Prehistoric Pesto Pasta

 

Ingredients

2 cups shredded chicken

½ box penne pasta

grated parmesan

Pesto

2 cups fresh basil

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp. lemon juice

salt & pepper

red pepper flakes

Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 50 min

Experience Level:

It's so easy a caveman could do it.

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Let me take you back to a time when giant beasts roamed the earth and volcanos spewed their molten lava far and wide. A prehistoric time when the dinosaurs were pretty hungry and tired of eating the same monster plants and lil’ dinos for every meal of the day. Sound familiar? Does it remind you of the monotonous meals you prepare day in and day out? Now I’m no fancy scientist, but one thing I do know is that chickens are the closest living thing to dinosaurs. Just look at their legs! I also know that plants have also been around for a pretty long time. There’s no conclusive evidence what those dinosaurs could've cooked over the hell fires and hot springs, but there's a chance that this recipe could be dated back to an era no human ever knew.

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Alright, we’re making the pesto first folks. You’re going to want to have your food processor ready to go for these next steps. Wrangle together a heaping 2 cups of your freshest garden basil and toss them in. Next, pour in 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Add in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of pine nuts, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes and a wee bit of salt & pepper. Pulse your food processor, roughly mixing it all together. We want it lumpy and chunky. Now leave it be and get to making the rest of this dish already.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Fetch a medium pot and boil a good amount of water to cook the pasta. Using your eyeballs read the box of pasta and locate the “al dente” cooking time and follow that accordingly. Don’t screw it up. Now back to the chicken! Oil each breast and shake on a little salt and pepper, bake for 35 minutes. Once that's done let the chicken stand on a plate for 15 minutes before shredding. Tear those dino-birds apart using the backside of two forks. Strain the pasta and leave it aside.

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Grab a large saucepan with a little olive oil and bring it to medium heat. Toss in your cooked pasta and shredded chicken. Dump in some pesto over the mix and stir together. Start with less and add more until you get the pesto to pasta ratio you desire. Remove from heat. Smack a glob of that green gooey pasta mix onto a plate or a pasta bowl if you’re fancy like that. Top with more parmesan and a crack of pepper and a dash of salt. Take one bite and try not to say this dish tastes dino-mite!

 

Sweet Potacos

 
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Prep Time: 20 min.

Cook Time: 35 min.

Experience Level:

Taco 'bout a good time

Ingredients

1 med. sweet potato

½ red pepper

½ can black beans

2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbs. chili podwer

1 tsp. garlic salt

2 Tbs. olive oil

cilantro

avocado

small tortillas

Sauce

¼ cup mayo

2 Tbs. honey

2 tsp. yellow mustard

2 Tbs. lime juice

2 Tbs. bbq sauce

1 Tbs. hot sauce

½ tsp. smoked paprika

 

 
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I know tacos are so exciting and all the rage these days, but before you get to eat these, you have to make them first. Duh. Let’s whip this sauce together and get you the tacos you deserve!

In a little bowl plop about a quarter cup of mayo, then grab a bottle of yellow mustard and barbecue sauce and give each a good squirt into the bowl. Dabble in about 2 tablespoons of hot sauce and juice half of a lime. Shake in some smoked paprika and stir it well. Place it in the fridge while we make the rest. 

Time to prep these tacos and preheat the oven to 450. Get a large mixing bowl and wrangle all the spices needed. Pour in a tablespoon or two of olive oil first. Then sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika and cumin. Shake on a little garlic salt,and maybe even a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes. 

Grab that lumpy old sweet potato and dice it into little 1/2 inch cubes. Yes this is tedious. Take your time and go slow, don’t chop off the tip of your pinky like someone I know. (cough, cough… myself.)  Once those are cut, throw them in the seasoning bowl. Chop up a red pepper into smallish pieces. Throw those in the bowl and give them a good shake. Make sure everything is evenly coated in there. Empty the bowl out on to a baking sheet and spread everything evenly. Toss it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Once that time is up, shake the pan, flipping most of it over, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Shake the pan around one more time and then broil it for 5 minutes, or until those taters are looking crispy. 

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While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, warm up the black beans on the stovetop. On a nearby cutting board get the garnishes ready for their garnishing duties. Finely chop the cilantro and mush an avocado. Retrieve the sauce from the fridge and grab your fanciest spoon for drizzling.  Once the peppers and potatoes are ready, warm up a few tortillas before stuffing them. If you skip this simple step of warming tortillas, then we surely cannot be friends. Seriously, I know this stuff. My brother worked at Taco Bell in high school. Place a few drops of olive oil in a hot pan and swirl a tortilla in it, quickly cooking each side for 15 seconds. Now your tortilla is crispy and chewy! Assemble your tacos in any order you please. You can fold them, wrap them, crunch-wrap them, or even make them as tostadas!  

