Archive for ‘Recipe of the Month’

2018, July 13

Recipe of the Month: Light Asian-Style Noodle Lunch Bowl

A new grocery store opened here in my city recently, “Taste of Asia,” with mainly Korean food items. It’s right next to where the BF usually plays soccer, so one evening before picking him up, I went in for a quick browse. I came out with a pack of home-made style wheat noodles, two sauces, and two Aloe Vera juices (because I was thirsty and knew the BF would be, too.)

We love pasta in general, so first off I served the noodles with a homemade mushroom sauce. It was very yummy, but I need to tweak the sauce recipe a bit before sharing.
A portion of noodles was left over, so today I made myself a very light noodle lunch bowl (I placed it on a plate, hence the photo below, but bowl just sounds cuter). I almost feel foolish for sharing, since it’s so easy to make, yet it was sooo delicious, it might become a go-to lunch idea for when I’m having a busy day.

Light Asian-Style Noodle Lunch Bowl

Asian-style Noodles
Avocado
Broccoli
Feta cheese, optional
Salt, Lemon pepper
Soy sauce, Spicy Mango & Lime sauce
Lemon juice, optional

Cook the noodles as per the package instructions. Mine was the Fu Lin Men Home Made Style (wheat) Noodle, so it needed to boil for about five minutes and it was done. I added some salt to the water and half a bouillon chicken cube.

Peel and cut your avocado. I like to cut all the way around the seed, to get two halves, then twist so they separate. I slice the avocado while it’s still in its shell and then gently scoop the slices out with a soup spoon.
Of course, you can leave the halves as they are and simply run a soup spoon between the flesh and skin of the avocado half to loosen it and then pop the intact avocado half out and cut to your liking.
Season with a little salt and lemon pepper. Add a few drops of lemon juice if you want.

Steam the broccoli. Place the thicker pieces below and the thinner ones above them in your steamer. Cover with the lid and steam until it becomes bright green and tender to touch, but still a bit crisp. It should take around five to ten minutes.
Season with some soy sauce and the spicy mango and lime sauce.

Cut the Feta cheese into small cubes.

Throw everything together into a bowl ;)

This was one of the best ideas I had so far for a very quick, easy and light lunch. The flavors were complementing each other, tasting very Asian-style – like I’ve only had at a Vietnamese acquaintance’s house when I visited Sicily many years ago. I think I’ll be paying a visit to that grocery store again very soon!

Bon appétit! ;)

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2018, June 22

Recipe of the Month: Sesame Turkey with Steamed Asparagus

While trying different seasonings lately, the newest things I “discovered” are Lemon Pepper and sun dried tomatoes. I’ve been seasoning basically everything with these, from chicken to shrimp and now, turkey.
Below is a recipe I came up with earlier this week, and which was deemed as “the best turkey I ever had” by my boyfriend. Yay! ;)

Sesame Turkey with Steamed Asparagus

500 gr Turkey
3 tbsp Coconut oil
Lemon Pepper seasoning to taste
1 tsp grated Ginger
2-3 Sun dried tomatoes, ground
4-6 Basil leaves
2 tbsp Red peppers paste
splash of white Wine
125 ml cooking Cream (I use Alpro Rice Cuisine)
3 tbsp Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Chia Seeds
bunch of Asparagus

Prepare the meat by cutting up the turkey into small pieces. Into a heated pan add the coconut oil, the turkey and season with the lemon pepper, ginger, red peppers paste and ground sun dried tomatoes. (I omitted seasoning with salt also, since the red peppers paste is very salty.)
When the meat is almost done, add a splash of white wine and the basil leaves. Stir well and let simmer until the wine is almost gone.
Add the cream and stir continuously for a couple of more minutes so the sauce forms.
When done, turn off the heat and stir in the Sesame and Chia seeds.

Cut the Asparagus to fit into your steamer. Place the thicker pieces below and the thinner ones above them. Cover with the lid and steam until it becomes bright green and tender to touch, but still a bit crisp. It should take around 8 minutes for thick Asparagus and 5 minutes for thinner Asparagus.

The day I cooked it I served this with Danish rye bread, but it’d go well with other side dishes like rice, baked regular or sweet potatoes, etc.
I think it’d even taste great stirred together with Quinoa (I’ll be trying this idea next!).

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, May 4

Recipe of the Month: Five favorite smoothie recipes

We bought a smoothie maker last month, and I’ve been making my own smoothies again.

