Monday, January 5, 2015

Olive Oil Roasted Cabbage.

I thought I was a foodie before I tried roasted cabbage. I was clearly wrong. Prepare to have your culinary minds blown. After all, it's only four, if you could even call it four, ingredients!!

I've been wanting to share this recipe with you guys for a while!! It's just too good to keep to myself. But I can also hear you saying: but Meg it's a simple recipe, so how can such flavor come from such simple ingredients? Cabbage? Come on!

You're right, this is a simple recipe. It's easy to prepare, easy to make, and easy to eat since it pairs well with many different foods. The taste of this dish, however, is anything BUT simple. The olive oil creates a rich flavor that compliments the sweet taste of the roasted green cabbage, and there are soft and sweet bits of cabbage intermingled with darkly browned crunchy delicious pieces.  Heaven!

Olive oil Roasted Green Cabbage. 
    makes enough cabbage for meals for one, for one week

    1 head of green cabbage - I don't buy organic here, since cabbage is part of the "clean fifteen"
    good quality olive oil for drizzling - source
    unrefined sea salt - source
    ground black pepper

To roast your cabbage:
  1)  Use a large roasting pan or baking sheet; line with either parchment paper or a Silpat silicone baking sheet.
  2)  Slice cabbage into 1/2" thick slices. The break apart leaves/pieces with your hands. (You can also cut along the inner part and keep the leaves attached in the middle - this makes "wedges" - and you can roast it that way too - I've done it both ways and like both equally)
  3)  Place in pan, drizzle liberally with olive oil (don't saturate, just get mild coverage over all cabbage), sprinkle with salt and pepper (don't be shy!) and TOSS well with your hands.
  4)  Spread cabbage evenly, and bake in a 400 degree (mine's non-convection) oven for anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Leaving in cabbage longer will give you some nicely browned pieces that get crispy and delicious. Baking for less time will give you a cabbage that isn't as fully cooked and is more on the crunchy side. I highly recommed baking it for longer :)
  5)  Remove from oven and enjoy! Keep in the fridge all week for snacks, salad toppings and as a main course side. I really enjoy pairing mine with homemade hummus, carrots and some chicken!

Yes, it's that simple, and yes, it's THAT good. Try it out!

(FYI - I haven't tried this process yet with red cabbage, but I'm sure you could do that too.)

Happy New Year my lovely readers! I go back to school today :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Single Serving Protein Pancake.


Hey everyone :) I know it's been a while, but this blog is no longer a tip top priority! Med school has me busy busy, along with all the typical life stuff that has to happen. Talk about a balancing act!

Today I bring you a recipe for a single serving pancake. I've been eyeing pancake recipes lately, especially the "single lady" ones, but I was never quite happy with the ingredients that were used, so I chose my own.

Banana slices hiding on the bottom, with greek yogurt and cooked strawberries and raspberries.

This pancake is everything I could ever want in a pancake :) It's fluffy, has a nice nutty flavor from the flaxseed, it's full of protein, and isn't too sweet, so it's easy to top it with things like a touch of maple syrup, butter or some yummy berries and yogurt.

The secret to success in this recipe is measuring the ingredients, and also using a non-stick pan. I know that non-stick pans are not at all the best choice health-wise, but there's really no alternative when you want to make some awesome pancakes.

Single Serving Protein Pancake.
    serves one or two

    15 grams / one serving of brown rice protein powder - I use Nutribiotic plain, you could use brown rice flour here also
    50 grams / ~1/2 one normal sized banana, mashed
    8 grams / 1 heaping Tbsp  ground brown flaxseed
    3 grams / 1 scant Tbsp  ground chia seed
    12 grams / ~1 tsp  runny honey
    2 eggs / about 100 grams  give or take depending on your egg size
    1 gram  baking soda (this is a very small amount)
    15 drops  vanilla extract (I used a dropper)
    pinch each: salt, ground cardamom

To make your pancake:
  1)  Combine all ingredients into a bowl and whisk well, scraping off the sides with a spatula and getting everything incorporated. The only lumps present should be a little bit of mashed banana. The batter will appear thin, and shiny from the eggs, resist adding more dry ingredients.
  2)  Preheat your nonstick pan on medium-low heat (#4 on my stove, point at small hand on the 7 in 7 o'clock).
  3)  Pour batter onto the pan. Do two batches, or pour it all in for one pancake (this is what I do).  Cook on one side for about 5 minutes. Pancake is ready when there are some bubbles on top and you can see the edges are beginning to set. Work your rubber spatual around the edges of the pancake and also the bottom. One pancake requires one massive or two normal sized spatulas to flip it.
  4)  Flip pancake and wait another 1-2 minutes.
  5)  Remove pancake to a plate with banana slices already on it. Place pancake on top of sliced bananas. Drizzle with maple syrup or whatever is desired. I like to put some butter on top, berries and homemade yogurt. ENJOY!

My first attempt; not quite right but topped with yum!

Because someone will want the stats ;) Thanks to

I hope you are staying both warm and well this holiday season :) Love to all my readers :)
Merry Christmas!

