Soy and Sesame Noodles

This recipe comes from the “making simple accompaniments” section of Jenni Fleetwood’s 20 Minute Cookbook.  The picture didn’t turn up on Google, but it has a lovely warm brown color.

1. Cook a packet of egg noodles or ramen noodles according to the directions on the packet.

2. Drain well and tip the noodles into a large bowl.

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce or tamari and 2 teaspoons sesame oil over the noodles.

4. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, then toss well until thoroughly combined.

5. Serve hot, cold, or as a salad with green onions and additional veggies.

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Lemon Couscous with Peas and Carrots

This recipe comes from one of my mom’s old copies of Bon Appetit, so no picture, unfortunately.  Couscous cooks quickly; the whole thing takes about 15 minutes.  Peas and carrots add nutrition while lemon juice, lemon peel and chicken broth provide flavor.

Yield: 6 servings

Total time: 15 minutes (10 if you mince the carrots with a food processor, but that’s canceled out by the time needed to disassemble and wash the food processor).

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1/4 cup water

2 carrots, minced (or frozen carrots if you’re really in a hurry)

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 1/4 cups plain couscous

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Bring broth & 1/4 cup water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots & cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add peas. Cook 4 minutes if fresh & 1 minute if frozen.
  4. Add couscous & cook 30 seconds, stirring often.
  5. Add lemon juice, peel & butter. Stir til melted & smooth.
  6. Remove from heat, cover & let stand 5 mins.
  7. Fluff with fork, season with salt & pepper, & serve.

And presto, couscous!

Roasted Cumin Cauliflower

Want to know the secret for cooking cauliflower without getting that nasty cruciferous vegetable* smell all over your house?

You oven-roast it.

Oven-roasting makes the taste milder as well as the smell.  It also lends cauliflower a wonderfully crisp, crunchy texture.  My mother usually keeps it simple, roasting cauliflower with a little oil, salt, and pepper.  I enjoy it this way as a side, but it can smell and taste even more interesting.  Check out Eat Live Run’s version, which uses cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Yield: Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all spices together in a small bowl or cup. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to have extra dishes to wash, skip this step and sprinkle spices evenly over the cauliflower in step 2).

2. Drizzle olive oil all over cauliflower florets and sprinkle with spice mix. Toss together and lay out on a lined sheet tray.

3. Roast spicy cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

4. Serve!

The added cumin in this recipe makes the cauliflower complement Indian food even better!

*the family of veggies that cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts come from.  Notice how they can all smell terrible?

Avocado Soup

I love avocado.  I love it in guacamole, I love it sliced and served with Mexican food; I even like eating it right out of the shell as a snack.  But I’ve never tried avocado soup. This will change soon, as I recently discovered a recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks, Cooking with Just Four Ingredients.

Avocado soup(The picture actually comes from a different, somewhat more complicated recipe from sheknows.com).

Not only does it have only four ingredients, but it only has a few steps.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

1 1/4 cups sour cream

4 cups chicken broth

small bunch fresh cilantro

Garnish: lime juice, salsa

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half, peel and pit them. Chop fruit coarsely & put in food processor with 3-4 tbsp sour cream. Process til smooth.
  2. Heat chicken stock in a pan. When it’s hot but below simmering point, stir in the rest of the cream with salt to taste.
  3. Gradually stir avocado mix into hot broth. Heat gently but don’t let mixture approach boiling point.
  4. Chop cilantro. Ladle soup into heated bowls & sprinkle with chopped cilantro & black pepper. Serve immediately.

Four-Ingredient Greek Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon Soup)

My mother has a huge collection of cookbooks, and these days I look through them almost every time I see her.  Cooking with Just Four Ingredients caught my eye immediately, and yielded this Greek egg-lemon soup.  I’m excited to try it–especially as it takes only about 10 minutes to make.

This picture doesn’t actually correspond to this particular recipe (it’s from here), but it’s a pretty representative picture of an Avgolemono soup without pieces of chicken in it.

Yield: Serves 4-6

Total time: About 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 1/2 cups chicken stock (when recipes say chicken stock, I use good-quality canned chicken broth).
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta or other small shapes
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 large lemon

Instructions

  1. Pour chicken broth in large pan & bring to boil
  2. Add orzo or other small pasta & cook for 5 mins, or according to packet instructions
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until frothy, then add lemon juice and cold water to them.
  4. Slowly stir a ladleful of hot chicken broth into the egg mixture, then add one or two more.
  5. Remove pan from heat, pour in egg mixture and stir well. Season to taste with salt & black pepper & serve immediately. (No, I’m not sure what’s up with the confusing back-and-forth between the pan on the stove and the bowl with the eggs.  I’m guessing these steps help the ingredients mix better, avoid curdling, or both).
  6. Do NOT let the soup boil once egg, lemon juice and stock mix has been added, or it will curdle.