Beef & Broccoli with a twist

I decided to shy away just a little from the traditional beef and broccoli recipe by adding some red bell peppers and onions to it, and the combination of it all came out delicious!

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I was inspired by a recipe by  of Steamy Kitchen (click here)

For the beef and the veggies I didn’t use specific measurements. You can see about how much I used from the pictures. However, I did stick with the measurements for the marinade and sauce.

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Not all ingredients are shown in this picture

Ingredients:

  • Thin slices of beef
  • broccoli florets
  • red bell pepper, sliced
  • half of a large onion, sliced
  • cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the beef marinade

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
Method
  • Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes
  • Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl
  • Steam the broccoli
  • Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the cooking oil. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer. Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Lower the heat to medium-high and flip the beef slices over. Fry until the beef is no longer pink, then take out of the pan. Try to leave as much of the beef juices in the pan as possible.

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  • Once the beef is taken out of the pan, add bell red bell pepper and onion, cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Add the broccoli to the pan, stir
  • Add the beef back to the pan, stir
  • Pour in the sauce and the cornstarch dissolved in water, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds

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  • Serve over steamed white rice

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DELICIOUS!

Chicken & Avocado Panini

YUMMMM, so excited to share my Chicken & Avocado Panini with you! This is super easy to make because it does’t have any specific measurements and you can totally play around with the ingredients and flavors in this recipe!

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Ingredients:

  1. Chicken breasts, cubed
  2. Bell pepper, sliced
  3. Jalapeños, sliced
  4. Avocados, sliced
  5. Mozzarella, shredded
  6. Mozzarella Cheese, whole
  7. Olive oil
  8. Some of your favorite seasoning (I used a mix of asian spices, chilli, and paprika)
  9. Tortillas

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Method:

  • Season the chicken well, pour olive oil into a pan, fry the chicken pieces for about 8 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the sliced bell peppers, cook until the bell peppers are tender and chicken is golden

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  • Lay the tortilla flat, scoop a little bit of everything inside, wrap it, place on the panini grill! DONE!

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These paninis are so tasty because all the ingredients + the juices from the chicken blend together so good that you don’t even NEED to dip it into a sauce! We absolutely love it!

Note: We had some avocados, mozzarella, and jalapeños left over in the end and used them to make a quick salad to serve on the side (just added tomatoes and lettuce to it). We used french dressing for it and garnished with sesame seeds.

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Panko Crusted Chilli-Lemon Chicken

I know I probably say this a lot, but this is really one of my favorite recipes! The chicken is so crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, it’s unbelievable! 🙂

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If you don’t already have Panko breadcrumbs in your cupboard, you should really buy some! Absolutely love them! In my previous posts I’ve mentioned briefly how versatile they are and nicer than regular breadcrumbs because they absorb oil better so you don’t end up with an oily meal!

For this recipe I’ve decided to fry the chicken in olive oil however, you can also pop it right in the oven of course!

This recipe has no specific measurements, just depends on how much chicken you are using.

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken breasts
  2. Some flour
  3. Eggs
  4. Panko Breadcrumbs
  5. Olive Oil
  6. Favorite seasoning (I used chilli, asian spice seasoning, paprika, and salt & pepper)
  7. Favorite sauce (I used a chilli-lemon sauce, bought at my favorite asian market)
  8. Cabbage, chopped (optional), tomatoes (optional)

Method:

  • First, simply put the flour, eggs, and the bread crumbs each separately in 3 shallow dishes
  • Season the dish with the bread crumbs to taste with your favorite combination of seasoning
  • Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper
  • Step 1: Dip each breast into the flour, then shake off the excess. Step 2: Coat the chicken breast with the egg and hold the chicken over the liquid to let any excess fall back into the bowl. Step 3: Lay the chicken in the bread crumbs, turn it over and press it into the breading to coat. Step 4: This is the *key* part in order to get it crispy and fluffy, repeat Step 2 and Step 3 one more time.
  • Pour some olive oil in a pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts until slightly golden. Suggestion to get it nice and moist on the inside but crispy on the outside: Fry on medium heat, and turn the chicken only once! Let each side slowly fry for about 10 minutes or until golden. Be careful, if the temperature of the oil is too high it will burn the breadcrumbs
  • Transfer chicken breasts to a towel lined plate to drain any excess oil

