Posts Tagged ‘weeknight’

Asian Inspiration: Savory Oats with Longganisa & Hoisin Sauce

asian-inspired savory oats

If you’ve only ever had your oats with apples and cinnamon, you are missing out on a whole world of flavor. These savory oats with sweet chicken sausage and hoisin sauce are my time-saving riff on congee (rice porridge). Congee is usually made by boiling rice for several hours, until the rice becomes extra soft. Using quick-cooking oats and a microwave really speeds up the process; you can increase or decrease the amount of water to create exactly the consistency you want. I’m not a big fan of watery oats, 

This recipe calls for one of my favorite Filipino foods: longganisa, sausage cured in a sweet mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices. Longganisa is usually enjoyed as a breakfast food (though it is equally delicious at all times of day) with rice and chopped tomatoes, but I love it in this recipe too.

If you don’t have a Filipino grocer nearby and are unable to find longganisa, you can use a Mexican or Puerto Rican variety (“longaniza”) instead. The flavor will be similar, though it will be missing the signature sweetness of Filipino longganisa. Keep reading for the recipe! Read more…

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Small Girl, Big Appetite: How to Eat Out and Stay Healthy | Bok Choy Salad Recipe Inside!

Make healthy meals like this bok choy salad a major part of your regular routine

I was recently at dinner with some girlfriends, and one of them was teasing me about my impossible appetite. I wasn’t offended at all. In fact, it’s a badge I wear with pride. To quote my friend, I will absolutely “eat you under the table.” Food truck festivals, family-style Italian, dim sum Sundays — I do it all.

Food can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, especially when shared with good company. Many diet gurus and experts will tell you that when you go out with friends, you should choose light options. “Get a salad with dressing on the side,” they’ll say, “or a nice piece of grilled fish.” That may work for some people, but from my perspective…  that kind of sucks.

Why drag yourself to a restaurant to order a $14 salad that you could probably make better (and healthier!) at home, while your friends and family relish more delectable fare? Spare yourself the torture; treat yourself! But do so with a few key things in mind. Read more…

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Tonight’s Dinner: Sweet Potato Skillet with Chicken & Herbs

Sweet potato skillet with chicken & herbs

For the first time in weeks, I turned my stove on to do something other than boil water for tea. I made a meal that was not a salad or other incarnation of chopped, raw veggies. Granted, my non-salad was an incredibly simple one-pot meal that took just 30 minutes from start to finish, but I’m still proud of myself. I shook of my summer-chef laziness and actually cooked.

For dinner tonight, I made this sweet potato skillet. The dish is a nutritional rock star. For just over 300 calories, you get 378% of your daily dose of vitamin A and 141% of vitamin C. It’s low in fat and cholesterol, and loaded with fiber and protein. And guess what? It tastes phenomenal too.

This recipe is seasoned with bold, warm spices — cumin and rosemary. Not your favorite herbs? Swap them for oregano and basil, or ginger and chives. Vegetarian? Leave out the chicken and add black beans or soy crumbles instead. Quick, versatile, and super satisfying.

Keep reading to see how I put my version of this sweet potato skillet together. Read more…

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Cheap, Easy, Good: Spicy Italian Sausage Soup

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While I always feel extra-virtuous when I’m eating a big bowl of vegetables, health-consciousness is NOT the main reason why I avoid cooking meat. The real reason I don’t cook meat more often? Unless it’s a Sunday afternoon and I have tons of time to kill, I am the world’s laziest cook. I worked all day long! The last thing I want to do when I get home is fool with some thick cut of meat. No one has time for that. I mean, really. I’ll just make a salad.

For a long time, my favorite cashier at the grocery store thought I was a vegetarian. “Nope!” I said, when he asked. “I just like vegetables a lot.” Occasionally though, I (or someone who loves me) throw a few bites of meat into my cart. Then, things like this spicy Italian sausage soup happen.

It’s super easy, super simple, and super quick. It took me just 40 minutes to make from start to finish, vegetable prep and all. And it’s just delicious to eat — probably one of my favorite soups I’ve ever made. The spice from the Italian sausage flavors the whole dish throughout. Something about that extra bit of fat makes it feel like a real treat. There’s also a little twist that makes the soup extra delicious: Greek yogurt! Stir it in at the very end to add just a little creaminess and tang. Read the full recipe after the jump! Read more…

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Coconut Couscous with Cilantro and Lime

Coconut couscous, nutty and bright

As I mentioned in my post a few weeks ago, I recently rediscovered the wonders of couscous. I became a little obsessed with it actually — I researched all kinds of varieties to see what new things I could play with. I fixated on tri-color pearl (aka Israeli) couscous. It just looks so beautiful on a plate! It’s like the couscous is its own adornment. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t seem to have any Israeli couscous in my local grocery store. I suppose I could have gotten it at another shop, but frankly, I am too cheap and lazy to shop anyplace else. I took it as a sign and tried to put the couscous out of my mind.

But one day, several weeks after the onset of my obsession, it revealed itself to me: tri-color pearl couscous in my regular grocery store, for under 3.50 a pound. I combined some of my favorite flavors — coconut, cilantro, and citrus — to celebrate my find.

This coconut couscous is lightly nutty and bright, fragrant with cilantro, garlic, and lime. To keep the calories and fat low, I used an unsweetened blend of almond milk and coconut milk instead of pure coconut milk. It works beautifully in this dish. If you can’t find coconut-almond milk, feel free to use a blend of coconut milk and water instead.

The coconut couscous is a great side for just about anything. Try pairing it with marinated grilled flank steak, garlic shrimp, or skewered chicken and vegetables. Read more…

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