Confession Time

So I have this bad habit.

Yes, I only have one bad habit.  Have I lost you yet? If not, please keep reading.

By now, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love to cook.  However, I am notoriously bad for scratching down  a “recipe” (if you could even call it that) as I go, never writing the title on the top of the page, and then promptly losing the piece of paper.

In a way, this works for me since I don’t often make the same thing twice.

Unfortunately, this bad habit of mine has resulted in many half-written blog posts where I have to pause whatever I’m writing about and try to remember what I did, or, worse yet, find the “recipe”.  Oops.

So, for those of you who have written in to ask me if I’m still alive (fear not, I am) or if my blog has been swallowed up (not a chance!), thank you for checking in.  I’m going to try to be more diligent about writing down what I make from now on, but here’s a sneak peak at some of the recipes you can expect to see in the near future …

Apple Crisp Cookies – the perfect snack for a cool Fall day

(Truth be told, I made these in July…I like to plan ahead and test things before sharing them with all of you. Cough cough.)

Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

(Side note: is it sad that I have to specify that these are light and fluffy? Or am I the only one that has had pancakes that are thin and rubbery?)

Cranberry Maple Chicken  – sweet, tart, and rich all at the same time. Delish.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone, Honey, and Pecans

(Try these on waffles and prepare to die a very happy death)

Lettuce Wraps

(Please use your imagination and pretend you see a stack of iceberg lettuce on the plate.  It appeared soon after taking this picture, I promise)

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

(Claimed by some to be the BEST banana bread they’ve ever eaten…and I have to agree.  Pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself)

Turkey Chili

(Perfectly spiced and very good for you…you’ll love it!)

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

(Need I say more?!?!)

Well my friends, there you have it…proof that I have not died, and that I still remember how to cook.  Any requests for what you’d like to see next? Shoot me an email at moderndaymartha@gmail.com with your ideas, and I’ll see what I can do.

In the meantime, looking at all of those pictures of food has made me have the urge to go jump on the Stairmaster.

Or have a nap.

Let’s not take bets, ok?

Until next time,

Jaclyn

Curried Mango Quinoa Salad

I love a good deal.  Whether it’s on clothes, shoes, couches, or books I love knowing that I am saving money.  In fact, my Dad used to tell me that I couldn’t afford to save any more money…but that’s another blog post in and of itself.

So the other day when I was at the store, I came across a great deal on mangoes: a full box (of 12, I believe) for only $5.97! Can you believe it?!?! I know, I couldn’t either! I normally try to avoid buying any produce from the grocery store, but the mangoes mysteriously made their way into my cart and then my fridge.  Imagine that.

My logic went something like this: I bought 12 mangoes for $5.97, or $0.49/each.  Since last week I bought 2 mangoes for $2.99, this deal effectively lowered my cost per mango to only $0.64/each.  Make sense?

The problem with buying 12 mangoes at once (and adding them to the 2 that were already in my fridge) is that they all tend to ripen at the same time.  After eating one a day for a few days in a row, I was getting bored and knew I needed to do something different with the remaining pieces of fruit, lest they start to go bad.  I started pulling things out of my fridge and pantry…a few peppers, some cilantro that was about to knock on death’s door, the last of some black beans, some cucumber, half a lime…and before I knew it I had whipped up a delicious grainy salad to dip into for the week. I hope you do the same.

Wanna see what I made?

Quinoa, mangoes, red pepper, orange pepper, cucumber, red onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, lime, grapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, mango chutney, honey, curry powder.

Begin by combining 1 c of quinoa and 2 c of water in a pot, and bring to a boil.

Once its boiling, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up a few peppers.  I used a red one and an orange one because that’s what I had, but feel free to use whatever types you like the most.

Look Ma – no seeds!

I hope you don’t like green peppers the most – they’re gross.

Throw the peppers in a large bowl, then seed and chop about 1/2 of a cucumber.

Throw the cucumber into the same bowl as the peppers, and then chop up a hunk of red onion.

Can’t forget the mangoes!

Add about 1/2 a bunch of cilantro…or however much you have hanging out in your produce drawer.

I had some black beans in the fridge from a different quinoa salad I made earlier in the week, so I threw those in the bowl with everything else and focused my attention on the dressing.

