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.

 

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.

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

Odd Thoughts 9/26/16

As I sit here on my break at work, I am painfully reminded of the time just a month ago when I wished I was back in school and busy. Oh how young and naive I was at 20 years and 8 months old. With almost no free time, except for when I’m not sacrificing my soul to the almighty gods of homework, I have realized there isn’t much time to plan what to eat. What ever is quick and cheap will end up in my stomach because I honestly don’t have time to contemplate the amount of sugar in that energy bar. I think all students with packed schedules can relate to this. It’s an uphill battle to eat healthy, get enough sleep, get good grades, and stay sane.

Where there is a will… Oh who am I kidding! I want to eat healthy, and I don’t need a cliche to tell you that if you really want to do something, you’ll get it done. Recently, I’ve been prepping meals at 10pm, sometimes until 1am, for the upcoming days. I make incredibly boring, but healthy, dishes that I know I’ll eat no matter what. If I have to eat broccoli and chicken for every dinner, so be it! (Unless there’s pizza) I’ve come to notice that it saves me a lot of money too.

You can definitely do the same thing for yourself; you just have to see the benefit of it. It’s like working out, except more fun because you see the physical fruits of your labor right away. When your fridge is full of prepped meals, it shows your hard work in a weirdly satisfying way. You also start to feel the effects of eating better within days. Trust me, it’s worth it.

ron-eating

 

Breakfast Tacos

This recipe is so easy, so I want to write it simply and concisely! I hate when blogs have a long ass explanation on why the recipe has so much spiritual meaning to the blogger’s third cousin, twice removed. Just enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Shredded Cheese (Mexican, White Cheddar, Pepper Jack)
  • Avocado, peeled and mashed
  • Tortillas, taco sized
  • Lettuce, chopped
  • Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream, for topping
  • Hot Sauce (I love Trader Joe’s Chili Sauce)
  • Eggs, scrambled
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder

Instructions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients. If you’re making one or two for yourself, use a handful of each the cheese and tomatoes. Grab one egg for one person, three for two people, and so on.
  2. Take the eggs you’re using and scramble them with a pinch of each salt, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
  3. Put a saucepan on the stove top, set the temperature to medium-low, and cook the eggs. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula until they are fluffy and just a little wet.
  4. Meanwhile, heat your tortillas in the microwave between damp paper towels, about thirty seconds.
  5. Grab a tortilla and smear a generous amount of avocado on it. Place egg on top of tortilla.
  6. Top off the tortilla with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, Greek yogurt/sour cream, and hot sauce.
  7. Enjoy because it’ll be the best part of your day.