Category Archives: Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower Salad


This is a salad that I tasted for the first time at one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Otto. My only hang up is that the original calls for olives, which I loathe. When I made this I left the olives out but you could easily chop up and add 16 Kalamata olives during the last step to make it a truly authentic Mediterranean dish.

On the menu:
Roasted cauliflower salad
Serves 4 as a side

1 large head of cauliflower (around 3 lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp capers
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

Clean stem and leaves off of the head of cauliflower. Chop cauliflower into bite sized pieces with flat sides (this just makes roasting and caramelizing easier). Rinse in a colander and shake off as much excess water as possible.

Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with olive oil and black pepper. Spread in one layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip cauliflower with tongs and roast for another 10 – 20 minutes until your pieces are golden brown and softened.

Spread cauliflower on a plate in one layer so that it cools down a bit.

In a large bowl, add capers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a healthy pinch of salt. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. (This is where you would add your chopped olives if you wanted)

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

‘Tis the season to cook with pumpkin. You’ve been bombarded by orange at the farmer’s market, inundated with pumpkin recipes from your daily email recipe newsletters, and overwhelmed by Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts commercials featuring pumpkin flavored everything. I would say it’s cliche, but really… it’s just delicious. Below is an incredibly easy recipe that yields a flavorful soup that would serve as a lovely first course to any fall meal, or as a hearty lunch with crusty bread on the side. Don’t hold back, friends… give in to the power of pumpkin.

On the menu:
Pumpkin Ginger Soup
Serves 4
Adapted fromĀ this recipe at Yumm.com

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger, finely grated (or use 1 Tbsp ginger powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 15-oz. cans of pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Sriracha (or similar hot sauce)

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, pumpkin, stock, cream, and hot sauce. Stir until combined and turn down heat until the soup is simmering. Simmer for 25 minutes, occasionally stirring. Use an immersion blender to blend* in the pot, or pour soup into a standing blender and blend until completely pureed. Replace soup in the pot and heat until hot and ready to serve. Top with crunchy pumpkin seeds if desired.

*Note: you don’t necessarily have to blend this soup, but I found the crunchy onions distracting so I ended up blending the entire pot after I ate one bowl. It was much creamier and much more flavorful after all. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of dirtying your blender, though, it’ll still be delicious without the blending.

3 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

PB&J Oatmeal Breakfast Bars


I don’t know too many people who like preparing elaborate breakfasts on weekday mornings, including me who is sans day job at the moment. I prefer cereal and the occasional bagel if I have an extra minute. But The BF grabs whatever is handy and races out the door, eating later at his desk while checking email. He’s not a big fan of hot oatmeal and one can only eat bananas for so many meals, so I decided to try and come up with something that he’d look forward to eating but that also didn’t start his day off with a total calorie fest. I found these incredible and surprisingly healthy breakfast bars on “Oh She Glows” (don’t worry, guys, men can eat these, too) and added a few things to make them BF-friendly.

On the menu:
PB&J Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 9 large squares (you can cut them smaller if you like)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant), divided
3 Tbsp chia seed
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk (use soy milk or almond milk to make these vegan)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 ripe banana, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.

Blend 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender or food processor until it forms a fine flour (you can skip this by buying oat flour and just using 1 cup of it). Add oat flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, chia seed, flax seed, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, honey, peanut butter, banana, and vanilla until combined (obviously the chunkier ingredients won’t fully combine but do the best you can). Add this bowl to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth over so the batter is even.

In a small saucepan, combine orange juice and jam. Over low/medium heat, cook until the mixture becomes smooth with no lumps. Pour the hot jam over the batter in the pan until the bars are completely covered.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Let fully cool before cutting into squares.

Note: You could do virtually anything you want with these bars. I was thinking a pumpkin pie oatmeal bar would be to die for, with the addition of a cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp all spice, and maybe a crumble of brown sugar on top (removing the jam and PB and banana, of course). Still just as healthy as the above recipe and a completely different taste.

