Sesame Soba Noodles

Well somehow it’s been three months since I last posted… But it’s now halfway through spring quarter and I have three midterms this week, so this is as good a time as any, right?

In any case, the sun does indeed exist in Seattle! Who knew? But it’s poked it’s head out pretty consistently for the past week (minus a couple thunderstorms here and there) and I think that spring has finally sprung. I went on a hike a couple weeks ago with some classmates after our Friday afternoon class and the mountain was out! It was a beautiful day in Issaquah, and here’s the view we got on the way up the Chirico Trail to Poo Poo Point. Ā DSCN7762.jpg

My backyard is also blooming! Our tulips opened up to welcome the sun šŸ™‚

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But now to more important things: the food. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I feel less of a need to make soups and hearty, warm comfort food. So I tried these sesame noodles, and made up a sauce and added whatever vegetables looked good and were on sale. So this is what I came up with! I personally like my vegetables a little bit cooked so they’re tender, but you could also just slice them thin and leave them raw. It’s a versatile recipe, so feel free to adjust the sauce to your taste, and use whatever veggies you desire! ThisĀ tastes great when served chilled, so it’s a great one to make as the weather warms up, and it would be a great addition to an outdoor barbecue or potluck. Also, I just noticed that this recipe happens to be vegan, so it’s great for people with dietary restrictions šŸ™‚

Sesame Soba Noodles

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

Ā¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

14oz soba noodles

2 tsp olive oil

6-8 green onions, sliced

1 cup carrots, sliced into matchsticks

1 bell pepper, sliced

2 cups shelled edamame

1 large cucumber, sliced into matchsticks

Sesame seeds

Directions

In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Add in the minced garlic and minced ginger. Allow to refrigerate overnight if you have time, but this is not necessary.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the soba noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and run cold water over the noodles, toss with half of the sesame sauce, then set aside to cool, or put in the fridge to chill.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the green onions and cook a minute or two, then add the carrots. Cover and allow the carrots to soften for a couple minutes. Add the bell pepper and edamame, then add the remainder of the sesame sauce to the vegetables. Cook until vegetables are your desired tenderness.

Toss together the noodle, cooked vegetables, and cucumber. Serve warm or chilled, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Broccoli Pesto and Eggs

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I’m currently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my wonderful ultimate frisbee team, BLU, and we just finished day one of College Nationals! I couldn’t be happier to be playing with this team, and I’m super stoked to see what the next three days hold for us.Ā Considering it’s been about a month since my last post I figured I could put something up during our down time.

I made this for myself last week, and it turned out to make a great lunch for the next few days! I bought a fresh basil plant at Trader Joe’s a few weeks back, and I figured I could make good use of it, as we approach summer time. I love homemade pesto, and I figured adding a bit of broccoli just adds a few more nutrients to the meal. I love spaghetti squash as a base for healthy meals, since it’s slightly sweet and holds flavors well. I added cauliflower for another veggie, and to add a little protein, I topped it off with some eggs. The result was delicious!

Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Broccoli Pesto and Eggs

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

2 cloves garlic

1 small head broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 cup almonds/walnuts, or a combination

15-20 fresh basil leaves, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil, more if you desire a thinner consistency

Salt and pepper, to taste

Eggs (I did 10, 2 per serving)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ĖšF. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the spaghetti squash and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

Toss the cauliflower florets in olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, until fork tender. You can do this while the spaghetti squash cooks.

To make the pesto, you can either microwave the broccoli for a few minutes with a bit of water, or drizzle with olive oil and roast with the cauliflower. Once cooked, place in food processor with Ā garlic, basil leaves, and garlic. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fry the eggs for a couple minutes on each side if you like runny yolks, for longer if you want more solid yolks.

To assemble bowls, scoop out spaghetti squash strands with a fork. Toss with roasted cauliflower and pesto until the spaghetti squash “noodles” are coated with pesto. Divide into 5 even portions. Top each portion with 2 eggs. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties with Thai Peanut Sauce

Happy Monday! Although I guess it’s Tuesday now. Anyway, some exciting news, my ultimate frisbee team spent the last weekend at SoCal Sectionals, and we won! I’m so glad to be part of this team, and I can’t wait for Regionals, then hopefully Nationals coming up later in May.

Anyway, that’s just a quick little celebration, but now onto the food.Ā Sweet potatoes were on sale a while ago, so I got inspired to make these patties. I served them with some roasted vegetables and topped it off with a delicious thai peanut sauce. I had leftover sauce, so I ended up using it as salad dressing and a dip for carrots and other raw veggies. It was amazing! The patties were also quite good, with plenty of sweetness from the sweet potatoes, and packed with protein from the beans. Here’s the recipe!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Patties with Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

Patties

2 medium sweet potatoes

Half a sweet onion, chopped

1 15oz can black beans, drained

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 eggs

Thai Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup lite coconut milk (half of a 14oz can)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 tbsp red curry paste

Directions

For the patties, cook the sweet potatoes using your method of choice-either roast them at 400ĖšF until soft (about 40 minutes) or microwave for about 7 minutes. Allow to cool, then scoop out the insides.

Preheat the oven to 375ĖšF and line baking sheets with parchment. Combine the sweet potato, onion, beans, green onions, and brown rice in a food processor and process until loosely combined but still chunky. Mix in the eggs until a doughy mixture forms. Scoop out 1/4 cups of patty mixture and form into round patties. Place on the baking sheets. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the patties are set and dry on the outside. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until well-incorporated. Add warm water as necessary to thin sauce to your desired consistency. Drizzle over patties. Enjoy!

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The Thai peanut sauce really adds to the flavor of these patties

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Asian Sesame Eggplant Shiitake Frittata

Hello world! I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but I’ve been in a study hole for the last few weeks.Ā Midterms, papers, more midterms, more papers… Yay quarter system. This post will be quick so I can get back to work, but I wanted to share this recipe with you.

I never really liked eggs, but I’ve recently discovered that if they are flavored correctly, they can be quite delicious. One of my new favorite flavors for eggs is adding sesame oil and green onions, to give it a distinct asian flair. I added some other asian sauces, eggplant, spinach, and shiitake mushrooms to this frittata to make it a well-rounded meal. The whole thing is quick to come together and bakes right in the cast iron skillet that you cook the vegetables in, so it’s a easy and delicious meal. Here’s the recipe!

Asian Sesame Eggplant Shiitake Frittata

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 eggplant, diced

1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained

8 eggs, beaten

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the green onions and eggplant and saute until the eggplant is soft. While the vegetables are cooking, preheat the oven to 350ĖšF. Add the mushrooms and spinach, along with the soy sauce and hoisin sauce and stir to incorporate the flavors.

In a separate bowl, beatĀ the eggs. Whisk in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and stir quickly to evenly distribute the vegetables. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean and the frittata is set. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then slice and serve. Enjoy!

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A frittata full of delicious asian flavors

 

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Curry Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Well, I had my first final today. Which means that I should start studying for my other two next week, but instead I’m going to take a break and talk a little bit about food. To all my fellow quarter-system college students-good luck studying!

I decided to make some acorn squash, since I’ve used a lot of butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but I feel like I neglect this fall squash. It’s not my favorite, since it’s not quite as sweet at butternut squash or sweet potatoes, but it sure is pretty. When you cut the squash crosswise into rings, they make nice little flowery rings, and I just had to do something with that, so here we are!

For this dish, I made some curry lentils in the slow cooker, then I roasted the acorn squash, some cauliflower, and onions. I put a scoop of lentils inside the acorn squash rings, then topped the whole thing off with the roasted vegetables. The result? A delicious meal, packed with fall flavors. The slightly sweet squash, combined with the spicy curry, and the savory roasted vegetables all complement each other to make a wonderfully balanced meal. It does take some waiting, for the vegetables and lentils to cook, but the hands on time is pretty minimal. In any case, this is a dish worth trying!

Curry Lentil-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups red split lentils

1 14oz can lite coconut milk

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp olive oil

2 acorn squash, sliced crosswise, seeds removed

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1 sweet onion, sliced

Directions

Mix together the lentils, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and curry powder in the slow cooker. Turn on low and allow to cook for 4-5 hours, until the lentils are cooked through and soft. This can also be done on the stove. Simply combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

Preheat the oven to 400ĖšF. On one baking sheet, toss the acorn rounds with half the olive oil, then place in the oven. On another baking sheet, toss the cauliflower and onion with the other half of the olive oil, then place on the sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

To assemble, place an acorn squash ring (or two or three) on a plate, then place a scoop of lentils in the middle. Top with the roasted cauliflower and onions. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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A delicious fall meal! It happens to be vegan too šŸ™‚

Sweet Potato Gratin

Happy fall! It’s raining here in SoCal. I hate, hate, hate the rain, but we really need it so I don’t mind too much. One thing though, I really want to swim in the rain, since if you’re getting in the pool, you’re going to be wet anyway, and the droplets make such pretty patterns on the surface of the water, but the weather is just working against me.Ā I’ve gone swimming three times in the rain this week, and every time,Ā I walk to the pool in the rain, but as soon as I get in the water, it stop. Then of course, once I hop out of the pool, it begins to rain again. Go figure.

