Thai Chicken Bowls

Thai Chicken Bowls | cookiemonstercooking.com

Thai Chicken Bowls | cookiemonstercooking.com

If we’re being honest, today I feel like I have nothing to say.  My husband is probably laughing and shaking his head as he’s reading this, since he is of the belief that I ALWAYS have something to say.  I may be known to ramble on and on about silly things while he’s trying to watch TV or do whatever he does, and he is usually happy when I return home from hanging out with friends since he thinks I’m talked out.  Ha!  Like that would ever happen.  Please now, who does he think I am?

But maybe it can happen?  Hmmm dare I say the husband could be right?  In this case I actually haven’t talked much at all today but here I am staring at my computer screen and nothing.  Nada.

Thai Chicken Bowls | cookiemonstercooking.com

And we really enjoyed these thai chicken bowls so I can’t even blame the chicken.  Instead I’ll blame the dreary weather – it’s dragging me down.  Making my concentration fly away.  So instead I’ve spent a large chunk of time being snoopy and watching people from the window in my office.  Because people watching is fascinating.

People watching while enjoying a leftover bowl of this meal right here is even better.  Like that transition today?  So smooth huh?

This is definitely a great weeknight meal right here.  So many layers of goodness in one dish.  Crispy veggies, sweet pineapple and chicken flavored up with peanut sauce (I prefer my homemade version but you could definitely use store-bought!) and then served on top of a bed of coconut rice, my favorite.  Throw in some cashews for even more crunch and finish it off with a bit of sriracha for some kick.

And … and … you can prep different parts of it ahead of time, which will make it even faster.  Make the coconut rice in the morning or the day before, cook the chicken breasts or even use a rotisserie chicken!

Thai Chicken Bowls | cookiemonstercooking.com

This really is a winner winner chicken dinner.  I know, I know, I used that phrase last week.  Do you see what I mean?  I got nothing.

Thai Chicken Bowls

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

Thai Chicken Bowls

Ingredients

    For the rice:*
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the bowls:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 3 cups coleslaw mix or sliced cabbage**
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • ½ cup peanut sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • sriracha, for serving

Instructions

  1. To make the rice - add the rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, give it a good stir, then cover and turn down the heat to medium-low / low. Let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat (leaving the cover on) and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. To make the bowls - set a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are crisp tender. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the pineapple chunks, cabbage and green onions. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the pineapple is warm and the cabbage is wilted down. Turn down the heat to low and add in the chicken, cashews and peanut sauce. Stir to combine. Season with salt to taste (I added about ½ to ¾ teaspoon - it will depend on how salty the peanut sauce is that you use).
  3. To serve, spoon some of the rice into a bowl. Top with some of the vegetable chicken mixture. Garnish with cilantro and serve with sriracha if desired.

Notes

*The amount of liquid required and the cooking time for the rice will vary depending on brand. For the kind I buy, I use the amounts listed. If your package suggests something different, use the same amount of coconut milk listed above and then adjust the water. Additionally, keep an eye on it and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Regular white basmati rice also works if you can’t find brown!

**I had no intention of using a coleslaw mix for this recipe but the last few weeks at the grocery store I could not find a regular ol’ cabbage! I planned to use sliced napa cabbage but had no luck buying any, so just use whatever you have!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/04/09/thai-chicken-bowls/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Let me introduce you to my new favorite weekend breakfast.  I made this on a whim one morning when I was trying to use up some leftover sweet potatoes I had laying around.  We loved it so much that I made it for the next several weeks straight.  And then I clearly had to make it again to grab photos and share here with you.  Twist my arm.

But one try and I bet that you’ll be hooked too.  And … and … it’s really easy.  Like maybe a little too easy to be sharing but whatevs.  We all love simple recipes right?

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Plus there are eggs involved.  I would probably put eggs on just about everything if I could … runny yolks, I mean come on.  How can you resist?

And then combine them with sweet potatoes spiced up with my other favs (hello cumin and smoked paprika … are you sick of me talking about them yet?) and you have one heck of a breakfast.  Or breakfast for dinner?  I would totally go there except my husband likes to throw a bit of a hissy fit when I try to pull the breakfast for dinner thing.  Correction – a super manly hissy fit since I know he’s not going to like that term.

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet | cookiemonstercooking.com

Awesomeness that only dirties one skillet.  That’s a win right there friends.

