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Tag Archives: holiday

Easy Baked MAC (Mac-n-Cheese)

It’s the holiday season, and there’s nothing better than seeing family, friends, and eating a ton of different foods. It’s the third night of Hanukkah, and while I didn’t make latke’s this year (which you can find my recipe from last year here), I did toy around with something anyone celebrating any holiday would love, MAC AND CHEESE.

There are a ton of different ways to make mac and cheese (or as I simply call it MAC), and I usually start by making a roux. A roux is a base for sauces such as a cheese sauce: you take chopped onions and butter, sauté until fragrant and translucent, then add flour and it makes a paste. Then, you pour in some cream/milk/alternative to milk and stock, and bring to a boil. This will thicken; turn the heat off and layer in the shredded cheese until fully blended and combined. Yeah, this recipe is labeled EASY MAC for a reason, because we skip the roux step. We use four ingredients and it’s done in one pot. You heard me, ONE POT.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or box of pasta – I used Banza’s wheel shaped pasta (this is a chickpea flour pasta and it is delicious – find it here)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese – I used Organic valley cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs – to top off prior to broil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Cook your preferred pasta to the desired doneness, since Banza is gluten free I cooked two minutes below the recommended time on the box as I prefer to have pasta more al dente. Strain and rinse.

Add back into the same pot and turn the heat onto medium. Pour in the milk and butter, stirring the pasta in and coating. Have patience here, the butter will take some time to melt. Sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time, stirring to combine frequently. Keep the heat between medium and low, so the cheese melts and coats all the pasta.

Set the oven to broil. Pour the MAC from the pot into an oven friendly casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch more shredded cheese bc #yolo. Broil for three minutes, check after three because it can go from nicely brown to “OMG I BURNT IT” in a matter of minutes. Serve immediately and scarf down because this baby will go fast at your dinner table! NOMaste and Happy Holidays! <3

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Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Being that it’s Thanksgiving, I should probably experiment with turkey recipes, but neither my husband or I are super crazy about it, although I do have my eyes set on tying to make roasted turkey legs (i’d prefer dark than white meat from a turkey anyway). I remembered I had ground chicken in my freezer and decided to give this one a shot, because chicken meatballs can take one sharp sauces such as teriyaki and I figured why not, it’s Black Friday and I am absolutely not about to go shopping – may as well cook!

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken meatballs:

  • 1 lb or package of ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs as a binding agent
  • Chopped veggies such as carrots, celery, and onion (aka Mirepoix – you can buy store made already which I did this time around)
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, oil, and mirepoix. It will be a rather sticky blend but it will bake just fine.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with your choice of spray oil. Portion on the meatballs with a tablespoon, roll into balls and place on the tray. The mix should make around 16 meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

For the teriyaki sauce, I used Primal Kitchen’s No Soy Teriyaki but added arrowroot to thicken it up and a bit more coconut aminos. The end result is a super delicious soy-free, paleo sauce to pour over the meatballs, and pair with a side of wild rice and veggies! Enjoy!

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer 1: Potato Skins

365 days, 525,600 minutes (I had to get a RENT reference in there), 52 weeks, 12 months, blah blah blah… It’s the NEW YEAR BABY! I have mixed feelings about celebrating the new year. Some years I went out with friends (we did do Manhattan three times for NYE, and it was absolutely worth it), some years I worked at restaurants and made bank, and then others I spent at home drinking champs solo and eating everything I wanted. This year was the latter, minus the drinks (I had one glass) and add a pup and a husband.

When you think of traditional appetizers, whether for NYE or at a restaurant, say Applebee’s, what comes to mind? I automatically think of quesadillas, buffalo wings, spinach dip, and potato skins. My favorite are buffalo wings, but since I didn’t feel like doing those, I opted for some skins. Shockingly, these are pretty easy, but do take a while to prep and make; they also take up a lot of time in the oven – in and out three times in fact! The end result is totally worth the prep and time.

*fun fact: I worked at Applebee’s and loved every second of it. Hands down their best apps were the quesadillas, boneless wings, wonton tacos, and mozzarella sticks*

Choosing the type of potato for potato skins actually does matter. Russet potatoes tend to stand up to a triple bake and holding “loaded” toppings like sour cream and cheese. They have a bit more starch to them and can bake in 45 minutes. I started by rinsing the potatoes and placing them on a sheet pan, baking them at 375* for 45 minutes. If you sense that they are burning, fear not, just turn the heat down to 350*. Once they’re done baking, let them cool and begin to cut in half.

