Vegan Paella

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Meatless Paella

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup green beans, halved
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 14 oz diced tomato
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup canned artichoke heart
  • ½ cup (15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, quartered, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until it is fragrant.

Add the yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, and green beans. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until tender.

Add the rice, paprika, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Stir until incorporated. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice starts to sizzle.

Add the canned tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes until the liquid has evaporated slightly.

Add the vegetable broth, turmeric, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil on high heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice, about 10 minutes.

Add in the peas and artichokes. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let sit covered for 10-15 minutes.

Sprinkle the fresh parsley. Serve with lemon. 

Salmon Burgers with Roasted Veggies

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I live in South Dakota. The closest ocean to me is 1500 miles away. When I buy seafood, it's always really expensive, and I'm always wary about it. When I buy salmon, I buy it at Costco. It's fresh, it's decent quality, and it's a fair price. However, they sell it in such large batches, that when I buy salmon, I end up eating salmon all week long and have to come up with creative ways too cook it so I don't get sick of it. Here's one of those creative ways. 

Salmon Burgers with Roasted Veggies
Burgers inspired by Tasty. Veggies inspired by me. 

Salmon Burgers

  • 1 lb salmon, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tsp honey

Add salmon to food processor and pulse 5 times. Add onion, 1 tbsp dill, 1/2 tsp honey, salt, and pepper to food processor and pulse to combine. Form four patties.

Meanwhile, mix yogurt, dijon, 1 tbsp dill, chives, and 1 1/2 tsp honey. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side. 

Serve on multi-grain buns with sauce and your choice of greens. Voila. 

Roasted Veggies

  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F. Add veggies to a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes have burst. Serve. 

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Sticky Pineapple Rice

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The original recipe I took this from said to serve it in a pineapple bowl, but let's be real, ain't nobody got time for that. This dish was quite tasty, although the sauce didn't thicken up or get as dark as I would've liked, so next time I'll probably swap out a few ingredients to get the desired texture. Regardless, it was GOOD. 

Sticky Pineapple Chicken
adapted from JustATaste.com

  • 1 large pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Prepare your pineapple. If you don't know how to do this, there are plenty of YouTube videos that can show you how. Don't buy one of those stupid pineapple cutters -- they're a waste of money, and you'll waste plenty of edible pineapple. 

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the chicken, salt, and pepper. Cook until chicken is browned and cooked throughout. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add pineapple, hoisin, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add chicken and stir until evenly coated. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds. Serve in a pineapple bowl if you really want to but that's only if you want extra credit. 

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Chana Masala

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When you think of vegan food, most people usually think of a flimsy, tasteless salad. Most people are wrong. Vegan food is bright, colorful, delicious, and when done right, hefty. That's what I like most about this dish -- it's satisfying without any animal products. 

Chana Masala

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, and jalapenos and cook for about 4 minutes. 

Add spices and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and water, scraping up any of the brown crusty bits that may have accumulated on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove lid, reduce heat to low, and add in lemon juice. Serve over rice or with naan. 

Make-ahead Breakfast Burritos

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Anyone who makes a full, hearty breakfast on a weekday is either a superhero or a liar. For the past few years, my routine has been to meal prep my breakfasts on Sundays. I don't meal prep any other of my meals because I enjoy making them fresh during the week, but breakfast is another story. I am not a huge fan of quick breakfasts like granola bars or oatmeal, so meal prepping breakfast on Sundays is essential to keep me out of the Starbucks line every morning. Here's one of my breakfast meal prep staples. 

Breakfast Burritos

  • 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lb turkey breakfast sausage
  • 10 eggs
  • 8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400. Add potatoes and peppers to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

Meanwhile, brown sausage in a skillet. When cooked through, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Scramble eggs in same pan. When finished, allow to cool.

When all ingredients are room temperature, divvy up the potato mixture, sausage, and eggs among the tortillas. Wrap in foil and freeze. To reheat, zap in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add hot sauce and enjoy.

Tofu Scramble with Avocado Toast

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This is one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook. It took me quite a few tries to get it right, from choosing the wrong texture of tofu to severely undercooking the vegetables, but I finally have a handle on it. As for the avocado toast, well, I eat that at least four times a week, so I better have that one down. 

Tofu Scramble

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1lb block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast


Heat oil in a large skillet and add minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until the broccoli deepens in color. You can add whatever vegetables you like, just make sure you cook them the right amount of time. I really like potatoes in this dish, but I didn't want to wait for them to cook this time around.

Meanwhile, mix cumin, thyme, salt, turmeric, and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside. 

Crumble tofu and add to the vegetables. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tofu is slightly browned. Stir often to prevent tofu from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add spice mixture and mix well. Cook a few more minutes.

Add kale and nutritional yeast. Mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Serve with hot sauce and whatever sides you'd like. 

Avocado Toast

  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 slice lemon
  • salt 
  • pepper


Toast bread. Top with smashed avocado. Squeeze a lil lemon on there and finish it off with salt and pepper. 
 

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Chicken Artichoke Penne with Pesto Cream

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Sometimes you don’t have to cook healthy meals. Sometimes you pull some things from your cupboard and think, this might work. Sometimes you need a big bowl of carbs smothered in fat. And that’s perfectly okay.

Pesto is probably my favorite food (is pesto a food? Discuss). I have three open containers of pesto in my fridge right now, including an economy sized jar from Costco. No, I don’t make my pesto from scratch because 1) basil and pine nuts are expensive, 2) my food processor sucks, 3) I don’t want to. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to keep a plant alive for more than a week and I can make bountiful jars of pesto but until then, the stuff in the jar works just fine for me.  

Chicken Artichoke Penne with Pesto Cream

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 box whole grain penne
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 14 oz jarred artichokes, halved
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Cook penne according to package instructions, except make sure to add a ton of salt your water. I’m talking like ¼ of a cup. It should taste like the ocean. I learned that little trick from reading Bon Appetit, and it’s a game changer. I use whole grain penne but do whatever you want. Once cooked al dente, drain (reserving a small amount of pasta water) and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breast and cook 3-5 minutes until browned. Add tomatoes, pesto, cream, and artichokes. Simmer, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked throughout. Add penne and parmesan to sauce and mix well. If you want it a little saucier, add some of the pasta water to the sauce and mix well. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.

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Mujaddara

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Mujaddara is a delicious Middle Eastern dish that is both comforting and filling. To white people, it’s more commonly known as lentils and rice with crispy onions. It’s super easy to throw together and it’s not bad for you either. Win-win. If you leave off the yogurt, it’s vegan. Another perk about this dish is that I didn’t even have to go to the grocery store to buy any of the ingredients -- I already had it all on hand. Why aren’t you making mujaddara right now?

Mujaddara
Adapted from Tasty

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Lemons
  • Greek yogurt

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add ¾ of the onion, sliced, and caramelize. This will take approximately 30 minutes. The onions should be very dark and tacky when finished. Stir often and try to avoid burning. As you can see, I did not stir often enough. 

In a large pot, add remaining olive oil and the rest of the red onion, diced, and the minced garlic. Saute until translucent and fragrant. 

Add 3.5 cups water, lentils, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes. 

Add rice, cumin, cinnamon, and bay leaf to lentils. Stir and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through. 

Serve lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of lemon. That was easy. 
 

Chicken and Berry Salad

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Alright. Everyone knows salads are bullshit. And if you don't think salads are bullshit, I find you very suspicious and I don't trust you. However, sometimes when you want a light, healthy meal that comes together in less than five minutes, a chicken and berry salad will do. One of my friends' moms made this salad for me in college and I've been riffing it ever since. 

Chicken and Berry Salad

  • couple handfuls of mixed greens
  • 1 cup mixed berries of your choice (blueberries and raspberries shown)
  • 1 oz crumbly cheese (I used gorgonzola, but I've been known to use bleu or feta)
  • 3 oz rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ground pepper

Fill up a large bowl with some greens. Slap some berries, cheese, and chicken on there. I usually add walnuts too but I completely forgot until right this moment. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Finish with a few twists of fresh cracked pepper. Viola.

See. Even Phin thinks salads are bullshit.

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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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I'll admit it. I've never had cabbage rolls before, let alone made them myself. But daaamn these were good. I even went outside barefoot in the snow so I could get a decent pic of them. I wish I'd thought to make a side like boiled potatoes and cabbage, or some sort of crusty bread, but I'm still pretty satisfied. 

