This chili has been a lifesaver this week. Seriously.
It is 75 degrees in my apartment, but all I can think about is how good this chili is. Yeah, that is the craziest thing I have said all day. It is 75 degrees in February and, guys, it is DANG HOT. This time of year, I am usually all about blankets and sweaters and bowls of hot steamy goodness, but here I am, in shorts.
And yet, I am still craving this chili. This whole situation makes no sense.
Pump up your Monday and squash the competition. These colorful bowls are just perfect meal prep for the week!
Here’s the thing. This bowl is bordering between grain bowl and salad. And, right now, because I am feeling virtuous, I am going to call it a salad. Here’s the thing, I love salad, but salad with iceberg lettuce and weird dressing? No, I do not love that kind of salad. What’s worse is a salad that is wilted before I even put the dressing on! No thank you! Whenever I make salads, I make them big, colorful, full of different veggies, and I always finish them off with cheese. Always.
I ate some chocolate chip cookies for dinner, so I figured now is the time for real food.
What is real dinner these days? Well. I have no idea. But I can tell you what real dinner is not.
Kombucha and veggie straws. And the kind of kombucha that is the one you need to be 21+ to buy. And veggies straws just because you’ve loved them since before your tween years and because you got a case of them, right now all you can eat is nostalgic comfort food or nothing. Veggie straws and actual veggies. That doesn’t count either.
My mama from my childhood would be very disappointed by my eating habits lately.
This weather lately has got me thinking about the Mediterranean lately. Specifically how I wish I was out of the cold, DC sadness.
This weather is just a roller coaster of emotions. It is cold one day, then hot the next day, then a freaking blizzard two days later. I have been feeling so stir crazy lately, which might explain all of these crazy dreams I have been having lately. I think my unconscious is definitely playing into my desire to travel this year. Except why does my brain think it is totally normal for me to roll out of bed, onto a horse, to a flight to Japan?
I don’t know if it’s a good thing when someone calls your pasta a salad, but I’ll go with it.
Don’t get me wrong because there is nothing wrong with pasta. As you guys know I am a firm believer in pasta…any day, anytime. But I love loading it up with veggies! Hence, I see Monday as the perfect day for a healthier take on everyone’s favorite Italian pasta dish, carbonara. This pasta is creamy, cheesy, and loaded with squash which I am whole heartedly obsessed with…
I’ve been dying to tell you guys about this recipe for so long now. Or okay, not so long, more like a couple of weeks, but I am just so excited about this recipe because it’s all of my favorite things.
This might be my new favorite bowl to date.. and that is coming from a self proclaimed food-in-bowl addict. It is loaded with all of these goods like peanuts, rice noodles, a TON of herbs, veggies, and a funky yet delicious Vietnamese vinaigrette. And she is here to say HI BABES! I FREAKING LOVE YA.
She is a bowl of my dreams.
Many of you know this about me, but my favorite food FAR AND AWAY is Vietnamese food. So, here we go. This is my favorite thing to order at a Vietnamese restaurant that I want to share the recipe for ya. Officially, it is called bun. Not like a man “bun” or a hamburger “bun”. Bun is Vietnamese for white rice noodles and I am so smitten with ’em. Especially when they are paired with all of these fresh veggies and herbs.
Also, I always have to say it, because it’s that important for a recipe that features fish sauce: DO NOT SNIFF THE BOTTLE.
Fish sauce is that deliciously mysterious substance that smells deathly but, no, for real – it tastes like magic when combined with the right friends: lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and the other usual suspects. When I was in college, I threw out a bottle of fish sauce in the garbage and BOY did it stink up the floor. But today is our day to embrace the power of fish sauce, who bring out the best and only the best of the fish sauce, and that means, above all else, do not let the urge to just check if it still smells as bad as it did last time get the best of you. It is made of anchovies and it STILL SMELLS BAD OK!
The herbs, on the other hand, smell better than ever because omg do we need some freshness. And new life! The mint and cilantro and basil together – it’s literal food heaven to combine the cool freshness of that herb trio with the saltiness and tang of the sauce.
So while half of the Internet is sitting here and chowing down on all of the fall veggies, I am loving this little number that can be eaten numerous times a year. And you don’t have to turn on the stove (if you have an electric kettle! EY-YO!). Simply soak the noodles in the hot water. While that is going on, chop the veggies and make the sauce. Then, all you have to do it pile the goods in a bowl, drizzle on the dressing, and you are good to GO.
This makes a great lunch or dinner idea for those busy weekday nights when you are craving something fresh. But aren’t we always craving something fresh? Because we are all fresh to DEATH! Ok I’ll stop now.
1.5 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (see notes if vegetarian/vegan)
1 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup warm water
1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
Pickled Carrot Ribbons
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 carrots, peeled and shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
8 oz rice vermecelli noodles, cooked according to the package directions, rinsed and drained
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
2-3 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly
1 daikon radish, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 c. chopped roasted peanuts
2 eggs, cooked to your liking (optional)
To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside
To make the pickled carrot ribbons, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Place the carrot ribbons in the mixture. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes until the carrots get soft.
To make the bowls, divide chopped romaine and rice noodles into four bowls. Top with cucumber, radish, and marinated carrot ribbons. Sprinkle on mint, basil, and chopped peanuts. Add eggs if desired. Drizzle on dressing. EAT!
If you do not want to buy fish sauce or are a vegetarian or vegan, simply replace it with a "vegan" fish sauce recipe or substitute tamari or coconut aminos.
We are learning how we can get lazy this week. And hey, that is a OK!
Because, serious question, my fellow lads and lassies. Have any of you made tamales before? I have. And they are delicious, but damn they are SO hard to make. The day that I made them, I remember spending hours wrapping the cornmeal with the corn husks and tying them together and steaming them. Yeah, that is a lot more work than I normally want to do in these cases. And honestly, the guacamole and the pico I made were winners compared to the corn tamales that took me hours to make.
I love coming through for my friends. Not that I don’t do so anyway.
One of the most popular recipes I get asked about on this blog is my goat cheese polenta. It is so delicious and creamy and the perfect way to pack on a little comfort as the weather starts to chill. I have gotten a ton of e-mails about how to modify polenta for various diets. Most of the time, these changes are super easy. Vegan? No goat cheese! Gluten free? It’s naturally gluten free! But grain free or paleo? That proved a little bit difficult to come up with an instant answer.
½ tablespoon Wedderspoon Raw Honey, plus more for serving
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 ounces soft goat cheese
½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
2 ripe peaches, sliced thin
2 cups fresh arugula
Balsamic glaze, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a baking sheet with parchment paper in the oven to preheat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt until combined.
To make crust, take baking sheet out of the oven. Spread chickpea mixture on parchment paper in a circle until ¼ inch thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly crispy.
While the pizza is baking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions, Wedderspoon honey, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and caramelized. Set aside.
Once you take the dough out of the oven, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Top pizza with caramelized onions. Then, top with goat cheese, half the ricotta cheese, and fresh basil. Arrange the peaches over the cheese (I like to fan the slices in areas) and season with salt and pepper. Dollop with the remaining ricotta.
Cook in oven for 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
To serve, top with fresh arugula. Drizzle with Wedderspoon honey and balsamic glaze. Garnish with basil. Slice and EAT.
It might be because I grew up in New Jersey or went to college in New York, but I cannot be bothered with pizza unless it is absolutely perfect. It is such a horrible way to live, dear friends. I wish I could be satisfied with a bunch of cheese on carbs and call it a day. But I have very specific pizza eating standards.