I combined about 1/4 c of grapeseed oil, 3T of white wine vinegar, the juice of half a lime, a big spoon full of spicy mango chutney that had been in my pantry for far too long, about 1 t of curry powder, 1 clove of garlic, and a dab of a fabulous local ginger honey that I am loving these days.

I suppose I could have whisked the dressing together, but I wanted it to be a bit creamier so I blended it in my Magic Bullet instead.

Time to check on the quinoa!

Looks good to me! Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then let it steam with the lid on for about 5 minutes or so.

Once it’s cool, add the quinoa to the veggies/fruit that was prepped earlier, and add the dressing.

Toss it gently, and taste for seasoning.

Does it need more of anything? Salt? Pepper? Curry? A Fork?!?!

You guys.  You seriously NEED to make this salad ASAP. It’s fabulous – bright, fresh, colourful, filling, and healthy.  The curry flavour isn’t very strong – just slight undertones – and is the perfect complement to the other flavours.  And, to top it all off, the whole thing came together in less than 15 minutes.  Bonus!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear dinner calling my name…

Jaclyn

Ponderosa (aka Banana-Chocolate-Chip) Cake

Despite what you may have thought, I haven’t forgotten how to blog.  I’ve actually missed it like crazy! Unfortunately, I was out of commission (literally) for almost 2 months with mono, and then dealt with a stubborn laptop.  Anyways, all is right in the world once again and I should be able to resume a (semi) regular posting schedule 🙂

Let’s talk about cake, shall we? I love it.  Chocolate, Vanilla, Carrot, Lemon…you name it, I love it. This, of course, is no surprise, but if you’d like to act shocked I’d be ok with that.  I also adore a good banana cake, and while it seemed like every one and their mother had what they consider to be the perfect recipe…I was still searching.  Oh sure, I’ve made – and subsequently eaten – many great banana cakes – including a great one with peanut-butter icing that my Mom makes –  but my search continued.  For a while there, I just figured that banana cake perfection didn’t exist, and had resigned myself to trying something different every time.

Then, when I was least expecting it, there was light at the end of my banana cake tunnel! About a year ago, I tasted an absolutely delicious version…one bite and I was hooked.  Was the search over? Would the hostess part with her recipe? Thankfully, yes – she told me the cake was called a Ponderosa cake, and after a short Google session I had the recipe at my fingertips.  And now, my friends, I’m sharing the recipe with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

The All-Star Cast:

Butter (duh!), white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, bananas, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.

To start, cream together 1/2 c butter and 3/4 c white sugar.

While the butter and sugar are getting to know each other, get the rest of your ingredients ready.  The fancy term for this is mise-en-place (“everything in its place”), and I can guarantee that it will make the cake come together quickly and effortlessly.

* 1 egg + 1/2 t vanilla

* 2 banana’s, mashed

* 1.5 c flour +1 t baking soda + 1 t baking powder + pinch salt

 

* 1/2 c sour cream

* 1/4 c brown sugar + 1/2 t  cinnamon

* 3/4 c chocolate chips

Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed butter/sugar mixture, and beat until well combined.

Add the mashed bananas.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and gently mix in until just combined.

Next, stir in 1/2 of the sour cream.

Repeat the process until all of the dry ingredients and sour cream have been incorporated.

Now, this is where I diverted from the original recipe.  If I had actually taken the time to read it properly, I would have known that I wasn’t supposed to add all of the chocolate chips at once.

I didn’t read the recipe, and I’m here to report that the only thing that was harmed in the consumption of this cake were my hips.

Oh well, all in the name of research, right?

Spread half of the batter in a greased 8 x 8 ” pan.

Sprinkle evenly with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Repeat with the remaining batter and cinnamon-sugar.

Bake at 350-degrees for 40-ish minutes.

If you can wait for more than 5 minutes after it comes out of the over…well, I commend you.

I couldn’t.

I’m not sorry.  This cake is light and moist with a great texture, and is chock-full of flavour.  I think my search for the perfect banana cake is over – is yours?

Until we meet again…

Jaclyn

(Pink?) Lemonade Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

My friends, it has been WAY too long since we’ve broken bread together! I’ve missed you! A whole lot! So I baked you a cake to make up for it.  Please can we be friends again?

