Spaghetti Squash Chicken Carbonara

photo

Somehow, the Sicilian fiance and I have found ways to replace pasta with grains and vegetables–mainly spaghetti squash. Sometimes the recipes turn out great, other times the become a bit of a sloppy mess. When I tried chicken carbonara with spaghetti squash, it turned out delicious, almost as if you could not taste a difference. They key is to use it in dishes where spaghetti is not the main emphasis of the dish. Here, the spaghetti squash absorbed the flavor of the Carbonara and provided a bit of a crunch to contrast the texture of the chicken and peas.

The key to a good chicken carbonara is the sauce. If the sauce is creamy, full of garlic, and extra cheesy, you really can’t go wrong with the rest of it. OH, and some tasty pancetta mixed together with peas, chicken, and the spaghetti squash. This is also a carbonara recipe that requires no cream, so it is healthy of course. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the oven–roasted is the best way to do it. While it’s roasting, the rest of the mixture is given time to cook and simmer. Then, all you have to do is mix the spaghetti squash in with the combination, let it simmer, and enjoy!

“Faux-ghetti” Chicken Carbonara

Read More

Nutty Jalapeño Chicken Stuffed Peppers

valls_spg_0004

Ya”ll know we love to cook with some peanut butter here at the simmer, so I got pretty excited when I saw that the Southern Peanut Growers conducted its first “PB My Way” regional recipe contest, calling for the craziest, funnest, must surprising peanut butter recipes from around the country.

This winning recipe, submitted by Lori McLain of Denton, Texas, is the kind of idea what makes online casino australia people who hate PB say “WHY would you do that?” and people who love it shout GENIUS.

Sign me up for the latter category.

Nutty Jalapeño Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Read More

Food Porn Champion

fried chicken

 

I never really understood the fried chicken and waffles thing. Yes, they’re both delicious, but why on a plate together? Then I saw this monstrosity/brilliance. FC and W…on a sandwich. YES. See now that just works.

Recipe: The Candid Appetite

(Points if you can guess how they incorporated bacon in here.)

CSA box rainbow carrots

CSA Cooking: Sweet Potato Rainbow Hash

Rainbow Breakfast Hash

Big news! We finally made the leap into signing up for our own CSA box! This is something my bf Rob has wanted to do for awhile, and the rest of the roommates and I quickly got on board.

The natural choice was Johnson’s Backyard Garden, an Austin favorite. If you’re not familiar with CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), here’s an explanation from JBG:

Community Supported Agriculture is much different than going to the local grocery and buying your vegetables. It is a direct partnership between you the consumer, and our farm. CSA members pay in advance for a share of the upcoming harvest and are ensured access to truly nourishing food, food that is grown locally, organically and is delivered when most nutritious and fresh. What’s more, the shareholder cultivates a relationship with their farmer, the land, and with other shareholders. CSA is an opportunity to use your money to support valuable causes: responsible land stewardship, a vibrant local food economy, a healthy community, and the success of local farmers.

Can’t argue with that. Especially considering the amount of vegetables I eat on a weekly basis. We’re getting a medium box every two weeks, plus a half-dozen farm fresh eggs. Our first box, which was delivered last Tuesday, held delights such as sweet potatoes, rainbow carrots (absolutely gorgeous!), kale, spinach, parsley, and even daikon. The fun thing about getting a CSA box is it’s kind of like being on Chopped, except for instead of crazy ingredients it’s a bunch of super fresh, organic produce. You still have to figure out ways to cook it at its peak before it starts going bad, though!

CSA box rainbow carrots

Last Saturday morning I wanted to use up some of our beautiful vegetables and, obviously, try out some of those eggs in our morning meal. I decided to go the hash route. I’ve never put carrots in a hash before, but their crisp sweetness was great with the sweet potatoes. I added some leftover chopped organic chicken breast to bulk up the protein, plus some leftover red  and green onion (not from JBG, but duh, gotta have some onion). The result? A gorgeous rainbow of colors, flavors, and texture. Adding a runny-yolked egg was really just gilding the lily.