Our old machine kicked the curb last Summer, and because I had my eye on a NutriBullet, we haven’t gotten around to deciding to get a new one. NutriBullets are expensive, or at least, they’re expensive over here. I could never justify that amount of money for it.
But then we went shopping one day, had enough time to browse and we looked around in the appliances section of the store. I found a “Concept Active Smoothie” blender, which comes with a bottle as well. I added it to my cart, and an extra bottle for it, which totaled to the third of the price of a NutriBullet. (It is really great, I recommend it to anyone.)
I had to admit that I truly only wanted the commodity of having a bottle or cup I could blend smoothies into and be able to put the lid on it and go go go. It wasn’t about the brand itself.

So ever since the beginning of April, I’ve made at least three smoothies per week. I forgot how much better they taste when they’re homemade! And they’re the perfect thing to have pre-run or post-run.

Below are five of my favorite smoothie recipes so far. I usually watch recipe videos on Youtube, but for these, I haven’t really followed any set recipe. I went with blending what ever I had at home at the moment and experimenting with different kinds of milks, since I don’t like dairy milk.

Spinach Smoothie

Blend together some banana, spinach, a teaspoon of turmeric, lemon balm, mint, a tablespoon of Chia seeds, top with rice milk and blend together.

Avocado Smoothie

Add some banana, avocado, a teaspoon of turmeric, dried cranberries, dried Agen prunes, a tablespoon of seeds mix, lemon balm and top with coconut milk and blend together.

Mango & Pineapple Smoothie

Add some banana, mango, pineapple, mint, a tablespoon of Chia seeds, top with coconut milk and blend together.

Blackberry & Apple Smoothie

Add some banana, apples, blackberries, lemon balm, a tablespoon of Chia seeds, top with hazelnut milk and blend together.

Orange & Carrot Smoothie

Add some orange, carrot, mango, a teaspoon of turmeric, a small piece of ginger, a tablespoon of Chia seeds, top with oat milk and blend together.

PS: I didn’t include measurements, because cup sizes differ, and also, I believe everyone’s personal taste should be the base for adding more or less of any of the above mentioned ingredients.

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, April 27

Recipe of the Month: Sautéed Vegetables with Shrimp

I recall first eating shrimp back in 2011 when I went to an Indian cuisine restaurant with a friend of mine. The menu offered a variety of dishes I’ve never heard of before, and I chose Risala Curry with Shrimp and Chili & Garlic Naan. It was delicious.

I also recall growing up and never seeing shrimp – it took a while for it to start appearing in the supermarkets. Then, it took me even longer to actually buy some and try to cook it myself. Finally I gave in, and for my boyfriend’s birthday dinner in 2016, I tried a Honey Ginger Shrimp with Basmati Rice recipe. It was really good.

This Winter, I tried two new recipes. One, a variation on the Honey Ginger recipe above, and the other, I’ll detail below. This is my favorite, so far!

Sautéed Vegetables with Shrimp

250 – 300 grams shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
300 grams mixed vegetables, or vegetable of your choice
1 cube butter (a quarter stick)
salt, white pepper, parsley
1 tablespoon oyster sauce or fish sauce

Add the cube of butter to a pan and start cooking the vegetables. I got a mixed vegetable pack which contained peas, carrots, corn and cauliflower. Season with salt, white pepper and parsley. Especially if you’re using fresh vegetables they will take longer to cook, but in either case let them be almost completely done before adding in the shrimp.

After adding it, cook the mixture some more with the shrimp; about 2-3 minutes per side should be enough. I like to place a lid on my pan so the shrimp cooks in the steam the vegetables let out.

Serve with rice or a side dish of your choice.
I might try making Naan next time, I think they’d go nicely together.

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, March 30

Recipe of the Month: Wild Mushrooms tossed with Turmeric Rice

The boyfriend had to go on a ten-day trip at the end of February, so that left me all alone with the cat. I got bored. Well, that’s an understatement – I even toyed with the idea of rearranging the furniture!
But, I made it a point to get out of the house every day. I went for walks, ice skating, to pay bills, groceries and home decor shopping and met up with friends.

On one of my groceries shopping trips (I deliberately didn’t buy enough of everything, so I’d have a need for more bread or milk), I noticed something new in the frozen isle section of the supermarket. A bag of wild mushrooms. The picture on the package looked so appetizing, that even though I don’t cook mushrooms often I bought one, already imagining cooking them with rice on the side.

Below is the recipe I came up with. It is very simple, yet absolutely delicious. I made it three times already!

