MAKING A MEAL: Roasted Dill Salmon, Sweet Potato, && Brussels Sprouts

One of the easiest AND delicious meals I’ve made in awhile, this series of recipes will blow you away. It’s so simple, but so f*cking good, I don’t know how to explain it.

Anyways, I’m going to give you these recipes in paragraphs rather than my normal style just to keep it short and to the point. I highly recommend reading before you start cooking, but you do you, maybe you like living on the edge.

This meal is perfect for two for dinner, or just for one loner (like myself) for a lunch and a dinner

So that I don’t get sued, and so that you’re fully aware, the salmon recipe is not mine. I’ll post a hyperlink and give credit where it is due because I’m not a thief (except when I’m stealing your heart with my cooking…. that was such a bad joke just lock me up now).

For the sweet potato:
  • Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and lightly oil a small roasting pan (maybe like a tablespoon of oil). Make sure the bottom is coated completely. Take a sweet potato and peel that sucker. Rinse it. Grab a cutting board and cut it into small chunks (not like super small, but smaller than a golf ball idk). Put the sweet potato chunks into the roasting pan. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes all over those suckers (more salt than anything). Put them in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan once of twice to turn em. You should be able to easily cut through them with a butter knife, that’s how you know they are ready.
For the brussels sprouts:
  • Preheat oven, if not done already, to 400F degrees and again, lightly oil a small roasting pan with a tablespoon of oil, fully coating the bottom. Take about a 1/2 pound fresh brussels sprouts, rinse them in a colander, and cut off the stems of each little, delicious sprout. Then, slice them in half and place each half flat side down in the pan. Try to pour a little oil on top, then sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Cook them in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the sprouts are browned, even slightly blackened on the outside.
For the Dill salmon: 

The original recipe is at this link here. I am just reiterating it for convenience, but it’s not my recipe!

  • Preheat the oven to 475F degrees, after you’ve cooked the veggies above. Take some fresh dill and chop up about two handfuls of it (you should take the “leaves” off the stems and put them in a pile, then take a knife and continually chop through them). Put a few large chunks of butter into a roasting pan, along with the dill. Place in the oven and let cook until that amazing mixture is sizzling. Take out the pan and place the salmon skin side up (if there’s no skin, just whatever side is good). Cook for 4 – 6 minutes. Grab the pan out of the oven (peel the skin off the salmon if there is any). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flip, and sprinkle again, and place back into the oven for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Serve it with some lemon juice and fresh slices!!

And that’s it! This ridiculously easy series of recipe makes an amazing meal for you and a date, or just for you! Treat yo self.

 

Halloumi Veggie Sandwich aka “Vegetarian’s Wet Dream”

WOW what a title to live up to. I hope I can do it justice. This sandwich was created in my friend Paul’s kitchen when the two of us where hungover and hungry. If I can make this with a wicked headache and little coordination, you can absolutely do this with little to no experience in the kitchen. This tastes amazing hungover, probably even better drunk, and equally as good sober

This recipe makes two sandwiches, and obviously you can make one, or six, or ten-thousand….

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of sturdy bread, multigrain is good
  • 4 pieces (small rectangles) of Halloumi cheese, Trader Joe’s has it!
  • 1/2 a medium onion, sliced
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 slices of veggie bacon
  • 2 or 3 radishes, thinly sliced (this shit is hard, just do your best)
  • 1 small tomato, sliced how you like it
  • Mayo
  • Hot Sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toast that bread up really nicely, however you like it. I recommend just lightly browned.
  2. Take a medium pan, heat it to medium-high heat and place the Halloumi cheese in to cook. You’re going to want to brown it on both sides, a nice golden color. About 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In the meantime, mix together the onions with paprika and olive oil. Take the cheese out of the pan and proceed to cook the onions until translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Take a separate pan of good size and place the veggie bacon in with a little bit of oil. Cook according to box directions.
  5. Prepare the sandwich by spreading hot sauce on one slice of bread and mayo on the other. Take the halloumi cheese and place it on one side, then proceed with the veggie bacon, tomatoes, radishes, and finally the onions.
  6. Oh my gosh, you’re done and you have an a-mazing sandwich; one worth dreaming for.

