Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

Ridiculously Easy (and Awesome) Broccoli Stir Fry

Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

As anyone who has had the “luck” to be around me recently could tell you, I’m about to go on vacation! To Europe. I’m pumped. I haven’t been out of the country for three years (except Mexico, which hardly counts) so the anticipation is killing me. Know what else is killing me? My finances. Iceland and the UK are not exactly cheap, especially since I’ll want to live it up while I’m traveling, so I’ve been trying really hard not to burn through my money at restaurants and bars as usual. For some people this might not be much of a feat, but for me it’s extremely difficult, since those two types of establishments represent the cornerstone of my social life. Sigh.

So that leaves me to do a lot of cooking at home, which I also love of course, but groceries can really add up as well. In the past couple weeks I’ve really been focusing on simple, healthy meals at home. It’s kind of a fun challenge; how can I make not-really-boring dinners for my boyfriend Rob and I while still staying on, if not under, my travel savings budget? (At least I try to tell myself it’s “fun.” Once again… sigh.) Anyway, this is beginning to sound like the intro to Rachael Ray’s $40 a Day or something, so let’s just get to the point.

One solution I’ve been really into lately is the stir fry. Cheap and healthy, this meal has become a mainstay in our household, and I’ve practically perfected my recipe. It’s easy, quick, and tastes absolutely awesome. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these ingredients, just (a) check out your local Asian market, and if you don’t have a local Asian market, (b) check out the ethnic and/or health food section of your grocery store.

Ridiculously Easy Broccoli Stir Fry

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Pizza Without Borders

Cuba Pizza

At Endless Simmer we are not afraid to cross difficult international borders to answer burning questions like: how do they eat pizza in Cuba??! Yep, you can just call us the Edward Snowden of cheese.

The first time we saw signs for pizza in Havana, we thought: yeah, right, we’re not gonna eat Italian while in Cuba. But then we saw it again and again, and realized this makeshift style of pizza is actually the primary street food here. Tiring of the ubiquitous ham sandwich lunch options, we decided to give Cuban street food pizza a chance.

Cuba Pizza 1

These simple pizza-style oven are set up on street corners across the country. The ‘za (tomato sauce and cheap cheese layered on a supremely puffy dough) is baked quickly in individual pans…

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Meaty–Yet Meatless–Spicy Lettuce Wraps

Meatless Lettuce Wraps

Between Cinco de Mayo two weeks ago and an especially booze-soaked girls’ getaway last weekend, my body is pissed. I’ve been stuffing myself with melted cheese, guacamole, and tequila for two straight weeks now and I’m not feeling my finest, on the inside or outside.

SO! What does this mean? Back to basics. Making a conscious effort to cook at home, using healthy ingredients. I’m trying to cut back on the meat and carbs for the next couple weeks, so it’s up to me to make eating tons of fresh vegetables interesting. The other night I cooked Asian lettuce wraps for boyfriend Rob (an ultra-carnivore) and our roommate Dayna (a vegetarian) and… the impossible was achieved! Everyone loved this dinner. Probably because it’s flavorful and meaty, yet meat-free and light.

The secret is my new fave vegetable protein, made by Gardein. Normally I don’t like packaged frozen foods, but I’ll make an exception for quick, healthy options like Amy’s, Kashi and certain Trader Joe’s entrees… and now I can add Gardein to the list. Luckily, their meatless meats are made from all-natural vegetable proteins (soy, wheat, and pea proteins plus vegetables and complex grains) so I don’t feel guilty about splurging on a little frozen shortcut. Apparently nobody else in my house minds either!

Meatless Spicy Lettuce Wraps

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Endless Sandwiches: Spicy Chicken Avocado Pretzel Panini


Sometimes you need dinner in 20 minutes. This is what I turn to. Sacrifice time, not flavor.


Spicy Chicken Avocado Pretzel Panini

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Honey Poblano Chicken Tacos

These tacos are something crazy delicious. Shredded chicken, sweet and malty buckwheat honey, spicy roasted poblano peppers and melty gouda cheese, all shoved into a crispy, freshly fried corn tortilla. These were so tasty I ate them for dinner. Then I woke up and made a few more for breakfast. And I’m still thinking about them.

I gave time-saving alternative ingredients if you’re strapped for time, but I must insist that you fry your own tortillas. Do not buy the hard shell tacos and use those; they are light years away from the awesomeness of a freshly fried corn tortilla. Let’s get down to business:

Honey Poblano Chicken Tacos

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From App to Snack: Jalapeno Popper Popcorn

Fried foods aren’t really my bag.  They smell, look and sound good..but they leave me feeling kinda crappy.  Am I alone in this?

Well, I decided to remake an often-craved fried food in a slightly-better-for-you snack. Yep—I put the flavors of a jalapeno popper in my popcorn.

It happened and boy, am I glad it did.

Also, this popcorn has bacon.  Do you need any more convincing to make this?  I think not.

Jalapeno Popper Popcorn

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Smoky Southwestern Steak & Sweet Potato Chili

It’s always a bit difficult for me to surrender to the changing of the seasons this time of year; summertime is my favorite and I’m always reluctant to bid it farewell. Plus, here in Texas it’s still in the 80s most days, and I feel like I should be hitting the swimming hole rather than cozying up to the fireplace in a chunky sweater. The silver lining to my autumn blues is that I love, love, love fall flavors. I can mix pumpkin or sweet potato into practically any dish and call it an improvement.

On one of the rare gloomy, rainy days we’ve had so far this year, my roommate Dayna and I decided it was chili time. I detest canned chili (obviously) and even homemade, traditional ground beef chili gets slightly boring. My favorite chili recipe is one I created incorporating all of my favorite fall tastes. It’s hearty and comforting, yet very healthy and simple to make. It incorporates a smoky southwestern flair, thanks to the addition of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It uses steak instead of ground beef, black beans and corn instead of kidney beans, pumpkin to add richness and bulk… basically, this is not your average chili and that’s why I like it.

Smoky Southwestern Steak & Sweet Potato Chili

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