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Yield: about 4 servings

Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • salsa, for serving
  • hot sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the potatoes and then sprinkle with the cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne. Give it a good stir then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add in the vegetable broth, give it another good stir then re-cover and let cook for about 10 more minutes, until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. If the skillet starts to get too dry (i.e. the potatoes are sticking to the bottom, add in a little more vegetable broth, a tablespoon or two at a time - especially right before you add the cheese/eggs).
  2. When the potatoes are tender, sprinkle the pepper jack cheese evenly over the top. Next, make four small wells in the sweet potatoes (leaving a few sweet potatoes at the bottom of each well) and then break the eggs into the wells. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to medium low / low and let cook until the eggs are set and the yolks are to your desired doneness (for me this was about 6 minutes).
  3. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the cilantro and green onions. Serve with salsa and hot sauce, if desired.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/26/southwest-sweet-potato-breakfast-skillet/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup | cookiemonstercooking.com

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup | cookiemonstercooking.com

You didn’t think I was done sharing soups with you since it’s Spring right?  Honestly, it doesn’t really feel all that spring-like at the moment anyway.  It’s been flipping back and forth between warmer weather and cold, dreary rain.  And we might get some snow on Tuesday.  I’m soooo over it.  I’m ready for nice sunny days.  Period.  But mother nature doesn’t feel like listening to me I guess.  No soup for her.

But there is plenty of soup for me … and you.  And guess who else?  My not-so-very-well mannered little beagle.  The day I was taking photos of this soup the FedEx guy came and I had to sign for a package.  I was gone for maybe 30 seconds …. 30 seconds!!  And I came back to find her straddling a chair with her two paws up on the table … lapping up the soup.

She didn’t seem to care when I yelled at her for touching the food.  She was too excited about getting some this chard and lentil vegetable soup in her tummy.

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup | cookiemonstercooking.com

And I mean it is really tasty so I guess I can’t fault her for that.  This is one of those soups that I think is perfect for the transition from winter to spring – comforting and warm yet still nice and light.

It is full of different veggies, including one of my favorites at the moment – swiss chard.  Can’t get enough.  And then with a good amount of lentils, for a little bulk.  Healthy, filling and satisfying.  It goes perfect with a loaf of crusty bread for dinner … or with some pita chips the next day for lunch.

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup | cookiemonstercooking.com

So go make a big bowl of this soup – but keep it away from any hungry beagles in your life.  They can’t be trusted.  Nope nope nope.

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Chard and Lentil Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Set a large stockpot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion. Cook until it starts to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the carrots and zucchini. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, lentils, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce the heat to medium / medium-low and let simmer for about 35 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add in the swiss chard and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some parmesan cheese.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/24/chard-lentil-vegetable-soup/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms | cookiemonstercooking.com

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms | cookiemonstercooking.com

I made you something good.  As in I can’t stop thinking about them good.  As in I made them over and over just to “test” the recipe one more time … even though that wasn’t really necessary after a certain point.  But it gave me an excuse to eat them again so I rolled with it.  I think it’s safe to say that we realllllly liked these.

Plus, little pop-able enchilada stuffed mushrooms are the perfect way to start this week off with a bang.  And we all need a little excitement on a Monday.  For sure.

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms | cookiemonstercooking.com

So let’s talk stuffed mushrooms.  These babies are versatile.  Need a fun appetizer?  Done.  Or an easy weeknight dinner to serve alongside a big salad and some crusty bread?  And done again.

Plus it’s hard not to fall head over heels for these.  Juicy, tender mushrooms packed with chicken, black beans, plenty of cheese and spice.  Oh and they’re smothered in enchilada sauce.  A little messy but the deliciousness makes up for that.  Promise.

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms | cookiemonstercooking.com

Now, who wants to give me an excuse to make these again?   Any takers?

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

Yield: about 24 to 28 mushrooms

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce, divided
  • ¾ cup shredded cooked chicken
  • ½ cup cooked black beans*
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • ¾ to 1 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • lime wedges, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean the mushrooms then gently pop out the stems (you can discard these). Set aside. Add ½ cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Tilt the pan back and forth so that the sauce evenly coats the bottom. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the chicken, black beans, cream cheese, chipotle, cumin, paprika, cheddar cheese and another ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce. Mix until well combined. Fill each mushroom cap with a good amount of the filling and then place the caps in the prepared baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the tops of the mushrooms. Top each mushroom with a little bit of the pepper jack cheese.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are nice and hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with the cilantro and green onions then serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Notes

*I used a little under ½ of a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to get this amount.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/10/enchilada-stuffed-mushrooms/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes | cookiemonstercooking.com

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes | cookiemonstercooking.com

You didn’t think we were done talking about farro, now did you?  You know my obsessions don’t go away that quickly.  They like to stick around for a while.  To the point where my husband complains that I need to stop making so many meals with whatever it is at a given time.  Hmpf.  Uncool I tell you.  But I just retort with my standard, well I’m cooking so I get to pick what we eat.  I can be so lovely huh?

