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Steam / Sautéed Vegetables - The Easiest Way to Prepare Flavorful, Al Dente Veggies

Steam / Sautéed Vegetables - The Easiest Way to Prepare Flavorful, Al Dente Veggies

The best things often happen out of sheer necessity, or like I've said before, laziness :) I grew up being told that boiling vegetables took all of the nutrition out of them, and so as I got older and started to cook for myself, I started cooking vegetables this way. I would heat a large skillet with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, add my vegetables, and a few splashes of chicken broth (always keep a few cartons stocked!) and seasoning. I would cover the vegetables so that the broth would steam the veggies and give them a bit of a "head start". This worked - steaming them for a few minutes would cook them just through, and then I would remove the lid and sauté the veg to get some color on them. 

To step it up, you could use this basic method and switch up the seasoning or sauces you use. My favorite combo is to skip the salt and add oyster sauce while the vegetables are steaming. Once the broth evaporates, the oyster sauce cooks down and helps to add nice toasty, flavorful bits to the ends of your greens. I've also used this method to cook Maple Glazed Carrots in minutes on the stove for the holidays. In that recipe, you steam the carrots in broth and salt, and then sauté with some maple syrup, black pepper, flaky sea salt, a bit of butter, and finish with parsley. You get the idea - this is a simple master recipe that you can use and adapt to your liking. 

Little did I know that this seemingly made-up method of cooking vegetables is known as steam/sautéing. I am glad that it's actually a thing! I hope you give it a try - here's a quick video recipe and guide! Let's get cookin

Microwave Sweet Potato Mash

Microwave Sweet Potato Mash

I've been making Sweet Potato Mash this way since high school. Some of my favorite recipes come about from a bit of laziness. :) This method really celebrates the sweet potato for all of its natural beauty and can be made while you're making the rest of your meal. Here in my apartment in Hong Kong, I have one induction plate, vs 6 burners at home in the States. This has really changed the way I cook, especially when it comes to timing and the order in which I cook things. It's nice to have the option to prepare a satisfying side dish like this one, in the microwave while I cook something else on the induction plate.

The incredible sweetness of the flesh on its own blows my mind every time. Normally, I just prepare the mashed sweet potato with flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper, but today I'll show you how adding a bit of freshly grated ginger and a dash of cinnamon can elevate this simple side dish to something really special. There's no need to add tons of cream or fancy ingredients when the flavor of the sweet potato is so vibrant on its own.

Crack Broccoli - The Best Broccoli You'll Ever Eat

Crack Broccoli - The Best Broccoli You'll Ever Eat

This is the best broccoli you'll ever eat. Roasting is such a delicious way to prepare veggies, and broccoli absolutely transforms when cooked in a hot oven. They turn golden brown, the stalks turn tender, and their flavor is enhanced. When roasting any vegetables, it's super simple: don't be afraid of oil & salt! Don't skimp, and toss the vegetables so that they're properly coated in oil and seasoning. 

This roasted broccoli really wakes up the taste buds. Flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, and thinly sliced garlic are the base for great seasoning, but what really brings this broccoli up a notch is the addition of shichimi. Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese blend of seven spices that varies depending on the region or cook. The typical ingredients include sansho (Sichuan pepper), dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, shiso, nori, hemp seeds, and chiles. This mixture is wonderful on meat, noodles, rice, and fried foods. I love adding shichimi to my eggs or on top of my avocado toast!

After the broccoli is roasted, finish it off with a good squeeze of lemon juice and fresh lemon zest for some good brightness and acid. The cake topper is tossing in shaved Parmesan cheese for some nuttiness. This recipe works well for regular weeknight dinners, or as a side for entertaining. There's no need to measure a ton of ingredients - just toss it all together and roast it off in the oven for 15 minutes :)

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Ok, so I'm never buying store-bought hummus again! I've always heard about how easy it is to make your own hummus at home, but haven't ever given it a try. I recently got a blender during a pretty epic White Elephant, and have been so excited to blend everything. This recipe for hummus is super simple - bright and lemony, and ready to enjoy with carrots, pita, whatever you like. Watch the recipe video below and get blending :) 

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders

Today I'm sharing a really fun way to get hemp seeds into your families' diet. I am never one to turn down a chicken tender. Seasoned almond flour and hemp seeds are the perfect crust for baked chicken tenders - they turn out deliciously crisp on the outside and are great for dipping. Watch the video recipe below and let's get cookin :) 

Holiday Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberries

Holiday Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberries

Speaking of the holidays, this week's recipe is a simple and cozy side dish that is wonderful for this time of year. Roasting vegetables brings so much depth of flavor to the party, and also gives each piece of pumpkin a nice toasty edge. Adding pumpkin seeds for crunch, and dried cranberries for a tart contrast makes this the easiest dish to bring to your holiday parties this year. 

