Asian Inspired Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Asian Inspired Meatball Lettuce Wraps (10) WM

Asian Inspired Meatball Lettuce Wraps (15) WM

I made these last summer, and with selling a house / buying a new one and starting grad school I never had time to post the recipe.  Things have calmed down a bit, so I’m hoping to post all of my back-logged recipes and then actually photograph some new ones!

 

serves 4

time: close to an hour, probably

 

Green Cashew Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 limes
  • 3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons sweet thai chili sauce (I used 4 tablespoons)

 

 

 

Mango Slaw

  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • handful of shredded carrots
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into matchstick sized pieces
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 1 lime

 

 

Meatball Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground hamburger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey

 

Accoutrements

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1/2 cup sweet thai chili sauce, for dipping
  • toasted cashews

 

 

Asian Inspired Meatball Lettuce Wraps (6) WM Asian Inspired Meatball Lettuce Wraps (1) WM

Green Cashew Sauce Directions

Step 1: Place the cilantro, basil, cashews, coconut milk, lime juice, Thai red curry paste and sweet thai chile sauce to a food processor.

Step 2: Blend until smooth and creamy.

Step 3: Add more of the ingredients if needed.

 

Mango Slaw Directions

Step 1: Combine the mangos, shredded carrots, matchstick cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion, jalapeno, and fresh lime juice.

Step 2: Mix well.

 

Meatball Directions

Step 1: Mix the two meats together well.

Step 2: Roll into small balls.

Step 3: Cook the meatballs thoroughly.

Step 4: Stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, and honey.

Step 5: Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce

 

Put it all together

Step 1: Place the meatballs, cashew sauce, mango salsa, and toasted cashews on a washed piece of lettuce…enjoy!!

 

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Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops & Green Beans

Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (8) WM Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (1) WM

I love the spices that Moroccan food uses.  For the most part the spices are minimal, but each pack a punch of savory, unique flavors.

Serves 4

time: about 45 minutes

Ingredients:

4 pork chops

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 salt

1 bell pepper (red or orange) sliced into large strips

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

coconut oil, for pan

fresh green beans, stems removed

 

Directions:

  1. Combine coriander, cumin, salt, half of the fresh bell pepper, olive oil, almonds and garlic cloves to a food processor; process until smooth.
  2. Place the ground mixture into a zip lock bag or large container with a lid.
  3. Coat the pork chops with the sauce mixture.
  4. After your skillet is hot, add a bit of coconut oil (or any high-heat oil).  Reduce the heat to medium-high and then add each pork chop.  Sear each side in the hot pan, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to cook until the pork chops are cooked through (flip occasionally).
  5. Add the fresh green beans and the other half of bell peppers to the sauce mixture left in the bag, coating evenly.  Cook in a skillet for about 5 minutes until they are soft but still crunchy.
  6. Serve hot!

 

Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (3) WM Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (6) WM

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (22) wm

Quinoa is an ancient grain from the Andean region of South American, including Peru.  While my husband and I were in Peru last month we actually didn’t eat any quinoa – our guide for the Choquequirao trek said that most of the quinoa is exported out of the country and what remains is expensive.  While at home in Colorado we eat a lot of quinoa, mainly in salads because it’s not so great on its own.  This is a quick and easy salad, perfect for those warm nights.

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (3) wm

Serves 4-6

time: roughly 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per package directions

cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2  orange bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

green onion, sliced thinly

cucumber, peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces

kalamata olives, sliced in half

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

black pepper

kosher salt

feta cheese

pine nuts

 

Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions – remove from heat and let cool.

2) After washing the vegetables cut them and set aside on the cutting board.   Slice the kalamata olives in half.

3) In a serving bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and salt.  Stir, and add additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper or salt if needed.

4) Toast the pine nuts to a golden brown.

5) Add the quinoa and vegetables to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture and stir well to combine.

6) Top with the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese (if you won’t be eating all of the quinoa salad just add the pine nuts and feta cheese to each plate).

 

 

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Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (6) wm

German Potato Salad

 

 

German potato salad (24) WM

After spending two weeks in Peru, we are back in Colorado.  Our trip to Peru took us on a 4 day trek to the Incan ruins of Choquequirao high in the Ande mountains, to South America’s largest zip line in Santa Theresa, to amazing hot springs over looking the river in Santa Theresa, to the not so tourist town of Quillabamba, the gorgeous city of Cusco, to the very tourist city of Aguas Calientes and Machu Pichu, to the hot, humid and noisy city of Lima, and to other small towns in between.

We left Colorado with several weeks of 5″ of snow and cold weather – and now we are back to sunshine and warm weather!  It will be nice and sunny until this weekend where we’ll dip 20-30 degrees and have snow…so is the life in Colorado.

