Recipe: Dry-cooked Noodle Soup

Despite the consistent 90+ degree weather in Agua Caliente, I was never able to give up my love for soup! My host sister prepared this really simple noodle soup and it only took 3 ingredients: onion, tomato, and pasta noodles!

 

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I WISH my pasta looked this good!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 tomatoes, depending how tomatoey you want your soup to be
  • pasta noodles
  • 1 touch of cooking oil
  • salt

Making this soup is so easy that I think it’ll be my go-to whenever I’m craving a quick and easy noodle soup made with readily available ingredients while I’m here.

Steps:

  1. Dice your onion and tomatoes into small little cubes.
  2. Heat up your pot and add a bit of oil.
  3. Throw your pasta noodles into the pot and let it turn golden brown while you stir it so it’s evenly tanned.
  4. Add the onions, tomato, salt into the pot and stir together with about 1-2 cups of water, depending how much soup you want when you’re done.
  5. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat, stirring every 5 minutes.

 

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Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Ever since getting back from Mexico, I’ve been wanting to eat less meat and go back to my old routine I set for myself at school eating as little meat as possible. This past weekend, I was craving some mixed greens with quinoa, topped with a honey mustard dressing that my bf had learned to make. It tastes pretty good and can be pretty filling with the quinoa, if you’re afraid you don’t have enough protein in your meal.

quinoa salad

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • a box of mixed greens
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 bell peppers
  • a box of cherry tomatoes
  • a box of white mushrooms
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 tbsp honey **use agave syrup for a vegan alternative**
  • 4 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Rinse the avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, mixed greens, and bell peppers and drain.
  2. Use one cup of quinoa and two cups of water and bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the honey, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste to make your dressing.
  4. Slice up your bell peppers and mushrooms and set them aside.
  5. Dice the avocado into small pieces (cut one for two servings).
  6. Put a bed of mixed greens and top it with the peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, and quinoa (decide how much you want since it’s a LOT).
  7. Drizzle the dressing and you’re good to go; a perfectly healthy and vegan meal ready to enjoy 🙂

Recipe: Vegetarian Ceviche

Hey everyone 🙂 I learned another recipe from my host family this past week: ceviche de coliflor, otherwise known as vegetarian ceviche. This recipe replaces seafood with cauliflower florets shredded into fine pieces and is great as a meal when the weather is suuuper hot! My host family likes to prepare this because it’s really quick to prepare and because my host brothers are even willing to eat this despite the lack of carne (meat) in the dish haha.

Making ceviche de coliflor3

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • (optional) 2 cucumbers
  • 1-2 limes

Steps:

  1. Chop off the leaves from the cauliflower head and break it apart into smaller than fist-sized florets.
  2. Soak them in salt water to disinfect for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Shave the skin off of the carrots and use a grater to get fine carrot strips.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for cucumbers if you have them.Making ceviche de coliflor2.JPG
  5. Peel the outer layer of the onion and dice into fine pieces.
  6. Dice the tomatoes into fine pieces.
  7. After the cauliflower has been soaked thoroughly, drain the water and grate the florets. You can also grate the stalks or save them for cooking something else (avoid food waste)!
  8. Mix all of the vegetables together and squeeze the lime juice into the mix and add pinches of salt to taste.

Ceviche de coliflor

 

Recipe: Tacos Dorados

While I’m in Mexico living with a host family, I’m determined to learn as many dishes as possible! Tacos dorados don’t seem too difficult to make, and might not be the healthiest (because it’s deep fried in oil), but I felt like sharing it with you in case you wanted something different from the typical tacos and burritos that you know Mexican cuisines for :3

pozoles y taco dorado
Tacos dorados on the left, pozoles on the right!

Ingredients:

  • lots of tortilla skins, corn (maiz) or flour (harina), your choice!
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes (papas)
  • 1 onion (cebolla)
  • 2-3 tomatoes (tomates)
  • (optional) meat (carne) such as chicken, pork, or beef
  • (optional) a few cloves of garlic (ajo)
  • cooking oil (aceite)

Steps:

  1. Scrub down your potatoes and boil them for 15-20 minutes and let cool.
  2. If you’re going to cook with meat, steam the meat until it’s tender and then shred it into fine pieces.
  3. Dice the tomatoes, onion, and garlic into fine pieces.
  4. Heat up a pan and add a touch of oil and sauté the tomatoes, onion, and garlic until they’re a paste-like consistency.Preparing tacos dorados2
  5. Peel the skin from the potatoes and mash them.
  6. Add the potatoes (and meat) to the paste mix until they’re thoroughly mixed together.
  7. Pour cooking oil into a pot until it’s about 5-8 inches filled and heat the pot at medium heat.
  8. Take a tortilla skin, lay it flat, and spoon one spoonful of the tacos dorado mix into the center and fold it flat. Repeat until you used up all of your mix!
    • You want to use a lasa (string) to stagger stack six tacos on top of each other at a time and tie them up firmly. Preparing tacos dorados
  9. Take each stack of tacos and place it gently into the oil, making sure it’s fully submerged. Depending on the size of your pot, you can put more than one stack at a time.
  10. Keep an eye on each stack and flip them maybe after 5-10 minutes, depending on the heat of your oil, until you see a nice golden brown tortilla skin. When you get the color you want, take it out of the pot and lay it on paper towels to drain some of the oil.

