Category Archives: Pasta

Israeli Couscous with Enoki, Parmesan and Lemon-Truffle Vinaigrette


Addicting pasta gems!

I apologize for my hiatus. A lot has happened where I am now happily single again. I will not bore you with the details so on to my favorite topic…food!

LAX has made the best change ever to their Delta terminal (T5) recently. Lemonade moved in! Lemonade serves seasonal So Cal comfort food and some of their items like the Israeli couscous, wild mushroom, parmesan, lemon-truffle vinaigrette (that’s just one item) is uh-mazing! I travel often so when I travel with Delta, I make sure to stop by and get a container full of these little pasta guys to eat on the plane.

Ingredients: Serves 6 ish as an appetizer
1-2 pack of enoki mushrooms (stems cut off and rinsed)
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup lemon-truffle vinaigrette (see below)
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese

Dressing: Makes 1/2 cup (mix all ingredients)
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbs canola oil
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp white truffle oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the mushroom on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle sea salt, pepper then toss. Roast them in the oven until it turns brown and caramelized (20 min)


On a large skillet, toast the couscous over medium heat until they are golden brown. (5 min)
Pour in the broth, cover and simmer until tender. (10-12 min)


Once the couscous cools down, mix couscous, mushrooms, dressing and parmesan cheese in a bowl.


Serve room temp. or cold and enjoy!


Keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days or so. Ingredients won’t go bad but the couscous starts to harden over time.


Mexican City-Style Taco

I invited my family over for dinner thinking I’m going to make this AMAZING chicken tortilla soup, only to find out I had messed up BIG TIME and blended big pieces of chipotle chili…which was meant to be served on the side. The soup was too spicy and smoky that it was no longer edible. I had to quickly figure out another dish so my family had more than just a marinated flank steak to eat. I remember seeing this recipe on “Mexican Made Easy” so I whipped it together and guess what, my family enjoyed this more than the steak (except for Dad maybe). I had to laugh.

Pretty much straight from Mexican City-Style Tacos (Mexican Made Easy – Marcela Valladolid)


Ingredients: 10-12 Servings
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes along w/ the juice OR 3 tomatoes –  cored
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 lb angel hair pasta – broken up into 1-inch pieces (I recommend breaking them up in a bag to avoid making a mess)
1/4 cup white onion – roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
12 corn tortillas – warmed
1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream (used sour cream)
1/2 cup queso fresco or mild feta cheese (used feta cheese)
Tapatio hot sauce to drizzle (optional)

If using fresh tomatoes, cook tomatoes in boiling water over med-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large pan (small pan makes it too hard to cook the pasta), heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add pasta and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
Place the tomatoes, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the skillet over pasta and cook on low heat, until tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Fill the tortillas with the fideo or pasta filling. Drizzle the tacos with cream and sprinkle with cheese and hot sauce (optional).

As she always says on her show, “AMAZING!”.


My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish. Mmm.

Chili inspired by Cincinnati’s Skyline chili

I’m not from Cincinnati but I visit there often with my boyfriend since it’s his hometown.
I can’t eat too much of it (totally lying), but I am HOOKED on their infamous Skyline chili!
Definitely not the most healthy food choice but the flavor is so unlike any others that I often crave it.
One problem, I’m on the other side of the country!
SO, here’s a chili I came up with (with A TON of help from the book mentioned below) to satisfy my cravings.

*I used Cincinnati Chili recipe from “The Daily Soup Cookbook” mostly as the base, and added several more spices, flavors, and steps to get closer to what I was looking for.
Ingredients: Serves 6
2 Tbs peanut oil (or veggie oil)
1 lb ground beef
1 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves – smashed and minced
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
1/2 paprika
2 tsp kosher salt
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 (14oz) can kidney beans
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 box of spaghetti – cooked (I’m hooked on Dreamfields pasta)
1 1/2 cup grated mild cheddar cheese (I know, this is so little compared to Skyline!)

Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high and cook ground beef until fully brown
Remove the beef from the pot with a slotted spoon, reserving oil in pan
In the same pot, add the onion and garlic, cook until tender
Add all spices except for the bay leaves (chili powder, dried oregano, ground coriander seeds, cinnamon, all spice, ground cloves, cayenne pepper, cumin, unsweetened cocoa, paprika, kosher salt) to the onion garlic mix and stir to coat, cook until fragrant
Dump the entire content of tomatoes into the pot and simmer for 2 minutes
Use an immersion blender and blend the entire mix (or carefully transfer mix in a blender and pulse several times – return blended mixture back in the pot)
Return cooked beef back into the pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes
Add bay leaves to the pot
Dump the entire content of beans into the pot
Add apple cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce

Simmer for a good 20 minutes – longer the better

Serve with pasta as the base with chili poured on top
Top it with grated mild cheddar cheese and ENJOY


*Packs a bit of a heat (tiny bit spicy, not much though)
*For fans of spice and semi spicy
*Hot sauce like Tabasco also goes very well with this dish (the vinegar in the Tabasco makes it tasty)