Penne ala Vodka Recipe

Penne ala Vodka by Me

Ingredients:
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tblspn vodka
Half Pint of heavy cream
Jar of tomato sauce
5-6 slices bacon
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Box of penne

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Add olive oil & minced garlic in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir often. When oil is hot, add the vodka. Make sure the garlic isn’t turning brown. If it is, the heat is too high. Continue stirring. Cook this for about 5 minutes until the alcohol cooks off. I whaff the pan to see if I still smell the alcohol.

When the alcohol smell is gone, add your heavy cream. Continue to cook this down. Watch the cream because it will start bubbling up over the top of your pan. Keep stirring until it has reduce to about 1/2.

Once that is ready, pour your tomato sauce in with your cream mixture. Add all the dried herbs into the sauce & incorporate. Cover & let it cook on low heat.

Boil water & add salt to a pot to cook your penne. Cook your pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain pasta & rinse with cool water to stop it from continuing to cook.

In a frying pan, cook your bacon until they are nice & crispy. Use a paper towel to remove excess oil. Chopped it up into tiny pieces. Add half fiercely into the sauce pan & mix. 

I like to throw my pasta right into the sauce pot & mix it around. When I’m ready to serve, I like to sprinkle the remaining bacon on top to add an extra crunch.

I had leftover chicken so I added that on top for extra protein.

ENJOY!

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Easy, healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy, healthy Pancakes by Me

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In one bowl, mix the below ingredients:

1/4 cup oats
2 tablespoon sweet potato flour
1 ripe banana (mashed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon honey
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon hemp seed

In a second bowl, using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk:

2egg whites until soft peaks

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Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture. Leave some whites showing. This will make fluffier pancakes.

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Heat up a frying pan on medium heat, add coconut oil, add batter & cook like you would regular pancakes. When the tops start bubbling, then flip & cook for another minute.

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Topping is 2 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed in with 1 tablespoon of almond butter. Drizzle on top.

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ENJOY!

Sweet Corn & Tomato Pancake Recipe (Gluten-free)

I saw a bunch of tomatoes in the fridge, so I searched online for a tomato pancake recipe. Yep, you heard right, a tomato pancake recipe. I know it sounds weird, but it’s actually quite tasty. You get a little salty & a little sweet, so it’s the best of both worlds. No lie. This can be made totally gluten-free for those with allergies.
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Sweet Corn & Tomato Pancake adapted from The Pancake Princess

Ingredients:
¾ cup milk + 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
6 tablespoons sweet potato starch
6 tablespoons cornmeal (I had corn bread mix, which contains flour so don’t use this if you want gluten-free. Cornmeal should be fine.)
6 tablespoons oatmeal
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 medium tomato, sliced thinly width-wise
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Combine the milk & vinegar in a cup & set aside. You are essentially making your own buttermilk.

In a medium bowl, mix the sweet potato starch, cornmeal, oatmeal, baking powder & baking soda together.

Mix the oil & honey into the milk mixture. Pour the milk mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until combined, leaving some lumps. Fold in the corn.

Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes, undisturbed, until it thickens.
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Heat frying pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, grease pan with coconut oil. Drop 2 heaping tablespoon full of batter into the pan. I have a small pan, so making 2 at a time was ideal. Don’t overcrowd your pan.

Cook for 2 minutes until the edges start to Brown. Press a slice of tomato into the pancake & press down into the batter.

Pick up your pancake with a spatula, add more oil to the pan & then flip the pancake into the newly greased surface of the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
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Serve with a sprinkle of sugar. For a few of the pancakes, I cut a slice of Muenster Cheese diagonally into 4 pieces & let it melt on top of the tomato. The cheese makes it more savory, which I love.
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Enjoy!

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Mario Batali makes some great tasting food. I’ve followed this Cacio e Pepe recipe before & it was delicious. It incorporates 2 things I love, Cheese & Black Pepper. This time, I added 5 more ingredients to the recipe just because I wanted to. They are not necessary, but boy was the pasta mmmm mmmm good when it was done. This is my interpretation of Cacio e Pepe mixed in with everything else I love. Come on, who doesn’t love more cheese & BACON!!! Oh yeah, and all the mushrooms add a delightfully earthy taste to the pasta.

Cacio e Pepeadapted from Mario Batali

Ingredients:
1 pound spaghettii
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 bags of Enoki Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
1 box of Beech Mushroom (cut ends off & wash)
3 Slices Muenster Cheese
5 Slices of Bacon
2 Plum Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
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Boil a pot of water to cook your pasta. Follow instructions on the box to make al dente pasta. Reserve one cup pasta water. Drain the rest in a colander & rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Heat up a little olive oil into a large frying pan. On medium heat, add garlic & cook it down for a minute. Then add Enoki & beech mushrooms & sprinkle with sea salt to season. Cook until they are all soft.

