I’ll take quiche over slush, thanks.

an Imperial cruiser? Or a slice of quiche...?

I apologize for the lack of recipes lately! What with returning to Salem and starting classes again, I’ve been rather busy. And lazy, haha. BUT. Fear not, hopefully things will start returning to normal! This semester is brimming with potential recipes to be tried and eaten (I just have to figure out what they are, haha). I fully intend to eat extremely well this semester, and graduate with full gastronomic satisfaction.

The weather in Salem has been rather ridiculous… we’ve had snow and some nasty slush that makes walking around a tad wet. I believe the weather gods have temporarily decided on rain, but you never know around here. Today on my way to class, it decided to snow heavily, except not stick. So it turned into nasty slush which got me and my feet soaked. Which I’m normally okay with, except that by the time I’d dried out, it was time to walk back from class. Mrrrggg. I’d be quite happy with snow, as long as it was somewhere I could ski on it! Are you listening, weather gods?! Send the snow to the mountains, and some rain to California. It’s a bit dry there at the moment… mmk? Good. I’m glad you’re listening.

Anyway. Quiche seems like a good way to combat the cold and ridiculousness of this weather… it’s warm, quick, and comforting. I tried this recipe out at home, and loved it, so as soon as I got back, Kira and I made our own version. It’s made excellent leftovers for the last few days as well. This recipe is great, as it’s very flexible, and is good for you :) Lots of veggies and good eggy protein. It comes together quickly as well, which is a perk when you’ve spent the last hour grocery shopping in snow/sleet/slush/rain/cold (would that be sneet? Or slain? or just ridiculous). Yum.

mmmm apple crunch. you see the bite out of it? hehe.

Pesto-Veggie Quiche with an Oatmeal Crust

Adapted from (Neverhome)Maker, here! Makes one 9″ quiche.

*Update from Feb. 20th: I made this the other day with no onion, lots of baby broccoli and spinach + bell pepper, and 1/3 c parmesan + 1/3 c goat cheese. It is AMAZING. I like this combo possibly better than the one posted below, but really where I’m going with this is that this quiche is incredibly adaptable to whatever is in your fridge!

Preheat the oven to 400, and lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.

For the crust:

  • 3/4 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 3 tbsp of your milk of preference (I’ve done it once with soy and once with 1% milk, and both worked fine)

For the quiche:

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 heaping tbsp grainy mustard
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto (I like Trader Joe’s!)
  • 1/2 a large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 a good-sized red pepper (or a whole, depending on your preference)
  • a handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • a handful of fresh spinach
  • 2/3 c Parmesan, grated
it looks like a mountain. I only wish it was!!

In a food processor, pulse oats, salt, and flour until combined. Pulse in butter, until it gets crumbly, then add milk. The dough should form into a rough ball. Take the dough out, and roll it out between two sheets of wax paper. It should be relatively thin. Press it into the pie dish, evening out the edges and making a nice top edge. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and then set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350.

While the crust is baking, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute the onion, until translucent, then add mushrooms and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 10 minutes total.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, ground pepper, mustard, pesto, and milk of choice. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the bottom of the prebaked crust, and then dump in veggies and onion. Pour the egg mixture over the top of all this. Pop into your preheated oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and set!

This is particularly good with toasted apple-crunch bread, courtesy of the local bakery and your nice apartment management’s Christmas gift. As Kira said, “It’s like they know us, or something!” (Breadaholics. At least we embrace it!)

ommnommm BREAD!

Long ago, somewhere deep in the jungle…

Ridiculously cold weather calls for ridiculously tasty meals. Especially dinners, when you don’t have to go anywhere and you can just curl up and eat peacefully, whilst watching the the emperor get his groove thrown off with your roomie. The entirety of which the two of you could basically quote, between the two of you. But that’s another story entirely. So. Since I am not currently residing in some steamy Mesoamerican jungle, like SOME lucky llamas, I am currently experiencing Salem’s tribute to November, which seems to be freezing fog and coooold weather. Don’t get me wrong, I do love snappy, cold fall days. I do not love wearing  my north face in class because the room is cold… although, that’s probably preferable to going to sleep in a too-warm room… hmm. Anyway. Let’s move ahead! (“Umm.. what’s with the chimp and the bug?!”)

