SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E6): Italian-ish

This week, we go deep into Marie’s Italian roots to make something, kind-of, Italian-ish? None of the ingredients that were provided were very Italian-y, but they all were delicious to eat on their own, and in the dish!

Watch this week’s episode here:


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:


 

This week, we dive deep into Marie’s “non-white girl” roots, and make some vegetarian stuffed peppers and take a fun twist on a traditional caprese salad.

The stuffed peppers are full of fiber from the veggies, whole wheat cous cous and black beans, while being packed with flavor from the jalapeño artichoke dip and fragrant cheeses. We both loved the stuffed peppers and preferred the green ones over the yellow (which was a surprise to us both!)

The caprese salad was a slam dunk…if you removed the chocolate. Cherries with Mozzarella and Basil was a delicious flavor combination. The dark chocolate pretzels made things a little weird, so when you make this at home (which you should!) we recommend just saving the pretzels on the side to eat on their own (a perfect dessert!)

 

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Black Bean, Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Cous Cous, cooked according to package directions (1 cup water + 1 Cup Cous Cous + 1 Tbsp butter + Salt)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip
  • 12 Tbsp Quatro Fromaggio (divided so each bell pepper gets 2 tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rinse bell peppers and slice in half. Remove seeds. Rub all sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place bell peppers skin side up on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or foil). Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onion, celery and carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes. Then add mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked cous-cous mixture (can save the rest to use as a salad topper), can of black beans, and tomato sauce. Let cook down for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through. Mix in artichoke & jalapeño dip thoroughly.
  4. Remove roasted bell peppers from the oven. Turn over. Place 1 tbsp of Quattro Fromaggio cheese at the bottom, fill with 1/6 of the filling mixture, then finish with another tbsp of cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Cherry Caprese Salad

Cherry Caprese Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 18 Reinier Cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 package mozzarella balls (about 12), halved
  • Large handful of basil (about 20 leaves), Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Optional (and not recommended): Chocolate covered Pretzels

Directions

  1. Rinse cherries, pit and halve them, Combine in a bowl with mozzarella balls and basil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with balsamic glaze on top.
  2. We added the chocolate covered pretzels as the challenge for this dish, but it definitely didn’t do this beautiful and delicious salad any flavors. We made it again without the pretzels and it was so great. But the pretzels were fantastic on their own!


 

 

Head over to our PATREON PAGE to become a patron of Fearless Flying Kitchen and check out outtakes from this week as well as Mr. Critic’s reaction.

Meal Prep Monday: Lentil, Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

A couple weeks ago, I shared some ideas for meal prep that was so easy, you could do it Monday morning instead of slaving away on Sundays.

This week we have a nutrient packed salad that is loaded with robust flavors, and a ton of fiber and protein.

Meal Plan Monday Square

We start with a bed of Arugula, which is a peppery type of green (an also one of my favorites to use in salads). Then we put a layer of shaved Brussels sprouts, pre-cooked lentils, roasted beets, and blue cheese.

If you’re a vegetarian, you can stop there, or if you are looking for a bit more protein, you can top with just chicken. For extra color and a pop of a bold flavor, you can add chopped fresh basil to the top.

Meal Plan Monday Fearless Flying Kitchen ingredients

All these ingredients were divided evenly in five containers, one for each day of the week. I only used a fraction of the blue cheese for the five salads, probably 1-2 Tbsp per salad. The thing I like about bold cheeses, like blue, feta, parmesan and goat, are that a little goes a long way!

The chicken only went into three of the salads (due to the expiration date coding), so I also picked up some fresh chicken to bake up on Wednesday and use part of it for lunches on Thursday/Friday, and eat part of it for dinner Wednesday night.

Meal Plan Monday Fearless Flying Kitchen with chicken

This week, I paired the salad with our old stand-by, the Tuscan Italian dressing. If we were having this at home, I would just toss it with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.

