Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Ramen Noodles For Stuck Up Culinary Students"

I've been writing a research paper for what honestly feels like a month, although I know it can't possible have been that long. It's my last big project of the semester and it's sucking up all my sanity time. In the mists of working my brain to madness I've needed something to fill my belly that would take just long enough to cook that it would be a nice head clearing break, but not so long that my freshly cleared head forgot every new piece of information I just shoved in there. Out of that time crunch came this recipe that is relatively cheap, easy to pull together and just salty enough to sate that part of me that wants to stress eat Chinese food.

Crunchy Peanut Noodles

1lb spaghetti
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
squeeze of lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
12 ounces frozen green peas
1/2 a rotisserie chicken, shredded ( I put the other half in the fridge and use it for another batch later)

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the oils, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and lemon juice. Set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to directions on the box, chop up the onions and peanuts  while you wait. When the spaghetti is about 1 minute from being done, turn off the heat and dump the frozen peas in the hot water with the noodles to shock them bright green and cool down the noodle water. Strain out the water with a strainer and add the noodle/pea mixture back into the warm pot. Toss with sauce,onions, chicken and peanuts. Serve warm (or chilled!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Everybody's Free To Eat Black Beans"

Although it may not seem like it, the truth is I've been baking and cooking as much as ever lately. Of course I've also been running, studying, gardening and playing in the sun so the evidence has sort of slipped through the cracks. I've been swept off my feet by the arrival of spring ( and also by the quickly approaching end of semester!) and I've taken every possible opportunity to be outside rolling around in the clover avoiding any sort of indoor paper writing or photo editing that might be calling my name.

The one thing I do always have time for is lunch, quick and delicious and just substantial enough to keep my frolicking feet dancing up a storm.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (Gluten Free + Vegan)
Inspired by Emma of Food Coma

Makes 10 burgers

1 cup chopped onions
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic diced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups (16 ounces) cooked black beans (home cooked, so you can keep all your friends)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 flax egg (1tbsp flaxseed + 3 tbsp hot water)
4 tbsp tapioca flour
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil, onions bell pepper, garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly before moving on to step two.

2. In the bowl of a food processor add the black beans and the onion mixture and pulse until roughly chopped  to a chunky paste.

3. In a large mixing bowl  fold together the bean onion mixture, the cooked quinoa, flax egg, tapioca flour, and salt and pepper to taste, and form into patties.

4. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and fry the patties until crispy and golden brown, about two minutes per side. Serve warm on a toasted sesame seed bun.