Posts Tagged ‘quick & easy meal’

17th February
written by Steph

Maple-Glazed Tuna and Curried Pear & Potato Salad

It’s been ages since I posted a recipe on the site, something I apologize for. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking – I have – it’s just that I haven’t been making anything that seems all that blog-worthy. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut for the past few months (don't the holidays do that to us? Where all you want to do is eat out or order in take-out?), but I think I’m finally snapping out of it. I’ve recently been seeking out lots of new recipes to try, and the thought of cooking is no longer something that makes me feel tired but something that makes me feel excited.

Tony and I are never ones to really celebrate Valentine’s Day because I think it’s a fairly awful holiday. I feel like if Tony and I need the push of a corporate occasion to tell each other how much we care for each other, then our relationship is in trouble. I also dislike how restaurants use this time as an excuse to create special (read: expensive) menus that really break the budget. This year Tony and I decided we would observe Valentine’s Day from the comfort of our own home, where I would cook us a meal that was a little bit fancier than what we would normally make for ourselves (but at a quarter of the price of what we would pay dining out). I decided I would try a recipe I got off of Epicurious that was created by the most recent winner of Top Chef Masters, Marcus Samuelsson. This recipe is his own, and I have to admit that I didn’t stray from it one jot! Shocking, I know, but if you make it yourself, you’ll see it needs no adjusting! Ingredients For the tuna
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp REAL maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Two 6-ounce tuna fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cilantro sprigs
For the salad
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup shredded baby spinach
16th August
written by Steph

Linguine alle Vongole

I’ve said it before on this blog, but I’ll say it again: yes, you can eat pasta during the hot and humid days of summer! I realize the thought of a thick, heavy dish doesn’t necessarily appeal when the weather is breaking 100º, but there are ways to lighten up your pasta dishes to make them appropriate and appealing. The big thing is cutting back on the sauce – rather than something heavy or creamy, summer is the time when I turn to “barely there” sauces that are more like a drizzle and explosion of fresh ingredients. Your tastebuds and your A/C will thank you!

This simple dish of linguine and clams will whisk you away to Italy (where I’m sure they eat pasta all year round, regardless of soaring temperatures), all from the comfort of your own home. For inspiration, I combined two recipes, one from Rasa Malaysia, and one from Mario Batalli, courtesy of Epicurious. Some of you may be a bit leery of cooking shellfish at home, but I assure you nothing could be simpler than this dish. Best of all, this dish only has about 15 minutes of active cook time, so you won’t spend your time slaving in front of a hot stove. Elegant and simple, this is summer dining at its best! Ingredients (for two)
  • 1.5 lbs of fresh littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed (see below for info on cleaning clams)
  • 8 oz linguine… use the best you can afford
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp of crush red pepper flakes (add more if you like your dishes spicier)
  • ½ cup white wine (we used Riesling, which I’m sure is a sin, but it worked for us… use whatever you like to drink)
  • 6 tbsp of parsley, finely chopped (+ 2 extra tbsp for garnish)
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • salt to taste
18th March
written by Steph

Scrumptious Breakfast Burritos!

If I were to pick my favorite meal of the day, it would have to be breakfast.  I love breakfast foods, and even back in my past life as a college undergrad when I pretty much did not cook, I could still be counted on to rock a Sunday breakfast in grand style.  Heck, I love breakfast so much that “breakfast for dinner” is a frequent occurrence in the S&TI! household. Of late, one of my most beloved breakfast offerings has been the breakfast burrito.  After much trial and error, I think I’ve found the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients that result in a hearty and satisfying way to start your day (or end it, because they’re filling enough for dinner!), and best of all these burritos are never soggy! (more…)
9th March
written by Steph

Chicken Tikka Masala (aka "Heaven on a plate")

If you’re anything like Tony and I, then you list Indian food as one of your favorite ethnic cuisines.  Coming from Toronto, I was used to a surfeit of wonderful and authentic Indian restaurants (I’ve heard tell from people from India that some of the best Indian food they’ve ever eaten they’ve had in T.O.!), so you can imagine my dismay when I moved to Nashville and found the Indian restaurants here less than inspiring.  The few places that existed tended to season every dish the exact same way (chicken korma should NOT taste the same as aloo gobi!), and often left me feeling bogged down yet oddly bereft once I was finished.  Sure there’s a great veggie Indian place just down the street, but we’re omnivores, and sometimes we crave meat.  Thankfully a WONDERFUL Indian place opened up across the street from our apartment about a year ago and Tony and I have never looked back.  Generally speaking Bombay Palace now takes care of all of our Indian needs, but there is something oddly rewarding about creating great Indian food in your own kitchen.  This recipe that I’ve adapted from over at the Pioneer Woman’s site will allow you to do just that!  Think Indian food is too hard to make at home?  Think again! (more…)
19th May
written by Steph
Cole slaw?  More like COOL slaw!

Cole slaw? More like COOL slaw!

For May, it’s colder in Nashville than it normally is (generally this is the time of year where I eschew jeans and any full-length trousers for the next 4 months), but our building has finally opened up the pool area which means we also have access to the grill!  When I lived with my parents I frequently experience “grill overload”, as my mother would pretty much char everything in the summer months, but now that I’m the chief overseer of daily meals, I’ve come to appreciate what a grill can bring to our dinner repertoire. I love barbecuing burgers, brats, and kebabs, but those in themselves don’t necessarily make an entire meal (well, maybe the kebabs do).  This coleslaw is a great side for your grill-centric meals – it’s chock full of flavor (that only improves with additional time in the fridge) and easy to whip together with ingredients you already have on hand!  Sure you could just chuck some premade, store-bought dressing onto a bag of chopped cabbage and call it a day, but this is soooo much better (but easy!  I promise); the blue cheese really makes this something special. It’s now my go-to slaw recipe, and I like to try to always have some in the fridge (I’ve been known to simply have a bowl for lunch).  I adapted it from a recipe by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, so you know it’s good!  Prep time is only about 10 minutes, so this is really not a labor-intensive dish. Ingredients •    1 bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix (contains red & green cabbage as well as carrots); alternatively you could buy those three things separately and shave them, but I know you’re busy, so the pre-prepared stuff is completely fine for this •    1 heaping cup of mayonnaise (not miracle whip… mayonnaise!) •    4 tbsp of Dijon mustard (we use a country blend made with white wine, which is sweeter and less sharp than the Grey Poupon kind) •    1 tbsp of dried mustard (optional.  I add it on a whim whenever I feel like making the dressing zippier) •    1 - 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar •    1 tbsp of honey •    1 tsp of salt •    ½ tsp of fresh ground black pepper •    1 cup of crumbled blue cheese (whatever kind makes you happy) •    ½ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts •    ½ cup of craisins or raisins •    bunch of fresh chopped parsley (if you have it handy… I rarely do, but I still love this slaw!) (more…)