I actually made this recipe last summer but didn’t get the chance to post it.  My husband and I made it again last night, and as before it was delicious!  If you are looking for a potato salad that does not have mayonnaise, look no further.  This recipe uses red potatoes, bacon, white vinegar, sugar and whole mustard seed mustard.  It is sweet and tangy.  Read below for the directions.

German potato salad (2) WM

Serves 6-8

time: 1 hour, roughly

Ingredients:

15 small to medium red potatoes, washed and poked with a fork

6 slices bacon

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup white vinegar

6 tablespoons water

9 tablespoons white sugar

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons whole mustard seed mustard

2-4 hard boiled eggs

1 bunch dill, washed and chopped finely

 

Directions:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling place the red potatoes in the water and boil for about 20 minutes / until soft when poked with a fork.  Drain and set aside to cool.  Once cool slice into bite sized cubes.

2) Boil the eggs for about 20 minutes, drain the water, cool the eggs then slice them into bite sized pieces.

3) Heat a skillet to high and cook the bacon, being sure to not burn the pieces (turn the heat down if needed).  Once the bacon has cooked place on a paper towel lined plate and press out the extra grease.  Break into little pieces and set aside.

4) Drain most of the bacon grease.  Add the diced red onion and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly brown.

6) Place the cooked & cut up potatoes pieces into the pan with the cooked onions and cook for a little over 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.

6) In a small bowl mix together the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir into the potato and red onion mixture in the skillet.  Remove from the heat.

7)  Scoop the potato mixture into a serving bowl.  Stir in the chopped eggs, bacon pieces and chopped dill.  Stir to combine.  Serve immediately (this potato salad can be served cold, but it’s better warm).

 

German potato salad (10) WM

 

German potato salad (15) WM

 

 

Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta

Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta (12) WM

This is a Food Network recipe, but as always I’ve modified the recipe just a tad.  The Parmesan & chopped parsley in the bread crumbs were awesome (of course you can use gluten free bread crumbs to make this a gluten free meal).
Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta (8) WM
Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta (18) QM
serves:4
time: about an hour
Ingredients:
(pork chops)
4 thick (bone in or not) pork chops
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (gluten free if needed)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (or any hard cheese, really)
1/4 bunch of parsley leaves, chopped finely
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
high heat oil (avocado or coconut)
(polenta)
1 cup yellow corn meal
3 cups water
salt to taste
(mushrooms)
1 pound (or more) cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly.
Directions:
1)Heat a heavy skillet, I always prefer cast iron, once hot pour in a bit of high heat oil – you’ll need to work fast on this next step so that the oil doesn’t get too hot.  Also boil the water for the polenta.
2) Combine the panko bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a flat dish with sides (like a pyrex).  Beat the eggs in another flat dish with sides. Place each pork chop in the beaten eggs, 1 at a time.  Then, place the egged pork chop  in the bread crumb mixture, being sure to coat all of the pork chops.3)  Place the breaded pork chops into your hot skillet.  Cook the first side on high for about 3 minutes; flip and cook that side for about 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the pork chops are still slightly pink.  Remove the pork chops from the skillet and place on a plate then cover with tin foil.

4) While the pork chops are cooking, add the corn meal & salt to the boiling water.  Corn meal cooks really fast, like in 5 minutes – if it becomes too thick just add a bit more water.  You can also add a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese if you want.

5)  After you pull the pork chops off the skillet and cover with tin foil add a bit more oil, if needed, to the hot skillet.  Cook the thickly sliced cremini mushrooms for a few minutes.  They will become tender.

6) Serve the breaded pork chops, polenta and sauteed mushrooms and enjoy with a salad!  Oh, and wine 🙂

Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta (2) WM Breaded Pork Chops with Polenta (7) WM

 

Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Mojo Marinade

pork tenderloin tacos (29) WM

I am going through some of the recipes that I didn’t have time to post last year, this is from the summer so not exactly winter food, but it’s still amazing…maybe book mark it for later!

Mojo sauce is amazing, I guess you can buy a bottle of it, but the real fresh sauce is so easy to make!

 

Mojo Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup orange juice

2 lemons, squeezed

1 lime, squeezed

5 garlic cloves

1 bunch cilantro

1 1/2 jalapenos

1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Mojo Marinade Directions:

1) Combine all of the ingredients above into a Cuisinart food processor, and blend until chopped.

2) Pour over the pork tenderloin in a shallow dish (you want the meat to be covered in the marinade as much as possible); cover and refrigerate over night.  Turn the pork tenderloin over halfway through the day (unless it is all the way covered by the marinade).

pork tenderloin tacos (21) WM

Onion Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt

 

Onions Directions:

1.  Slice the red onion really thinly; place the slices in a bowl.

2. Pour the red wine or apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water over onion.

3. Stir in the sugar and salt.

4. Cover the bowl and let the onions sit until they are slightly pickled, about 30 minutes. Drain.

These onions can be made ahead, no longer than 2 days ahead.  Once the liquid has cooled, cover and refrigerate.

