Stuffed Bell peppers

For those living in Arizona I HIGHLY recommend you look up Market on the Move. It is an amazing market where you can get 60 lbs of fresh seasonal produce for $10!!! When I lived in Arizona I used to go as often as possible and one thing I always got were bell peppers, and stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite meals.

So there are a few different ways you can make them- just depends on your preference.

Ingredients:

Bell peppers (if you don’t get the ones that stand you can just cut them in half- like pictured), tomato paste (I use canned tomatoes and then blend them- but you can use any kind of tomato sauce including spaghetti sauce), Rice, ground meat (in this recipe I use turkey, but I also use ground beef often), onions, cheese

When I made this recipe today I cooked the meat and rice because I am a bit paranoid about the meat not getting cooked through. However in the paste I have made it without cooking the meat and rice I just had to add more sauce to make sure it didn’t burn. I have to say that by letting it cook in the sauce while in the oven does taste better, but you need to do what you feel comfortable with.

When cooking the meat and onions, in order to not use oil I cooked them in the tomato sauce:

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I then combine the meat and rice in a bowl.

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This can also be done a few different ways. I highly recommend having some sort of sauce at the bottom of the pan (to cook the bell peppers). In this case I filled the bell peppers and then added the rest of the mixture (and a lil red wine since I ran out of sauce) to the area around the bell peppers

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Finally I toped it all with cheese.

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I covered it with aluminum foil, put it in the oven at 400 f for 30 minutes and then took the foil off and kept it in for another 10 minutes (so the cheese could get crispy). If you didn’t cook the meat before you need to leave it in longer (I would say min 40 minutes).

Enjoy!!!

Pineapple chicken

So on Sunday we had very few ingredients at home, and living in Austria means that nothing is open.

Thankfully though we had enough to make this super simple, but filling, dish. IMG_0017

Ingredients:

Chicken, pineapple, soy sauce (can also use teriyaki sauce), rice

When I make this I try and get as much flavor in the dish as possible and use as little oil as possible. So when I make the rice I use 1 cup rice, 1 cup water, and 1 cup of pineapple juice (normally I use canned pineapple so this is a really good way not to waste the juice from the can).

Then to make the chicken I add a little soy sauce instead of oil. Once the chicken is white (but not all the way cooked through) I add the pineapple juice and remaining juice (pictured below). IMG_0016

I let this mixture cook until chicken is cooked through and the pineapple is a lil brown.

Place the chicken & pineapple mixture on top of the rice and add Sriracha sauce if you’d like. IMG_0018

I like mine in a bowl but Michael prefers the deep plate (pictured at the top of the post).

Turkey burgers

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These burgers are amazing and definitely a favorite in our apartment. This is another recipe I got from Pinterest, and slightly modified based on my kitchen. You can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients:

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Burger: ground Turkey, feta cheese, red onion, spices (Italian or Greek preferred), egg, garlic

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Sauce: sour cream & Italian spices

First mix all burger ingredients together in a bowl

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Then form balls. In my case I have this grill and when I close it the hamburgs are easily formed, but in the past I have also molded hamburgers by hand and used a pan.

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Once cooked all the way through serve on toasted hamburger bun, lettuce (if you’d like) and the sauce (which is a mixture of Italian spices and sour cream), and serve with fruit. IMG_0009

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Southwest Salad

Over the weekend it was surprisingly warm in Graz! I’m not used to cooking meals for warm days anymore but thankfully Jen over at Carlsbad Cravings had the perfect solution! A Southwest Salad.

Since this is not my recipe I did not take photos of everything, but it was so good I had to share! IMG_0012

Here is my version, which is only slightly different from Jen’s (mainly due to which ingredients I had on hand).

In my version I did not include cheese, bell peppers, or sunflower seeds & in the sauce I did not include Salsa. However one thing I did add was chicken pieces to add a bit of protein.

Original Recipe here.

I highly recommend this salad! Especially for a warm day, and it’s so customizable you can really make it how you’d like.