Trader Joe's Tuscan Italian Dressing

Super simple, fresh ingredients, lots of flavor, and really easy to assemble. It will take a max of 10 minutes. What else can go in your lunch? A handful of your favorite nuts for a snack. Fresh fruit (there are so many to choose from these days). Baby carrots or sliced celery or cucumbers.

Lentil, Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: SO EASY!
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Arugula
  • 1 bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 container Pre-Cooked Lentils
  • 1 package Steamed and Peeled Baby Beets
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 1-2 packages “Just Chicken” (Pre-Cooked chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup packed Fresh Basil Leaves,

Directions

Divide all ingredients evenly into five containers in the order listed. Cover and store for up to a week. Note that the “Just Chicken” has a limited “sell by” date. You can divide one package between three of the salads and then purchase another package mid-week, or just have the other two salads be meat-free.


SWASHBUCKLED! S2E2: New York! New York! (+ Giveaway!)

We have our first special guest of the season, a Mate from New York City! Plus, he is a vegetarian and expects the food to be #slammin‘. Will Amanda and Marie be able to come together and make some delicious food?

Watch the episode here:


Ingredients featured this week include:

 

First, let’s start off with our GIVEAWAY!

Trader Joe's Mystery Packs

Mystery Pack of Regional Bags

Every Christmas, my mom and I would always buy each other the mystery packs of regional bags that Trader Joe’s sells. You can usually only get the regional bags from that specific area of the country, but the mystery bag packs have three random regional bags. It is always so much fun to get different bags and see what represents other cities.

Little did I know, that all along, my mom was just gaming for the New York City bag, ands always so disappointed when she never got one in the bags. Our friend, and Mate all the way from New York City, brought us some regional bags, making us able to use our last mystery pack for a giveaway!

We will be GIVING AWAY this mystery pack of regional bags as well as some of our favorite non-perishable swag from Trader Joe’s.

To enter the giveaway you need to do the following three steps:

  1. Make sure you are SUBSCRIBED to our channel on YouTube
  2. COMMENT on any BLOG POST on The Fearless Flying Kitchen blog (must be dated 5/21/18 or later).
  3. Subscribe to our NEWSLETTER (CLIKC HERE to do that)

For extra bonus entries:

  1. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on FACEBOOK – like that, share it with your friends, tag your friends, and comment. You get a point for each interaction!  (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on Facebook to count)
  2. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on INSTAGRAM – like that, comment on it, and tag your friends. You get a point for each interaction! (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on instagram to count)
  3. Like and comment on any of the Swashbuckled videos on YouTube and get an extra point for each interaction!

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at midnight PST. Winner will be announced on the episode of Swashbuckled on Monday, June 11.


OK, now back to the food!

We had a #slammin’ time in the kitchen with Kris from New York. The only stipulation was that the food had to be vegetarian, and that Marie would be helping. Since the fridge was stocked for only lasagna, that’s what happened. Amanda made a delicious stovetop, easy lasagna. The combination of crème fraîche and ricotta was a little piece of heaven, and should be done with all lasagna from here on out. We also saved a little extra and topped our endives with it…also great. The sauce of Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with Whole Crushed Tomatoes was also a huge win. Great flavor and texture. You could just use your favorite jar of sauce if you truly want to make it a one pot meal…but this combo is definitely worth washing that second dish.

The only thing that was off was the mochi rice nugget topping. We all decided that just makes a great snack.  But all in all, this was a great, quick, meal that you can get super creative with. It is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a little hands off time (but still need a meal on the table in less than an hour).