Let’s talk about cake for a few minutes, shall we? I don’t know about you, but I have been sick of cupcakes since pre-2008 when they were actually popular.  Granted, I know there is a certain appeal to being able to pick and choose from 28 flavours (or is that Baskin Robbins? Sometimes I get confused), but I think there is a certain unmistakable charm of a freshly iced cake on a gorgeous cake pedastal that can’t be beat. Besides, it’s my birthday and, let’s be honest, a generic cake from the supermarket bakery just wouldn’t cut it.

Now, ya’ll know me – I’ll seldom pass up an opportunity to make something chocolately, but after making a (rather delicious) chocolate cake already earlier in the week for a special dinner party, I wanted to go on the opposite end of the flavour spectrum.  Since it’s finally Spring, I figured a lemon cake would be the perfect fit.

When I was a child, my Mom used to always make a lemon bundt cake using lemon cake mix AND lemon Jell-o.  It was delicious, but I don’t generally (ok, ever) stock either one of those ingredients.  However, I did have a can of pink lemonade concentrate in the freezer, and a few lemons hanging out in the fridge, so I knew I could create my own lemon cake without yellow #4 and partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

Won’t you join me?

Sugar, lemons, butter, lemonade concentrate, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, cream cheese, icing sugar.

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees (or 325-degrees if it’s convection), and grease and flour 2 8″ round cake pans.  I highly recommend lining the bottoms of the pans with a round of parchment paper, and greasing again.  Of course, if you’d prefer to leave your cake coming out in one piece up to chance please completely disregard every piece of advice I ever give you.

To get things started, zest 2 lemons.

If you’d like to donate to my microplane fund, please contact me individually.

Juice one of the lemons into a clear glass measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 1/4 cups. If you already have buttermilk in your fridge (I clearly did not), feel free to substitute that instead.

Let the (pretend) buttermilk hang out on the counter while everything else gets sorted out.

In a large bowl, beat 1 1/3 c sugar with 1 T lemon zest. This will help release some of the essential oils in the lemon zest.

Add 6T of softened butter, 1/4 c thawed lemonade concentrate, and 2 t of vanilla to the sugar and lemon zest.

Yes, you read that quantity of butter correctly.

Sorry, Paula.

Beat it! Beat it good!

Add 2 eggs + 2 egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: 2 C AP flour, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl alternately with the buttermilk.

When everything is properly acquainted, distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.

 

 

In a short 20 minutes, the cakes should be done!

Please don’t just take my word for it though, get yourself a cake tester.  Or a fork.  Or a toothpick. Thumbs are not recommended though. Trust me.

While the cakes are cooling, let’s make some icing, mmmk?

I know lemon cakes traditionally are glazed, but I had a block of cream cheese in the fridge that has been waiting for the chance to be thrown in the game for about a month now.  I knew it was now or never.

Combine one block of cream cheese (8-oz),  2 T butter, 1 T lemon zest, 2 T thawed lemonade concentrate, and 1/2 t vanilla until smooth.

Gradually add icing sugar, cup by cup, until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness.  I added 3.5 cups total.

Let the icing chill while the cakes are cooling.

Hmmm…as I’m sure you’ve surmised by now, I had a dilemma on my hands. I couldn’t assemble the cake (too hot), and I had two lonely egg yolks hanging out on the counter.

Clearly, I had to make lemon curd.  My Mom makes awesome lemon curd (although she calls it lemon cheese…no clue why.  Last time I checked there was no cheese in it), but by this time it would have been 3:02am in Toronto where she lives and somehow I didn’t think she’d appreciate a call from me asking for a recipe.  Besides, she would have just told me to “check my disc”.

Right, Mom?!?!

So I figured out what to do all by my lonesome. It’s a hard knock life, for me.  It’s a hard knock life, for me…

Whisk together 3/4 c sugar with 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Add 2/3 c of lemon juice and 2T butter, and continue whisking.

After about 5 minutes, it should just lightly coat the back of a spoon.  Pour it into a separate container, and let it cool.

Such a pretty colour, no?!

When everything is sufficiently chilled, you can begin assembling the cake.

Pipe a ring of icing around one of the cakes (to keep the lemon curd contained), and fill with some of the lemon curd.  Exactly how much is up to you – I used about 3/4 of it.

Top with the other layer of cake, and ice with the rest of the cream cheese icing.  Stick the cake in the fridge and forget about it overnight.

Just kidding!

Go ahead and cut yourself a slice.  You’ve earned it.

This cake is not for those who are lemon fence-sitters.  It is unmistakably lemon – bright, tart, and sour.  I really like it, and I hope you will too.