So this brings me back to farro.  I’ve really been loving playing around with it in the kitchen.  My husband mentioned some time ago that I never make sloppy joes … so I decided to fix that.  Although I replaced the meat with farro.  I don’t think it’s exactly what he had in mind…

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes | cookiemonstercooking.com

But!  We actually BOTH enjoyed these.  And they have gone into regular rotation at our house.  Although I should probably ease off them for a bit.  My husband currently has one arm in a sling … sloppy joes are messy to begin with but virtually impossible to eat one handed.  We may have discovered that when I made these not even thinking about the fact that even regular sandwiches are difficult for him to eat at the moment.  Whoops.

Now obviously these are not exactly like regular full-of-meat sloppy joes but the base flavors are there … and quite frankly they are delicious.  The farro is tender but nice and chewy.  And personally I think makes a great substitute to create a nice and “meaty” dish.

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes | cookiemonstercooking.com

And we all know that burgers, sloppy joes and the like make a great friday night meal.  What are you waiting for??

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes

Yield: 4 servings

Vegetarian Farro Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • pinch of cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • burger buns or rolls, for serving
  • sliced cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Set a large stockpot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion, carrot and pepper. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Add in the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, mustard powder and cayenne. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the farro. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add in the broth, tomato sauce, worcestershire, vinegar and brown sugar.
  2. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover, turn down the heat to medium / medium-low and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.* The farro should be tender and a little chewy. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
  3. To serve, spoon on a burger bun (we like to toast the buns first!). You can also top with cheese, if desired.

Notes

*A lot of brands of worcestershire sauce are not vegetarian - so be sure to read the label / ingredients to check!

**I used pearled farro since that’s the kind I can find at my local stores. If you use semi-pearled or whole farro, you’ll have to increase the cooking time. Just keep simmering until the liquid is almost all absorbed and the farro is nice and tender but still a little chewy.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/07/vegetarian-farro-sloppy-joes/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus | cookiemonstercooking.com

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus | cookiemonstercooking.com

It’s Friday.  It’s Friday.  It’s Friday!!  Someone is excited huh?  I have a hot date with my couch tonight and frankly it’s never looked better.  My husband has been home for the last week recovering from surgery and he’s built this “nest” as we’ve been calling it on the couch.  And honestly it’s sort of the best thing ever – tons of blankets and pillows – like an awesome cocoon of soft fluffy goodness.

I may have plans to steal it for a bit this evening.  Would that make me a bad wife??

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus | cookiemonstercooking.com

But before I park myself in the pile of blankets that is calling my name, we must do dinner.  A quick and easy dinner to be exact.  Like that transition?  I’m so smooth.

Because we need to talk about food for at least a few minutes.  It’s meals like this that have been getting me through the last few days.  Simple, delicious and plenty of leftovers for lunch.

Chop up a few greek salad-esq veggies, add in a light dressing and then spoon it into a pita pocket with some hummus and fresh spinach.  You can’t go wrong with that.

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus | cookiemonstercooking.com

And then take your plate and go sit inside your fort made of blankets.  I’m seriously considering making the “nest” a permanent fixture on our couch.  No judging until you’ve tried it!

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus

Yield: 4 to 6 sandwiches, depending on how full you stuff them

Greek Pita Pockets with Hummus

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • For assembling:
  • 4 to 6 whole wheat pitas, cut in half
  • hummus
  • baby spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. To make the filling - add the red onion, cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, feta, oregano, salt and red pepper to a medium bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Toss until well combined.
  2. To assemble - smear the desired amount of hummus on the inside of a pita. Place a handful of spinach on top of the hummus. Using a slotted spoon to get rid of any excess liquid, spoon in some of the filling. Serve immediately.

Notes

I personally don’t like olives - they are just not my thing. At all. But if you like them, add them into the filling!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/21/greek-pita-pockets-hummus/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza | cookiemonstercooking.com

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza | cookiemonstercooking.com

Let’s kick this week off on the right foot.  Because boy do I need it.  Life has been sort of insane lately.  Without me getting all whiny and complainy, let’s just say that I bit off more than I could chew.  Story of my life.

Combine that with some other factors beyond my control and that equals one stressed out lady.  But it’s cool.  I’m dealing with it … although I’m not sure if my husband would agree with that statement.  He gets to see me all kinds of crazy on a regular basis.  The first step is admitting that you have a problem though right???

But anyway, homemade pizza does do wonders to calm me down … all that cheesy goodness I guess.  True fact.  Cheese = happiness.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza | cookiemonstercooking.com

And this flavor combo … is killer.  Hands down my favorite pizza right now.  The “sauce” is a slightly smoky black bean puree and then you can go right ahead and top it will some sautéed sweet potatoes, red onion and plenty of manchego cheese (which let’s just put it out there that I am utterly and completely obsessed with at the moment).