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  • Once plated, pour over some of your favorite sauce
  • I love to serve this dish on a bed of cabbage with some slices of tomatoes and garnish with black sesame seeds

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I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did!

Tagliolini al Limone

Do not be intimidated by the “fancy” name, this dish is super easy to make! It only calls for a total of 8 ingredients (including the fish and pasta!)

The fish of choice was the Gilt-Head Bream and the pasta of choice was a delicious Tagliolini al Limone, which my dear friend Lukas gave to me. Obviously, both the fish and pasta can be substituted with other types.

I absolutely love the lemon flavors mixed with parmesan that really stand out in this dish! So excited to share with you!

So, what you will need:

For the Fish:

  1. any seasoning of choice
  2. lemon slices
  3. olive oil

Sauce for the Tagliolini Pasta:

  1. 1lb Tagliolini (or Fettuccine)
  2. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. 2/3 cup olive oil
  4. 2/3 cup grated parmesan
  5. 2/3 cup lemon juice (from about 2 big lemons)
  6. about 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
  7. 4 tablespoons cooking cream (optional)
  8. pepper to taste
  9. fresh basil (optional)

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Method:

  • First off, I drizzled some olive oil over the fish, then lightly seasoned it with an all purpose seasoning on all sides, inserted a couple lemon slices inside and on top of the fish. (note: the key is not to over-season the fish, just a light sprinkle here and there is enough. Its’ natural flavors are delicious enough!). Simply pop this in the oven at about 190C (374F) for about 35 minutes (may vary). I usually like my fish crispy and over-baked on the outside, so I put it on broil for the last 5 minutes. Don’t worry it will still be nice and juicy on the inside!

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  • While the pasta is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl, except for the basil, lemon zest, and cooking cream, and stir

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  • Once the pasta is done cooking and drained, I added fresh basil and the four tablespoons of cooking cream, just enough to moisten the pasta again. You can also reserve some of the water that the pasta was cooking in for this step if you don’t have cooking cream
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added cooking cream and basil
  • Now add the lemon sauce to the pasta and toss
  • Serve immediately with the fish

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Crazy Chicken Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is one of my all-time favorite salads! Sadly, caesar dressing is another one of those items that are difficult to find in Austria. I looked at a bunch of different recipes online but had a hard time finding one that I thought had the best combination of ingredients, so I just tweaked them and made my own! This recipe makes about 4 cups of dressing. I know, that’s a lot of dressing but I wanted to make enough so that Ernan and I could eat Caesar salad all week (heheheheheheh) What you will need for the dressing:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
  • 2 cups light Mayonnaise
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 handful freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food-processor until the dressing is nice and smooth
  • Toss the dressing with the salad mixture and add shaved Parmesan and garlic croutons to taste.
  • I always like to add some grilled chicken for extra protein. The chicken in the picture was seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and cajun and grilled in a skillet.

Regarding the garlic croutons: All you need for the croutons is 1 clove of garlic, ciabatta, and olive oil. First, take the garlic and scrape it against the outside of the ciabatta bread so that the flavor of the garlic rubs off. Cut the bread into cubes, drizzle with olive oil, bake until crispy. I’m sad that I don’t have pictures of the garlic croutons that I made. Next time I make this recipe I will make sure to post pics of those as well!

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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!!!

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

hamburger buns

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!