In fact, I’d love to offer you a slice – free to the first 12 (local) people who say they’d like to try some. Come celebrate with me, ok?

Until we meet again…

xoxo

Jaclyn

 

 

Carb Lovers Unite!

They say man cannot live on bread alone, but what about woman?

Can she live on chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing?

Or chewy pretzels with sea salt?

Hmmm….what about 4-cheese butternut squash and cauliflower pasta?

No? Then surely puff pastry appetizers will do!

Ahh…coconut cake.  Just what I’ve been missing my whole life!

Check back in soon; we’ll talk about fish…or eggs…or spinach…or quinoa.

But for now, can someone please pass the peanut butter and bacon chocolate chunk cookies? I’m going through withdrawal.

Thanks.

See you on the StairMaster,

Jaclyn

Cookies Without A Name

My friends, the power of suggestion is strong –  sometimes all it takes is the mere mentioning of a word and a craving strikes.   When someone casually suggested making cookies, that was all the motivation I needed to realize that I did, in fact, NEED to bake me some cookies ASAP.  Since it’s almost Cookie Friday, I figured I could justify it.

However, never one to make just a basic chocolate chip cookie, I decided to whip up a batch using oil instead of butter (I know! I like to keep you on your toes), oatmeal, wheat germ, flaxseed, pecans, pumpkin seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and craisins.  They turned out fabulous, and – dare I say it? – healthy(ier).

Here’s the problem – these cookies need a name.  This is where you come in – I will bake something fabulous for the person who comes up with the most creative name for these babies.   Feel free to come up with as many names as you can think of…let the bidding begin!

Love (aka Cranberry-Lime) Muffins

You may or may not be aware of this, but today is Valentines Day.

Today is also Monday.

And it’s raining.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?!?!

Yes, we should make muffins. I think that’s the best idea I’ve had all day.

Next dilemma: what type of muffins?  I make a batch almost every week, but I haven’t told you about them for a while because I feel like they’re too common most of the time…and well, let’s face it – banana-blueberry-bran-oatmeal muffins are good, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit.

A few months ago, I came across a recipe compliments of the lovely Joy that jumped out at me because while I often make blueberry-lemon muffins, I’ve never tried cranberry-lime. I filed the recipe away for a rainy day, and went about my business.

Today was that day, folks. The day where the muffins were made. Since I have an inability to follow a recipe exactly as printed,  I changed a few things from Joy’s original recipe but the result was quite good so I wanted to share them with you.

Unsalted butter, milk, eggs, vanilla, lime, AP flour, spelt flour, cane sugar, baking powder, salt, and cranberries.

Measure out the dry ingredients, and set them aside:

3/4 c AP flour, 3/4 c spelt flour, 3/4 c cane sugar, 1/2 T baking powder, 3/4 t salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients:

1/3 c milk, 2 eggs, 1 t vanilla, and the zest of 1 lime.

Set it aside while the butter works its magic…and not only on my hips.

Seriously my friends, I believe the secret to these muffins is the browned butter.  Most muffins use either oil or softened butter, but browning it first takes things to a whole other dimension of flavour.

Curious? Here’s what you do:

To start, melt 7T of butter in a small pot over medium heat.

I suggest you keep an eye on the butter, and not walk away to check your voicemail with people declaring their undying love for you.

I consider it my job to save you from burning your butter.

It’s a responsibility I take very seriously.

Once it melts, keep cooking the butter until it separates and turns light brown…almost like its being toasted.  Resist the urge to stick your finger in to confirm that it doesn’t taste burnt.

Whisking constantly, pour the browned butter in a steady stream into the wet ingredients.  If you don’t whisk constantly, you might end up with scrambled eggs or coagulated butter so be careful!

Add the wet to the dry ingredients, and stir gently to combine.

Fold in 1 1/2 c of fresh or frozen cranberries.  Raspberries would also be delicious – yum!

Portion into muffin tins – Joy says the recipe makes 12 muffins, but I only got 10 out of it.  I suggest you live on the edge and make 11, just for the fun of it.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with some extra cane sugar…or raw sugar…or cinnamon sugar…

But whatever you do, since it’s Valentines Day and all, don’t skimp on the sugar.

Please and thank you.

Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean…this will take about 18 – 24 minutes at 350-degrees.

