Taco Udon Pasta Salad

Taco Udon Pasta Salad

I really think that udon is the future of pasta salad. Seriously this noodle is so chewy and perfect for cold preparations. I made this pasta salad with leftover taco meat and mixed it with yogurt and ponzu and it made a fantastic side dish for a bbq. You read it here first folks. Udon is the future of pasta salad.

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Fresh Rolls

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Fresh Rolls

I had some co-workers over for a quick bite on the way out to a “Team Building Event” (bar crawl). Had to stick to veggies because one is vegetarian, but I wanted to make something light anyways. I needed it to be really delicious because these people cook my recipes at Cafe Burrito every day and I wanted to show them that I was good at cooking other types of food too. I decided on making a simple cauliflower and chickpea curry and rolling it into some fresh rolls. I made a quick yogurt raita as a dipping sauce and the rolls were a big success.

Chicken Tikka Masala Spring Rolls

Chicken Tikka Masala Spring Rolls

My entire cooking career, I have been on the lookout for these thinner spring roll wrappers. There is a bit of confusion with nomenclature on google, and in the grocery store, I could only ever find thick egg roll wrappers, wonton wrappers, or summer roll wrappers. Finally one day I asked an employee at an Asian market and he lead me to the freezer section! This is where I had gone wrong my whole life! The other wrappers are in the aisles or the refrigerator, but the nice thin spring roll wrappers are in the freezer. This was a whole new world to me and I instantly came up with some fun spring roll ideas, starting with this chicken tikka variety.

Persian Burritos

Persian Burritos

You guys know I love to make twists on the burrito from all over the world. There are even some good versions in Stuffed! The key to making this work is not just slapping a bunch of exotic ingredients into a tortilla, you really have to take the time to replace all of the burrito staples like rice, beans, meat, and salsa. This week Mandi and I made an incredibly tasty Persian take on the burrito. For the rice, we used a sour cherry rice complete with the crispy bits Persian rice is famous for. In place of beans, we used lentils. The meat was a classic marinaded chicken, salsa was a Persian tomato-cucumber salad, and for sour cream, we made a yogurt sauce.

Kale Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Kale Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Since New Years Day, I’ve lost about 30 pounds. I haven’t done anything drastic. I’ve still cooked and eaten things like Lucky Charms Cheesecake, Hamburger Helper Sushi, and Pierogi Lasagna. I just made it a point to cut out some unnecessary meat, wheat, and dairy, during breakfast and lunch on most days.  I also drank whiskey instead of beer.  It’s a tough life I know.  All week this week, I will be posting some of the super healthy dishes that have gotten me through the past few months and I think have really helped with the weight loss. This smoothie is a 6 day a week routine and really kicks the day off right and keeps me full until lunch.

Indian Nachos

Indian Nachos

When you go to a mexican restaurant, they bring you free chips and salsa to enjoy. When you go to an Indian restaurant, they bring you free papadum with chutney to enjoy. This similarity got me thinking, why not make some loaded nachos with all Indian ingredients instead of Mexican. So that’s what I did!

Beet Tzatziki

Beet Tzatziki


Sofra
in Cambridge has been my go-to lunch spot for about 6 months now. I work nearby and love everything about this place. Most of the time I am in a hurry so I grab one of their stuffed flatbreads to go, but when I have a minute to stop and really enjoy my lunch, I like to go inside and relax with some crick-crack crackers and selections from the Mezze Bar. The only problem is that the first thing I tried from the Mezze Bar was so amazing, that I can’t seem to try any of the other choices! Their beet tzatziki is so appealing to all the senses that my brain refuses to let me order anything else.

I had a craving for this tzatziki on a non-work day, and we all know the last thing you want to do on a day off is to go anywhere near work, so I decided to make some at home. I switched it up a bit, either because I was in the mood for smoother tzatziki, or because I was too lazy to shred the beets and just felt like throwing the whole mess into the blender.