Pull it out of the oven and then throw on some cilantro and creamy delicious avocado.  Gah, I die.  So so good.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza | cookiemonstercooking.com

So, stressed out?  Stuff your face with a few slices of this sweet potato and black bean pizza.  You’ll feel all sorts of better, promise.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza

Yield: 1 large pizza

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Pizza

Ingredients

    For the pizza:
  • 1 ball pizza dough
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • about ¾ of a small sweet potato, sliced into rounds about ⅛ inch thick
  • about 1 cup freshly grated manchego cheese
  • ½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • For serving:
  • chopped cilantro
  • sliced avocado

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place a pizza stone in the oven and allow the stone to heat for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and allow the dough to relax for about 10 minutes (but no longer than 30). Roll out and shape the dough and then transfer to a piece of parchment the size of your pizza stone that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal.
  3. Meanwhile, add the black beans, garlic, chipotle pepper, paprika, cumin, salt and vegetable broth to a food processor. Process until smooth (and a sort of thick puree forms). Set aside.
  4. Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the sliced sweet potato and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Brush the edges of the pizza dough lightly with olive oil. Spread the black bean puree on the dough, using a spatula to smear it evenly (it will be a thicker layer). Sprinkle the pizza with the cheese. Top with the sweet potato slices and red onion.
  6. Transfer to the oven (put the parchment paper with the pizza directly on the pizza stone). Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle with the cilantro and top with the sliced avocado. Serve immediately.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/02/18/sweet-potato-black-bean-pizza/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

You know those restaurants where you just order the exact same thing over and over and over?  And you actually have no idea if the rest of the food is even any good because you stick to the same dish every single time you go?

So that’s me with this one particular restaurant down the street from our house.  While I usually branch out and try new things, I am completely stuck on this one salad from their menu.  I order it every. single. time.  No exceptions.

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

According to my husband the rest of the food is totally fine, although nothing to write home about, so I figured it was time to recreate something similar at home.  Save him from me forcing us to go to said restaurant just so I can get my salad.

So here it is.  And guess what?  I’m of course completely stuck on this version too.  We’ve had it a few too many times over the last couple of weeks.

Crispy greens topped with soba noodles and a whole pile of toppings – like feta, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and cucumbers.  And then there’s a delicious lemony vinaigrette to go along with it.

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

I am not one to turn down a delicious plate of piled high noodles.  Especially when I can call it a salad.

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Soba Noodle and Pine Nut Salad

Ingredients

    For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • about 8 ounces soba noodles
  • ½ to ¾ cup crumbled feta
  • ⅓ to ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained, patted dry and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ to ½ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ to ½ cup pine nuts
  • about 5 ounces mixed greens
  • sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing - add the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the olive oil and whisk vigorously until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To make the salad - bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the soba noodles and cook until al dente (according to the package directions). Drain and then rinse well with cold water. Transfer the noodles to a medium bowl. Add in half of the dressing. Toss to combine.
  3. In another medium bowl, add the feta, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and pine nuts. Toss to combine.
  4. Add some of the mixed greens to each serving bowl. Top with some of the soba noodles and then some of the veggie mixture. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Drizzle with the reserved dressing as desired.

Notes

This would also be great with some sliced chicken, etc. to bulk it up even more.

Some of the amounts in the recipe are approximate since I feel like salads are like pizzas - everyone likes a different amount of toppings. I use the higher amounts but adjust to what you enjoy!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/01/08/soba-noodle-pine-nut-salad/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Mexican Couscous Salad

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

It’s that time of the year.  You know, when you realize you’ve eaten a few too many cookies during the holidays and didn’t go for a run as often as you would have liked.  Combine that with stress from travel and general life craziness … and then add in some more cookies for good measure.

As cliché as it may be, it really is a great time of the year to do a sort of reset, if you will.  We eat really healthy about 80 to 90 percent of the time, but after the holiday nuttiness my body is always craving good-for-me food.  And whispering that I should probably take a step back from the sugar and butter.

At least for a little bit.

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

So let’s talk an easy weeknight dinner or even a great lunch option.  Mexican couscous salad.  I’m down with pretty much anything that has mexican flavors … and especially something that is light, filling and is good for you in a sneaky sort of way.

And by sneaky I mean it is packed with veggies, whole grains, some protein and a smoky chipotle honey dressing.  And it tastes delicious and you won’t even be thinking about sugar.  Or chocolate.  Well, at least when you’re eating this salad.

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

I’m definitely down with that.  2014 you’re off to a good start.

Mexican Couscous Salad

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings

Mexican Couscous Salad

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn (fresh would also work)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup feta crumbles
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. To make the salad - add the water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the couscous. Give it a good stir then cover and turn down the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed (it should be cooked but al dente). Immediately drain the couscous and rinse well with cold water (to stop the cooking). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the red onion. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the corn, cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt. Continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the couscous.
  3. Add the black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and feta to the bowl with the couscous. Toss to combine.
  4. To make the dressing - in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, minced chipotle pepper and salt until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Season with additional salt and/or pepper if needed.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/01/03/mexican-couscous-salad/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking