Greek Burgers

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We are one of those families that buys chicken and ground beef in bulk. My task each week is to find a chicken recipe a beef recipe and maybe a veggie recipe as an extra meal. I’ve found myself bogged down with meatloaf and meatball recipes on Pinterest. That’s all that seems to catch my eye as I am looking for recipes. When I came across this one I knew I had to give it a try. Man, am I glad I did! This recipe is fresh, flavorful and easy. I felt safe trying this burger recipe as it has all my favorite Mediterranean elements. How does one go wrong with sundried tomatoes, black olives, feta, and Tzatziki?!  You just don’t… I will admit that I ended up cooking these patties on the stove because my grill was out of propane. That said, I will be cooking these on the stovetop moving forward because I think that they do have the potential to crumble over the grates of a grill. I would also suggest using sandwich thins instead of traditional burger buns because these patties have such bold flavor that I felt the traditional bun muted more subtle flavors (i.e. tzatziki). In all, this recipe is a new family favorite and it will be a regular in my weekly recipe rotation.

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*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://www.savorytooth.com/greek-burgers/

Black Pepper Chicken

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Chinese takeout is one of my favorite kitchen cheats, but with recipes like this, I can prepare the salty deliciousness myself. Yes, friends, this is another fakeout-takeout recipe. I will admit that Panda Express got me through my long Tuesdays on campus at Cal State Long Beach. I would arrive at 9am and my last class would end at 10pm. Truly, I owe my degree to Panda for fueling me through my last semester. Upon graduation, I needed to find a way to satisfy my Tuesday cravings. That is where the adventure for this recipe began. Before I knew it I was whipping it up myself! This recipe is fairly easy and features that super savory pepper sauce. If you don’t feel like fussing with fresh ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger powder. However, I will advise that it’s very much worth fussing over the fresh stuff.  Recipe For.png

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://sweetcsdesigns.com/panda-express-black-pepper-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Eggroll Soup

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Friends, we have made it through the blistering summer. As we approach cooler nights I am inspired to cook a big pot of soup. If you’ve been following this recipe blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve not done a great job of posting consistently. This means I have about a year’s worth of goodies stashed away to get up on this site. The recipe you find here is one that has become a family favorite during my absence.  It satisfies the craving for Chinese take-out while also packing in veggies. The added bonus for my family is that Perry, my husband, gets to take a few servings for lunch to warm and fuel him up after a long morning of diving in the chilly Pacific. This soup features the flavor you’d find in traditional eggrolls with a nice crunch from wonton toppers. Cut the sodium by using vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth and you’ve got yourself a hearty and healthy dinner option. Also, add any additional vegetables that appeal to you. Some ideas include mushrooms, bean sprouts, and even diced water chestnuts. Truly, you can tailor this soup to your taste.

Serves:  8-10    Time:  45 minutes   

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, I prefer olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 6 cloves of garlic (you know me, I use an excess of garlic. If you are not a garlic fan cut this back to 3 cloves)
  • 1 small green savoy cabbage, sliced into bite-sized strips
  • 8-10 cups of vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp ginger, ground
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Optional: wonton salad toppers (you’ll find these by the croutons at the grocery store), sriracha for heat

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pork over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Once cooked, remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
  2. To the same pot, add the cooking oil and onion, sauteing for about 6 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and garlic, sauteing for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add the cabbage, broth, ginger and cooked pork. Stir to combine.
  5. Continue to cook the soup until it starts to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sesame oil before serving.
  7. Top with optional wonton strips and/or sriracha and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

**Recipe adapted from https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/egg-roll-soup/

 

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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This is only my second attempt at cauliflower pizza, and this recipe will become a weekend staple in my home. The crust is fairly light and crunchy, the veggie spread is savory, and the toppings were a perfect pairing. I’ve already started thinking about other topping combinations and think that next I’m going to try sun dried tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts. My stomach is growling simply at the thought of it! The recipe you’ll find below is for the crust and veggie spread. I use the veggie spread as a sauce of sorts so if you would rather have sauce, skip the veggie spread ingredients and directions. Finish it off with our favorite toppings, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy pizza! I got this recipe from a magazine put out by my local grocery store, Ralphs.

Serves: 8 slices     Time: 1 hour     Calories: 146/slice (this does not count toppings)

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of shredded pizza blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • any toppings you would like for your pizza. We used sliced red onion, black olives and cilantro.

Ingredients for Veggie Spread:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, I used canola
  • 3 medium/large zucchinis, shredded
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper
  2. If you have a food processor, pulse the florets of cauliflower until finely chopped.
  3. If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower florets.
  4. Place the chopped/riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out moisture from the cauliflower with a clean towel. It will essentially make a ball of cauliflower.
  5. Transfer the “moisture-less” cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pizza blend cheese, Parmesan, eggs, salt, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
  6. Spread this mixture onto your prepared baking sheet or pizza stone in a thin, 12-inch circle.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is firm and crisp at the edges.
  8. If you plan to use veggie spread instead of sauce, start preparing this while the crust is cooking (directions found below).
  9. Top with all your favorites and bake again until your toppings are melted and/or properly heated through.

Directions for Veggie Spread:

  1. Using a cheese grater, shred your zucchini.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium-high and add the shredded zucchini, stirring frequently.
  3. After about 3 minutes of cooking the zucchini add the sliced grape tomatoes. Note, the juices from the tomatoes will  make a paste like spread with the zucchinis. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until tomatoes start to wilt.
  4. Add in the sliced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until the fragrant.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat and spread on your crust as if it was sauce after the first 30-minute bake.
  7. Top with your favorites and enjoy!

* Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Ralphs

 

 

 

Tex Mex Potato Chowder

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To celebrate the start of “-ber month season,” I bring you this wonderfully hearty potato chowder recipe. This has became a fall time favorite as it is easy to throw together on busy school nights, and it is packed with flavor that lasts a couple of meals. This recipe is great as is, but I think that there are so many things you can add to customize the taste. The next time I make this I may add some jalapenos or maybe a serrano to heat things up.  I bet a topping of queso fresco and/or seasoned tortilla strips would set this chowder off as well. I’ve also considered adding extra broth and thickening it up with some Masa flour to enhance the dish with a “tortilla-esque” flavor. The possibilities are endless. I was inspired to give this dish a try by Aunt Bee’s Recipes which is a great recipe blog that I recommend checking out. Aunt Bee’s recipe (found through the above link) offers a slow cooker version of this recipe. If you are interested in making this in a slow cooker her recipe is the way to go. Keep in mind that her ingredients and directions will be slightly different from mine.

TIME: approx. 45 minutes

SERVES: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 (10oz) can of rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28oz) bag of potatoes O’Brien, frozen not thawed
  • 2 (32 oz) cartons of chicken broth
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 8 oz bar of cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, reserve a few sprigs to top when you dish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat oil over medium flame. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and minced garlic. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir in taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder until the beef mixture is well coated. Next, add rotel tomatoes, black beans, corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  4. Simmer while covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in softened cream cheese and fresh cilantro.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Dish topping with the reserved cilantro and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup

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My husband and I recently returned from a dive trip to the Philippines. It was an amazing trip filled with great diving, good friends and TONS of delicious food and drink. That said, when we returned home from a week of lush eating and drinking we needed to incorporate a healthy dose of vegetables into the week’s menu. It is not necessarily soup weather where we live at the moment but I could not pass this recipe up. As is my pattern, this is a super easy dish to throw together. Seriously, the most difficult part is prepping the veggies. This recipe will be ideal for brisk fall and brutal winter nights to warm up your core and fuel your body with nutrients. This recipe was adapted from Umami Girl who hosts a wonderful recipe blog.

Serves: 8

Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 (32 oz) cartons of vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz) can of white beans
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 16 oz package of gnocchi
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
  • crushed red pepper flakes to top

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-hot heat. Add the onion and celery. Saute until tender/crisp (about 5 minutes) then add the carrots and garlic and cook until garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  2. Add the three cartons of vegetable broth and Italian seasoning. Bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to create a simmer.
  3. Once simmering stir in the white beans and spinach. Once spinach begins to wilt add in one gnocchi and cook it until it pops up to the top. I do this in order to taste the broth. Taste your tester gnocchi with a healthy spoonful of broth and veggies. Add salt/pepper to your taste at this point. Once you have the broth up to your standards add in the rest of the gnocchi and cook until they pop up to the surface of the soup.
  4. Dish the soup and top with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Sriracha Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

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My husband and I will soon be entering a transition period in which our “home roles” reverse. I will be launching a career and he will be staying home with our kids more frequently to accommodate my work schedule. This means that I will be letting him take the reigns in the kitchen a little more often. This is a beautiful thing and is one of the reasons why I started this blog. I wanted a place where all of our favorite recipes could live and be accessed from anywhere by anyone. I will admit that I am a little concerned about this transition as my dearest husband has trouble making mac-n-cheese from a box with clearly listed instructions… That said, I took on the hunt for this recipe as a challenge to find a dish similar to the meals my husband makes when he has to cook. There are a few things he can whip up for dinner really well and his go-to dish is ground beef tacos. This recipe is as easy as ground beef tacos, takes about the same amount of time, and the flavor is phenomenal. I am confident that my husband can pull this recipe off. This recipe was adapted from a fabulous recipe blog called Budget Bytes. I highly recommend Budget Bytes to everyone as the dishes look delicious and the author, Beth, breaks everything down financially for people like me who like to eat under budget.

Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1bsp canola oil (or whatever unflavored oil you like to use to brown/cook your meat)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, sliced into strips
  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced with a potato peeler
  • 1 bunch of green onions, rinsed and sliced
  • 5 oz can of water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • extra sriracha to top the dish (optional)
  • Rice noodles to top the dish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha and brown sugar. Mix until combined and set aside.
  2. Heat canola oil over a medium flame and add the ground beef. Once the beef is mostly cooked add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook until fragrant.
  3. Add in the reserved sauce you made in the first step along with the sliced cabbage and carrots. Toss this mixture together and cook until the cabbage is tender crisp.
  4. Add the green onions and water chestnuts. Cook until the water chestnuts are just heated through. You don’t want to cook it too long or the green onions and water chestnuts will begin to loose their crunch.
  5. Plate the stir fry and add your optional toppings. We used crunchy rice noodles and a drizzling of extra sriracha.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me