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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Chicken with Rice Straight from the Oven (A Bosnian Specialty)

It’s finally time to share an occasional Bosnian recipe that I like to make. Since Ernan and I were both born in Bosnia, it’s nice to go back to our roots and cook up something that our parents, and their parents before them, basically grew up on. Even though we were both raised in the States, we were lucky enough that our moms still held on to those roots and we got to experience delicious Bosnian cuisine. This whole chicken and rice baked in the oven (in Bosnian: Piletina s rižom iz pećnice) is one of our favorites and one of the easiest to make! There are several different ways you can get creative with this one (like adding potatoes, bell peppers, and/or tomatoes) but I kept it simple this time.

Ingredients:

  • A whole chicken (or you can use chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs, or chicken wings – just make sure the bone is in it)
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • carrots, cut into small squares
  • onions, chopped
  • 2 Knorr jelly chicken bouillons (I swear I can’t live without these lol)
  • All purpose seasoning (I used Vegeta – this is an absolute must-have spice in a Balkan kitchen)
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Boil the whole chicken in water for about 20 minutes. (Tip: always dump out the first round of water that you bring to a boil because that’s where the yucky parts from the chicken come out. The second round of water that you bring to a boil is perfect to use as a base for chicken soup)
  • Take the chicken out from the boiling water and simply lay it on a large pan, season to taste
  • Spread evenly the 2 cups of brown rice, carrots, and onions

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Add 4 cups of water
Add 4 cups of water
  • Add 4 cups of water (if you’re using chicken stock just substitute it with water here)
  • Simply bake at about 210C (410F) for 25 minutes
  • Take the pan out of the oven and add the 2 Knorr jelly chicken bouillons (ignore this step if using chicken stock instead)
  • Continue baking at the same temperature until the rice has absorbed all the liquid (close to the end I like to rank up the temperature on Broil until the chicken looks nice and crispy)
  • We like to eat this with sour cream on the side (weird, I know, but it’s really tasty!)

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  • I like to garnish with fresh parsley

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Enjoy!

Farro with Asparagus, Spinach, and Tomatoes

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After a long and busy day I had to think of something quick and easy to make, so this works perfect! This is one of those recipes that works with any vegetables you have on hand and no measurements necessary. Since I had a lot of spinach in the freezer, this was a done deal! (tip: I like to buy fresh spinach, chop it up, and freeze it!). The best thing about this recipe is that it is also super healthy! Farro, also called Pharaoh’s wheat, is an ancient grain that originated in Egypt thousands of years ago and is today most commonly used in Italy. Like many other grains, Farro is filled with loads of protein, fiber, B Complex vitamins, and pretty low in gluten. Read more about Farro and how to cook it here. Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of Farro (rinsed in cold water, drained)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
  • Spinach, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, boiled (I used white asparagus)
  • 2 knorr chicken jelly bouillon
  • Butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Fresh Parsley and/or chives (optional)

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Directions:

  • First put the asparagus pieces into salted, boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Cook Farro according to package directions (for 1.5 cups farro, add 3 cups water, bring to boil, add 2 chicken jelly bouillons, let it simmer until all the water is absorbed (approx.  30 minutes)*can also substitute water with chicken stock)

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  • While the asparagus and Farro are cooking, in a separate pan melt some butter and add the spinach, sauté for 3 minutes

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  • Then add the cherry tomatoes, let cook for another 3 minutes
  • Add the minced garlic and stir

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  • By then the asparagus should be done, so add it as well

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  • Once the Farro is cooked, add some butter (I added 1 tablespoon) and the sun-dried tomatoes, fluff with fork.

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  • Add the Farro to the veggie mixture and stir to combine
  • Serve with feta cheese, parsley, and chives on top
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IMG_1666 Tip 1: Ernan and I sprinkled some chia seeds on top as well! Click here to read all about the cool health benefits of adding chia seeds to your diet! Tip 2: You can also substitute Farro with brown rice, Quinoa, Millet, whole Buckwheat, or any other yummy grain! Enjoy!