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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Edamame Dumplings

Happy Sunday! It’s been a beautiful weekend in Seattle, and I went on two hikes this weekend, to two beautiful lakes. I’m trying to soak up as much Seattle summer as possible when I’m not in class! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend Lake Melakwa, which I hiked with a couple friends yesterday. It’s a great workout to get to the lake, and I jumped in to cool off. The water was quite refreshing (very cold), but it was quite peaceful around the lake, and lots of people had tents or hammocks, and it was nice to just chill for a bit before hiking down. Today, I went with a few other friends to Lake 22, which had very different scenery. We walked through rainforest to get to the lake, and Mount Pilchuck which is beside Lake 22 was shrouded in clouds and mist at the top. I didn’t get into the water on this one, since it was a little colder today, but it was quite a beautiful lake!

Now for the food. Last weekend I had a potluck and game night with some friends, and we all brought various Asian foods. I decided to try and replicate the edamame dumplings I’d had recently at True Food Kitchen when my parents took me, and I was actually quite successful! I used the frozen shelled edamame from Trader Joe’s, which made the process quite easy, then just threw in a bunch of flavors that I thought would taste good, sealed them nice and tight in dumpling wrappers, and boiled them in miso soup, and they turned out wonderfully! The basil flavor really came through, but the ginger and garlic were also great additions. Here’s the recipe.

Edamame Dumplings

Makes 50 dumplings

Ingredients

12 oz shelled edamame (About two cups, I used one Trader Joe’s package)

4 green onions, sliced

2 tbsp miso paste

1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tbsp marsala wine/cooking wine

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp white pepper

1 package round wonton wrappers (50 wrappers)

Optional broth for cooking (I used miso soup)

Directions

For the filling:

Bring a salted pot of water to a boil, then add the edamame and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a food processor, pulse together the edamame with the rest of the ingredients until a rough paste forms, leaving the edamame slightly chunky.

To form the dumplings, dip your finger in some water and run it around the outside of the wrapper, then place about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and press the top together, then crimp the wrapper together starting at the sides, and forming a crescent shape. See here for a video of how I do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjW_ntpIj2E but you can fold them any way you like. Repeat with all 50 wrappers. I got lucky and had exactly enough filling for the 50 wrappers, but depending on how full you stuff your dumplings, there might be slightly too much or too little filling.

To cook the dumplings:

Bring a large pot of water or broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in, making sure they don’t touch and stick together, and boil for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove from the water/broth with a slotted spoon and repeat until you have boiled the desired number of dumplings. Serve warm, with on a plate or in bowls with the broth, if you chose to cook them in broth.

If you don’t cook them all at once, lightly dust a baking sheet with flour, place the dumplings on the pan so they are not touching, then freeze. After they have frozen, you can remove them from the pan and place them in a bag or container for easier freezing, and they will keep well for a few months.

To cook these, you can also use the pan frying method, outlined here https://dinewithdeja.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/jiao-zi-chinese-dumplingspotstickers/

Enjoy!

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Red Curry Noodles

Happy finals week everyone! Clearly my motivation for studying is at an all-time high, since I’ve been playing ultimate frisbee all weekend and taking a few breaks to attempt to study… But regardless, spring quarter is almost over here at UW, and I am way too excited to go home to California for a little bit once finals are over, before we come back for summer classes.

I made these curry noodles for dinner earlier this week, and they turned out even better than I expected! I wanted to try making curry noodles without have the noodles swimming in soup, so I experimented by cooking fresh noodles in a curry sauce of coconut milk and curry paste, and the noodles absorbed most of the liquid, resulting in soft, flavorful noodles that could be eaten off a plate! We just had an H-mart open up near campus, so I got a few of my ingredients from there. I can’t remember exactly what kind of noodles I used, but they were some kind of fresh noodles, flour-based, and the package contained 3 servings, so here’s my best guess at the recipe!

Red Curry Noodles

Makes 5-6 servings

4 green onions, sliced

3 slices fresh ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp olive oil

9 shiitake mushrooms (I used dried), sliced

5 heads baby bok choy, stalks sliced and leaves intact

2 tsp canola oil

1 16oz block of firm tofu, drained and cubed

1 14oz can coconut milk

2 tbsp red curry paste

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp lime juice

16-20 oz flour noodles, flat variety (or use whatever noodles look good to you, about 3 servings worth)

Directions

In a large saucepan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the green onions and garlic until fragrant, then add the mushrooms and bok choy stems and allow to cook until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and heat the canola oil in the center. Add the tofu and cook for a couple minutes on each side, allowing to brown slightly. While the veggies are cooking, whisk together the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice.

Remove the veggies and tofu from the pan and pour in the curry sauce. Add the noodles to the pot and stir to separate the noodles. Cover the pan and allow the noodle to cook for a couple minutes and absorb the liquid. Add the veggies and tofu back into the pan and stir to combine. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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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.  DSCN7762.jpg

My backyard is also blooming! Our tulips opened up to welcome the sun 🙂

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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! This 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 🙂

Sesame Soba Noodles

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ 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. 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 400˚F. 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  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. 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 400˚F until soft (about 40 minutes) or microwave for about 7 minutes. Allow to cool, then scoop out the insides.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F 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. 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 350˚F. Add the mushrooms and spinach, along with the soy sauce and hoisin sauce and stir to incorporate the flavors.

In a separate bowl, beat 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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