Buddha Bowl w/ Miso Maple Vinaigrette

DSC_0428

While at my local grocery store (Trader Joe’s’) the other day, I found a new item on the salad shelf that yielded a multitude of inspirational ideas. Not often does this happen for me, though. Usually, I pace the aisles and try to invoke the slightest bit of motivation or creativity to come forth. Some days, I think I have the greatest ideas, but in reality, the recipes turn out pretty dull or merely average. These times are rough for me, because after spending time (and of course money) to prepare and cook the meal, while simultaneously photographing the impending disaster, I am giving it my deepest concentration and am delivered nothing. Well I guess it isn’t nothing, per se. They are simply minor mistakes and I do come away with new knowledge every time. I suppose it is the perfectionist in myself, that yearns to produce quality recipes with stunning photos so that you may have a delicious meal in your own home, as I did in mine. But, that isn’t always the case….and I am coming to better terms with it every time it happens. I remember when Kris and I first started this blog; I made the most amazing carrot and parsnip cake. I took literally hundreds of photos, edited them for hours, wrote the recipe out, and then my laptop crashed, right there, in my lap. A few cuss words were uttered and tears were shed, but it was not long before Kris was consoling me back to reality. He is always so good at that. I guess it’s the ultimate example of “shit happens”. You live and you learn and you move forward. One of these days, I will remake that cake and perhaps it will turn out even better than the first time. You will be the first to know when I do…

This recipe, on the other hand, is not one of the aforementioned kitchen catastrophes that have periodically plagued me. This recipe was a freaking success. It is incredibly light and super flavorful and quite possibly one of my most favorite new lunch time habits. Its packed with fresh veggies and is dressed in a asian style sauce that boasts a garlicky miso base with a bit of sweetness. I honestly love this dressing so much (I put it on everything!). I like to make the brown rice and the vinaigrette in advance and then I can quickly put together the rest when lunch or dinner time hits throughout the week. Enjoy! 

DSC_0273

DSC_0276

dressing

DSC_0338

DSC_0371

DSC_0397

DSC_0408

Buddha Bowl w/ Miso Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 2


Write a review

Print

Prep Time
45 min

Prep Time
45 min

For the Miso Maple Vinaigrette
  1. 2 TBSP white miso (see note)*
  2. 2 TBSP maple syrup
  3. 1 TBSP sesame oil
  4. 2.5 TBSP rice vinegar
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon (see note)*
For the Salad
  1. I cup uncooked brown rice (see note)*
  2. 2 cups packed cruciferous greens (see note)*
  3. 1/2 Meyer lemon, juice
  4. 1 cup shredded carrots
  5. 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  6. 1 small red bell pepper, julienned into thin matchsticks
  7. 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  8. organic pea shoots, for garnish (or any micro-greens)
  9. sprinkling of white sesame seeds for garnish, optional
  10. drizzle of Sriracha, optional
Instructions
  1. Prepare the brown rice per package directions. Set aside when finished to let cool slightly.
  2. Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking well to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the cruciferous greens and squeeze the juice from 1/2 meyer lemon all over the greens. Give the greens a good massaging with your hands for about a minute or two to ease the stiffness. Add the sliced red onion, shredded carrots, sliced bell pepper, and edamame to the bowl with greens and pour about two TBSPs of the vinaigrette on the veggies and mix well to combine.
  4. In two bowls, add about about 1/2 cup cooked brown rice to each bowl. Top the rice with the dressed veggie mix. Top with a few pea shoots and white sesame seeds and serve with extra Miso Maple Vinaigrette, Sriracha, or red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
  5. *You will have some cooked brown rice left. Save in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week and whip up another Buddha bowl in no time!*
Notes
  1. For the brown rice, I used a Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s (brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds). Whichever type you choose, make sure that you are yielded with about 2-3 cups of cooked rice.
  2. For the greens, I used a new bag of greens, that I also found at Trader Joe’s, called The Cruciferous Crunch Collection. Basically, it is a mix of kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and green and red cabbage. If you can’t find this bag of greens, any mix of chopped kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage will do. Or use any of your favorite greens for that matter!
  3. White Miso (soybean paste) can be found a most health food stores. I bought mine at Whole Foods. Be sure to buy a light and mellow miso, either white or yellow.
  4. Meyer lemons are sweet lemons and found in most grocery stores during winter months. If you can’t find a Meyer lemon, please substitute for a regular lemon.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Winter Squash Carbonara w/ Brown Butter & Crispy Sage

DSC_0247

I feel as though, I saved the finest for last. As for the commitment I made to you last week, sharing a breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe for you to make for your valentine in the comfort of your own home, here is the best pasta Carbonara recipe I have ever come across…

One of my favorite pasta dishes is pasta Carbonara. Although, I am always reluctant to make it because of all the cream, bacon fat, and cheese. When I came across this recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit Magazine, I was so pleasantly surprised to see a Carbonara recipe sans heavy cream. Instead, a squash puree is made to act as the binding sauce and that really creates the “creaminess” that this pasta yearns for. I did change a few things from the magazine’s recipe though; I ditched the pancetta and added some paprika which lent the dish the smokiness it deserves, and I crisped up the fresh sage in some brown butter to substitute for the fat that the pancetta would have given. It turned out incredibly amazing. Seriously, one of the best pasta dishes I have ever made. I will be keeping the recipe near, preferably right in my back pocket. I am so excited that vegetarian substitutions worked so well and once again was enlightened on the fact that spices and fresh herbs work like magic when ditching the meat ingredients. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and don’t forget to serve it with a nice red cabernet or bold zinfandel! 

DSC_0254

DSC_0134

DSC_0147

DSC_0193

DSC_0215

DSC_0233

DSC_0265

DSC_0289

Winter Squash Carbonara w/ Brown Butter & Crispy Sage

Serves 2


Write a review

Print

Cook Time
40 min

Cook Time
40 min

For the Crispy Sage in Brown Butter
  1. 3 TBSP unsalted butter
  2. 12 fresh sage leaves
For the Squash Carbonara
  1. 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  3. 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  8. 1 cup organic vegetable stock
  9. 8oz linguine or fettucine (I used the “Garlic and Basil Linguine” from Trader Joe’s)
  10. 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino, plus a bit more shaved for garnish
  11. fresh thyme leaves and red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)
For the Crispy Sage in Brown Butter
  1. Turn on medium high heat for the largest sauté pan that you have. Once hot, place the butter right in the middle of the pan and let it melt without touching the pan. The butter should start to brown on the edges. Once the edges turn brown, swirl the butter all over the pan. Place the sage leaves evenly in the butter and cook them for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the butter and crispy leaves into a small bowl and reserve to the side. Place the skillet back on the stove for later use.
For the Squash Carbonara
  1. Peel the butternut squash and then cut in half, separating the big bulbous bottom from the long skinny top. Use the bottom end and reserve the long skinny top for another use. Chop the bottom of the squash in half and scrape out the seeds using a spoon. Chop into 1/2″ cubes and set aside. Chop the onion and garlic.
  2. In the same large skillet you used to make the brown butter, add the olive oil and turn to medium high heat. Add the squash, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika and sauté for about 8-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and the squash is cooked a bit. Pour the vegetable stock into the skillet and cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Simmer this for about 15-20 minutes until the squash is very soft and the liquid has reduced. Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let cool. Once cooled slightly place it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Place the skillet back on the stove for later use.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the linguine and cook for 5-6 minutes or until al dente. Using a measuring cup, reserve one cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
  4. Put the pasta into the large skillet on the stove. Add the squash puree (a cup at a time) and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta water and more puree when needed. The squash puree should coat the pasta nicely, if it is too thick keep adding more pasta water. Pour in the brown butter and crispy sage and mix well to combine. Add the finely grated cheese and give it another toss. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, fresh thyme leaves and red red pepper flakes for color. Shave a few pieces of Pecorino over the top for serving.
Notes
  1. The squash puree can be made up to three days of ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Blueberry Basil Grilled Cheese

DSC_0467

In all honesty, and please let me explain, I think Valentine’s day is ridiculous. I know that I have been talking a lot about it over here and have mentioned it in the last few posts, but I really have to say I say I just think the day is a pretty absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I adore flowers, love notes, and chocolates just as much as next the girl, but I hate that we make one outrageous day of it. It’s bizarre, really. We just give right into the consumerism and the capitalist schemes and end up spending a ridiculous amount of money at a way-too-crowded restaurant, with pink and red balloons all up in your face, while trying to get a bite of an average tasting meal. Ok, that was a bit on the cynical side, but, I had to say it. Kris and I are all about spending a romantic evening dining out and spending money on an overly priced wine, except on this day in particular. It is amateur night at it’s finest. This is why, for the last few posts, I have been encouraging you to spend the day at home with your lover where you can control all the variables and not have to deal with ludicrous Valentine’s day shenanigans. So, to impress my lover, I decided to make him one of our favorite time-honored lunches; an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. We often play with ingredients here; mixing and matching our favorite cheeses with our current filling obsessions. For this grilled cheese, I chose to combine tangy balsamic vinegar with sweet blueberries to star as the filling. Then, layered fresh mozzarella and topped it with basil and arugula and, let me tell you, it was unbelievable. So many flavor combinations happening that it was like a party for the tastebuds. Kris and I curled up on the couch and dove right in to this lunch. Of course, we immediately started measuring who could get the longest melty cheese string from the sandwich to the mouth. Of course, he always wins. It was exactly what I had hoped for and it made my day all the more special. It’s also what I hope for you and your lover. We don’t need a special day to have a delicious (and fun!) meal with each other. We should celebrate each other everyday and take a moment aside to remember that… I hope you enjoy, lovebirds! 

DSC_0306

DSC_0331

DSC_0344

DSC_0367

DSC_0384

DSC_0427

DSC_0481

DSC_0494

Blueberry Basil Grilled Cheese

Serves 2


Write a review

Print

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
10 min

Total Time
15 min

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
10 min

Total Time
15 min

Ingredients
  1. 4 slices bread (we used a sprouted sourdough)
  2. 1 cup organic blueberries
  3. 8oz of thinly sliced mozzarella* (see note)
  4. fresh arugula
  5. 4 fresh basil leaves
  6. 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  7. 3 TBSP brown sugar
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes (smash a few of the blueberries against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon, be sure to leave some whole). Pour the mixture into a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and let the juice separate from the berries. Save this juice syrup for pancakes, waffles, or even a cocktail!
  2. Layer all bread slices with thin slices of the cheese. Spread the stewed blueberries on two of the bottom bread slices. Sprinkle the blueberries with the sea salt (1/4 teaspoon on each sandwich). Place basil leaves on two of the top bread slices. Place the arugula on the berries. Put the top pieces of bread onto the bottom pieces and press down lightly. Grill in your panini maker or on a grill pan until cheese melted and nice grill marks are visible. Cut the sandwiches in half and enjoy!
Notes
  1. We used mozzarella because we like the creaminess against the sweetness of the blueberries, but feel free to use any of your favorite white cheeses. Muenster, Swiss, White Cheddar, Gouda, or Gruyere would all be amazing. Or perhaps, your favorite vegan cheese.
  2. This grilled cheese would be perfect with a nice glass of prosecco or champagne brut!
Adapted from Amanda K By The Bay
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Mini Skillet Frittatas w/ Spinach & Poblano Sauce

DSC_0276

As promised, I will be featuring three easy at-home meals to make for your lover this Valentine’s day. I sincerely can not think of better way to tell the person you admire most how much you love them than with a homemade gift from the heart. Thoughtfulness sets it’s self apart from all other presents and I consider it to be genuinely meaningful when you can really give from a place that is honest and gratuitous. When you craft something from your soul that in-turn flows to your hands and is then directly shared with your person; you have done it. You have accomplished the ultimate goal; contributing to the sheer and pure romance that relationships strive on. That is why I have decided to put together this Valentine’s menu so that you can put some hands-on elbow grease into your gift for your spouse. Whether or not you decide to make breakfast-in-bed, take a leisurely lunch picnic, or make an enchanting dinner at home; all are especially romantic and notably considerate. I welcome you to take the day off this Friday and stay in. Cook from home and reconnect with your main squeeze. I hope that you make one or all three of the mentioned meals and truly enjoy this day to celebrate love!

I recently have become obsessed with this poblano cream sauce that Kris and I make when we have our weekly taco tuesday night. It has the perfect amount of smokiness with a hint of spice. I could honestly put it on anything, though. That is why I decided that it would make an excellent sauce for eggs in the morning. I love making frittatas because they are simple and cook up in a flash, but I always yearn for something more than a drizzle of Sriracha. The poblano sauce is perfect because it doesn’t take away from the frittata but gives the slightest bit of extra creamy flavor; sort of like a hollandaise (but without all the fat). The recipe below yields about 1/2 cup, so you will have leftovers; but trust me when I say, this isn’t a problem. Drizzle it over grilled veggies, chicken, or even add it to your next wholegrain bowl. 

DSC_0139

DSC_0151

DSC_0166

DSC_0180

DSC_0187

DSC_0203

DSC_0222

DSC_0236

DSC_0328

Mini Skillet Frittatas w/ Spinach & Poblano Sauce

Serves 4


Write a review

Print

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
40 min

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
40 min

For the Poblano Cream Sauce
  1. 1 whole green poblano pepper (also called Pasilla peppers in grocery stores)
  2. 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  6. 1/2 tsp cumin
  7. 1/4 tsp pepper
  8. 1/4 tsp paprika
  9. 1/3 cup organic half & half (I like to use half & half because it gives a lot of richness and flavor; feel free to use any non-dairy creamer if you are vegan)
For the Mini Spinach Frittatas
  1. 5 organic brown eggs
  2. 1/4 cup milk (any kind will do; I used some of the left-over half & half)
  3. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  4. 1/4 tsp pepper
  5. 1/4 tsp paprika
  6. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  7. 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  8. 2 packed cups of fresh spinach
  9. 1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
  10. 1 shallot, chopped
  11. 1 garlic clove, minced
  12. 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
For the Poblano Cream Sauce
  1. Move an oven rack to the top shelf. Preheat the broiler on high. Prepare a small baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the poblano pepper in the middle of the baking sheet. Broil the pepper for about 3 minutes until visible char marks appear. Using tongs, flip the pepper and char the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap in a paper towel, and let the pepper steam in the towel for about 5 minutes. Once steamed, peel off the charred skin, cut off the stem, remove the seeds and remove the rib. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika and sauté for another minute or two. Add the chopped poblano and then remove from the heat. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add the cooled veggies to the blender. Add the half & half and make sure to hold the lid down and then blend on high for a few minutes. Set aside.
For the Mini Spinach Frittatas
  1. Move the oven rack back to the middle. Preheat the oven to 450. Grease two mini 6″ cast-iron skillets with butter, olive oil, or coconut oil and set aside* (see note).
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add the milk, salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet sauté the shallot in the olive oil for 3 minutes, stirring continually. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt and sauté another 3 minutes before adding the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and then turn off the heat. Add in the sun dried tomatoes and toss to combine. Divide the veggie mix among the two mini cast iron skillets and then evenly pour the egg mixture over the top of each skillet (make sure the egg mixture only reaches half-way up the skillets because the eggs do rise in the oven). Bake the skillets for 18-20 minutes or until puffed up and slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool (the eggs will deflate a bit when cooling). To serve, be sure to remove the frittata from the cast-iron skillets because these will be very hot! You do not want to accidentally touch these bad boys. Slice and serve with a side of the poblano cream sauce and bit of Sriracha. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have two mini skillets, one large (12″) cast-iron skillet (or a regular 10″-12″ oven-proof & non-stick sauté pan) will work just fine. The frittata may need to be cooked a bit longer, though, so please keep an eye on it.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Caviar w/ Potato Blinis

DSC_0379

One of my favorite things to do with my husband is recreate some of the fancier meals we have had while dining out in the comfort of our own home. There is something so special about having a dinner with the one you love in the place where you are most vulnerable and where you are the most at peace. It is so utterly important to take time away from the insanities of life and remember to look back into the eyes of the person that holds your heart. I often try to make meals for Kris that will not only impress him but will give him the feeling that I put an enormous amount thought and adoration into every element. It really is so imperative and necessary for him and I to plan date nights like these, with each other, to keep our marriage functioning and viable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of our favorite (and a bit lavish) indulgences is caviar. Now this might seem intimidating or even a bit daunting to someone who has never delighted in such a treat, but it is honestly one of the most fun and entertaining meals to put together. It is always impressive and eloquent, yet one of of the most important factors is that it does not have to break the bank. Caviar is not only for the well-to-do and wealthy folk; in fact, there are caviars for everyone and every palate.  There are a few things about caviar that you should know, if this delicacy seems a bit unfamiliar:

1. Caviar is meant to be savored and tasted. Like, really tasted. The individual eggs should spread along your tongue and the roof of your mouth. You should be able to identify one or several kinds of flavors; it can be nutty, buttery, salty, briny, earthy, or fishy depending on the type. Take into account what exactly you can taste and make the experience be about all that is happening in your mouth. 

2. Traditional accompaniments to caviar include (but are not limited to) the following: potato blinis (or potato pancakes), creme fraiche or sour cream, hard boiled egg crumbles (I have the perfect hard boiled egg recipe here), fresh chives, and minced shallots. Ice cold vodka or champagne should be enjoyed between each bite to cleanse the palate. Do not accompany with red or white wine; it will too heavily compete with the flavors of the caviar. 

3. Expensive caviar does not equal the best. Caviar is enjoyable because everybody’s preference and appetite is different. You may find that the moderately priced tin is your absolute favorite and the more expensive simply doesn’t suit you. The price on caviar is based upon how rare the eggs are and is not based upon taste; so find what it is you like and experiment with that. 

Now that you have an idea about how culinary exciting and intriguing caviar can be; plan your next date night. Valentine’s day is just around the corner and it would be super fun to show your partner exactly what caviar is all about. Impress the ones you love with a memorable meal and enjoy! 

DSC_0207

DSC_0219

DSC_0247

DSC_0249

DSC_0191

DSC_0276

DSC_0303

DSC_0322

DSC_0372

DSC_0390

Caviar w/ Potato Blinis

Serves 4


Write a review

Print

Prep Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

Prep Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

For the Potato Blinis
  1. 1 Russet potato (about 1lb)
  2. 3 Tbsp flour
  3. 1 TBSP Creme Fraiche
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp pepper
  6. 2 organic brown eggs
  7. 1 organic brown egg yolk
  8. a few tsps of unsalted butter
For the Accoutrements
  1. 2 hard boiled organic brown eggs, finely diced
  2. 1 large shallot, minced
  3. 1 TBSP fresh chives, finely diced
  4. 2 TBSP Creme Fraiche
  5. Caviar* (see note)
Instructions
  1. Peel the potato and cut into 8 small cubes. Add the potato to a large pot of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. While the potato boils, start on the accoutrements; mince the shallot and finely dice the hard boiled eggs and chives. Set them aside in separate decorative bowls.
  2. Drain and remove the cooked potato cubes into a large bowl. Mash the potato with a fork. Add the flour, creme fraiche, salt and pepper. Add the eggs one at a time completely combining before adding the next egg. Make sure to get as many lumps out as you can. Set the batter aside (it should look like a light yellow pancake batter).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a little teaspoon of butter and once it melts, begin spooning out batter into small pancakes (I use a TBSP measure to make sure that all my potato pancakes are even in size). Let cook for about a minute or two before flipping (there should be dark brown marks on the surface). Cook for another minute or two on the other side and then place onto a plate. Continue this process until all the batter is used (adding more butter to the pan when needed). You should end up with about 16-18 mini pancakes.
  4. To assemble the potato pancakes: spread a small amount of creme fraiche on the pancake and top with a few chives, shallots, and egg crumbles. Top with about a teaspoon of caviar and enjoy! Drink ice cold vodka or champagne in-between bites to cleanse the palate and then repeat!
Notes
  1. We love the Lascco Whitefish Caviar (2oz jar) from Gelson’s, which happens to be the least expensive of their loot. Other caviars that we like include Sturgeon and Bowfin. Feel free to try any of your choosing; after all, we all have different preferences.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/