Let them cool in the pan for about 15 minutes while you find a use for the (naked) lime sitting on your counter.

(I made a bean salad with cilantro, red onion, garlic, and peppers with a lime-cumin vinaigrette if you’re curious.  Please don’t ask me for the recipe though, because you should know by now that there isn’t one.)

Muffins are ready!

Don’t be shy, let’s dig in together.

These muffins are light, fluffy, sweet, and tart all at the same time.

Love, love, love!

Until we meet again…

xoxo

Jaclyn

Sundried Tomato Pesto

Do you ever find yourself purchasing a large jar of something because it is such a good deal, but then you get home and wonder what on earth to do with it?

Ya, me either.

But hypothetically, if you ended up with a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in your fridge that was large enough to last you until 2025 (expiry date? what expiry date?!?!), and if you hate throwing away perfectly good food just because you’re bored with it, you might need to think of an exit strategy.

Enter sun-dried tomato pesto.  It’s the slightly more riske cousin of regular pesto, and doesn’t require a grow-op of basil to make.  No siree, this just uses up what I bet you already have in your fridge and pantry. And if you don’t, well no big deal – just improvise.  Or go grocery shopping.

sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), parsley, dried basil (or fresh if you have it), parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Over a medium-low flame, toast 1/2 c of pine nuts in a drizzle of olive oil.

Since pine nuts are basically the price of a down payment on a home, I highly suggest you watch them carefully so they don’t burn!  When they’re lightly toasted, take them off the heat.

Oh, and if you don’t have pine nuts kicking around, try walnuts. I think they would work just splendidly.

In a food processor or a really high-speed blender (hello, Vita Mix!), pulse together 1 c of sun-dried tomatoes…

1 c of loosely packed parsley…

And 3 cloves of garlic.

Pulse it several times until it goes from this…

To this!

But wait, there’s more!

Add the toasted pine nuts, 1/2 c of grated parmesan (not the stuff in the can, for goodness sake!), 2 t of dried basil (or a handful of the fresh stuff if you have it), 2-3 T of olive oil, and about 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t of pepper.  If you’re feeling really adventurous, feel free to invite a good pinch of red pepper flakes along for the ride.

Of course, if you haven’t followed my lead by accidentally dropping your beautiful food processor on a cement floor and breaking it, you could add everything at once.

But if not, give it another whirl!

Taste it for seasoning, and adjust as needed.  Transfer to an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks (as if it will last that long)…

…or use immediately.

I am seriously in love with this pesto. It’s complex, fresh, and versatile.  And it’s my favourite colour, which never hurts!

Hmm…maybe that massive jar was a good deal after all!  In fact, I may just have to pick up another later on this week.  You know, for research purposes and all.

Bison-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

If you’ve been reading this blog for longer than 2 weeks, you will probably have picked up on the fact that I often enjoy the challenge of using up what I already have on hand instead of just constantly buying new food.  So, every few months or so, I get the urge to do a complete pantry, fridge, and freezer inventory whereby I pull everything out, asses, and then either dispose or re-home my findings.  It’s a good way for me to see what I have, what I need, and what needs to be used up relatively quickly.

It’s also a good way for me to procrastinate from doing my laundry or cleaning out my car, both of which need to be done but neither of which you want to hear about.

During my last inventory session, I unearthed a package of ground bison in the freezer and a can of pizza sauce in the pantry.  I knew I could build a meal out of those two ingredients without having to run to the store, which is always a bonus since a certain manager at a local grocery store sees me so often he now calls me “trouble”.

So much for ever being incognito, huh?

I pulled out a few zucchini, some cheese, and an onion from the fridge along with some frozen red peppers, and got cooking.  Since it was almost midnight, I knew I had to work quickly so as to not wake M up.

Using up what you already have and making a quick and delicious meal? A good thing indeed.

Zucchini, red onion, garlic, red peppers, ground bison, cheese, pizza sauce, Italian seasoning

Wash and halve a few zucchini’s lengthwise, like so:

If need be, cut a small slice off of the bottom of each half so that the zucchini sits nicely.  Mine were ok, and I couldn’t be bothered to make them perfect so I didn’t.  Use a spoon to hollow out the zucchini, but leave a 1/4″ border or so for stability, and because zucchini is delicious.

Give the zucchini innards a rough chop, and set them aside.

Next, chop up a red onion, while trying not to cry.