Last note!: Read all about the health benefits of chia seeds and flax seed by clicking the links. It’s pretty incredible!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

Asian Steak


If I was forced to cook only one cuisine for the rest of my life, it would hands down be French food. It’s rich, it can be deceptively simple, and to me it’s the most comforting. The BF would heartily disagree. Whenever I make anything even remotely Asian-inspired he’s over the moon about it, but it happens to be my least favorite type of food. It’s a CONSTANT source of arguments between us, and the one hurdle we must face in our relationship.

Ha. Ha.

So this one’s for him! On this, our two year anniversary. Thanks for willingly putting up with me for 730 days.

On the menu:
Asian Steak
Serves 2

2 1-lb. steaks, 1 inch thick (any cut that fits those size perameters will do)
2 Tbsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp honey
6 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil plus 2 Tbsp, divided
3 cloves of garlic, halved

In a large bowl, whisk together the coriander, honey, soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Rub the steaks all over with the halved garlic and then add the garlic to the bowl with honey mixture. Put steaks in the bowl and cover with honey mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or let sit out at room temperature for around 45 minutes before cooking.

Once marinated, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet. Sear steaks on either side for 3 minutes. Lower the heat and finish cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side.

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving alongside white rice with a splash of soy sauce if you like.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

Seared Tuna Sushi Bowl


This is a super healthy, easy peasy meal that comes together in 20 minutes and will satisfy your sushi craving without all those fancy sushi kits and chopsticks. Try and avoid purchasing bluefin tuna! It’s overfished and is considered endangered.

On the menu:
Seared tuna sushi bowls
Serves 2

3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 pound sushi grade tuna
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, cubed
3 scallions, sliced
1 small sheet nori, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp soy sauce

Put the rice in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 – 15 minutes.

While the rice cooks, put a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the tuna all over with the oil and sprinkle with salt. When the pan is very hot, add the tuna and sear on each side (including the edges) for around 3 minutes per side. The fish will be raw in the middle. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 4 minutes before thinly slicing.

Once the rice is cooked, divide it between 2 bowls and top with tuna. Sprinkle with cucumber, avocado, scallions, and nori. Add soy sauce and sesame seeds and serve.

2 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Recipes

Oh… hello. It’s you again.

Sorry for the radio silence this week, friends. This tiny mini-post is just an homage to my most popular post about, what else, pancakes. If you need a nice, quick little recipe this long weekend for breakfast, this is it! Pancakes. Pure and simple. Have a fabulous weekend, friends, and I’ll see you next week!

The Only Pancake Recipe You Will Ever Need

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes

Week of the Garbage Plate: Hot Sauce


This is the very last step in the process, and the reason for the whole week’s worth of posts: the sauce. Without the chili hot sauce, it’s just a mess of ingredients on the plate. With the hot sauce, it’s truly a Rochester Garbage Plate.

Rochester Plate Sauce, the product that tops my homemade plate in the picture above, is a strikingly close facsimile to the stuff you’ll get in Rochester on a traditional plate. The sauce comes in a packet that can be heated up by placing the pouch in boiling water for two minutes and then pouring over your finished plate (that’s the mac salad, the homefries, then the burger). The Plate Sauce is a little bit on the spicy side, but it makes the plate a PLATE. Die hard plate fans will notice that it lacks the finely ground beef that traditional plates in Rochester feature but again, it’s probably as close as you’ll get if you’re a Rochester ex-pat living in Nebraska or Texas. Well worth the $10 it’ll cost you for 3 pouches.

The last step to the plate is the chopped onions (standard raw white onion, chopped), yellow mustard, and ketchup. And it is extremely important to note that the ketchup design is unique to each person: some prefer the swirly, some go with the smiley face, I prefer the checkerboard. It’s really up to you. And yes… it makes a difference.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking, Recipes