 

Lofi Stir-Fry

 

Ingredients

1 package ramen noodles

1 egg

2 green onions

½ zucchini

½ carrot

broccoli

meat (beef, shrimp, chicken, pork)

Sauce

¼ ramen noodle seasoning packet

⅓ cup soy sauce

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. sesame oil

2" ginger

1 Tbs.dark brown sugar

1 Tbs. corn starch

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Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 15 min.

Experience Level:

~ All things are difficult before they are easy ~

 

 

Before you ask what Lo-fi is and what does it tastes like, let me stop you real quick… Wikipedia explains it as:‘’Lo-fi (from low fidelity) is a music or production quality in which elements usually regarded as imperfections of a recording or performance are audible, sometimes as a deliberate aesthetic choice.’’ While you’re at it, throw on this playlist, and dim the lights to get the vibes just right. Get yourself into a chill, relaxed state of mind and let the down-tempo beats meltany stress from your day. You feelin’ it yet? Dope. This is what the recipe is all about. It’s DIY, distinctive, and it flows. We’ll be cooking with whatever you have on hand and adding a surprising amount of flavor and style. It’ll look good, taste good, and keep you feeling real good.

Let’s whip up a tasty sauce first before we get to frying. Grab a small bowl, mason jar, blender bottle, or whatever you have to shake or stir this sauce in. Tear open a package of ramen noodles and find that sodium bomb that is a silver seasoning packet. Mix 1/4 of the contents with 1/2 cup of warm water. Dump in 1/3 cup of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil and another teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. Using a fine cheese grater or zester, grate a 2 inch piece of ginger into the mix. If you have it, mince a little bit of garlic in there too. Dump a spoonful of dark brown sugar or a big squeeze of honey. If you’re like me and want yourstir fry to have some heat, sprinkle in red pepper flakes or use sriracha. Don’t even think about mixing in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Actually, if you have that on hand, go ahead and put the whole bottle directly into your trash can. Let’s finish up this sauce by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it up. Whisk it all together. If you made it in a mason jar, put the lid on and shake it up real good. 

While you’re bobbing and nodding your head with these dope beats, boil a pot of water and cook the ramen noodles. When done, strain and run cold water over them to keep from overcooking. Keep everything separated best you can, slice a pepper into thin strips. If you have broccoli, cut the florets into bite size pieces. Matchstick a carrot. Grab a green onion or two and thinly slice the white part, and then slice the green parts diagonally into 1/2 inch tubes. Go ahead, julienne a zucchini if you’ve got one laying around. Throwing in a meat of your choice helps beef up the dish, too.

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Stir frying means we’re cooking over a high temperatureso it’s important to keep everything moving aroundin the pan. Drizzle some oil into a wok or large frying pan over med-high heat. Cook your meat first. This can be chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or whatever you have on hand. Use your best judgement here. Once that’s cooked, set it aside. In the same pan, add a little more oil and toss in the broccoli. After about 5 minutes mix in the zucchini and pepper slices. Keep it all movin’ while you’re groovin’. A couple minutes later toss in the green onions and carrots and cook everything for 5-7 minutes longer. Towards the end of the cook time, crack an egg over everything and loosely scramble it. Make sure your veggies stay crispy. Overcook them and they’ll be mushy, undercook them and they’ll be too crunchy. Find that sweet spot.

Return the meat to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Pour the sauce you made earlier over the mix and let it simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Grab a hearty handful of noodles and place them on a plate or in a bowl. Scoop a big glob of your stir fry and smack it on top. If you like it extra gooey, ladle some more of the sauce on top. Feeling a little fancy, are you? Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and a dribble of chili oil. Stay chill and enjoy.

 

Spring Chick-N-Oodle Soup

 
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Ingredients

1 lb. chicken breasts

8 cups chicken broth

2 medium carrots

½ yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

2-3 ribs of celery

¼ cup chopped parsley

½ tsp. thyme

1 tsp. rosemary

pinch of oregano

4-6 oz. egg noodles

salt & pepper

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

Experience Level: Ask your mother

 

 

Close your eyes, feel the warmth of sunshine again. Take a deep breathe in through your nose and smell the fresh air. Finally, it’s spring again and with that comes all the allergies you forgot about. The itchy watery eyes, the scratchy throat, and worst of all, the sneezing attacks every time you open up a window or step foot outdoors. You could try every over the counter drug with hopes of becoming Claritin Clear™, but let’s be honest, those pills and nasal injectors are pretty much a scam. If you’d like an alternative option that eases those sneezes, try cooking up a big ole pot of spring chicken noodle soup. 