Lazy Lasagna

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, zoodled
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Jar Piquillo pepper and Quinoa Spread
  • 1 Large Can (28oz) Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/2 package Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 package Crème Fraîche
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 lasagna noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Mochi Rice Nuggets (Optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Prepare all vegetables (zoodle, slice and dice). Note, if you don’t have a zoodler, you can always just dice zucchini.
  2. In a large skillet (that can go in the oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red bell peppers and cook about 3 minutes, then add zucchini. Cook both for about 5 more minutes, then add mushrooms and cook until they have softened.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with one large can of whole peeled tomatoes. Crush whole peeled tomatoes in your hand as you are adding it to the pot. Heat over medium heat to a simmer. Add salt as needed (try it first, and add if it needs it according to your taste buds).
  4. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly around the large skillet. Top with broken up pieces of lasagna noodles. Cover noodles completely with sauce. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  5. While the noodles and sauce cook, combine Ricotta Cheese, Crème Fraîche, parsley and parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove cover and stir noodles. If they have softened, then top with Ricotta/Crème Fraîche mixture (little blobs all over). Top with even more mozzarella cheese, and place in the oven to help melt and brown cheese. Can put in the broiler on low for a little while too. Once brown, remove from oven and enjoy! If you can’t put your skillet in the oven, you could just cover with the lid again and let the cheese melt that way. It will get melty but not necessarily start to brown.

Note – In this episode we decimated half a bag of Mochi Rice Nuggets in the vitamix (or food processor, if you have one), and added it to the top of the lasagna along with the mozzarella and broiled it on low. We don’t recommend this step, but instead, just eat the mochi rice nuggets as a separate snack. However, if you did want to recreate what we did, this is it. 


We, yet again, followed a recipe on the back of a product, and the result was #slammin’! There are always great ideas and suggestions on the back of the package. Marie begrudgingly proved that she can be somewhat useful in the kitchen!

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Baked Belgian Endive with Walnuts, Parmesan & Romano Cheese

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Trader Joe’s…Literaly on the back of the endive package

Ingredients

  • 6 Belgian Endives, trimmed & halved lengthwise
  • 1/8 cup Clarified Butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese Blend
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss endives with butter, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer in an 8X8 shallow baking dish.
  2. Cover with foil and bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Mix walnuts and cheese together and set aside.
  3. Remove endive from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is golden.

Hanging out with Kris from New York

Hanging out in the Fearless Flying Kitchen with Kris from New York!

Classic Black Beans

For a long time, Trader Joe’s was really lacking in the dried legume department. But lucky for me…about a year ago, they introduced dried black beans, and life has never been the same.

If you find cooking beans from scratch intimidating, you are not alone! Before I started making them from scratch, I imagined an all day process that was very labor intensive. But if you have gone through the process before, then you’ll know just how easy it can be. Beans are a very forgiving food to cook, they just need a little bit of (mostly) hands-off time. Having this classic recipe in your back pocket, I guarantee you’ll start stocking up on this staple.

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The process really starts the night before. First, empty your 1lb bag of black beans into a large pot and sort through it for any rocks or random beans that might have made their way into the bag (totally common to find stuff like this in raw beans. If you find one, just discard it). Then cover with water, about 2 inches above the bean line, and let sit out overnight. You can cover if you like.

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Next, you’ll dump out the water (in a strainer? using your hands to strain it? You pick) and refill the pot with fresh water, about two inches above the bean line. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. You’ll add the rest of the ingredients (diced onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt), and continue to boil and add additional water until fully cooked, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

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You will want to occasionally try the beans, and add additional salt as needed, just keep in mind that the flavor intensifies as the water evaporates, so over-salting can be a thing. If that happens, you can always add additional water. Make sure to cook until it is soft.

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I love to top my side of beans with the new TEENY TINY AVOCADOS. Great flavor combination! This recipe makes about 6 cups of cooked beans (breaking down to 12, half cup servings).

 

Classic Black Beans

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Bag Black Beans
  • Lots of water
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt (+ more to taste)

Directions

  1. Empty black beans into a large pot, look through beans to make sure there isn’t anything funky in there (sometimes rocks or other beans make their way into your bag) and cover with water (about 2 inches above the bean line). Let sit overnight. 
  2. When ready to cook beans, drain soaking water and refill with fresh water, about 2 inches above bean line. Turn heat to high and add onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt. 
  3. Let boil until beans are soft and cooked through (usually close to an hour), stirring occasionally and adding additional water as it evaporates. 