Like I said in the last post, Kira and I have had a run of immensely satisfying dinners. This one unfortunately didn’t yield any leftovers to daydream about… *sigh*. oh well, Kira and I might have had to fight over them (they were that good!). And simple! Not only is this recipe simple to prepare, it’s also economical. Which is excellent, as we’re on a college budget over here. It’s simple, but immensely satisfying. Oh. AND it’s healthy! Pshhh, would I make anything else?! (well. yes. I would. But this is not it!) Like crab, but waaaaay better. Salmon is incredibly good for you—omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for cholesterol (and pretty skin and hair!). Besides, canned salmon is BOMB. It’s like fresh… but cheaper! And just as nutritious. Hooray!! Served with a salad and some crusty bread, this is a meal that is light on the stomach, yet incredibly satisfying. As Kuzko would say… “BOOM BAM, BABY! Let’s get to the grub! I am one huuungry king of the world!”

And no, this dish does not involve essence of llama in any form, thank goodness. My shoulder angels would be against that, I’m sure.

Salmon Cakes

Adapted from Self magazine (I think that’s where I got it!) Serves two. We were hungry.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet (or two, if you’re hungry and want to get this show on the road). While the oil is heating, combine:

  • 1 can of salmon (Alaskan wild, pleeeease!), drained, de-boned, de-gunked, and flaked
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 piece of whole wheat bread, torn into smallish breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Stir to combine all of this together, and then form into patties. We got about 6, probably about 1/4 cup salmon each. Plop into the hot skillet, and saute for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked though. Serve hot, with a side salad and some insanely good Moroccan olive crusty bread. Our salad tonight consisted of spinach, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, dried cranberries, and some chopped goat’s milk gouda (aka BEST CHEESE EVER). Props to Kira for always making super tasty salads! [Salatenmeisterinen?!] Mmmmmm. There’s a recipe to warm up with. See? I told you it was super simple. Eat. Gloat because you’re getting omgea-3s for cheap! Quote movie. Be happy :]

” A LLAMA?! He’s supposed to be DEAD!”… “Yeah… weird.”

Never enough peanut butter

Double whammy on the blog posts… I’ve been making interesting things lately, I promise! They’ve just been… ugly. I really didn’t want to show you the amoeba-like beet and goat cheese ravioli… Tasty, but… ugly. Luckily, recipes lately have been delicious AND aesthetic, which appeases the art history major bit of me.

Anyway, recipe bonanza for you! Yay.

And no. This one isn’t even orange!

*gasp*

I told you, we’re striving towards variety! Besides, we have enough orange leftovers to last us a bit… I really don’t think we’re lacking in the beta-carotene department over here. Really. I definitely don’t want to venture into oompa loompa territory. Let’s not.

No, this isn’t exactly a recipe, either.

It’s a loose adaptation of a noodles and sauce recipe that Gillian and I discovered last year when we were sorta kinda studying for nutrition (but really having much more fun discussing vegan chocolate cake and baking techniques). However. Even though it’s not a recipe, it’s one of my favorites! Infinitely adaptable to whatever you have on hand (or whatever is lurking in the depths of the vegetable crisper), and ridiculously quick and simple to whip up.

Besides. Peanut butter is A-MAZING. Well. Actually all nut butters are amazing. I’m surprised I don’t resemble a jar of almond butter (perhaps with an orangeish tinge? Ew.)… I may or may not eat about a jar a week. (And I’ve gotten my roomie addicted, muahhahah). Although now I’ve fallen back in love with peanut butter, so I alternate. But still. There is a ridiculously embarrassing amount of nut butter consumed in this apartment weekly. Going with this vein, I really like finding new ways of conveying nut butter into my face, besides the obvious option of some form of bread/pancake/muffin/scone/carrotish thing. Pasta seemed like an excellent choice…. and then you can decorate with veggies! This way all those antioxidants can have a party in your digestive tract, and in the process, annihilate all of the free radicals floating about and trying to cause problems. And all that whole wheat from the pasta can party with the veggies, increasing your fiberous intake and lowering your cholesterol and blood lipids. Everybody wins! (Except those nasty free radicals, but we don’t like them).

Enter: Peanut Noodles with Veggies! Thai inspired, probably… but eventually simplified to be pantry and budget friendly. YAY!

Peanut Noodlies with Veggies!

Semi-created by Hayley and Gillian.

Simple, really. Boil water! Choose your fave pasta (I like whole wheat soba for this, but whole wheat spaghetti works too), and cook it until al dente (eewww, please no soggy pasta). Drain and rinse.

Slice up a block of tofu into smallish cubes, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • A decent amount of peanut butter (say, 2 heaping tablespoons)
  • juice of one lime
  • grated fresh ginger
  • a drizzle of honey or agave
  • a squirt (say, 2 tsp) of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or other soy sauce type thing)
  • Sriacha, if you like it spicy!
  • water to thin it out

Keep in mind all these measurements are approximate—I usually taste and fiddle as I go along, and I never measure for this one. Mix everything together until the consistency is as you like it, then let your cubed tofu marinate for a bit.

While the noodlies are cooking, steam or saute veggies of your choice. I like bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, or carrots—crunchy veggies are always good in this. We topped ours this time with diced cucumber, which was quite tasty. Toss the marinated tofu and sauce with the veggies and noodles, and serve. Eat. Love!

Pancake Thursday :)

Pfankuchen!!

I put something green in my pancakes again, teeheehee!

And no, this time it was NOT spinach, and I didn’t get to use my baby food processor. Any guesses? Anyone? Anyone? …Bueller?

I’ll give you a hint.

My pet donated it.

And by pet, I mean Watson.

And yes. He IS my pet. I put him outside every day and water him…. and talk to him. He’s cute! But. Since you probably can’t guess…

BASIL! mmmm… fresh basil… there’s nothing quite like it.

Meet Watson. Watson, you're famous!

I really don’t think Watson objected to donating basil for our pancakes…at least, he didn’t seem to, and we didn’t ask him (rude, I know), since we’d been grocery shopping and came home ridiculously hungry. Not my fault that WinCo is basically a workout in of itself, and we stopped at a bunch of other stores (mega YAYY for Salem finally having a Trader Joe’s!). So suffice it to say that we probably would have eaten Watson for dinner (I covered his ears, don’t worry, he didn’t hear that), except he didn’t seem very filling. Luckily, we had an alternate plan, namely… Pancakes! What else would we make on Thursdays? Besides, when we double fist the skillets, we can have pancakes in no time, which satisfies two mega hungry college-types (ok, one soon-to-be-not-college type and once recent college type).

These pancakes were fantastic! They were unlike any pancakes I’d ever had (and Kira gave them thumbs up too)—sort of almost savory, but with a distinctive basil flavor. They are made with ricotta, and the flavor of that really comes out as well. They go really well with pear (and we may or may not have had some Nutella lurking in the cupboard, muahah), and also with almond butter (of course!). I was eating them plain, they were that good. I’d definitely make these again (and I’m sure we will, provided Watson continues to flourish).

Besides… I really like having green bits in my pancakes. Or entirely green pancakes, either way.

Ricotta, Basil and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Serves 2. Adapted from here!

Whatcha need:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta
  • 3/4 cup milk (we subbed in coconut milk beverage, which was deeeelicious. and because we could, says Kira!)
  • 3 tablespoons ish Earth Balance, melted and cooled. I say ish because it was a few spoonfuls, a very ‘ish’ amount.
  • 1 egg
  • choc chippies, for chucking into the pancakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (FRESH, pleeease), finely chopped with your lovely chef’s knife.

