Categories
dinner

Cheesy Shrimp Risotto

Risotto for me is one of those dishes that I love but I never think to make or order. Creating this solved a lot of mysteries for me. 1) Risotto is by no accounts a pasta dish. There is no orzo or orzo cousin noodle involved in the making of this dish, but instead specific types of rice that have high starch content and 2) My friend and her boyfriend quite literally translated this recipe in real time from Spanish to English to share with my friends and I on our weekly Zoom call. If that’s not the foremost example of food bringing people and cultures together, I really don’t know what is.

A disclaimer, this recipe is a bit more involved and time consuming than those that typically grace this blog. I think it’s well worth it. There is no crazy prep involved and the time commitment is in the “spoon by spoon” method of adding the broth to the rice– which is well worth it.

A second, much more fun disclaimer, is that the recipe requires a bit of wine. So, why not turn this into an evening and enjoy that bottle of wine while you cook and feast?

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine (drier = better)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • Handful of arugula
  • Optional- parsley for topping

Directions:

  1. Prep first. Chop garlic, tomatoes, and leeks— keep all separate.
  2. Heat 1.5 tbs olive oil on low in a large pot and add garlic. Stir frequently and right before it starts to brown, add the shrimp and tomatoes (~3 min). Turn heat to medium. Cook till shrimp are done, then set everything aside on a plate.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil, then turn down to low.
  4. Back in your skillet, heat another 1.5 tbs oil on low. Add leeks and heat till close to browning (~4 min). Add rice and 1/4 cup white wine. Turn to medium.
  5. Get a ladle. Add one spoonful of broth to the rice and leeks at a time. Wait for it to absorb, then add another spoon. Continue till out of broth. Taste the rice. If not cooked yet, continue with spoonfuls of water till rice is cooked (it took me 3 water spoons). This sound excessive, I know, but optimizes your flavor.
  6. Once done, mix the plate of shrimp and tomatoes into the rice. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Add butter, parmesan, and arugula.
  7. You’re done! Plate with extra parmesan and parsley if desired.

What am I listening to as I cook this? “The Ceiling” by The Wild Feathers

What exactly is risotto? I actually made this an Instagram poll, wondering if it was a silly question, but surprised it was about a 50/50 divide if people thought risotto was a type of rice or pasta. Spoiler alert: risotto is the Italian preparation of rice in broth, and is not considered a pasta. The key to a good risotto is choosing the right type of rice. It needs to be starchy enough to not disintegrate into mush when cooked in broth and subjected to frequent stirring. There are a few usual suspects when it comes to risotto rices: arborio (what I used), carnaroli, and Vialone Nano. I would buy whichever you find readily at stores: for me, arborio was available at Safeway!

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

View this post on Instagram

Cheesy shrimp risotto is #fridayMOOD – especially since it needs a splash of white wine, which basically mandates happy hour Ingredients: 3 tbs olive oil 2 large tomatoes, diced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced 2 cups of chicken broth 1 cup of Arborio rice 1/4 cup white wine (drier = better) 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated 1/2 tbs butter Handful of arugula Optional- parsley for topping Directions: Prep first. Chop garlic, tomatoes, and leeks— keep all separate. Heat 1.5 tbs olive oil on low in a large pot and add garlic. Stir frequently and right before it starts to brown, add the shrimp and tomatoes (~3 min). Turn heat to medium. Cook till shrimp are done, then set everything aside on a plate. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil, then turn down to low. Back in your skillet, heat another 1.5 tbs oil on low. Add leeks and heat till close to browning (~4 min). Add rice and 1/4 cup white wine. Turn to medium. Get a ladle. Add one spoonful of broth to the rice and leeks at a time. Wait for it to absorb, then add another spoon. Continue till out of broth. Taste the rice. If not cooked yet, continue with spoonfuls of water till rice is cooked (it took me 3 water spoons). This sound excessive, I know, but optimizes your flavor. Once done, mix the plate of shrimp and tomatoes into the rice. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat. Add butter, parmesan, and arugula. You’re done! Plate with extra parmesan and parsley if desired. — Note: This recipe is a bit more involved and takes longer than my usual ones (mainly due to the spoon by spoon method) BUT sometimes we need a fancy meal and a Friday quarantine activity. @catabermudez and @stefanhortnagl led us through this on a Zoom call and translated the recipe in real time from Spanish which was too fun!!

A post shared by The Carmel Kama'aina (@carmelkamaaina) on

Categories
lunch Sides and Snacks

Grapefruit, Cucumber, and Smoked Salmon Salad

Is it just me or does it feel like summer? It’s May and here in Northern California we are getting some much needed sunshine replacing the marine later to lighten things up a bit. Time to match it on the food side. This cucumber and grapefruit serves up perfectly refreshing summertime vibes and is great alone or paired with some grilled chicken or shrimp. Enjoy al fresco my friends!

Ingredients:

For the salad-

  • 1 grapefruit, sliced and cut away from skin
  • 1 English cucumber, cut in half moons
  • Sprinkle of feta cheese
  • 1 large piece smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 red onion, slivered
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • Optional- 1/8 cup parsley, chopped

For the dressing-

  • 1 tbs avocado (or olive) oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Prep first! Cut your grapefruit into wedges, then the wedges cut away from skin (or peel it but I find that so tedious). Slice your cucumber and lemon. Juice your lemon. Chop your parsley.
  2. Whisk oil, lemon juice, honey, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Put all other ingredients in a large one, and drizzle dressing on top. Enjoy!

What am I listening to ask I make this? “Rock Your Baby” by George McCrea

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
dinner

Sweet Potato Boats with Chickpea, Spinach, and Lemon Maple Dressing

Ah, sweet potato boats. The overstuffed, bursting with good for you (or just good looking) ingredients that have been dominating my Instagram feed. As per usual, I will confess, I really thought these were just the output of the “camera eats first” (and potentially alone) Instagram and Pinterest mentality.

Then I made these sweet potato boats with toasted chickpeas, spinach, and a lemon maple tahini sauce. I have been converted and will be repenting for my judgement and hypocrisy for quite some time. Add these to your weeknight dinner rotation and you will be winning weeknights in no time!


