Lemon Broccoli Pasta

Looking for a simple but oh-so-delicious Italian-style dinner? Look no further. Bonus: no tomato sauce, lots of vegetables, and deliciously cheesy.

The original recipe can be found here.

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Skill Level: If you can handle using more than one bowl at one time, you’re set.

Tips:

  • If, for some reason, you would like to make this dish without spinach, you’ll still find delicious results.
  • Be wary of your red pepper flakes. A little bit can go a long away (but adding more can make your dish really pop)!
  • The original recipe does say these quantities will serve 6 people, so adjust according to your needs.

 

Ingredients:

  • Water (3 quarts suggested, but may vary depending on how much pasta you choose to cook)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • Rotini pasta (1 pound suggested)
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (2 cloves, crushed and minced suggested)
  •  One quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of fresh, grated, Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper for finishing touches

Instructions:

  1. Bring the water to boil in a pot. Sprinkle some salt into the water to help it boil.
  2. While the water is on the stove, prepare the broccoli by cutting it into bite-size florets. This is also a good time to wash and prepare the spinach.
  3. Once boiling, add the pasta and boil on high for 4 minutes. After, add in the broccoli, cover the pot and boil for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn off the burner and drain the pasta. Return the pasta and broccoli mixture to the pot.
  5. Add in lemon zest and spinach. Cover and let the spinach wilt.
  6. While the spinach wilts, heat up the butter in a small pan. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and heat until fragrant (this should only take a minute or so).
  7. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  8. Add the lemon juice mixture to the pasta and stir in. Now add in the cheese and mix well.
  9. Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper, and decorate with a couple lemon wedges, and you’re ready to serve.

Under 21 Charoset

If you’re under 21 and thus incapable of purchasing wine to make your charoset extra zesty, substitute grape juice and join me in celebrating Passover with these 2 delicious family recipes!

Below you’ll find recipes for Traditional Charoset and Cranberry Pistachio Charoset. 

The Traditional Charoset comes from and the kid’s cookbook Matza Meals while the Cranberry Pistachio Charoset is a recipe from a family friend.

 

Traditional Charoset

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples
  • As much cinnamon as you want (1 teaspoon recommended, 2 teaspoons admired)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons of grape juice (or sweet red wine)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and core apples. Dice them finely.
  2. Crumble walnuts into small pieces.
  3. Add nuts and cinnamon and mix. Chop if any large chunks remain.
  4. Add grape juice and mix again.

Cranberry Pistachio Charoset

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios
  • 1 apple cored, peels, diced (or cut into chunks if you have a food processor available)
  • As much cinnamon as you want (3/4 of a teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup grape juice (or sweet red wine)

Instructions:

  1. If you have a food processor, pulse the cranberries and pistachios together. If not, do your best to cut them up a bit by hand.
  2. Add the apple, cinnamon, and grape juice and chop up a bit more.
  3. Store in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.20170416_15334020170416_153331

 

Sunny Side Brunch

Picture this: your fridge is empty. No really, you are completely lacking ingredients except for a few eggs, some pre-cubed sweet potatoes, and a few cans of beans, peas, and water chestnuts from that time you thought you might learn how to make stir-fry.

So you let your creativity take over, you scan the internet for inspiration, and you put it all together in your head: a sweet potato, black bean skillet, with a fried egg on top. And it’s perfect, so you make it for lunch.

Skill Level: Easy peasy

Tips:

  • Make sure to stir the potatoes every minute or so to make sure they’re all coated.
  • Tasting them once in a while can only help too.
  • You can throw in any spices you think sound good! (But obviously, I’m biased and think the ones I added are perfect.)

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 bag of cubed sweet potato (approx. 1-2 sweet potatoes)
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Parsley to taste
  • Sriracha also to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil and sweet potatoes over a medium flame. Stir the potatoes every minute or so to make sure they cook evenly and are coated in the oil.Resized_20170308_125234
  2. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and parsley. The potatoes should be cooked after 20 minutes.
  3. Drain a can of black beans and stir them into the skillet. Stir for 3-4 minutes until the beans are soft and heated.
  4. Fry an egg or heat it sunny side up in a separate pan.
  5. Serve the egg over a base of the beans and potatoes and drizzle sriracha over the plate.

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Avocado Chickpea Salad

I’ve recently rediscovered the amazing qualities of single-bowl cooking. You know those recipes that you can just take and dump all the ingredients in? No worries about the order, no hefty cleanup. *Sigh* yes, this is how college cooking can be.

So, though I’ve got a mean recipe for a special tuna salad (which I’ll be sure to publish ASAP), I decided to expand my horizons. The original recipe for this dish can be found here.

Skill Level: So easy a college student could do it

Amazingly, this recipe yielded enough for 2 sandwiches and I’m psyched for the leftovers.