 

Wild Mushrooms tossed with Turmeric Rice

600 grams mixed wild mushrooms
1 cup Basmati rice
olive oil
salt, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
soy sauce
splash of white wine
finely chopped 3-4 green onions or half a leek

Cook the Basmati rice as per the packaging instructions, seasoning with only salt and a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Set aside once cooked.

If you’re using frozen mushrooms, let them defrost and drain off the excess water. Mine were already cut in half or so and I only had to cut a couple of bigger pieces myself, but you cut them to your liking.
Of course, you can use which ever mushrooms you prefer. I liked that this mix of wild mushrooms added extra flavour in one go.

Add a little olive oil to a pan and dump in the mushrooms. Season with some salt, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. When they’re about half cooked, add a splash of white wine and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue cooking until done, stirring so it won’t stick to your pan.

Once the mushrooms are done but before removing from the stove, stir in the finely chopped green onions (or leek, or a combo of the two) and then also stir in the cooked rice. Of course, you can leave them separately if you want.

I served this as a main dish, but I imagine it would be delicious served as a side dish to a steak, grilled chicken or even shellfish probably. If you choose the latter, I’d replace the soy sauce with fish sauce or oyster sauce.

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, February 16

Recipe of the Month: Pickled cucumber sauce

My mom used to make this Pickled Cucumbers Sauce recipe when I was a kid. It wasn’t really a favorite of mine, because it was green. Logical, right?

I think it was such a repeated dish in our home mainly because in Winter it’s very easy to get bored of what you can eat on the side of meat dishes. Pickled cucumbers were cheap, and we also used to have a veggie garden at my grandparent’s house so we made our own pickles. Especially in Romania, where on the one hand, she grew up in the communist regime and pickled cucumbers were something they were able to find easily, so it was easy to learn how to cook it. On the other hand, even when I was a child, imported goods for having veggies like tomatoes in Winter was only just starting to become a thing.

Of course we can nowadays find mostly anything we want in any time of the year, but something just struck me and I asked mom for this recipe because ever since I started cooking myself, I have definitely discovered previous dislikes have turned into very yummy dishes if I cook them. It’s really interesting how life pans out, isn’t it?

Pickled Cucumber Sauce

5-6 medium sized pickled cucumbers
2 tbsp flour
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder to taste

Grate the pickled cucumbers.
In a pan add some olive oil and the flour stirring until it’s all combined and not lumpy.

Add the grated cucumbers into the pan and season to taste with the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. When combined, pour chicken stock over it until the cucumbers are fully covered.
(If you don’t have chicken stock, you can also add a chicken stock cube into a glass of water to substitute. I usually do this since I prefer to boil my own chicken stock and I don’t always have it at the ready in the freezer.)

Boil the mixture for about 20 minutes until it turns into a sauce. Keep an eye on the consistency and if needed, add more chicken stock or water.

Serve with basically any type of grilled meat. I usually have it on the side to fried meatballs.

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, January 12

Recipe of the Month: Broccoli & Chicken Lasagna

I wanted to try making homemade lasagna for about a year and a half now. The ingredients have been bought, the time slot allocated for cooking. Then, I ended up making some kind of stew instead. The box of lasagne was still there when I did a big cupboard clean-out two weeks ago.
I decided to just give it a go. However, I wanted something lighter, so I didn’t follow a traditional recipe.

Broccoli and Chicken Lasagna

one box of lasagne
500 ml milk
100 g flour
100 g butter
450 g broccoli
400 g chicken breast
150 g Parmesan cheese
seasonings to taste – salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, paprika

Melt the butter in a skillet, add the flour and slowly stir in the warmed milk. When it get to a medium-thick consistency (basically a Béchamel sauce), stir in the Parmesan.

Cut the chicken breast and the broccoli into small cubes. Start with cooking the chicken first in a skillet adding the seasonings to taste – I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, and paprika. I also added a splash of white wine. When the chicken is almost done, add the broccoli and cook until they’re both done.

Place a pot of water to boil and when it’s done you can start assembling the lasagna. Place each lasagne separately into the boiling water and leave it for about a minute. You will be doing this all the while you’re assembling the lasagna itself.

In a buttered baking tin spread one layer of sauce, place on top of it a layer of lasagne to cover the bottom of the tin, spread a layer of sauce on the lasagne and then a layer of broccoli with chicken. Place another layer of lasagne, then continue the same way building up and repeating the layers (sauce, lasagne, broccoli and chicken) until all the ingredients are gone.

Place in a preheated over at 180C for about 20 minutes. Serve hot from the oven.

Bon appétit! ;)

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