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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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).

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (40) wm

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

 

 

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

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (16) WM

You’d never guess what’s in this amazing chocolate cake (except if you read the title of this recipe 🙂 ).  Yep, it’s quinoa.  You can’t even tell at all.  It’s probably one of the most moist chocolate cakes that I have had.  My sister is celiac and came into town so I made this cake so that she’d have dessert at my friend’s birthday party.  For some reason the cake came out of the pan in two pieces, so I made what was supposed to be a two-layer cake into a “dirt cake” (I’m not sure what else to call it, but it’s like the “dirt cake” I had as a kid minus the gummy worms).

I am going to try making this recipe again and hope that I have better luck with the cake coming out of the pans so that I can actually have a beautiful looking layered cake 🙂  I added the whipped cream that was supposed to be the frosting into the mess of cake and also made vanilla pudding.  This doesn’t keep that well so eat it the day you make it (and refrigerate covered until you do).

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (6) WM

Chocolate Quinoa Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked to package directions (plus a tad bit more water) & cooled

1/3 cup milk

4 large eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Cake Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa, make sure that it is completely cooked and not crunchy at all.  Set aside to cool.

2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8-inch round pans, line the bottom with parchment paper (I think I skipped this step because I used Wilton’s cake release, don’t skip this step).

3) Blend together the milk, eggs & vanilla in a food processor.

4) Add the cooked & cooled quinoa and butter to the milk, eggs & vanilla mixture in the food processor.  Blend until completely smooth – you do not want chunks of quinoa.

5) Wisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Then stir in the quinoa mixture from the food processor.

6) Pour the cake mixture evenly into your two pans.

7) Bake the cake for about 30 minutes / until it is cooked through.

8) If the cake comes out of the pan in one pieces (!! I hope yours does !!) skip the vanilla pudding step.  Or, break your cake up in a decorative dish if you want to add the vanilla pudding.

 

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

 

Vanilla Pudding Directions:

1) While the cake is baking, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles – be sure that you don’t over cook or burn the milk!  Turn down to low.

2) Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.  Pour the mixture into the heated milk a little bit at a time, stirring during each addition.

3) Continue to cook the pudding until it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil!!

4) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

5) Pour into a bowl and let cool in your refrigerator.

 

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

small container of heavy whipping cream

sugar

vanilla

 

Whipped Cream Directions:

1) With the wisk attachment beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.

2) Gently stir in the sugar & vanilla to taste – don’t add too much sugar as this will be going into the already sweet chocolate cake with the vanilla pudding.

 

Cake Assembly:

1) Pour the cooled vanilla pudding and whipped cream into the dish with the crumbled chocolate quinoa cake.

2) Gently stir together until it’s all combined; serve chilled the same day.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (8) WM

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken (2)WM

My husband has really wanted to make tandoori chicken in our Green Egg ever since we got it, so about 2 years.  We finally did and it was awesome!  Our homemade tandoori chicken isn’t as read as what you get in most restaurants, my husband said that’s because they add red food coloring.  I’m ok with our less red tandoori chicken! Raita is a Greek yogurt based sauce that is fantastic to eat with spicy Indian food!

 

Tandoori Chicken (22) WM

time: overnight + 2 hours

Chicken Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
fresh ginger, roughly one inch, peeled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons paprika
one lime, squeezed
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
mix of chicken pieces, about 2-3 a person
Veggie Ingredients:
broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
onion, sliced thickly
bell pepper, sliced thickly
Chicken Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Place the chicken in a ziplock plastic bag, add the marinade mix the marinade around the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave on the counter for 30 minutes.

4. Get your grill ready.  For charcoal arrange the coals on either side of the grate, leaving a space in the middle.  Light and let sit for about 1/2 hour until the charcoal turns gray/black. For gas grills, heat one side to medium-high heat and leave one side without any heat.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade; place the sliced side veggies in the bag with marinade after you remove the chicken.

6. Place the chicken on the unheated part of the grill.

5. Close the grill lid and grill the chicken for about 90 minutes until cooked through; turn the chicken every 20 minutes.

