Parmesan Quinoa Cakes and Roasted Turmeric Cabbage

Hello from Seattle! We’ve had quite the bit of weather the last few days. Temperatures have dropped below freezing, we got a bit of snow on Sunday and this afternoon, but most importantly, the sun was out this weekend! Despite the 30˚ weather, the sun drew lots of people out this weekend, and I got to enjoy walking around outside with a couple friends who were visiting for the weekend. It was quite glorious. There’s nothing like the Pacific Northwest to really make you appreciate the sun.

Anyway, now for the food. I made these cheesy quinoa cakes last week for dinner and roasted some cabbage as a side dish, and they turned out much better than I had anticipated. I made a few tweaks to this recipe by Let’s Dish, and was very satisfied with the results. My recipe was bigger than this one, mostly since 1 cup of uncooked quinoa made more like 3 cups cooked, so I adjusted up all the other ingredients accordingly. These are quite flavorful and stuck together quite well. I flavored my roasted cabbage with turmeric, but you could also just use simple salt and pepper or any other spices of your choice. Here’s my recipe!

Parmesan Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Turmeric Cabbage

Adapted from Let’s Dish

Makes about 18 patties

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2-2/12 cups water or vegetable broth to cook quinoa

4 green onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

3 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each)

A few tsp extra virgin olive oil, for frying

1 head green cabbage

1/2 tsp turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

Quinoa cakes:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool. Quinoa can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated until ready to assemble the patties.

Combine the quinoa, green onions, garlic, flour, Panko, parmesan, eggs, and spices. Mix until well incorporated. Add an extra egg if the mixture does not hold together.

Heat a skillet to medium heat, then coat the pan with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Drop 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture into a pan and flatten and shape into round patties with a spatula. Allow to cook a few minutes, or until golden brown, then flip and allow a few minutes on the other side. Continue until all the quinoa mixture has been used.

Cabbage:

Preheat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Slice the cabbage into 8 wedges. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle the turmeric, salt, and pepper over the slices. Bake until soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 35-40 minutes. Serve with quinoa cakes. Enjoy!

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Broccoli Cheddar Bean Soup

Happy 2018! I realized that I haven’t posted yet in the new year, so here goes! It’s definitely a typical winter here in Seattle, gray and rainy, which makes it great soup weather!

I’ve posted broccoli cheddar soup before, but I added protein to this version in the form of white beans, which made it hearty enough for a meal. This soup was super easy to make and came together in about half an hour. I like eating it with some crackers or crusty bread. This recipe is very versatile, and you could use all broccoli, a mix of broccoli and cauliflower, or all cauliflower. You could also change to a different kind of white bean. Here’s the recipe!

Broccoli Cheddar Bean Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 quart vegetable stock

2 cups water, or less or more to desired consistency

1 tbsp minced garlic

24 oz frozen broccoli/cauliflower

1 14oz can of white beans, drained

1 cup/4 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat the vegetable stock and water till bubbling over high heat. Add the garlic, broccoli/cauliflower, and beans and reduce heat to medium. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat and blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the cheese until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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Great with a slice of fresh baguette

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Aloha from Hawaii! My family is fortunate enough to be taking a vacation on the glorious island of Kauai, and it could not be more wonderful. We’re enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery, glittering ocean waves, a warm salty breeze and the sun! I hear it was a white Christmas back in Seattle but I’m perfectly content to have spent my Christmas snorkeling and lounging by the water.

However, I do love holiday cookie recipes, so here’s another one that I tried out before we left! I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart, increasing the cocoa powder and using natural instead of Dutch-processed. I used candied ginger chips instead of grated fresh ginger, and I also increased the amount of sugar, since otherwise the dough was a little too bitter from the molasses. I loved the combination of ginger and chocolate, and these cookies turned out wonderfully chewy, and when they were warm from the oven the insides of the cookies were still gooey, and combined with the melty chocolate chips they were amazing. The crackly tops and the sparkly sugar make these cookies nice and festive for the holidays, although I would welcome these any time of the year! Here’s the recipe I used.

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp natural cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup unsulfured molasses

¾ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

½ cup candied ginger pieces

2 tbsp granulated or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (I ended up using both)

Directions

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and molasses until well combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, then add the chocolate chips and candied ginger. Mix until the chips and ginger are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Cover and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight. When ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 325˚F. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 tbsp of dough per cookie), scoop out the dough and roll into a ball, then roll in the granulated or turbinado sugar. Flatten slightly and place on cookie sheets about 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, until cookies have nice crackly tops, then remove from oven and allow to cool a couple minutes before removing from cookie sheets and transferring to racks or plates to cool completely. Enjoy!

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Siri’s Biscotti

Happy Holidays everyone! I just finished all my finals (and hopefully passed all of them…) and am back in sweet, sunny California! After Thanksgiving break, my house got in the holiday spirit with decorations, and I started craving some holiday themed treats. This is a recipe I got from one of my former roommates, whose ultimate frisbee nickname is Siri, so I call them Siri’s biscotti. I’ve made this recipe a few times now, making some adjustments along the way, and these come out wonderfully every time! I really like the original combination of mix-ins, which is white chocolate, dried cranberries, and pistachios, especially since they add a little pop of red and green to make these holiday-themed. I can also think of many other combinations that would be delicious, like chocolate and orange zest, or maybe butterscotch and pecans if I’m feeling adventurous.

