Cleaning Out The Fridge Thursday

Sometimes you’re left with an odd assortment of vegetables, odds, and ends in the fridge and a party to go to Friday and ideally weekend plans. That leads to a cleaning out the fridge Thursday.

I sautéed some of that Chinese broccoli in stir fry oil (it’s a blend of other oils) with lemon juice and fresh ginger.

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Then used a green curry base for some cauliflower. It’s easy and delicious: green curry paste, almond milk (the creamy canned coconut milk is better but I’m working with what I have), water, fresh Thai basil, and fresh ginger. You can add pretty much any combination of veggies and protein you want. I happened to have cauliflower, and I’ll scramble an egg in there for good measure.

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Let it cook down a bit and then smush everything onto a plate an enjoy!

Results

Remember that marinating salmon?

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Holy moly salmon goodness. Nothing beats a fresh, great piece of fish. I paired it with fried rice (for the man), riced cauliflower (for me), baby corn, and snow peas.

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The fish was cooked skin side down in a super hot skillet with sesame oil then transferred to a 350° oven until flaky and perfect. Everything else was cooked in a wok with stir fry oil.

The best part? Leftovers.

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Even More Salmon

Can you tell I like salmon?

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How gorgeous is this super fresh salmon I picked up at the Asian Supermarket on Central? So fresh I had to debone it myself. That’s a first for me.

It’s going to hang out in a ponzu/ fresh ginger marinade until tomorrow.

Tonight I’m cooking up some chicken with Chinese broccoli.

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Snow peas and baby corn with ginger and sesame oil.

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Happy Start

Want to guarantee yourself a good start to the day? Stretch a little and then make a light but hearty breakfast.

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Egg white omelette with zucchini, capers, and Parmesan paired with half a grapefruit. On a pink plate. It’s all about the presentation!

Bread with Training Wheels

Second Hand bread machine + Honest Weight Food CoOp bulk section. The possibilities are endless.

I’ve never had success with baking in the past, seriously: Apple crisp was the most I’ve ever mastered. The bread machine required some trial and error, and serious research but I’ve finally figured this gadget out! (Thanks mostly to this recipe)

Currently filling my apartment with the beautiful scent of fresh bread, honey, and cinnamon. Mm.

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Can’t wait to start trying new flours and add ins. Any suggestions?

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork with coleslaw and fresh bread

Total success.

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Bone in pork butt + slow cooker.
Fat side up, covered with brown sugar, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne.

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Then go to work and come home to a great smelling apartment.
Pull the meat from the slow cooker, shred using all the utensils in your pantry, then return to the cooker and smother with your favorite BBQ sauce.

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The coleslaw was the result of foraging in the fridge.
Finely chopped cabbage, red pepper, and carrot tossed with plain Greek yogurt, horseradish mayo, and a dash of blue cheese dressing.

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So crunchy and a perfect pairing with the saucy sweet pork.

And the bread. This was the second attempt at my bread machine, the first one was miserable. I used this recipe. . For the flour I used half white, whole wheat and half bread flour. Instead of shortening I used coconut oil. Yum.

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So soft and fluffy, with a nice crust. The hearty bread, smothered with BBQ goodness, and topped off with a spicy crunch.

Enjoy!

Quick and Satisfying

Remember that salmon and bok choy? Well here’s salmon and cabbage. Yum. I love cabbage cooked with caraway seeds, it’s a derivative from a family recipe for cabbage pie and just tastes like home sometimes.

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Snow and Mourning

I don’t know if anyone follows this regularly, but I’ve been away from my kitchen for a week due to a death in my family.
I think my Grandpa missed my Grandmas cooking, and couldn’t fathom a Valentines Day without her.

Everyone mourns in their own way, I usually find solace in cooking. Being in my mom’s kitchen I find adventure in trying the different spice and oils she stocks, and taking full advantage of the different pans and access to a dishwasher.

Sometimes you just need something comfortable. Like pancakes on the griddle while there’s snow on the ground, a mug of hot chocolate on the side.

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Savory Suggestions

The following is a description of my dinner, which was rather good. But not great. It was missing something, that I can’t quite put my finger on.

I chopped up some cabbage.

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The cabbage went in a hot pan of sesame oil and cider vinegar to soften up first. Once that’s in put some chicken in a pan, I used olive oil for these chicken tender sized pieces. I dashed some ginger, sesame seasoning I love at the moment and a drizzle of sesame oil before turning.

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Multitask. While that chicken is working on its crispy coating, mix up a magic concoction of items found in the fridge. This time I went with pineapple pieces with a bit of juice, soy sauce, curry paste, and sriracha.

20140210-205942.jpg Add that unattractive sauce, the red peppers, and some bean sprouts to the pan of cabbage. I let it meld and bubble, then tossed it in a bowl.

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The veggies had a great noodle like texture, and the chicken was great; but, it needed more spicy and maybe a crunchy something. Suggestions?

Preparation Makes The Difference

How many times have you bought all the right things, planned out your meals and gotten really excited for the week only to come home tired on Monday and eat anything you can scavenge. Then Tuesday morning comes and you throw together lunch and your whole plan is already derailed.

I’ve done it a thousand times. Until I got in the habit of Sunday food prep.

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Cut, dice, portion, pack everything all at once. Then you just mix and match containers throughout the week. So much easier, and really not much more effort. What else are you doing on a Sunday evening that’s so important?

Here’s what I’ve got this week:
1. Egg white and veggie omelets (containers of egg whites, containers of diced onions and peppers). In the morning spray a mug with cooking spray, toss one container of egg whites, one container of veggies in and microwave while you finish getting ready!

2. Taco salad (containers of portioned out, cooked and seasoned ground turkey, or your meat of choice, containers of chopped red pepper, chopped romaine, diced jalapeños, quartered tomatoes, and a Baggie of shredded carrots). The night before, pack all the salad ingredients, keeping the meat separate. At work, nuke the meat and add to salad. Perfect!

3. Snacks. It’s important to prepare your snacks ahead of time and portion them out, so they are easy and accessible. Some examples of my usual snacks are celery sticks, sliced peppers, grapefruit sections, grapes, popcorn, or nuts. Help yourself prevent over-eating!