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Quick and Easy

Vegetarian Pot Stickers

Adventures, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

I spent this past weekend getting back in the vibe of normal life which included going to the gym, going on a run, sniffling my way through Queer Eye on Netflix, getting cocktails and burgers with friends and going to watch Black Panther. I’m sure you’ve seen it; if not, you need to remedy that situation.

One weekend goal that was not met was a trip to my favorite Chinese restaurant to eat dumplings and pot stickers. I have to say, I love their meat pot stickers and dumplings but their vegetarian variety is not all that great. I wanted to make delicious vegetarian pot stickers. I think I found it.

I roasted a kabocha squash and added a bunch of stuff to it like green onions, sautéed mushrooms, sesame oil, chili paste, ginger and white pepper. It was glorious. It tasted like heaven.

This makes about 24 pot stickers which sounds like a lot but when you start eating them, it feels like it could go on forever and ever. I would highly recommend doubling this recipe and then freezing the rest. Pot stickers are THE ABSOLUTE BEST to cook straight from the freezer.

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Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Winter

Hello, hi, hello! I’m finally back in Los Angeles, tucked in my very comfortable bed with Amelia sleeping on my feet. When I got back, I immediately told her all about the cute dogs I saw on the road. Mostly telling her how grateful she is for having a warm bed and a constant stream of food, but she’s shrugging her shoulders at me. Typical.

In my brain a few weeks ago, I was craving cacio e pepe but I also wanted it to be cheesy. Cacio e pepe enthusiasts and purists will scoff at this recipe but the rest of us who love cheesy cheese and black pepper, will love it. I can’t win them all.

This recipe is sort of a simple base for a stovetop macaroni and cheese. Except it has way less salt (because of the Parmesan-Reggiano), some mozzarella and it requires that you save the pasta water (just like traditional cacio e pepe). That extra pasta water will loosen it up a bit and make it even creamier and more delicious.

Whenever I was a little kid, I used to come home and make Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and would ALWAYS put a ton of black pepper on top. That is the inspiration behind this recipe.

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Crispy Sweet Potato with Green Shakshouka

Breakfast, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Whole 30

One of the most frequent questions that I get, (besides people asking what Amelia is doing lol), is: “what should I register for?” I think registering is a very opportune time to get all of those kitchen-musts all at once. How great!

An item that I think is a great addition to your list is an air fryer/toaster oven combo. Admittedly, I didn’t really know how to use an air fryer, but now I find myself using it all the time!

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Charred Corn and Poblano Pepper Queso Fundido

Appetizers, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

It’s FRI-YAY! I’m currently preparing to go to Colombia. I’m sort of in shock that I travel in a little over a week to a place that I’ve longed to go to for a long time. I can’t wait to see the little towns and colorful doors and eat arepas.

Truth is, most of my family doesn’t even live there anymore. Everyone left in the late 70s and 80s due to the immense violence and political unrest. Most of my family actually went to Brazil, where now lives an entire new generation of Brazilians. Some don’t even speak Spanish anymore. It’s amazing.

I can’t wait to share more with you soon. BUT FIRST, game day foods! I whipped up this queso fundido because I want to eat nothing more while people yell at the television and I look at my phone and gossip with my friends.

I chose to use corn—which I realize might not be in season for you (and that’s ok because frozen is good, too!)—because we actually had some at the market.

This couldn’t be more easy but it starts with my favorite step and that’s charring the corn and poblano pepper.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Quick and Easy

One of the biggest let downs in life might be the moment when you grab an oatmeal cookie–thinking it’s chocolate chip–to only realize it’s actually an oatmeal RAISIN cookie.

I don’t hate raisins. I used to tho because I remember my mom would put those tiny boxes of California raisins in my lunchbox and every time I opened up my lunchbox and would see it, I would let out a dramatic and admittedly-bratty UGHHHH.

So, yeah, I don’t adore raisins. I won’t go out of my way to eat them and oatmeal cookies taste a million times better with dark chocolate chunks than raisins. Sorry, raisins.

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Olive Oil Fried Eggs with Sautéed Garlic-y Kale

Breakfast, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Whole 30

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Egg Board. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post is proof that breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to involve pancake batter or a waffle iron or a whole lot of time. This is something I’ve been eating over and over since the beginning of the year and I am INTO IT.