This recipe is completely adaptable. Don't have pumpkin? Try butternut squash or sweet potato. I like adding cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, but roasting the veg with trimmed Brussels sprouts, bacon, prosciutto, shallots, pecans, kale, ginger, chili, or cumin is wonderful as well. In this recipe, I finish off the dish with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, and flaky sea salt, but fresh parsley, feta, or even tossing it with pasta is delicious, too! Watch the video recipe below and let's get cookin! 

Beef Enoki Rolls

Beef Enoki Rolls

Ooooh these are little rolls of magic! Lately I've become obsessed with enoki mushrooms. The bouncy texture, how easy they are to cook, and the way they soak up whatever flavors surround them. They are dirt cheap, and you can toss them into virtually any dish. Growing up, I think I've only really eaten enoki mushrooms when I've gone out to eat hot pot with friends. I always enjoyed them, but they were definitely an afterthought. (Hello, beef!) Recently, however, I've been eating enoki with everything - stir fries, soup, noodle dishes, even salads. Their sweet, mellow flavor is so yum. 

I was inspired by these Japanese Beef Enoki Rolls that I had as part of a lunch set the other day, and couldn't get enough of them. They are simple to prepare and the marinade is actually super versatile and can be used for cooking other protein. Beef Enoki Rolls are tender, juicy, and almost taste like beef jerky - a harmonious blend of soy, ginger, garlic, sake, and sesame oil create an incredibly savory marinade for the thinly sliced beef. Soaking the enoki mushrooms in warm, salted water allows them to soften and gain some flavor. Finally all you've got to do is wrap small bundles of mushrooms in the marinaded beef and pan fry. Searing the meat takes a few minutes, and then you're in flavor heaven. Let's get cookin!

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Crisps

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Crisps

The flavor of cauliflower is mild, and a bit sweet and creamy - it acts as a canvas for whatever . Roasting this veg is glorious, and let's face it; everything is better with cheese! This recipe is for a really delicious and addicting snack that is as simple as slicing florets of cauli, roasting them for 15-20 minutes, and then adding tons of cheese and fresh parsley. Baking grated Parmesan turns the warm, nutty cheese into salty crisps. These Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Crisps taste like one of my favorite indulgences - chips. The tender roasted cauliflower is perfectly seasoned, and the baked cheese gives them a nice crust. I could easily polish off a tray of these yummy cauliflower crisps :) Let's get cookin!

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

This is a bright and zesty recipe to enjoy some of summer's best produce!! It can be enjoyed with chips as a dip, or eaten as a summer salad. Golden brown kernels of corn come together with tomatoes, creamy avocado, red onion for bite, black beans, and tons of fresh cilantro in minutes, and are tossed with the most amazing Honey Lime Vinaigrette. This combo is seriously delicious - the combination of lime juice, earthy, warm cumin, honey, and extra virgin olive oil is the absolute perfect way to bind these ingredients together. The best part is that the flavor of the dip gets better as it sits - so it's great to have out during an event, or to make ahead for lunch! Let's get cookin! 

Bacon Wrapped Peaches

Bacon Wrapped Peaches

Ok, I think we can all agree that everything...everything is better with bacon. Crisp, salty, fatty delicious bacon. BBQ season is here and grilling fruit is definitely one of my favorite ways to celebrate summer. The caramelization of the fruit is really delicious with the flavor of the bacon, and adding a simple reduced balsamic vinegar makes this the easiest appetizer ever. Finish the peaches off with fresh sprigs of mint for a flavor explosion in your mouth. Serious good eats. Watch my newest video recipe below! :) Let's get cookin!