Add the butter & pepper. Evenly mix until butter is melted.
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Add your pasta & mix. Then add your cheeses. The Muenster gets a little clumpy, so try to break them apart with your spoon. If the pasta is a little dry, you can add a little of the pasta water you had saved earlier.

In a separate frying pan, cook your bacon until they are cripsy. Drain all oils & blot excess on a paper towel. When it is cool to the touch, rough chop them.

Arrange plum tomatoes on top of pasta. Cover pan for 2 minutes to steam the tomatoes.

Finally, sprinkle bacon on top, and you are all set.

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ENJOY!

Paleo Beef Cabbage Roll Recipe

I will call this a (Con)fusion Beef Cabbage Roll. Why?

I basically combined a predominantly European dish (stuffed cabbage) with a Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage) & stuffed it with a Spanish/Portuguese filling (empanada filling).

Guess what? It was absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch. You will need to like cumin, otherwise you will have to substitute with another spice. Omit the cheese if you want this to be Paleo.

Paleo Beef Stuffed Cabbage Roll adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen & Dee Dee Pujols

Ingredients:
1.5 lb (24oz) Napa Cabbage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 lb (24oz) Ground Beef
1 tablespoon garlic salt (I used 1 tablespoon garlic powder plus 1 teaspoon sea salt instead)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices Muenster Cheese, cut each slice into 8 pieces (omit if Paleo)
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Boil a pot of water with enough space to immerse your entire cabbage head.

Core the cabbage with a knife to loosen all the leaves. Put entire head into boiling water. Boil for ~8-10 minutes (depending on how large your cabbage head is). When the cabbage is soft, drain in a colander & let cool.
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In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef & garlic salt.  Cook until the beef is cooked through. Drain the grease & put beef in a clean bowl.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, sea salt, garlic & black pepper. Mix everything together until thoroughly combined & cook for 5 minutes. Add the beef & combine with the sauce over low heat for 5 minutes. The mixture should be moist.
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Overlap 2 pieces of cabbage on a plate. Add 3 small pieces of cheese. Add 2 heaping spoonful of the beef. Roll the stem in towards the middle. Fold sides to the middle. Then, roll up to secure.
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And there you have it. This tasty bundle of goodness.
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Enjoy!

Thai Masaman Curry Recipe

I love Thai food, especially the curries. You will find lots of different curries on the market but one of my all-time favorite is the Maesri brand. This was recommended by my Thai friend, whom I trust. She knows Thai food & I know she won’t steer me wrong.

If you didn’t know by now, I follow instructions loosely. I improvise a great deal by using the ingredients I have on hand, so this recipe is also one of my random concoctions that turned out absolutely delicious, plus it’s healthy too, which is a thumbs up in my book.

It may be a bit spicy, but it’s also a little sweet. You shouldn’t buy this brand if you don’t like spice. Just a warning. 🙂

Thai Masaman Curry by ilovemunkie

Ingredients:
1 can Maesri Masaman curry – 4 oz x 2 cans1 can (14oz) Aroy-D Coconut Milk 1/2 large onion (sliced)
1/2 Napa Cabbage (wash & roughly chopped)
1 can Chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
1 cup baby Carrots (sliced)
1/2 lb Sugar Snap Peas (peel off ends)
8 pieces Chicken Thighs (wash & dry, remove skin & fat)
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Heat up a large frying pan with coconut oil. Season chicken with a little salt & pepper. Add chicken to pan. Brown each side for 5 minutes in low-medium heat until almost cooked through. Remove from pan. Drain oil into a glass bowl.
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In a separate large frying pan, add a little of the chicken oil into pan, then cook your onions until translucent. Add the carrots next & cook until nearly soft. Add sugar snap peas.
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In the pan you used for the chicken, in medium heat, add the Masaman curry paste & coconut milk. Mix until there are no lumps. Pour all the contents of the other pan into curry. Add cabbage & chick peas.
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Add the chicken & cover them with curry so it absorbs the flavors. Cook for another 10 minutes on low-medium heat with the lid on.
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Serve by itself or over rice. Better yet, serve on top of cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

Easy Paleo Sweet Potato Crepe Recipe

I woke up wanting crepes, so I made them. I found a quick & easy recipe online & decided not to follow it like usual.

Easy Paleo Sweet Potato Crepe by ilovemunkie

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sweet potato starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
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Mix all ingredients in a bowl or blender. I used this handy, dandy Bella Rocket Blender, which makes cleanup so easy.
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It’s very similar to the Magic Bullet, only it’s cheaper. Plus, our Magic Bullet broke.
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Add a teaspoon coconut oil to a 9″ frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 of your batter into your pan & swirl the pan to thin out your batter. Next time I’ll pour 1/8 of the batter for thinner crepes.