Cherry Tomato, Almond, and Feta Salad

I’m going to get to the point real fast for you:

This salad is bomb, so make it

I came up with the recipe on the spot when I had nothing else to eat. It’s a great lunch, and perfect side dish with chicken or salmon. You can also just enjoy the pure vegetarian dish this is

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale (Tip on Kale Prep)
  • a drizzle of honey (or just a teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds, raw or toasted in a pan
  • 1-2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (I like to use about 8 or 9)
  • 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves (chopped), optional

Instructions:

  1. Combine the spinach and kale in a bowl. Mix together to form an even disbursement.
  2. Drizzle the honey over the mix, then add the vinegar and ground black pepper. Mix again.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes, feta, and almonds, this time mixing gently to avoid making a feta cheese disaster.
  4. Serve, topping it with fresh basil if available.

OR:

  1. Throw it all in a bowl, mix it up and eat it!

Either way, you’ll enjoy it.

Leftovers Fried Rice

So…. why is this called Leftovers Fried Rice? Doesn’t that sound unappetizing?

The name of this came from my mother as she sat with me, eating this and watching Harry Potter. It was the day after Christmas and I whipped this together because we were just too hungry to wait for carry out. She turned to me and said “Did you really use leftovers from Christmas dinner to make this? That’s what you should call it and put it on your blog.” And so it goes.

This is a great quick recipe if you have leftover rice and veggies but it may take longer if not. That’s alright, it’s certainly worth it!


Serves 3-4 people, but I like to save it for myself for later!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, salted or unsalted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 green onions, chopped from white base to light green area*
  • 2/3 – 1 cup chopped, cooked broccoli
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup chopped, cooked green beans
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup soy sauce*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • handful of bean sprouts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients as listed above. I recommend having everything cut and ready to be cooked before making this dish. I used leftover vegetables from Christmas dinner and if you’d like to cook them the way I did, I’ll post the recipes.
  2.  Heat a large, deep frying pan or wok over medium heat. Combine oil and butter in the pan once heated and add the garlic.
  3. Stir garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Do not allow to brown.
  4. Add eggs one by one to the pan, stirring them with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon with each addition as it cooks.
  5. After the eggs are cooked, pour a little extra oil/butter into the pan if it is dry and place the carrots in the center. Cook until slightly tender (can be cut through easily) and add green onion. Stir and cook for another minute.
  6. Place the broccoli and string beans in the pan. Mix together, then add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Coat evenly in soy sauce then allow to cook for roughly 3-4 minutes.
  7. At this point, the vegetables should be softened and absorbed the soy sauce. Add the rice to the pan and mix everything so that the rice and veggies are well combined.
  8. Add 1/4 cup soy sauce to the rice mixture, stir, and allow to cook for 4-6 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from burning, but otherwise let it sit.
  9. If you want, you can serve this with a handful of bean sprouts on top!

Side Notes*

  • When chopping green onion, you usually want to only cut the soft part of the onion, not the top, very green sections of it. Cut from the root about halfway up until you are cutting light green onion. Stop at this part
  • You may need more or less soy sauce depending on your tastes and preferences, but also the type of rice you use. I prefer brown rice and that is what I used for this recipe

Grapefruit Chicken Marinade

The inspiration for this recipe came to me when I was actually reading another marinade recipe online. In the instructions, whoever wrote it said to use any citrus juice you’d like. I don’t think he/she meant grapefruit! It was the only citrus I had at hand at the time, but the marinade turned out perfect.

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I can’t find the inspirational recipe anywhere, but I’ve written my own grapefruit marinade that knocks any others out of the park! I love this recipe because it doesn’t use any sweeteners. Fresh grapefruit juice is enough because as you cook the chicken, the sugars in the juice caramelize for a slight sweet note. I make this ALL the time.

Depending on when you need to cook the chicken, you can make the marinade up to a day in advance. I like to marinate for a good 4-5 hours, even overnight sometimes. An hour is the minimum I’d say.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice, freshly juiced
  • 2 tbls distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or sunflower)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1-3 tbls sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3-4 chicken breasts

Instructions:

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  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag and stir. Allow to sit for 5- 10 minutes before adding the chicken.
  2. Tenderize the chicken, poking each side with a pair of forks. Place chicken in the marinade.
  3. Put the marinade with the chicken into the fridge for at least an hour, up to a day.
  4. Grill, saute, or bake the chicken after it’s finished marinating!