Do you have any secrets to the perfect pot of beans? Concerns? Let us know in the comments!

SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E8): Chur-Nugz

Lot’s of ground to cover in our Season One Finale! We start out with a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from Trader Joe’s about our day-drinking beverage of choice, and end with a sneak peak at season two. Along the way, we spend three hours (yes, THREE HOURS!) making stoner food, setting off smoke alarms, and getting schooled on Macarons/Macaroons/Macron (oh! and put some food on hold for Heather Forte.)

Read on for the episode breakdown…


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:

 

We start with a big announcement: Our favorite Lonely Alcoholic White Girl Soda, SIMPLER WINES,  is moving on up. Coming soon to a Trader Joe’s near you is the 375 ml can of Simpler Wines for only $2.99. We are especially excited about the addition of a red blend and chardonnay.

The ingredients this week included the seasonally stocked Green Cabbage (with a reminder to stock up on your raw, seasoned corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day before they sell out!), the versatile Matcha Green Tea Powder (which is a pantry mainstay) and Sriracha Potato Chips, which were stellar on their own (#eatin’chips).

Our friend, Heather Forte (remember her from Episode Five?) always raves about the Chick-Less Nuggets that seem to always be out of stock in her local Trader Joe’s store. Not only did we make a delicious vegetarian meal out of this ingredient, we also did her a solid by putting three bags on hold at her local store.

What to do with all these ingredients?

Tacos, of course. I love Tacos, and could eat them all day and all night. The chick-less nuggets have a mandarin sauce, which I took and combined 2/3 of it with mayonnaise, honey, and adobo sauce, and turned it into a creamy sauce to top our tacos. The other 1/3 was reserved to toss the nuggets in.

Another taco topping was a corn and cabbage cole slaw, tossed with lemon zest, cilantro, honey and olive oil. This also makes a great side salad and will last a few days in the refrigerator.

I had a pot of pinto beans soaking overnight when we began the episode. Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell raw pinto beans, but they do sell raw black beans, which can be prepared this same way. If you don’t have the time to make beans from scratch, you can always use canned beans, but they really don’t compare to a delicious pot of freshly cooked beans.

To take these up a notch, we embraced our inner stoner by combining the sriracha potato chips and the cooked beans in a  blender, and then pan frying them, making Potato Chip Infused Refried Pinto Beans. The best was the addition of crunched potato chips on top. It really completed the dish.

Lastly, we used the MUY BUENO COOKBOOK Recipe for the churro dough, since I have made (and loved) recipes from here in the past. Check out her recipe for the churros we made in this episode. Instead of tossing in just cinnamon and sugar, we used 1 cup of sugar, 2 Tbsp Matcha Green Tea Powder, and 1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon.

I didn’t really execute the churros as well as I had hoped. The dough was too hard, it would have been better to use a mixer, or to follow the time guidelines put forward int he recipe. My piping bag was also clogged, so I ended up making nuggets or snakes, which didn’t have the traditional churro shape. I also admittedly am the worst at deep-frying, so my technique was way off. The idea was great in theory, but the execution just wasn’t there.

Chicken-Less 'Fish' Tacos

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • Chicken-Less Nuggets tossed in 1 Tbsp Mandarin Sauce
  • 10 Corn Tortillas
  • Coleslaw:
    • Cabbage – Green
    • Cabbage – purple
    • Corn
    • Cilantro
    • 1 Lime – zest and juice
    • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Honey
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sauce
    • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp Adobo Sauce
    • 2 Tbsp Mandarin Sauce
    • 2 Tbsp Orange Juice

Directions

  1. Grill or microwave corn then remove kernels with a knife. Thinly slice cabbage, chop cilantro. Combine in a bowl with lime zest and juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Toss well and refrigerate.
  2. Cook Chicken-Less Morsels according to package directions up until mixing with sauce (choice of baking or pan frying). Set aside 1 Tbsp Mandarin sauce to toss chicken-less morsels in after it is finished cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, combine 2 tbsp of the Mandarin sauce with adobo sauce, orange juice and Mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Once everything is ready, heat corn tortillas on a griddle, place 5 Chicken-Less Morsels in the center, top with coleslaw and adobo-mandarin sauce.