I found a bag of frozen red pepper strips in my freezer, so I chopped up a few handfuls of those too.

Throw all of the veggies into a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and saute for a few minutes.  Add a few cloves of minced garlic too, for good measure.  If you have any veggies that are knocking on deaths door, this would be a great way to use them up.

Surely I am not the only one that ever has vegetables go bad in their fridge.

When the veggies have started to soften, add the ground bison. If you don’t have any ground bison, try ground beef, or turkey, or chicken, or pork.  This is all about using up what you have, folks!

However, if you aren’t familiar with ground bison and would like a reason to be, you should give it a try – it’s fabulous!  Check out this post where I talk about some of it’s attributes, or just take my word for it.

Since bison is extremely lean, it doesn’t give off much fat (i.e. probably no need to drain the meat).  Open up a can of pizza sauce, or tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes, or whatever you find in your pantry, and add it to the skillet.

Next, a healthy sprinkling of Italian seasoning.  If you don’t have any of that in your posession, give a few good shakes or basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, or whatever sounds good to you.

Give it a stir, and reduce the heat to low.  Let the meat mixture simmer for about 20 minutes or so to allow the flavours to all blend together in a way that’s just magical.

I heard that said on TV once, although I’m not sure if it’s true or not.

Once the meat has thickened up like this…

…taste it for seasonings, and add more of whatever it needs.  I debated adding some cooked quinoa to the filling, but decided against dirtying another pot.  If you have any leftover grains already cooked in your fridge, now would be a good time to use them up.  It would also stretch the meat a little further, which is never a bad thing.

Grab the zucchini boats and put them on a baking sheet, and then fill with the meat mixture.

Sprinkle liberally with cheese, because cheese makes everything better.

Sing with me now…mozzarella and cheddar!

Up close and personal, just the way I like it:

After about 20 mins at 350-degrees, dinner was served!

And I didn’t care that it was 11:48pm; I dug right in!

Yummm…these bison-stuffed zucchini boats feel both healthy and decadent at the same time, which I will never complain about.  M and I both loved these (“These are fantastic!” he proclaimed the next day) and fought over who could have the last one.

He won, by the way.  I figured it was only fair to let him win since he often puts up with me cooking in the wee hours of the morning.

Please contain your jealousy.

Until next time…

xoxo

Jaclyn

 

 

(Spicy) Baby Bok Choy

I am a firm believer that our bodies will tell us what they need.  Yesterday, mine was screaming for me to eat something green, so I listened.

In the spirit of transparency, it should also be noted that it often screams for chocolate.   I usually listen, however, even I need a good detox from sugar every now and then.

So, in the spirit of obedience, I picked up some lovely baby bok choy at the market, brought it home, and in less than 10 minutes had dinner on the table. And you know what? It was perfect.

Come cook with me!

Baby bok choy, ginger, garlic, chili paste.

Trim the ends off of the bok choy, and separate the ribs.

Rinse it well, and set it aside for a few minutes.

Chop up some fresh ginger and garlic.  You’re wondering how much? I went with about a 1/2 inch knob of ginger and 2 cloves of garlic, but you should do whatever feels right to you.  If it turns out too gingery, just called it “gingered bok choy” and no one will be the wiser.

I was out of sesame oil (I know, collective gasp) so I had to use good ol’ canola.

I should know better by now.  I need to think of a better kitchen inventory sysem.

Saute the ginger and garlic in your oil of choice for a minute or two until they become softened and fragrant.

Add a spoonfull of chili sauce/paste/whatever you have, and stir it around in the hot pan for a minute to wake everything up.

Add the bok choy back to the pan, along with about a tablespoon of water to help it steam.  Be careful though, it will splatter! This is not the point in time when you want to lean in and inhale deeply, trust me.

Give it all a stir to get the bok choy properly acquainted with the other ingredients.

Cover the whole thing with a lid to allow it to steam for 3-4 minutes, or until it’s tender-crisp.

Sometimes I eat right out of the pan, but this time I decided to use a plate.

I’m classy like that.

I even garnished with some gomashio to make up for my lack of sesame oil.

Spicy baby bok choy? Don’t mind if I do!

Ahh…just what the doctor ordered.  I feel healthier just for eating this, and I bet that you will too.

So, what shall we make next?

Please submit any and all suggestions on the “Ask Martha” tab and I will do my best to deliver.

Until next time…

xoxo

Jaclyn