quick and easy

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.

Raspberry Chia Pudding

Raspberry Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is one of the easiest ways to work superfoods into your diet - not to mention how incredibly tasty and versatile it is to make! It takes virtually 5 minutes to whip together, and then all you've got to do is have enough patience to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. I like to make my pudding at night so that there's no waiting ;) Chia pudding works beautifully as an alternative to overnight oats, cereal, or your morning yogurt for breakfast; or really wonderful as dessert. 

The only thing you need to remember when making chia pudding is a simple ratio of 1 cup milk to 4 tbsp chia seeds. You can use any type of milk, such as coconut, almond, rice, soy, or cow :) You can stir in greek yogurt for some more texture and fluff. When it comes to flavoring your pudding, anything goes! Blend up some fresh fruit, use chocolate, mint, peanut butter, nutella... the list goes on and on. 

An easy treat for Valentine's Day is to toss some raspberries into the blender and add them to your pudding. Serve it with fresh mint, or shaved chocolate for a sweet, healthy treat. Watch the video below to find out how :)

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Growing up, I've gotta admit that I really loved Fig Newtons. But, raise your hand if you've actually never had a fresh fig before! I didn't try the actual fruit until fairly recently. I fell in love with their rich, earthy flavor... sweet, with a slightly chewy texture. They're so simple to eat. You can slice them up and eat with with yogurt or açai, throw some pieces onto a cheese board, or add them to pizza or flatbread with some burrata. Today's recipe is a fast, elegant appetizer that takes minutes to put together. 

Frozen Yogurt Bark

Frozen Yogurt Bark

I am soo excited for this week's recipe. Yogurt is one of my favorite snacks, and adding fresh, seasonal fruit and granola to it is simple and delicious. Nonfat plain yogurt is a great source of calcium, protein, and probiotics. Adding your own fruit cuts down on excess sugar that comes with fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt from the grocery store. I love using Driscolls's #FinestBerries and Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Seed Granola in mine :) 

With summer heating up, Frozen Yogurt Bark is a fun alternative snack for your family. It takes minutes to put together, and once it's frozen, all you've gotta do is break up the yogurt into pieces of 'bark'! This recipe is a great activity for kids to get involved in the kitchen. I love its adaptability - Frozen Yogurt Bark can be made with any combination of fruit and granola, and can be doctored up with extras like chocolate, flax seeds, chia seeds, protein powder, maca powder...the options  are endless. I love recipes that can hide nutrition boosters but still taste great! 

Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

I'm addicteddddd to the combo of sweet mango and creamy avocado!! Mangoes have been ridiculously cheap and available lately and it's been such a fun addition to my meals. This recipe is one of my favorite flavor combos! I love using avocados to sub for dressing or other fats. The mixture of ripe mango and avocado with the awesome texture of quinoa is so delicious. Use the base of this recipe as inspiration for other meals! I routinely mix mango, avo, and quinoa with all my salads, and top them with baked fish. Squeeze a whole bunch of lemon juice over top, or serve it with the lime vinaigrette I'm showing you today! :)

These flavors are vibrant. Tossing mango and avocado together brings out all the juiciness of the fruit, and the creamy avocado coats all the other ingredients. Adding in a bit of red onion for bite, cilantro for brightness, and tart cherry tomatoes (or try sweet strawberries!) makes this salad incredibly flavorful and hearty. This would be great with grilled chicken, fish, or even as a dip with chips :) This salad's so easy. Chop up all the ingredients and toss em together. Let's get cookin!

Breakfast Yogurt Bowls

Breakfast Yogurt Bowls

I like to start every morning with a bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit. It's a really satisfying way to get the day going. Yogurt has tons of health benefits, including a hefty dose of animal protein, calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium. Whenever you hear about yogurt, you hear about probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are naturally present in the digestive system. Eating yogurt regularly helps to regulate the digestive system, and making yogurt bowls at home is a really great way to cut down on unnecessary sugar that can come with pre-made fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups. Plus, they're simple to make, since you can use whatever you've got at home! Use your favorite seasonal fruit and granola in a hurry, or add in fun twists like toasted coconut, chia seeds, maca powder, or other nutritional boosts. There's not much to this recipe - I'm here to give you some inspiration (and food porn!) Let's get eating! 

One Pan, No Bake 20 Minute Lasagna

One Pan, No Bake 20 Minute Lasagna

This is of my favorite recipes since it's so easy, delicious, and straightforward. The results are great every time. A nice cheesy crust, tender lasagna noodles, creamy ricotta, savory Italian sausage, and zesty tomato sauce simmer on the stove for a mere 20 minutes and magically become the world's easiest lasagna. Once you've got all the ingredients prepped, the actual cook time is a breeze. Throw everything in one pan and impress your loved ones. I generally have a bunch of these ingredients on hand in my pantry so it's a great dish to make for last minute dinners. Find out how next...let's get cookin!