Sriracha Potato Chip Infused Pinto Beans

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • Dry pinto beans
  • water
  • salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Garlic Cubes
  • 1 Chicken or Vegetable Boullion Cube
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • Sriracha Potato Chips
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Soak beans in water overnight. When ready to make beans, drain water and replace with fresh, and cover with water (about 1 inch above where the beans are). Add salt, bay leaves, garlic, bouillon and diced onion. Bring to a boil and cook for at least an hour, until beans become tender. Add more water and salt as needed.
  2. Normally, I would call it a day and just enjoy my pinto beans, but to take it to he next level, add 2 cups of beans and 1 cup of sriracha potato chips to a blender. Mix on medium for about 45 seconds, until smooth.
  3. Add olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. Add blended pinto beans and sauté for about 2 minutes. Turn on low and cover until ready to serve. Top with crunched up potato chips.

FishTacos with Sriracha Chips Refried Beans

SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E7): Uncle Gary’s Challenge

This week, we get a special fan mail request from Marie’s Uncle Gary, and she shows up with nothing but #drinkinwine. How are we going to play Swashbuckled with no ingredients?

Read on for episode breakdown.


Ingredients featured in this week’s episode:

So…back story… SUPERFAN Joe Marandola (Marie’s dad), shared our web series with his family back in Rhode Island. From that, we got our first fan request from Uncle Gary: “Here are four…Ground Cinnamon, Soy Sauce, Mustahd and Gingah. Holy sh*t, make something with that!”

We took this request very seriously, and Marie knew that I would have most of these ingredients in my kitchen, so the only ingredient she brought over this week was her favorite fancy mustard (oh, and #drinkinwine, AKA. Lonely Alcoholic White Girl Soda).

Since I had only shopped at 99 Ranch this week, as opposed to Trader Joe’s, we were very limited to things involving tofu, ramen noodles and miso paste. But the final product was a delicious, winter ramen. You can easily make the ramen eggs and broth ahead of time, and just boil the noodles as needed. It should last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Vegetable Miso Ramen

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, Grated
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp White Miso Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • Ramen Noodles of Choice (or just pick the best package)
  • Toppings: Baby Bok Choy, Thinly Sliced Carrots, Halved Grape Tomatoes, Soft Boiled Ramen Egg, Enoki Mushrooms, Sliced Green Onion, Seaweed, Crushed Red Chili Flakes

Directions

  1. Bring chicken or veggie broth to a boil and add miso paste, ginger and garlic. Let boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, add Mirin, and prepare toppings.
  2. Thinly slice baby bok choy and green onion. Use a peeler to thinly slice carrots. Halve grape tomatoes.
  3. In a separate boy, bring water to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, cook ramen noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, put noodles in bowl and top with ramen broth, desired toppings and ramen egg.
  4. For the Soft Boiled Ramen Eggs, you’ll need to prepare them at least 4 hours in advance so they can marinate.  Fill a pot at heat halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Once water is at a rolling boil, add 4 eggs (with a slotted spoon or skimmer so you don’t crack the eggs), and then set a timer for 8  minutes (if you like runny eggs, go for 7, if you like harder cooked eggs, go for 9-10 minutes). Once timer goes off, immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Peel eggs and place in marinade of 1 part soy sauce, 1 part mirin and 3 parts water. Make sure all eggs are covered. Refrigerate for a few hours, ideally overnight.

Mustard Crusted Tofu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard (the Grain type)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Slice tofu into thin, squares (or shapes of your choosing).
  2. In a bowl, combine mustard, soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss sliced tofu in marinade, and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place marinated tofu in a single layer on parchment. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping tofu halfway through.

Vegetable Miso Ramen with Mustard Tofu

SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E5): Friendzone Your Knife

This week brings a special guest star, Heather Forte, into the kitchen. She is a decent home cook with a self-professed culinary knowledge of a first grader. Her credentials include being a “Top Chef Enthusiast” and knowing what “sous-vide” means. Watch as Amanda leads her through creating a plant-based dinner with the mystery ingredients.

Read on for episode breakdown


Ingredients in this week’s episode:

This week, we brought our friend, Heather down to the Fearless Flying Kitchen. She was expecting to be the peanut gallery, but we decided to put her to work, and let her figure out what to do with the ingredients.

After some deliberation, we decided to make a Vegan curry with the jackfruit as well as other veggies that were in the fridge (zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and garlic). For spice, we added curry powder and a whole jalapeño, which made for a pretty hot curry (so if you don’t like your food super spicy, err on the side of less curry powder and jalapeño.) The Green Goddess Salad Dressing was amazing on its own, and added a more complex flavor to the curry. Since filming this episode, I have used it on several different salads, and its a great staple to have around.

Marie TBT Jackfruit

Marie and her Jackfruit Baby

Jackfruit is having a moment in the culinary world right now, so it was only a matter of time that it found its way into the Fearless Flying Kitchen. Jackfruit is often seen in savory vegetarian and vegan meals because it has a culinary application similar to tofu, in that it absorbs flavors well, and also shreds like meat. In its natural state, jackfruit is absolutely huge (see picture to the right), so the canned version is definitely more convenient for the average home chef. On its own,  jackfruit has a flavor and texture of a plain artichoke heart, but once it was in the curry, it took on a totally different texture and flavor profile. It is a fun ingredient to play with, but since it has no protein, I wouldn’t recommend vegetarians and vegans consider it a “meat substitute” and would still encourage including some other non-meat protein sources (like beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.)

The Multi-Blend with Vegetables was fine on its own, but it didn’t really do a good job at featuring the curry (which is what we wanted it to do). We all agreed that just a regular Jasmine rice or plain brown rice would have been preferred. After filming, we ended up cooking some boil-in-a-bag rice and combined it with the multigrain blend, and it was a huge improvement.

Lastly, the cocktails. It was really fun to make the licorice simple syrup. I would love to explore making other drinks with the syrup, possibly make some kind of mojito or gimlet with it. Out of the two we experimented with, the Tiki Rum Punch was definitely the better of the two, because it felt more complete. However it was very sweet. Let’s just leave the licorice cocktails as a work in progress, and we’ll update you on when we improve it!

Green Goddess Jackfruit Curry with Multigrain Blend

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Heather Forte and Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Dutch Gold Potatoes, chopped
  • 6 ‘teenage’ Carrots, chopped (but they were small)
  • 2 medium Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 20-oz can jackfruit, drained
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Miso Ginger Broth
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Green Goddess Dressing
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 Gloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 bag Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, brown potatoes and then add carrots and zucchini and jalapeño.* Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add one can coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp of curry powder, 1/4 cup of Green Goddess salad dressing, paprika and garam masala. Cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and jackfruit is easy to shred.
  3. Add lime and shred jackfruit and cover until ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, cook Multigrain Blend with Vegetables cook grains as directed, but add splash of miso broth to prevent sticking to the pot. We recommend also mixing with Jasmine rice (Trader Joe’s has a great Frozen microwave brown rice that would pair well).

*At this point, I would also add an onion, we just didn’t have any on hand. You could swap out the veggies for any that you prefer.

Green Godess Jackfruit Curry

Licorice Simple Syrup

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 15 Black Licorice
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, uncovered, and let liquid reduce by half. Strain and set aside.

We used the simple syrup to make two different cocktails

Gin-ny Weasley Cocktail

The Gin-ny Weasley

The first was what I like to call the “Gin-ny Weasley” because in theory, you like her and all the ingredients, but there is just something that isn’t right and it just kind of bugs you. She is also a little watered down. To create a Gin-ny Weasley, combine equal parts Gin, Licorice Syrup and Plain Soda Water. Garnish with Basil.

