Posts Tagged ‘food’

Classic Stir-Fry & Green Tea Brown Rice

Summer before last, while I was interning in Boston, and my friend Karen was living in Boston (because that’s where she’s from), we fell into a routine, which somewhere along the way got named Kitchen Cooking Chem Lab. Said name came about due to our tendency to run around Shaws, buy an assortment of things, bring them back to either of our kitchens and proceed to make magic food out of it.

And sometimes there were explosions.

Last night we made dinner, and we did something magical yet again, but so simple that anyone (like you!) can take these same ingredients and turn them into delicious, healthy, nutrient-rich vegetarian food.

Classic Stir-Fry

  • Yellow Squash

squashhhh

  • Red & Orange Peppers
  • Sugar Snap Peas

peppers and snap peas

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 2 Green Tea Tea-Bags (not pictured)
  • Almond Slivers
  • Chili Powder (not pictured)

riceoilalmonds

  1. Heat 2 cups water in medium-sized saucepan & put tea bags in the water. After 5 minutes, remove tea bags from water and add rice. Stir frequently to keep rice from sticking. Allow rice to cook normally. Once cooked, add almond slivers (1/2 cup, or however much you like).
  2. rice

  3. While rice is cooking, heat olive oil on a pan on medium heat.
  4. When oil is hot, add the yellow squash.
  5. When squash starts to brown slightly, add the peppers and snap peas, stirring to keep squash slices on top of the peppers.
  6. Be liberal with the oil, make sure there is oil on the pan as well as on the vegetables, but don’t drown them.
  7. veggiesonpan

  8. When the peppers are cooked (they’ve started to go limp), add chili powder.  I just shook chili powder lightly over the veggies, mixed them and covered them lightly again. The point of the chili powder isn’t to make the dish spicy, but to bring out the flavors of the vegetables.
  9. Serve veggies either over or on the side of the rice.

foodddd
Enjoy with your drinks of choice! Ours just happened to be Harpoon Celtic. 🙂

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On Hiatus – Still – Till Next Week

You’ve probably noticed my absence since the middle of December.  Nope, I haven’t abandoned you, this blog, or my cooking.  Well, actually, the last one’s a bit of a lie.  Right after final exams, I booked it down to Florida (the only state in the country without snow right now) for winter vacation, maximizing my time in the Sunshine State.  Guess who else lives in this state?  My mother.  Guess who is the best chef of all time?  Yep.  My mother.  I’ve been eating and eating and scribbling down recipes and taking notes while she cooks and watching and breathing in the delicious scents and overall… neglected my readers.

I apologize.

In the form of an apology, one of my best friends, Karen, guest blogged last Saturday with an amazing recipe for Sweet Cherry Pie.  Now, if you don’t like cherry pie, well… you’re strange.  I’ve had the privilege of eating Karen’s cooking and desserts, and let me tell you… they are divine.  Lucky for you, she’s snowed in in her parents house on the South Shore of Massachusetts, and provided they don’t lose power, she’ll have some more delicious recipes and interesting tidbits of history for you all soon.

Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been up to all break:

1. Applications for graduate school for International Relations at 5 prestigious schools.  They are LONG.

2. Hanging out with my family, friends and books.

3. A 5-day vacation to Orlando, Universal Studios, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Islands of Adventure: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with some of the most special people in my life.

So mostly, I’ve been reading. My goal is 50 books this year, as it is every year, and the last time I reached that was 2008.  In the meantime, I’m compiling my reading for this year, so please please hit me with any and all suggestions you have!  I love all genres (mostly) so don’t hesitate.  Time to ramp up the intellectual stimuli!

Ready, set, go!

No, You DON’T Need Chicken Broth to Make Soup, Thanks.

Every time I walk into Panera Bread, I look up at the menu and die a little on the inside because all I want is Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but of course, it’s made with chicken broth. Tell me why they can’t make it with vegetable broth?  Some of my friends like to tell me that the taste is significantly improved with the stewed dead animal base, but I will never be able to judge for myself.

When I was in Geneva last spring, I found myself thinking, What should I make for dinner? I have… broccoli. And cheese. OH HEY. Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Okay, so it may have been Broccoli Gruyère Soup, but Gruyère is better than cheddar anyway (and it IS available at Star Market in the imported/specialty cheese sections.  It’s a bit pricey, $20/lb, so I don’t really recommend adding it to your weekly/bi-monthly grocery list.)

Here’s the recipe for Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, altered to account for my vegetarianism:

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Substitute Gruyère in same quantity if you’re feeling international)

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

Directions:

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the vegetable stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

 

Tacos! Burritos! Comida Mexicana!

Replace the beef with beans. No, really, I don’t want any meat.

taco spread

Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, Mexican blend cheese, Old El Paso Taco Shells, and Sweet Leaf Iced Tea

tacos
Delicious, Vegetarian Hard-Shell Tacos!

I am secretly (or not-so-secretly now, oops!) in love with Mexican food.

Unfortunately, many Mexican restaurants lack for a vegetarian selection, and sometimes I’m worried that meat accidentally fell into my tacos or burritos. The good news is, all the ingredients (yes, I realize they aren’t as authentic as if they were homemade) are readily available at any supermarket and preparation of these dishes is rather simple.  So tacos can be made at home! If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could fry the beans yourself instead of buying the canned kind.

The basic ingredients are listed above. I like to add Cholula hot sauce and red salsa to my tacos as well, but unfortunately, I forgot to pick up those ingredients tonight, and I apparently ran through all my hot sauce without realizing it. I piled in the refried beans – which are much better heated on the stove in a saucepan rather than in a microwave oven, sour cream, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, and cheese (in that order), and voilà! Tacos!

Warning though: tacos tend to fall apart as you eat them… but that just means you have taco salad on your plate when you’re finished eating what managed to stay in the taco shell.  More taco? Most excellent!

 

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