One of my favorite breakfasts in Los Angeles is at Jon and Vinny’s. First off, their pancakes are a dream. BUT, I never really order the pancakes, instead I always go with the olive oil fried eggs with braised kale. It’s one of those breakfasts that makes you feel good after you eat; I have energy and am so happy.

For this post, I teamed up with the American Egg Board to answer the question: How Do I Like My Eggs? (the age-old question posed in their new campaign). I like ‘em like this! Well, I like them a lot of ways but this way is my favorite (at the moment).

I figured I’d do a version of Jon and Vinny’s dish at home (since the restaurant is kinda far from me). Instead of braised—because I’m always short on time—it’s sautéed kale with tons of garlic, salt, crushed red pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

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Paella-Tasting Risotto with Brown Butter Scallops

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Winter

Are you a freezer person? You know, like one of those people who freezes all type of stuff? I’ve never been big on the freezer…until now! I’m like having a huge moment with my freezer (which reminds me of this song called umm NEW FREEZER).

I swear, come summertime, I’m going to make a big batch of sofrito to add to everything because the beginning of this recipe calls for a small version of it and if it was in my freezer, that means I’d be able to skip a gigantic step.

Ok, moving on…I’m not a huge risotto maker. I mean, I’ve made it a few times but it’s always felt like such a diva-like dish to make. So high-maintenance. It has to really be worth it to me and GIRRRLL this recipe is worth it.

The beginning part is where all the flavor comes from. There’s lots of onion, red bell pepper, tons of garlic, tomato and spices. It tastes like paella but it’s not. And it’s way faster and you don’t have to make it for a gazillion people. It’s that perfect dish for two or for four or for one (with leftovers).

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Creamy Vegan Kale and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian, Winter

I made a vision board on Day 1 of 2018 (because Oprah told me to).

I put all my dreams and hopes onto my vision board. 2017 was the hardest year of my life…even though professionally, it might’ve been my best year yet. Maybe one day I’ll tell you all about it. Right now, I’m just not ready. Maybe I’ll never be. I will say that seeing your family break up is incredibly sad. I do know that so many of you probably know how it feels.

My 2018 vision board is about healing and peace and forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who has never said they’re sorry nor never will? It’s not an easy thing to do. I’m guessing it will be my greatest lesson of 2018. Or at least I hope it will be.

My vision board is about moving towards new career goals.

It’s also about making beautiful work that people find happiness looking at and recreating. I’m so grateful for this space, for the power of creating; it has helped me heal and find happiness over and over and over. I hope I make things until the day I die.

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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (#Whole30)

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Whole 30, Winter

I love the newness type of feel that January has. It’s so fresh and clean and new. I love it so very much. Like everyone else in the world, I’m eating a bit lighter and fresher this month.

Have any of you done Whole30 before? Last year January I did Whole30 and it was a really interesting experience. I’m not doing it this year but I am definitely implementing a few Whole30-approved recipes into my routine because, like everyone else, I need a bit of break from indulgent foods.

For this post, I teamed up with ALDI where I went to gather all sorts of fresh, high-quality and organic foods. One thing that Whole30 requires is that all of your beef is grass-fed and organic. This shepherd’s pie was made with their SimplyNature 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef that is super affordable.

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Butter Mushroom…Like Butter Chicken But Different ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Healthy, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Hi hi. Happy New Year!

I needed this break so badly. I’m so glad I chilled. Josh and I and the fam spent a few days in Big Bear. Josh and I headed to San Francisco to visit Josh’s grandparents. And then came back to LA to chill out for a few days and it has been SO nice. I’m now planning on cleaning out the garage and do some meal prep and clean stuff off my hard drive because digital organization is not my forte AT ALL.

We also went out for New Year’s. We were planning to stay in and make pasta but then we got invited to out into the world and figured why not, let’s hang. I’m so glad we tore ourselves from our bed because it was really lovely.

I honestly wish the days after Christmas could last a full two weeks because I’m not ready to start work and the new year but oh well here we are!

I wanted to share this recipe because I made it a few times last month and it quickly became my obsession.

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