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.

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

zucchini ravioli

Zucchini Ravioli

we had a massive storm here in MD over the weekend
mayhap you saw the headline in your fb feed
or you’re local and you were hunkered down in your abode
like we were in the city,
the lightning and thunder really close.
at one point,
i turned to dw to ask him if he even
knew where the flashlights were.
like the lazy asses that we are
we decided that our phones can suffice
as torches.
meanwhile, with Stranger Things on tv
the kitchen was slowly flooding.
the deluge of water falling from the sky
could not be contained by the fancy gutters
we bought when we fixed the roof last year.
just kidding.
it wasn’t slowly flooding,
it was fucking gushing,
from the back door and onto my new tile floors.
and so, with winona ryder crying in the background
dw & i spent our saturday night
catching water and wringing out towels.
we’re such party animals.

prior to the storm
we picked up our csa and
it’s full on zucchini season,
this week’s recipe really makes good use of this summer veg.
for more inspiration,
hit up maria’s space.

zuch ravioli gif

zucchini ravioli
inspired and adapted from delish
makes about 12-13 raviolis,

*note: i made a full on dairy version with mozz & ricotta cheese for a friend returning from vacation, and i made a completely vegan version for us. click the link for the cheese.
*note**: i doctored up a jar of marinara sauce: sauteed onions + diced garlic scape, chunky over-ripe csa tomatoes and a few TBL of tomato paste.

3-4 zucchinis, sliced thin, with a knife, peeler (which is what i used) or mandolin
1 package of firm tofu, pressed of excess water
2-3 garlic scapes, rough chopped
healthy/generous bunch of parsley
salt&pepper to taste
1 cup of shredded vegan mozzarella, i used daiya
marinara sauce, jarred or doctored or homemade
shredded basil, to garnish

preheat oven to 350F.

slice the zucchinis as described. any nubby bits leftover can be added to the filling, or used for baking, or added to soup.

to make the filling: in a food processor add the pressed tofu. pulse it a few times to break it down. add the garlic scapes and parsley, pulse to incorporate. add in salt & pepper to taste and pulse a few times more. you’re aiming for a well combined ricotta-like mixture.

assemble the raviolis: lay two zucchini slices one way and another two across it, you’re aiming for a lower case T. spoon/scoop about 1.5-2 TBL worth of the tofu mixture in the middle (i used an ice cream scoop). fold the legs over, alternating, until a package is made. continue with the rest of the slices and remaining filling.

in a casserole dish, have a thin layer of marinara sauce. lay out the raviolis, seam side down. spoon sauce over and around the raviolis. they don’t need to be covered, but the amount is entirely up to you. finish with the shredded cheese.

depending on the size of the casserole dish you used, bake for 30-35 minutes (for the smaller batch, i baked for 20 min). the zucchinis came out just at done which dw loved, but i would’ve liked it to go a smidge longer.

garnish with shredded basil.

BAM!

zuch ravioli casserole

3 years ago: chocolate + coconut macarons
2 years ago: banh cuon chay
1 year ago: popcorn

chilled somen noodles with cold mushroom broth

Cold Noodle Bowl

if you would believe it,
we’re around the corner from August.
it’s hot as balls out,
i’ve taken to worrying about
the plants outside,
the kind that belong to me
and the kind that don’t.
i sent dw out the other day
with two half gallon jugs
to water the new trees that were
recently planted in the park across the way.
this will hopefully become
a morning & nightly routine.

meanwhile,
we’ve been battling this heat
with plenty of water
and cold foods:
salad
ice cream
cereal
and this soup.

hope you’re staying cool,
wherever you are.

cold noodle bowl

chilled somen noodles with cold mushroom broth
inspired & adapted from the NY Times
makes enough for 6-8 servings

*in my freezer i keep a bag of vegetable odds/ends, they range from mushroom stems to celery heads to ugly carrot nubs. sometimes i keep parsley stems. they make for super quick and easy veg broths. for this particular dish, it made enough broth to fill a half gallon jar, which can be kept in the fridge for a week.

broth:
a very generous handful of dried shiitake mushrooms
a very generous handful of mushroom stems
1 bunch scallions, rough chopped
1 stick of kombu
a few celery heads
8 cups water
soy sauce or coconut aminos to taste
1 TBL whole black pepper

for the noodle bowls:
cooked somen noodles, prepared according to package instructions
cucumbers, sliced thin
green scallions, small chopped
kim chi, if you’re fancy make your own, we bought a local fave: Hex
2-4 hard boiled eggs, i got fancy and let them hang out in dark soy sauce for extra flavor
corn, cut from two cobs
drizzle of sesame oil
splash of rice vinegar

in the morning, while you’re brewing your coffee make the broth: add all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. turn off heat and cool to room temp. season to taste and then strain into clean jar and place in refrigerator till cold.

when ready, assemble the bowls: divvy up the noodles, make enough so that each bowl gets about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of broth. top with vegs and last pour in the broth. drizzle a bit of sesame oil and splash of vinegar at the end for added flavor.

BAM!

Cold Noodle Bowl

3 years ago: green tomato & mint chutney
2 years ago: thai iced tea
1 year ago: i was being a bum.

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