West African Peanut Soup

west african peanut soup

While I’m on the “soups around the world” tour, I thought I would give this amazingly yummy soup recipe a try.  Cookie and Kate made this soup with a thick stew-like consistency, but I was really craving something a bit soupy-er. I made a few changes here and there and ended up with a perfectly savory, nutty, spicy soup. The hubby loved it- even though it had kale in it! I substituted the brown rice from the original recipe with farro because I bought one of those 10 minute farro bags from Trader Joe’s like a year ago and I needed to use it. I think I actually would prefer this soup with farro over the brown rice due to the texture.  This soup tastes great the next day when the flavors have had time to meld together. I cooked the farro separately from the soup however; you could just cook it in the soup and make it a one pot recipe -what whhhaaat! #swag. So get a little cray and make this soup.  Few ingredients, big flavors!

Cook time: 15 minutes                                                                   Makes: 2-3 servings

½ red onion, diced small
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale, 1 inch strips
1 medium fresh tomato, diced
2.5 cups vegetable stock
½ cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
Sriracha sauce to taste
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup peanuts (optional)
1/2 cup uncooked farro

2. Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, tomato paste and salt to taste to broth. Whisk until peanut butter melts into the soup

3. Add kale, farro and tomato to the soup and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the farro is completely cooked.

4. Serve the soup over farro and garnish with chopped peanuts

 

Thukpa- Nepalese Noodle Soup

thukpa nepalese noodle soup

If you live in SF then you know about the hot mess known as the Ramen Festival. My poor ramen-loving hubby and his buddies set off in the hopes that their long journey to Japantown would be rewarded with a delicious bowl of ramen. But none was to be had. Instead they were met with 3-4 hour waits on a long line for an $8 bowl of ramen. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that. So he left and played Settlers of Katan for 10 hours with this friends. To make him feel a bit better I decided to make a ramen-like soup for him. I even cracked an egg on his! I am not a fan of eggs so I left it out in my bowl. Thukpa is a Nepalese noodle soup with a delicious Indian spiced broth. It takes about 15 minutes to make and tastes even better the next day! After this meal my husband completely forgot about his ramen trouble.

P.S. Only 3 more days to enter my Indian Spice kit giveaway! Win the spices you need for this recipe! 

Cook time: 15 minutes                                                           Makes: 2-3 servings

75 g noodles
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ small green chili, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
½ cup cabbage, shredded into ½ inch strips
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small carrot, Julienne
½ tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or scallions (optional)

1. Bring a large lot of water to boil. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain the noodles and set aside.

2. While the noodles cook,  heat the oil on medium-high in a medium saucepan. Add cumin seeds and stir. When they start to pop, add onions and cook 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add garlic,ginger and green chili paste, stirring 1 minute.

3. Add cabbage, tomato, and carrots to the saucepan with salt to taste, stirring for 1 minute. Add red chili powder,garam masala, and turmeric. Stir for an extra minute. This will cook the spices and allow them to release their flavors.

4. Add vegetable stock to the saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup on top of a bowl of noodles and garnish with chopped cilantro or scallion. Enjoy!
thukpa nepalese noodle soup

Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip muffins

I love care packages. I’m usually on the receiving end of them, but this time I am sending one! One of my cousins is taking the Bar and I thought I’d send her some sweets to munch on while she studies!  Muffins ship really well and stay moist for a long time which is why I included them in my package. This recipe makes the perfect amount of muffins for a week, plus a “test” muffin to try right out of the oven! The coffee in the muffin really makes the chocolate flavor stand out, but it isn’t too rich. Whether it’s for a care package or breakfast for yourself, you won’t regret making them!

P.S Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Beginner Indian Spice Kit! Still open for a few more days! 

Cook time: 30 minutes                                                             Makes: 8 muffins

¼ cup softened butter
2.5 tbsp.  brown sugar
2.5 tbsp.  granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
2.5 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. instant coffee
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup mini chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup slivered almonds (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven at 400 F.

2. Cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together on low speed for 2 minutes.

3. Add the egg, vanilla, sour cream, milk, and instant coffee to the butter mixture. Mix on medium low speed for 1 minute.

4. In a separate bowl mix together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, all-purpose flour and chocolate chips.

5. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix on low for 30 seconds so that the batter just comes together. Don’t over mix the dough otherwise you’ll get a tough, dense muffin.

6. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the batter into 8 cupcake liners or greased cupcake pan. Bake for 18 minutes and cool on a rack. Refrigerate well up to 1 week. Enjoy!

chocolate chip muffins

Aloo Gobi Matar & Spice Kit Giveaway!

aloo gobi matatr

The first meal I ever cooked on my own was aloo gobi matar. I saw it on Bend it Like Beckham DVD as a special extra and decided to give it a try while my mom wasn’t home. Imagine my mom’s face when she came home to a fully cooked meal made by her 15-year-old. This cauliflower, potato, and pea curry is the perfect place to start if you’re trying to learn how to cook Indian food. It’s very simple and doesn’t require any crazy spices. You can enter to win a beginner spice kit for Indian food including 3 simple recipes to start you on your way! Enter Below!

