Friday, August 28, 2015

Sweet Potato Noodles with Corn, Black Beans & Chipotle Crema

I have a new obsession. My spiralizer. I will admit that I almost accepted defeat with it the first couple of times I tried to use it (cucumber bits EVERYWHERE), but once I got the hang of it I fell in looooooove. There's no way that vegetable noodles will ever be able to replace classic pasta noodles in my mind, but I love the flexibility and the numerous options that my spiralizer gives me. Especially since I plan on looking svelte in my wedding dres,s and pasta and cheese don't really go hand in hand with that plan. I got this recipe from the Inspiralized website, which features more recipe ideas than I could ever imagine, making eating your veggies ridiculously easy, and delicious to boot!

Sweet Potato Noodles with Corn, Black Beans, and Chipotle Crema
Serves 4

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1-2 tbsp. mayo or sour cream
  • 2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your grill over medium-high heat. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and grill on all sides, until slightly charred. Remove from the grill, cut the kernels from the cobb and toss the cooked kernels with the black beans, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, run the sweet potatoes, 1 at a time, through your vegetable spiralizer. Heat the remaining tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the sweet potato noodles and toss with the garlic and oil, cooking the noodles for 8-10 minutes, until softened.

To make the chipotle crema, blend the avocado, chipotle, mayo/sour cream, and 1 juiced lime in a food processor until smooth.

To plate, add the noodles to 4 shallow bowls or plates. Top with the  black bean/corn mixture, then drizzle the chipotle crema over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced jalapenos. Serve with lime quarters.

This recipe post was not sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese

You guys. Can we just talk about how it was 84 degrees in Phoenix this week? I know that there is still plenty of Arizona summer left to be had, but it was a nice change of pace to not see triple digits, and get to see some rain and cooler temperatures for a day or two. The second the weather drops I start craving all the things pumpkin, and fall, and cozy. Sometimes we even crank down the air in the house so we can wear blankets and sweatshirts on the couch (we're really normal, I promise). Today's BBQ chicken version of mac and cheese just screams comfort, with all the smokiness from the BBQ  sauce, and the creamy sauce. Plus, I have to let you in on a little secret. I am not one for leftovers. Like, I don't even own a microwave. I like my food best when it's freshly prepared. But, we had a little bit of this leftover, and I ate it. Cold. Out of the fridge. And I loved it. I don't even know myself anymore.

BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese

  • 12 oz. pasta noodles, cooked according to box directions
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded chicken 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
In a a medium pot, bring the broth to a simmer, then add in the cream cheese. Whisk until the cream cheese melts into the broth and becomes smooth. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Continue to whisk and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add in the chicken and BBQ sauce to the sauce. Add the cooked noodles to the BBQ chicken cheese sauce and toss until the noodles are covered. Serve in bowls and top with fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Watermelon Mint Coconut Ice Cream

I have been perfecting my ice cream recipes time and time again, experimenting with base consistencies, different dairy mixtures, and the most fun part, the add-ins! Today I am going to show you a dairy-free version of ice cream that gets it's flavor from fresh watermelon syrup, coconut milk, and fresh mint. Simple, summery, and refreshing. I did find that the coconut flavor sort of overpowered the watermelon, so if you wanted, you could sub out 1 can of coconut milk for plain milk or cream, but I like the tropical flavor of the coconut shining through.

Watermelon Mint Coconut Ice Cream

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh watermelon juice (I juiced mine, but you could blend up fresh watermelon and strain out the pulp)
  • 2 15-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
  • 15 fresh mint leaves

Add the watermelon juice to a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Allow the juice to reduce down to 3/4 cup, about 35 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, sugar, honey, lime zest and juice, and mint leaves. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is warmed through. 

Pour the mixture into a bowl, and place into a larger bowl filled halfway with ice water. Place in the fridge until the ice cream base has cooled completely. Pour the ice cream base through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the mint leaves. 

Place the cooled and strained ice cream base into your ice cream maker and churn for 15 minutes until thickened. Place into an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 hours until hardened.

Recipe slightly adapted from Yeah...Imma Eat That

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blueberry Peach Tartlets

Is it clear that I just do not want summer to end? I know we still have a bit more to go before the temps drop below 100 degrees, but something about having a nice summer tan and being able to eat as many peaches as I can while they are rips is just so fitting for me. Speaking of tan, I am actually more like a lobster right now, seeing as I just got back from my bachelorette party weekend and those couple of hours tanning on the sailboat turned from golden bronze to singed real quick. I can't thank my girlfriend enough for throwing me the most amazing beach house weekend. It was the perfect "send-off" before getting to marry the love of my life. But I couldn't leave my betrothed for the weekend without some treats while I was gone. These tartlets are perfectly-sized hand-pies and filled with ripe summer fruit and topped with a sweet icing. Make these for a breakfast, or even dessert for an homage to summer and all things peachy!

