Okonomiyaki Pasta

Okonomiyaki is a delicious Japanese savory pancake and one of my favorite snacks. Full of delicious, cabbage, bacon and sometimes octopus or squid. I decided to bring all those flavors into a fun pasta dish that will definitely excite your taste buds and would be a great addition to your dinner options!

Ingredients

2 cups of roughly chopped cabbage

1 pack of thick cut bacon cut into one inch pieces

1 bunch green onion

1 box of bucatini pasta

1 cup of frozen squid or octopus pieces

Japanese Mayo (kewpie)

Okonomi Sauce

Bonito Flakes

Directions

In a non stick pan cook bacon until crispy and set aside.

In the same pan (empty excess bacon fat and leave around half a cup) sauté octopus or squid until cooked throughout. Add cabbage and cook until cabbage cooks and browns. About 2 minutes.

Boil pasta per box instructions. I prefer 7 minutes with bucatini for the perfect al dente pasta.

Once pasta is drained, add half a cup of the okono sauce, squid, bacon and cabbage. Mix throughout.

Serve in a bowl and top with a drizzle of kewpie mayo, okono sauce and chopped green onion. If you have furikake in your pantry (as you should) sprinkle some on top as well for an extra layer of delicious umami flavor! Enjoy!

Paleo Cardamom Biscotti and Crunchy Quinoa Hu ChocoDrizzle

We were sent Hu Kitchen dark chocolate bars so we decided to make these easy and delicious biscottis using their dark chocolate to drizzle them and make them extra delicious! I can tell you right now their products are delicious, perfect for baking, snacking and sharing. These biscottis came out so scrumptious and flavorful you wouldn’t think they’re healthier and better for you!

Ingredients

2 Large Eggs

1/2 cup raw honey

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/4 coconut flour

1 Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate Bar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer add eggs, honey, butter and vanilla and stir until blended. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt cardamom. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until ingredients are combined.

Remove the dough from the bowl and separate into equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and place on oiled baking sheet.

Form each ball into a 1in high loaf. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.

Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 250°. Allow the loaves to cool for 15 minutes, then slice them into half inch pieces. place slices on baking sheet and bale for another 20 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Melt chocolate bar in microwave for 30 seconds. (*You can add a teaspoon of coconut oil to make the melted chocolate smoother.)

With a spoon drizzle melted chocolate freely over the biscottis.

Let cool and enjoy!

Vietnamese Steak Salad

It’s officially summer so it’s nice to take a break from heavy foods and go for something lighter and refreshing. So here’s a super easy, flavorful and refreshing recipe to add to your summer pool party that will make you stand out! Tender steak marinated in Vietnamese flavors, crunchy cucumber and bright and sweet tomatoes all come together along with thin glass noodles.

Ingredients

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 large lime

2 medium size tomatoes (quartered)

1 large cucumber (peeled and cut into bite size pieces.)

1 handful of fresh mint

Salt

1 medium red cerrano pepper (sliced thin)

1 pack of glass noodles

*Steak Marinade

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

Directions

Grill the marinated steaks to your meat temperature preference. I prefer medium well for this particular recipe.

Put them aside to cool off.

Cook glass noodles per packaging instructions. Drains and place in refrigerator to cool.

In a large bowl mix soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and lime juice. Whisk all ingredients.

Once steak has cooled off cut thin slices and add to bowl.

Add cucumber, tomatoes and noodles, sliced pepper and fresh mint.

Mix until all ingredients combined evenly.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

Ginger Scallion Meatballs with Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are a Japanese noodle made of buckwheat. I wasn’t really familiar with it prior to going to Japan but we had them there one night and really liked the flavor and texture.

For the meatballls recipe I used similar ingredients as in my Asian mini burgers simply because with just a few ingredients you will achieve delicious flavors.

Ingredients

16oz fresh ground spicy pork sausage

16oz lean ground beef

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tbsp garlic chili sauce

1/2 cup minced scallions/green onion

1 large egg


Meatballs Instructions

In a large bowl combine beef, pork, ginger, garlic chili sauce, minced green onion and egg.

