veggies

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

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

Broiled Honey Soy Salmon

My absolute favorite way of preparing salmon is broiling. I only recently discovered this method over this past year or so. As my kitchen in my Hong Kong apartment is simply equipped with a hot plate, microwave, and toaster oven, I have really learned some new cooking techniques. For the first 4-6 months I had been living here, I didn't touch the toaster oven. I grew up with a toaster oven but we only really used it for well, toasting things. English Muffins, melting cheese, etc. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that a toaster oven can do everything a real oven can. Bake, roast, broil. It's incredible and the reason why there have been so many toaster oven recipes on the blog this year, lol! 

Broiling salmon sounds so...aggressive. However, once you've got the timing down pat, you are in for the flakiest, butteriest (is that a word?), moist, and tender salmon ever. The amount of time needed to broil a piece of salmon simply depends on its size (and thickness). I find that a normal fillet takes between 5-8 minutes. The finished fish will be firm but still bounce back to the touch. Any time I have broiled it beyond 8 minutes, the flesh will lean towards rubbery and over-cooked. Again, play with timing for yourself.

My favorite preparation for salmon is simply salt and pepper, and then served with tons of lemon juice after it's cooked. I feel like simple seasoning allows the real flavor of the fish to come out, especially when it's perfectly cooked. And of course, you need a ton of acid with fish. Today I'm sharing a simple classic marinade for salmon that you can enjoy with brown rice and veggies. Simply whisk it together and marinade the fish for at least half an hour. Of course, the longer the better. When it comes time to cook, prepare everything else in the meal first, since the fish will only take 5-8 minutes. You can prepare more marinade on the side, to warm and thicken for serving if you'd like. 

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 :)

Crispy Prosciutto & Heirloom Tomato Avocado Toast

Crispy Prosciutto & Heirloom Tomato Avocado Toast

So that got me thinking. Avocado Toast. Is it just a California thing? And if it is, I can't see why...because it's delicious. Simple food that is easily elevated with the addition of one or two more ingredients...like prosciutto. And vibrant heirloom tomatoes; each one with their own vibrant color, flavor, and texture. This recipe isn't hard-fast - more like a simple guide for a visually beautiful, flavorful open-faced sandwich/toast that can inspire you to build your own. Sometimes the best meals come from throwing whatever you have in the fridge together.