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Heather came up with the second cocktail. She lives and loves Tiki culture and this drink definitely resembles something you would get at Trader Sam’s, and should definitely be enjoyed in a tiki mug. To make, combine 2oz Spiced Rum, 1 oz Licorice Syrup and top off with Blood Orange Soda. Garnish with Basil.

White Chocolate, Raisin and Oat Cookies

 

White-Choc-Raisin-Oat-Cookies-MAIN

My mother-in-law’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is something held sacred among her boys.

I, however, can’t ever get them right, even when I follow her recipe down to the most minute details. And trust me, have had lengthy conversations about her exact process, and I still really can’t figure out how she makes them so perfect each time. I have decided to stop beating myself up and attribute my past failures to the loss of 4.5K in elevation. But I still try! And, I tell ya, every time I make them, I always get a lack luster “yeah… they’re…good! But they just aren’t the same…did you change something in the recipe?”

At first…no, I wouldn’t change the recipe. But then after multiple failed attempts, I started to veer off and blaze a new trail.

Side note/Fun fact: I can never stick to a recipe. I always have to add a little this or a little that to make it more *me.* This aspect of my personality drives my other half absolutely bonkers.

Lucky for me, my daughter thinks it is super fun. If it were up to her, we wouldn’t use a recipe (or logic even) for anything we make.

Baking-Kid

Bless her heart, she just loves to be in the kitchen with me.

Most days of the week, my daughter asks if I want to make cookies with her. I know that she is ultimately asking because she is Cookie Monster’s mini-me, but I like to give her the opportunity to help out as much as possible in the kitchen and pass my knowledge on to her as often as I can. It’s a good life skill to have! So we usually make a little something together a few times a week.

Today, I had a container of oat bran staring me in the face (purchased to make Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins) My MIL’s chocolate chip recipe calls for oats, so I figured I would start with her recipe as a base and make a few…alterations.

First thing I did was swap out the Old Fashioned variety for Oat Bran.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with old fashioned oats, it is just a little different than oat bran. Since I am super-pregnant at the moment, I need all the protein and calories I can get, I decided to opt for the bran (and here’s why…)

First, let’s have a closer look at oats:

WholeGrainKernel_WGC_0When oats are harvested, their inedible hull is removed and you have Oat Groats. Groats are made up of three parts: the Bran, Endosperm and Germ  (Click here for more information on those layers). In a nutshell…The BRAN layer is the outside layer, rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants and B-vitamins. The ENDOSPERM is the large middle layer that is rich in starchy carbohydrates, and also contains some protein as well as small amounts of vitamins and minerals. The GERM is the innermost layer that contains lots of healthy fats and b-vitamins as well as some minerals, protein.

Old Fashioned Oats come from a processing technique that steams the oats and then rolls them flat, giving you all three parts of the groat, thus making it a whole grain. Oat Bran is not considered a whole grain, because it is just the nutty outer layer that is full of fiber and protein.

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Looking at the nutrients side by side, Oat Bran provides significantly more fiber and protein, and has a texture closer to flour, so it works well in baked goods. Not saying one is superior to the other, they are just different.

Getting back to these delicious cookies…

Some other swaps I made were changing half of the flour to 100% White Wheat Flour, substituting honey for part of the sugar, and adding cinnamon.

The result was surprisingly delicious, probably the best luck I have had with this recipe yet!

White Chocolate, Raisin and Oat Cookies

  • Servings: 26 Cookies
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Shortening*
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Oat Bran
  • 1/2 Cup 100% White Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (approx) Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup (approx) White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar and honey in a mixer on medium-high speed for a few minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add Oat Bran and Flours until combined. Add Raisins and Chocolate Chips according to taste.
  4. Space cookies at least an inch apart on cookie sheet, as they spread. Bake for 10-14 minutes (smaller cookies 10, larger cookies will need more time). With a spatula, transfer to cooling rack and enjoy!

