I’m currently getting all prepped to go to Italy on Tuesday and I’m so excited. Josh has psychotically made maps, coursing our tentative eating schedule. The past few weeks I’ve been purposefully eating on the healthier side so that I could save myself for loads and loads of pasta. I think it has been a wise decision.
One of the health-ish meals I’ve been making is this one-pan harissa chicken dish. It is SO delicious and Israeli couscous are my new favorite thing. They have such delicious toothsome texture.
For this recipe and post, I’m super excited to partner with GreenPan and their healthy, ceramic, non-stick pans. They are so gorgeous in person (the bronze is super pretty) and I love that they’re safe to cook with and super easy to clean.
I love these pans because they’re coated in Thermolon, making them safer and healthier to use. They’re super resistant to high heat (zero fumes come off the surface) and the coating, made from a sand derivative, will never flake or peel onto your food. All pluses!
The surface of the pan was ideal for searing this chicken and getting a super crispy skin and crust on it. And I didn’t have to use a ton of oil (also a plus) so the meal is pretty light.
Right now you can get a limited edition 5-piece set for their 10th anniversary. An extra bonus? The All frypans are currently 20% off through October 24th! GET UR PANS!
Lately, I have been living my life for anything one-pan/one-pot. I’ve been craving ease and I think you have too because anything I make that can be made in one vessel, you guys have made over and over, which of course makes me so pumped.
Meatballs might be my favorite food in the entire world. I strive to eat them ALL THE TIME. It doesn’t always work out but I really do try.
I eat healthy ones when I’m vibing that paleo/Whole 30 lifestyle.
I like legit ones that I like to think I would eat if I lived in the movie Goodfellas.
And then there are these fine things: eggplant veggie meatballs.
You can serve them to all your friends who don’t like meat but also don’t like fake meat. Also people who like meat love them too.
If you know me then you know that I was LATE to the eggplant game. I lived my life for years hating it but I love it SO much now. This sabich is still one of my favorite things to eat and the thing I love most on that sandwich is the deng harissa eggplant—it’s too good!
These meatballs come together pretty easily.
We do have an extra step and that’s cooking the eggplant down a bit and then blending it all up in a food processor with a bunch of other delicious things.
I like to use a non-stick pan for this so that I don’t end up with crumbly-broken meatballs. These are definitely more fragile than your traditional meatball.
I served this over cauliflower puree and pesto and it was the perfect healthy meal. If you’re looking to cut down on some time, serve it with store-bought pesto and some sautéed cauliflower rice.
It is still technically summer but my inbox looks like it’s mid-November. Full-on Thanksgiving and fall pitches. And then yesterday I drove past a Halloween store! I. AM. NOT. READY. Tho I kinda am because wearing sweaters are dope.
Let’s talk about this sheet pan dish. Mojo is my favorite thing ever. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s Cuban and a lot of times you’ll find it in marinades for meats and chicken or fish. It’s also sometimes served with tostones for, like, dipping, though usually it’s a bit thicker in consistency. You get the idea!
Hello! I am here. Is today (or next Friday) payday for you? I hope so because this pasta is something that I hope you make when you get PAID! This is a treat yo’self kinda pasta because it has lobster in it.
Pasta is usually on the cheaper end of the food-money-spending spectrum but lobster makes it pretty indulgent.
I went to the market and bought two lobster tails for about $20. I definitely was like “dang, ok. lobster is legit expensive.” And I still had to buy all of the other ingredients. I think my total bill came to like $30 or $35 dollars for this entire meal, which if you actually compare to a restaurant, it’s still cheaper.
But whatever you do, don’t overcook/mess up the precious lobster ok?!
I’m going to be honest again and tell you that I grew up eating lobster because my family loved it. And I knew when they brought home lobster someone was having a good day/bills had been paid/we were living!
Before recipe testing this, I’d actually never cooked lobster. I was super pumped that it was just the tails and not a whole, living, thriving lobster. That experience might’ve been too real for my city-loving self.
If you’ve never had camarones (shrimp) a al diabla, here’s a breakdown of how it goes:
A sauce is made. This sauce might remind you of an enchilada sauce. It’s red and flavorful and in this case, a little smoky. This sauce recipe makes quite a bit and part of me wanted to halve it but I actually ended up using it for three other dinners last week.
1st dinner: I made this.
2nd dinner: I tossed it with roasted eggplant and vegetables and ate it with quinoa.
3rd dinner: I made this again.
4th dinner: Josh used it to braise some flank steak (using one of our favorite kitchen gadgets) AND then we put it in tacos for Friday taco night and it was boooomb.
Amelia’s favorite food is pizza. Whenever we walk in through the door with a big square flat box, she always gets SO pumped because she knows exactly what it is. We don’t feed her whole slices of pizza because we’re not monsters but Josh does give her a piece or two of the crust and she LOOOOVES IT.
I actually love making pizza at home because it’s super easy and I can make it exactly how I like it: on the lighter, healthier side.
There is still cheese. A lot of cheese. But I like the veggies I select. In this case: blistered cherry tomatoes, corn and lots of basil and crushed red pepper.
Instead of a normal tomato sauce, which you could totally still do, I made a quick arugula basil pesto with walnuts and smothered that on the pizza crust.
I love nothing more than a good meatball. But when I think of meatballs, I don’t necessarily think of summer. I think of them being more in the “cozy comfort food” category that you’re supposed to crave on a cold, wintery day. Well, I wanted to change that and bring you a more summer-fied version. A version that you could throw on the grill…maybe this weekend when it’s 4th of July!
