In the weeks leading up to what I fondly called Babygeddon, I went on a bit of a crazy cooking and baking spree getting meals prepped and into our freezer. I had purchased too large a carton of buttermilk when I made Ina Garten’s Mustard Roasted Chicken, and wanted to use it in some healthy muffins. I turned to Smitten Kitchen and her recipe for Blue Sky Bran Muffins caught my eye. I don’t mind bakery bran muffins, but they’re always LOADED with tons of added sugar – so much so that I actually always find them to be really sticky and gross from all the honey, juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and of course sugar in the actual batter too. I was looking for a recipe that wasn’t going to give me cardboard muffins, but also not have so much sugar that I might as well have eaten a donut for breakfast. This seemed like a great compromise, tasting much more like real breakfast than a treat. Here’s the recipe!
1 1/3 cups (315 ml) buttermilk (you can also use sour cream or yogurt thinned with a little milk)
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80 ml) oil (such as vegetable, safflower, sunflower or olive oil)
1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract, a little citrus zest (optional flavorings to add)
3/4 to 1 cup chopped mixed fruit (just about anything but citrus or pineapple will work, they say; I used frozen mixed berries for this batch here)
Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Whisk buttermilk, egg, oil, brown sugar and any vanilla or citrus zest you’d like to use in a small bowl.
Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.
Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 2 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly) and sprinkling the fruit with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.
Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
Do ahead: Muffins keep for 3 days at room temperature, longer in the freezer.
NOTE: This recipe makes about 12 standard size muffins (use a cupcake tin, not a jumbo muffin tin).
These, like any baked good, are best eaten the day-of, but they also freeze well. The top won’t have that semi-crunchy texture to it, but you can pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds and it is still as moist on the inside as the day it came out! These definitely made my list of go-to muffin recipes, and I’m excited to try it with some other fruit!
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared baking dish. Pour the broth evenly over the rice. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and place them skin-side up on the rice.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour. Uncover and bake until the rice absorbs all of the liquid and the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes more.
NOTE: Kitchn says that leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While this is true from a food spoilage standpoint, I would argue that this recipe is best eaten the day you make it. The rice will be fine, but the chicken skin will not stay crispy in the fridge and we ended up just pulling it off when we ate the leftovers.
I served this dish up with a bit of broccolini roasted at 400°F for 15 minutes, adding a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper and sea salt and a squeeze of lemon once out of the oven.
“Quiche” is such a fancy word. Every time I see them in bakeries, I always think about how much work it’d be to make one. However, once you remove the crust factor from the equation, the steps are far less daunting! This crustless quiche has been THE recipe of summer 2017 for me. I’ve made it a dozen times to date, and it never gets old. It’s low-carb, as healthy as you want to make it, and holds up really well as leftovers. It’s a filling breakfast that you can just pop any leftovers in the microwave, top with a bit of avocado, and enjoy.
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced into half-moons
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
3 to 4 cups chopped vegetables*
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar or other cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Melt the butter in a cast iron or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (If your skillet isn’t ovenproof, transfer everything to a deep dish pie plate to bake it.) Add the onion slices and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over them. Cook the onions until they are golden-brown and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and spread the onions evenly across the bottom. Spread the vegetables evenly over the onions. The dish or pan should look fairly full.
In a bowl, use a fork to beat the eggs lightly with the milk, cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, just enough to break up the yolks and whites. This is a savory custard mixture. Pour the custard over the vegetables and onions and enjoy watching it fill in all the open spaces.
Transfer the quiche to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the surface is lightly brown all the way across, it’s fully cooked. Let the quiche cool for about 20 minutes, then slice into wedges.
*NOTE: For hardier vegetables — like broccoli, cauliflower, or winter squash — steam or cook them before adding them to the quiche to ensure they’ll be fully cooked. For tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, or any other quick-cooking vegetable, just use them fresh. My favorite combination (and also what I used in these photos) so far has been zucchini, dry-packed sun dried tomatoes, and steamed broccoli.
Also, if you HATE scrubbing burnt egg and cheese out of a cast iron skillet, you can also make make this in an 8×8 Pyrex baking dish. I would even recommend lining it with nonstick foil to make clean up impossibly easy. Just use a frying pan to cook the onions prior to tossing them in the Pyrex. Your servings will be more like rectangles if you use a Pyrex, like the photo below:
I’ve made this recipe a few times but have never written about it – I figure it’s time to finally share! While bulgogi isn’t something I normally order at a Korean restaurant, I do love making it at home. It’s also an easy crowd-pleaser when you have people over. The marinade can handle more meat than the recipe calls for, so if say you wanted to make two pounds of bulgogi, just multiple the marinade ingredients by 1.5x! Here is the original recipe from New York Times:
1 pound well-marbled, boneless sirloin, tenderloin or skirt steak
4large garlic cloves
1cup peeled, chopped ripe Asian or Bosc pear (I’ve also used an apple in a pinch!)