Ingredients:

For the Sweet Potato Boats-

For the Lemon Maple Tahini Dressing-

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tbs avocado (or olive) oil
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 2.5 tbs hot water
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Wash your sweet potatoes, stab the outsides with a fork, and roast for 55 minutes (till slightly tender). Put on lined baking sheet.
  2. Once they’re in the oven, switch to the chickpeas. Drain, rinse, and pat them try, then toss in small bowl with salt, pepper, oil, and cumin. When the sweet potatoes have 30 min left, add the chickpeas with them on the baking sheet.
  3. In the final 10 min, work on the spinach and tahini dressing. Put all tahini ingredients in bowl and whisk with fork. Set aside (it will thicken with time).
  4. Heat 1/2 tbs oil over medium heat, and sauté spinach until it starts to wilt (2 min). Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 more min.
  5. Check on your potatoes and chickpeas after 30 min. Remove once potatoes are tender, and chickpeas are crispy perfection (this may be slightly staggered). Let potatoes cool for 5 min, then cut them in half.
  6. Do the scrape test. If you cannot scrape the insides of the halved sweet potato- stab a few more deep holes in the centers and put in microwave till you can (~2-4 min)
  7. Carve out some of the sweet potato flesh, and top each half with chickpeas and spinach, then drizzle with tahini. Enjoy!

Inspired by The Last Ingredient with my own tahini sauce twist!

What should I listen to as I make these? “Buttercup” by Jack Stauber

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

View this post on Instagram

Next up is #winningweeknights with an easy & healthy Friday Eve dinner: sweet potato boats with toasted chickpeas, spinach, and a lemon maple tahini sauce. Ingredients: 2 medium sweet potatoes 1 can chickpeas 1 tbs avocado (or olive) oil Sprinkle of salt and pepper 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp paprika 2 cups spinach, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced For tahini dressing- 1/4 cup tahini 1/2 tbs maple syrup 1/2 medium lemon, juiced 2.5 tbs hot water 1/8 tsp cumin Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Wash your sweet potatoes, stab the outsides with a fork, and roast for 55 minutes (till slightly tender). Put on lined baking sheet. Once they’re in the oven, switch to the chickpeas. Drain, rinse, and pat them try, then toss in small bowl with salt, pepper, oil, and cumin. When the sweet potatoes have 30 min left, add the chickpeas with them on the baking sheet. In the final 10 min, work on the spinach and tahini dressing. Put all tahini ingredients in bowl and whisk with fork. Set aside (it will thicken with time). Heat 1/2 tbs oil over medium heat, and sauté spinach until it starts to wilt (2 min). Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 more min. Check on your potatoes and chickpeas after 30 min. Remove once potatoes are tender, and chickpeas are crispy perfection (this may be slightly staggered). Let potatoes cool for 5 min, then cut them in half. Do the scrape test. If you cannot scrape the insides of the halved sweet potato- stab a few more deep holes in the centers and put in microwave till you can (~2-4 min) Carve out some of the sweet potato flesh, and top each half with chickpeas and spinach, then drizzle with tahini. Enjoy! — Inspired by @lastingingredient with my own tahini sauce twist!

A post shared by The Carmel Kama'aina (@carmelkamaaina) on

Categories
Dressings and Marinades lunch Sides and Snacks

Broccoli and Brussels Slaw with Creamy Lemon Dressing

I am a huge creature of habit. I find comfort in routines and to do lists. Why not let Carmel Kama’aina feel the same? Therefore “the Monday Reset” will now be a thing. Starting with one broccoli & brussels slaw with creamy lemon dressing, dried cranberries, and walnuts… coming right up!


Ingredients:

For the sweet and creamy lemon dressing

  • 3 tbs nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (this was an 1/8 of my lemon)
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbs avocado oil (or olive)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbs chopped shallot (this was one shallot sliver for me)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon

Makes 2/3 cup

For the Slaw

  • 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s shaved brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 bag Trader Joe’s organic broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I had cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I had walnuts)
  • Optional – parmesan for sprinkling

Serves 2 as an entree salad

Directions:

  1. Make dressing first. Blend (or whisk with fork) all ingredients on low till combined.
  2. Throw all slaw ingredients in a big bowl, top with dressing, and you’re done!!
  3. Note- Greek yogurt has protein, but if you want an extra oomf I think this would be great with smoked salmon or grilled chicken or shrimp!

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
breakfast

Green Fried Egg Breakfast Tacos

I have a confession. I hate dill. I’m not sure why and I’m not sure if it’s something that I actually loathe or have for some reason incorrectly assumed that I loathe for years. However, I did buy it during my weekly grocery trip (to inspire me to make a Mediterranean dip– this has not happened yet) and so it was staring at me as I pondered what to make for brunch on Saturday. At 1PM. Which leads to the punchline…

It’s never too late for weekend brunch! These egg, avocado, dill, and lime breakfast tacos can be whipped up in the next 10 minutes— whether it’s a weekend or weekday!

Don’t believe me on how easy these are? Fine, I will prove it and show the ingredients and recipe side by side in all their concise glory 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lime, cut in 4
  • 2 sprigs of dill
  • Sprinkle of parmesan (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat up tortillas in pan to get warm and crispy.
  2. Fry eggs to desired doneness. I put a lid on mine for the final minute so they get slightly cloudy on top.
  3. Slice your avocado and lime. Top each tortilla with an egg, then avocado, then sprinkle of parmesan (optional), then lime, then salt and pepper.

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
dinner

Burrata and Tomato Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

No burrata left behind my friends! My other dollop of burrata from my Easter Burrata, Melon, and Prosciutto Salad was about to expire, so I threw it over some deceptively healthy noodles (thank you Barilla Protein Plus) and made Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with a burrata & roasted tomato twist. 11/10 recommend!


Ingredients:

  • 2 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 box spaghetti (I use Barilla Protein+)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • 8 large garlic cloves, slivered
  • 1/4 tsp red chili pepper + more for serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced (if dried- just a sprinkle)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1 scoop of burrata

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Halve your tomatoes, place on lined baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25 min.
  2. Once in, cook pasta as per instructions, but save 1.5 cups of the pasta water before draining the noodles.
  3. While your pasta is boiling, prep your garlic then heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Size matters – your pasta will end up in here.
  4. Add garlic and stir frequently. Once it starts to brown (~2 min), add the red chili flakes. After 30 seconds, add the saved pasta water and bring to a boil. Once boiled, lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain your pasta and add into the garlic pot. Toss, them remove from heat. Sprinkle in parsley and parmesan. Let it sit for 5 min before topping with the burrata and tomatoes. Enjoy, my friends!


Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

View this post on Instagram

No 👏 burrata 👏 left 👏 behind 👏 My other dollop of burrata was about to expire, so I threw it over some deceptively healthy noodles (ty @barilla protein plus) and made Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with a burrata & roasted tomato twist, below- Ingredients: 2 handful cherry tomatoes, halved Salt & pepper 1 box spaghetti (I use @barilla protein+) 1/2 cup olive oil + extra for drizzling 8 large garlic cloves, slivered 1/4 tsp red chili pepper + more for serving 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced (if dried- just a sprinkle) 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving 1 scoop of burrata Directions: Preheat oven to 375F. Halve your tomatoes, place on lined baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25 min. Once in, cook pasta as per instructions, but save 1.5 cups of the pasta water before draining the noodles. While your pasta is boiling, prep your garlic then heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Size matters – your pasta will end up in here. Add garlic and stir frequently. Once it starts to brown (~2 min), add the red chili flakes. After 30 seconds, add the saved pasta water and bring to a boil. Once boiled, lower to a simmer for 5 minutes. Drain your pasta and add into the garlic pot. Toss, them remove from heat. Sprinkle in parsley and parmesan. Let it sit for 5 min before topping with the burrata and tomatoes. Enjoy, my friends!

