mung bean rice pilaf with kale

I recently raided the bulk section of Whole Foods, arbitrarily picking weird or unique items to test out in my kitchen. I came across mung beans and decided to give them a shot.

I made this super easy dish for lunch today by combining a seemingly random assortment of items.

1) Prepare mung beans {boil 1 1/2 cups of water, add 1/2 cup of beans, turn to low, simmer for 35-50 minutes or until the water is absorbed and beans are tender}

2) Prepare TJ’s Multigrain Pilaf according to package

3) Heat a dash of olive oil on medium in a pan; saute torn pieces of washed and de-stemmed kale for about 4 minutes

4) Layer the mung beans, pilaf, and kale with TJ’s Masala Simmer Sauce and enjoy!

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recap: last week of undergrad

Four whole days since my last post! Sorry for slacking; I’ve been busy livin’ up my last few weeks of undergrad!

Highlights

  • Last exam ever (until grad school), including my last night studying for hours in the on-campus Starbucks
  • Two Nationals game (one with friends, one with co-workers)
  • Cinco de Mayo roof party
  • Washington Diplomat golf tournament (grilling, driving golf carts, delivering beers to ambassadors. You know, the usual)
  • Hours on the roof with friends and/or books!
  • A bajillion emails to potential GW Bites investors
  • Summer trip to Norway booked
Coming up:
  • Patio grilling (today!)
  • Last Arganica produce box AND $25 worth of random, awesome stuff
  • Mothers’ Day (how do I send flowers to Rwanda?!)
  • LivingSocial Adventure- Sunset Kayaking and Tequila Sunrises
  • Babysitting for my two favorite babies
  • Launch party for theStrEATS
  • GRADUATION- a whole weekend with family and friends 🙂
P.S. Did you notice that I added pages to my blog? Check out the “Mentions” tab and the “Connect with Me” tab!

roasted brussel sprouts, leeks, & onion

Last year, my good friend Dominique taught me how to roast brussel sprouts. Before she taught me, I had the stigma most people do: that they’re a gross, inedible vegetable. Little did I know!

That way: Preheat oven to 400. Cut fresh brussel sprouts in half. Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Place on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy as a healthy side dish to a meal.

A new way: Preheat oven to 400. Shred fresh brussel sprouts with a grater or a just a knife. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Place in roasting pan with strips of onion and chopped (and trimmed!) leeks. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a tiny dash of cayenne over top. Layer with parmesan cheese (preferably freshly shaved). Roast for 15 minutes then throw chopped walnuts on top. Roast for about 10 more minutes, tossing occasionally. So flavorful- nutty, cheesy, and healthy!

Before & After

Recipe inspiration: Kalyn’s Kitchen, Dishing Up Delights, & 101 Cookbooks

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P.S. Happy belated birthday to Miss Dominique! You’re the best tapi a girl could have 🙂

polychromatic vegetable soup

In case you didn’t know, polychromatic = multi-colored. How’s that for “spicing” up a soup title?

(Okay, done with the puns)

I sauteed chopped celery, carrots, garlic, onion, and trimmed leeks for a few minutes in a skillet then threw it into a pot with: 5 cups of water, 4 1/2 chicken bouillon cubes, canned corn, leftover canned diced tomatoes, a peeled and chopped potato, chopped zucchini, a pinch of salt and pepper, and dashes of crushed red pepper, dried parsley, and cumin. It’s now simmering on low for 15-20 minutes. The last step: toss in baby spinach and chard leaves.

I promise, it sounds much more labor intensive than it is. That is a wholeeee bunch of vegetables packed into one soup- enjoy!

[photo credit- here]

Recipe: Rainbow Frittata

photo credit: uprisingorganics.com

Last night,  I sauntered over to my friend’s place to pick up my half of our Arganica produce box, which we got as part of a LivingSocial deal.  Arganica is not a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), it is a “premier locally sourced food club.”

It was a fun surprise to peer into the box and find out what we got for the week- bananas, oranges, lemons, potatoes, an onion, GIANT carrots, asparagus, and both of our favorites: rainbow chard.

According to the ultimate source (Wikipedia of course), chard is also referred to as Swiss chard,silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, seakale beet, and mangold.  It is high in vitamins A, K and C; it is also full of minerals, dietary fiber and protein.

So what should I do with this leafy multi-colored nutritional gem, I wondered? (Haha, okay, I didn’t think those exact words).

