Category: Veggies

Thai Sausage with Bok Choy

I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a steamer basket, but it’s just one more thing to add to the already cramped kitchen cabinets. I have been known to cheat the system and use the microwave, a bowl, a little bit of water, and a plate over the top. That seems to work ok. This time, I used a metal strainer in the pot of water. It meant the lid couldn’t be on that great, but it seemed to work. It definitely requires batches because the strainer isn’t that big, but it worked. It was far superior to the microwave. I’ve used it a couple of times now. I’m still toying with a steamer basket just so I can do more in one batch.

This whole thing was a vehicle to try the new Thai sausage, Sai Ua, from Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker and Olympia Provisions. It was just as good as I imagined it would be. Ricker doesn’t half-ass anything, and there hasn’t been an Olympia Provisions meat that I didn’t like. I sliced it into coins and sauteed it in a wok. The fragrance alone is enough to transport you back to Thailand.

[An Asian food aside: I just finished up Rice, Noodle Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture. Officially craving Japanese food full force.]

This NY Times recipe was the base for these greens. I’ve used it a couple of times now. The first time in the wok and the second time in a large saute pan. The wok was superior, but it can be done either way. I don’t seem to have rice wine, only vinegar, so I went the dry sherry route instead. Take the time to get some broth together instead of water. I tried the water method the second time, but realized it lacks so much more flavor that way.

thai-sausage-and-bok-choy

Inspriation: NY Times

Ingredients

  • Two sausage, any variety will do, sliced into coins
  • 1lb of sturdy greens, any variety [bok choy for me]
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minuced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Preparation

Trim the bottoms off the bok choy. Cut the stalks in half, if they’re large, and cut into 2″ pieces. Bring an inch of water to boil in the bottom of a pot, place a large strainer inside just above the water, add the greens and cover with a ltd. Steam for a minute before removing and squeezing out the excess water. Feel free to use any steaming method of choice if you have one you’re more comfortable with.

In a small bowl, mix together the broth, sherry, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Keep it it near the wok, or large saute pan, along with the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the wok on high heat. Add the oil. Add the sausage and sear on all sides. It’ll release a bit of oil to the existing oil. When they’re browned, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir for about 10-15 seconds. Add the bok choy. Sprinkle iwth salt and sugar. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for another minute. Fold the sausage into the greens. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Udon Noodles with Spring Vegetables

Vegetables! Give me spring vegetables.

It can’t be pizza all the time around here. But I wouldn’t complain if it was.  

This came from a fierce craving of something fresh, green, and crisp. It’s rather coincidence that sugar snap peas are all the rage right now. Thanks Spring. I had a handful or two [probably two, lets be real] of dried udon noodles left over in the pantry, so noodles! I spent a crazy amount of time julienning again because it’s turning into a soothing ritual. Who am I? Meditating is all the rage, right?

If I’m honest, I really just wanted the vegetables [of which I ate a ton while cutting them up] and this sauce. The udon noodles just kept me from gnawing my arm off within an hour after eating. I love any excuse to use toasted sesame oil. It’s such a specific, slight overpowering flavor that it takes time to find those recipes that it would be good in. Rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger round out the rest of the flavors. It’s very bright and tangy. It feels almost as crisp as the vegetables. I added red chile flakes and a bunch of the seaweed gomasio, which is sesame seeds, salt, and seaweed. I had to immediately put half of this in a to-go container so I could eat some for work the next day, otherwise I’m sure I’d have eaten all of it in one sitting.

Spring Udon Noodles

Inspiration: Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 6oz dried udon noodles, cooked to package directions and rinsed/drained under cool water
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 handfuls of sugar snap peas, halved
  • Green onion, red chile flakes, sesame seeds for garnish

Preparation

In a small bowl or in a jar with a lid, add the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Whisk or shake together.

In a large bowl, add the vegetables and the dressing. Toss everything together before adding the noodles. Serve and top with your garnishes.

 

Sweet Potato Spinach Pasta

No long hours at the office. No studying. No class. No exams. Nothing. I leave the office like a normal human, and I find myself with an abundance if free time. I haven’t had free time like this in years. Even though I would still do what I wanted during school, CPA exams, and busy season, I always had a lot going on mentally. That to-do list ever present. And now? Nothing. It’s weird and it’s awesome. I’ve already read a few books, read a ton of magazines thanks to the library’s magazine app, and am a few lessons into German on Duolingo. I went out to eat only once last week. Once! Who am I? That means there are several new recipes to come. We have a loose timeline for the Germany trip, but I can actually focus on details now. Plans for replanting the patio flowers will have to wait until we’re back from Germany. They need all the help they can get to not die this year.

Pizza week was a success. I have a few photos to share once I get them off the phone camera. It’s probably my favorite in the burgers vs pizza weeks that go on. I’m such a sucker for pizza.

It’s funny that I’m sharing a pasta recipe today, and I have at least two more coming up. Apparently I’ve been on a pasta kick lately. I hardly ever cook pasta because…I don’t know. I don’t really have a good reason. It’s just not something I think about most of the time. Maybe because it’s a little lower on the difficulty scale. It’s also just an excuse to eat whatever is with it. I am actually a little more partial to loading up my pastas with all kinds of vegetables. It takes a lot of vegetables to get me to feel full enough to stop eating, so pasta helps me out in that department. This was a result of me craving vegetables towards the end of busy season when all I getting sick of all the snacks and catering. Plus, blue cheese. I love blue cheese.

