Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuna & Soba noodle salad

Cook the Soba Noodles as the package requires. Different brands probably require different times. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, so nutritionally they are similar to wholewheat noodles. So therefor more healthy than rice noodles. Once you've cooked them up, drain them and rinse them with cold water.

In a large bowl add a few table spoons of soy sauce, a few shakes of the sesame oil and a few squirts of the Srihachi sauce. When it looks like enough to cover the noodles and tuna mix it all up. Add the tuna, squish it with your fork and make sure it drinks up the sauce. Now add your cold noodles. Stir it up so they are covered with the sauce. If it looks like there isn't enough sauce just add more of the ingredients to the whole bowl. This should make about 3 servings. Soba noodles generally come in little bundles, each bundle is about a serving so try not to eat more than one bundle. Tastes even better after it's spent some time in the fridge. This would be a great lunch or addition to a bento!

  • Soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
  • Tamari Soy sauce (or regular, I just love the taste)
  • Srihachi sauce
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 can tuna fish

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

I was looking around for a light Roasted Red Pepper Sauce but none of them really sounded good to me so I made my own. I didn't want anything with cream in it (too heavy on a 90 degree day!) and I didn't want anything that used a blender. For two reasons: I enjoy the texture of roasted red peppers and didn't want to loose that and I don't own a blender!

So I made my own. I cut up the roasted peppers (they're jarred in water, Pastene makes some. Canned would do), an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. I sauteed these in olive oil until the onions were translucent. From here I started adding the tomato paste, the balsamic and the seasonings and stir frequently. I suggest buying a small jar of tomato paste if you can. It's a nice pantry staple to have around for quick sauces. It comes in a can but then you have to use the whole thing or end up throwing some out. The ground sweet chili peppers add some heat but not too much. If you don't like them, maybe use some red pepper flakes. They're really more of an asian flavor than an Italian one, but I love them so why not.

I was boiling some bowtie pasta up to serve with the sauce, so to thin out the sauce a little I put in some of the pasta water. I've seen giada do it. So it MUST be a thing. Simmer until the water is boiled off, this should help take away the bitterness of the balsamic and just leave that nice sweetness.

Serve on pasta and enjoy!

  • 2 roasted bell peppers (from the jar in water)
  • 1 table spoon tomato paste
  • 1 table spoon ground sweet chili pepper
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup of pasta water (the water you cooked the pasta in)
  • 1 diced small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Oregano, thyme, pepper and salt to taste

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Meat Sauce, Bolognese if you're nasty.

I was particularly hungry after the gym yesterday so I decided to whip up some home made meat sauce. I ended up freezing some and saving some for for another meal later in the week. I started things up with chopping up the onions and the garlic. I gently sauteed them in the large saucepan I'd be using. When they were nice and soft I put in the turkey meat. I browned this and broke it up as it cooked. Now is a good time to add some of the seasonings.

Make sure the turkey is cooked all the way through add the canned tomato ingredients. Let this simmer until it is nice and thick, this shouldn't take too long. The juices from the meat and the canned tomatoes make it pretty runny, so this is important. Taste a bit of the sauce, if you think it needs salt add salt. If it's bland, add some more pepper and oregano.

I had this over just a little bit of linguine. It was very tasty! I would have spent more time caramelizing the onions next time though. It was a bit of a rush job. I have plenty of left overs too. This is a good sauce because if you make it nice and chunky you'll end up eating less pasta and more of the lean protein. Which is good for you or something.

  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey meat
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Pepper, Salt, Oregano, Thyme (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small cans of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 tiny can of tomato paste
  • Pasta of your choice

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sizzlin' Fajitas

I am coming to realize that I basically cook on the level of someone like Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. I rely on super market staples like sauces and mixes, however let's spin that as a benefit for you the READER because it means my recipes are freaking easy! I will never have a recipe that calls for cool whip though. I PROMISE.

I was at Joe's American Bar and grill, a swanky one (if such a thing is possible). I define swanky as they had white linens on the table, formally dressed waiters and candles on the table. Someone ordered SIZZLIN' Fajitas. The waiter brought it out and it was LOUD. I decided that ordering fajitas in a restaurant other than chili's or some kind of Mexican place is very obnoxious and the orderer only does it to draw attention to them self. The entire room hears the loud spitting sound (probably just from our mammalian instincts to avoid things that will burn us) and their eyes follow the waiter to the table, and there is the douche who ordered it. Looking all self-satisfied. "Yes it was me. I am the douche who disturbed your dinner to announce to the restaurant I'M HAVIN' A SIZZLIN' FAJITA".

Ok but maybe that's just me.


I heated a large pan and coated the bottom with a little oil, then I dumped in some of the fajita sauce (I used World Harbors, but feel free to take a stab at making your own or using any other sauce). Then I added the strips of chicken. You want to have enough sauce so that the chicken is sitting in a bath of sauce, and the sauce is helping cook the chicken. There is probably some word for this process but I don't know what it is. You slowly cook the chicken like this, if the sauce levels go down either add more sauce or some water. This should result in the chicken being very tender and juicy! When it was done, I took it off the heat and put it aside. Then I cut them into small bite sized pieces.

Cut the peppers and onion into nice little wedges so that they will cook quickly. Using a fresh pan heat it with a little bit of the sauce and some water. I salted and peppered the vegetables at this point. So you aren't exactly frying the peppers and onions, it's more like you're steaming/boiling them. You could fry them but I just chose to do it this way. When they are soft and all the water has boiled down reincorporate the chicken. Stir it in, and maybe add some more sauce. (Keep in mind that the sauce I used probably had a ton of sugar in it. If you are trying to lose weight or are diabetic you might want to substitute it.)

The fajitas are basically in your hands now to customize. I took a whole wheat tortilla, threw in some shredded cheddar and then put in the fajita mixture. You could add sour cream, guacamole, rice or beans to make it more like a burrito. Also you could always substitute the chicken with pork, beef or tofu. Or just eat the mixture over rice. This is an EASY customizable meal, that is great for a party too.

  • 1lb Chicken tenders (cut of chicken, not breaded chicken)
  • 1 bottle of Fajita sauce (or chipotle sauce, hot sauce, or marinade of your choice)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper
  • Optional - 1 Jalapeno pepper (or hotter!)
  • 1 package of whole wheat or white corn tortillas
  • Optional - 1 small package of shredded chedder cheese
This should feed 2-3 with leftovers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zucchini & Summer Squash Casserole

First of all this recipe is hardly unique or even my own. It's the amalgamation of a couple I've seen online or on the food network. However I haven't posted much in a long time so here it is!

Summer squash and Zucchini are pretty much meant for each other. They put them next to each other at the grocery store, why separate them in your kitchen? I took one of each, I grabbed really big ones. For whatever reason the summer squash at my supermarket was huge! It's usually pretty piddly and small, if that is the case use 2 or 3. Peel both vegetables with a vegetable peeler. Then slice them into 1/4 pieces, so they are nice round discs.

Create one layer of the discs, sprinkle this with Parmesan cheese & Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Since there is basically salt and pepper like seasoning in both of these things, I didn't bother adding any. Create another layer and do the same thing, until you have run out of both zucchini & squash. I drizzled this with some olive oil. I took a can of diced stewed tomatoes and topped the whole thing off with that. Then I sprinkled on some more Parmesan and a little feta I had sitting around.

Cook this for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The way to tell if these veggies are done, is if they are a little soft and translucent. This is a great way to enjoy them without frying them and adding a whole lot of grease, or boiling them to oblivion.

Rob and I had this tonight with some chicken sausage for a post gym low carb dinner. He really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!

What you'll need
  • A casserole dish of some kind, a smaller one should be best if you're only using 1 of each vegetable, however it would be very easy to make a large one.
  • one zucchini
  • one LARGE summer squash (or 2-3 small)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Italian Breadcrumbs

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chicken Quesadilla

Ok gang/Rob, Joe and maybe Marie. As you might have noticed the superbowl was this weekend. You may have cooked something excellent, or maybe you just ordered something in. Well here is what you should have cooked.

Hey if you're a fancy big time chef, then you probably are milling your own flour and cooking up your own tortillas. Well what are you doing reading my blog? This is for beginners! So I suggest a nice looking white flour tortilla they sell with the latin food. I suppose worse case scenario you could make a tortilla out of a lavash but well...that'd be a bit odd. (Hah I almost did)

Always one to save a buck and cut corners I picked up some "stir fry fixings". These are basically very thin strips of chicken. I think I got about 1/2 lb of chicken for 2 dollars. I browned these in a pan with a little butter, some adobo seasoning and a couple of shakes of frank's red hot sauce. I put them aside, they didn't get too greasy, but it might be a good idea to put them on a paper towel to slough away any excess grease. I diced them into about 1 in pieces.

I was lucky enough to have access to a panini press. This is an AWESOME way to make a quesadilla. Spray it with a little pam and plop down your quesadilla. Load it up with a good melting cheese. I went with a sharp chedder. You don't want to overfill the quesadilla but you don't want to underfill it either. Probably a quarter cup of cheese evenly distributed across half the tortilla should be enough. Put on a couple of chicken bits in the tortillas. Fold it in half and close the press. Cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is crispy.

If you are using a frying pan or baking it, you have the option of taking two tortillas and making one big quesadilla at once!

  • Tortilla
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Adobo Seasoning
  • Stir Fry cut Chicken

Serve with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Salad

My mother has a habit of buying me things at sam's club in large quantities, which I might not necessarily buy myself. Example: Canned Chicken breast (see picture). Not to be confused with nasty little cans of pureed chicken. This is a quality product. Just strange! She used to buy it for me all the time in college, and I never really knew what to do with it. I made chicken salad with it and curry chicken salad, but I just never enjoyed it. So I would give this canned chicken to Rob (this was before we were dating but lived together in a giant de facto co-ed fraternity). Rob a lover of all things spicy came up with this super easy recipe!

  • 1 Can of Chicken Breast
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (adjust at will)
  • 2 tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot (this works best for us but please use your favorite Buffalo sauce)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup dice onion

Drain the can of chicken and shred it with a fork in a medium sized bowl. It comes in big chunks, so it's nice to have it more manageable. Combine all the ingredients. Adjust the hot sauce levels to your liking. (Rob put even more hot sauce right on the bread!) We had ours on wheat bread (mine toasted!) Also since I had an avocado that needed to be eaten we put in chunks of that in the sandwiches which proved to be very tasty.

Please enjoy this Robot House Recipe!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Home made meatballs

Yesterday I had the day off for MLK day so I figured why not spend a little extra time on a dinner for me and my sweetie.

This is a super easy recipe, especially if you have a crock pot. It was so easy I really just made it from memory from when my mom used to make it.

I used:

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef (you can use fattier I suppose but I'm always looking for ways to be cardio-conscious)
  • 1 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (if you are using plain bread crumbs make sure to add oregano and other seasonings you like. Maybe some chili powder for a SPEECY SPICEY meat-a-ball)
  • 1 egg (probably should use two though, it holds them together better)
  • 1/4 cup of asiago cheese shredded
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic also finely diced
  • I didn't have this but some finely chopped cilantro or basil would be great to mix in

Combine all these ingredients in a bowl WITH YOUR HANDS. Making sure to make it all very consistent. You don't want a big chunk of breadcrumbs with no meat! Roll these into about 2 inch balls. You can make them bigger or smaller, but keep in mind that will either add or subtract to time it's going to take to cook.

Brown the meatballs in a saucepan in hot olive oil. Make sure all surfaces are cooked and you can see no pink. They are going to be still raw/pink in the middle. I salted them at this point.

You should have probably done this step first, but put your crockpot on. Personally I emptied a can of diced tomatoes and some left over marinara sauce into the pot. (Hey I'm only a quarter Italian give me a break, I have only made my own sauce a couple times however when you're making meatballs that's a great time to whip out grandma's SAUCE recipe.) You need to fill it with at least enough sauce so that the meatballs will be submerged. I threw in a couple peel pearl onions because I heart them. Other tasty additions would be green bell peppers or cloves of garlic.

Plop (yes plop) your cooked meatballs into the sauce filled crockpot. You now have the choice to leave it cooking on low for the day (say you cooked them over night and set them up in the pot in the morning before work) or cook them on high over an hour and a half-2 hours depending on what size you made or how thoroughly you fried them. Regardless you are going to want them to be cooked all the way through and brown in the middle.

If you don't have a crockpot I suggest filling a pot on the stove with sauce and simmering.

Serve over the pasta of your choice or in a sub roll.

Monday, January 12, 2009

baking goodness

Last night I made a super easy dinner with Rob that was perfect for the cold snow covered night that it was. I'd just like to say here this blog really only is for maybe getting ideas or just for me to keep track of what I've been cooking. So it might not be very original, ideas may have been pulled from elsewhere (I will credit the sources when this happens). So yeah not taking myself too seriously here.

ANYWAY. The great part about this meal was that the only mess it made was in the tin foil packets we cooked it in and on the plates we ate off.

Roasted butternut squash
I peeled (with a knife) and diced (one inch cubes or smaller, trying to be consistent) one whole butternut squash. Making sure to chuck the seeds and goo. Kind of like a pumpkin. Butternut squash is great because it can stick around for up to a month. So see it on sale, grab it and keep it in the pantry for when you're in the mood. It makes a great soup as well. I made a tin foil packet and threw all the squash in there. I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salted, pepper and rosemary...ed. Ideally you want it to be 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Since I was cooking chicken it ended up being much longer. This would also be pretty epic on the grill. The squash was savory and sweet. Perfect for a Fall or Winter dinner! Pretty much an easy delicious side dish you can feel good about.

Lemon Chicken
I bought chicken tenders (this is a cut of chicken, not to be confused with breaded bits of fried chicken) because they cook faster. I made another tin foil packet and plopped them in. On these guys I drizzled olive oil (I actually think I put in too much making them a little heavy...so make sure you don't do that!) Also just a tiny bit of soy sauce. I was using Tamari (aged soy sauce) so I was pretty sparing. I smashed some garlic and put it on top. These guys got the salt and pepper treatment of course. Also I found these little baby onions called "boiling onions". They were pretty cheap so I figured why not. I peeled and halved them and nestled them in with the chicken.

I used a whole lemon for the chicken (just less than a pound). First I took a vegetable peeler (if you have a clean cheese grater or even better a microplane use those!) and just got some of the skin onto the chicken. You aren't going to eat it, because it's tough but it has that lovely lemon oil that is much stronger smelling than the juice that will help add flavor. Before halving the lemon I rolled it on the table like I was using a rolling pin. Do this as hard as you can. This breaks up all those membranes inside the lemon so when you squeeze it the juice comes right out! Make sure not to get the seeds on your chicken. I used all the juice.

The chicken went in for about 50 minutes covered in tinfoil, the last 10 uncovered to brown up a little.

Rob really liked the food! We paired it with an old vine zinfandel (gnarly head)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mushroom Omelette

A good hangover food is wholesome and a little greasy. Like a good friend you go to who you know what to expect from...who doesn't shower often? Wow that's a gross metaphor.

Anyway I woke up craving something delicious to start off my weekend right. I lay in bed trying to think what I had in my fridge, I remember that I still had some organic eggs, half a box of white button mushrooms and good shredded mozzarella. I don't know what it is but the wholefoods shredded mozzarella is just prettier than normal stuff and well delicious which is important.

When I'm making a vegetable omelette I like to cook the veggies a little bit first in the pan with a little bit of butter. I don't usually go the olive oil route when making omelettes. Because they're really not going to cook while they're in the omelette, you basically want them to be in the wings waiting until the perfect time to fold them in. So in the case of the mushrooms I just made sure they were just brown and soft and off they went onto a nearby plate. If you like mushrooms raw then hey go for it.

I cracked the eggs into a bowl and just broke them up with a fork lightly. It is at this point that I throw in some salt and pepper. I don't add anything to my omelettes, however if you like them kind of bigger and fluffier add a little milk. I like them sort of thin like a crepe. To get them flat pour the eggs into a hot nonstick pan and make sure they distribute across the bottom. The bigger the pan the flatter you can get it. I use a medium sized pan for 2 eggs, and the big one for 3 or 4. (An omelette that huge would be for sharing! Portion control people!) I keep it on a low heat and before it's too cooked I add the cheese in. When little bubbles start to come through and it's just a little bit runny (not too runny!) add the mushrooms.

Don't overcook the omelette. Making it thin will make you able to cook the whole thing evenly fast without burning the bottom waiting for the top to finish. Also if it's thin you can fold it over and it looks very pretty. Folding it a couple times looks pretter than the just one big fold in my opinion. That just looks like an egg quesadilla. Not that quesadillas aren't amazing.

Anyhoo enjoy the mushroom omelette and mix it up!

2 eggs
3 bigger white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon of butter (I used margarine :( )
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella

[no photo someone came by and scarfed it down...]