Teriyaki Beef Quesadilla

This quesadilla is soo good, and just as easy!

Cook the Teriyaki Beef to preferred doneness. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest. Chop into bite-sized pieces.

On a cast iron pan or griddle, grease the surface with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high. Carefully place a flour tortilla onto the hot surface.

Add a layer of shredded Mexican cheeses. Top with some canned, rinsed & drained black beans and also some mild, fire-roasted diced  jalapeño peppers (canned, store-bought).

Add the beef and spread another handful of cheese on top (this is the “glue” that will help to adhere the top tortilla.

Cook for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Place the tortilla on top, then spray with cooking spray. Using a flat spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla to brown on the other side, 3-5 minutes.

Remove from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into quarters. Enjoy as is, or top with avocado, sour cream or crema, cilantro, salsa, a squeeze of lime… all great choices!


One-Pan Chicken Dinner

On one baking sheet, add: Garlic Ginger Teriyaki Chicken, halved baby potatoes (purple, red & yellow), chopped leek (white & light green parts only), peeled and quartered
carrots, quartered baby portobello mushrooms, 2 cups cubed ciabatta bread, 4 fresh cilantro sprigs and 1 bay leaf.

In a small bowl, whisk together: 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, juice of 1 lime, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey (or brown sugar), 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the chicken and vegetables. With clean hands, toss altogether until evenly coated and combined.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked, the vegetables are tender and caramelized and the bread is toasted.

Chinese Chicken Salad

In a stainless steel or cast-iron pan, toast sliced almonds until golden brown. Remove and set aside in a small bowl for garnish.

In the same pan, heat veg, peanut or canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until brown and cooked through or according to package instructions. Remove, allow to rest and slice.

In a large bowl, toss little gem lettuce (or chopped romaine), sliced red bell pepper, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, shredded Napa and red cabbages, cilantro leaves and Mandarin orange slices.

Dress with your favorite Asian salad dressing, or make your own. Top with the sliced
chicken. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Miso Ginger Chicken Ramen

Miso Ginger Chicken Ramen

-The noodles:
-I used an egg chow mein, or stir fry noodle — dried or fresh are both fine. Cook according to package instructions and set aside.
-Don’t use the ramen noodles in the packages, save them for the starving college kids. The noodles break into little bits and there’s nothing fun or palatable at all about eating them.

-The broth:
-6 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in 2 cups of boiling water. