Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed Mushrooms

One of my favorite side dishes in the world is sautéed mushrooms. I love mushrooms in general, but there is just something that happens to a mushroom when it’s sautéed perfectly that sets off a flavor explosion in your mouth. Sautéing mushrooms is easy, but there is an art to it, not all sautés are created equally. The key to a good mushroom sauté is to let the mushrooms brown. Browning is an result of the Maillard reaction, and that reaction is where flavor  lives.

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Ingredients:
10 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I used crimini and oyster)
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 tea spoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley finely minced
Sea salt to taste

Directions: add the olive oil and garlic to a sauté and let cook for 10-20 seconds or until you can smell the garlic:

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Add in the sliced mushrooms and season with sea salt:

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The mushrooms will begin to release water, toss and allow them to cook for 5-7 minutes. The water should begin to evaporate. Add in the tab of butter and toss the mushrooms:

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Cook for another 3-4 minutes without tossing, to allow the mushrooms to brown, add in soy sauce and toss, until the soy evaporates, about 1 minute:

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Transfer the mushrooms to a dish, sprinkle the parsley on top and enjoy!

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Basil Chicken

Basil Chicken

Basil Chicken

So everyone has that one friend whom they idolize, you know the one who is super intelligent, charismatic, gorgeous, and the kind of mother to her children you only wish you could be. Well that person for me is my friend Jennifer. She has the energy of the energizer bunny–actually I think she could out last that bunny 3 times over, She’s a great friend, reliable without fault, and on top of all that, she is a great cook. One of her signature dishes is basil Chicken.  It’s beyond delicious, the sweet notes of basil mixed with the Unami flavors imparted by the soy sauce in this dish make it heaven on a plate.  She makes hers with the whole parts of chicken, usually legs, or drummetts. I decided to try it using ground chicken, because who couldn’t use another way to use ground meat?  I’m so glad I did, it is equally as delicious as using chicken with bones, but much less time consuming, because there aren’t any bones.

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Prep time: 5-7 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground chicken

3/4 cups of fresh basil chopped

1 small brown onion or shallot chopped

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of olive oil/ghee

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

sea salt to taste

Directions: heat oil in skillet, add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add the onion, and cook until translucent. Add the ground chicken and brown. Add in the soy sauce, basil and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes then turn off the fire. Serve over brown rice, or in lettuce cups.

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Asparagus and Mushrooms

 

Asparagus and Mushrooms

Asparagus and Mushrooms

 

I don’t know what it is about the Vernal equinox and the ushering in of spring, but it floods me with inspiration, and the need to get things done. It’s like my body gets a signal on March 20th every single year to create, and I just feel so inspired. Maybe it’s because I’m a spring baby, my birthday falls just 2 days after the first day of spring. Maybe my need to create is attached to that as a reminder that I’m getting old and need to get things done! For the last few weeks I’ve lived in my kitchen, creating recipes for this blog and my book. I have so many in my cue.  Just yesterday I created four new dishes, in under 2 hours, and I’m still going to test out more recipes today. Yesterday I shared an avocado Pepita salad dressing, today I’m sharing another green recipe for asparagus and mushrooms. The season for asparagus is so short, so when it rolls around I always try to eat as much as I can.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of crimini mushrooms sliced

2 cups of asparagus sliced on a bias

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of olive oil

sea salt & black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of soy sauce (optional)

Directions: Heat oil in a skillet with garlic. Add the mushrooms and season them with salt. The mushrooms will begin to release water, cook them until the water evaporates, about 7 minutes, then add the butter. Cook until mushrooms brown, then add in the asparagus and soy sauce if you’re using it. Cook until asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes, serve and enjoy!

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Ramen Momofuku Style and Gluten Free

D.I.Y. Ramen

D.I.Y. Ramen

 

Is it weird that I’m not a big fan of pasta, but that I love ramen? I’m not talking about cup o noodles here, but growing up I had my fair share of those, I’m talking about a rich and flavorful  bowl of ramen. The kind of ramen one might get at David Changs Momofuku Noodle bar in New York.  The kind of ramen people wait in line for, only I don’t want to wait in line. The beginning and end of any ramen–a good one anyway–is the broth! Without the foundation of a good broth, ramen is… well just ramen in water! The best way to get a good broth without spending hours in the kitchen is to use a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers aren’t as popular as crock pots, but in my opinion they should be! Other than cooking something slowly on the stove for hours, there is just no other way to get the amount of flavor you do from something cooked in a pressure cooker. You get out what you put into a pressure cooker, all the nutrients stay in the pot, they don’t cook out, unlike when you cook on the stove top, or in a slow cooker—the nutrients escape out during cooking through steam.  What’s better is that it takes less time to do it than both stove top cooking and crock pot cooking! I like to think that my pressure cooker provides the best of both worlds, the flavor of something cooked for hours on a stove, and the ease of non-active cooking–ie ability to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, leave it for an hour and come back to the finished product, lazy cooking at its best!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1lb of Organic chicken thighs, I used boneless, but a bone never hurt a good broth

1 large brown onion

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

1 bushel of organic Dino Kale, chopped roughly

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1 10oz package of Organic Rice ramen, I used Lotus Food brand it’s gluten free.

1 tablespoon of olive oil or ghee

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

7.5 cups of water

Directions: Heat the oil then add the chicken. IMPORTANT: Let it brown, do not move it, let it cook for 3-4 on one side before turning it. This browning makes a tremendous amount of difference between a broth that’s good, and a broth that’s great! Once brown turn over and add the onion, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar.  Cook for another 4 minutes, then add the water. Bring to a boil, then cover and seal your pressure cooker, and let cook on medium heat for 45-50 minutes undisturbed. If you’re doing this on the stove top, without a pressure cooker, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 1.5 hours checking broth levels after an hour. At the 50 minute mark, turn off the fire, and depressurize your pressure cooker according to manufacturers instructions, remove the lid, add in the kale, turn the fire back on to medium, cover and seal the pressure cooker again. Let cook for 7 minutes, depressurize the cooker again.remove the lid, turn the fire back on, add the noodles, and cook for additional 4 minutes, add red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro, turn the fire off serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Persian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

My daughter has reached a turning point in eating! I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the fact that she her 2 year molars are coming in, which makes things easier to chew. But in the last few weeks we’ve seen a change in her mindset too. She’s taken to saying “to eat is good for you?” Or insert name of food item “is good for you?” If we say yes, then she eats it! I feel like I’ve struck the mommy lotto because now things she wouldn’t consider eating, she’s now eating, all because we say it’s good for her. One of the things I have been trying to get her to eat, but she never would, is cucumbers. It has been a complete over night shift! She wouldn’t touch them before, but now she loves them because they’re good for her. She also loves tomatoes, this Persian salad is one of my favorite salads to order when we go out for Persian food. So I thought I’d try it out on her and of course she loved it! I’m not a big fan of onions in my salads, because they tend to over power the rest of the ingredients in a salad. I don’t know where I learned this tip, but soaking the onions in water before adding them to things, mellows the onions a bit. I let them sit for 5-10 minutes and drain them before adding them to my salad, the onions still have flavor, but less of a “oh my god I just ate a raw onion” bite! I prefer to use red onion, or shallots in this recipe, but brown onion works just as well.

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Prep time: 5-10minutes
Cook time : none

Ingredients:
1 cup Organic Persian Cucumber cubed
1 cup of organic cherry Tomatoes quartered or halved
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons of red onion finely chopped, soaked in water for ten minutes then drained just before adding them to salad.

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to a bowl toss well and enjoy!

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Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

One of my favorite “cook” books is The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is my go to book when I need inspiration for a new recipe. If you own it, then you know it’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, because it doesn’t contain any recipes. It’s more of a reference for exactly what it title states, flavors that work well together. Yesterday I was browsing it for an idea for what I could do with some ground lamb that I needed to make for dinner. It was a hot day here in California–go figure–so I wanted something light and cooling. I opened The Flavor Bible up and landed on Chimichurri and it hit me! Inspiration at it’s best!! I decided to make lamb lettuce wraps with a mint Chimichurri! These are DELICIOUS!! My husband raved at every bite! If ground lamb isn’t your thing, or you can’t get it in your grocery store, try this with ground beef or chicken, the mint Chimichurri sauce will work with either.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Lamb
9 leaves of organic Butter lettuce
1 cup of organic Green onion sliced white parts included
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh organic mint chopped

Ingredients for Mint Chimichurri
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of mint
3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
Place all the ingredients for the Chimmichurri in a blender or processor and blend until smooth, set aside. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add garlic, and green onion, toss for 20-30 seconds, then add in ground meat. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook until meat is browned and cooked through, add in the mint and toss, remove from the fire.
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Scoop meat into lettuce leaves, top with Chimmichurri and enjoy!

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Makeover Chicken Taco’s

Leftover Makeover Chicken Taco's

Leftover Makeover Chicken Taco’s

One of my favorite things to do is reinvent a dinner out of something we ate the night before. Let’s face it, leftovers are nice, but a freshly made dinner is better. While buying a whole chicken works out great for our budget, we are always left with leftover chicken. This recipe is result of me and more importantly my husband not wanting to eat the same roast chicken I served the night before. It’s super simple to make, and very delicious.

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2.5 cups of Pre cooked chopped chicken
2 small cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup of diced onion
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped cilantro
6 large organic corn taco shells
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil on a cast iron skillet, add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the chicken, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and toss well. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add in the cilantro, remove from heat, and serve inside corn tortillas, with your choice of toppings.

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