 

 

THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese

*Heavy breathing and drooling*

THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese
THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Let me start off by acknowledging the fact that this recipe is all over the place. I know, I know. “How is this going to be any different? And why do you have to ruin mac and cheese by adding vegetables?!”

If you thought any of those things, I don’t blame you. People have trouble dealing with veggies in any form, but when they’re covered in cheesy, orgasmic goodness, you have to be insane (like straight jacket, rubber wallpaper, the whole nine yards) to say no.

Since I am weird, I like to have equal parts vegetable and pasta (or even more veg than anything else). The number one food I crave is broccoli. For some reason those little green trees are just so damn delicious. Of the countless ways you can cook them (which I will be writing about), I love to blanch the florets, then sauté them in an olive oil and butter mixture with smashed garlic and red pepper flakes. In case you thought that was another language, and the TARDIS isn’t translating it for you, I’ll explain a few cooking terms for you below.

Blanch: Boil for a minute or two on high. Take the contents out of the pan and transfer to a bowl of ice water. This 2nd step is crucial because it stops the cooking process.

Sauté: To cook at a higher heat using a small amount of fat; this could be butter, oil, animal fat, etc.

THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese
THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese

*For a lot of the vegetables I cook, I find that a mixture of butter and olive oil is a damn delicious combination. If you want to be a health nut though, just use olive, coconut, sunflower oil and so on.

Recipe

THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (little trees)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil + a little chunk of butter
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta (or regular, doesn’t matter)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk (2% and skim are fine), room temperature
  • You have options:
    • Pinch of nutmeg and paprika
    •  Pinch of curry powder and cayenne
    • Whatever the hell you want
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cup shredded Comte or Havarti cheese (These are just my favorites. You can be boring and use cheddar or whatever else you think would be good)
  • Panko bread crumbs + melted butter

Cheesy

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F
  2. Place a pot of water on the stove top and bring to a boil. Blanch the broccoli (remember to put in ice water). You will know it’s done when it turns a bright green. Set the broccoli aside for a moment. Meanwhile add the pasta to the same pot of water (if you like the taste of broccoli and want to conserve water like an eco-friendly badass) or a new pot of water. Cook pasta according to the box directions.
  3. Remove the broccoli from the water and dry thoroughly.* While the pasta cooks, sauté garlic in the olive oil + butter mix until garlic is about to brown. Pour this mix over the DRIED broccoli. Stir that shit up and put back in the pan. Cook the veg until slightly browned. Remove from pan.
  4. Lower the temperature of the pan to low/medium-low. Melt the 3 tablespoons butter, but DON’T LET IT BROWN. Stir frequently to prevent this.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the pan with butter. Mix that up! Let this cook for a few minutes, stirring “constantly” (just stir a lot, but don’t just stand there for 5 minutes focusing on it. It won’t cook if you do that).
  6. Whisk in the milk gradually. I usually follow these steps three times: add, stir, let sit, and then come back and add again. It’s not rocket science. Don’t add it all at once.
  7. By now, your mix should have thickened a little. Allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes after you’ve finished adding the milk. At this point, you can add your spices/herbs or whatever you have chosen to add.
  8. After you’ve allowed it to simmer, remove the pan from the stove top to add the cheese. You can save a little to top the mac and cheese, but I usually don’t because it can burn. Stir in both the pasta and broccoli.
  9. Place the pasta and broccoli mixture into a medium sized pan (use your damn head; if it looks too small, it is). Top with melted butter and breadcrumbs if you’re feeling like a fancy motherfucker. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. When you take it out, allow the pan to sit for ten minutes in order to allow the cheese mixture to cool and you won’t burn the hell out of your mouth.

Enjoy that shit, it’s good.

Side Notes:

You want to make sure the broccoli is thoroughly dry after blanching because you can and will burn yourself when you go to put it in the pan. If you add water to hot oil, the oil will pop up and onto your skin. Just like in any lab experiment, make sure you take all the necessary precautions to prevent injury. Hot oil REALLY  hurts; I know from experience.

I recommend shredding your own cheese if you have the money and time. Bagged cheese has a layer of powder that is super unappetizing in large quantities. Try my way once, and you probably won’t ever go back to bagged cheese.