Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower

Substituting chicken for cauliflower is one of those swaps that, when done right, makes you forget the original. Don’t get us wrong, we are not trying to pretend that we don’t love good chicken wings, but when we need a healthier swap, we turn to cauliflower. This recipe is super simple and can be used in a ton of different ways. You can serve the cauliflower as an appetizer with ranch or blue cheese dip, put it in a wrap or tacos as a substitute for protein, or on top of a salad.

Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower or 16 oz cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup of hot sauce (we used Franks)
  • ranch or blue cheese for dipping, optional

Directions:

  1. If you did not buy prepackaged cauliflower, prepare the cauliflower by removing the stem and cutting the florets into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the hot sauce. You don’t need to bring the mixture to a boil, you just want to make sure that everything is evenly blended.
  3. Turn the heat off and add the cauliflower. Stir until all of the cauliflower is coated with the hot sauce. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet for your air fryer. Set the temperature to 400 degrees and air fry for 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is browned and crispy.
  4. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, in a wrap, on a salad or straight up!

Bok Choy Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

We buy bok choy all of the time to pair with our favorite Asian recipes like Mapo Tofu and our Steamed Mushroom Buns. Some of the dishes we make are admittedly heavy and need a veggie side kick to balance things out. We usually sauté bok choy on high heat with a bunch of garlic, but now that the weather is getting warmer we decided to mix things up and serve it raw. Bok choy is a leafy green and is a great crunchy substitute for lettuce in a salad. Use this recipe as a “fridge clean out recipe” and toss in any veggies you have on hand. Bell peppers, avocado, and diced mushrooms would all make great additions to bulk the salad up.

Bok Choy Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

Makes: 4 servings (side salad)

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 baby bok choy, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing. Whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Whether you’ve always been a big Cinco de Mayo celebrator in the past, this year we feel like we need to celebrate all the things while in quarantine. It helps us break up the monotony of daily life at the house and helps remind us there is a real world beyond isolation that is worth celebrating! One of our favorite Mexican dishes is elote- or grilled street corn. It takes just a few ingredients to create the rich, smokey, salty and sweet combination that you get when you eat this dish. It’s a favorite of ours all summer long!

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 limes, separated
  • 1/2 cup + manchego cheese, grated or queso fresco, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions and cilantro, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Use the 2 tbs olive oil to coat each of the four ears of corn. Season them well with salt and pepper and grill them for about 15 minutes, rotating as each of the sides starts to char. A little bit of char is great, too much tends to taste bad so keep an eye on the corn on the grill!
  2. While the corn is grilling, make the spicy sauce. Whisk together the mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne, and the juice of one lime onto a large plate. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Have the shredded manchego or crumbled queso fresco on a second large plate.
  3. When the corn has finished grilling, immediately remove it from the grill and roll each of the four ears in in the sauce plate and then press into the cheese plate. We try to coat the ears of corn with the sauce on all sides but only have the cheese on one side of the corn. Press any extra cheese onto the tops of the corn.
  4. Place the corn back on the grill in indirect heat for just a few minutes to let the cheese melt. Serve immediately with chopped scallions and a slice of the second lime for garnish.

Loaded Greek Sweet Potato Fries

If you are reading the title of this post and are a little confused, hang with us, you are going to LOVE this recipe! We love Greek food and wanted to create a version of all of our favorite flavors meshed into one dish. Even though this recipe is for french fries, it is incredibly healthy. Can we just call it a salad because it’s topped with vegetables? Yes, definitely. Right? This is a recipe for Greek salad that just happens to be served on top of crispy hot sweet potatoes instead of lettuce. We like it as an appetizer or a dinner side dish of grilled chicken kabobs, but respect you if you just dig in with a fork and call it dinner.

Loaded Greek Sweet Potato Fries

Makes: 4 servings as an appetizer or side dish

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, washed well and patted dry
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tzaziki sauce
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, dried with a paper towel and diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved (not pictured because quarantine)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes into fry-sized sticks. Lay the sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and give everything a good toss to coat. Lay the sweet potatoes in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked through the center.
  3. When the potatoes have finished cooking, remove them from the cookie sheet and onto a serving platter. Top with the tzaziki in little plops around the fries, followed by the red peppers, feta, cucumber, olives and red onion. Serve immediately.

Fried Rice: Quarantine Edition

Cooking in self imposed quarantine has provided a fun opportunity to get back to the basics of cooking. This recipe reminds us of our days in college – using up what we had in the fridge and freezer to create something out of nothing. Fried rice is the pinnacle of quarantine food. You could make a thousand variations of this recipe with what you have on hand and consider it a thoughtful meal. No rice? Use any similar substitute including quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur, cous cous, or cauliflower rice. For the vegetables you can use literally anything you have on hand that would go well with stir fry. Frozen vegetable mixes are perfect for this but expand the criteria to shaved brussels sprouts, frozen edamame, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower…. the sky is the limit. For the photo below we used a pre-made vegetable stir fry packet that we found in the produce section of the grocery store and supplemented with a packet of frozen veggies. Add it all together in a pan with a few scrambled eggs, soy sauce, garlic, and sriracha and you have yourself a pretty darn tasty meal!

Fried Rice: Quarantine Edition
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw brown or white rice*
  • 4 cups vegetables- this can be prepared stir fry mix, frozen vegetables, anything!
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs sesame oil (sub vegetable oil if you don’t have sesame)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs ginger, minced (optional)
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs hot sauce (sriracha or sambal)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped scallions or cilantro, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the brown rice and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. If the vegetables you are using are frozen, add the vegetables to the top of the pot. Cover and turn off the heat. Let the vegetables sit covered for 5 minutes to thaw.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbs sesame oil and crack the eggs into the pan. Use a spatula to scramble the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggs from the pan onto a plate when they are near done- they will be back in the pan to finish cooking in a few steps.
  3. Put the saute pan back on the heat. Add the remaining sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to the pan if you have them on hand. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic starts crisping and is fragrant. If you are using fresh vegetables that can be stir fried (leafy greens like kale, shredded brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli etc), add them to the pan. Stir everything well to coat. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan to help steam and saute the vegetables for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the brown rice and any frozen vegetables if you thawed them into the saute pan. Add the soy sauce, hot sauce, and eggs to the pan as well. Stir everything to combine and cook another 3 minutes so that all of the flavors can blend. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cilantro or green onions if you have them on hand.

* If you have brown rice that is already cooked, use 3 cups. If you have frozen brown rice cook according to package directions and add in at Step 4.


Chipotle Lime Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This is a recipe that Tuck’s mom has modified over and over again in the last few years because they are so versatile. This version of stuffed potatoes is a great side dish for grilled steak and adobo chicken. If you prefer vegetarian, one can of black beans or sliced avocado can easily be added to the recipe to bulk it up and make it an entrée. We love the sweet and spicy combination of the filling and make these year round. In the summer we prefer to use fresh corn and throw it on the grill to give it a nice char, but in the winter and spring Trader Joe’s saves the day with their roasted frozen corn.

Chipotle Lime Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted corn (we used the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 packed cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large chipotle in adobo, minced + 1 tbs juices from the can
  • 2 tbs honey
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup + queso fresco
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. If the potatoes have sides that are flatter, cut the potato accordingly so the flat side will be the bottom when they go in the oven. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the sweet potato. The potatoes should be fork-tender.
  3. When there are about 15 minutes left on the timer for the potatoes, start the filling. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn, kale, and water to the pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the corn is thawed (if it was frozen) and the kale is wilted. Add the chipotle and juice, honey, lime juice and zest, and the garlic to the pan. Saute another 3-4 minutes so the flavors combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the taste of the filling as desired with more honey or chipotles. Remove the filling from the heat until the potatoes are finished in the oven.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Use a fork to gently to create a little well in the center of the potatoes for the filling. Divide the filling amongst each of the potatoes and top with queso fresco. Bake in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot out of the oven with cilantro for garnish, if desired.

Chilled Sesame Noodles

We love a good Asian-inspired noodle dish about as much as we love anything in this world. No matter what type of restaurant we are dining at, if noodles are on the menu, we will always partake. One of the problems with dishes like drunken noodles or pad thai is that they do not typically reheat well and creating these types of recipes for a crowd can be a struggle to cook everything at the exact right time so that it comes out tasting fresh and texturally correct. Our solution to this problem is to serve the noodles we cook for more than a few people chilled. This allows for a more relaxed preparation and on a day we are having friends over, we can actually enjoy the company and the food.

The key to any chilled dish is seasoning the heck out of the ingredients. A recipe served chilled tastes significantly less seasoned than the exact same dish served hot. For that reason our dressing packs a punch. If you are making these for a particular meal we suggest serving them at room temperature right after cooking the noodles. If you want to make them for meal-prep and have this as a weekday lunch, chill the noodles completely before adding the other ingredients. This will help the vegetables stay fresh for a day or two before eating.