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This recipe begins with a quest to find the largest pot in your kitchen. We’re talking cauldron status, here. Fetch an onion and chop half of it up, and while you're at it mince 2 cloves of garlic. Next, drizzle some olive oil into your pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 4 minutes. While that's cooking down, chop your carrots into coins and dice up the celery. Stir them both into the pot and cook for a few minutes. Cut away any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Sweep the veggies to the side of the pot and nestle in those chicken breasts. Brown the chicken, cooking each side for about 2-3 minutes. Rake the veggies over the chicken while it browns and sprinkle on the herbs. Grind a touch of pepper and drop in ½ teaspoon of salt.

Once the chicken has browned, dump in a carton and a half of chicken broth and give the pot a good stir. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat, keeping a gentle boil. Set a timer for 45 minutes. Check in on the pot periodically, like an overbearing mother wondering who you’re texting all the time, and give it a little stir. Taste the broth from time to time and use your allergy trammeled senses to see if it needs more salt, pepper or herbs.

BEEP… BEEP… BEEEEEEEEP! Hey friend, your timer is going off. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the broth onto a cutting board. Turn the heat back up to medium and once the pot is boiling add in the egg noodles. There’s a wide variety off egg noodles out there so really it’s up to you which style you chose. Cook the noodles according to their packaging. While those cook, take two forks and loosely shred the chicken. Use one fork to hold it in place and claw away with the backside of another fork. Plop that shredded chicken back into the pot once those noodles are tenderly cooked. Serve right away with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley, a sprinkle of salt, a crack of back pepper and a box of tissues. This soup should have your sinuses cleared out in no time.

 

Boom Roasted

 

Ingredients

8 brussels sprouts

½ sweet potato

2 small red skin potatoes

1 parsnip

1 large carrot

½ red onion

6 bacons

Seasoning blend

olive oil

maple syrup

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 Tbs. rosemary

2 tps. thyme

1 tsp. oregano

black pepper

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Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 35 min.

Experience Level: like burning your foot on a George Forman grill

 

 

If you, like myself,  just spent the afternoon in the park trying to feed the pigeons, but seems they all flew west for the winter, we might be Michael Scott. Well, I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you people.

Brussels sprouts, you taste weird and were voted the most-hated vegetable in America. Boom, roasted. Sweet potato, You’re orange and everybody thinks you are a yam. Boom, roasted. Red skin potatoes, you have bad skin and are basically an edible rock. Boom, roasted. Parsnip, you look like a lumpy old ghost carrot and nobodyknows what you are. Boom, roasted. Carrot, you live in dirt and you’re orangier than the sweet potato. Boom, roasted. Red onion, you’re not even red, you’re purple and you make everyone cry. Boom, roasted. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Do yourself a favor and binge every episode of The Office or just watch the end of episode 15 of season 5 for a refresher.

 
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Now go find your oven and get it preheating to 425º. While that's heating up fetch a large mixing bowl, olive oil, maple syrup, and all those herbs and spices. Pour roughly 2-3 Tbs. of oil in the bowl and a splash of maple syrup. Don’t skimp out on the oil, you don’t want the veggies drying out in the oven. Next you can sprinkle in the rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic salt and a crack of black pepper. Swirl that bowl around to mix it all together, then set it off to the side of your cutting board.

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Grab yourself that sweet potato peel the skin off and dice it into 1½” cubes. Before you ask,“Do I need to use a ruler?” the answer is no. Use your second pinky knuckle for reference, it’s about an inch. Cool you’re done with that, now guess what?! You get to do it all over again with the red skins. Leaving the skin on, cut them into 1” cubes. Toss the cubes into the bowl to make some room for yourself on your cutting board. One by one, slice the brussels sprouts. Quarter them if they are large, but if they are smaller, just cut them in half. Yes you’re going to eat these. Yes, you have to do this. Stop complaining. Also, size matters when cutting vegetables. Unless you’d rather have some overcooked and some undercooked on the same sheet. Then by all means do it your way. Drop the halved sprouts into the bowl and give it a good swirling. Get wild with it and see how high you can toss those veggies in and out of the bowl. 

