Guys, who doesn’t love some Sunday night lo mein or kung pao chicken. However, after eating like crap all weekend or spending too much money going out it may be best to just cook your Chinese take out staple at home. It is a lot healthier and tends to be more wallet friendly as well. I hooked up some stir fry and fried rice for the boyfriend and I last weekend, it was tre yum. Check out the fried rice recipe below and see if you enjoy it as much as we did.
1/2 cup mirepoix mix (pre diced celery, onions, & carrots. You can obviously do this yourself but its just more time away from laying on the couch and watching football).
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste (I would add at the end only because soy sauce, even the low sodium stuff is pretty salty tasting so you don’t want to over season).
1 tbsp. minced garlic paste
1 tsp. minced ginger paste (if you don’t have garlic or ginger paste, the powder would work too)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sambal oelek (it’s an Asian chili oil but a few squirts of siriacha would do if you didn’t have any)
1 cup boiled rice
1 tbsp. butter (I add it just at the end, before serving. It melts into the rice and adds a nice soft texture to the dish, but feel free to leave out).
Heat the oil on high in pan or wok, while cooking the veggies, paste & spices. Don’t add the rice or soy sauce just yet. Cook till translucent/tender. Then crack the two eggs into the hot oil, veggie, spice mixture. Start scrambling, this is when you add the rice to incorporate everything together. Lower heat and stir in the chili oil & soy sauce.
It came out so legit, I didn’t even miss having a post meal fortune cookie. I may permanently be on a time out from my take out spot.
Now that its legit creeping into Winter from Fall we need some oven friendly meals to not only warm up our kitchens, but also our bellies. This is the perfect Sunday night dinner because it makes a large quantity for whomever you have over for football or its great as leftovers for work the next day. Its cozy, creamy, cheesy and just so flavorful. Its perfect to eat with a warm pair of sweats. Let’s face it, sweat pants hide everything and after eating this decadent casserole, a forgiving pair of pants will be a need more than a want. Goes well with the food coma you will have after this heavy meal. I was gluttonous enough to pair it with meatloaf. Such a perfect dinner!
1 medium onion diced
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp. butter
1 28 oz. bag of shredded has browns, thawed
2 cups sour cream
1 20 oz. can of cream of chicken soup
1 packet of dried ranch mix
2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
s&p to taste
*I did a few dashes of hot sauce as well
**Optional for topping the casserole is French’s fried onions, adds a nice crunch & flavor, but breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes would work fine
Sautee the onions, garlic, salt & pepper with a little bit of butter until translucent. Mix the sour cream, ranch mix, soup, cheddar, potatoes, and onion mixture. Smooth out an even layer in a nonstick pan and spread with hot sauce and fried onions to taste.
Bake at 350 degree’s for 50-60 minutes based on depth of your pan & layer of cheesy potatoes.
Listen, I’m a huge fan of store bought, however my mom made me a convert the last time she was visiting me in Philly. She blended up a batch of her home made hummus for me to dip with carrots and then a few other flavors for me to use with the kebabs she brought. My oh my, trust me when I say, its WAY better. Silver lining is, its almost as easy/quick as opening the store bought container.
Tahini (see it wasn’t JUST for that shaved brussels sprout recipe, you silly non-believers)
So yea you get the point, there are multiple flavors, but even the original or base flavor is so yum! It’s also a nice way to use up anything you may have going bad. I always have cilantro leftover from my chimichurri sauce recipe or who doesn’t always seem to have an avocado that went from firm to ripe too fast? So throw it in the hummus and get to snacking! As you know hummus is also a good/healthy sub for mayo in wraps and sandwiches. Plus, recently, I ate a hummus stuffed omelet at this French/Lebanese brunch spot (shout out to Cafe La Maude) that rocked my world. So yeah, make some, you won’t be disappointed.
I am bias and literally love all curries. I love sopping up bread or rice in them, they are typically super flavorful and filling too. I am very down to try any sort of curry. Even if it means ordering some of the ingredients from Amazon because I am too lazy to find out where Aji Amarillo paste is sold locally. I will say, building off of my general theme of sloth, I did not roast my own chicken for this recipe, like the original calls for. That’s right kids, grab a good old Rotisserie chicken from your supermarket and make sure you adequately de-bone, de-skin, and de-fat that before throwing into the curry. So yum and a lot quicker than roasting a bird yourself.
1 slice whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled queso fresco or mild feta cheese (that sounded like a lot so I did one cup but 2 is probably right).
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus 1/3 cup toasted
1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo paste (this was my Amazon order, shit is sooo good, I actually did 2 tbsp. because I like the kick)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (Again I wanted a brighter color so I did 1 tsp.)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves (I used dried because I didn’t have fresh, whatever).
**Peruvians typically garnish with chopped olives (I did black and green to add pops of salty color) and boiled eggs. Also note the curry is best served over Latin Rice (rice boiled with saffron threads).
Place the bread and half-and-half in the bowl of food processor or a blender. Allow the bread to soak up the liquid, about 10 minutes. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Cool slightly and add to the food processor with the soaked bread. Add the broth, cheeses, 1/2 cup walnuts, Aji Amarillo paste, and turmeric. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & add in the chicken to heat everything through together.
Happy Eating, XO.
PS that’s all that was left in the pot before I could even get to the stove to take a picture!
Squash Gratin, or as some may refer to as Squash Casserole, is a great way to utilize fall produce for a yummy side dish. There are many variations out there, but I gotta say this came out so tasty during the test run, I barely tweaked it. Also if you don’t have creme fraiche, sour cream will do just fine.
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced (the seasoning has some garlic powder in it but I love the flavor of fresh too)
Salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp. of veggie seasoning (herb & seasoning blend from McCormick’s)
1 sleeve of ritz crackers, crushed
2 yellow squash, sliced in rounds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 zucchini, sliced in rounds
7.5 oz. Crème Fraiche (or sour cream)
Layer the sliced squash and zucchini rounds in a non stick baking dish. Pour over the cream, eggs, onion, and spices mixture, evenly coating all the veggies. Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (based on how deep your dish is) but then broil for 5 minutes to get the crust to crisp & the cheese to melt.
PS I know I forgot to crop out my feet, but honestly, my toes look cute so whatever 😛 Obviously Jess is the true photog of this relationship, not I.