March 25, 2014

Spicy Miso Kelp Noodle Ramen

After discovering kelp noodles at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, I've been trying to come up with creative ways to incorporate them into my weeknight cooking routine (weekends are obviously reserved for real pasta and other delicious indulgences).  Taste and consistency-wise, kelp noodles are similar to vermicelli - great for Asian-style noodle bowls, stir fries and soups.  And calorie-wise, they basically don't exist (seriously, an entire bag has 24 calories).  This miso ramen is packed with flavor and spice, but makes for a pretty light dinner, so I recommend adding some sort of protein (fried egg, shrimp, etc.) to make it a full meal.

Spicy Miso Kelp Noodle Ramen

4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch knob ginger, chopped
1 jalapeño, julienned
32 oz. chicken broth
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. Sriracha
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 bag kelp noodles
10 mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup bean sprouts

In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté garlic, ginger and jalapeño for about two minutes.  Add chicken broth, miso paste, fish sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, and kelp noodles.  Cover and cook for about ten minutes, until noodles are really soft.  Add mushrooms and scallions, then cook for an additional minute or so.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste (I added a pinch salt and another squirt of Sriracha), garnish with bean sprouts, and serve immediately.

March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Today, the weekend can't come fast enough.  I'm looking forward to a bridal shower tomorrow, trying a couple new ice cream flavors, and maybe seeing The Lego Movie (I wasn't into it at first, but have heard great reviews).  Here are some sources of inspiration I came across this week:

+ This greenhouse bathroom takes indoor plants to a whole new level
+ A carnitas recipe perfect for a lazy Sunday (hello, weeknight leftovers!)
+ I'm ready to start shopping for spring, starting with this beaded Tibi dress
+ Dominique Ansel's newest creation, the Cookie Milk Shot, has gone viral
1 / 2 / 3

March 6, 2014

Winter Vegetable + Grain Salad

I'm always on the hunt for hearty salads that work as weekday dinner entrees and as staples for big group potlucks.  Since getting my wisdom teeth out last week, I haven't been able to eat much (resulting in weird cravings for both burgers and kale salad), but found this amazing winter vegetable salad recipe and had to share before brussels sprouts and butternut squash are gone for the season.

Winter Vegetable + Grain Salad
*Adapted from In Pursuit Of More

1.5c quinoa, or other grain (lentils, farro, etc.)
2c butternut squash, cubed
1 large red onion, chopped
2c brussels sprouts, shredded
1c kale, ribboned
1c butter lettuce, chopped
5 fresh basil leaves, ribboned
balsamic soy vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 425'.  On a baking sheet, toss butternut squash and red onion with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Bake about thirty minutes, until cooked through and slightly caramelized.

Add quinoa, brussels sprouts, kale, and butter lettuce to a large bowl.  Once vegetables are done, allow to cool for about ten minutes, then add to bowl and toss with a generous portion of dressing (this salad holds up well and will absorb dressing over the next few days, making excellent leftovers!).  Garnish with basil immediately before serving.
photo via in pursuit of more

March 4, 2014

Flora Grubb Gardens

A couple weeks ago, Jason and I headed to Flora Grubb Gardens in hopes of finding some great house plants for the apartment.  Upon arrival, I was in total awe - this plant lover's paradise was packed with beautiful greenery, from seasonal vegetables to palm trees to over forty succulent varieties.  While I explored around taking pictures and getting coffee (there's a Ritual Coffee outpost inside the store), Jason spent our entire visit at the DIY Aerium Bar arranging miniature terrariums with an assortment of air plants and artisanal moss.  We ended up purchasing three wall bubble aeriums, which were the perfect start to our plant collection.  I can't wait to go back and experiment with different succulent arrangements - I already have my eyes on this vertical garden for the balcony.

March 1, 2014

Friday Favorites

After getting my wisdom teeth out earlier this week, I've been pretty much worthless (other than catching up on every episode of Chopped and Postmating ice cream to my apartment). We're still trying to furnish parts of the apartment, so I'll probably spend my weekend trying to source furniture and getting a few things done around the house - exciting, I know. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite reads from the last few days:

+ Goop's Vitamin & Supplement Cheat Sheet is simple and easy to read
+ I'm interested in learning more about the concept behind Bulletproof Coffee 
+ I have a major travel bug after reading this round-up of the world's best hotels
+ Currently obsessing over these chic and playful Eames chairs 

February 19, 2014

Valentine's Dinner Party

Over the last few weeks, we've been in a state of flux trying to fill the apartment with furniture, get everything organized, and find the right decor to go with our modern-ish vibe. I'm really proud of how it looks so far, and can't wait to share photos. Last Friday, we hosted our first "party" - a small Valentine's Day dinner, complete with heart-shaped cookies and great wine. I kept the table pretty simple, with gold accents - flatware, bowls, and glasses - and fresh flowers/succulents for an organic element. It was the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit without going too overboard, and made me excited about hosting many more parties in the near future.

