September 27, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Shiitakes

I know brussel sprouts in America are known as the yucky vegetable.
When my mom and I first saw them waaaaay back in the day a million years ago---
we thought and said, oh how cute, baby cabbage.

I've come a long way since then and love cooking and eating brussel sprouts as a side dish.
They are just like cabbage being thicker than other veggies despite their little size.

I usually boil or steam them first.  Once they are softened a little,
I drizzle a little olive oil in the pan and add some sliced up bacon.

The bacon gets crispy and gives the sprouts a good flavor.
I threw some sliced shittake mushrooms in there and sauteed them all together.
You can eat this as a side dish with a steak, grilled chicken or fish.
You could also throw some shrimp or tofu in there and make it more of
a meal rather than a side dish as well.

Breakfast Burritos to go!

Breakfast is important but it's also the hardest time to think of food for me.
Often because I can't really eat something right after I woke up and I'm usually
running out the door let alone think of cooking something for breakfast.

Cereal, oatmeal, toast, bagels, eggs, pre-cooked bacon... these are all great--
but I decided to try making breakfast burritos ahead of time and then I simply wrapped
each one, froze them and then microwaved them each morning.

It was a nice and an easy breakfast to simply change it up.

(it really depends on how many you are making)
I made 5 to start it off.
---5 soft flour totillas (often used for soft tacos)
---3 eggs scrambled (any way you like) 
(I usally use S & P, a little tried chives and a sprinkle of paprika)
---1 potato shredded 
---sausage or simply use ground pork
---shredded cheese 
---bell pepper (1/4 of pepper)

I started by cooking the eggs first with a little butter (or olive oil)
and then took the eggs out and set them aside in a bowl.
I then fried the shredded potatoes.
(a way for easier frying when  it comes to shredded potatoes is to rinse them to get
the extra starch out, then to use a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and dry them well.
Squeezing the extra water/starch off of them...
will help when you fry them and make them more crispier also.

Next, cook up sausage or you can use bacon or you can leave the meat out, cultivate it
and make it your own!  For this batch, I made sausage with a few slivers of diced
red and yellow bell peppers.

Tortilla wrap, sausage with peppers, topped with fried hash browns,
topped with scramble eggs and cheese!

Wrap them individually in clear wrap and then lay them flat in your freezer.
In the morning, after you've gotten yourself ready---- ready to be seen by other humans, 
open your freezer and grab an already made, home-made breakfast burrito.
Microwave it for about a minute and a half... and ta-da!  ready to go!

It beats the same ole bagel or toast every morning and is a great way to change it
up from time to time.

September 21, 2012

Kale Chips

Sometimes being a couch potato and eating potato chips might make sense
especially on a day that was really stressful and you just might not care.

But then- there are other days when you can take something super healthy and
make it similar to a not as healthy snack food simply by baking something.

I've  been seeing Kale chips on Pinterest, on other food blogs and after recently seeing
them at a grocery store for $6.99 for a little clear container of it...
I had to just try making it myself.

I bought one bunch of Kale from H-mart the local Korean/Asian supermarket.
All food stores will carry Kale.

I washed it and because the leafy vegetable is thicker and tougher than lettuce- If you give it a 
quick shake in the sink... not too much water gets absorbed into it's super healthy leaves.
Simply trim the really thick stems off with a paring knife or clean kitchen scissors.

Once you've trimmed all the stems, you can trim the leaf itself into maybe 3-4 pieces per large leaf.
Once all the leaves are cut into pieces (don't cut them too small- they shrink!)
--you want to rub olive oil all over them. (I always have those clear disposable gloves on hand)

Once they are super shiny from their olive oil polish, sprinkle some salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Bake it in the oven on 350 for about 20-30 minutes or basically until they are dry chips.
When you grab one with your tongs.... you want them to be stiff like chips.

That's pretty much it, kale is super healthy and baking them is a tasty way to enjoy them!

Eat them as a snack while watching tv, catching up on a good book or put them into
a ziplock bag and snack on them at work it you are able to!

September 6, 2012

Nacho Night condiments

Nacho night condiments.

There always seems to be smiles when Nachos are around.
I wanted to make nacho night a little more colorful, so what better way than
to use beautiful, natural colored bell peppers for little bowls.

I started by making a tomato salsa and some guacamole.
The guacamole consists of....
2 ripe (black-ish skin--- soft to the feel) avocados
red onion (diced very fine) maybe 5-6 rows of thin slivers
a sprinkle of paprika, salt, black pepper & red pepper powder-optional (about a teaspoon each)

Really healthy and it tastes really good too!  

The tomato salsa consists of... 
2 medium sized- ripe, diced tomatoes
a handful of chopped cilantro
diced red onion (not too much- about the same as the guacamole-5-6 rows of slivers)
the juice of one whole lime

Once I make the tomato salsa- I put it into a little strainer to get SOME of the liquid out.
Just a little of it.  In the meantime, I lay some corn tortilla chips in an oven safe dish-
(the flatter the better). I then add some already grated cheese (cheddar in the picture)
and then add another layer of chips and then top it with more cheese.
The ground beef is 50/50 meaning- if I have ground beef around, I fry a little and 
add some but often I don't.
If you want to add ground beef- a simple sprinkle of salt, black pepper and garlic powder
is all the it needs. Add the seasonings after you have fried the beef- giving it a good toss
or mix with a spoon/ladle so the beef is seasoned well!

(Already cooked ground beef in between layers of chips and shredded cheddar cheese)
It's all ready to go into the oven on about 300 degrees. It needs to stay in the oven
for about 15 minutes or.... until the cheese evenly melts.

I wanted to use 3 peppers- one for the guacamole, one for the salsa and one for sour cream.

After rinsing the peppers, cut the top of the pepper like this and take out the seeds.
You can then use a small paring knife to make little zigzag type cuts.
(The cuts are on an angle rather than straight cuts)

I did that to all of them and ta-da! ...... 3 little bowls for the Nacho condiments.
The only thing I would change is get slightly bigger peppers next time.
If you end up getting a pepper who doesn't want to sit flat... just give a small little cut
on the bottom of the pepper to basically make the bottom of the pepper stable.

The tomato salsa...

The guacamole in another...

And some sour cream in the last one.

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September 5, 2012

Fried Apples

As the Fall is starting to peek around the corner...
2 things that I always associate with the Autumn season is anything apple or pumpkin.

The other day, a friend of mine asked me if I could share my recipe of fried apples.
She was on her-- end of the summer vacation...
and strangely, she was craving fried apples. Go figure!

This recipe is SO simple that I wouldn't even call it a recipe.
All you need an apple or 2, a slab if butter and cinnamon is optional!

Take your favorite kind of apple, red delicious, granny smith, gala, fuji, etc...
whatever kind you want!
Peel the skin and cut the apples into slices. Anyway you want- really.

Add about a tablespoon or 2 or 3 of butter into a frying pan and as the butter starts to melt,
add the slices of apples until they are cooked. (slightly softened) add a little sprinkle of cinnamon
and give the apples one last toss in your pan. Plate and eat plain. I guess you could add some
vanilla ice cream but just eating them plain is also JUST. AS. GOOD!

It can't get much easier than that! You can enjoy this snack in 15 minutes tops!
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