Check In + Boston Restaurants

Good morning! I just wanted to check in with you guys since I didn’t post yesterday.

The reason I haven’t posted is not because I haven’t been cooking. I’ve cooked a crustless quiche and a vegan split pea soup recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t think either were very good. They definitely were not blog-worthy.

Last night I remade my Thai Red Curry recipe, this time with mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, and green pepper. This recipe is one of my staples when I don’t want to make something new. It’s also great when you’ve got a bunch of leftover veggies in the fridge!

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(See how few veggies the original recipe calls for? So much room for those leftover veg!)

I’ve got a recipe on deck for tonight that I’m quite hopeful for, so check back in tomorrow (fingers crossed) for a new recipe.

I’ve also been thinking more and more about getting into my own recipe development. More often than not, I significantly alter the dishes I find or think of ways that I could. On the other hand, my kitchen is tiny and not exactly conducive to creativity & experimentation. So we shall see..

In other news, now that it’s FINALLY getting warm and sunny out again, my boyfriend and I have started to actually leave the house on the weekends. (I feel like I’ve spent the past 4 or 5 months spending weekends curled up on the couch watching Netflix and eating takeout. Exaggeration, but seriously this winter was so awful).

We’ve created (well, updated) a map with all the restaurants and bars we want to go to. I’m going to try to briefly review these places and post about them here, so if you live in the area, look for that.

And now I’m off for a run. Happy last day of March!

Peanut Butter Basil Tempeh with Broccoli

Some weeks I want to eat peanut butter straight from the jar, especially when I open up a brand new one. While this sounds delicious, it also inevitably leads me to eating too much, a stomachache, and regret.

So instead of doing this, I just put peanut butter in all my food: oatmeal in the morning, an afternoon smoothie, and a peanut sauce at night. (Yes, I really love peanut butter that much.) Monday, the peanut butter made it into Thai Sweet Potato Nachos. Tuesday, it made it into this Peanut Butter Basil Tempeh with Broccoli.

This recipe is an easy stir-fry that only takes about 1/2 an hour to throw together.

Start by making the tempeh marinade. Combine lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a dish.

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Chop up the tempeh into cubes and add to the marinade. Marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish, or up to 30 minutes. Be sure to stir the cubes a few times.

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Next make the peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, water, soy sace, maple syrup, lime juice, and ginger.

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Chop up about 6 cups of broccoli, 1 clove garlic, and 1/4 cup basil leaves.

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Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh cubes, reserving the marinade. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping several times to ensure even browning.

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Add the reserved marinade and cook for another minute.

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Place tempeh on a plate. Add some more oil to the skillet and raise heat to medium-high. Add broccoli and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp.

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Add peanut sauce and cook for 1 minute more. Add some water if skillet becomes too dry.

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Reduce heat to medium-low and add tempeh. Cook for a few minutes to reheat.

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Turn off heat and stir in basil.

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Serve by itself or over some cooked rice or quinoa.

Here is the recipe, slightly modified from Connoisseurus Veg:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger, divided
  • 2 garlic clove, minced, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1-8 oz. package of tempeh, diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium broccoli crown, chopped into florets
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, packed, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Whisk together 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp ginger, and 1 clove garlic in a small bowl. Chop tempeh into cubes and add to marinade. Toss to coat. Marinade while you prep the rest of the dish, or up to 30 minutes.
2. Make the peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, water, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, maple syrup, 1 Tbsp lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp ginger.
3. Chop up broccoli, remaining garlic clove, and basil
4. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Add tempeh cubes, reserving marinade. Cook about 8 minutes, flipping a few times, until evenly browned.
5. Add marinade to skillet and continue cooking until liquid has cooked off, about 1 minute more. Transfer tempeh to a plate.
6. Add more oil to skillet and raise heat to medium-high. Add garlic and broccoli. Stir-fry until broccoli is tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Add peanut sauce and cook about 1 minute more, just until heated through and ingredients are incorporated. Add a few tablespoons of water if skillet becomes too dry.
8. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tempeh back to skillet. Cook for a few minutes to reheat.
9. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serve by itself or over rice or quinoa.

Thai Sweet Potato Nachos

The title of this recipe is misleading. This recipe doesn’t actually taste like nachos. It might look a bit like nachos with a strange texture, but that’s about it. On the bright side, it’s much healthier than a plate of nachos.

This Thai Sweet Potato Nachos recipe gets its name from thinly sliced sweet potato slices that are roasted and topped with veggies, peanut sauce, and peanuts.

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OK I guess it does look kind of pretty :)

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop your sweet potato in 1/8 inch thick slices. Place on 2 baking sheets in an even layer and spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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(This is sheet 1 of 2)

Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, make the peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and water.

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Next finely chop the vegetables: 1 red bell pepper, 1 carrot (grated), and 1/2 cup each of scallions and cilantro.

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(My boyfriend chopped and arranged all the veggies all pretty; Thanks babe 😀 )

Lastly, chop up 1/4 cup peanuts. I wasn’t sure how to actually chop them without having peanuts fly everywhere, so I threw them in my rocket blender with the grinder attachment. If you’ve got any type of grinder, this is probably easiest. Unfortunately, this didn’t evenly chop them up, but rather ground 2/3 of it almost to powder and left the rest intact. Still tasted alright though!

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To assemble, place a layer of sweet potatoes on a plate. Top with a tablespoon (or slightly more) of peanut sauce. Sprinkle red pepper, carrot, scallions, and cilantro on top. Top with ground peanuts. And don’t forget to squeeze some lime juice over the dish at the end!

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Here is the recipe, modified from Oh My Veggies:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (ideally about 6 cups, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
  • olive oil spray/mister
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 2 limes, halved

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Slice sweet potatoes into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Place the sweet potato slices on two baking sheets that have been sprayed with oil. They should be side-by-side, but not overlapping. Spray the tops with additional oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the slices over and bake for about 10 minutes more, until just beginning to crisp. Remove from the oven.
4. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the peanut sauce. Whisk together peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. If the sauce is too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time. Add red pepper flakes or sriracha to taste, if using.
5.Chop up red pepper, carrots, cilantro, scallions, and peanuts.
6. Divide the sweet potato slices onto 4 plates and drizzle them with about 1-1/2 Tbsp peanut sauce each. Top with the diced pepper, shredded carrot, cilantro, green onions, and roasted peanuts and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

If you manage to trick someone into thinking they’re eating nachos, good for you. If that doesn’t work, hopefully they’ll still enjoy this dish. It’s very flavorful (lime juice makes everything better) and has great crunch from the raw veggies and peanuts. Enjoy!