Sweet Potato Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into uniform cubes
  • 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2lb pasta of choice [I used spaghetti]
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato pieces with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer. Place in the oven and roast until browned on the edges and cooked through, approximately 30-40 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes roast, cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. In a large bowl, add the spinach. Pour the drained, hot pasta on top of the spinach so it will wilt.

Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet. Saute the minced garlic until it’s  browning and fragrant. Add the olive oil to the top of the pasta. Top with the roasted sweet potatoes and blue cheese crumbles. Toss together until well mixed. Serve.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Rolls

New [to me] pizza was had on Friday night. Handsome Pizza is a sweet little pie shop over on Killingsworth. Their special had stinging nettles, mozzarella, shaved onion, Calabrian chilies and parmesan. I ate it. It sounded so intriguing. My parents have been on a big stinging nettle tea kick, so it seemed only appropriate to eat it on pizza. It was leafy, yet tender. It didn’t have a super strong flavor of anything specific despite being all over the pizza. It was really quite nice. Plus you can’t go wrong with Calabrian chilies.

This was another one of those recipes where I saw it one afternoon and then made it that night for dinner. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. The siren call of pizza dough is strong. I ate an obscene amount of the rolls immediately from the oven. I’m convinced that broccoli negates any ill effects of eating nearly an entire ball of pizza dough to yourself. There is something so satisfying eating these to the gooey middle. Who needs cinnamon rolls when you have these? I’m pretty sure I’d eat them over cinnamon rolls every time.

Broccoli Cheddar Rolls2

Inspiration: Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • liberal application of red chile flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400° and ready a baking sheet. Roll out the ball of pizza dough about 9″x16″. In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the broccoli and sauté for a good five minutes. It’s going to turn bright green and soften. Add the garlic and stir often until it is also softened.

Sprinkle the broccoli mixture evenly across the rolled out dough. Leave about an inch around all sides. Top with the cheese, the red chile flakes, and salt and pepper. Starting with one of the 16″ sides, roll everything up. Cut them into rolls. I don’t have a dough scraper, but I do have a bread knife, and that seems to work well. Place the rolls face up on your baking sheet. Sprinkle any of the cheese that escaped while cutting the dough on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minute before eating. It’s necessary because boiling hot cheese is the worst, but it’s going to smell so good!

Roasted Vegetable & Cumin Chickpea Bowl

When I haven’t been working 10-13 hours a day [tax time round two!], we’ve been entertaining Andrew’s parents who were in town for a little over week. When people are in town, you know you’re eating way too much well when you’re not showing them things like the Elk Rock Gardens of the Bishop’s Close [cue plug of Andrew’s blog].

Things eaten in the last week: a funguy burger with my favorite fries from Killer Burger, a tuna melt and fat slice chocolate chip zucchini bread at Community Plate, a pile of brisket with horseradish aioli from Radar, a machaca burrito from King Burrito, a buffalo chicken pizza from MOD Pizza, a Jamaican jerk chicken salad from Fire on the Mountain, a Bowl of the Gods acai bowl from Kure Juice Bar, a turkey and brie on a baguette with a cup of fragola pasta salad from Addy’s Sandwich Bar, a lemongrass chicken and crispy pork belly vermicelli bowl from Freshroll, a duck bologna, egg, sauerkraut, coffee mayo and American cheese breakfast sandwich on a parker house roll at Portland Penny Diner, and a bacon cheese burger at Tilt.

Guys, I’m tired of eating out. It happens sometimes. Everything in moderation.

I made a chicken basil stir fry [based on this pork recipe] almost immediately. Simple flavors. A vegetable or three. The body seems to handle only so much butter and salt.

This simple roasted vegetable bowl fits the bill for just what I want after a week of eating out. The vegetables are great on their own, but even better when in a bowl for easy eating with a side of cumin chickpeas. The hardest part is actually getting them to the bowl because I find myself popping a piece of sweet potato here, a piece of broccolini there until half the tray is gone. I’m the type of person that could easily stand there and eat an entire tray of roasted vegetables all to myself. I’ve been known to do it with crudité platters too. Vegetables are a weakness. There are probably worse problems to have.

The original recipe from Minimalist Baker has a three ingredient tahini sauce, that would have been awesome if I actually had tahini on hand. I ate it plain because that’s just how much love I have for roasted vegetables. The cumin chickpeas were really, really, really great. Crispy outsides with soft insides. A bright pop of flavor with every bite.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl

Inspiration: Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 bundle of broccolini, tough stems trimmed and cut into pieces [stalks too!]
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. In a bowl, toss the sweet potato and onion in some olive oil and salt and pepper so it’s lightly coated. Spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven.

After 10 minutes, toss the broccolini in the bowl with some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Add it to the baking sheet in the oven.

After another 10 minutes, toss the kale in the bowl with some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Add it to the baking sheet in the oven.

While everything is roasting, heat a heavy skillet on medium high heat with some olive oil. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with all of the spices so that they’re evenly coated. Add the chickpeas to the hot pan. Let them sit for 30-60 seconds to really develop a crispy char before stirring. Adjust your heat if necessary. Once they’re crispy on all sides, and your kitchen smells awesome from all of the spices, remove them from the heat.

When the vegetables are done, you can either serve up individual bowls or mix everything together in one large bowl and go to town. The ones in the small bowl above was just for looks. I totally ate it out of the large bowl.