Posts Tagged 'garlic'

Quick Quinoa Dinner

Im always looking for new and tasty vegetarian dinner options so when I was flipping through the latest issue of RealSimple I was stoked to see a tasty sounding (and quick) quinoa dish! I decided to try it out the other night and was not only thrilled with the results, but immediately thought of one lovely lady who could certainly use this recipe. Our darling Erin of Operation: Domesticate Erin!

What I love about this recipe is that it is incredibly simple yet packed with tons of flavor. Those who know me know Im a spice queen, I LOVE spices and am always incorporated multiple spices into my recipes. So, when I first read the recipe and noticed that its only spices were salt, pepper and garlic I was a little suspect of how much flavor it would hold. Amazingly enough, the white wine, cheese and natural flavor of all the veggies made this one flavor packed dish. The reason why I chose this dish as something to point towards Erin is because its quick, healthy and can easily be adjusted for one portion or made into two (one for dinner and one for lunch). Plus the dish doesnt require a lot of white wine so youre left with a glass or two to reward yourself after a hard work day ;)

Below is the recipe from RealSimple with a few editions I made to add a little extra punch (ie- more garlic and wine!) If you want to add a little extra protein to the dinner you could easily add in some shrimp, tofu or chicken breast while cooking the potatoes and mushrooms.

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 2
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 30m


  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small sweet potato (about 1 pound) and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (the original recipe said to peel the poatoes but I decided to leave the skin on for extra flavor and nutrients)
    5 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
    3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1/2 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
    3/4 cup dry white wine
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1/8 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • Directions
    Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden and beginning to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
    Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale, wine, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve over the quinoa and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

    Nutrition info:Calories 361 // Fat 12g // Sat Fat 2g // Cholesterol 5mg // Sodium 560mg // Protein 13g // Carbohydrate 51g // Fiber 6g

    The solution to stinky garlic hands

    The other day I got some products from Rochelle Rose in the mail. Im always a fan of anything handmade that uses natural ingredients, especially body products because they seem to dry my skin out less than the chemical packed popular brands so I was excited to try out this product. What I was most excited about was their Kitchen Cafe Soap which boasted the ability to remove tough cooking odors like garlic, fish and onion from your hands.

    Well I love cooking, especially with ingredients like garlic and onion that quite often leave me smelling like garlic bread for hours. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of garlic…other people don’t seem to like it so much and the smell especially does not play nicely with my other perfumes and lotions (garlic and orchid do not smell good together). Ive tried all the tricks to get rid of tough smells like garlic, but none really seem to work that well.

    So last night I decided to put Rochelle Rose’s Cafe Kitchen Soap to the test, and not just any test, but the most hardcore test of scent elimination imaginable….Thai Green Seafood Curry. I love making curries but between the onion, garlic, seafood and curry powder, they are the ultimate in stinking up your hands. The curry was delicious, one of the best I’ve ever made but as usual, I had curry hands. So I gave them a quick rinse with the Cafe Kitchen Soap and I was shocked, not a hint of garlic or curry remained! Now granted I don’t have the greatest sense of smell so I used Cesar as a gauge and even he couldn’t detect a hint of garlic. I even crushed some garlic and rubbed it on my hands just to see how good the soap was and it still removed any trace of garlic.

    Needless to say Im hooked. The Cafe Kitchen Soap has a happy home in my kitchen window right above the sink. What’s especially nice about the soap is that even though it has a strong spiced coffee smell when you sniff it, it doesn’t leave your hands smelling overly pungent. In fact, the smell is quite subtle and dissipates fairly soon after leaving you with fresh aroma free hands.

    Like all of Rochelle Rose’s products, the Cafe Kitchen Soap is made with all natural ingredients including fresh brewed coffee (there’s even some actual coffee beans in the soap! How awesome is that?!). It retails at $6.00 a bar and can be purchased online or in a few select stores. In my opinion this is definitely a must buy for anyone who frequently cooks with smelly ingredients.

    The other products I sampled were the Citron Soap and the Mandarin Yuzu Lotion. Both were lovely with mild scents, plus the rustic look of the Citron Soap looks great in my bathroom soap dish.

    To learn more about all of Rochelle Rose’s products and order your own bar of soap check out their webpage!

    <3 seanalyn

    Edamame body pillow

    Dear my boyfriend, friends and family,

    Christmas is coming up and if you love me you will buy me this.