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges are browned & curling upwards slightly.
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Use a spatula to flip the crepe to cook the other side for another minute.
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Add some Hazelnut Spread & sliced mangoes on one side of the crepe, then roll it up.

Any filling would do. This was all I had in the house so I try to use everything I have on hand before buying more.

You can make these ahead of time & freeze them with parchment or wax paper between each crepe.
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I was able to make 4 crepes with this recipe. Perfect for 2 people or one hungry person.

Enjoy!

Semi-Paleo Banana Bread Recipe

So, I have to be honest. I’m really not a cook or a baker. I started baking only a few years ago because it’s actually really fun. I cooked here & there throughout the years, but didn’t avidly start cooking until a few years ago as well. I am by no means a professional. I’m learning as I go along. And I think the most important thing is that I try. I may fail at my attempts but it doesn’t deter me from trying.

I may not cook the best foods or bake the tastiest goodies, but I’m practicing my craft & I’ve definitely gotten better throughout the years. I do have to warn you all, when I cook/bake, I don’t always measure everything. I also improvise a lot, even though some people frown upon that when it comes to baking. I say, who cares. Experiment. That is the only way you’ll discover something new, something tastier, & figure out what works & what doesn’t work. Cooking & baking should be fun, although many find it to be a chore. I enjoy my time in the kitchen as long as everyone leaves me alone to the task at hand.

Semi-Paleo Banana Bread Recipeadapted from Peanut Butter Runner

It’s semi-Paleo because I added oatmeal & chocolate to it. I think it’s still healthy. 🙂

Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 very ripe medium to large bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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Prepare a round 8″ pan & line with foil. You can use a 9×5 load pan but I was too lazy to find mine.
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In a medium bowl, whisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flours & oatmeal.

In a separate small bowl, mix together coconut oil, eggs, bananas & vanilla until combined.
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Add wet ingredients to the dry & fold together with a spatula until combined. Do not overmix.

Fold chocolate chips into batter.
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Pour batter in prepared pan & bake for 25-30 minutes or until set in the center & a toothpick comes out clean.
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Let cool in pan for about 15-20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with some almond butter before serving.

ENJOY!

Beef & Tomato over Rice Recipe

If you are Asian, you’ll most likely have eaten Beef & Tomato over rice at least once in your life. This is a popular dish in Taiwanese culture. My mom makes a pretty good version, so I got this recipe from her. There’s only one problem…she never measures anything, making it hard for me to replicate anything she makes.

So, this is my interpretation of my mom’s home cooking.

Beef & Tomato over Rice – by Mom (feeds 2)

Ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 beef patty (or ground beef or beef slices)
1 tblspn ketchup
1 teaspn white vinegar
1 egg
Leftover rice (or cook 1/2 cup of rice)
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Dice your tomatoes. Heat up a frying pan with some oil. Add tomatoes & cook it down until they are almost soft.
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Add the ketchup & vinegar & mix too incorporate.
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Add the beef patty & break up the pieces. Cook meat thoroughly.
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Crack an egg in the center & mix into the tomato.
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Serve over rice. There’s always leftover rice in the fridge so I would just reheat it.
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This is a quick meal. The ingredients are simple & if you use brown rice instead, it’ll be a pretty healthy option.

ENJOY!

Asian Marinated Baked Chicken Recipe

This was a really fast & easy recipe to follow. I only marinated the chicken for 30 minutes (while I prepped the broccoli & mushroom) & it turned out very tasty.

Asian Marinated Baked Chicken Recipe adapted from Chow.com

Chicken Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (I omitted this)
6 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds chicken thighs (removed skin & fat)

Veggie Ingredients:
10oz white mushrooms
1 lb broccoli crowns
1 package Beech mushrooms
2 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
5 cloves finely chopped garlic

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
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Place everything except the chicken in a zip-lock bag & combine.
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Remove the skin & fat from the chicken. Wash & pat dry with paper towel.

Throw the chicken into the zip-lock bag & lay flat. Flip the bag around after 15 minutes to ensure the other side gets marinated as well.
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While you are waiting, wash & cut the broccoli & mushrooms. Put into a foil pan. Drizzle with olive oil & mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with sea salt & black pepper. Then, drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything. Sprinkle chopped garlic on top. Put into oven & bake for 25 minutes.
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After 30 minutes of marinating the chicken, pour all the contents into a pan. Ensure the chicken is in one layer.
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Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, then flip them over & bake for another 20 minutes until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees F.
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Pour the chicken sauce into a bowl. Use a spoon to skim off all the oils & fat. Serve chicken with broccoli & mushrooms with the sauce on the side.
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Enjoy!