Veggie Pot Stickers Over Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Chickpeas

veg potsickers with brussel sprouts and chickpeasConfession #1: I did not make the pot stickers pictured above. I bought them frozen from the grocery store. Is that cheating? Maybe. But maybe not. I did come up with the idea to serve them over shaved brussel sprouts (which I am clearly obsessed with) and chickpeas that were sauteed with coconut oil and nutmeg. And I did come up with the idea to dip them in soy sauce spiked with Siracha. So it’s not really cheating. I could have made them myself and then blogged about how to do it. But wouldn’t you rather just hear about how to spice up a quick week night meal with half the work already done? I think so.

Confession #2: I often lie about my love for Siracha. I feel like Siracha has a cult following. People’s eyes light up when they talk ab it and they tend to bond with other Siracha die hards. I mean, I like Siracha and all. But it’s not my fav, even though I totally pretend like it is when I’m around a Siracha cult member just so I can fit in and sound cool. Well. Last night I felt like I finally understood. See, I’ve always eaten Siracha on it’s own. Well, not, like, spoonfuls of Siracha solo. But, like drizzled on something as the only condiment. However, when I added a whopping squirt of it to my soy sauce last night, I asked myself (out loud), “How have I lived 30 years of my life and never done this before?” It was amazeballs.

Confession #3: Yesterday morning I got up to go to a 6 am Pilates class at my gym. I woke up a few minutes late, so as per usual, I was rushing out the door to get to class on time. Side note: I HATE being late for classes at the gym. I will skip an entire hour long class even if I’m only five minutes late just so I don’t have to be the girl who walks in late, interrupts the warm up, and sets up while everyone else is already working out. I am late for everything else in my life, but when it comes to gym classes, I just can’t do it. Anyway, I got out to my car to a layer of ice SO thick that even my ice scraper couldn’t break through. I sat there and tried to let the car warm up for a few minutes. At this point, there were about 8 minutes until the class started. It takes me 10 minutes to get to my gym. And the ice was just not melting fast enough. So I turned the car off, went back inside, took off my gym clothes, put my pjs back on and went back to sleep for an hour and a half! This story has nothing to do with pot stickers or Siracha. But it’s just so ridiculous that I had to share it. And I felt like I needed a 3rd confession… for balance sake. But seriously. Who wakes up at the butt crack of dawn, gets all the way to the car, and then goes back inside when they realize they might have to walk into class 4 minutes late? That is social anxiety at it’s finest, ladies and gents.

And… these are my confessions. (I hope Usher is in your head now.)

Anyway, go to the Giant and buy some frozen pot stickers. And go to a random grocery store or specialty store and buy some Siracha. You won’t regret it.

VEGGIE POT STICKERS OVER BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND CHICKPEAS

veg potsickers with brussel sprouts and chickpeas2 veg potsickers with brussel sprouts and chickpeas3

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 frozen vegetable pot stickers (I used Giant brand)
  • 5-6 brussel sprouts, shaved thin on a mandolin
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of chickpeas
  • Roughly 1 tbsp of nutmeg
  • 1-2 tbsps of coconut oil (or whatever oil you like to cook with)
  • Salt to taste
  • Soy sauce
  • Siracha

Directions:

Bring a small to medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the frozen pot stickers to the boiling water and stir a bit. The pot stickers should be able to float freely in the pot. Return water to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat up the coconut oil. Add the brussel sprouts and saute for a few minutes, until they start to become a bit wilted. Add nutmeg and salt to taste. Add the chickpeas. Stir all together in the pan and cook for a few more minutes. I like for some of my brussel sprout shavings to be browned and for the rest to be all soft and wilted.

In a small dish, combine soy sauce and Siracha to taste.

Place the brussel sprout and chickpea mixture in a dish. Put the pot stickers on top. And serve with the soy sauce/Siracha on the side for dipping.

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Brussel Sprout and Artichoke Mac ‘N Cheese

brussel sprout mac n cheese 2Maybe it’s because it rained yesterday. Or maybe it’s because I over indulged this weekend and am still feeling guilty ab it. Or perhaps it’s the fact that my apartment isn’t as pristine as I like to keep it and I haven’t had time to do anything about it. Or could it be that the weather keeps teasing us? Whatever it is,  I’ve got a serious case of the winter blues.

I’m craving farmer’s markets, bright greens, light and refreshing dishes, open windows, a good run outside, longer days and plenty of sunshine. Oh and a tan. Thank heavens it’s almost March, when spray tanning starts to become socially acceptable again.

In the meantime, here’s some comfort food to push you through these last days of winter.

I made a healthier version of mac and cheese the other night by using whole wheat pasta, Greek yogurt, skim milk, fresh mozzarella, brussel sprouts, artichokes and Smart Balance butter. It was pretty time consuming and at points along the way I wondered if I had really messed things up (see note below) but it came out tasting delicious. I’m having a small portion of it for lunch today, accompanied by a colorful salad.

