Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowls

April 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Before you go telling me you don’t like tofu- hear me out! I myself am not a huge fan of tofu. The texture has always been kind of off putting to me and I’m not dependent on it for protein, so I hardly ever buy it or eat that much of it. But a few weeks back I came across this method of baking tofu that allows you to make it really crispy. The process is super simple, just some extra draining (similar to strained yogurt( and a solid bake time are all that’s needed. I’m a huge fan of it in this Thai quinoa bowl. Yes you could totally do chicken or even scrambled egg, but I love the crunch of the tofu nuggets against the rest of the ingredients. That and it soaks up this addictive sauce really well. The other great thing is that this dish works just as well hot as it does cold- making it the perfect thing to have on hand for healthy lunches throughout the week!

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Thai Tofu Quinoa Bowls adapted from How Sweet It Is

For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 package extra firm tofu ( 15 oz), diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon Srircha
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juice
  • 1  teaspoon grated ginger

30 Minutes Before Cooking: Drain and rinse the block of tofu. Wrap it in a clean dish towel (or paper towels), and place it on a rimmed dinner plate. Place another plate on top and weight it down with something heavy, like a can of tomatoes or a heavy skillet, to press out some of the excess liquid. Let sit 15 – 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the tofu, soy sauce, and sesame oil in bowl. Place the tofu in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes tossing every ten minutes to crisp the tofu on all sides.

Toast the quinoa: Place a medium sized saucepan on medium low heat. Add in the dry quinoa and toast for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and nutty in scent. Add in the broth, lower heat slightly, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork once cooked, and set aside.

Make the sauce: Place the peanut butter in the bowl first and throw in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt slightly. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

Toast the almonds: Place the almonds, sesame seeds, and vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Cook or medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are a deep golden brown.

Toss together the quinoa, vegetables and herbs, tofu, and 3/4 of the nut mixture. Pour over the sauce and toss well to combine. Spoon into bowls, top with remaining nuts, extra lime and Sriracha if desired. Can be stored in fridge up to one week.

Linguine with Butter, Pecorino, Arugula, and Black Pepper

March 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Oooooh the sun. Did it come out where you are this weekend? It finally showed its face on the East Coast, and made the last two days about 100x better. Winter can make me so grumpy!

This pasta has spring written all over it. Spring and Thursday night. Here’s what I’m thinking- this Thursday night you come home after work, pour yourself a drink (preferably a glass of Verdejo),  and revel in the fact that it’s only one more day til the weekend. Then start leisurely making this pasta. Begin by pulling out your butter, setting a big pot of water to boil, chopping your arugula, and grating your cheese. Use your pasta water boiling time to prep the ingredients, and your pasta cooking time to tidy up the kitchen so you can eat and then reeeelax. I upped the ante on the arugula in this recipe to pack in more veggies, and if you’re feeling the need to make it even healthier, you could certainly use whole wheat pasta. I’m crazy about arugula, so an arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil would, in my mind, be the perfect thing to serve alongside! A pretty perfect weeknight, don’t you think?

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Linguine with Butter, Pecorino, Arugula, and Black Pepper adapted from Everyday Italian
Serves 4

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups very finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped arugula, packed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook until it is al dente, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Immediately toss the hot pasta in a large bowl with the butter to coat. While tossing the linguine, gradually sprinkle the cheese, pepper, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid evenly over the linguine to moisten. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt. Serve immediately

Ina’s Beef Short Ribs

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Let’s discuss cooking meat. It’s kind of tricky, no? I would say I didn’t really get a little good at cooking meat until the last few years. I’m still not great at knowing when a steak is cooked to perfect, and don’t even get me started on fish. A little different than meat, but still, really daunting for me to cook. But the one method I always come back to because I find it not quite as scary when it comes to cooking to protein, is roasting.  I have nailed my roast chicken techniques, and I have to say I’m pretty good when it comes to short ribs.

If you’ve never made beef short ribs before, Ina’s recipe is a great place to start. There’s quite a bit of chopping involved, but the overall process is really straight forward and approachable. The other kind of amazing thing about short ribs is that they can be made a day ahead- and they’re actually kind of better that way. Prep them the day before and just reheat slowly over the stove 30 minutes or so before you’re ready to serve dinner. Whip up a big batch of buttermilk mashed potatoes or creamy polenta to go with and you have the ultimate comfort meal.

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Beef Short Ribs slightly adapted from Ina Garten

  • 3 lbs beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
  • 4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce.

Setting the Table: Thanksgiving

November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving planning, friends! Are you ready for Thursday yet? Are you excited, or feeling a bit of a time crunch? Thanksgiving is always at my family’s house every year, so I think that keeps stress to a minimum for us. We tend to use the same recipes, and since it’s only close family and friends, there isn’t really a need to impress anyone! The new dish that I’m really excited to make this year is this ‘potato chip’ roast. I don’t think that needs too much explaining…

My Family’s Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

November 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Sunday! I know I normally don’t pop in on the on this day, but I’ve received a bunch of requests for the specific recipes my family uses on Thanksgiving,  so I thought I’d put together a roundup up for you! Some dishes I’ve got direct links to, and others are more just tips and guidance, but I’ve tried to provide as much detail as possible. Here goes:

  • The Turkey: Definitely something my mom does by memory, but her signature techniques include…

Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

November 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well, by last Friday evening- Friday’s post become pretty obselete. As you probably all know by now, the NYC marathon ended up being cancelled. There was a lot of controversy around this decision, but all that aside, the most incredible thing to me was the action the decision to not hold the race inspired. Thousands of runners headed to Staten Island on Sunday to help clean up and deliver supplies to one of the worst hit areas in all of Hurricane Sandy. Thousands of other runners…

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Bolognese

November 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

New Post: Sweet and Spicy Sausage Bolognese

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