Chilled Sesame Noodles
Makes: 4 entree servings
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for the Noodles:

  • 1 lb noodles- we used pad thai noodles but soba are a great choice too
  • 2 cups frozen edamame beans
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced in half horizontally and then into thin matchsticks
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs+ Sriracha or other chili paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a large pot of water on the stove top. Bring to a boil and cook the edamame, from frozen, according to package directions (approximately 4-5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the pot and set aside.
  • Cook the noodles according to package directions, about 6 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the dressing.
  • Mix the ingredients for the dressing (sesame oil – ginger) in a small mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine and season with salt. Set aside.
  • Drain the noodles from the boiling water. Run the noodles under cold water until they are luke warm to the touch if you are serving right away, until they are cold if you are making this to serve later.
  • Add the noodles and dressing to a large mixing bowl. Toss well to combine as the pad thai noodles can become sticky. Add the edamame, bell pepper, and carrots to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Season as needed and top with cilantro and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.

Farro and Zucchini Patties

We have been making variations of these farro and zucchini patties for a few years now. We keep coming back to them time and time again because of how versatile they are. The base recipe for the cakes is hearty and lends itself to nearly any flavor profile. Our favorite way to eat them is for brunch with fried eggs and Cholula Hot Sauce (pictured), but we have also served them on a bed of sautéed spinach, feta, and olives, or even as an entrée with garlicky kale and shrimp. No matter which meal you make these for, we know they won’t disappoint.

Farro & Zucchini Breakfast Patties

Makes: 6 servingsTotal Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb farro
  • 2 zucchinis, shredded
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 8 eggs
  • Cholula hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Cook the farro, al dente, according to package directions. Move the farrow to a large bowl and let to cool so that you can touch it with your hands. Add the shredded zucchini, breadcrumbs, and two of the eggs. Stir everything to combine and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Using your hands, create “patties” out of the farro mixture and place on a sprayed or lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and set aside to cool. At this point, you can pause the recipe and reheat the patties when you are ready to eat. This is a great way to prep for weekly meals
  4. While the farro patties are baking, prepare the remaining eggs individually, over-easy.
  5. Serve the dish by placing a fried egg on top of the patty and sprinkling with Cholulua and any other toppings, if desired.

Mexican Squash Salad

Moving to Florida last week was a great reminder that spring and summer are on the horizon! We dread eating salads in the winter and seriously look forward to sunshine and the desire to eat vegetable cold again. This Mexican Squash Salad is the perfect way to push you out of your salad rut. We’ve mixed a blend of lettuces and cabbage, radishes, and avocado as the base of the salad. Acorn squash is a great starchy vegetable to bulk it up and keep us feeling full. The cilantro vinaigrette is a must have for cilantro lovers- it goes well on everything from salads to fish and any roasted vegetable. And finally, pan fried cheese “croutons” because salads are more fun when crispy cheese is involved.

Mexican Squash Salad

Makes: 4 entree sized portions

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce, finely chopped to match the consistency of the cabbage
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8 oz queso blanco (Halloumi also works)

Ingredients for Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or avocado oil
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare the squash by cutting the stem off the top, and using that flat end to cut the squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds. Cut the squash into large, bite-sized wedges. Drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the squash onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the squash is browned and fork-tender.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prepare the salad dressing. Combine all of the dressing ingredients (vegetable oil – cumin) in a small food processor. Blend until the dressing is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Next prepare the cheese. Cut the cheese into large, bite-sized pieces. Heat a small skillet with 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cheese. Fry for about 2 minutes per side so that the cheese is crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  5. Assemble the salad by layering all of the salad ingredients, starting with the lettuces and ending with the cheese croutons. Drizzle generously with the cilantro and lime vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Shaved Carrot Salad

Today we are giving the humble carrot a major glow up. We are in the camp that carrots are mostly a filler ingredient. In a mirepoix for our Short Ribs Bourguignon? Sure. As the star of their own show? Not so much. We wanted to challenge ourselves when brainstorming our Valentine’s Day menu to think outside the box of what a salad can be. Lettuce in the winter can be such a drag and oftentimes we need a mixup from yet another kale salad. Insert the carrot. We bought whole rainbow carrots, shaved them into thick strands, and served them with a lemony, mustardy vinaigrette. For garnish we used the fronds of the carrot stems which add a nice herby note to the salad. Overall, a bright side dish to complement the decadence of our short ribs and French Onion Soup this Valentine’s Day.

Shaved Carrot Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 large carrots whole carrots, ideally in a variety of colors (use 8+ small carrots)
  • 1/3 cup leaves from the carrot stems, roughly chopped

For Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon- juice and zest
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash the carrots really well to remove any dirt from the carrots or their stems. Pat dry with a kitchen towel .
  2. Make the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium-large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Use a knife to cut the stems and leaves off the carrots. Remove the fronts from the stems and roughly chop the fronds. Add to the dressing bowl.
  4. Use a vegetable peeler to gently remove the outer layer of each carrot. Discard the outer layer. Use the vegetable peeler to shave the carrots into large ribbons. Toss the carrot ribbons into the dressing bowl. Taste again and season with salt and pepper, accordingly.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.