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND ARTICHOKE MAC ‘N CHEESEbrussel sprout mac n cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 of a box of whole wheat rigatoni (or whatever short pasta you fancy)
  • 2 cups of brussel sprouts, stems removed, cut in half length wise
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered, drained
  • 1/4 of a white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup of low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 4 oz of fresh mozzarella, drained and cut into small chunks
  • 3-4 cups of a variety of shredded cheeses (I used some store-shredded mozzarella, some parmesan reggiano, and fontina)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (I used Smart Balance)
  • 1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the brussel sprouts and olive oil in a bowl with a bit of salt and pepper. Lay the brussel sprouts in a single layer on a sil-pat lined baking dish. Roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are soft and starting to brown on the edges. Keep oven on after removing.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot that you used to cook the pasta, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the milk, Greek yogurt, pasta, brussels sprouts, artichokes, fresh mozzarella, and most of your other cheeses. (Reserve some of your shredded cheese for the next step.) Stir to combine. (See note below)

Transfer all to a greased, 9×13 baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheeses (I used mostly parmesan reggiano for this step) and panko bread crumbs.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 375, or until all cheeses are melted and bubbling, most liquid is absorbed, and the top is browning a bit.

Note: When I added all of my ingredients to the pot, they did not mix well. It seemed very liquidy and my cheese was super gooey… and not in a good way. I thought the dish was ruined and that I had just wasted a ton of food. But I kept going anyway. And once it was all baked, it was fine. It really came out quite delicious! So don’t be fooled by rubbery, gooey cheese and ingredients that aren’t combining well in the pot. If making this again, I would replace the store-shredded mozzarella with cheddar. And I might not even use the fresh mozzarella. I just find that mozzarella never melts quite the way I want it to in dishes like this. So experiment with your cheeses. And to save time, you could roast your brussel sprouts and cook your pasta the day before. 

Mixed vegetable hash with fried eggs

ImageYou guys, this recipe was so good that I wanted to blog about it right away. But I was too lazy to get off the couch last night to go get my lap top, which doesn’t even have wifi… because I’m too lazy to go buy a router. I debated typing it from my phone. But I was too lazy for that too. I can send text messages equivalent to the length of a novella, but if I have to type a long email or a blog post from my phone… forget it.

First thing this morning is good enough, right? Even though it’s not really first thing…

So, now that I’m at a desktop computer with full internet access and an ergonomic keyboard, I can share the details of this delicious meal I made last night! I had seen a similar recipe on pinterest, which is where I got the inspiration. However, I never clicked on the actual link to look up the recipe. Only the picture. So really, I made this up. I love when I get to say that I made up a recipe all on my own! It makes me feel super Top Chef.

As most random recipes start for me, I had some veggies in the fridge that were on their last leg. And since Baltimore is posting these crazy weird billboards about eating your food before it goes bad (has anyone seen those? I just unsuccessfully tried googling one just now to include a link but I can’t remember exactly what they said or what the ad was actually for), I figured I should use them up. You could probably use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, but I’d say the keys were the brussel sprouts and the potatoes. So start there and then add on. But don’t forget the spices and the fried eggs! So yum!

MIXED VEGETABLE HASH WITH FRIED EGGS

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Ingredients:

  • 1 half of a large russet potato, thinly sliced into round discs
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups of shaved brussel sprouts
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 of a zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 of a large shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup of little zima tomatoes, sliced in half (these are small, like cherry tomatoes, but are orange and pretty sweet)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • about a tsp of cumin, maybe a little more
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of Mexican oregano leaves (you can use regular if you don’t have these, or omit them)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp of butter
  • salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

Directions,

Mix the potatoes and a tsp of olive oil in a large mixing bowl with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir well to coat.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the potato slices in a single layer in the pan. Let them cook for a few minutes until they start to brown.

In the meantime, put the brussel sprouts, peppers, zucchini, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, oregano, salt and pepper in the mixing bowl. Add a bit more olive oil. Stir well to coat.

Flip the potatoes again and let them brown a bit on the other side. Add the veggie mixture to the pan and saute for several minutes, mixing everything together, including the potatoes. Feel free to add more spices as you are cooking.

Once your vegetables seem pretty well cooked (they are soft and browning a bit on the edges), make two little openings in the pan for where you will drop your eggs. Add a bit of butter to each opening. Crack the eggs and pour each into one of the openings. Let them fry for a few minutes, until the whites are white and pretty solid. I like my eggs kind of runny, so I like to leave the yolk runny. You can flip the eggs if you want to cook them through a little bit more. While the eggs are cooking, you may need to move the vegetables around a bit on the edges so they don’t burn to the pan.

Top with a bit of crushed red pepper and serve!

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BRUSSEL SPROUT CROSTINI

brussel sprout crostini filter 1
I have a case of the Mondays. Which probably is not the best time to write a blog post. So, please forgive me if this post is rather boring. I promise you that the recipes I am about to share are anything but.

Last week I had my friends Jen and Jenn over for dinner. We were supposed to be a group of 7 girls, but as dinner parties and get togethers often go, you end up with less people and more food than you originally planned for. But don’t worry; the three of us pigged out as if there were 7 people there.