After it cools a bit, you’re ready to eat tacos dorados! This makes for a great party dish since it can make so many tacos to feed a large group of people 🙂 Hope you enjoyed! Buen provecho!

Recipe: Korean Raw Spicy Crab (Yangnyeom Gejang)

If I had to choose what’s my favorite type of seafood, it would be blue crab, hands down! It’s great steamed, boiled with seasonings, made into crab cakes, or raw. I can’t remember when I first had raw spicy crab, but I remember I got it at a local Korean supermarket in NYC. This was many years ago, and I’m glad to say I am experienced enough with preparing food that I can make a pretty decent yangnyeom gejang.

Korean Raw Spicy Crab

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 dozen blue crab (live or killed–I’d suggest killed so you don’t have to struggle like I did to keep them from scurrying away or dueling with your tongs)
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • half a head of garlic, diced
  • scallion
  • a touch of sesame oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • cayenne powder
  • a medium onion, diced
  • sugar

I’ll be honest here, as you all know by now, I really eyeball the amount of each ingredient, and focus on the taste to let me know if my seasoning or sauce is on point. I can give you my best estimates for the proportions! 🙂

Steps:

  1. Separate the head from the body if it’s not already separated.
  2. Pull off the lungs and antennae.
  3. Scrub the crab down thoroughly to clean off the dirt and mud that’s on the shells.
  4. To let the flavor seep in, break the crab’s body into quarters.
  5. Cover and refrigerate the crab as you work on your marinade. **I usually just marinate the bodies and steam the heads, but that’s entirely up to you!**
  6. Pour approximately half a cup of low sodium soy sauce, some cayenne powder and pepper flakes (based on your tolerance for spice), 1/4 tsp of sesame oil, and sugar to taste.
  7. Dice up your garlic and onion into fine pieces and add it into your marinade.
  8. Put the crab either in a large bowl or ziploc bag, and pour in your sauce (after you make sure you like the flavor!!). Stir it around so all of the crab pieces have touched the marinade.
  9. Cover it again and let it sit for a couple of hours, flipping the crab to let all of the pieces get thoroughly soaked.
  10. Leave it overnight to marinate, and you can eat it the next day!

DISCLAIMER: Remember that there’s always a risk of eating raw foods, so this is a recipe that you should eat at your own risk! I have a pretty strong stomach that can handle raw foods, but if you don’t have a stomach of steel, you might want to pass on this recipe :X

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The farmers’ market is BACK and I’m so excited! This past weekend, I did a mini-haul and stocked up on produce for the week, including sweet potatoes. I’m normally not a fan of sweet foods as part of a meal (unless it’s breakfast or dessert) but I decided to be adventurous and try it out…not to mention sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, potassium, and dietary fiber!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Since I usually don’t eat baked potatoes, I figured I probably wouldn’t eat baked sweet potatoes either. I decided to make sweet potato fries since it would last for a few days and they would be more “fun” to eat haha.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes
  • diced garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Scrub and rinse your sweet potatoes.
  3. Slice them into french fry slices, or in wedges if you prefer!
  4. Line a baking tray with oil and spread your fries evenly across the pan.IMG_7405.JPG
  5. Sprinkle any seasonings you want to add extra flavor–less is more in this case!
  6. Pop them into the oven for 30 minutes and you’re done!

Now you have a healthy alternative to greasy french fries with this recipe! Enjoy 🙂

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Recipe: 4-Ingredient Lentil Stew

Happy spring, everyone! It’s been a while since I posted a recipe… my apologies! I haven’t experimented with any new recipes lately so there wasn’t much to update you on, but here’s another quick and simple soupy recipe (can you tell I LOVE soup and stews yet?)

This tomato-based lentil stew is surprisingly filling and tastes pretty good, and I love how you can customize the flavor to your liking.

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Photo Credit: New York Times

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 cups of lentils (this will give you about 4 meals worth, depending how large your portions are!)
  • 1/2 can (or 12oz) of pasta sauce **I would definitely recommend you use fresh tomatoes and mash it up so it’s a richer flavor, but pasta sauce works just as well**
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5-6 white mushrooms

Steps:

  1. Sift through your dried lentils to make sure there are no rocks!
  2. Rinse your lentils, and then soak them overnight.
  3. The following day, pour your lentils and about 1 cup of water into a pot and wait for it to boil.
  4. Rinse and dice your onion and mushrooms into fine pieces.
  5. After the water has boiled, add your onion, mushrooms, and pasta sauce into the pot and lower the fire.
  6. For seasonings, I used paprika, oregano, garlic salt, seasoning salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes. You can customize to taste so you get enough salt or spice in your stew.
  7. Let it simmer for about half an hour, and it’ll be ready to eat!