A post shared by The Carmel Kama'aina (@carmelkamaaina) on

Categories
lunch

Earth Day Salad

For so many reasons, we should treat every day like it’s Earth Day. At the very bottom of that list, is this Earth Day Salad. Full of greens, broccoli, roasted squash, grilled chicken, and dried cranberries, it’s a great way to celebrate all the nutrients the Earth has to offer AND an easy weekday lunch to work into your rotation for any day!


Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of preferred greens
  • 1 handful of raw broccoli
  • 1/4 delicata squash, cut in quarter moons*
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries or other fruit
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil/ oil spray
  • Preferred dressing

* I cooked my whole squash to save for later!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut delicata squash, then put on lined baking sheet. Spray or drizzle with oil then rosemary. Bake for 25 min, flipping halfway through
  1. Rub chicken breast with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides. Cook in small skillet or grill pan (stab with fork if cannot tell when done).
  1. Put greens, broccoli, and cranberries in salad bowl. Top with squash and chicken once finished. Dress with your preferred dressing – I did olive oil and vinegar since I was in a time pinch!

Note: This salad is highly customizable – if you’re not a raw broccoli fan, roast it with the squash. If you want to make it more filling – add rice or sweet potato!


Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
lunch Sides and Snacks

White Bean Salad

Monday. A time to restart. No better way than with this white bean salad my best friend’s mom taught me. It’s incredible alone, atop greens, or as a side to chicken or fish. Best part? It takes maybe 5 minutes to make.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can white beans, washed & drained
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

A note on ingredients, they’re a bit customizable. Any white bean will be fine: cannellini, white kidney, great northern, etc. Same with tomatoes. I had cherry on hand, but grape or a larger, diced tomato would work too!

Directions:

  1. Do your prep first. Wash and drain the beans, dice your onion, halve the tomatoes, and chop the parsley.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
breakfast Sides and Snacks

Burrata Melon Prosciutto Salad

IMG_5641

WARNING: this recipe is alarmingly simple. If you like to agonize over your cooking and spend hours prepping, baking, and plating- this one is not for you. Honestly, this whole blog likely isn’t for you, but this tops even my usual low maintenance recipes.

Still on board? Read below to brunchify your burrata with this 5 ingredient antipasti recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cantaloupe, sliced into half moons
  • 3 slices of prosciutto, torn in thirds
  • Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 scoop burrata
  • Drizzle of agave or honey

Directions:

  1. Layer all your cantaloupe, prosciutto, and tomatoes on a platter. Set your burrata in the center and drizzle agave on top. Voila!

Yes, you read that right. The directions are ONE step. I really wasn’t kidding!

Not sure what to do with your leftover burrata? I’d recommend checking out my Burrata and Roasted Tomato Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe.

Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:

Categories
lunch

Monday Meal Prep Salad with Homemade Dressing

FullSizeRender 4What’s in a name? This one encourages me to be the type of Monday person I’d like to be. Welcoming Monday as an opportunity to kick start and supersize the rest of my week. I actually laughed as I typed that. Full disclosure, I’m taking multiple angles to try to mind warp myself into becoming this person. I also use a mug every Monday that says “Little Miss F**king Sunshine,” but my self-induced mug therapy is a convo for another day.

Back to this salad. Why is it a Monday Meal Prep Salad? Because in making this, you’ll end up prepping ingredients you can toss into future bowls, salads, and plates all week.

How? After roasting butternut squash and brussels, making a batch of quinoa and hard boiled eggs, and creating a homemade dressing… voila! You’ve meal prepped for the week.

Ingredients:

For the veggies-

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (for squash)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (for squash)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (1 tsp per veg)
  • Salt & pepper

For the add ins-

  • 1 serving quinoa (cook by package)
  • 1 hardboiled egg (directions below)
  • 3 handful greens

For the dressing-

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • A small lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper
  • A dash of agave

Note: this dressing is for one serving. If you’re meal prepping, multiply the ingredients by number of desired servings.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and prep your squash and brussels. Put squash on oiled and lined baking sheet with cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Cook for 15 min then add brussels. Remove after 30.
  2. While veggies roast, get two pots. Prepare quinoa according to package in one and make your egg(s) in another. For egg- bring water to boil, add egg, and cook for 7 min. Run under cold water immediately.
  3. Finally, make dressing- add all ingredients to a dish and whisk with fork.
  4. Remove veggies and add one third of them to 3 handfuls of greens. Scoop on 3 spoons of quinoa, and top with egg and dressing.
  5. Save remaining quinoa and veggies for bowls all week- would go great with chicken, salmon, shrimp, etc!
Categories
breakfast

Almond Butter French Toast Dunkers

IMG_5747I’m not going to sugar coat this one. These are by far my favorite thing I have ever made. I recognize the audacity of that claim given how much a cook, but it’s a rare moment I create something completely novel, healthy, and fun. These almond butter French toast dunkers are easy, (relatively) healthy and they can be all yours this weekend!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 slices bread (I used @daveskillerbread)
  • 2 tbs almond butter (1 tbs per slice)
  • 1/2 tbs butter
  • Topping ideas- maple syrup, brown sugar, fruit (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk your eggs, milk, cinnamon, honey, and nutmeg in a shallow dish.
  2. Spread the almond butter on 2 slices of bread, then put another piece of bread on each. Dunk these almond butter sandwiches in the egg mixture (do both sides).
  3. Heat griddle or frying pan over medium head. Spread with 1/2 tbs butter (could sub for oil), then cook your toast for 2-3 min per side.
Categories
lunch

Toasted Chickpea Salad

DSC06535

Interested in a meatless Monday dinner or need inspiration for lunch tomorrow? Try this toasted chickpea salad!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 2 heaping handfuls of preferred greens
  • 1 small handful of tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
  • Sprinkle of Parmesan (optional)
  • Olive oil and vinegar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Put chickpeas on a lined baking tin, pat dry with paper towel, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 min.
  • Slice mushrooms, tomatoes, and olives. Add to bowl with greens and parmesan.
  • Once chickpeas are finished add to the bowl and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Enjoy!
Categories
lunch

Bella-Approved Grilled Chicken Salad

IMG_4686There is a time for an elaborate salad, and a time when you simply do not have time, need greens, now, and it’s either going to be an exceptionally easy salad or a bag of Trader Joe’s pretzel thins for lunch.