Cookie-Perfection

 

*I really am not a huge fan of shortening, because most contain partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and other chemicals that don’t belong anywhere near our bodies. But I do seldom use it in some baked goods because it does create a superior texture for cookies. Trader Joe’s doesn’t have shortening (that I know of), so you can use 1 cup of butter as opposed to part butter/part shortening. OR if you have some lard on hand, try that.  I use All vegetable crisco baking sticks because they have no trans fat (the oil has been fully hydrogenated to saturated fat as opposed to partially hydrogenated to a trans fat), but they still aren’t the best option. I haven’t really found an alternative, so if you have any tips or tricks to replace shortening in cookies – leave a comment below!

Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

Honey Oat Bran Muffins FFK

 

I love me a good Bran Muffin.

…and we’re not talking the healthy kind! The more the honey and sugar to disguise the bran, the better. It’s for this reason, my bran muffin consumption usually falls in the “special occasion” category.

BUT WHAT IF I WANT THEM ALL THE TIME?!?!

That’s where this recipe comes in. I found a Mimi’s copy-cat recipe on the internet, and made many tweaks to get the nutritional profile to a range that I would feel comfortable with calling this “breakfast” as opposed to “dessert.”

Some of the changes included swapping the regular flour for my favorite 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, swapping out the oil for a mix of melted butter and mashed banana, and drastically changed the glaze entirely (that one was painful).  I also added some extra flavor in the form of vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.

Is it nearly as decadent as I am use to? No. But is it a whole lot healthier and tasty enough for me to enjoy? Absolutely.

This would pair really nicely with Vanilla Greek Yogurt and Berries for breakfast…and Coffee…Of course.

Honey Oat Bran Ingredients FFK

Honey Raisin Oat Bran Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk (or milk + 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 1/2 Mashed Banana
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • Glaze:
    • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
    • 2 Tbsp Honey
    • 1 Tbsp Hot Water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix first five ingredients (the dry ingredients)
  • In a separate bowl, combine the next seven ingredients (the wet ingredients).
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients, and mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated (don’t overwork this).
  • Grease muffin tin (I use the coconut oil spray), and place ~ 1 Tbsp of batter into each section. Should be 1/2-3/4 full.
  • Bake for ~ 20  minutes. While muffins are baking, whisk together all glaze ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Remove while warm and place on a plate. Cover with glaze (about 1/2 tbsp per muffin). Glaze will fall down the top of the muffin and gather at the bottom of the muffin.
  • Best when consumed immediately and piping hot!

Overnight Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Overnight Chia Seed Pudding

By a show of hands, how many of you have seen some one boasting about their chia-seed-filled breakfast on social media? Or how about having a Pinterest feed full of chia seed recipes? I know mine is up!

As with most trends, I need to make sure it is tried and true before I start to experiment with it. Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I see the small bag of chia seeds and am always so tempted to get it, but really, what would I do with them?

But really, why not get them? I shouldn’t let my lack of creativity stop me from these awesome little guys.

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, with just one tablespoon boasting 70 calories, 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat (mostly polyunsaturated, 3 of those grams are the omega-3 fatty acid ALA).

The recipe for a very basic chia seed pudding is one part chia seeds to four parts milk (of your choice), and from there you can customize with whatever sweetener or other additions you want!

I packed this for a snack at lunch, and I could barely finish because it was so filling! This makes for a great breakfast that will leave you satisfied for hours.

Overnight Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: (super)easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Vanilla Coconut Milk
  • Drizzle of honey (probably 1-2 tsp)
  • Mixed berries (the more the merrier! But probably about 1/4-1/2 cup)

Directions:

Place chia seeds and coconut milk in a small, sealable container and stir. Let sit 2-3 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator. Once set, give it a good stir and try a small bite to see how much honey you need (1-2 tsp, or none at all if the sweetness from the coconut milk is enough for you). Top with mixed berries and enjoy!