Cook time: 20 minutes                                   Makes: 2-3 servings

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 small Russet potatoes, diced
1 cups cauliflower (4 ounces), chopped
¼ cup peas
½ red onion
¼ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 package naan

aloo gobi matar recipe
1. Peel and dice potato and onion. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Mince the garlic and ginger together into a fine paste.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium-high. Add cumin seeds and stir. When they start to pop, add onions and cook 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic-ginger paste, stirring 1 minute.

3. Add turmeric, coriander, cumin and a pinch of salt to taste. Mix 30 seconds over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir another 30 seconds.

4. Add potato, peas and cauliflower and stir to coat in spice mixture. Add 2 tbsp of water, cover and cook on low heat 10 to 15 minutes (or until potatoes are tender) stirring every 5 minutes.

5. While the vegetables cook, heat the naan in a toaster oven 2 minutes, or until warm. Enjoy with aloo gobi!

Enter Below to win a Beginner set of Indian spices! Giveaway ends midnight 7/28/2014.  (Open to residents of the 48 contiguous states only)

giveaway

Breakfast Quinoa

breakfast quinoa

Recently I promised my husband I would workout 5 days a week for a Le Creuset set. #noregrets It was the best agreement I ever shook on. I’m in love with my precious.

photo 2 (2)photo 1 (4)

The lid is a cast iron skillet! Whhhaaa! Yep two products in one! How can you not love that? :-D

Well, all this working out has me tuckered out and I’m not recovering very well from each work out. I need me some protein. As a vegetarian, I typically get my protein from tofu, protein bars or quinoa. I’ve been seeing these yummy looking recipes for breakfast quinoa all over Pinterest and decided to give it a shot. It’s like an upgraded bowl of boring old oatmeal. Feel free to decrease or increase the amount of honey and brown sugar you use so it suits your taste, I personally like everything sweet….which is why working out is a struggle for me.

Cook time: 25 minutes                                                                      Makes: 2 servings

¼ cup uncooked quinoa
¼ rolled oats
1 cup milk (you can use nut milks or coconut milk instead)
½ cup water
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg (optional)
½ tbsp. honey
½ tbsp. brown sugar
Berries for topping
2 tbsp. of chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1. Bring milk and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa and oats and stir. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, and brown sugar. Cover and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the quinoa is fully cooked. Serve topped with the berries and nuts of your choice and enjoy!

breakfast quinoa

One Pot Pasta

one pot pasta

At a very young age I learned the importance of limiting the amount of kitchen utensils and equipment used in making a meal. Mostly because it was my job to wash the dishes as my mother liked to use our dishwasher as a storage shelf. Turns out most Indian parents believe the dishwasher is an expensive kitchen rack/shelf. #immigrantparentproblems Hand washing a sink full of dishes could take me at least 30 minutes when I was a kid. That’s why this one pot pasta is my new favorite recipe. I found it on Martha Stewart’s website and had to try it! I got the cherry tomatoes from the farmers market and they were delicious, almost as good as a Jersey tomato ;-). Give this recipe a shot and I promise it’ll be your go to recipe for something fresh and quick.

Cook time : 15 minutes                                                         Makes: 6 servings

12 oz spaghetti
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of basil
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4.5 cups water

one pot pasta
1. In wide straight-sided skillet, add the spaghetti, tomatoes, onion, pepper flakes, garlic, basil and olive oil. Bring this to a boil. Stir pasta every few minutes until water is almost evaporated and pasta is cooked. This took me about 10 minutes.

2. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away. Enjoy!

e po

IMG_9064

Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats

cake batter rice krispie treats

My husband has an unhealthy obsession with all food that taste like cake batter. If we go to an ice cream shop I can guarantee one of us will be eating cake batter ice cream. The other day I made some awesome chocolate, peanut butter and ginger (trust me it works) rice krispie treats. He was not a fan since he doesn’t like chocolate. I promised him a batch of cake batter ones and today I delivered. The trick for perfect chewy rice krispie treats is to cook everything on low heat, work quickly and use NEW marshmallows I messed up and used to stale ones before and they turned out hard as rocks. I swear you could have chipped a tooth on them. I ended up shoving them in the blender and then using them as a topping for ice cream or yogurt. This recipe is, in my opinion, make the perfect rice krispie treat.

Cook time: 10 minutes                                                              Makes: one 9×9 pan

1 ½ tbsp. butter
5 oz. fresh new marshmallows (1/2 a bag)
½ scant cup of boxed funfetti cake mix
3 cups rice cereal
2 tbsp. sprinkles

rice krispie treats

1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and mix. I like to spray vegetable oil onto my spoon before I start mixing to keep all the marshmallow from stick to it. Make sure to keep this on low heat!

2. Once the marshmallows are melted, add the cake mix and stir to cook the flour. Turn off the stove and add the rice cereal along with 1 tbsp. of the sprinkles. Stir to combine.

3. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan and use the bottom on a cup (greased) to flatten the rice krispies. Don’t press to hard or it’ll be hard as a rock. Sprinkle the rest of the sprinkles on top and press down with your hands gently. Let this cool for 10 minutes and cut into squares. They will stay chewy for up to 4 days in an air tight container.

 

cake batter rice krispie treats