Turkey Bolognese over Zucchini Noodles

Hello everyone!

I just got back from a college reunion and my diet did not do well. Back in New York, I am now starting a month-long no added-sugar diet and it’s really bringing out my creative cooking side. Well, at least I like to tell myself that.

One of the recipes I will be cooking for sure is my turkey bolognese. I made it with Phil and he immediately fell in love with the recipe! We cheated a bit with the no-dairy part and added sheep’s feta cheese before serving it, but this is in no way required. It still tastes absolutely amazing, with the key ingredient being carrots (yes! carrots! they actually take away the acidity usually found in tomato sauces, so no sugar is necessary). If you want a cheesy flavor, sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top and it will be almost like you’re eating spaghetti with Parmesan!

 

Ingredients (serves two hungry people):

  • 1 lbs of ground turkey
  • ~10 cheery tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • t tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 large zucchini


Recipe:

  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan (I used a wok).
  2. Fry the onions for about a minute, then add the garlic and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes at medium heat.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove the veggies from the pan, add the spices.
  5. Add the turkey to the pan. Sprinkle salt on the meat. Cook until no longer pink.
  6. Add the veggies to the turkey in the pan.
  7. Add the canned tomatoes and bay leaf and let simmer on low heat until desired consistency is reached.
  8. While the sauce is thickening, wash the zucchini and spiralize it (alternatively, you can buy pre-packaged zoodles). You can either eat the zucchini noodles raw or quickly heat them up in a pan.
  9. Remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the noodles. Serve with any extras you want!

 

Slow Cooker Rum Apple Butter

Wow, I think I’m on a slow cooker role! Last week the Slow Cooker Lime Pulled Pork, now this apple butter recipe… But it’s so easy and versatile!

I was invited to a bunch of pot-luck style things this weekend – a housewarming, a picnic, and then I hosted my own Eurovision Party (to which though nobody showed up… But that’s a different story!) – so I had to come up with something I could bring to all of these events. And thus the idea of making apple butter was born (fyi, I plan to make a crepe cake with apple butter layers soon. No idea how it’s going to turn out, but we shall see).

The only ~difficult~ part of this recipe was peeling and cutting all the apples. Everything else was just wait and stir!

 

Ingredients:

  • ~4.5 lbs apples (I used granny smith and… another kind that I don’t remember)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 packs of vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Recipe:

  1. Peel and cut the apples into cubes
  2. Mix with sugar, cinnamon, clove, salt and vanilla sugar in slow cooker
  3. Cover and cook for approx. 6 hours on high, stirring every hour or so
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, add the rum, stir, and cook for another hour uncovered while high
  5. Turn slow cooker off, let cool down some and store in refrigerator

I put my apple butter in little mason jars that are an AMAZING gift! The rum cooks off but adds to the flavor. So far, I’ve eaten the apple butter with bananas and toast, but I’m sure it would work great in a smoothie, oatmeal… you name it!


Hope you enjoy it and let me know how you used it 🙂

Slow Cooker Lime Pulled Pork

What do you do when you’re sick on Cinco de Mayo but still really want tacos? Yup, make your own the next day!

I was craving carnitas and have been meaning to make a fall-off-the-bone pork shoulder in my slow cooker for a while. Unfortunately, the smallest pork shoulder I could find was over 4 lbs, so my boyfriend and I decided to invite some friends over. The pressure for me to make the perfect dinner was on since I suddenly had 6 additional mouths to feed!

Luckily, after six hours of waiting, the pulled pork turned out juicy and perfectly spiced, and I’m super excited to share if with you guys! The recipe was mainly inspired by Recipe Tin Eats’ Carnitas, so head over to her blog for any substitutions and adjustments.

Ingredients (for a 4.5 lbs pork shoulder, bone included):

  • 4.5 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.25 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • juice from 6 limes (should be about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp chili
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

Recipe:

  1. Wash and dry the pork shoulder.
  2. Rub in the salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Combine the chili, oregano, cumin and olive juice and rub all over the pork shoulder.
  4. Place the shoulder fat side up and pour over the chopped onion, garlic, and lime juice.
  5. Cook on high for about 9 hours, or on low for 6 hours (which I did and it turned out tremendously).
  6. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks (it should be so juicy that it just falls off the bone).
  7. Add some of the juice that’s still in the slow cooker (and has some of the fat in it) to a pan and heat up. Once the juice sizzles, add some of the pulled pork and brown it.
  8. Repeat until all the pork has been seared.