Dump out the sprouts and potatoes onto a large foil lined baking sheet. Make sure they each have a little space around them. Check your bowl and see how much of the seasoning blend is left. Add a splash more oil and a few shakes of each herb if you’re running low. Peel the carrot and parsnip and slice those into coins about a half inch thick. Toss those into the bowl. Cut the onion in half vertically through the stem. Then slice off the stem and a little off the bottom of each half. Peel away a few layers of the outer skin, then cut those pieces vertically in half again. This time, chop each section in thirds, horizontally. You should have a total of 12 chunks of onion on your board and at least nine fingers left. Now throw those spiffy onion clusters into the mixing bowl and give them a swirl. Empty them out onto another foil lined baking sheetand get everything into the oven. Place the potatoes & sprouts on the upper third rack and the other sheet on the lower third.

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Set a timer for 15 minutes. Now you can scroll through your instagram and catch up on all that dope content you’ve been missing out on. But don’t get sucked in too deep, we still have to crisp up the bacon. Place six strips of bacon on a griddle or pan over medium to medium-low heat. Cooking it at a lower temp longer yields a lower grease spatter radius and keeps it from curling up. Once the bacon is looking extra crispy, set it off to the side on a plate with a few sheets of paper towel to soak up the extra grease.

Your timer is going off! Flip those veggies over and make sure they aren’t drying out. If they look a little thirsty you can drizzle some more olive oil over them. Throw them back in and set another timer for 10 minutes. Once that timer is up, remove the tray with the carrots, parsnip and onion. Continue cooking the sprouts and potatoes  for another 5-10 minutes. Crumble up the bacon while the rest of the veggies finish roasting. It’s hard to believe, but this meal is actually ready and your work here is just about done. Serve by plopping an assortment of this splendid medley of vegetables on a plate or in a bowl. Garnish with crumbled bacon, a fresh crack of pepper and a sprinkle of salt. 

If you’ve actually read this far, then here’s a bonus secret sauce you can try. Whisk together 2 Tbs. stone ground mustard, 2 Tbs. maple syrup, 1 tsp. olive oil, and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Boom, roasted. 

 

Chilly Chorizo Breakfast Burrr–itos

 
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Ingredients

2-3 eggs scrambled

8oz chorizo

1/8 red pepper diced

1/8 onion diced

avocado

mexican cheese blend

quality tortillas

hot sauce

cilantro

tomatillo salsa

Prep Time: 5 min.

Cook Time: 20 min.

Experience Level: It's just a fancy taco.

 

 

I’d like to start this recipe by sharing something I believe to be true, something that dwells deep within my heart: the breakfast burrito, when assembled tenderly, is one of the most delightful creations that this thing we call life bestows. Whatever mood you may find yourself in, there’s always room for one of these. So, are you trying to withstand the lingering chill of winter that just won’t seem to go away? Maybe you’re looking to add a little spice to your love life this Valentine’s Day? Whatever your reason, these breakfast burritos will do just that… and more! 

Enough of that mushy gushy jargon, let’s get choppin’! First we’re going to dice the pepper & onion, hack up the cilantro, and organize each into neat little piles. Then in a bowl, whisk those eggs with whirling ferocity and a splash of milk. You can fork them if you want, but we’re aiming for pillowy fluff nuggets here. Post whisking, keep the whisk in the bowl. Round up a frying pan and set it over medium/high heat. 

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Throw those peppers in the pan for a couple minutes until you get a nice sizzle going. Then add the onions, cooking for another minute or so. Take the chorizo and slice it in half. Squeeze out both sides of that delicious, greasy tube into the pan and crumble into bits with a spatula. Cook it down for about 5-10 minutes, stirring often until the grease vanishes.  While that concoction is cooking get another pan ready on a neighboring burner. Lightly coat one side of each tortilla with oil. My method for doing this involves a few drops of olive oil on one side of a tortilla and then rubbing it together with another. Kind of like on TV when doctors rub defibrillator pads together before yelling, CLEAR! 

Whisk those eggs one more time and spill into the chorizo mix. Now get that other pan up to high heat while you’re scrambling the eggs. Once those eggs are nice and fluffy, plop a tortilla on the heated pan oil side down and sprinkle cheese over the upward facing surface. Cover every last edge. After 30 seconds or so, set the tortilla on a plate and scoop a pile of chorizo’d eggs in the center. Don’t go too big here, you don’t want to overload the burrito’s capacity limits. Sprinkle cilantro and toss a glob of avocado in there, then bravely brandish with hot sauce*.