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Adapted from Tasty

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • green cabbage, core removed
  • Greek yogurt for serving

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, oregano, rice, and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Mix well, then refrigerate until ready to use. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cabbage, cut side down, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium. Let cook for 15 minutes, then remove cabbage from water and allow to cool to room temperature (for real, do this. I tried to skip this step and now my hands hurt).

Peel off a layer of cabbage. Peel off a bit of the thick stem to make rolling the cabbage easier. Place a few spoonfuls of meat mixture at the base of the leaf, then roll up and tuck in sides. 

Place cabbage rolls in a baking dish, seam side down. Top with remaining tomato sauce. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 

Serve with spoonfuls of greek yogurt. Try to keep your dog from pulling it off your table. 

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Mushroom and Kale Farrotto with Lemon Chili Butter

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I read an article last week about “meals professional chefs make when they’re lazy” and one of them said risotto. Let’s do a collective eye-roll.

I really enjoy making farrotto, which is basically risotto but made with farro instead of arborio rice. Farro is an earthy grain that takes on a great nutty flavor if you toast it before cooking. It’s heckin expensive (at least where I live) but if you’ve got time, patience, and some dollar bills, I recommend giving it a shot.

For this recipe, I also recommend having a helper in the kitchen. I did it by myself, but it was stressful. Too bad Phin doesn’t have opposable thumbs or the proper enzymes needed to digest shallots.

Wild Mushroom & Kale Farrotto with Lemon Chili Butter
Adapted from Marley Spoon

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 oz shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • 8 oz mixed mushrooms (I used 4 oz. maitake and 4 oz. cremini)
  • ¼ oz parsley
  • ¼ oz chives
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 ½ oz parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

Grate zest of one lemon into a small ball. Add butter, red chili flakes, and ¼ tsp salt, and set aside to soften. When softened, stir to mix.

Finely chop parsley and chives and combine in a small bowl. Set aside. Clean the mushrooms and pat dry with paper towels. If you’re using maitakes, rip with your hands. For creminis, discard the stem and slice into ½ inch pieces. For any other type of mushroom, figure it out on your own. Set aside. Remove stems from kale and coarsely chop. Set aside. Finely grate parmesan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water and vegetable broth to a simmer; remove from heat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and farro, stirring occasionally until farro is toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another ½ cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue until 1 cup of broth remains.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook without stirring until edges are golden brown. Don’t overcrowd your pan, as this will cause the mushrooms to steam instead of brown. Once the edges begin to brown, toss until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Season with salt and pepper, then add chopped herbs.

When all but 1 cup of broth remains from the farro, stir in the kale, a pinch of salt, and the remaining cup of broth. Cook, stirring, until farro is tender, kale is wilted, and liquid is nearly absorbed.

Stir butter mixture into farrotto. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Stir in the mushroom mixture. Serve with remaining parmesan sprinkled on top.

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Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

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I do my best to prepare my breakfast for the week on Sundays, otherwise I end up eating Starbucks pastries every weekday morning. Usually I do something easy, like egg cups or overnight oats, but this week I decided to whip up these extremely tall breakfast sandwiches. Yeah, the cheese isn't melted, and they look a little dry, but after you zap 'em in the microwave before work and add a little sriracha (and honey, if you're feeling wild), these bad boys are good to go. 

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 15 oz ground turkey breakfast sausage
  • 6 whole grain english muffins
  • 6 slices thick baby swiss

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease six ramekins and distribute broccoli and red bell peppers equally between them. Whisk each egg individually and place into a ramekin. If you're craftier than I am, whisk them all at once and distribute equally between the ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are cooked through. Cool before removing from ramekin.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Season turkey sausage with salt and pepper, and then separate into six patties. Place patties into skillet and flip occasionally, cooking until internal temperature reaches 165F. I didn't time this so I have no idea how long it takes. Sorry. Allow to cool.

Split english muffins and lightly toast, either in the oven or in your toaster. They don't need to be aggressively toasted, just enough to hold their shape when you start piling on the other stuff. 

Place sausage patty on lower english muffin half, then top with egg, cheese, and muffin top. Wrap in parchment paper and pop in the fridge. When they're ready to eat, microwave for 1-2 minutes and top with hot sauce of your choice. If you decide to freeze them, to reheat, wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes before topping with your sauce. 

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