¾cup finely chopped onion
1teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2TSBP soy sauce
1TSBP roasted sesame oil
1TSBP light brown sugar or honey
½tsp black pepper
½ sliced white onion and 5 white mushrooms (optional)
½tsp sesame seeds, toasted
Wrap beef in plastic wrap or butcher paper and place in freezer for 1 to 2 hours to firm up.
Cut beef across the grain into thin slices. If cooking in a skillet, slices should be less than 1/8 inch thick; do not worry if they are a bit ragged. If cooking on the grill, uniform slices, 1/8-inch thick, are best. As an alternative, you can purchase pre-sliced meat from the Japanese or Korean market. For this particular post, I used some beautifully marbled thinly sliced Prime Beef Shabu-Shabu Style Chuckroll from Mitsuwa and it worked perfectly after a couple of trims (they come in long thin strips).
In a food processor, combine garlic, pear, onion and ginger and process until very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
In a bowl or sealable plastic bag, combine steak, marinade, scallion, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and pepper and mix well. Cover or seal, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
If using a cast-iron grill pan or large skillet, heat over high heat. Add all the meat and its juices to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until most (but not all) of the liquid has evaporated and the meat begins to brown around the edges.
Whole, fluffy lettuce leaves for wrapping, such as green leaf, oak leaf or romaine; and whole perilla leaves (optional)
Any or all of the following: hot cooked short-grain rice; long green hot peppers, sliced crosswise into 1-inch chunks; small peeled garlic cloves; carrot and cucumber spears or sticks, 1 to 2 inches long
The great thing about this recipe is that you still get the sweet-and-savory flavor of bulgogi without added sugar. We served this with sprouted brown rice (only 1/3 cup per meal, thanks to the GD), kale sauteed with garlic and sesame, steamed broccoli, and plenty of MSG-free kimchi.
I haven’t made panchan (Korean side dishes) from scratch before, but there are SO many of them and one recipe makes far too much to eat for just one meal (or a couple meals if there are leftovers). I learned my lesson from the batch of Pickled Daikon and Carrot which we STILL are trying to get through. The thought of driving to Koreatown just to pick-up some sides was too much to bear, but luckily Lissette had tipped me off last month about a little Korean market hidden in the valley. I picked up japchae and a plethora of mixed panchan to top off our meal. Thanks again for the tip, LG!
As this crazy summer heat wears on, I’ve found myself really wanting Vietnamese food. Maybe not so much a hot bowl of pho, but a nice rice noodle (bún) bowl is so refreshing on hot days. I love the many fresh herbs and cold vegetables (fresh and pickled together!) that compliment deliciously grilled meats and cold rice noodles. Nong La is my go-to for a nice pork bún bowl, and their egg rolls are to die for. I don’t dare try and recreate their pork bowl, but I did find a nice recipe for a lemongrass chicken on the interwebs. Here’s the recipe as adapted from Bon Appetit. BA’s original recipe calls for chicken breasts which you have to pound to eliminate dryness, but I used chicken thighs since they tend to have more flavor and frankly are much harder to dry out.
Process lemongrass, shallot, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes in a food processor to a fine paste.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a resealable plastic bag or container. Add lemongrass mixture; chill at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days ahead).
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade, scraping off excess (this is important!), and cook until golden brown, 5-7 minutes; turn and cook until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. You can also throw these on a grill if you can stand the heat!
Serve chicken with lime wedges for squeezing over.
NOTE: If you’re doing whole-30, you can substitute the brown sugar for orange juice. However, the nice thing about the sugar is that it will make sure you get a nice char on the chicken once you cook it.
Kevin and I recently discovered GABA sprouted brown rice (unpolished brown rice that has been allowed to germinate to improve the flavor and texture and increase levels of nutrients such as γ-aminobutyric acid), and we LOVE it despite the longer preparation requirements. To maximize the nutrient factor and flavor to the meal, I sliced and sauteed a leek in a wee bit of soy sauce and tossed it with a batch of GABA rice in chicken broth in lieu of traditional rice vermicelli noodles. Together the lemongrass chicken, Pickled Daikon and Carrot, freshly shredded lettuce, Persian cucumber, cilantro, green onion, and crushed toasted peanuts (oops, not pictured), it was the perfectly balanced healthy dinner!