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Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos with Spicy Goat Cheese

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (22) WM

I love tacos.  I love smoke paprika and I really, really love goat cheese!  This recipe combines all of these wonderful ingredients into an amazing taco (another one of my favorites – I could eat tacos all of the time!).

Serves 4

Time: 1 hour + a little extra

Chicken Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1.5  teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, sliced into wedges
1 sweet onion, sliced thickly into 8 slices
Spicy Goat Cheese Queso
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
2garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Taco Additions
corn tortillas for serving
chopped tomatoes
sliced avocado
cilantro, de-stemed

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder in a small bowl.

3. Place the sliced onion all over the bottom of the baking dish, rub the chicken with the spices and then place the chicken on top of the onions.  Set the lime wedges in between the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool slightly, then shred.

4.  For the spicy goat cheese queso, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the diced jalapeño and garlic.  Simmer, without burning, for about 1 – 2 minutes.  Once the butter mixture is slightly boiling whisk in flour to create a roux.   Turn to low and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the roux is golden brown and bubbly.  Then, pour the milk in whisking until smooth and combined (keeping heat on low).   Once the roux has slightly thickened add the goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts and is creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

5. Slice the tomatoes and avocado and tear off the cilantro leaves from the steam.

6. Once the chicken has cooked shred into bite sized pieces.  Heat up the tacos until soft, scoop out some chicken onto each taco and add the vegetables and place a dollop of the goat cheese queso on top.

 

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (12) WM

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (5) WM

Kale with Tahini Sauce

Kale with Tahini Sauce (28) WM

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

½ white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

coconut oil (or other high heat oil)

salt

pepper

4 tablespoons tahini sauce (I found that the Whole Foods brand is the best)

2-3 tablespoons water

1/2 lemon, juiced

 

 

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (24) WM

Directions:

1) Wash the kale, then chop it up to slightly larger than bite sized pieces. Chop up the onions to about the size of your pinky nail – small, but not too small.  Mince the garlic.

2) Heat up your skillet to medium-high and add a little bit of oil, let it get warm for about a minute then all the chopped kale, onion & garlic. Season with salt & pepper and stir to coat evening. Reduce to medium-low, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

3) In a small bowl thoroughly combine the tahini sauce, water and lemon juice.

4) Once the kale has softened and browned a little bit, stir in the tahini sauce / water / lemon juice mixture and stir to coat. Continue to cook on low for about 3 minutes, serve warm.

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (11) WM

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (1) WM

Millet Salad

Millet Salad (4) WM

Millet is a grass, it has a sort-of corn taste.  I found that it required a tad bit more water than stated in the cooking directions, which I account for here.  1 cup dry, raw millet yields about 3 ½ cups cooked millet.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry millet

2 1/4 cups water

salt

pepper

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

can black beans, drained and rinsed

avacado

tomato

bell pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Boil the water, add a pinch of salt & millet – cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes without opening the lid.

2) When the millet is cooked it will be soft; remove the cooked millet from the stove, leave covered and let stand for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes take the lid off and let cool completely.

3) While the millet is cooking, drain/rinse the black beans and chop the avocado, tomato and bell pepper.

4) After the millet has cooled add olive oil & balsamic vinegar – roughly 2 tablespoon of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar – add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

5) Add the chopped black beans, avocado, tomato, and bell pepper  – stir to combine.  Crumble the feta or goat cheese on top of the mixed salad.

6) Serve chilled.

 

Millet Salad (1) WM

 

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Tahini Cauliflower

tahini cauliflower (8) WM

This year was the first time that I had tahini.  I was sold. Wikipedia says that tahini is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine.

I wanted to add a little extra something to plain old cauliflower.  I added a bit of tahini and lemon juice to sauteed cauliflower – the result was fantastic!!

 

tahini cauliflower (4) WM

Serves: 2-3

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

head of cauliflower

6 tablespoons tahini sauce

salt & pepper if desired

coconut oil

black sesame seeds

 

Directions:

1) Wash the head of cauliflower and cut into bite sized pieces.

2) Heat up a skillet with a small scoop of coconut oil; let the oil get warm and then put the cauliflower in.  Cook on medium-high heat until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy, and golden brown.

3) Put the from the skillet into a serving bowl.  Add the tahini sauce and stir, add more if you’d like (or less).  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the tahini cauliflower and mix if you want.

4) Serve hot with a little black sesame seeds sprinkled over each serving.

 

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