Roll up meatballs into 1 inch diameter

Brown meatballs in a pan on medium heat

Transfer them to an oven safe tray and put in oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes


1 box of soba noodles (8oz)

1 bunch of fresh cilantro roughly chopped

1 bunch of green onion cut into 1in pieces

1 cup shredded carrots

5oz sliced shiitake mushrooms

Sauce Ingredients – 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup sesame oil, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, I tbsp garlic chili sauce. *Whisk together and set aside.

Directions

Using the same pan where you brown the meatballs. Sauté mushrooms until tender and browned.

Add shredded carrots and green onions.

Return meatballs to pan.

Add cooked soba noodles and sauce.

Mix together with tongs.

Add fresh cilantro and serve in large bowl.

*This recipe is also delicious served chilled.

Korean Rice Cakes with Pork

Im an equal opportunity lover when it comes to food. But asian food has a special place in my heart. The freshness of ingredients, the incredible flavors and variations of cooking techniques has always intrigued me and really have helped me broaden my palate.

My new favorites are “tteok” or korean rice cakes. These gooey and delicious nuggets of goodness are made of various grain flours including glutinous rice which gives them the amazing texture I love.

We have made a traditional recipe which we found too spicy (even for me!) due to the amount of gochujang (hot korean pepper paste) used. So I came up this with recipe which still uses gochujang but on a delicious and not painful heat level.

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Ingredients

1 lb pork loin or boneless pork country ribs (frozen)

2 tbsp gochujan paste

3 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup chopped green onion

2 tbsp sugar

4 minced garlic cloves

2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 cup korean cooking syrup (optional)

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup water

1 pack of korean rice cakes (You can find them at your local asian store. Some places make them fresh.)

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Directions

*Separate rice cakes individually and soak in cold water.

Carefully slice frozen pork into very thin slices. (Easier to slice using cerated knife.)

Combine sesame seed oil, soy sauce, garlic and gochujang paste.

Mix into pork slices and let it marinate for 30 minutes.

On a cast iron grill pan cook pork on high so it gets a nice carameliation. If you down have a cat iron skillet to grill pan use regular pan. Just make sure you cook on high heat to achieve a nice sear. Once cooked put aside.

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Heat pan to medium high and add the cooking oil and korean cooking  syrup.

Add rice cakes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add cooked pork, green onion and water and continue stiring for another 3 to 6 minutes until you see a nice glaze and all ingredients are combined. Serve and eat right away to enjoy the delicious texture of the rice cakes.

Optional – You can add extra green onions or furikake to top dish. Also you can add sliced korean fish cakes to the recipe for another later of flavor. 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Jackfruit Carnitas Mexican Bowl

I feel a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their head around enjoying a meal that doesn’t include meat. So here’s a recipe that meat lovers and vegetarians alike will enjoy. Jackfruit is a fruit original from southwest India. When green, the fruit pods are stringy and have very little flavor so recently its been used as a meat replacement in some delicious meals!

We aren’t really big meat eaters ourselves so this recipe quickly became a favorite for meatless days.

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Ingredients for the Jackfruit Carnitas

2 cans of green jackfruit (we used Trader Joe’s)

1 medium white onion (sliced)

Juice of 1 orange

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup canned sliced jalapeños

5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mexican seasoning pack

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

Directions

In medium high heat pan add oil, jalapeños and onions. Stir until onion is translucent and soft. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Drain jackfruit very well. *canned jackfruit comes in brine so we rinsed it to make it less salty. But no need to rinse.*

Add jackfruit to the pan along with mexican seasoning, red wine vinegar and orange juice. Stir and let simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until all ingredients are nicely mixed.

Mix in cilantro right before serving.

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Ingredients for Cilantro Rice

2 cups rice (we personally like long grain or jasmine rice)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 large lime

Salt to taste

1 tbsp live oil

Directions

Follow cooking directions on rice package for basic white rice.

Once cooked, let rice cool off to room temperature.

Add chopped cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, olive oil and salt to taste.

Mix all ingredients.

*We love this rice as a side dish to many meals such as grilled meats, tacos, burritos, bean stew and mexican bowls as this one!

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*Per title photo, we finished the bowl with tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, lettuce and tortillas. But you can add any ingredients of your liking for a delicious AND meatless meal! Enjoy!