    Edamame Body Pillow

    Before I even clicked on the description of the pillow I thought “this is pointless unless it has little edamame pods you can pop out.”  Well my dreams where answered when I read the description

    “Each pillow has 3 “soybean” pods filled with polyester fiberfill.”‘

    Mmmm polyester fiberfill. I cant wait to snuggle up next to this and play with my perpetual edamame popper key chain.

    By the way if you live in the Bay Area and love edamame make sure to stop by The Citrus Club. They have the most amazing garlic edamame….Im drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it! One day I’ll figure out the recipe and share it with you all….or just keep it to myself and eat garlic edamame until I pop.

    Thankgiving recipes…with a twist

    As I posted last week, we are planning an epic endeavor…Bacon Wrapped Turducken. Now man and woman cannot live on bacon bird alone…we need side dishes. Now we cannot do with instant mashed potatoes, no we are going for recipes with a twist on the traditional. Whether they are a unique family recipe or a new creation. Here are a few of the sides I am planning on making.

    Mashed Cauliflower

    I want to make this partly to try and attempt to balance out the Turducken (ok honestly nothing will balance out that besides some diet pills and exlax) but also just to have a bit different flavor than plain potatoes. Personally I’ve always loved mashed cauliflower just because its got a better taste than boring plain potatoes. My recipe is adapted from Dani Spires L’s Cauliflower Mash


    • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
    • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
    • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
    • 1 cup sour cream ( prefer light sour cream)
    • 1 cup chives or green onions finely diced
    • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
    • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • paprika

    Boil the cauliflower until it is soft…be sure not to overcook! About 8 minutes should be enough.  Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then dump it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the paprika and chives.  Blend until everything is smooth then transfer back into a pot.  Stir until everything is warm then stir in the chives/green onion.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

    You could easily do some variations on this recipe…try roasting the garlic beforehand, adding curry for a spicy curry mash, more cheese for a cheesy cauliflower mash, or really anything else you would do to mashed potatoes!

    Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds

    I want to do something different than nasty green bean cassarole…honestly I dont know how this frozen canned soup monstrosity became a Thanksgiving staple.  Its the one dish I see getting passed over at every Thanksgiving dinner (except the grandparents…grandparents loooove green bean cassarole). So why not just do a delicious and light green bean side?  I mean with all the other rich heavy dishes we have going on, I want to save some room for Cesar’s homemade pumpkin pie.


    • 1 large bunch of green beans (about a pound)
    • olive oil
    • 4-6  medium sized shallots
    • lemon juice
    • 1 cup sliced almonds (you could easily substitute walnuts)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until they are bright green, about 3 minutes.  In a skillet heat some olive oil and saute the shallots until they are carmelized.  Toss in the green beans, a bit of lemon juice (just enough to coat the beans), the almonds and salt and pepper.

    Voila! Easy huh?

    So now that I have the green beams and cauliflower mash all figured out, i just need to figure out something to do with the sweet potatoes.  Im not a fan of the super sugary mini marshmallow sweet potatoes…so I want to do something different and more special. Im thinking either a cranberry and sweet potato dish…or ginger and honey sweet potatoes….something else that is a little more special.  When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to post it up ;)

    OR you can help me out…anyone have any delicious and different sweet potato or yam recipes?

    Tapas Week pt 1

    So I wrote this last week but incorrectly published it….so here is my original tapas blog from last Monday! Better late than never!

    I cant even type the word tapas without salivating so last night when Cesar and I had to cancel our tapas dinner my tummy was devastated. However, it did give me the opportunity to try some tapas recipes of my own. For those that are wondering “WTF are tapas?!” they are traditionally a Spanish style of food which is comprised of many small plates from which the dinner chooses a few to make their whole meal. In the US and UK they have evolved into their own style of cuisine not necessarily Spanish in style. I love tapas especially for eating with friends because everyone shares their food and you are focused more on enjoying each other and the experience as opposed to your own plate of food. Also Im a sucker for appetizer snacky type food ;)

    So last night I made some tapas of my own! Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas, Garlic Roasted Mushrooms, and a Sardline Lemon Salad. All were quite excellent if I do say so myself and since Im going to two parties this weekend Im making some more…so as I try more recipes I’ll post em up! Today I’ll start off with the Empanadas and Roasted Mushrooms.

    The Garlic Roasted Mushrooms are the easiest so I’ll start off with those.

    Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

    Assorted mushrooms (button, oyster, shitake)


    Olive Oil


    Salt and pepper


    Preheat the oven to 450. Gently wipe the mushrooms clean (dont wash them! wipe them with a towel!) and place them in a baking pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and fresh minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. You could also add other spices like oregano, thyme, or basil! Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated and pop them into the oven. Cook until they are brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and add a little water to the pan to soften the dried brown garlic bits and stir (it creates a nice little sauce). Serve immediately!

    Eggplant, Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Empanadas


    2 cups Cornmeal

    2 cups Water

    1 cup diced eggplant

    1 cup diced red peppers

    1 cup diced mushrooms (oyster or button)

    1/2 cup cilantro

    1/2 cup onions

    1/2 cup goat cheese


    salt and pepper


    In a bowl mix 2 cups cornmeal with some salt…slowly add warm water and mix with your hands until it is elasticy and sticky. you want it to be firm and pliable but not liquid like pancake batter. cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

    Cover the red peppers in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt…roast in a 450 degree oven until they are soft.

    For the filling, use a saute pan to heat some vegetable oil and saute the onions, garlic, eggplant and mushrooms until the eggplant is soft. Add the red peppers and spices and give it a few quick tosses. Remove from heat and mix in the goat cheese and cilantro.

    Take a ball of the dough and place it on a piece of plastic wrap and place another piece on top. Using a rolling pin or cup roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 5 inch cookie cutter or a cup make circles (going thru the top layer of plastic wrap). Pull of the plastic wrap and remove the excess dough from around the circles. spoon about a tablespoon of filling on each one filling only the lower half, use the plastic wrap to help fold over the top of each empanada. pinch it with your fingers to seal it shut.

    Once you have your empanadas made, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pot or fryer. Drop and few in at a time and cook until golden brown then flip. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.

    I served mine with a tequila lemon hot sauce…basically take any red chili hot sauce, add some tequila and lemon juice and ketchup then mix until its a nice consistency.

    Hope you enjoy! I’ll post up a few more recipes to enjoy tomorrow!

    Cheese Making 101- Paneer

    Yesterday I was perusing one of my favorite sites Apartment Therapy when I came across an entry about the best cheese making kits which got me thinking about making cheese at home. Why have I never done this?! I guess its because I thought it was something that could not be undertaken in ones private kitchen without fear of creating some strange super mold that would bring about the end of mankind. While pursuing the list of at home cheese kits drooling at the thought of fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese I saw a link about making Indian Paneer cheese at home! Knowing my boyfriend’s love of Saag Paneer I decided to try my hand at homemade cheese.

    Using the recipe from Apartment Therapy I went about making my own fresh cheese. The one adjustment I made was to use low fat milk instead of whole milk to make the cheese a bit lighter (next time I plan on trying with soy milk to see if that works). To my amazement making paneer is incredibly easy, in fact so easy I think Im just going to start making my own infused cottage cheeses from home (to make cottage cheese instead of paneer you just skip the pressing step). Basically if you can boil milk in a pot you can make cheese, who knew?! Just make sure to heat it slowly and stir so that you do not burn the cheese.

    How the cheese should appear after pressing


  • If you do not have cheese cloth, just double up some sturdy clean paper towels. Just make sure that you dont get any paper towel bits on the cheese ;)
  • Add a little salt to the milk while you are boiling it to give it a little extra flavor. You can also try throwing in lemongrass, dill, or other seasonings.
  • If youre looking for something to use your paneer in, try making Saag Paneer which is almost as easy as making the paneer itself!

    Saag Paneer


  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 tbl sp tumeric
  • 1/2 tbl sp garam masala
  • 1/2 tbl sp paprika
  • 1 tbl sp salt
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 chili (either dried or fresh, you can add a second one if you like it spicy)
  • 8 oz fresh paneer (the recipe above for paneer will make about 8 oz) cut into cubes
  • 3 tbl sps Ghee or unclarified butter (if you absolutely cannot find Ghee, a little unsalted butter will work fine).
  • In a pan cook the first 8 ingredients until the spinach has completely wilted. Then remove the pot from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer all contents of pot including liquid into a blender and puree until smooth (but not liquid!). Then in a pan, heat the ghee and saute the paneer until light brown. Add the spinach mixture to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Taste to see how it is, from here you can add some chili powder for extra spice or a bit more tumeric or masala to add extra flavor. Serve immediately with rice.

    So there you have it, easy homemade cheese and homemade delicious Saag Paneer. All in all everything was incredibly easy to make taking about an hour total. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would include photos, but my camera is broken right now, so once that gets fixed I will update this with photos.

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