise the honey will burn and forever will stick to the pan and ruin it. Been done before) and cover with the sauce.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked. Enjoy!



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Filed under Fish

Busy week makes for a quick recipe and a post in a bus

There are three ways that you can tell that I had a very busy week. 1)I do not go to the gym (I go to the gym even if I am dying in bed with fever) 2) I don’t read new month’s magazines (Elle? Vogue? Glamour? Haven’t even opened one!!!) 3)I don’t cook or post recipes. I had 2 midterms this week, a project, presentation and a ton of homework. Even now, I am writing this post en route to New York since I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to post something before Sunday. This recipe is a little basic (and that’s an understatement) but sometimes we all need something simple to make for dinner. Eggplant Bolognese? Eggplant Casserole? You decide while I catch up on some sleep, yoga and reading.

Ingredients: 2 small eggplants or 1 big one cut in circles, 1 lb ground beef, 2 cups of your favorite meat sauce, 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, grilled seasoning, olive oil for drizzling, salt to season

Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Lay the eggplant on a baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and grilled seasoning. Roast for 10-15 minutes. Don’t turn the oven off.

In a skillet on medium heat, saute the beef and the garlic until the meat fully cooks.

To a lasagna pan or any other baking plate, add half the amount of roasted eggplant. Top with half the ground beef and meat sauce.

Next repeat the process by adding another layer of eggplant on top of the sauce

Top with the remaining meat and sauce and cover with cheese

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts browning.


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Filed under Main Course, Meat

Beet Soup from a Guest

My mum is the ultimate epicure. Growing up, I wasn’t raised on mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (in fact the first time I tried a P&J was freshmen year of college…yuck) and burgers. We never had soda, frozen food or Wonder Bread in the kitchen. Instead she awed us with lamb rib crown roasts, seafood soup and eggplant fatteh. My lunchbox when I was a kid was the most desired one (think of the kid in the Hillshire Farm commercial). Selfish as I was, I never traded.

Dinner parties, hosted by mum, are always a success. Don’t expect anything less than 3-4 appetizers, salad (possibly a soup as well), 2 entrees and dessert. Surprisingly she doesn’t spend 10 hours in the kitchen either. She is also an expert on hangover food remedies. This soup is one of those, in fact my mum first tested it out post New Year’s Eve.

Note: My mum used her camera to take these photos so they look a little different from all my other posts.

Ingredients: 3 beets peeled, 1/2 onion chopped, fresh bunches of dill, 1 clove of garlic minced, small log of goat cheese, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, salt and pepper to season

In a pot, on medium heat, heat the oil add the onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the onion softens and add the beets.

Cook for another 10 minutes and add water. Cook until beets become tender. Add the beets and onions to a blender and puree until everything becomes smooth.

Next, in a food processor, combine goat cheese and fresh dill

Add garlic, salt and pepper, and puree together until smooth

Scoop a tablespoon and add to the hot soup. Enjoy!

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Filed under Soup, Vegetarian

Chili with Biscuits

It was a chili kind of day. No pun intended.  And with smitten kitchen‘s adapted Gourmet recipe right there and looking so beautiful, I couldn’t resist. Also with the boyfriend’s complete refusal to settle for anything vegetarian(pasta salad made him cringe) or anything fishy (another cringe for the salmon) , there was no way out of this. Since I am a 5-year old when it comes to baking, I used store bought biscuit mix to make the biscuits. If you want to fancy it up, add some chopped jalapenos and cheddar cheese to the biscuit mix. I used half the amount of ingredients that smitten kitchen and that was way more than needed for 3 people.

Ingredients: 1.5 lb ground beef,1 onion chopped, 2 carrots diced, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 15-ounce can of kidney beans drained and rinsed, 1 green bell pepper chopped, 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup beef broth, 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoons dry oregano, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt and pepper to season, grated cheddar cheese and sour cream to top

Begin by heating the vegetable oil in a pot. Add the onions and cook until they become tender for 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for another minute.

Add the ground meat and cook for 7-10 minutes until it fully browns, breaking any big chunks along the cooking way. Add all the spices and leave for another minute.

Next pour the beef broth, vinegar and tomato sauce

Simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes. Add green peppers

Add the kidney beans and cook for another 15 minutes until the peppers become tender.

Load a ladle of chili onto a cut-in-half biscuit and top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Enjoy!


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Filed under Main Course, Meat

Bangers and Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy

Bangers=A white sausage composed of pork rear with breadcrumbs, water and spices

If you are going to making this, beware! Bangers are not that easy to find. At least it took me three grocery stores until I found these babies. If you want to save time just head to Whole Foods. I am not going to lie, I enjoy Italian sausage a lot more than bangers  but then it wouldn’t be bangers and mash, would it? I, like probably many of you, already have a favorite recipe for  mashed potatoes and so I focused mainly on the bangers.

Note: I posted little photos for there is nothing pretty in cooking bangers and gravy. Brown, brown, more brown…

Ingredients:6 Bangers, 12 oz Guinness, 1/2 onion (in my search for bangers, I completely forgot to buy an onion), 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, salt and pepper to season, oil for frying

Begin by cooking the bangers, in a small amount of oil, on a skillet on medium-high heat. In an ideal world, where I didn’t forget an onion, I would have added a diced onion to this skillet as well.

Bangers are named that for a reason; they are supposed to explode when cooked on high heat. While you don’t want them to explode, make sure that they are  FULLY browned on all sides.

Next add beer to the skillet. Meanwhile combine the flour with the butter. This prevents little clumps of flour forming under hot temperatures. When the beer comes to a boil and reduces by about half, remove the bangers (leaving the grease to be and you’re arteries to clog in the long run) and add the flour/butter mixture and the brown sugar.

Whisk together making sure that no clumps are left to float around. Let the gravy come a boil and thicken. Add a nice pile of mashed potatoes to the plate, top with bangers and drown in gravy. Follow with a bottle of Guinness and The Full Monty.


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Filed under International Food, Main Course, Meat

Cream of Mushroom Soup

So like everyone else in Boston, I got sick. And no amount of anti-bacterial gel, hot tea and isolation from sick people helped. While I could have ran to Chinatown and gotten some chicken Pho Pasteur soup, I decided to make my own soup. Usually I make this soup with a mix of portobello, exotic and regular mushrooms but for some reason my grocery store was all out of exotic and dried mushrooms and so I used just the portobello and regular mushrooms.

Ingredients: 3 oz portobello mushrooms sliced, 8 oz mushrooms cut in half (if you are going to use exotic mushrooms, use just 4 oz of regular mushrooms and 4 oz of other mushrooms), 2 cups chicken stock, 1 tablespoon of grilled seasoning, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 small shallots diced, 1 clove of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons white wine, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1/4 light cream, 2 tablespoons flour, olive oil to drizzle on the mushrooms, salt and pepper to season

Begin by roasting the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with grilled seasoning and lay on a baking sheet

Melt the butter on a skillet on medium heat. Add the shallots and minced garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the shallots become golden.

Add 2 tablespoons of wine (leave the 3rd one aside) and flour and mix together

Add the roasted mushrooms and chicken stock to the blender

Top with the shallot/butter/flour mixture

Add sour cream, cream,remaining wine, salt and pepper and puree until smooth.

Enjoy hot!

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Filed under Soup, Vegetarian