February 18, 2014

Black Quinoa Chopped Salad

I'm a sucker for chopped salads. In fact, I even have a special device specifically for making salad ingredients super tiny and uniform. This salad is full of nutritious superfoods, topped with yogurt for added protein and texture, and is spiced up with garlic, lemon, and herbs instead of a heavy dressing. As with all of my recipes, this one is easily adaptable to whatever is in season - this one incorporates brussels sprouts, apples, and pomegranate seeds, since they're tasting great at the farmer's market right now.

Black Quinoa Chopped Salad

1 cup cooked black quinoa
4 oz. chicken, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 cup shredded brussels sprouts
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 garlic clove, finely grated
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

In a large bowl, toss quinoa, chicken, apple, brussels sprouts, and almonds. Mix in herbs, garlic, and lemon, then top with a dollop of yogurt and a few pinches of salt.
photo via camille styles/melanie grizzel

February 10, 2014

Cauliflower Tortilla Tacos

I've been on a major cauliflower kick recently, and use it at least once a week to make soup"fried rice," or my latest favorite, cauliflower tortilla tacos. These tacos are really easy to make, much healthier than their carb-y counterpart, and perfect for serving a big group (...or just yourself). I like to use lean ground turkey, but I imagine garlic-cilantro shrimp or some type of cod would be equally as delicious. And as with all Mexican food, there's so much freedom to play around with different toppings. Here's my go-to weeknight recipe:

Cauliflower Tortilla Tacos

2 cups cauliflower, riced
2 egg
yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1lb. ground turkey
black beans
shredded lettuce
avocado, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash riced cauliflower, one full egg, and one egg white in a bowl until fully mixed; season with salt and pepper to taste. On a greased baking sheet, spread mixture into thin, flat circles (about the size of a small tortilla - they won't expand much) and refrigerate until ready to bake.

In a large pan, cook onion and garlic over medium heat. When translucent, add turkey and heat until cooked through. Season to taste with flavored salt, red pepper flakes, and cumin (or just a packet of taco seasoning). Once turkey is done, pop the "tortillas" in the oven for ten minutes, then flip and bake for another seven.

To assemble, crisp each tortilla in a pan over high heat, then top with turkey, black beans, shredded lettuce (I like a cabbage/kale mix), avocado, and a dollop of salsa.

February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Between settling into the new apartment (gorgeous day & night views above) and a rainy forecast all weekend, I have a feeling it's going to be a pretty low-key Saturday and Sunday.  I'm hoping to make a quick trip to The Mill, watch Polina Edmunds - a fellow Mitty Monarch! - kill it at the Sochi Olympics, and maybe start making a dent in my wine collection.  Here are a few of my favorite links from the past week:

+ Printing designer clothes from home? Ray Kurzweil predicts the future of the world
+ An inspiring story with a unique perspective on life, told through jelly beans
+ Some of my favorite #SochiProblems (seriously, what's with that toilet?)
+ These quinoa cauliflower patties are the perfect weekday dinner staple

February 4, 2014

Momofuku Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies

There are a million good places to eat in New York City, it's overwhelming and impossible to keep track of them all.  Since I never have time to try everything, I've narrowed down my favorites list to a couple shops with great to-go options that I can transport back to San Francisco.  At Murray's Bagels, it's their salt bagel.  At Momofuku Milk Bar, it's birthday cake truffles and these cornflake marshmallow cookies.  Not healthy, but it doesn't count if you're traveling.  Or baking them at home, like I plan to do this weekend.

Side note: Momofuku Milk Bar recently started selling their baked goods on, so you can bet I'll be ordering one for Valentine's Day.

Cornflake Marshmallow Cookies

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/4c granulated sugar
1/3c light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2c flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2/3c mini chocolate chips
1 1/4c mini marshmallows

Cream butter and sugars on medium-high for 2-3 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla, and beat for 8 minutes.  Reduce speed to low, then add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until just combined.  Beat in cornflakes and chocolate chips for about 30 seconds (until just incorporated), then add marshmallows, stirring to combine.

Scoop 1/3c of dough at a time onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arranged 4 inches apart.  Pat tops of dough flat, then wrap pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

When fully refrigerated, heat oven to 375'.  Bake for 18 minutes, until cookies are browned on the edges.  Cool completely before serving.