 Love you girls! 

Blueberry Peach Tartlets

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 peach, pitted, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, 3 tbsp. of the sugar and the salt. Using your hands, crumble the butter into the dough until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the water in 1 tbsp. at a time, mixing until dough forms, careful not to make the dough too wet.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a log. Cut the dough into 6-8 evenly sized pieces. Flatten them into disks, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the disks from the fridge, roll them out into 4-inch circles and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Toss the peaches and blueberries in the remaining tbsp. of sugar and place a heaping spoonful of the fruit in the center of each disk. Fold the sides of the disks up around the fruit and place into the oven to bake for 35 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

Remove form the heat and allow to cool on a rack. Once the tartlets have cooled, whisk the powdered sugar and the water together to make a smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the tartlets and serve.

Slightly adapted from Food & Wine

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bahn Mi Ramen

Hi, my name is Rhea and I am a bahn mi addict {everybody in unison: Hi Rhea}. It's true. Don't believe me, check out my recent posts about bahn mi sandwiches and bahn mi hot dogs. There's just something about those pickled carrots and crunchy cucumbers that suck me in every time. Now, I've gone on to create bahn mi ramen bowls, complete with crispy shredded pork and topped with all of the toppings. So many that you can't even see the noodles nestled underneath of them. Not sorry about it one bit. 

You know what else I'm not sorry about? My 3-day weekend hiatus that I am about to embark on. I'm leaving the Arizona sun for the California coast, for none other than my bachelorette weekend. Technically our wedding isn't for another 6 months, but finding a weekend for 11 girls to get away proved to be a difficult task, and this one just worked, so we're rolling with it. ut if you don't find yourself at a bachelorette party this weekend, the next best thing to do is to make this ramen. Trust me.

Bahn Mi Ramen

  • 4 packages ramen, flavor packets saved for another use
  • 2 cups shredded pork (I used leftovers from this recipe)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. tamari (can substitute soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
Pickled Carrots:
  • 1 large carrot, peeled with vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • thinly sliced cucumber
    • chopped green onions
    • 1 small avocado, thinly sliced
    • 4 soft-boiled eggs**
    • fresh cilantro

    Prepare the pickled carrots at least 4 hours before, or even the night before. Simply toss the peeled carrots with the sugar and vinegar, and place in the fridge for 4 hours or so.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ramen noodles for about 5 minutes until softened, but not mushy.

    Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the shredded pork to the hot oil. Add in the tamari, rice vinegar, and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the pork is crispy and aromatic.

    Once the ramen is cooked and the pork is crispy, fill 4 bowls with the ramen and top with the pork. garnish with the pickled carrots, cucumber, green onions, avocado, cilantro and a soft-boiled egg.

    **To soft-boil the eggs, simply bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a rolling simmer and add in the eggs. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the heat and add to a bowl of ice water and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully place the eggs on a dish towel and crack the shell with the back of a spoon. Gently peel off the shell, and serve immediately.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Watermelon Lemonade

    Watermelon Lemonade. While the concept is so simple, I feel like we don't see this option enough. It's summertime, the official season of lemonade, yet we almost only ever see the classic lemon rendition, but what about all of the other flavors in the world? Peach, blueberry, and today's twist, watermelon all come to mind when I think of flavored lemonade. So today I'm bringing you my simple no-fuss version, feel free to serve as is, or spiked with a little vodka when you're feeling extra dangerous! Cheers.

    Watermelon Lemonade

    • 4 lemons, juiced
    • 3 cups watermelon juice (I used my juicer, or you can use your blender and then pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve)
    • 1/3 cup find granulated sugar
    • 2 cups water
    • ice
    • fresh mint leaves for garnish

    In a large pitcher, mix together the lemon juice, watermelon juice, sugar and water. Stir, allowing the sugar to dissolve into the liquid.

    Fill glassware with ice and top with lemonade. Garnish with mint leaves. 

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015

    Kiwi Lime Sorbet Pops

    Something about sorbet is just the ultimate summer treat. Other than pina coladas, obvi. But what about sorbet in the form of a popsicle? It's basically mobile sorbet. Take it with you to the park. To the beach. To the couch. At least that's where all of the popsicles are devoured in my household. A nice 'Friends" marathon and popsicles. Just a little sneak peak into our home life. Thrilling, I know. But I knew that since I shared with you my newest favorite kitchen gadgets, you would be dying for another popsicle recipe to make in those amazing molds, so here ya go!

    Kiwi Lime Sorbet Pops

    • 10 kiwis, peeled then chopped
    • 3/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    In a blender, puree the kiwis, sugar, and lime juice. Pour into popsicle molds, place popsicle sticks in the center and freeze for 4 hours or overnight. 

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