Just me? I probably had you there with me till the last part. This recipe was born at 2PM in between conference calls in 10 minutes– 9.5 of which my dog, Bella, stood at my feet eagerly awaiting me to slip up and drop her a morsel.

Ready to try this Bella approved-salad yourself?

Ingredients:

  • 1 small chicken breast
  • Paprika, salt, garlic powder, and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • Small handful of dried cranberries
  • 1/8th of a red onion, diced
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • Dressing (I did olive oil and vinegar)

Directions:

    Heat up a grill pan or sauté pan. While heating, season chicken with a generous sprinkle of paprika on both sides, then salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub in.
    Once pan is hot, add the chicken. Let it sizzle for about ~5 min on high on each side (will vary by thickness). Remove from heat once cooked through.
    In the meantime, dice onion, and cube avocado. Cut tomatoes in half. Add to a bowl with your greens and dried cranberries.
    Add chicken once done, dress, and dig in!
Categories
dinner

Chicken and Rice Soup with Homemade Chili Garlic Oil

IMG_5043This recipe is adapted from a Basically one. If you haven’t checked them out — definitely do! I adapted it to be more quarantine friendly.

Best for: when you feel under the weather or chilly, but don’t want the basic chicken noodle to perk you up! This chilly oil has a ZING to it.

Categories
breakfast

Healthier Banana Pancakes with Brown Sugar Glaze

IMG_4941

Nothing says Sunday morning like PANCAKES! Up your brunch game with these banana, blueberry, brown sugar ones.

Categories
lunch

Simple Quarantine Salad

IMG_4253Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to be more grateful. It’s bizarre how much more quickly thoughts of gratitude come to me after about a week of a daily gratitude practice. Like this one. An upside of quarantine? No more overpriced lunch salads! Boost your immune system with this 6 ingredient salad instead.

Best for: One upping that overpriced lunch salad with an easier, likely even healthier one at home.

Categories
dinner Dressings and Marinades

Miso Tahini Tofu Bowls

I have been on a quest for the perfect miso tahini sauce. I find many recipes are too biting with too strong a tahini aftertaste. Not this one. With the chilly weather, I’ve found myself craving different bowl variations after work that are quick and easy but healthy and filling. Once you make the miso tahini sauce you can put it on anything you have in your fridge— so use this recipe as a guide but feel free to swap out your veggies, tofu, or grains.

Best for: Asian-inspired weeknight dinners when you want to use up the winter veggies in your fridge!

Musical Pairing: You Worry Me” by Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Night Sweats

Ingredients:

Serves 2-3, depending on appetites

For the Miso Tahini Sauce-

  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs white miso paste
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 small lemon, juices (~1 tbs)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs Greek yogurt – optional
  • 3 tbs water (more depending on desired thinness)
  • pinch of salt

For the Veggies-

  • 2 small Japanese sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz Brussels sprouts, sliced in thirds
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs Curry powder
  • 1 cup of uncooked preferred grain (I used faro)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • While the oven is preheating, press the tofu for about 10 minutes. Prep your veggies- chop sweet potatoes and Brussels into bite size pieces and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Do this individually- they will not go in the oven at the same time.
  • Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potatoes on the tray, then cut tofu in small squares, toss with 1 tbs oil and curry powder, and place alongside sweet potato. Roast the tofu and the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes.
  • For me, this was the correct time to boil my water for my faro which needed to cook for 20 minutes. You can make a call according to the cooking directions on your preferred grain.
  • After 10 minutes, add the Brussels sprouts to the baking tray. Roast all for an additional 30 minutes.
  • While baking, prepare the dressing. Using an immersion blender, food processor, or magic bullet, mix all ingredients together. If the dressing is not as thin as you’d like, add another tbs of water. Set aside.
  • Once your grains and veggies are done, it’s time to plate. Put grains, then veggies, then tofu in a bowl and drizzle with your miso tahini sauce. Enjoy!

Categories
dinner Sides and Snacks

Mozzarella, Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad

Any caprese fans out there? You may have noticed 3/4 of the ingredients in the title are the caprese staples. I was tempted to call this recipe “Corn Caprese” it “Caprese with Corn” but neither of those had the right rings to them. In any case, the flavors are different and this feels more like a hearty side salad than a caprese thanks to the spinach. I highly recommend serving with your favorite protein, or bringing to a dinner party! It’s a great, go-to special occasion salad.

Best for: A special occasion side salad to dazzle your guests or hostess.

Musical pairing: Yellow Eyes” by Rayland Baxter

Categories
dinner

Winter Veggie & Grain Bowls Pt. I

Think of this recipe as a base from which to customize. Sure, I used portabella mushrooms, romaine, Delicata squash, and quinoa, for example, but if you have broccoli, sweet potato, arugula and farro in your fridge then by all means use that instead. The point is: grains + roasted veggies + lettuce + fresh leaves. How you fill in those blanks is entirely up to you!

Best for: Chilly weeknight dinners when you want something warm and comforting— but healthy!

Musical Pairing:Time is Dancing” by Ben Howard

Categories
Sides and Snacks

The Best Oven Roasted Potatoes and Chestnuts

I make roasted potatoes in some form at least once a week- cubed sweet potatoes with rosemary, smashed mini Yukon golds with garlic, or a tricolored medley. I’d like to think of myself as a sort of potato pro. I thought I knew the best way to make them— then this recipe happened.

Truth be told, this recipe was born by me realizing I didn’t have the time or ingredients to make the recipe I intended to. So infused half of a roasted potato recipe with a roasted potato and chestnut recipe, and greatness was made.

I also discovered through making this that I had never had a toasted chestnut before, but that I LOVE them. I’d highly recommend saving this potato marinade for your everyday potato side, but any time you have a bit more time or anyone over you’d like to make a special meal for — add in the chestnuts!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lbs potatoes (I used Trader Joe’s “Teeny tiny”)
  • 1/2 pound fresh chestnuts
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, off the vine and chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. While preheating, do your prep. slice potatoes in half. Cut an x on the flat side of the shallots (so they don’t explode- thanks dad for debunking this one). Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next start on the marinade. Mince the garlic cloves. Pick the rosemary off the vine and chop. Put in a small dish. Add the Dijon, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Whisk.
  4. Pour marinade over the potatoes and mix.
  5. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Put potatoes on the tray and roast for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, take out the baking tray and add your chestnuts. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, watching for your desired golden and crispness. Enjoy!
Categories
dinner Uncategorized

Homemade Spinach Pasta

FullSizeRender

Homemade Spinach Pasta

This was my first foray into homemade pasta in a long time, and I had forgotten how easy it is. It’s a great weekend group activity and I highly recommend you try next time you’re cooking a special meal with friends or family! Once you have the pasta maker, you will be shocked by how quick and easy it is to make the noodles. If you don’t believe me, check out the ingredients list!