 

Italian Semolina Bread

My boyfriend and I always look forward to our weekends together since we don’t get to see each other much during the week. Especially when we turn them into all out cooking weekends. We both absolutely love semolina bread, an Italian bread made of semolina flour, the same flour used to make pasta. Going to my boyfriend’s family gatherings for the last almost eight years semolina bread is always a staple and part of every holiday meal or special dinners.

This bread is a little more dense than your regular bread but delicious and goes great with salads, pasta or just as accompaniment to a great charcuterie board!

This recipe is a pretty traditional semolina bread recipe. But this time we used the King Arthur Flour recipe which calls for diastatic malt powder. An extra ingredient that helps the bread rise and create a softer texture.

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups semolina flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon diastatic malt powder

1 1/3 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the topping

5 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions

Combine all dough ingredients into fairly stiff dough. About 6 minutes in mixer.

Shape dough into a ball and let rise in covered bowl for about 90 minutes or until rises to double in size.

Once rises to double size, divide dough in half.

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Shape each half into a braided roll or ok to leave shape as regular loaves.

Places loaves on greased parchment paper and let them rise another house until nice and plump.

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Brush loaves with egg white wash an sprinkle sesame seeds.

Bake loaves for about 25 minutes until they’re golden brown.

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Enjoy!!

 

 

Roasted Carrots & Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Here’s another easy, healthy and delicious recipe than can be had as a light meal or as a great side dish to complement a main dish.

As a kid (like most kids) i wasn’t very fond of vegetables, especially beets. I always remember the strong smell and their appearance when my mom would serve them to us with our dinner. Most of my trauma though was due to them being canned. This was the only way I knew beets existed.

As an adult I rediscovered them as a fresh vegetable and gave them a well deserved chance. This day in particular we had lots of small carrots and beautiful beets from our vegetable garden and theres no better way to bring out all great flavors of beets and carrots than roasting them in the oven.

Below find ingredients and directions. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1/4 lb Fresh Beets

1/4 lb Small Carrots

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/3 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

1/3 cup Roasted Pepitas (Sunflower Seeds also work)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375

Clean beets and carrots of excess dirt and top leaves. (Beet tops are also edible and are delicious in salads.) I personally like leaving the tails of the beets cause they add extra flavor. In a baking pan add beets, carrots and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss together.

Bake for around 20 to 30 minutes depending on your preference as far as cooking level. I like them to have a tiny bit of crunch left.

Once ready transfer to serving plate. Add goat cheese over beets and carrots. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. The sweet roasted flavor of the beets and carrots goes perfect with the tanginess of the goat cheese and the balsamic glaze. Add the pepitas for a layer of crunchiness and you have a winner dish everyone will love! Enjoy!

 

Cheesy Burger Casserole

Ok, so since we all love a one pot meal Im sharing another of my favorite recipes. This recipe came about from my love for pasta and cheese (duh!).

But I decided to play around and make it a little heartier and delicious by adding some extra ingredients.  This easy and delicious recipe will become a favorite of yours, I promise!

Below find ingredients and directions. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 lb Hot Ground Pork Sausage

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 cup velvet cheese

1 cup cream cheese

1 box of cavatappi pasta

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup of panko bread crumps

1 tbsp of butter

Salt, pepper and paprika (or cumin) to taste

Directions

In a medium/high heat skillet cook ground pork until nice and brown. I personally like daring the excess grease for this recipe in particular since we want a liquors and creamy cheese sauce that isn’t too oily.

Meanwhile boil pasta 8 minutes or until al dente. Do not over cook pasta or we cannot be friends!

Drain pasta and return to medium/low heat. Add all cheeses, heavy cream, sausage and spices and mix gently with spatula until all ingredients are evenly distributed into a creamy and delicious concoction.

In a small medium heat pan add butter and bread crumps. Stir continuously until bread crumbs start to crisp up and get golden brown.

Transfer pasta mix to baking pan. Sprinkle bread crumps on top and bake for 15 minutes at 375.

Serve and enjoy!

*I personally love adding some green onion, tomatoes and sour cream when serving*