Things I’ve cooked in 2016 so far

My 2016 New Year’s resolution was to start a cooking blog. Since you’re reading this right now, it means I actually fulfilled a resolution for once!*

And really, isn’t cooking for the internet a much more enjoyable undertaking than say, working out three times a week or taking on a clean eating regimen? At the very least it’s gotten me to try out some new recipes.

So here’s a round up of the more notable things I’ve cooked in the past months. Disclaimer: 60% of what you are about to see is liquid-based. It’s been cold out, soups reheat well, and the ingredients are cheap. I’d say I’m sorry but I’m actually doing you a favor.

We’ll kick things off with Rachael Ray’s mushroom, ancho & black bean chili, moderately adapted by me…recipe to come, but here’s the original.

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Soups, stews and chilis are my favorite way to have lunch all week. Given that Mondays are the worst, it’s the best day to come home, try a new recipe and save the leftovers for a not-so-sad desk lunch.

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This chili is vegetarian, but I add shredded rotisserie chicken to make it go further. I also add golden raisins, something I borrowed from a different Rachael Ray recipe. By the way Rach (can I call you Rach?),  it’s totally genius–the sweetness is a perfect complement to cumin and paprika spice. This recipe also calls for beer, creating a rich base, and ancho chili peppers which give it a smokey flavor. Basically, it’s not your average chicken chili.

In addition to having chili for dayz, I also got to eat the leftover rotisserie chicken for dinner, along with some roasted kale, broccoli and butternut squash to feel #healthy.IMG_5520

Next up is another one of my cook-once-eat-for-days staples: stir fry.

IMG_5653I won’t insult you by telling you how to sauté veggies in a pan with soy sauce and rice. You’ve got this.

IMG_5656I’m mainly sharing to show off my WOK which is awesome and huge and which I hardly ever use because it only fits on top of my cabinets and since I can’t see it, I forget it’s there. But how legit is it to be like, “Oh hey just gonna pull down my wok and make some stir fry”?

IMG_5654I also wanted to share my Asian pantry staples: I use teriyaki sauce in place of soy because I ran out and realized I like it better; it makes the stir fry sweeter as opposed to just salty. And toasted sesame oil is a game changer here…I sauté the vegetables in a mix of olive and sesame, about a 90/10 ratio and that’s all you need. I also add miso…I won’t bullshit you, I’m not sure what it does to the flavor but I bought it for this recipe (make the miso-sesame dressing if nothing else, it’s life changing) and now I’m trying to use it up.

Stir, fry, repeat.

Next up, another Smitten Kitchen recipe and yes, another soup. This one isn’t quite as hearty as the chard & white bean stew I posted a few days ago, but if you’re like me and you find yourself craving something tomatey that isn’t pasta or straight up tomato soup, it fits the bill.

IMG_5675I made Deb’s lentil soup with sausage, chard & garlic  with very little adjustment, except instead of brown lentils I used red (orange?) because that’s what I found at Fairway. Sorry Deb. Also, I had to google “what am I sorting lentils for?” and I’m still not quite sure. Apparently there can be pebbles and dirt but I didn’t find any. I would also recommend rinsing them in a colander, and know that they’ll clump together when wet so you need to separate them with your fingers as you add them to the broth.

IMG_5678You should top your soup with parmesan. I use nutritional yeast because I have to. (Nutritional yeast = parmesan-like substance, not live yeast.)

IMG_5784Last but not least, you deserve a cocktail for making it to the end of this post. About a week ago I realized it was National Margarita Day and I, a margarita fanatic, had no plans to acquire one. I don’t know what this means (and please don’t tell me) but I actually feel my whole body un-tense upon sipping a tart, on-the-rocks-no-salt margarita.

IMG_5783.JPGI obviously had to fix the situation, and a top line Internet search revealed something truly beautiful. Exactly three years earlier to the day, Deb had posted a blood orange margarita recipe. I LOVE blood oranges!

IMG_5780 (1).JPGI had almost all the ingredients already, so I ran across the street and paid $879 for 3 blood oranges (or $12, but seriously Fairway, did someone walk to Italy, pick the oranges, and then walk back to Murray Hill?).

IMG_5786The result was beautiful. These margs are a sure-fire pick-me-up; they’re less tart than some so I added a squeeze of lime juice to each glass before serving. Make soon and repeat often.

Recipes:

Mushroom, ancho and black bean chili: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/mushroom-ancho-and-black-bean-chili

Lentil soup with sausage, chard & garlic: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/01/lentil-soup-with-sausage-chard-and-garlic/

Blood orange margaritas: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/02/blood-orange-margaritas/

*If it’s March of 2017 and you stumbled upon this dark corner of the internet by accident, and this is the last post I ever wrote before getting bored and picking up lumberjacking as a hobby, so be it. At least I can say I started a blog right?

 

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