I made brussel sprout crostini and a whole wheat pasta with spinach, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, fresh basil and parsley. If you are going to make the brussel sprout crostini, I recommend waiting to make it until right before your guests are arriving. I made mine too early and it was kind of cold. Still good, but cold. And I completely forgot to add the garlic, which I had roasted the night before. Again, still good. But the garlic probs would have been better. I had a ton of leftover pasta which I ate cold (and preferred it cold) for lunch for the next few days. It was quite yummy! I am going to post about that separately though because I am out of time and I completely made up that recipe so I need a few to remember what I did. In the meantime…

BRUSSEL SPROUT CROSTINI

brussel sprout crostini 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 1/2 of a whole wheat baguette
  • a bit of olive oil
  • 3 heads of garlic, roasted and mashed (see instructions below)
  • 1 1/2 cups of brussel sprouts, shaved thin on a mandolin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a generous sprinkle of nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:

To roast the garlic, preheat oven to 375. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Lightly rub back and forth to remove paper and peel any excess paper off. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the garlic cloves and let soak for 10 minutes. Cover with foil and roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then squeeze from the bottom of the garlic head to remove carmelized cloves. Mash with a fork.

Pre-heat oven to 325. Slice your baguette into thin pieces. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.

Heat some olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium high heat. I used coconut oil here because it’s my new cooking oil of choice, but olive oil will work fine. Add the brussel sprouts, salt, pepper and nutmeg and saute for about 10 minutes, until your sprouts are wilted and a little golden. Add shaved parmesan cheese.

When the bread is done toasting, spread with a bit of mashed, roasted garlic (which I forgot to do). Top with brussel sprouts, another slice of parm cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: howsweeteats.com

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND POTATO PIZZA

brussel sprout and potato pizza 1Is is lunch time yet? I am starving this morning. And I’m pretty excited about the pizza I brought for lunch. I made it on Saturday night and have grand plans in about 8 minutes to go re-heat it in the toaster oven at my office.

If you’ve been reading my blog since its inception, you’ll know that I love a pizza with potatoes on it. I also happen to love shaved brussel sprouts. And this pizza has both. So, it’s pretty delicious. I won’t say too much more because all I wanna do is post this and then go eat it. I’m still working without a real pizza peel, which is why all of my pizzas are in the shape of flat breads. Is there a difference anyway?

BRUSSEL SPROUT AND POTATO PIZZA

brussel sprout and potato pizza 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ball of whole wheat pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4-5 large brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 of a russet potato
  • 1/4 (or less) of a red onion
  • grated parmesan riggiano cheese or fontina (I actually prefer fontina but I couldn’t find any in the store this weekend)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • lots of pepper
  • salt to taste
  • rosemary to taste (about a teaspoon)
  • flour (about 2 tablespoons worth. seminola flour is ideal, but if you don’t have it, you can just use regular flour)
  • Tools: a pizza peel (or wooden cutting board with a handle), pizza stone, mandolin, cheese grater (I finally bought a grater/zester at the mall this weekend! woohoo!)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Put the pizza stone in the oven and let it heat up on the top rack of the oven. Ideally, you should let it heat for an hour. I think I only allowed, like, 35-40 mins this time. I was hungry.

Using the mandolin, slice your potato and red onion  into very thin slices. Put in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, rosemary liberally and toss well, coating the potatoes. Set aside.

On a well floured surface, roll out your pizza dough. The dough should be stretched thin, but not too thin so that it won’t hold up with your ingredients on it. Flour the pizza peel well and stretch the dough across (not over the whole peel, just so that it’s as large as you want your pizza to be).

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the olive oil with the garlic. Using a brush or a spoon, spread the oil/garlic over the surface of the dough, leaving about a 1/4 inch border. Place the potatoes and onions on the dough in one, relatively even layer. Grate a bit of cheese over top.

Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone very carefully. It helps to pull the oven rack out a bit. It also takes a while to master this transfer, especially if you’ve already put your toppings on your pizza. Some people say you should bake the crust a bit first before you put the toppings on. But since I usually put potatoes on my pizza, I like to let them in the oven longer so they cook all the way through.

While the pizza and potatoes are baking, quickly (but carefully. you could lose a finger. I know from experience*) shave your brussel sprouts on the mandolin.  Put the shaved brussel sprouts in the bowl that the potatoes were in and add a slight coating of olive oil, salt, and pepper. There should be enough oil residue left in the bowl from the potatoes that you do not need to add more. But definitely add more salt and pepper. Even some crushed red pepper if you like.

Once the pizza has been in the oven for about ten minutes, pull it out (leave it on the stone, just pull the rack out of the oven) and top with the brussel sprouts and more grated cheese. I do not like a lot of cheese on my pizza, so just use however much you prefer.

But it back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes or so, until the dough is a bit brown and your potatoes are cooked through. Transfer pizza from the stone back to the peel. Let it cool a bit and then enjoy!

*Important tip: Always use the food holder/hand-guard whenever you use your mandolin. Seriously. I did not do this once and lost the tip of my pinky. It was traumatic. I am still physically and emotionally scarred.