Anywayyyyy on a side note, theĀ UCLA Women’s Volleyball team is hosting NCAA’s this week!Ā It means quite a few extra hours for me, but it’s pretty exciting! It’s been super fun to watch them this year and to work with them as a team, and they’re a great bunch of girls. I’m excited to watch them rock it this weekend.

However, onto the food! At the very beginning of the school year, my apartment and the next door apartment had a big “family” dinner together. We all made dishes and had a fun meal together, so this recipe is from way back then. But, it would make a great fall meal for these cooler nights! It’s all made in the cast iron skillet, so it’s easy cleanup. It’s also fairly easy preparation. I like to make it look pretty for the pictures and all, but the slices really could just be thrown in and it would taste the same, it just wouldn’t be quite as aesthetically pleasing. But when it’s just going in your stomach anyway, who cares how it looks? This combination of sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of cheese is quite delicious. and it would make a lovely side dish for any fall meal.

Sweet Potato Gratin

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 sweet onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 sweet potato (orange)

1 white sweet potato

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mozzarella blend, parmesan would be good too)

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. This should take about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400ĖšF.

While the onions are caramelizing, slice the sweet potatoes into thin coins. Once the onions are done cooking, turn off the heat and place the sweet potato slices in any patter you wish. You can arrange them in a spiral, or just throw them in the pan over the onions. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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All baked up and ready for a roommate dinner!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Happy Friday! Time to welcome in the weekend. How better to do that than with a great new recipe? My thoughts exactly. Here’s another spaghetti squash recipe, with an asian flair. I’ve been making lots of spaghetti squash and other fall squash because it’s only 99 cents a pound at Ralph’s, and I love fall squashes.Ā Butternut squash and sweet potato are my favorites, but I’m learning to love spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute, and I’ve done a little experimenting with acorn squash, although I still prefer butternut, since it’s sweeter. I want to try things with kabocha squash in the future, and maybe pumpkin, but buying canned pumpkin is just so easy, we’ll see if I get around to it.

Anyway, back to today’s recipe. I had a bottle of pad thai sauce in my cabinet, a few leftover green onions, and a craving for thai food. Combine all these things (plus a few other things in my pantry and a trip to Ralph’s) and you get spaghetti squash pad thai!

I know, using store-bought pad thai sauce seems a little bit like cheating, but it did make my life significantly easier, otherwise you have to by tamarind juice, fish sauce, and a bunch of other ingredients just to make a little bit of sauce, not to mention the time it takes. That’s my excuse anyway.Ā To make this dish, I roasted up the spaghetti squash, sauteedĀ up all the pad thai ingredients, thenĀ flavored the spaghetti squash with the pad thai flavor, and garnished the finished product with some chopped peanuts. It was a great fall meal, and made several days worth of delicious leftover for lunch!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions, chopped

1 14oz block extra firm tofu, sliced into strips

1/2-3/4 cup padĀ thai sauce (or make your own)

3 eggs, well beaten

1/2 cup peanuts, chopped, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ĖšF. Slice the ends off the spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, then brush half the olive oil over the surface of the squash. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool, then scoop out the spaghetti squash strands (I did this partĀ the day before to cut down on time the next day).

While the squash is cooling, prepare the rest of the pad thai. Heat the other half of the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, then add the garlic, green onions, and tofu. Saute until theĀ tofu is browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Scoop out the spaghetti squash strands and add to the pan with the pad thai sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the squash has soaked in the sauce and is heated through (or closer to 10 minutes if you cooked the spaghetti squash the night before). Once the spaghetti squash is heated through, make a well in the middle of the squash, turn the heat to low, and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, then once they are almost cooked, incorporate them with the spaghetti squash. Add in the tofu, garlic, and green onions and mix to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

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Grab some chopsticks and take a bite!