Sweet Potato + Carrot Rainbow Hash

Read More
Indian Curry Recipe

Spicing up 2014 with Chicken Curry

Indian Curry Recipe

Made a New Year’s resolution to diversify your culinary efforts? Try cooking a curry! I’m not gonna claim that my Indian cooking is the most authentic in the world—I’m not grinding my own whole spices here—but it’s tasty and pretty easy to make. If you don’t have the spices I listed, check out the bulk spice bins at your local Whole Foods or other healthy market. Buying just a few teaspoons in bulk is waaaay cheaper than spending like $12 on a whole container if you don’t think you’re going to be using it frequently.

I’ll also take a moment to give a shoutout to my peeps at Stonefire. In my opinion the Indian food experience isn’t complete without some delicious naan to sop up all the sauce, and the Stonefire brand makes some of the best store-bought versions I’ve tried. They reached out and asked me to whip up some recipes to pair with their products, so here’s a fairly simple curry to get you started. If you want to make this one vegetarian, never fear, just don’t include the chicken.

Spicy Indian Chicken Curry

Read More
Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry

Waaaay Better Than Takeout: Sweet and Spicy Coconut Oil Stir Fry

Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry

I’ve written about my love for coconut oil before, especially for stir fries. Not only does it smell ridiculously amazing while you’re cooking with it, but it’s one of the only oils that’s truly stable enough to handle high-heat cooking (aka… stir fries, what up!) and its fats are more easily metabolized in the body, so it’s great for your heart! So let’s get cracking on this sooooo-much-better-than-takeout meal, shall we?

Tonight I got home from work and I was not. feelin’. it. I had a long weekend of partying at a music festival (I know, poor me) and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I was fantasizing about some takeout, or at the very least a trip to the nearest Whole Foods salad bar. But my man Rob surprised me with a plethora of organic vegetables from his trip to the new Austin Trader Joe’s this afternoon, and if you know Trader Joe’s, you know that its produce doesn’t stay well for long. (Love you TJs, but it’s true!) The meal I whipped up for us was even better, and possibly quicker, than ordering from our nearest Chinese place. And it’s definitely healthier. All it took was a little bit of coconut oil, spices, and Chinese sauces (thick, sweet hoisin and oyster sauce, which doesn’t really taste like oysters but just adds a super salty depth of flavor).

Sweet & Spicy Coconut Oil Stir Fry

Read More

From Sardines to Sausages: Exploring Portuguese Cuisine

ES guest writer Faith brings us the food travel lowdown on the savory land that is Portugal.

From freshly caught grilled sardines and salted dried cod dishes to hearty smoked sausage stews and the famous piri-piri chicken, Portugal has some seriously flavorful food. Paprika, garlic, bay leaves, chili and olive oil are popular additions to many Portuguese dishes, and the resulting flavors will leave you coming back for more. These popular dishes make this a culinary destination that deserves to be better known.

1. Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Egg Custard Tarts

Pasteis de nata

The Pasteis de Nata is a creamy, flaky, egg custard tart, topped with sugar and cinnamon. The tart originated in Lisbon in the 18th century at a bakery in the Santa Maria de Belem parish, and the bakery itself has now become a popular tourist attraction, serving over 10,000 tarts a day. Lines are inevitable, but it’s well worth the wait to try this distinctive treat from its original source.

2. Pão – Bread

Traditionally, Portuguese meals were served on a slab of crusty bread to soak up all the juices and to provide a filling meal. Today, plates have replaced this method of serving food, but bread is still an integral part of most meals. Bread also varies widely from region to region, with each having its own speciality. Pão de Centeio is predominantly found in the North—this is a rye bread, which is dark and dense. The sweet Bolo de Ferradura loaf can be found in the Ribatejo region, combining unusual flavors such as star anise and lemon. It is often horseshoe-shaped and served at weddings to bring good luck. Pão com Chouriço is the Portuguese substitute for the American hotdog, but more delicious as it is made with Portuguese smoked sausage and fresh dough.

Read More
« Previous
Next »