Tips:

  • If you’re like me and feel like every day is a Monday, then don’t worry about when you forget the Greek yogurt. It tastes just as good without (but I might go back and add some later to the leftovers just for the experience).
  • For a lighter taste, I went with an open face sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chickpeas
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • As much cilantro as you’d like
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Your favorite bread

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Mash.
  3. Spread on bread.
  4. Smile because there were only 3 real steps and the 3rd step rhymed.Resized_20170130_181324.jpeg
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    After mashing… (a.k.a. the Aftermash)

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    Before mashing…

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cheese Sauce

Winter break means hearty, warm meals cooked at home. Not quick grab-and-go breakfasts or simple fall snacks, but for the first time in a while, a true, hot and filling meal. So without further ado, I present to you…tonight’s dinner!

This dish was quick and easy to prepare and the original recipe can be found here. I’ve tweaked the original recipe a bit to what you see below. Enjoy!

Skill Level: So simple. No regrets.

Tips:

  • Make sure to start baking the potatoes before you’re actually hungry!
    • Unless you choose to bake your potatoes in the microwave which can be done following these instructions which take about 8 minutes. (THIS IS ALSO AN AMAZING DORM LIFE TIP I’VE USED AT SCHOOL MANY TIMES.)
  • Double the recipe for families of four or bigger (or if you’re using larger potatoes).

Ingredients:

  • 1 potato for each person eating at your table
  • 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 heaping cup of shredded cheddar cheese (though I’m sure any cheese would work)
  • 1 cup of cut up, steamed broccoli florets

Instructions:

  1. Begin baking the potatoes. If you choose to bake them in the oven, you have about half an hour or more before you should start making the sauce. If you choose to bake them in the microwave, start immediately.
  2. Begin steaming the broccoli florets.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Once melted, whisk in the milk. Continue whisking as you add in both the onion powder and garlic powder.
  5. Stir in the cheese until it is entirely melted.
  6. Once the cheese is incorporated, add in the broccoli florets.
  7. Serve warm over a baked potato and enjoy!

No Bake Energy Bites

I followed a recipe for once! It was this one. So, rather than copy the recipe word for word, I strongly encourage you to make these bites! There’s a bunch of protein in each one as well as other nutritional value.

Update: just had one for breakfast and they’re delicious!!!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Today…I went to a pumpkin patch! One of my roommates found a Groupon that gave us a huge discount on a hayride and pumpkin picking at a local farm. Additionally, I got to go through my first ever corn maze and I had an amazing time.

All four of us came back to our apartment and set out to carve and paint our pumpkins. Mine was a huge failure. So rather than show you this year’s pumpkin, I’ll show you last year’s: IMG_20151017_211952.jpg

I wasn’t that upset by my failure though! Probably because my main goal of the pumpkin picking was to do something cool with what’s inside…’cause I’ve never cooked with a full-fledged gourd before, so now’s the time to try.

So here I bring you, my own version of toasted pumpkin seeds. [Stay tuned later, I might have epically failed at making pumpkin bisque, but I’ll let you know! UPDATE: I epically failed at making pumpkin bisque…]

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Skill Level: It basically cooks itself.

Ingredients:

  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of paprika
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • A sprinkle of salt

Instructions:

  1. Rinse off the pumpkin seeds you plucked from the inside of your pumpkin.
  2. On the stove, use a skillet or pan. Spread them out and sprinkle all the spices over them.
  3. Toast until the seeds are slightly browned.

Stovetop Tuna Casserole

When I was 10, I didn’t want to go out to dinner for my birthday. Instead, I wanted my mom’s tuna casserole. I don’t really know what that says about me but all I know is I’ve got about an hour and a half to kill before I go off to class and I don’t want to wait around for a casserole (for one person) to bake. So here’s what I’m doing:

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (shells, rotini, or elbow macaroni work really well)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 can of corn (or peas)
  • French-fried onions for topping

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to packaging.
  2. Drain the pasta and stir in the cream of mushroom soup, tuna, and corn.
  3. Top with French-fried onions and serve.

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Tomato, Basil, and Chickpea Salad

So, last night I got to eat a wonderful pre-Yom Kippur meal with two of my good friends. One of my friends did the main course cooking (an amazing lemon/olive chicken dish, couscous, and challah) while I contributed my favorite eggplant salad (minus the cheese of course) and this salad.

I was skeptical at first about how the ingredients would all work out but, let me tell you, it was the perfect compliment to my friend’s Moroccan cooking.

Skill Level: If you can cut veggies with a knife, you can make this salad.

The salad was yet another Pinterest find and the original recipe can be found here.

Tips:

  • If any of these veggies are your favorite, make sure to add more!
  • If you can’t find fresh basil at the store (like me), squeezable basil (which sounds super unappealing) or dried basil will also work.
  • You can also add in 1 small chopped white onion but I left it out ’cause onions aren’t really my thing…except for scallions
  • The original recipe also calls for nigella seeds but I don’t own those

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • Sesame seeds (as many or as few as you want)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 10 basil leaves (or basil in whatever form you can find)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame OR olive oil
  • 2-3 chopped scallions
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

Combine all vegetables and sesame seeds in bowl. Toss with balsamic vinegar and oil.20161011_165350.jpg