After cutting, you need to scoop out the insides, leaving a slight layer of potato in the skins. MAKE SURE YOUR POTATOES ARE COOL. This will burn if they are not cool enough to handle. Scoop out the insides, melt butter and spread the melted butter on the insides of scoop skins. Sprinkle some salt on then and bake again for 5-7 minutes, turning them over to brown on the top.

These babies are now ready to melt with cheese and your favorite toppings. Throw the skins back in to bake with cheese until the cheese melts. Layer onto a plate and top with chives, sour cream, bacon, etc. Fun, festive, and freaking delicious! Nomaste 🙂

Potato Skins

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 skins
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 6 Russet potatoes large
  • 2 tbsp Butter melted
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Chives
  • Sour Cream as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Rinse potatoes and place on baking sheet.  Bake in middle rack of oven for 45 minutes.  Lower heat if needed.

  3. After baking, let cool until the potatoes are cool enough to handle.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/4″ thick layer of potato.

  4. Melt butter and spread on each skin. Sprinkle salt.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, turning potato skins over to brown midway through baking.

  5. Take potatoes out and sprinkle cheese.  Bake for the third time until cheese is fully melted and bubbling.

  6. Add favorite toppings such as chives, sour cream, and bacon.

Latkes!

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays!  I love this time of year, not just for the food and holiday break, but for the warm feeling that is thrust upon us when surrounded by family and friends, and friends who are family!  It’s a time for kindness, love, belly laughs, and building lifetime memories, which more often than not, are created around a dinner table.  Growing up, I always loved Hanukkah: the lighting of candles, the story behind the holiday, the jelly doughnuts, but what I really loved were the homemade latkes my mother and grandmother would make.  The crispy, fried potato pancakes drizzled with sour cream (or apple sauce…) and served nice and hot out of pan… SO DELICIOUS!IMG_0364.JPG

There are two schools of thought: to use a food processor, or to go old school and hand-grate the potatoes and onions with a cheese grater.  I chose the latter as I find that they always taste crispier and fresh when hand-grated.  I start by peeling one and a half large onions and grate on the side with the larger holes (julienned side).  Grating onions will cause your eyes to water and tear if you are sensitive to onions, so be warned!  I then set this aside in a large mixing bowl.  Then, I peel and grate 5 medium potatoes (I happened to have one gigantic potato and 3 smaller ones, but 5 medium should yield the same results).  I use a cheesecloth to ring out the starch and liquid.

Crack and whisk three eggs together and pour into the mixture, along with one cup of flour – I used cassava flour.  Mix all ingredients together, add a dash of salt and onion powder.  Heat a large sauté pan and add in oil, just enough to coat pan.  Scoop some mixture into a spoon and carefully place into the oil.  You’ll know when to flip them when the sides are nice and crisp.  Sprinkle some kosher salt at the very end and serve immediately.  Another school of thought: the condiment.  Some latke-enthusiasts like a sweet condiment such as applesauce, or some (like myself) prefer a savory, such as sour cream.  I use sour cream, but try both and see what fits your fancy ~ NOMaste!

Latkes

Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Mediterranean, Vegetables
Keyword fried, latkes, oil, pancake, potato
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 latkes
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 5 medium Russet potatoes peeled
  • 1.5 large yellow onions
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour by preference, I used cassava
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • onion powder to taste
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Peel potatoes and first layer of onions.  Take a four-sided cheese grater and using the large julienned side, start grating the onions. Place grated onions in large mixing bowl.

  2. Take peeled potatoes and grate on the same side and place in a cheese cloth to squeeze out the mixture into the sink. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add to the onions.

  3. Crack and whisk three eggs.

  4. Add eggs to potato and onion mixture.  Add in one cup of flour and mix.  You can add onion powder here and some kosher salt for seasoning.

  5. Preheat pan on medium (or around 375*).  Add oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan in a thick layer.  Spoon a large dollop of mixture into the oil, flipping when sides are nice and golden/crisp.  Repeat for rest of mixture.  Add extra oil as needed.

  6. Sprinkle kosher salt and serve immediately with choice of condiment: sour cream or applesauce.