Marinated Collard Greens

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I absolutely love finding a new twist on an old favorite! Living in the south, collards are a stable, but “how” you cook them is pretty standard. Imagine my surprise when my boyfriend and I stumbled across marinated collards at the market. I envisioned this flavorful explosion of flavors that matched the bright colors! NOT! The greens were very very firm and while the colors were great the flavor was lacking.

If you don’t know me by now I am the queen of “I can make that at home”! So here we go!

Ingredients:
• 1 pound fresh collard greens, cleans and sliced
• 1 C. carrots, julienned
• 1 red onion, julienned
• 1 red bell pepper, julienned
• 1/2 C. rice vinegar
• 1/2 C. olive oil
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp dried mustard
• 1 tsp celery seed
• 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

1. Clean and slice the collards removing the tough stalk.
2. Add the julienned carrots, peppers, and red onions.
3. Combine the vinegar, oil, dried mustard, salt, pepper, celery seed, and honey in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
4. Pour the sauce over the fresh veggies and toss.
5. Place the salad in a heavy place deal bag and force all the air out of the bag.
6. Marinate the salad for as little as 24 hours or up to 2 days.

Mexican Street Corn

SUMMER! I think I have a love hate with summer. On one hand living in the South I loath the summer humidity, constant evening pop up storms, and a cosy low of 80 degrees 😒. On the plus side, I love, love, love the music in the parks, lazy days with family and friends, holiday celebrations, my birthday, and most importantly SUMMER FRUITS & VEGGIES!
Armed with an array of summer herbs, I’ve been experimenting with flavorful recipes so here we go!

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Ingredients:
4 ears fresh summer corn ears
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. Mexican queso cheese, chunked
Kosher salt
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Aluminum foil

Directions:
1. Pull back the husk of the corn ears, remove the silk from the corn.
2. Rub the pads of butter on the ears of corn and sprinkle with kosher salt.
3. Pull the husk over the corn and roll the corn in aluminum foil.
4. Place covered corn on medium-high grill grates for 30 minutes rotating periodically to cook evening on all sides.
5. Remove the corn from the grill then removing the aluminum foil and husk.
6. Smooth mayonnaise over the ears of corn.
7. Break the queso into small chunks and sprinkle over the corn.
8. Top the ears of corn with chopped cilantro and serve.

Traditional Kimchi

As an Army brat, I grew up with an extremely diverse group of friends and a lot of exposure to international cuisine.  My love of Korean food stems from my cousin and her husband who is biracial and part Korean. So one day they decided to take us out to dinner to a Korean grocery store that was also a restaurant (insert side glare). Needless to say, I was SCARED! That was the day I fell in LOVE! From bim bim bap(vegetables over rice with a sunny side up eggs)  to bulgogi (marinaded beef or pork), I love it all. I usually gather my goodies from our local Asian market. I’m there so much, I should know how to speak the language, but alas I’m stuck with pointing and googling titles 🙂

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My natural progression was to try my hand at making Kimchi and it was much easier than I thought! Kimchi is fermented vegetables with a variety of seasons. I will say there are many recipes for kimchi, but I prefer to make mine with more of a sauce versus a slurry. The slurry mixture makes the mixture a bit more thick, I prefer the sauce because I like to use my kimchi several different ways. It can be used as a side dish, stirred into fried rice, or added to make a kimchi pancake(kimchijeon)! I know trying new foods is a bit scary, but step out of the box with me and give it a try.

Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 grated daikon radish*
  • 1 C carrots, julienned
  • 1 C water
  • ¼ C salted shrimp*
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Korean Red Pepper Powder
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 grated asian pear*
  • ¼ C. salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 canning jars

*These items can be found in your local Asian market; however, I have found the asian pear and daikon radish in local markets.

Directions:

  1. Cut the napa cabbage and quarter it length wise keeping the base in tact.
  2. Make sure the leaves are still connected at the base, gently separate the leaves and sprinkle salt between each section placing more salt close to the base than the tip of the leaf.
  3. Place the quartered napa cabbage in a container that’s deep enough to cover the cabbage with water.
  4. Place a heavy object on top of the cabbage and let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  5. Next combine all of the sauce ingredients in very large bowl.
  6. Once the cabbage is brined, rinse, drain, and chop the cabbage.
  7. Toss the cabbage with the sauce mixture until coated.
  8. Place the mixture into the  fermenting vessels and cover with lid.
  9. Make sure not to over pack the jars, leaving at least 1″ of space at the top. If you pack your jar too full you will have a very stinky kitchen.
  10. Let the jars sit on the counter top for at least a day and then place into the refrigerator.
  11. Use the kimchi within 2 weeks. After that you will want to discard it because it will get too strong for use.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Mexican Rice Bowl

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! Have I said that before? I’m sure I have but I REALLY mean it lol! The perfect combination of cilantro, lime juice, black beans and corn and you’re in heaven. This recipe is perfect as a meal topped with a fresh salsa and you are instantly transported to HEAVEN. Take a peek!

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Ingredients:

  • 1½ C long-grain white rice, uncooked*
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package smoked mexican turkey or chicken sausage, cut diagonally
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth or stock
  • 1¼ C water
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C. whole kernel corn, frozen or fresh
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Crack pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine long-grain rice, onion,sausage, and extra virgin olive oil ensuring the rice is completely coated.
  3. Place the chicken broth and water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Place the rice mixture into a casserole dish or Dutch oven.
  5. Pour the broth mixture into the casserole or Dutch oven and place a cover over the container.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, stir in the black beans, corn, and cilantro.
  8. Cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Remove the casserole from the oven.
  10. Top the completed dish with fresh salsa to garnish.

*long-grain rice works BEST for this dish to avoid excessive gumminess.

Greek Pizza

Fridays are made for pizza and what’s better than pizza made at home! If you haven’t noticed many of my recipes are very versatile meaning you can add or change any of the ingredients. If you’re watching your diet, yep this pizza is for you especially since studies show the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets you can eat! Get creative and let each family member “create” their own pizza!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package flat bread
  • 2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ C. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts or pine nuts, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed OR 1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed, OR 1 ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¹⁄³ C. Red Wine Vinaigrette*recipe follows

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the flat bread on a large baking sheet.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken, tomatoes, feta cheese, nuts, and spices.
  4. Drizzle the pizza with the Red Wine Vinaigrette.
  5. Bake the pizza 10-15 minutes until the pizza is warm and serve.

 

 

 

Easy Gourmet Quiche

Prior to tasting quiche, I thought it was one of the most difficult dishes to make. Watching my step mom make it for the first time, I was convinced I’d need a DOZEN eggs…minimum! It was so so delicious! She used so much gooey cheese, flakey crust! I was in heaven! I was torn, her recipe was exhausting!

Several weeks later I stumbled across a recipe in the newspaper of all places and my world was forever changed. Since 1998 this is the ONLY  quiche recipe I’ve every used. The beauty of this recipe is the versatility. You can make this dish your very own. Use this recipe for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner! Crustless or  individual quiches using a muffin tin this is the PERFECT recipe and you’ll never need another recipe ♥

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine mayonnaise, evaporated milk, lightly beaten eggs, and flour in a large bowl mix well.
  3. Add any combination of other ingredients i.e. broccoli or ham or spinach*
  4. Pour mixture into the pie crust
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes

*I have several combinations that are a big hit with family and friends:

Tuna, onions, and mozzarella cheese

Veggie quiche

Broccoli, ham cubes, and cheddar cheese