lemongrass chicken & rice soup

Lemongrass Chicken & Rice soup

we celebrated autumn super early this year,
like,
butt-crack of september early.
not because it was cold,
but because there was a Chicken Soup Contest
that i had to enter
and i needed to tweak the recipe.
for 3 weeks straight
poor dw had to eat chicken soup for lunch.
further,
he had to analyze what it was lacking,
and what i could do to fix that lacking.

Lemongrass Chicken & Rice soup

dw was by my side the entire event,
helped set up,
calmed my nerves,
and assisted with the ladling.
(he also reminded me to look gracious
when i didn’t win ALLLLLL the categories #TigerChild)
i even sent him out to spy on my fellow competitors.
alas,
we walked away with the
“Director’s Choice Award”
(he was so adorably proud #MyBiggestFan)
we have a week’s worth
of leftover soup for lunch,
dw has requested no soup after this week,
and i’m already brainstorming for next year.

Lemongrass Chicken & Rice soup

lemongrass chicken & rice soup
serves 6-8
keeps in fridge for a week, perfect for lunches.

*note: it looks like a lot. if it’s too long, you don’t want to read and you’re strapped for time, use boxed/canned chicken stock and infuse the lemongrass/ginger/garlic/kefir lime leaves by simmering them in for about 30 minuntes. it’s cheating, but it’ll do the trick.
*due to this being a jewish contest, the rules were that the ingredients be kosher. kosher rotisserie chicken is brined, so there’s an added saltiness. for the first 2 weeks we used regular plain rotisserie chicken and upped the fish sauce amount. for the last 2 weeks, i decreased the fish sauce amount, just be sure to season to taste accordingly.
*note: the garnishes are clutch — the lime and cilantro adds freshness. don’t skimp on that.
*late note: to keep the flavor of lemongrass etc in the soup throughout the week, keep the extra flavoring pieces in, fishing them out just before serving. if you take them out sooner, the soup still tastes great, but it’s milder.

homemade stock:
1-2 kosher chicken carcasses, depending on how big they are
3 large carrots, washed, tips trimmed and rough chopped
3 stalks of celery, washed and rough chopped
6 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and slightly bruised
2″ knob of ginger, slightly smashed
3-4 garlic gloves, whole but slightly smashed
handful of kefir lime leaves
1 small-medium onion, quartered
3-4 red thai chilis, whole and scored
palm-full of whole black peppercorns
water

soup:
2-3 carrots, washed, peeled & diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
meat of kosher rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/2 cup rice
1/8-1/4 cup kosher fish sauce (i used Red Boat)
1 TBL oil, olive oil or grapeseed

extra flavoring:
2-3 lemongrass stalks, slightly bruised
1″ knob of ginger, slightly smashed
1-2 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
1/2 small onion, cut in half
1-2 red thai chilis, whole and scored
splash of neutral oil, like grapeseed

garnish:
limes
chopped cilantro
chopped red chili (very, very optional)

in a crock pot, add all the stock ingredients in and add water till it covers everything. lid, turn on low and walk away. i’ve done it for as short of amount as 4 hours and for as long as over night (about 7-8 hours). strain and set aside.

to make the extra flavoring, in a small frying pan gently warm a splash of oil and saute all the ingredients. be gentle, you’re just warming the ingredients through so they can release their aroma and flavor. keep on low, kinda sorta ignore and every so often move the ingredients around so they don’t feel neglected and burn.

in a big pot, heat up the oil and saute the diced onion until softened, you’re not looking to caramelize it though so be careful. add in the minced garlic, carrots and celery and mix thoroughly. carefully pour in the stock. add in the extra flavoring & shredded chicken, and bring to a boil.

lower heat.

add in the 1/2 cup of rice, stir, lid and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

season with fish sauce, to taste.

at this point, you can fish out the random flavorings, or just avoid them when ladling the soup.

serve with lime wedges and topped with chopped cilantro and chopped red chili.

BAM!

Lemongrass Chicken & Rice soup

3 years ago: how to make bouillon cubes
2 years ago: blueberry swirl + coconut macaroons
1 year ago: apparently, i didn’t do shit last year.

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Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

i’ve been doing yoga consistently for 2 months
which is to say,
i go once a week.
that’s a big deal.
it’s part of my
I’m Getting Old AF concession
so i do the crusty bendy breathing stuff
and my dr doesn’t give me shit for being lazy.
speaking of lazy though,
i have been lax this summer with cooking.
i tend to make a big pile of food
and call it lunch for the week.

when Friends of Great Kids Farm reached out to me
to participate in a back to school healthy lunch challenge
i was going to decline.
i sat on it for a day and decided to join after all.
i pack a lunch for dw + me everyday,
it’s hard sometimes when i’m uninspired or tired.
i’m assuming it’s like that for everyone,
whether you’re a parent,
or just feeding yourself.
this particular week’s lunch is a repeat,
i make it often because
it’s easy
affordable
nutritious
delicious.
what do you usually have for lunch?