Noodle box

So in Graz right now a popular fast food “meal” is a noodle box. You can buy it from a stand on the street or even in a restaurant, and the types vary. However I wanted to try to make it at home and possibly a little healthier.

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The ingredients you’ll need:

noodles (in the photo Soba noodles are shown but I have also used wholewheat pasta and thought it turned out even better)

Vegetables (any type of vegetables you like. I have used peas and carrots in the past, broccoli and cauliflower, pretty much any type of frozen vegetables I have in my freezer).

optional: Chicken for protein (I have made this without chicken and it turned out well but having some sort of protein will help keep you full after! Some of the restaurants also use shrimp)

For the sauce:

Soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger

Toping: Sriracha Sauce

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First cook the noodles and vegetables (I put them in the same pot and just drain it all when finished) and cook the chicken (anyway you like).

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Make the sauce by mixing all ingredients ( I do not measure but do it by taste- this will depend on your own preference).

When everything is cooked drain the noodles and vegetables and mix the mixture, meat, and sauce together (I mix it in the post so that I don’t dirty unnecessary dishes).

Hope you enjoy this healthier take on a fast food meal.

Styrian Schnitzel

Last weekend Michael and I (and a few other friends from Arizona) visited Daria and Ernan in Vienna. Since two other friends from America were with us we decided it was about time we cooked and posted an Austrian meal!

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Traditional Wiener Schnitzel comes from Vienna and is made with Veal. This dish differs from that because we used Pork (cheaper and ethically I prefer it over Veal), and in combination with the breading we added ground pumpkin seeds (This is the part that makes it Styrian).  Also the picture shown above shows two types of Schnitzel. The one towards the right is breaded and fried and the one in the center is gluten free (for this one we only used ground pumpkin seeds and baked it instead of frying-therefore using no oil).

Ok so first we gather all of our ingredients, and despite this being an Austrian meal all of these ingredients are very easy to find in America.

You will need:

1 piece of meat per person- we used pork but you can use Turkey, Veal, and even chicken (although pounding chicken can be more difficult).

Breading (in the picture as Semmelbrösel)

Flour

Eggs (we had 6 people and ended up using 3 eggs)

oil

Optional: ground pumpkin seeds

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The first step is to pound the meat. If possible it is really best to have two people working together. I pounded the meat and Daria made the flour, egg, and breading station (for the breading we just mixed pumpkin seeds and normal breading). If you are working alone it is also relatively easy but I think it is best to finish the pounding before moving on to any further steps (otherwise it gets way too overwhelming).

The most important part here is that you pound the meat AS THIN AS POSSIBLE! This is the big difference between excellent schnitzel and mediocre schnitzel.

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As you can see above when pounding we used plastic wrap around the meat. This just makes clean up easier and we believe it helps prevent holes in the meat.

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Here you can see the difference between the two schnitzel. We finished breading everything before beginning to cook it (otherwise it’s overwhelming and some get cold before others are finished).

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The next and final step is to fry (or bake) the schnitzel. Frying schnitzel is the traditional way of cooking it, but baking is of course healthier.

Baking 250 c (or 480F) : We found that you really need to watch it when you put it in the oven (especially if you only use pumpkin seeds). There is a chance that the breading will burn. We ended up flipping it about half way through to make sure everything was cooked but not burnt.

We served the Schnitzel with french fries (although traditionally served with roasted potatoes), cranberry sauce (to dip the schnitzel in- but some people prefer Ketchup), a beat salad, lemon on top, and a beer.

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This meal is very tasty! and despite all the steps relatively easy. We hope you enjoy it!

Bonus photo:

While we were in Vienna the city was hosting the Eurovision (Since they won the contest last year with Conchita Wurst). Because the Eurovision promotes equality they changed their street signals to various types of couples.

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One pot pasta

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Another very simple recipe.  I typically make this when I am about to go out of town and have already cleaned out my fridge. It’s simple and since I use frozen vegetables it can be made even when my kitchen is fairly empty.