Also, we made this with a homemade pesto, which, keeping on theme was also quick and easy (and green!).

Best for- A great group cooking and dining activity that maximizes fun and minimizes ingredients!

Musical Pairing- Sure Don’t Miss You (feat. The Dip)” by BUNT.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz package frozen spinach (thawed and chopped)
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (additional flour as needed)
  • 1 tsp salt

Supplies Needed

  • Pasta maker
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Food processor or blender

Directions

  1. Squeeze as much water as possible from the chopped spinach with your hands. This sounds weird, I know. But it’s important. You will be shocked how much water comes out! I just put clumps in the palm of my hand and squeeze in a fist shape.
  2. Next, place in your food processor with the 5 eggs. Purée until smooth (no chunks of spinach showing) and a dark green. Warning, this takes longer than expected.
  3. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Stir with fork or whisk to combine.
  4. Next, prepare your surface (e.g. clean countertop, large measuring board, pasty mat). Lightly flour. Pour the flour mixture from the bowl onto your surface in the shape of a mountain. Make a hole in the middle — think a crater.
  5. Now take the blended spinach and egg mixture and pour into the “crater valley.” Using a fork, stir in a circle, and push in flour from the sides to incorporate as you stir. Once chunks begin to form, put aside the fork and begin to knead as dough with your hands. Kneed for about 5 minutes, continuing to add more flour until the dough is smooth, and slightly tacky. Stop at the first sign of it getting sticky (you don’t want it to stick to your hands).
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes. While you wait, assemble your pasta maker.
  7. Once the time has passed, divide your dough into 4-6 equal sections (depending on the size of your pasta machine) using a knife. Cover all pieces but the one you’re working with with a damp (and clean!) dish towel or more plastic wrap.
  8. Time to make some noodles! I chose fettuccine but it works with whatever shape. Begin with the narrow side of your first rectangle and feed it through the pasta maker at the wildest setting. If you have multiple people, it helps to have one person feed the pasta while another catches it on the other side. Once through, fold it like a business letter, and feed it through again. Repeat until pasta reaches desired thinness (I’d aim for 5-6 times)- but make slightly less thin than you’d think because the spinach makes the pasta a bit more fragile. Shake the strands apart – otherwise they’ll dry and cling together!
  9. Bring your water to a boil and salt. Cook for about 3 minutes for al dente pasta.
DSC05419
Categories
Beverages

Chocolate Almond Milk

image

I love chocolate almond milk. I don’t love how much I pay to get my fix from Pressed Juicery. So, today my friend and I decided to make almond milk from scratch. I made it in two batches so that I could experiment to find the best combination of ingredients. The first batch left me feeling underwhelmed and googling the nearest juice bar. Thankfully, I figured out the right ingredients for the second batch and it turned out perfectly. Drink up!

P.S. If you’re not a chocoholic like myself and want vanilla cinnamon almond milk, this recipe works for that too!

BEST FOR– times you’re thirsty but also kinda hungry and want a sweet, healthy, & filling treat! Really good post-workout!

MUSICAL PAIRING- American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

INGREDIENTS
(serves 4)

1 cup almonds, soaked 8-12 hours (see notes section if in a time pinch)
3 cups filtered water
3 tbs. unsweetened cacao powder (see note if can’t find this)
4 Mejool dates, pits removed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Soak the almonds in water overnight (or 8-12 hours).  See the notes section if you don’t have this amount of time. The almonds should be soaked in a bowl that allows for an additional inch of water above them. I really should have taken a before and after shot so that you can see what a difference in size and color it makes, but since I didn’t you’re just going to have to trust me that the soaking is necessary.

image

Once the almonds are done soaking and you’re ready to use them, simply strain them and you’re ready to start making your almond milk!

image

Add drained almonds to blender. Add filtered water, dates, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Blend on high for about 1 minute. There will be chunks of almond left and that’s okay.

image

Get a large bowl or glass (I used a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Pour the almond milk from blender through a nut milk bag over the glass. I would recommend pouring in half, then squeezing the bag for 30 seconds to a minute to get out the excess almond milk stuck in the pulp, then repeating with the other half. It’ll feel kinda like milking a cow (or what I imagine milking a cow feels like) and that’s totally okay.

imageimage

Once you’re sure you’ve squeezed all the almond milk out of the nut milk bag, pour the almond milk from your large bowl/glass into an airtight container. I used this. Refrigerate and enjoy for 3-5 days!

image

NOTES

  • I alluded to this earlier, but maybe you decided to make almond milk on a whim and don’t have time to soak almonds overnight. You can boil the almonds in water for 1-2 hours which does the same thing as soaking them overnight. I say apparently only because I haven’t tried this and can’t personally verify it.
  • I also brought up the idea of cinnamon vanilla almond milk. Simply don’t add the cocoa powder but do everything else the same and you’re golden.
  • Don’t have a nut milk bag or airtight container? I didn’t either but I bought this bag and this jar.
  • Try this with your left over almond pulp!

image

Categories
lunch

Homemade Kalafel & Hummus

image

Nope, that is not a typo. Yes, I may be becoming a little too into merging words together. Which goes nicely with my growing add-kale-to-anything-and-everything mentality. If you haven’t guessed by now, “kalafel” = kale + falafel. I’ve wanted to make homemade hummus and falafel for awhile now, and, still feeling invincible after finally making a successful acai bowl yesterday, I decided to try to make it for a late lunch today. IT WAS AWESOME! The hummus turned out amazingly light and fluffy. I had visions of eating clouds of chickpeas. You couldn’t taste the kale in the falafel, but rather it tasted like normal (albeit lighter and less greasy) falafel. I literally couldn’t stop saying “whoa this actually tastes like real hummus & falafel!” My friend & my dad can be my witnesses. Best of all it was quick!

BEST FOR- times you reallllly want mediterranean food and have a decent amount of chickpeas at your disposal.

MUSICAL PAIRING- “When U Love Somebody” by The Fruit Bats

So, I prepared my kalafel first. Then while the kalafel was baking I prepared my hummus. I presented the recipes in this order. Of course, you can make them in whichever order you wish, or simply make one. I’ll definitely be making this hummus once a week from now on. I officially see no need to buy hummus when making it is so quick and easy and delicious.