Which brings me to my most amazingly delicious frittata to date:

Rainbow  Frittata

Also known as: Four cheese caramelized onion sun-dried tomato red pepper chard frittata with pine nuts

Heat a tbsp(ish) of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat. Throw in 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped shallots; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Throw in a handful of chopped red peppers and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add 2 washed, destemmed, and chopped chard leaves and cook for 1 more minute.

In a small bowl, whisk 5-6 eggs. Add a handful of grated Gruyere cheddar melange cheese, a handful of grated mozzarella, a little feta cheese, 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, a dash of cayenne, a sprinkling of garlic powder, and a touch of dried basil.  Throw in a handful of sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well. Fold in 1 tbsp of flour and about a tsp of baking powder.

Combine all ingredients in frying pan. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and pine nuts on top. Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let me tell you, this was a-mazing. Flavorful, nutritious, hearty, colorful, you name it.

Note: just in the nick of time, I discovered that chard stems don’t need to be thrown away. You can actually use  them in a number of different recipes. At first bite, it kind of tastes like you bit into a forest, but I have faith that I can make creative use out of them!

recipe: quick and easy island stir fry

The other day, I had 4 hours to write an 8 page paper (oops!), so I had to make a quick lunch. When my friend smelled it, she had to have some!

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 container of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • a handful of TJ’s steamed lentils
  • 1/2 cup(ish) of TJ’s Island Soyaki sauce
  • dash of olive oil

Heat skillet over medium-low. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, and zucchini. Saute until zucchini is slightly soft. Add lentils and tofu. Pour in sauce. Heat through. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re on a faraway island (not writing a paper).

Note: tofu is always better when left to marinate for several hours or even overnight. Simply put it into a Tupperware with soyaki sauce and refrigerate

asian cabbage salad

After making slow-cooker minestrone last week, I had leftover cabbage I wanted to use up. My friend is obsessed with China, so I decided to make us an Asian-inspired cabbage salad. I found a recipe for Napa Cabbage Salad on AllRecipes.com but made a few adjustments because of what I had on hand.

Ingredients 

Photo credit: kalynskitchen.blogspot.com

  • 1 head of cabbage [Napa or otherwise]
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 (3 ounce) package chow mein noodles, broken
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Finely shred the head of cabbage
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool
  4. Pour dressing over cabbage and store in fridge
  5. Make the crunchies: Melt the butter in a pot. Mix the chow mein noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake the crunchies in the preheated 350 degrees oven, turning often to make sure they do not burn. When they are browned, remove them from the oven.
  6. Combine dressing, crunchies, and cabbage immediately before serving.

My other friend came over and soon enough, it was all gone!

7 vegetables, 11 recipes: part 6

Throwing sauteed vegetables into jarred tomato sauce is easy, inexpensive, and healthy. Just saute as usual (chop vegetables, add a dollop of olive oil to a skillet on medium-low heat, add vegetables, saute until tender) and toss with sauce. Pour over pasta and you’ve got yourself a meal!

7 vegetables, 11 recipes: part 4

I wrote here about a roasted vegetable panini and coincidentally, it uses the same core set of produce as the other recipes!

I made up this dish for dinner last night and it was delicious.

1. Sautee chopped vegetables over low until they are tender. I used red, orange, and yellow peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion. I threw in oregano, basil, pepper, & cayenne for seasoning.

2. Cover bread with cheddar cheese slices. I used TJ’s Parmesan Garlic Baguette, which I highly recommend. Place cooked vegetables on bread and cover with second bread slice.

3. Grill on low until cheese is melted. I put a plate on top of the sandwich to weight it down and make it more panini-like. If you have a George Foreman or panini press, even better!

Easy and delicious- like every other recipe I recommend :)

*Note: these vegetables aren’t actually roasted, but the panini might be even better if they were! Roasting vegetables brings out phenomenal flavors.

Cross-posted on the GW Bites website.

7 vegetables, 11 recipe: part 3

So you still have peppers, onions, garlic, zucchini, and yellow squash to use up? Don’t fret- there are at least 9 more dishes you can easily whip up that make use of this produce.

Lunch was tofu masala, so why not continue on the Asian food theme?

Make easy and nutritious Ramen noodles!

Photo credit: Entinella.com

1) Chop the above vegetables and saute with spices- celery salt, chicken bouillon, oregano, cayenne, etc.

2) In a separate pot, prepare TJ’s Organic Foursome- a frozen vegetable medley with carrots, peas, beans, and corn

3) Prepare Ramen according to package. Combine with sauteed vegetables and boiled vegetables. I always add a drop or two of soy sauce on top. Voila!