Whatcha do!

Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, and baking powder. Sifting is probably a good idea… but obviously not crucial as I *ahem* didn’t. In a separate, cute small bowl, mix ricotta, egg, and milk type thing, along with melted buttahh. Mix wet into dry, and toss in basil from your trusty Watson pet.

Heat your skillet(s), preferably more than one in the interest of expediency, and make pfankuchen! Ideally speaking German whilst making them, because German is WAAAY more fun than English… wouldn’t you rather say Loffel for spoon? I know I would. And apparently moose is Amerikanisher Elk. Who knew?

Make pfankuchen. Add choc chippies according to your desired ratio… I like about 4 or 5 per pancake, carefully placed onto the top of the cooking pancake. So I’m particular… don’t judge!

Eat! Yayyy, this is the best part :)

Omgea-3s, for the Win!

artistically arranged foil, NOT.

Hoooooray for (Alaskan, wild caught) salmon! Effectively exploding with essential omega-3 fatty acids (which not only make your skin gorgeous, but also contribute to vital body processes like your clotting time) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (which are good for you, period). I LOVE salmon! Not just because it’s good for me, but because it’s super tasty!

I was admittedly a bit freaked out about cooking fish for the first time… I mean, not exactly the first time, but the first time ALONE. This is a BIG DEAL. Because there are no helpful parental types lurking around who you can pester to see if your fish has achieved the correct doneness. No. Instead you must rely on the power of your own fork-wielding hands and superb optical powers of visionary greatness (ok, 20/15 fighter pilot vision, you have to be good for something!) to determine if your fish is done. Happily, I apparently passed this test, as I’m a) sitting here typing this, and b) my fish passed the flake-test, and was super fab. Hooray!

Which was good. Because after spending 3.5 HOURS on the phone with various types of tech support, attempting to ascertain the problems arising from my computer/internet, I was about ready to either get really violent and start throwing things, or start climbing the walls. Or possibly both.

Which means it was a good thing that my dinner cooperated as planned, or we might have had a full-scale meltdown/wall-climbing/throwing-thing fit. Which is never good. Happily, all tech-type things are hopefully resolved (or at least they seem to be, thank goodness), and I didn’t have to throw anything. And my salmon was good.

I got the idea for this recipe from the bestie Julia, but I didn’t follow her recipe exactly. Instead I looked up one specifically for salmon, and used that. I think I’d make a few modifications if I did it again—I’ll try to note them below.

innards.

Salmon en Papillote (serves 1) Adapted from here

  • enough salmon to feed you!
  • assorted veggies (I used a smallish red bell pepper and 3 large mushrooms)
  • lemon slices
  • fresh herbs, to taste
  • salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Rinse your defrosted salmon with water and pat dry. Place each salmon fillet in the center of a largeish piece of parchment paper (or foil is fine. I used foil, I have no parchment paper at the moment!) and season with salt and pepper. Lay a few slices of lemon over the top of the salmon (I think I used 3).

Arrange sliced bell pepper and button mushrooms around the fish. Top it all with olive oil and 2 tbsp white wine if you have it (if not, water works just as well). The recipe calls for fresh thyme–If you like it, use it, but I’m not a huge fan, so I used fresh basil, which was also good.

Roll and crimp the edges of the foil or parchment to make a sealed packet, and place on a cookie sheet in the heated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, until your fishy flakes apart or you deem it done. Careful when opening the packets, since the steam is really hot.

I chased mine with some crazy chocolate cake (made with all applesauce, see recipe here!), which of course made the indignity of the last 3.5 hours seem a bit less offensive. And Voyager, which of course makes everything better.

“Dismissed. *pause* That’s a Starfleet expression that means GET OUT.” -Captain Kathryn Janeway to a very buggy Nelix