Following the diagram below, fold and wrap each burrito accordingly. It’s really not that hard and doesn’t matter what tortilla size you use. If you use street taco size, then you’re making the cute mini burritos. Typically around 8.5” to 10” diameter will work the best. Once you have them rolled up tightly, we’ll take this one step further; a place where only the serious burrito technicians dare go. Place the burritos back in a pan snuggled together and press them by setting a heavy pan on top over high heat for just a dozen seconds on each side. This not only crisps up the outside of the tortilla, but seals together a shape that will under no circumstances unravel. Serve these with a tomatillo (green) salsa, or if you dare, more hot sauce.

 
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*For the love of all things holy & flavorful, please do not use Frank’s Red Hot. There is a time & place for that putrid mild ketchup water… this ain’t it. Go for Tapatio, Cholula, or if you’re in a pinch, Tabasco. No Frank’s, got it?!

 

New Year, New Me–bimbap

 
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Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 40–60 min.

Experience Level: Meh, go for it.

ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 lb. ground turkey

4 oz. mushrooms

1 green onion sliced

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 tsp. brown sugar

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame oil

4 oz. spinach

1 cucumber

1 carrot

eggs

kimchi

gochujang (chili paste)

sriracha

 

 

New year, new me! Am I right?! If your resolution was to cook less slop, then how about try this bibimbap?! What’s bibimbap you ask? It’s a Korean dish that literally means mixed rice. Now say the word out loud (BEE-BIM-BOP) a few times in a beatbox fashion. Good, that was fun. Now we’re ready to get cooking!

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Whoa, before we get ahead of ourselves here, we need to get the turkey and mushrooms marinading. The sooner the better with this step. If it even crosses your mind while you’re eating your cheerios before work, go ahead and get it taken care of so all these tasty flavors can become well acquainted with one another. Take out your ground turkey and plop it into a mixing bowl. Next, we’ll thinly slice up the mushrooms & green onion and throw them in. Pour in a healthy dose of soy sauce, drizzle on some of that sesame oil, add a hearty scoop of gochujang, and a scoop of brown sugar. Take about an inch of ginger and grate that over the top. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and a squirt or two of sriracha. Now take those grubby little paws of yours and mush and squish it all together until all those flavors meld together. Cover and place your meaty mushroom gloop in the fridge for about an hour to marinate. 

Alright, now lets really get started. Bust out the brown rice and get that cooking according to the directions on the back. I like to do mine in the instant pot because I have yet to screw it up that way. Stove top works fine too, I guess. While the rice is cooking we’re going to power through and get ther other ingredients prepped and cookin’. Come on people, we have to be efficient with our time here.

Drizzle some more sesame oil in a smaller pan and add the garlic over med/high heat. Once that has sautéed for a few minutes throw in the spinach and cook down until wilted, and then sprinkle on some sesame seeds if you’re extra fancy. Scrape the green garlicky stuff out of the pan and set aside. We’ll use this pan again for the eggs later on, so don’t throw it in the sink yet.

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Bust out your meaty mushroom gloop and heat a clean, medium size pan over med/high heat. While the pan is heating up, take out a carrot and cucumber, a cutting board, and knife or mandolin. Toss the gloop in the pan and stir it around breaking it up while the meat browns. While that’s cooking, thinly slice the cucumber and set on a paper towel so they’re not all soggy, sprinkle some salt over them too. Don’t forget about the meat, Check on it, stir it up a bit and if its not yet done, then go ahead and matchstick the carrot. Okay the meat and mushroom mix is definitely done by now. Take that off heat and set aside. Get back to the cutting board and slice up some kimchi. You can leave it table style, but I prefer to slice it into thinner strips. 

Oh yeah, don’t forget to fry an egg for each bowl. Sunny side up or poached. Not scrambled, well done or just the whites, keep it runny folks. This is going to be the glue that binds all these delicious flavors together.

Take a minute to catch your breath and pat yourself on the back. We’ve cooked everything there is to cook and now come the second most satisfying part of this recipe. It’s time to assemble the bowls!  First, lay down a bed of brown rice, then place the egg in the center. Working in a clockwise manner around the egg add a scoop of the turkey mushroom mix, then lay down the cucumber slices like lily pads on a pond. Spinkle on the carrots. Next add a glob of the garlicky spinach. Finally find the perfect place to nestle in the kimchi. 

Sit back and take good look at the creation in front of you. Snap a pic for your friends to see on instagram or show your mother that you can cook more than just mac & cheese. Feels good huh? Now for the most satisfying part of this recipe: drizzle on some more gochujang if you’d like, then take a pair of chop sticks or a spoon and mix it all together. Destroy your beautiful work of art and heave it into your mouth and let the complexity of flavors gild your soul.