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

Friends of Great Kids Farm is a 501(c)3 foundation partner to Baltimore City Public Schools’ Great Kids Farm. Friends financially supports, enhances, and promotes the Farm’s experiential gardening and nutrition education and career training programs to benefit as many of Baltimore City Schools’ 85,000 students as possible. In 2008, an overgrown, unused property owned by City Schools was transformed into a working farm and dynamic outdoor classroom. This unique facility now provides: a working farm where students connect with healthy foods through cross-curricular, hands-on learning activities; fresh produce for school cafeterias and nutrition education programs; a professional kitchen where students cook and taste Farm produce guided by a chef educator; classrooms for healthy food demonstrations and tastings linked to core instruction; internships for high school students in agriculture and the culinary arts; and support for the development of schoolyard gardens throughout the district. The Back to School Healthy Lunch Campaign seeks to bring attention to healthy eating and support innovative education with local creativity.

for more information, hit up
Back to School Healthy Lunch Challenge

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Miso-Tahini Dressing

*note: this salad is never the same every time, it’s usually whatever is available at the markets and offered from our csa and the season. you’re aiming for a balance of freshness, tart & salty & sweet, and most important: your preference. if you’re feeling fancy, add some kind of protein, ranging from grilled chicken to chickpeas to tofu. sometimes, time allowing, i add a hard boiled egg. if you’re super fancy, cook the quinoa in stock for even more flavor.
**note: any miso paste is fine, i have the mellow brown rice miso but i’ve used red, yellow or white before, it’s according to your flavor preferences.
***note: this dish is best as a leftover and at room temp, which makes it a perfect lunch. the flavors meld and you’re not having to worry about heating it up. if making for a picnic or potluck, make it the day before, so it makes for a stress free dish.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced fine
1/4 small red onion or shallot, diced
1 carrot, shredded
bunch chopped cilantro
3 stalks scallions, diced
sunflower seeds, optional
cashews or peanuts, very optional
lime wedges, to garnish at the end
toasted sesame seeds

DRESSING
1/2 cup tahini
1 2″ knob of ginger, freshly grated
3 TBL tamari or coconut nectar (or soy sauce)
1 TBL maple syrup
2 TBL rice vinegar
1 TBL miso paste
1 tsp sesame oil
salt/pepper to taste
water to thin

rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve under cool water for a few minutes.

cook quinoa + amaranth according to quinoa package instructions. adding the amaranth doesn’t change cooking time. fluff, set aside to cool.

mise en place everything that you’re wanting to add to the salad.

to make the dressing, use a big bowl to mix everything, or use a vitamix to do the heavy mixing. add in the tahini & miso paste with a splash of water. blitz it up until well incorporated, the aim is to break down the miso. add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, with splash of water if needed. i shoot for 3/4 cup to a full cup of dressing, season to taste.

in a big mixing bowl, add in the quinoa with the vegs. drizzle the dressing in, starting off with just half of it and mix through. you can add as much as you want, keeping in mind that the quinoa will absorb it. you don’t want soup though. you may not use up all the dressing, and it makes for great dipping or regular salad dressing.

top with diced scallions, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds or cashews/peanuts if using. spritz with lime juice.

serve cold or room temp.

BAM!

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

3 years ago: chicken masala
2 years ago: spice poached pears
1 year ago: steamed egg loaf

blueberry – lemon almond waffles (gf)

blueberry - lemon almond waffles

blueberry - lemon almond waffles

it’s a short week for us here,
not only because of the holiday week,
but because we’re headed on vacation
with our nephews soon!
excitement.
we’re headed down to the shore
where i’ll hover,
slather on spf four-fold
and encourage glutton tomfoolery.
there might be another post,
there might not be,
it’ll be a surprise!
but until we meet again
have at these summery waffles.
happy july friends!

blueberry - lemon almond waffles

blueberry – lemon almond waffles
makes 6

*note: i don’t make waffles often, last time was a year ago and it was dw who made them. this is one kitchen toy i can’t seem to get rid of. i don’t know what the brand is, i threw out the box and manual but it just lights up when hot and the light goes off when the waffles are cooked. use common sense with your own waffle toy.
**note: for the first 4 i added the berries after the batter had been poured into the maker, and for the last 2 i added the berries to the batter itself and then poured it into the machine. it all came out the same, so when you add the berries are up to you.

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 TBL coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk, dairy or nut
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 TBL maple syrup
1/2 cup blueberries
oil for brushing waffle iron

preheat a waffle iron

in a bowl mix all the ingredients except for the oil until blended.

it will be thick and you will think to yourself that it’s weird. twins.

when waffle iron is ready, brush with oil real quick. add in about 2 heaping tablespoons worth of batter on each side, with a few berries.

close and cook based on manufacturer’s instructions.

prepare remaining batter.

serve with maple syrup and more berries.