The only ingredients you need are frozen vegetables (of course you can use fresh if you’d like), pasta (here I used regular pasta but it would be even better if you could use whole wheat), olive oil (or any type of oil you prefer- but I have only tried it with olive oil), and whatever spices you prefer (I used pepper and dried basil).

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Simply bring water to a boil like you normally would with pasta. Then put the vegetables and pasta in at the same time.

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The final step is to drain the pasta and vegetables and then add your oil and seasoning.

*cooking the pasta and vegetables in one pot is really convenient because you use less dishes and it’s a lot less work.

I find this recipe incredibly easy and delicious, but in the future I would like to find a way to add some sort of protein to the meal.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

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This is a very quick and healthy meal.

Ingredients:

Any vegetables you have. I typically buy fresh vegetables and freeze them, or buy frozen vegetables.

Based on what I had in my kitchen my soup included: frozen carrots, spinach, and onions. Then Fresh Tomatoes, one cup of lentils, soup mix, and spices.

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This recipe really can’t be any easier. Simply put all the ingredients in a pot – season to taste, and let it cook until all vegetables are cooked.

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I find this recipe to be really great at night because it is filling enough to keep you full but since it’s a soup it’s light enough that you don’t feel like your in a food coma right before bed.

Tip: Michael enjoys dipping toast into it.

Chicken rolls

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These chicken rolls are a bit of a spinoff from All Kinds of Yumm. Normally I try and eat relatively clean and healthy but these are definitely a cheat meal! Taste AMAZING and can be easily frozen, which is convenient for busy weeknights, but I do suggest eating them in moderation.

First boil the chicken by placing the raw chicken in a pot of water and boiling it for 15 minutes.  – Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. Then shred the chicken. I find that it is easiest to use a hand mixer. I warn you that this can get messy but it is the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken.

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The next step is to add the “sauce” to the chicken. This includes Hot sauce (I used both Tabasco and Valentino hot sauce), Ranch mix (if you make the mix yourself it does make this dish slightly healthier), Mayonnaise (because I used the dried ranch – if you use regular ranch you don’t need this), and finally cheese (not pictured)- any kind. Again I don’t use measurements and just do it based on taste or feeling.

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Next roll the chicken in Spring roll pastries.

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Place on a baking sheet (slightly coated with oil) and bake for 15 minutes on 200 C. I served it with a sour cream sauce (that includes italian seasoning and fresh garlic)

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Lindsey’s Egg Rolls

As of right now I did not include any measurements. The measurements depend on personal preference (i.e. more vegetables than meat or vice versa), and often there is leftover pastry or filling. The pastry can be refrozen and the filling can be cooked in a pan and added to salads. Spring Rolls

 

Ingredients: Vegetables: Bean sprouts, cabbage, shredded carrots & ginger, red onions Meat: Shredded ground beef & pork Spices: Salt & pepper, cilantro, cajon, red pepper, sugar, Thai basil (optional), coriander, chili, taro (optional) Extra: Eggs, glass noodles, spring roll wraps (pastry), olive oil.

 

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First prepare the glass noodles by putting them in boiling water, cover them and let sit

 

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Next: prepare the vegetables by cutting the cabbage, and shredding the carrots & ginger.

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When preparing the vegetables it is a good time to also puree the red onion with a bit of olive oil.

 

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Prepare the glass noodles by draining them, rinsing them with cold water and using your hands to “cut” them.

 

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Prepare the spring roll filling by adding the meat (uncooked) with the vegetables, glass noodles, and spices.

 

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Prepare the pastry by allowing it to slightly defrost (but don’t leave it out too long) and then cutting it diagonally.

 

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Scramble the eggs in a bowl and place them with the pastry and filling. Then add a small amount of the filling to the long end of the pastry.

 

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Roll the spring roll as seen above – use the eggs to “seal” the pastry.

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The spring rolls can be placed in freezer bags and frozen, or cooked immediately.

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Cook in oil on the stove (med heat), or bake them in the oven. Serve with sweet and sour sauce, rice, and lettuce.