Category Archives: Vegetarian

S’mores pie! (AKA pre-made S’mores for tomorrow)

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Who doesn’t LOVE S’mores????

Have you been to Blaze Pizza? They serve amazing custom ordered personal pizza for a dirt-cheap price but most importantly, they also sell ready-made S’mores! Of course, I had to try to make it myself…how hard could it be right? Honestly, it was easy!

Blaze Pizza most likely uses McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits for that crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside finish but I used traditional graham crackers.

End result? Delicioso!

For the melted chocolate finish, all I did was quickly make ganache.
If you want them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, use the biscuits, if you enjoy the soft and chewy combo, use graham crackers. Delicious either way!

I think I prefer this to freshly made S’mores since the marshmallow cools down and becomes chewy, the ganache is already soft so it’s not like I get a piece of unmelted chocolate.

Ingredients: Makes 2 cookies
4 graham cracker squares (2 sheets)
2 giant marshmallows (cut in half)
1/2 bar of your favorite dark chocolate (think 1/2 of Hershey’s bar)
1/2 bar of your favorite milk chocolate
3/4~1 cup half and half (adjust as needed)

Guide:
Melt chocolate with half and half in a small pot over low heat. Stir constantly. Let it cool until it hardens.                                                              *Will chill fast in the refrigerator or freezer.

Place marshmallows on a baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

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Place a tablespoon full of ganache (or a more) on one side of the cracker/biscuit, place 1 piece of roasted marshmallow on the other half.

Put them together, squeeze, and you can eat it immediately or let it cool and enjoy it the next day!

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Israeli Couscous with Enoki, Parmesan and Lemon-Truffle Vinaigrette

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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

Guide:
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)

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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)

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

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Serve room temp. or cold and enjoy!

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

Collard Greens con Yolky Eggs

First time working with collard greens!

I cooked it just like I do with kale and it came out yummy! The eggs somewhat neutralizes the bitterness.

 
Ingredients: Serves 2 as a side dish
1 bunch collard greens – rinsed well, leaves torn off of the hard center stems

2 Tbs olive oil

5-7 cloves or garlic – smashed and peeled

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1 wedge)

4 eggs

Guide: 

Wash leaves, rip the green leaves off the ribs and remove stems – basically just want the green leaves) – Tear them up into large pieces.

Heat a medium-large sized pan, add oil and garlic cloves, heat over medium high heat.  (make sure you don’t burn the garlic – will become semi bitter)

Add greens to the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper and stir occasionally until greens are wilted.  Overdoing it will lose the bright green color.

Squeeze  lemon juice, remove greens from the heat and set aside.

Cook eggs to your liking and mount it on the greens. (I prefer over easy)

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Serve it with a buttered toast and coffee. It’s healthy and delicious!

Mini Zucchini Brownies

Perfect little squares.  Just enough chocolate and nuts.

(I must admit, I was busy making zucchini muffins so my sister Steph did most of the work)

I love sweets but nothing too sweet. I like frosting but only if they’re not too sweet. My friend Calvin makes fun of me and my sisters because we always say “Mmm, this is good! It’s not too sweet!”. So very true. Hahaha.

I found this recipe on-line somewhere and swapped out oil for butter. This brownie is just moist enough,  just sweet enough with just enough crunch. It goes great with a cup of soy latte.

Ingredients: Makes about 32 mini brownie squares
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 
Guide:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 mini brownie pans.
In a small bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. Combine wet into dry. It will get pretty tough to mix but it’s ok. It’ not supposed to look like the regular brownie batter.  Fold in the zucchini and walnuts and divide evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of brownies) – Until brownies spring back when gently touched.
Take them out of the oven; let them sit for 2 minutes before moving the cookies onto a cooling rack.

 
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If baking in one big pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.
Store them in an airtight container for up to couple days – room temp

Moist Zucchini Muffins


Talk about moist muffins! They taste very similar to carrot cake muffins!

My friend Lori gave me a BUNCH of zucchinis she grew in her backyard. I only had a few days before leaving for my business trip so I had to come up with a clever way to use them all before they go to waste! I grilled a couple but what to do with the rest. I KNOW, make yummy muffins out of them!

I found a zucchini muffin recipe on-line but it called for a lot of oil and sugar so I changed it up to what I felt was appropriate to my liking and they came out amazing!

Our home smelled like Thanksgiving was already here (nutmeg and cinnamon) and my boyfriend and his colleagues enjoyed devouring them the next morning. Of course I packed a few for myself to take on the flight.

Ingredients: Makes 24 muffins
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter – melted
1/2 cup apple sauce
4 eggs – beaten
4 1/2 cups grated zucchini (do not squeeze out the water)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Guide:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pans with PAM (baking) if you have one to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon, white and brown sugar).

In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients (melted butter, apple sauce, eggs,  zucchini, vanilla extract).

Mix wet ingredients into dry just until they’re well combined. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop them in the muffin pans and bake them for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Take them out of the oven; let them sit for few minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack.

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You can add pecans or walnuts in the batter if you’d like for an extra crunch!

To store, once completely cooled, store them in an air tight container at room temp up to couple days.

 

Caramelized Roasted Beets

 

Beets beets beets. What to do with beets besides juice them in the juicer? Roast them!

Ingredients:
3 medium sized beets
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped

Guide:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Scrub the beets clean of any dirt (you’re not going to peel them).
Chop off ½ inch on the top and bottom to get a clean base.
Use a mandolin and slice them thin (5mm) very carefully, or slice them using a knife very carefully.
Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and thyme.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, lay the beets flat making sure they’re not overlapping each other too much to ensure even roasting. Pop them in the oven for 16-18 minutes. Once time is up, put the baking sheets on a cooling rack and let them cool for few minutes. You’re done!

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Roasted beets caramelize and come out very sweet. They go perfect in a salad that uses vinaigrette dressing (something zesty or tart).

Herbed Quinoa with Lemon Zest

This is another dish I crave like no other. It’s extremely popular amongst my friends too. When I think about it, I can almost smell the lemon zest, basil, and the nuttiness of the Quinoa (keen-wa). I saw Giada make this on her show once and although I had NO IDEA what on earth QUINOA was (they’re seeds), I decided to go buy a bag to see how I like it since I enjoy trying new things. As a result, I am a QUINOA LOVER.

Ingredients: Serves 4
Quinoa:
2 ¾ cups Low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice (for me, it took 2 juicy lemons)
1 ½ cups Quinoa

Dressing to mix into cooked Quinoa:
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice (2 more juicy lemons)
¾ cup Fresh basil – thinly chopped
¼ cup Fresh parsley – chopped
1 Tbs Fresh thyme – chopped
2 tsp Lemon zest
*Kosher Salt and pepper (optional)

 

Guide:
Cook Quinoa by combining chicken stock, lemon juice, and Quinoa in small-medium pot.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.
If you see the Quinoa puffed up, and no liquid on top it’s ready. *Should not be watery like porridge.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, other ¼ cup of lemon juice, basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest in a bowl large enough to mix the Quinoa into and set aside.
Once the Quinoa is cooked, dump the quinoa in the dressing bowl and toss to mix. (Do not mash it up)
Taste it and add salt and pepper if you’d like. I usually don’t find it necessary.

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I think it tastes best fresh and at room temperature but it’s still delicious for another couple of days if stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.