PS - And no, this recipe will not work if you substitute the egg for something else.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Classic Vanilla Chia Pudding.

Most likely you've seen and heard about all the hype surrounding chia seeds. And most likely you've seen a gazillion recipes for "chia pudding." And... if you're like me, you wrinkle your nose and think sarcastically "really, how can THAT be good?!" Well this food craze wasn't going away, and I decided to stop being a baby and to stop saying "eww" inside my head when I hadn't even tried it. (You know that if you're a foodie, that's rule #1: Don't knock it till you try it). So I sucked it up and haphazardly threw some chia seeds in my smoothie bottle, poured in some vanilla, some this and that, enough liquid that looked appropriate, shook shook shook shook, and left it in the fridge to do it's thing.

Now I can easily say that the jokes on me people. The next morning, as I pulled the chia goo out of the fridge, I was skeptical. But I dipped my spoon in anyways and took a bite. My brain exploded. Holy cow how is this good?! This tapioca-like substance is SOOO not tapioca-like at all. I think I proceeded to eat half the batch I made right then and there. But then I showed restraint, because I knew I'd want some more yumminess later.

Ever since that fateful day, where I felt both like a Queen (hey hey, this girl tried chia pudding and LIKED it) and like a fool (this idiot waited too long to make omg-delicious-pudding), I've been experimenting with my own chia recipes. It is a little bit of a science and an art. You have to combine the right ratio of liquid to chia in order to get the right consistency. The right consistency may be firm after it has set overnight, or it maybe slightly more runny after setting overnight. But the best thing is, you can choose the texture of your pudding! See my tips after the recipe for getting this part right.

I've made this stuff with herbal coffee and coconut milk (divine), with coconut milk and vanilla (divine divine), and also with raw milk and vanilla (the recipe you see here). I like this recipe because it's the easiest of all, and it literally takes 1 minute to make. Have your roommate/partner/spouse come into the kitchen and time you. Real food doesn't have to take forever to make.

A couple notes, the quality of the liquid which you use as the base of your pudding makes the biggest difference here. In all the test-runs in my kitchen I've always used black chia seeds from my local Whole Foods or other awesome grocery store here in Seattle, so I can't speak for the other varieties of chia. But I do know that whatever milk you use DOES make an incredible difference. The milk I used here is pure, raw, organic, grass-fed milk from happy cows that live 3-4 hours away from where I live. Local stuff. And in other recipes that I'll share with you down the road (I promise), the coconut milk I used is very high quality, literally 100% coconut milk, NOT from a can. I personally think the canned stuff just tastes, well, canned, so I avoid it at all costs. And I know I am going to get questions about almond milk or rice milk or whatever milk suites your fancy and whether you can sub those in. You can, but it may make slightly different pudding. For instance, raw grass-fed milk has a much higher fat content than say rice and almond milks, (which are mostly just water by the way), so the end result has slightly lucious creaminess to it, and therefore milk alternatives like almond and rice probably will not. But really, this recipe is so versatile, and sure to please anyone in your family.

Someone obviously ate some already ;)

Classic Vanilla Chia Pudding.
     makes one pint mason jar nearly full

    1 + 1/3 cups  organic, grass-fed, raw cow's milk (goat or coconut would be great too!)
    1/3 cup  whole black chia seeds
    ~2 tsp  vanilla extract

To make your pudding:
  1)  Grab a clean mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
  2)  Pour your chia seeds into the jar.
  3)  Add milk; add vanilla.
  4)  Screw on lid and shake shake shake.
  5)  Put jar in fridge and go do something for 5 minutes. Come back, shake shake shake. Return to   fridge, come back a few minutes later. Shake, shake, shake. Repeat.
  6)  Let puddin' do it's thing and get all yummy overnight.
  7)  In the AM, scoop out about 1/4 cup and eat on top of yogurt, with berries and cinnamon.

Getting the texture right: Now I know that pudding is like brownies (cakey or fudgey?) and smoothies (thick or thin?), everyone has their own opinion about the perfect texture. This recipe features a pudding that holds together but is not either super firm or very runny. My advice? Start here. If you want the pudding a bit more thick, add a Tbsp of chia seeds and give it time to absorb into the liquid. After a few hours, if it's still too runny, add more, but please know that as this sits in the fridge it does get progressively (just slightly) less runny and a bit more firm as it continues to sit. If you like your puddings more runny, just add 1-2 Tbsp less chia, give it time to sit (4+ hours, overnight is best) and then see where you're at. Overall, very forgiving and you can adjust from there. But in general it's good to have a baseline recipe, and then you can easily switch up some of the ingredients to make it more interesting.

On a non-recipe note, I have been trying to enjoy my summer since it's post-basic science Boards! I am still in classes though, so even though I haven't been doing much studying (me need break) I haven't been sharing my new recipes with y'all. I've got a bunch of them on Notes on my iPhone, and I really need to get cracking, buckle down and make some of these babies and take photos of the yumminess and then share them with you!

Thanks for sticking around even though my posts are less regular as they used to be. Med school kind of re-prioritizes your life.