As much as my heart belongs to baking, I do actually eat more nutritious food on occasion. The last few weeks of the semester have gotten a lot more busy. I feel like I was drowning in the same paper for weeks, and I just turned it in on Friday– yay!
No matter how busy my week gets I always try to make at least one or two recipes from scratch in large enough batches that I can mostly live off of them. (Except for my Tuesday night sweet potato fries before class. Couldn’t make it without those!)
I don’t generally document my savory kitchen adventures because I rarely make significant adjustments to the recipe, and I’m usually focused on eating rather than taking pictures. But lately I’ve made some recipes that were so good I just have to share them with you! (And document them here so I can find them again in the future.)
Baked Avocado Tacos
I was trying to recreate a fried avocado taco I’ve had at a food truck round up several times here in town. Here is what I came up with, pulling from so many recipes on the internet I don’t even remember all of them.
I CAN say this– I will never buy another friend avocado taco again. These are so easy, much cheaper, and BETTER!
- 2 avocados, halved.
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Panko (I used Japanese spiced panko for added flavor)
- 3/4 t cumin
- 3/4 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
- sprinkling of salt and pepper
- Cut the halved avocados lengthwise into 3-6 strips based on how thick you want your avocado pieces to be. I think I did about five strips per half.
- Mix olive oil and buttermilk in a small bowl.
- Mix panko and spices in another small bowl.
- Dip avocado pieces in liquid mixture, then coat in panko mixture.
- Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes, until the coating turns a golden brown color.
Cilantro Yogurt Drizzle
- 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1-2 T lime, to taste
- Optional: garlic or garlic powder, to taste
- Mix all ingredients together. (Easy!)
Pickled Red Onions
Here I used The Kitchn’s recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-quickpickled-red-onions-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-193247
It was super easy and delicious. You can use them after about 20 minutes, and I continued to use mine all week. They only got more delicious!
- Warm a taco-size tortilla
- Spread cilantro sauce along the middle
- Top with pickled red onions
- Add 2-3 slices of baked avocado
- Eat so so many!
Thai Peanut Soup with Grilled Peanut Butter Croutons
This recipe is also AMAZING! I made it for a potluck with my cohort last week and everyone gave it rave reviews. It was the first time I’d ever made soup and I am already planning to make it again this week. The peanut flavor is actually not as forward as the title would make you think. It’s very creamy and the peanut and coconut flavors pair well with the cayenne. The croutons sound weird, I know– but trust me. You need them in your life.
The minor changes I made were to use sesame oil instead of peanut oil (it’s what I had), I used a whole half an onion, and I added scallions at the end in addition to the cilantro. Next time I plan to cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave and make this even easier!
Butternut Squash Mac and “Cheese” with Veggie Bacon
I followed a recipe from Connoisseurusveg: http://www.connoisseurusveg.com/2015/09/buffalo-butternut-mac-with-or-without-tofu-bacon.html
I used pre-packaged tempeh bacon instead of making tofu bacon. It was easier, but also I thought the texture of tempeh would be a better contrast for the soft noodles than tofu.
Since I’m not vegan I didn’t bother with the soy milk, and I used a good squirt of sriracha instead of the cayenne hot sauce. I did add some cayenne pepper too. I definitely had to add about another half a cup of liquid to even get my sauce to blend correctly, and then I thinned it out a little more in the pan with the noodles too.
I was a little hesitant to try this because I didn’t see how something without any cheese could be as good as mac and cheese, but this is really yummy. I think it does a good job of filling that “mac and cheese” niche. (Though if I had a serious craving I’d just make the old fashioned kind.) Regardless of whether you bill it as mac and cheese or just a saucy pasta, please give it a try. The butternut squash does give it a good creamy texture and the sriracha and cayenne give it a great heat that builds as you eat it. The tempeh bacon is a nice contrast and a punch of salt. I will absolutely make this again too!