Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash

This week has been a whirlwind! I have to part ways with my favorite roommate of all time as we are moving out of our precious home and moving out of my college town. I really cannot believe it has been 5 years since I moved here. I'll never forget, the first day we pulled in. Of course, our luck it was raining on move in day. Is that still a good sign, even though it's not a wedding? Well, we got my entire room set up in less than 30 minutes. You can thank Mom for that awesome packing and unpacking record.   
My Freshmen Year Dorm Room Bed!  
Ha— well, then after my parents moved me in, we drove around the city. I remember my distinctly my dad saying, "One day, you'll run circles around this town." Well, he's right! But it wasn't like that in the beginning. Back then, the city was enormous... I even bought a griffin GPS just to get from point A to point B. So crazy to think of that now as year 5 has finished and the city limites have creeped in on me. Now, getting from point A to point B without knowing at least 10 people is a "weird" day. I will miss this beautiful city of bikes, but excited for what the East coast has in store for this California born and raised girl!

Staying true to my California roots, I visted my Papa's garden for some home grown, local, and organic spaghetti squash! He's the cutest, he found these squash growing "Wild" in his garden (he forgot he planted those seeds), didn't know what to do with them... naturally, he handed me over a box! I've got about 20 more days to utilize his homegrown gems, beginning with this recipe that I know will be a hit! 

Noodle Base
6 c. spaghetti squash (2 big squash, 1 small squash)
14 oz. extra-firm tofu, diced
1 tbs. olive oil
1 large red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. of shredded carrots
1 1/2 c. bean sprouts
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 c. unsalted peanuts, chopped (plus 1 tbs. for garnish)

Peanut Sauce
3 tbs. fish sauce
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbs. peanut butter (I used extra chunky!)
1 tsp. stevia (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced

Yields ~ 6 servings (1 cup)

Directions: Prepare your spaghetti squash (directions on this post). While squash is baking, make your sauce. Add all ingredients to a stock pot over medium heat until all ingredients have dissolved.

Begin by pan frying diced tofu in olive oil. Add the red onions, garlic, and carrots to the tofu over heat and let them sweat out for about 2 minutes. You're not looking to fry things down here. Just sweat things out and let the flavors coagulate together. Once squash is cooled, mix together squash noodles, pan-fried veggies, and tofu. Add  the bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts before tossing in your cooled sauce. Mix together and ~ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Carrot Salad with Tahini and Pepitas

As the temperature in California is reaching it's all time high for the summer months, I've been dying for a quick summer salad that is filling, bright, but easy to make! So, I took a chance on trying to recreate  something close to my broccoli slaw. Shredded carrots are just too easy not to use. So instead of the broccoli slaw mix I found carrots to be the next best thing!

1 can (15 oz.) of Chickpeas, rinsed, dried, and roasted
1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
32 oz. Shredded Carrots
1/2 tbs. Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbs. Mint, chopped
4 tbs. Pepitas, roasted

1/2 c. Tahini (mixed well)
juice of 2 Lemons
zest of 1 Lemon
2 tbs. Filtered Water (more if needed)
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yields ~ 12 servings

Directions: To roast chickpeas, I drained the can, rinsed them off and dried them between two dish towels. Tossed  in tablespoon of oil and layer in the baking sheet. Roast at 425 deg F. for 20 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Let cool before tossing into salad mix or they will become mushy.

Toss carrots, red pepper flakes, mint, pepitas in the salad bowl with cooled chickpeas. For dressing, mix together all ingredients and whisk until thin. If the mixture is really thick (like the consistency of tahini) mix in more water, 1 tbs. at a time until thin.

Toss dressing with salad ingredients thoroughly, until everything is coated.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Blueberry and Prosciutto Pizza

Since I've got all the time in the world to sit and watch my new obsession, Damages (on Netflix, if you must know!) I finally decided it was time to leave the house and do some much-needed grocery shopping. Stopped at my local Wholefoods and ran into these organic blueberries for only $3.99. Literally, I ran into the stand where they were at. I knew it had to be fate, so I added them to my cart as I walked around, feverishly trying to figure out what to do with them. I wanted something savory. Blueberries have a tendency to always be placed into a sweet "crisp" or "tart" or "smoothie".  Not fair, these gems totally have the versatile ability to be used in both sweet and savory foods. 

Walking through the aisle, Naan bread was also on sale. What? It's like Whole foods knew what I was doing! So I picked up the Naan, and it's like a force just dragged me to the cheese aisle. I thought about cream cheese as my base, but... any opportunity you have to use goat cheese— do it! Naturally, lemon goes with blueberries. But be careful, you're treading some sweet treat territory here adding lemon. So then came the rosemary, and the rest is history! 

Definitely a little pizza  appetizer to be had with some  riesling white wine at the next family get together. Or, I guess... splurge on these fancy ingredients to watch  alongside the Bachelorette with your favorite roommate as I plan to tonight. 

2 pieces Whole-Wheat Naan
2 oz. Goat Cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice (1/2 lemon)
1/2 tbs. Fresh Rosemary 
4 oz. Thinly-sliced Proscuitto 
1/2 c. Fresh Blueberries
1/4 c. Micro-green Arugula

Yields ~ 2 serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. I bought the Naan from Whole foods, but you can use pita bread as well! In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese, zest, lemon juice, and rosemary sprigs. Spread 1 tbs. over each piece of naan. Layer on prosciutto and blueberries. Bake for 15 minutes, blueberries will become plump and may seep out over the goat cheese a bit—yum! Take out of the oven, sprinkle on the micro-greens!