KALAFEL INGREDIENTS
(serves 2-3)

1 cup kale
1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked for an hour– see step 1)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ¼ tsp tahini
Juice of ½ large lemon
⅛ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper

image

KALAFEL DIRECTIONS

  1. First, you have to deal with the chickpeas. This is the hardest part because it’s an hour of nothingness that you have to wait before you can get to the fun part: actually making the food. I loathe this part. Sadly, canned chickpeas yield badly formed falafel that don’t like to stay together when cooked. So, for perfect falafel (or kalafel in our case) you must do the following. Place the dried chickpeas in a small pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 2 more minutes. Then, remove from burner and let sit for an hour.
  2. After an hour, strain the chickpeas. Preheat oven to 375°. Add the chickpeas and all other kalafel ingredients to the food processor. Blend until smooth (about a minute). Taste. Now is the time to add more salt/ pepper/ lemon etc. if it seems it is missing. Obviously I didn’t add anything since I chose how much of each ingredient goes in but everyone has their own tastes. You do you.
  3. Wash your hands (although I’m really hoping you did this before step 1). Form balls of kalafel. I could tell you how, but it’s pretty instinctive. Make sure they’re tightly packed. As for size, think of a normal meatball (sorry if that’s a gross visual for vegetarians). Or check out my pictures below for reference.
  4. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Use a paper towel to evenly coat and get off the excess (after all we’re baking them instead of frying them to reduce oil and increase healthiness). Place kalafel on the baking sheet, kinda like cookies (except they wont spread out). Bake for 13 minutes. After 13 minutes, flip each kalafel and rotate the pan 90 degrees. Put the pan of kalafel back in the oven for an additional 13 minutes, or until they’re a nice golden brown.

image

image

image

image

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~HUMMUS TIME!~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

HUMMUS INGREDIENTS
(serves 4)

1 can chickpeas
Juice of 1 whole lemon
⅓ cup tahini
Handful fresh parsley
¼ tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sprinkling of pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
2 tbs. olive oil

image

HUMMUS DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients in blender and whirl together until smooth and creamy. Yup. That easy. You’re welcome.

******** oh and you can keep it in an airtight container for up to a week (or so my dad tells me)********

image

image

I put my hummus and kalafel on a salad, added tomatoes, and topped it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can really do whatever with them! Simply munch on the kalafel dipped in hummus. Put them in a pita and add lettuce/ tomatoes/ red onion/ tahini sauce etc. Eat them with pita chips. Your imagination is your limit! Although, if my dog Bella is the judge, my idea wins 🙂

image

Categories
dessert Sides and Snacks

Greek Yogurt Cinnamon Crumble Loaf

I’ve always been a Greek yogurt fan, but the full on convert to Greek-yogurt-as-a-cooking-staple evangelist began when I started experimenting with Greek yogurt in loafs and cakes. And now that I’ve started, I can’t stop. IT IS AMAZING. Not only does it help you greatly reduce your butter needed, but it makes the texture perfectly fluffy and moist. The one two punch is pairing it with avocado oil as I do in this recipe. Expect this to become a staple in my baked goods going forward!

Ingredients:

(Makes a 9*5 loaf)

For the cinnamon crumble-

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 tbsp cold butter, cubed

For the loaf-

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or canola)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon (1 tsp in batter and 1/2 tsp to sprinkle on top)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (to sprinkle on top)

Directions:

  1. Prep first. Preheat your oven to 350F and line and lightly grease/ spray a loaf pan (I used a 9×5).
  2. Make your cinnamon crumble first. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, except for a butter. Cut butter into thin slices, then using a fork, mash it into the flour to form the crumbs set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all wet cake ingredients. Then stir in the dry.
  4. Pour half of the cake batter into your loaf pan. Sprinkle in the cinnamon crumble, then layer the other half of the cake batter on top. Sprinkle 1 tbs brown sugar and 1/2 tbs cinnamon on top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, then do the toothpick test. If it comes out clean, pull the loaf. If not, bake for an additional 5 min (or until it does!). Mine took 40 minutes but every oven is different 🙂

What am I listening to as I make this?Casio” by Jungle (I know, big Jungle week)


What if I want something with Greek Yogurt but not this?


Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
Dressings and Marinades Sides and Snacks

5 Min Homemade “Granch” Dressing

Love a good Hidden Valley Ranch snack but trying to be healthy? Say hello to GRANCH aka ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt rather than the buttermilk, mayo, and additives combo. This recipe is incredibly customizable between fresh and dried ingredients, and takes no more than 5 minutes to pull together. Happy snacking!

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or 2% or full fat — whatever you’ll eat leftover!)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbs fresh yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 2.5 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tbs green onion
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional – 1 tsp water if too thick

Directions:

  1. Throw all ingredients in nutribullet / blender/ under immersion blender. Enjoy with your preferred veggies (I did 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 cucumber, 1 cup fresh broccoli).

Notes:

You can use onion powder in place of fresh onion, dried chives (or parsley!) in place of fresh green onion, and lemon instead of over apple cider vinegar. This recipe is super easy and customizable!


What am I listening to as I make this?Borderline” by Tame Impala

What if I want an easy dip but not this one? Don’t worry, I have many more options for you!


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
Uncategorized

Honey Drenched Greek Yogurt Bark

I have developed quite the ice cream addiction in quarantine. Not that I didn’t like ice cream before, but I thought of it as a fun treat I’d get out at an ice cream shop. Now, if I’d have my way, I’d buy a pint with every grocery store run so that I could have a mug full after dinner (anyone else think mug > bowl for at home ice cream??). In the best interest of my health, I have been making a conscious effort not to encourage this into a permanent habit, which led me to researching healthier alternatives. Enter: Greek yogurt bark. This recipe is super customizable, so use below as your base and customize to your wildest imagination with your toppings!

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 baking sheet of bark)

  • 2 cups 0% Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbs coconut shavings (unsweetened)
  • 1.5 tbs honey (to mix in) + more to drizzle once frozen
  • 1 tbs chocolate chips
  • 2 large strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs almonds, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups of yogurt mixed with 1.5 tbs honey in a parchment paper lined Pyrex or baking sheet. The shape doesn’t really matter and is more personal preference of how thick you want the bark to be (e.g. in a Pyrex they will be more of “bars” whereas on a baking sheet they will be more “bark).
  2. Drizzle with chocolate chips, strawberries, almonds and coconut shavings.
  3. Freeze for several hours till solid, then top with additional honey to taste. Enjoy!

What am I listening to as I make this?Happy Man” by Jungle

What if I want an healthier dessert but not this one? Don’t worry, I have you covered. Check these out below!


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
Sides and Snacks

Busy Girl’s Tzatziki

Why busy? Because traditional recipes say to wait overnight but HEY I don’t have time for that!

In all seriousness, before you keep reading, I have two disclaimers:

  1. Most recipes ask you to wait overnight because cucumbers are full of water, and you don’t want that water releasing into your tzatziki once combined with the other ingredients. We’re going to circumvent this by grating the cucumber into a tea towel (or cheese cloth) and wringing it out before putting it in the yogurt mixture.
  2. This means that you will need a cheese grater and a clean dish towel for this recipe.

Ingredients:

(Makes 5 servings)

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
  • 1 juiced lemon (~2 tbs juice)
  • 2 tbs freshly chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper 
  • 1/2 medium English cucumber (+ more for snacking!)
  • Suggested sides- the other half of the cucumber, carrots, pita, etc.

Directions:

  1. Prep first! Squeeze your lemon and chop your garlic and dill. Add to a bowl with your yogurt, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir and set aside.
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate your cucumber half (skin on!) onto a CLEAN dish or tea towel. Now, wring the towel out to get rid of the excess cucumber liquid.
  3. Put the cucumber into the greek yogurt mixture and stir. Enjoy! You are supposed to wait an hour to let everything come together. I confess.. I did NOT but it was still delicious!

What am I listening to as I make this?Bad Habit” by the Kooks

What can I learn while I make this? Exactly what makes greek yogurt, well, greek yogurt! Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove the liquid whey. Because of this, the result has double the amount of protein as regular yogurt.


What if I want an yummy dip but not this one? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended. Check these out, here:


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
dinner

Gnocchi White Bean Soup with Fresh Dill

There is nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a cold summer’s day. Yes, you read that right. For those unfamiliar with Carmel, our default summer weather is FOG. Now, the thing with soup is it can be incredibly slow and involved (read: simmer for hours), or fast and easy. This soup is the latter, and leverages pre-made gnocchi from Trader Joe’s to make the process even speedier. For those of you who are still in the throes of a hot summer, use this soup to help you get in the autumnal mood (I hear Target ALSO has it’s fall section up if you need even more of a boost).

Ingredients:

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp red chilli pepper
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (15.5 oz)
  • 1 can of white beans (15.5 oz)
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 carton (32 oz) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package gnocchi
  • 1 tsp fresh dill per bowl (or any fresh herb!)
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Prep first! Dice your garlic and chop your celery, onion, and dill. Set aside.
  2. In your largest pot, heat 1 tbs oil over medium-low heat and add in your garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute, turn heat to medium, and add diced tomatoes, celery, and beans. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add broth and turn to high to bring to a boil.  
  4. Once boiling, add gnocchi. Cook according to instructions, for me, that was 3 minutes in boiling soup!  
  5. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Notes:

You could add parmesan on top (my dad did).


What am I listening to as I make this?Put it Together” by Langhorne Slim


What do I do with the rest of my dill leftover? Don’t worry, I’m full of ideas!


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
Uncategorized

Easy Garlic Baked Cod with Fresh Dill, Lemon, and Tomatoes

Ironically, white fish tends to be the black fish of the seafood family. When faced with options like salmon, ahi tuna, prawns, etc… few people will pick the common white fish like cod or tilapia or halibut. I think this is because it’s extremely easy to overcook it or under-season it and end up eating a bland tasting and looking piece of cardboard. The good news is I’ve taken this up as personal challenge and it’s actually an easy one to solve. A good marinade and short cooking time will have you picking white fish every time!

Ingredients:

Serves 2)

  • 1 cup uncooked rice (or one microwave pouch— see notes)
  • ~ 1lbs cod (or any white fish)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (a good shake)
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. If you’re making rice on the stove, start that now. It’ll take by far the longest. See notes for my 3 min rice hack.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Pat dry fish and add to baking sheet/ dish. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and and cayenne pepper. Layer on cherry tomatoes, garlic, and lemon slices. Drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake for 12-15 min — do not overcook (see notes). Sprinkle with fresh dill and enjoy over rice or your preferred side.

Notes:

The savior of my weeknight meals are the Trader Joe’s microwave brown rice bags. It makes enough for 2 people in 3 minutes which SERIOUSLY speeds up the whole home cooking process.

DO NOT overcook your fish. It will be gross and exemplify why people complain about white fish. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and check if a) it’s opaque and b) it flakes easily with a fork. If so— pull it! If not, check again after 2 min. Repeat if needed.


What am I listening to as I make this?Gotta Get Through Another Day” by Carole King


What if I want another seafood meal but not this one? I won’t be offended! Here are a few different ideas-


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
dinner

“Homemade” Tomato Summer Pizza

We all need a little help sometimes. Especially in quarantine. For example, making pizza from scratch sounds great, but someone taking care of that whole dough from scratch part sounds a lot better. Enter: Trader Joe’s pre-made dough. Way fresher and healthier than a frozen pizza (which we eat more of than I’d like to admit) but requires a lot less waiting than actually making your own pizza end to end.

This recipe is super customizable. Tomato season is in full swing so I knew that I wanted to feature those in my dish and build the other toppings (red onion, fresh basil, parmesan cheese) around what I had on hand, but you can do whatever you have in your fridge/are craving. I also really wanted to optimize for easy, so just used my go-to Rao’s marinara sauce instead of buying pizza sauce. This definitely made the pizza a bit wetter (because pasta sauce has a higher water content than pizza sauce which contains more undiluted tomato puree)– but I didn’t mind! See my notes for more easy hacks if you think you might mind 🙂

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 16 oz fresh pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s garlic and herb)
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 4 tbs pasta sauce (could use pizza sauce if you have– see notes)
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/8 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Canola / olive oil spray
  • Salt & pepper
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • Optional- red chili flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. What will you cook your pizza on? Whether a baking sheet or pizza stone, make your pizza on this from the start. Dust with flour, and let your fresh dough sit out for 30 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475F. Slice your tomatoes then lay them out on a towel. Sprinkle with salt and let them sit to pull out the excess moisture.  
  3. After 30 min, roll your dough out with a floured baking pin (or wine bottle!). It’s okay if your pizza rolls out to a funky shape— we’re going to fold over the crust so no need for perfect symmetry. Spread tomato sauce on dough, leaving about a half inch perimeter on the outer edges. 
  4. Switch back to your tomatoes. Pat them dry, then layer on the dough with the red onion. Sprinkle your cheese on the pizza: half on the tomato/ onion, and half on the dough around the edges you left uncovered by sauce.
  5. Fold over the outer edge dough to form a crust, and spray with olive/canola oil (or drizzle if you don’t have spray). 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges turn golden. Top with fresh basil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes (if you’re into spice) and enjoy!

Notes:

Using pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce has its benefits; namely, it’s convenient as it’s likely something you already have on hand! That being said, there are two key differences to note between pasta and pizza sauces. First, pasta sauce has a higher water content than pizza sauce– so your pizza will be a bit more watery. Second, pasta sauce has already been cooked, so the flavor will be slightly different. Two ways around this if you have more time (beyond simply buying pizza sauce): 1. reduce your pasta sauce on the stove so it thickens a bit or 2. puree fresh or canned tomatoes to make your own pizza sauce!


