Power Hour Salad

Alright, listen up. You have a limited income (probably, if you’re a college student and literally go around singing about not wanting to check your bank account), and you may not eat very healthy all the time because of it. That’s ok though, we are going to change that.

Making this salad is just another little step you can take to eat healthy and not be broke at the same time. It is vegetarian, but it’s packed with protein and good shit (I want to stress that a protein-packed vegetarian meal is not an oxymoron. It’s absolutely a thing). So, to not bore you further, here it goes, the Power Hour Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of cooked grains such as quinoa, barley, etc.** (I used the “Super Grains” blend from Whole Foods, it’s pretty dope and relatively cheap)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and DRIED!! with a paper towel**
  • A few slices of a red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 handfuls of mixed spring greens or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (of handful) of cherry or grape tomatoes (I really love zima, they are orange and sweet and ugh so good)
  • 1/3 of a large cucumber or 1 baby cucumber, seeded and chopped (explanation at the bottom)**
  • 1 spoonful of hummus, whatever you like (I love this hummus, it’s magical)
  • 2-3 spoonfuls crumbled feta cheese

Optional Salad Dressing**:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, the greener the better
  • Juice of half a lemon (use the other half for tea or lemon water. Be pretentious, not wasteful)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, really to your liking
  • Black pepper, again whatever you like

Instructions:

  1. Just to help you out if you’re new to this, cut your red onion and your garlic right now. All the other veggies can be cut later, but if you want to you can cut them now. It saves you a lot of time if you follow the directions in the ingredients list first.
  2. Make sure you do this first or ahead of time; cook your grains. Pick something like quinoa and read the package to tell how long it will take to cook it. Usually, it will take you about 30 minutes to  cook them from start to finish (aka from putting the pot on the stove till the point you let them sit). If you do choose to cook quinoa, try to make sure you rinse it through a fine mesh strainer before cooking. So, get that water boiling before you do anything else.
  3. Once you have begun cooking your grains, get a frying pan, heat it to medium-high heat, and add the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Next, add the onion to the pan and cook until they have a slight yellow look to them (but not browned).
  4. Now to add the garlic and chickpeas! Stir it on up and cook for another two to three minutes. Take off the heat and place into a bowl.
  5. If you didn’t already, cut your veggies!
  6. Take out a large bowl and add the salad greens you are using. Start to assemble everything by adding the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas and onions (not all of them, save some and make a pita wrap!), the cooked grains, hummus, and feta cheese.
  7. If you would like to add a simple homemade salad dressing, keep reading. Otherwise, mix it all up and you’re good to go!!
  8. For the salad dressing: Get a small bowl. Whisk together the oil, lemon, and honey. Next add the oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together and there you have it! You may choose to add other herbs or maybe vinegar if there wasn’t enough lemon juice. It’s really whatever you prefer.

Side Notes:

**It may be easier to make a whole cup of cooked grains and reserve the rest for another recipe!! That’s what I do.

**You need to make sure whenever you fry anything with oil that you limit the amount of water in contact with the item. Please make sure after you rinse the chickpeas, you dry them too to prevent yourself from being burned

**To seed a cucumber, you cut it in half lengthwise, or hot dog style as we said in like second grade. Take a spoon and scoop out all those seeds you see in the center. The, place each half flat side down and slice. They should look like little half moons or smiley faces I guess? Maybe frowny faces if you’re that kind of person.

**I also think this salad is great with tzatziki, which is like a yogurt sauce that is so delicious, but it’s a little expensive and takes awhile to make at home. I prefer it though.

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 were 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 (or real bacon if you’re freakin lame)
  • 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

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.