I tend to cut the biscotti relatively thick and don’t bake them till they’re super crunchy, but you can increase the baking time a little bit or slice them a little thinner for crispier cookies. These have been very popular with my friends and family, and they also hold up well to give as gifts. Here’s the recipe!

Siri’s Biscotti

Makes about 30 cookies (thick cut)

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, then beat in the vanilla and eggs until fluffy. Stir in the salt and baking powder, then add the flour and mix until well-combined. Mix in the cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pistachios until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Divide the dough in half and form each into a flattened log about 3” wide and 9” long. Place on the parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Use a large knife to slice the logs into diagonals about 3/4” thick (or 1/2” if you want crispier cookies). Lay the cookies cut side down on the parchment, return to the oven and bake for 7 minutes, then remove, flip over, and bake for another 7 minutes, or until desired crispness. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy!

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Curry Lentil Squash Soup

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just got back to Seattle after a wonderful long weekend with my family and friends at home. Just a couple more weeks of class before we break for the holidays, but I’m looking forward to the Seattle holiday activities while I’m here!

I made this soup a couple weeks ago during a cold spell, and it’s a wonderful, warming winter soup. The curry adds a great flavor to the squash, as well as a nice orange-y color, perfect for fall or winter! You can use whatever squash you like, I just decided to try it with acorn squash. If you want the soup to be a bit sweeter, I would suggest butternut squash or maybe kabocha. Either way, with soup,

I find that if you just add things to the pot and blend it all up and taste as you go, you can’t go wrong! Here’s the recipe I made:

Curry Lentil Squash Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 acorn squash (about 4-5 lbs)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

1 ½ cups dried brown lentils

4 cups vegetable broth

1 14oz can coconut milk

1 ½-2 tbsp curry powder

2 cups water (to desired consistency)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 410˚F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil on the cut part of the squash, then place cut side down on the baking sheet, bake for 35-45 minutes, until the squash are easily pierced with a fork. Remove and allow to cool enough to scoop out the flesh.

While the squash is cooling, heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onions start to become translucent. Pour in the lentils and toast them slightly, then pour in the vegetable stock and increase heat to medium-high.

Bring the lentils to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk and curry powder and continue to simmer over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, until the lentils are soft. If necessary add more water (I added about 2 cups, maybe 3) to thin the soup enough to blend easily. Add the squash and heat through.

Use an immersion blender (or allow to cool slightly and carefully transfer in batches to a regular blender) and blend the soup until smooth. Add more water if necessary to desired consistency. Serve warm with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

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Spiced Brown Sugar Cutout Cookies

Happy Sunday! Fall is in full swing up here in the PNW, and we actually had snow last week, so winter is definitely looming. Which means it’s time for cookie decorating! We had Friday off classes, so I used some of the extra time to make these holiday cookies, then had a couple friends over for a decorating party! I took this recipe from Everyday Annie, and it’s a good one. I slightly increased the spices, as I usually do, but other than that kept the recipe the same.

These turned out wonderfully soft, but also sturdy enough to hold up to our decorating efforts. I like my cookies on the softer side, so I reduced the baking time a bit, but I did break a few while decorating, so you could keep the original bake time if you want crispier, sturdier cookies. I made a simple icing, and my friend brought buttercream frosting and lots of fun sprinkles, so had a nice variety of decorating options. In any case, these cookies were delicious on their own, but even more so with frosting, and provided us a great rainy day activity. Here’s the recipe!

Spiced Brown Sugar Cutout Cookies

adapted from Everyday Annie

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Direction

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt,and spices in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until a smooth paste forms. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and stir together until combined. Divide the dough in half and roll into logs/disks, then chill for about an hour (if you chill it longer, give it a little extra time to soften up when you take it out of the fridge so the dough doesn’t crack when you roll it out).

When you are ready, preheat the oven to 350˚F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first portion of dough to about 1/4 inch thick, then use cookie cutters to cut out cookies and transfer to baking sheets. Repeat with second portion of dough.

Bake the cookies for 9 minutes (10-11 if you want crispier cookies), then remove and allow to cool completely. Then, decorate as you wish! Enjoy!

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Caramelized Onion Lentil Casserole

Well I’m back in Seattle after attending the most amazing wedding I will probably ever go to. My college roommate got married in Santa Barbara this weekend, and it was absolutely wonderful to celebrate with her and her husband, as well as hang out with all of our college friends. I’m currently ignoring the tests that I have this week and instead reminiscing about the weekend and writing this post about the lentil casserole I made for dinner last week. I adapted a recipe from The Kitchn based on my tastes and what I had available. I liked the idea of a casserole, but instead of using rice, I just used all lentils. Instead of mushrooms, I added some spinach for the leafy greens, but the mushrooms would also be a great addition. The result was a hearty casserole, perfect for the chilly fall nights that are about to become the norm here. Here’s my recipe!

Caramelized Onion Lentil Casserole

adapted from The Kitchn

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup brown lentils, dried

3 cups vegetable/chicken broth

1 sweet onion, sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup milk (I used nonfat)

3 eggs

Herbs to

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

taste

Ground pepper, to taste

1 16oz package frozen spinach

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.

Combine the lentils and broth in a rice cooker and set to cook (alternatively, cook on the stovetop).

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until the onions are caramelized, about 15 minutes. While the onions are cooking, preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Beat together the milk and eggs. Stir in the cheese and herbs and make sure to stir well.

Once the lentils are cooked and the onions are caramelized, combine the lentils, onions, and spinach in the pan. Pour the milk and egg mixture on top and stir to combine. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove and allow to let cool before serving. Enjoy!

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