I served the carnitas with corn taco shells, avocado and Spanish rice. The pork is so juicy and flavorful that I didn’t need anything else! And since most of the process is passive in the slow cooker, this is not only a super tasty, but also a super easy recipe!

Quick Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Need a quick and easy side for your dinner tonight? Look no further and make these super tasty potatoes!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small bag of small fingerling potatoes
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash the potatoes. Put into large bowl and pour oil over the potatoes. Add the rosemary, thyme and salt, and toss well. Grease a baking pan and add the potatoes (face down) to the pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Bread Pudding

Happy Hump Day from a rainy and cold New York!

Last weekend, I had a bunch of friends over to celebrate my lease renewal (without a rent hike!!) and made it into a potluck brunch. I needed something quick to make cause I didn’t have much time to prepare it the night before. I wanted something sweet and if possible something I could make in my slow cooker. I ended up finding a a great recipe for bread pudding but it included soooo much dairy. Being the adventurous person I am, I changed it a little bit and even had the chance to try out my Christmas present from my grandma: a brand new spice box! So here’s my dairy-free bread pudding recipe:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, day old, cubed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 cups cashew milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup earth balance, melted

Use some of the earth balance to grease your slow cooker. Add the baguette, raisins and chocolate. In a large bowl, mix the milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and earth balance. Pour over the bread and let it sit for a few minutes. Toss the bread.

Set your slow cooker to low and cook for approximately 2.5 hours. Serve fresh (but it also tastes great a few days old)!

Avocado Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

So it seems like my new update rate is once a month… Hey, at least I made it before April!

A couple of days ago it was date night and we decided to make some turkey burgers (I’m trying to not eat beef… Cowspiracy anybody? Seriously though, that movie scared me shitless). We are also getting our beach bodies ready, so we wanted to have a somewhat healthy alternative to fries. In the end, I was just reminded of how well turkey burgers work with sweet potato fries!!

The turkey burgers were inspired by this NYTimes recipe. Even though it says the recipe is for 4 people, the two of use manage to eat it all up (so much for the beach bodies…). We also served the sweet potato fries with cholula – I really love the combination of sweet and spicy!

My boyfriend kept on reminding me to take pictures, but I only got the uncooked foods. My apologies!


Ingredients:

Turkey Burger

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • hamburger buns
  • tomato
  • lettuce
  • oil for frying

Recipe:

Cut half of the red onion into small pieces (keep the other half as a topping). Mix with the turkey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and once it’s hot (you can drop some water into the pan and see if it sizzles), form the turkey mix into patties (we made 2 large and two mini ones) and cook the patties for approx. 5 minutes on each side.

While the patties are cooking, slice the remaining onion into rings, cut the avocado and tomato into thin slices, and toast the buns if desired. Serve the burgers with the onion, tomato, avocado and lettuce (we put half an avocado on each burger). Add any other condiments you’d like (a spicy mayo would work really well)!

 

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 1 small sweet potato per person
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar and cinnamon mix per sweet potato
  • oil

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut the sweet potatoes into slices (imagine fries) and toss them in a bowl with the oil (I would recommend canola oil). Add the sugar and cinnamon mix, as well as the salt to the sweet potatoes. Toss again and then spread out on baking sheets. Bake for approx. 15 minutes and then flip the fries. Bake for another 10-15 minutes and serve!

Coconut Mango Panna Cotta

Happy Sunday everyone!

Last Friday, my boyfriend and I were invited to a dinner party and we were in charge of the dessert. At first we wanted to try to make a mango chia pudding, but then we changed our mind. We stuck with the mango-theme, but tried something new: a coconut mango panna cotta, all dairy-free and, if desired, vegan!


As a heads up, this recipe does need to sit for a few hours, so we prepared it the night before. But gosh was it tasty (and it goes very well with rum, just by the way)! Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium, ripe mangoes, cut into pieces
  • 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 package of either gelatin or agar (if vegetarian/vegan, use agar)
  • extra mango and/or coconut flakes

Combine the mango, coconut milk, maple syrup and coconut oil in a blender and mix for about a minute. Pour into a pan and bring to a simmer (be careful not to let it burn!). Add the gelatin/agar and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Take it off the stove and pour it into 6-10 small containers (or, as a hack, grease a muffin pan beforehand and pour the mixture into those muffin holes). Let sit for a couple of hours (we let it sit over night) and take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving (if you used the muffin pan trick, take out even earlier. Use a knife to separate the panna cotta from the pan, flip, and tap on top to release).

If you want to serve it with some decorations, fresh mango and/or coconut flakes work well! That being said, the panna cotta is tasty enough and you don’t really need to add anything.