It’s no secret that I love ramen, but most ramen-ya don’t offer many vegetarian options. For a weekend treat, we gave some instant noodles an upgrade. Oodles of noodles topped with dry-fried tofu, baby bok choy, scallions, nori, and sriracha sauce. John loved the dry-fried tofu, while I couldn’t get enough of the tender bok choy.
When John was in DC for the weekend, I took the opportunity to cook something mushroomy. I was first introduced to paprikash when I was living in Pittsburgh. One of our studio projects was in Hazelwood, where there was a Hungarian restaurant. They really knew how to make a delicious chicken paprikash.
This version using mushrooms is perfect since my chicken eating days are over. I paired this dish with the Chardonnay (nothing fancy spancy) that I used for cooking. I’ll have to open an good Pinot Noir with earthy/spicy flavors next time.
Easy Mushroom Paprikash
Recipe from Vegetarian Times
30 minutes or fewer. Serves 4.
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 cups sliced mushrooms (10 oz)
1 medium bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (1½ cups)
½ cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp hot or sweet paprika (I used 3 Tbsp paprika and 1 tsp cayenne pepper)
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and onion; reduce heat to medium. Sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add wine, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in flour and paprika. Add tomatoes and 1/2 cup water, and cook 3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
Cool, and refrigerate in airtight container up to 5 days. Warm in saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir sour cream into warm paprikash mixture just before serving.
Lunch with Angela at Souen after a mani/pedi. Last time I visited Souen, I fell in love with their natural, organic food. Angela ordered the fish lunch special ($11.75) with broiled teriyaki salmon, soda and steamed greens. My Kuzu Stew ($12.50) was packed with broccoli, cauliflower, napa cabbage, carrots, snow peas, shiitake and onions in a ginger kuzu sauce. Beautiful and delicious!
Friday dinner at Cafe Habana with Alice and Emily. I had dinner at Cafe Habana once, about 3 years ago. Very popular spot. We had to wait around 45 minutes or so. Kind of a long wait for tacos and sangria, but it’s NYC… there’s always a wait.
Grilled Corn with chili powder, lime and cotija cheese ($4.25). Apparently the corn is a really big deal! I didn’t try it through. Maybe next time…Sincronizada ($6.95) – Small black bean and sun dried tomato tortillas with Mozzerella cheese and avocado. Lots of cheese and avocado. So melty, so creamy. Vegetarian Tacos ($8.95) – grilled cactus tacos with fresh queso fresco, sauteed red onion, rice, beans and salsa verde. Cactus! Pretty similar to bell peppers, but a little more juicy. Love tacos and even the rice was really tasty. Probably had a lot of butter. ;)
More avocado love! <3 Surprisingly, this is the first time I’ve roasted avocados. I know hot avocado seems a bit odd, but trust, this is amazing. Roasting the avocados softens them up, transforming them into insanely creamy goodness. Next time I make guacamole, I’m roasting the avocados first.
I doubled the recipe since I had 2 ripe avocados that had to be eaten ASAP. I didn’t have red onions handy, so I used yellow onions instead. Not bad, but the red onions would have added better flavor and color.
Roasted Avocado & Couscous Salad
Click here for original recipe
1 large avocado
1/2 cup couscous
1/4 small red onion, peeled & finely diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 oz mixed salad greens
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Cut avocado into quarters, lengthwise, discarding stone and peel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until hot and sizzling and starting to go a little golden at the edges.
Meanwhile, place couscous and onion in a heatproof bowl and pour over 1/2 cup boiling water. Season and stir through a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Cover and stand until needed.
Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Season.
To serve, fluff couscous with a wire whisk or a fork. Toss leaves and couscous through dressing and arrange on a platter or 2 plates. Top with hot avocado.
I recently came across this grilled cheese sandwich recipe with pesto, mozzarella, spinach, avocado and goat cheese as the filling. Sounds delicious, right? I’ve also seen a lot of vegan grilled “cheese” recipes that use creamy avocado as the “cheese”. We’re avocado fanatics and quesadilla enthusiasts, so it was only natural to combine the two into a delicious cheese-free quesadilla. Corn tortillas, sliced ripe avocados, fresh spinach leaves. Yum. And of course, we had to have more avocado on the side!
Another delicious date night! Dinner at Giogio’s of Gramercy with a coupon from Bloomspot. We’ve been here once for my birthday, and I’ve always wanted the excuse to come back. This time around, we were seated further inside, surrounded by velvety red walls and smooth jazz. A lovely candle lit dinner. (Unfortunately, the dim lighting wasn’t good for photos, but you get the idea from the photos.)
The menu wasn’t the most veggie friendly, but we had some solid options. I don’t eat fish, but I occasionally eat seafood, and Giorgio’s has scallops! How can I turn that down?!
Appetizer #1: Buffalo mozzarella, grilled ciabatta, apricot preserve, rosemary infused olive oil. The apricot preserve was my favorite part of this dish. A nice surprise hidden between the creamy mozzarella and ciabatta.
Appetizer #2: Chickpeas, avocado, hearts of palm, orange segments, roasted tomatoes, honey, dijon mustard. The combination of chickpeas, avocado and dijon mustard was light, but creamy. Quite addictive too.
John’s entree: Baked macaroni with fontina, smoked cheddar, asiago, broccoli, leeks, garlic. I didn’t taste this, but judging from how happy John looked, it must have been quite tasty. Just the thought of that combination of cheeses makes me hungry. It’s never occurred to me to add leeks to mac and cheese. Must try that at home sometime!
My entree: Caramelized sea scallops with cauliflower fondue & florets, golden raisins, roasted almonds, balsamic glaze. Ordered this last time we had dinner here. Watching Hell’s Kitchen has made me crave scallops lately, and these scallops totally hit the spot. Large, juicy scallops, perfectly caramelized. I was in foodie heaven. The cauliflower fondue was lightly sweet and creamy. Everything just melted in my mouth. Amazing. I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Dessert: Creme Brulee topped with amarena cherries. How can you not love creme brulee?! John originally wanted the rice pudding, but I convinced him that we needed some creme brulee in our lives. ;) He was not disappointed. The cherries were delicious! and packed a bit of a punch.