This post is sponsored ALDI. I went there to get all of the ingredients for this very summery lil’ recipe and a ton more super affordable baking items (read: flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc). I literally can’t walk into ALDI without stocking up on baking ingredients and fresh summery-y produce.
As for summer, they have everything you’ll need, including 100% Organic Grass Fed Organic ground beef, which is perfect for making burgers and most importantly, meatballs.
Before this post, I had never grilled meatballs. Man, I was missing out. I love meatballs to begin with, but the crispiness and flavor that grilling provides is really special.
I threaded them on a skewer and grilled them with a bit of oil. They were delicious. I loved the slightly charred flavor and the chimichurri on top just made it taste super fresh and summer-like. I love queso fresco cheese on everything so when I sprinkled a bit on top of the meatballs, the salty flavor really hit the spot.
This weekend! There was a good dose of work sprinkled throughout the weekend but there was also time to try a new restaurant (Maestro) in Pasadena (very good) and go and see Wonder Woman (double-thumb ups).
I love going to the movies and I try and go as much as I possible but the past few months there has literally been zero that I even remotely wanted to see. So I’ve been keeping busy with Netflix and I have to say: I highly recommend The Keepers (VERY CREEPY!) and the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. If you don’t watch the entire season, it’s totally fine, just watch that episode. I made me teary and warm inside. I loved it so much.
Another thing I’ve been researching and thinking about: the Instant Pot. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been very skeptical. I honestly don’t make a ton of beans and I don’t braise a ton of meat so for a long time I was like, who cares!?!? but then I wanted to make hummus and Billy offered to bring over his Instant Pot for hummus-making, so I said, “let’s doooo it.”
These beans cooked in like 30 minutes—it was insane! While they cooked in the Instant Pot, we did other things like talk about how crazy Ramona is and how Sonja ate a whole block a cheese and Luann’s wedding and we also talked about chocolate chip cookies. But we still saved so much time using that thing. I can’t recommend it enough…except I haven’t bought one for myself. Continue Reading
I’m currently watching “The Keepers” which is SO interesting but is all about murder…this means that I’m currently scared to go to the restroom by myself. I love true crime but at the same time I hate watching it. It’s like eating lots of spicy food or something—so good but it hurts!
Anyway, most days I don’t consider mac and cheese “healthy” per-se. But today is a lil’ different. I wouldn’t recommend making this when you’re seriously trying to diet but I would say it’s definitely healthy…ish.
If you’re on the west coast, you’ve most likely been asked that dumb question that everyone loves to ask: “In-N-Out or Shake Shack?”
It’s not really a fair question because the price point on a Shake Shack burger is WAY higher than an In-n-Out Burger AND most diehard LA people will never, ever say Shake Shack. They’d almost rather root for the Yankees.
And while I love LA, I will admit, I always choose Shake Shack. The meat at In-N-Out always makes me feel kinda ill. I once got the grilled cheese and I didn’t feel sick at all so it’s def the meat. So, for me, I’ll always go with Shake Shack because the quality of ingredients sits with me a bit better. But In-N-Out will always be near and dear to my heart and remind me of young childhood and driving up the coast of California.
BUT, we’re not making a copycat In-N-Out burger, we’re making a Copycat Shake Shake burger. WHY?!
BECAUSE THEY ARE DOPE. There have been some good posts on this subject, notably here and here. But luckily, for me, and you, Shake Shack has come out with a book, giving us all a better idea of how things should be constructed and made. Most importantly: the special sauce.
The first step is to butter your Martin’s Potato Rolls. If you’re unfamiliar with Martin’s potato rolls just know they are soft and luscious and so very delicious. You can buy them on the east coast at a whole lot of places and if you’re psycho, or you order them online here.
I searched very far and wide for Martin Potato Rolls in LA and couldn’t find them. It was really annoying. A big part of me even thought of being crazy and buying eight burgers at Shake Shack, hold the meat and sides, so I could get the buns for this post…but then the normal, frugal part of me kicked in and immediately told my-sometimes-irrational-self that she was psycho for even thinking of that.
If you’re lucky enough to live on the east coast, go get them. If you’re a west coaster, you can order them online or just use white buns that are small. 🙁
Either way, you gosta butter them and then pan-fry them. This is what dreams are made of.
Then there’s the meat.
So we made our own blend, with the guidance of their book. BUT you don’t need to. Just go to your grocery store (that has a meat counter) and ask for a blend. OR you can use ground chuck that is 85/15. It will still taste good.
But I did as follows:
I got one pound of sirloin and one pound of chuck.
I chopped them up into cubes and fed them through the meat grinder with the largest opening. And then I put them through again with the smaller opening.
And then we formed round pucks. Not patties. Pucks.
Another thing that I found interesting was that you want the meat COLD. When the fat hits the pan you need it to be cold so it makes a really nice crust.
We pan-fried them on a cast iron with a bit of oil. We also used ghee on one patty and it was a bit too rich for me. But I’m also a baby when it comes to foods with too much fat.
When you flip the patties over, you then flatten them. You will feel like a short order cook. And immediately feel like you should be wearing a hairnet and have a cigarette hanging from the side of your mouth, just like Paula Deen.
You then drape slices of American cheese over the burgers. And that American cheese will melt gloriously.
And then you assemble in this order:
1. Special sauce on toasted, buttered bun.
2. Green leaf lettuce
3. Two slices of roma tomatoes, cut a lil’ on the thicker side.
4. The patty with the cheese
5. Two slices of pickles
And there you have it, a copycat shake shack burger.