6. Serve the tandoori chicken with the chilled raita, veggies, and rice.

 

Raita Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
one lemon, squeezed
garlic, crushed
1/8 white onion, chopped
tomato, diced
cucumber, peeled and diced
mint, chopped
salt
pepper
cumin seeds
Raita Directions:

1. Squeeze lemon, chop up veggies.

2. Stir into the Greek yogurt, season to taste.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

 

Tandoori Chicken (20) WM

Tandoori Chicken (3) WM

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (16) WM

The first time that I had lamb was when I was in college; it was served with mint sauce and it was absolutely disgusting.  The second time I had lamb was a few months after I graduated college and my college friends and I went up to Guerneville, CA for a weekend to celebrate all of the libra birthdays (there were a ton of us!).  My one friend and I were camping and had brought hot dogs and other boring camping food.  We had befriended some older guys who were camping, and they invited us over for some fun drinks (I believe margaritas) – yes they camping in style, now know as “clamping” but that term wasn’t around in 2005! haha.  As we were sipping on our drinks dinner some how came up.  We told them that we were having hotdogs, and they said “No you are not!  You are going to have some lamb with us!).  They had been marinading the lamb in rosemary and white wine.  Again, this was camping and they were eating like queens!  I was blown away by my first grilled lamb.  Ah.maz.ing.

So, that’s my lamb story, after the dinner in Guerneville I became a believer of lamb.  The guys showed me that lam in fact is not nasty.

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (2 WM)

Ingredients:

lamb chops (one per person)

1 cupsbalsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

5 springs fresh rosemary, chopped finely

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt

pepper

cast iron pan

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven’s broiler.

2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, chopped rosemary and crushed garlic in a small pot over medium high heat.  Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce to medium low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.

3. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven so it gets hot.

4. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on each side.  Place the lamb chops in the hot skillet Let one side sizzle for a second, then flip over.  Place the skillet with the lamb chops in the broiler and broil each side for roughly 3 minutes.  Lamb is like beef, you can eat it when it’s still pink (and you really, really don’t want to over cook it).  Which reminds me, I should have taken a picture with one of the lamb chops cut open.

5. Once the lamb chops have been cooked, place on each plate and drizzle with the balsamic rosemary reduction.  Serve with a fresh salad, and the carb of your choice.

 

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (22) WM Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (8) WM

 

Rice Noodles with Shrimp & Cashews

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (52) WM

Serves: 4

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

one package uncooked rice noodles
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, minced
4 red chillies, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup whole roasted cashews
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

 

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (36) WMDirections:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water, and cook the rice noodles according to package directions (don’t overcook as they will continue to cook in the sauce).  Drain and rinse the noodles in cold water.
  2. Combine the honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and lime juice.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot spoon in half of the peanut oil, dump in the shrimp after the oil has gotten a tad bit warm.  Cook the shrimp until they are cooked through, then remove them from the pan.
  4. Add the other tablespoon of oil, the garlic, red chillies and red bell peppers; saute for about 3 minutes (you want the red bell peppers to still be crunchy).
  5. Add the cashews and stir fry for about a minute.
  6. Add the sauce and the shrimp to the vegetables then cook for another minute.
  7. Add the noodles and cook for about 3 minutes – stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  8. Scoop out the noodle mixture and place on individual plates, then top with the chopped green onions and cilantro.

 

Chilli Cashew Shrimp Noodles (70) WM

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Chicken Skewers

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (9) WM

My car needed new front brakes so I took it to the mechanic today, and brought my bike to ride the 6 miles home.  The guy at the front desk asked if I needed a ride, I said ‘no, I’m going to ride my bike’ – he replied with, ‘next time you can use one of ours!’.  How very cool (and very Boulder) that my mechanic has several bikes that their customers can use!!

Onto this recipe.  As I’ve been saying in post after post, it’s summer so I have been grilling & using summer fruits and veggies – this recipe is no exception.  The balsamic vinegar & honey added a nice light touch of flavor to the chicken, and the quinoa & strawberry, goat cheese and nut salad were both a perfect compliment.

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (4) WM

serves 4

time: about 1 hour (marinade the night before)

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

2.5 good sized boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients:
strawberries
spinach
goat cheese
mixed seasoned/sugared nuts
I also used a cup of dried quinoa, cook according to package directions.

Directions:

  1. The night before.  Cut off any extra fat from the chicken breasts and then cut into 1 inch chunks and place in a gallon ziplock bag.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the gallon bag with the chicken.  Mush around and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The day of.  Soak 3-4 wooden skewers in a shallow dish filled with water while getting the grill, quinoa and salad ready.
  4. Right before the grill is ready, thread the chicken pieces onto the water-soaked wooden skewers.
  5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook until no longer pink, turning over so all sides get charred.
  6. Wash and slice a good few handfuls of ripe strawberries, place on top of washed spinach.  Crumble goat cheese and throw a handful of mixed seasoned/sugared nuts on top
  7. Eat with your favorite beer, because it’ll make it that much better!

 

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (18) WM