Sunday, September 27, 2015

IPA Slow Cooker Chicken

Like I've said a million times, Ethan and I moved recently. This one felt like a big one to us. I moved into our Seattle basement while he was still finishing up an internship in Utah. So this move to Sammamish was the first time we were moving our stuff together at the same time to the same place. It felt very grown up. I got rid of a lot of my stuff before the move to help balance out space usage. And I got really into it! I don't know why, but donating and throwing away the things that I just didn't use any more felt very freeing. 

So anyway, when we moved in to the Sammamish house in the sky, I felt like everything we had in the place was exactly what we needed. But then I noticed these 2 IPAs in our fridge that had gone unopened since May. Ethan had been drinking one during the move, but didn't finish it. So I asked him if he liked it. He did not. 

I hate IPAs. Literally. I am not a real PNWer for saying this, but I truly think the taste latches onto your taste buds and takes the taste of anything else you are ingesting away forever. Long story short, these two fridge space hogs had to go. And I needed a new slow cooker recipe. And boom! It hit me. Goodbye yucky IPA! Hello delicious, moist, new chicken recipe!

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 bottles or 24 ounces IPA beer
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili dipping sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Put all the ingredients into a slow cooker and set on low
  • Cook for 8-10 hours
  • Serve over rice or lettuce, add siracha or hot sauce for an extra kick!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fresh Zucchini Waffles

It's Saturday morning. Growing up, I'd wake up early, turn on some Saturday morning cartoons, and go to the kitchen. There I would find my dad rummaging through the cupboard, and prepping the counters with bowls and ingredients. He was in charge of pretty much everything, but I was the master stirrer of the dry ingredients and the homemade maple syrup.

Saturday mornings only meant one thing in my house: waffles. 

This morning, I woke up in a new house. 
I have a new kitchen and a fridge full of groceries, thanks to wonderful friends and family. So for my first Saturday in my new home, I thought it would only be fitting to make some waffles using my dad's recipe. But of course, I added a twist! Ethan's mom's garden has bloomed in the hot Seattle summer, and along with a dozen pears and apples, she gave us two huge zucchini. So I thought to myself, "Zucchini Waffles would be good."

And boy, they sure were. Soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside. Slab on some peanut butter and a little bit of syrup, and you've got yourself one special breakfast.

  • 1 small zucchini (or 1/2 of a large one), grated & drained
  • 1.75 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 2 dashes salt 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1.75 almond milk
  • 0.5 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated 
  • Using a cheese grater, grate your zucchini. Place it in a strainer and set something heavy on top of it. Let the zucchini drain for about 30 minutes. 
  • Get your waffle maker heating on high. Make sure to spray it with some non-stick spray!
  • Separate the egg whites, beat them until they turn white and start to form peaks. 
  • In a separate, large bowl, mix together the egg yolks, oil, and milk
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the yolk, oil, milk mixture. Mix until almost smooth. You want lumps! Then add the grated zucchini.
  • Finally, to the large bowl, add the egg whites slowly and fold them in. Do not over mix. Your batter should look bubbly. 
  • Once your waffle maker is ready, use a 1 cup measure and spoon in the batter. Cook until golden brown!
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Well, I’m back people and ready for action. I know it’s been a little while, but if you have read my last couple posts, you’ll know I’ve gone through some changes these past couple months. Luckily, I’m all settled into my new apartment, watching Gilmore Girls, and wasting no time in the kitchen. As I type, I have an amazing David Lebovitz pear cake in the oven.

Check it out!
But there's more to this story... we're here for some quinoa!

We now live on the top floor; the kitchen is twice as big and a million times lighter than the basement cave in Seattle. It’s a dream come true for me! Anyway, I took a couple days off work to get settled. Ethan is, unfortunately, way behind at work. So last night, we recreated one of our old dates. When Ethan was in grad school, the only time I could really see him was at dinner. So while he studied, I cooked, and for the amount of time it took to eat, we got to have some real face time. And so, I made a makeshift picnic and brought dinner to him at work.

I needed something that would be easy to carry, not need a lot of utensils, and packed with protein and veggies to keep Ethan burning the midnight oil. And so we ate this awesome Southwest Quinoa Salad over a patient table while the Vikings/49ers game played in the background. Romance at it’s finest if I do say so myself!

This grain salad is easily packed for a lunch, made into a vegetarian meal, or a great dish to bring to a potluck. I’ve modified the recipe to meet Ethan’s meat needs, you can find the original recipe in Wendy Polisi’s cookbook, The quintessential quinoa cookbook. Thanks Wendy! (And thanks #bae for getting it for me!)

  • 1 ½ cups roasted chickpeas (drain & rinse them first!)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh is best!)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons JOES seasoning (or chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 green chile pepper or jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons agave nectar

  • Cook the quinoa (good trick is to use your rice cooker!)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Combine the chickpeas, corn, red & yellow peppers, seasonings, lime juice, and soy sauce and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Roast chickpea mixture for 45 minutes, stirring often so as not to burn veggies
  • Cook the ground beef with some Joe’s and garlic powder until there is no pink. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the lime juice and agave nectar. Add the quinoa, beef, tomatoes, chile pepper, cilantro, and chickpea mixture and toss!
  • Top with cojita cheese or feta and you are in for one delicious meal :)