BAM!

blueberry - lemon almond waffles

3 years ago: coconut egg curry
2 years ago: diy copper pipe wall sconce
1 year ago: strawberry ice cream cookie sandwiches

Raw Blueberry Coconut Tart + Nut Crust

Raw Blueberry Coconut Tart + Nut Crust

it’s reached a point in the season
where sometimes i wonder if it’s cooler
outside or inside.
i broke down earlier in the month
and turned the ac on.
some mornings it’s still hovering at the
upper 60sF (approx. 16C, fyi)
and i’m chilled.
dw loves it,
reminds him of upstate.
around this time of year
we trek out to do some blueberry picking.
we try to go first thing in the morn,
before the sun is at its strongest,
before the crowds.
dw loves blueberries,
it’s his favorite,
and we managed to pick 5lbs
opening weekend.
an ode to these summer jewels
and still on the no gluten and dairy kick
i made this tart.
best chilled,
topped with even more fresh berries,
and so good for breakfast
or tea
or dessert.
happy summer!

Raw Blueberry Coconut Tart + Nut Crust

raw blueberry coconut tart + nut crust (gluten free & vegan)
inspired and loosely adapted from the bojon gourmet
serves 6-8

*note: i did roast the hazelnuts to get rid of the skins and to sweeten them but it’s optional. so technically, this isn’t fully raw… also, hazelnuts have a stronger flavor and you want to strike a balance where it doesn’t overwhelm everything else. aim for maybe 1/4 hazelnuts and the rest cashews and almond, or whatever nuts you want.

crust:
1 1/2 cups of nuts: i used a combo of cashews, almonds and hazelnuts, quantities of each are up to you
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
2 TBL scant maple syrup
pinch of salt

filling:
230 grams raw cashews, soaked in boiled water for 1 hour
2 TBL finely ground chia seed
scant 1/2 cup maple syrup, depending on how sweet your berries are
zest from 1 lemon
juice of said 1 lemon
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
5-6 basil leaves, optional
about a cup of blueberries, washed

topping/side:
BLUEBERRIES, amount to your heart’s desire

Raw Blueberry Coconut Tart + Nut Crust

to make the crust: in a food processor add the nuts and coconut flakes with the pinch of salt. blitz until it’s ground to your preference. i went for finely ground. drizzle in maple syrup and process till the nuts start to clump. dump the mixture into pan with removable bottom tart pan, i used a rectangle one but an 8-9″ pan would be fine. press the mixture along the sides and bottom. set aside or chill in fridge while you make filling.

to make the filling: soak the cashews in hot water for an hour, or in cool water overnight. drain and rinse the nuts. in a vitamix add the softened cashews with the blueberries, along with the finely ground chia seed, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, along with the water, coconut oil, pinch of salt and basil leaves, if using. blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. pour mixture into crust and use a spatula or off set spatula to smooth the top as desired. the mixture will be thick. cover and chill overnight.

serve with fresh berries.

(will keep, covered, for a few days.)

Raw Blueberry Coconut Tart + Nut Crust

BAM!

3 years ago: baked yeast s’mores donuts
2 years ago: 3 veggie dumplings in spicy sauce
1 year ago: meringue cups + mango curd

Raspberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding

somehow we find ourselves
smack dab in the middle of june
ridiculously tangled up with
the Whole30 diet.
it seemed like the right time:
our csa started
nuria moved back to ca
it’s the month before our beach vacation

i’m not going to paint a pretty –
or ugly – picture.
it’s not painful,
we just don’t like being limited
and we miss the rice and bread and pasta acutely
but the guidelines are pretty in line with
our lifestyle already.
except for the coffee + sugar + creamer
and cereal
and sweets
ok. fine. whatever,
this isn’t the funnest.
but it’s not dire either.

since we’re not kick starting summer
with the usual smoothies
i needed to come up with something
equally delightful & cooling.
enter the chia pudding phenom.
it’s everywhere, chia seeds is the new kale.
and like, kale,
i really like chia seeds.

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding>

raspberry-coconut chia pudding
makes enough for 2

*note: chia seed is technically compliant to Whole30 but it should be consumed judiciously so i’ve only made this twice, i’ll likely make it a few more times before the diet is over, and will definitely make it often this summer, using whichever berries and fruits are in season.
**note: made it recently with strawberries + lemon juice and it was ridiculously delightful.

1 very generous cup raspberries, fresh or thawed
3 TBL chia seeds
juice of half grapefruit
3-4 each raw almonds and cashews, rough chopped
3-4 TBL unsweetened dried coconut flakes
few sprigs of mint, chiffonade or torn

in a bowl place the raspberries in and with a fork smash them. they don’t have to be all smashed, texture is good. add in the juice of half grapefruit and the chia seeds. mix through so that chia seeds don’t clump. set aside for 30 minutes in the fridge, or overnight.

when ready to eat, divvy up in two dishes/cups/glasses/jars and top with the chopped nuts, coconut flakes and mint.

BAM!

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding

3 years ago: crunchy celery salad
2 years ago: intense strawberry coconut ice cream & almond waffle bowls
1 year ago: cayenne chocolate ice cream