What am I listening to as I make this?All I Want” by Bob Moses

What can I learn while I make this? Spain holds a tomato festival every year. Why is this notable? It’s not a tomato tasting festival– it’s a a massive tomato fight! Check it out here.


What if I want to make something with fresh tomatoes but not this? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended! Check out these recipes below:


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
dinner

Weeknight Roasted Shrimp and Tomato Summer Salad

I’m all for easy weeknight meals that use as few appliances/ dishes as possible. This one heavily leverages your oven to keep clean up to a minimum. You will need to boil water to make the farro, but everything else, corn included, goes directly into the oven to cook. That means no boiling separate pots of water or needed to leverage multiple burners on the stove (the horror!). It’s also SUPER easy. I came up with this recipe and executed it all while FaceTiming with my friend. Work this one into your weeknight rotation ASAP!

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1.5 cups uncooked farro
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 12 shrimp — I did unpeeled
  • 1 tbs oil for the shrimp 
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls preferred greens per bowl
  • Preferred dressing — I did olive oil and vinegar
  • Optional- sprinkle of parmesan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Add shucked corn ear directly onto the oven rack. Set timer for 30 min. Bring water to a boil in a small pot and cook farro according to package.
  3. Halve tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add to a lightly oiled baking sheet 15 minutes in. Next, toss shrimp in dried herbs, 1 tbs oil, salt and pepper. 
  4. When 5 min are left, add the shrimp to the baking sheet. Roast for 5-6 minutes. Then, remove everything from the oven. 
  5. Put all ingredients in a bowl over greens, top with preferred dressing, and add parmesan if desired. Enjoy!

Notes:

You could substitute the farro for quinoa, cous cous, wild rice, or whatever grain you have on hand!


What am I listening to as I make this?Loud Places” by Jaime xx and Romy

What can I learn while I make this? What farro is! Farro is an ancient grain that’s chalk full of nutrients. For example, one serving of farro can contain up to 20% of your daily recommended fiber.


What if I want an easy dinner but not this one? Don’t worry, I am full of ideas! Check out these below-

Zucchini Pizza Poppers

When you want pizza but also health AND can’t be bothered to go to the store … 5 ingredient zucchini pizza bites!

Weeknight Basil Tofu Stir Fry

An easy weeknight stir fry dish that even the most lukewarm on tofu will enjoy thanks to the zesty lime sauce and crispy tofu!


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
breakfast Sides and Snacks

Jammy Egg Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad

I love a good tomato salad. On most days for me, this is as simple as fresh tomatoes with balsamic and olive oil… and maaaaybe some Italian seasoning on top if I’m feeling crazy. However, I really wanted to 2.0 my go-to tomato salad for this blog, and for some reason jammy eggs and basil were calling to me to be added in. And so, this recipe was born. I find some of my favorite recipes are those that I just follow my weird kitchen instincts on in creating– anyone else?

Before you read on, let me caveat, this salad is hard to put in a box as to what meal it’s best for. I had it as a side to lamb and crispy potatoes (11/10 recommend) but it would just as easily lend itself to a healthy, vegetarian lunch over a bed of quinoa as it would to a brunch salad paired with fresh bread or hot cakes.

Ingredients:

(Serves 2 as a side)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 10 sprigs fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Drizzle of olive oil and vinegar
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a small pot. Add eggs and cover with tight fitting lid. Cook for 6 minutes then immediately run under cool water. Once cool, gingerly peel off the eggs’ shells, then cut in half.
  2. Slice tomatoes, chop basil, and mince garlic. Throw in a bowl, drizzle with seasonings, and top with the eggs. Enjoy hot or let cool! 

What am I listening to as I make this?1612” by Vulpeck

What can I learn while I make this? How to make the perfect jammy eggs! First, what is a “jammy” egg? To me, it’s the perfect state of an egg. It has the slightest bit of runny yolk that’s mainly in a somewhat solidified but still soft state (like jam!). How do I make these? The internet is full of ideas but I pick the easy route. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs once they go in. Bring that water to a boil, gently add in your desired number of eggs, and cook for 6 minutes with a lid. Then, remove the eggs and hold them under cold water. Once they’re cool, gently crack on the edge of a counter and peel off the shells. Enjoy!


What if I want another easy, hearty side salad? Don’t worry, the Carmel Kama’aina is full of them! Check these out-


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.
Categories
dinner Sides and Snacks

Zucchini Pizza Poppers

I have been captivated with the Pinterest craze that are zucchini pizza boats for some time now. But, here’s the thing, they sounded like a lot of effort and like I might just rather eat pizza. I’m sure I’ll try them at some point and prove my assumptions wrong like with the sweet potato boats, BUT today my combination of laziness + skepticism produced a much easier alternative: zucchini pizza poppers.

They take 5 minutes of prep, 5 ingredients, and 15 minutes in the oven. Other recipes online call for mozzarella and pizza sauce. I’m sure they’re great, but I was looking for something I could make with ingredients I already had on hand and didn’t have to go to the store for. Enter: your new best friend to combat pizza cravings, health inclinations, and inertia.

Ingredients:

(Serves 2 as a snack)

  • 1 large zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch circles 
  • 1/2 cup preferred marinara sauce (I used Rao‘s)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Canola oil for spray 
  • Salt 

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly oil. Put your zucchini slices on the sheet and sprinkle with salt. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Top each slice with one spoonful of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy hot!
  3. I went for easy and what I had on hand BUT if you’re feeling adventurous throw on some pepperoni, sausage, black olives, tomato— whatever your go to pizza toppings are!

Notes:

I buy my Rao’s from Costco! This tomato sauce is pricy, but it’s so slow on sugar and truly tastes homemade. And… even better… you can get a 2 pack at Costco for what you’d pay for a one pack elsewhere!


What am I listening to as I make this?Dying Breed” by the Killers

What can I learn while I make this? Though zucchini are a type of squash, yellow zucchini are NOT the same as yellow squash. The tell? Zucchini are straight from end to end, whereas squash have that tapered, usually crooked neck.


What if I want a recipe with zucchini but not this one? You’re in luck, this recipe was a part of Zucchini week! Check out the options below-

Honey Ricotta Zucchini Bites

An easy and unexpected appetizer that will have you questioning why you haven’t tried the zucchini, ricotta, honey combo sooner!

Pesto Zooooooodles

A fast and easy seemless pasta swap that can be dressed up or down just as you would make your favorite wheat pasta dishes!


Want more Carmel Kama’aina content? Follow me on Instagram. All my latest recipes and behind the scenes tricks are published first on Instagram. Check out this recipe on Instagram, below:


What about 3-4 recipes weekly with corresponding grocery lists weekly? Sign up for the Carmel Kama’aina weekly blast:

Processing…
Mahalo! You’re now on the CK Weekly List.