Meta: Vegan

I added a new category for “vegan” recipes.

I pretty much never intend to make vegan food but in the course of making vegetarian food I do make plenty of vegan food as well. This tag will include recipes that are vegan (naturally!) or ones that would easily be vegan by replacing the cooking fat (usually butter) with oil or honey with sugar in places where it won’t too significantly change the recipe at all. Most of these don’t EXPLICITLY say to replace these products so but I will attempt to suggest it in future posts I plan to tag as vegan.

While in a technical way you could make my Broccoli-Cheddar Soup with vegan milk substitutes and vegan cheese, the consistency of the recipe would likely be pretty heavily changed and you’d have a way better time finding recipes already geared around those ingredients.

Most recipes of course can be adapted to be vegan, some by simply removing meat or replacing it with a meat substitute or by using vegan substitutes for butter, milk, and eggs but you might notice I don’t really eat meat substitutes and I’m not a fan of things like seitan and tofu in place of meat so I’m going to just trust you’ll make your best judgements about recipes and I’ll keep trying to helpfully tag recipes.

Happy cooking!

Recipe: One Pot Lemon Shrimp

I forgot to take a picture of this one but I’ll be making it again in the future so I’ll add it then. This recipe is so easy and quick that it will surprise you. The original had cheese but I actually didn’t feel like it contributed a lot to the dish so I took it out. Also I used probably more like 12 oz of orzo because that’s how much was in the box and I didn’t feel like having an extra 4oz in there it would ruin it (it didn’t)

One Pot Lemon Shrimp

1 pound shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 to 12 oz orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and oregano, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in orzo until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken broth and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, peas, lemon juice and shrimp. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  4. Place into oven and bake until shrimp are cooked through, about 12-14 minutes.

Source: Damn Delicious

Meta: Boozy Punch

I had a party and decided to throw together a nice punch because who doesn’t love punch? I saw this one on Smitten Kitchen and decided to go ahead and try. It’s fabulous! It was enough punch for the 14 of us the last the whole night. I worried there would be too much or too little but this was just right! Not a drop left.

Boozy Punch

1 1/4 cups cold water
1 1/4 cups limeaid
3 3/4 cups pineapple juice
1 3/4 cups Campari (or less, to taste)
1 bottle dark rum
1 bottle sparkling wine

Mix all chilled ingredients in a large punch bowl (this makes about 4 quarts so plan your bowl accordingly) and if desired, put a handful of garnishes like lemon or orange slices.

**If you’re not serving right away, do not add the wine until serving time so it stays cold and fizzy.

Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Meta: Sangria

Not quite a full recipe it’s basically just wine and fruit. This is a delightfully light sangria that is perfect for a hot summer day. I made this in the blender and blended up about half the fruit just to give it a more infused flavor (and a light pink color)

IMAG2689

Summer Fruit White Sangria

750ml white wine
1/2 cup vodka
6 cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 peach, cut in chunks
1 lime, skinned and cut into pieces

  1. Prepare your fruit (pulse in blend or food processor if desired).
  2. In a large container or pitcher combine wine and vodka and fruit.
  3. Let the sangria sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Add ice and serve.

Source: Wright Kitchen

Recipe: Salmon Cakes

Here’s the recipe for the salmon cakes and while they sound fancy they couldn’t be easier. Basically you mix it all up in a bowl and then bake it. I made a raita sauce with it but tarter sauce would go well too. I baked a filet of salmon with olive oil, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and a touch of salt and took the skin off but you can use canned salmon if you have that on hand.

Picture here

Salmon Cakes

makes about 12 1″ cakes

3/4 lb salmon, cook (or 14oz can of cooked salmon, drained)
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill weed
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

  1. In a large mixing bowl all the breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, green onions, dill weed, lemon juice and black pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add salmon and mix with hands, breaking up salmon into small pieces. Form into patties; each the same size.
  3. Bake on a lined baking sheet at 425° for 10-15 minutes.

These are great hot or cold and they also freeze well so you can cook up a double batch and have them always on hand!

Meta: The Chef’s Pantry

When I started cooking I need to a buy a lot of things and the worst was actually that there was so many choices! How do you know where to start and what to buy? Here is what is in my pantry after 8 years of cooking that I’ve found works for me.

Cooking Spices: salt, pepper, ginger, oregano, basil, thyme, dill, cumin, corriander, paprika, garlic, mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garam masala, fennel
Baking Spices: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder
Fresh Herbs: mint, rosemary, chives, cilantro, parsley
Other Stuff: olive oil, rice wine, cooking sherry, hot sauces (siracha and chili lime sauce for us), tonkatsu sauce, ground korean chilis (for kimchee), fish sauce, peanut oil, chocolate chips, coconut, almonds, tomato paste, and curry paste.

Pans: cookie sheet, baking sheet with sides, sauce pan – 2qt, stock pot – 6 qt, grill pan, frying pan – small, colander – free standing, small colander, dutch oven – 3.5 qt, set of mixing bowls – 4 sizes, glass baking dishes – 3 piece set, pasta pot with strainer top (so handy), mini muffin pan, muffin tins (2), 9″ cake pans (2), bread loaf pan, and a kettle.

Appliances: stick blender, blender, crockpot – 6 qt, crockpot -2 qt, rice cooker, stand mixer, food processor – small.

Extras: 2 good quality knives for chopping, a set of 4 cutting boards, peeler, whisk, soup ladle (2), pie cutter, pizza cutter, zester, tea press, set of 3 stirring spoons, spatula, hand grater, two 6 piece sets of Tupperware of varying sizes.

I don’t think every person needs everything on this list at all of course but this is what works for me and there isn’t a thing listed that I haven’t used in the past month which feels like a good judge measure that my kitchen really is working for me. Plus there’s a small amount of things I could stand to pick up (ramekins and cooling racks come to mind).

I always wonder what other people have in their kitchen.

Meta: Recipe Collection

Since we’re busy packing and about to move in our new place we’re cleaning out our fridge which means a lot of stir fry, omelets, and eating very boring food!

There’s plenty of recipes that I went to try when I move in to the new place though and since the cooking has been boring, at least the linking can be interesting (I hope!). Expect a menu and CSA report on Tuesday like usual though <3

Lemon Risotto – I have a weakness for risotto and haven’t made it in a while. I will probably change up the veggies in this recipe and maybe the flavors but this looks pretty solid and easy.

Enchiladas – I have never eaten or made these – yikes! I’m definitely over due on that.

Carrot and Chicken Stew – We get fantastic carrots in tons of varieties from our CSA and this sounds like a great way to them all.

Chicken Tortilla Soup – Just looks heavenly doesn’t it? Nice and cozy!

May add more to this list over the next few days but those are my culinary plans so far. ’til next time!

Challenge: New Recipes in April

I have really been slacking on cooking ever since I made my cookbook back in December. What I need now is a great challenge to try and get myself motivated again. I also managed to gain quite a bit of weight over the past 2 years (about 10lbs more than I want) so I’m hoping a little home cooking will help with that too.

This is just to keep me present and together with all my recipes (and also use up the 5lbs of free chicken I got from Amazon last week).

For April I’ll be making: Continue reading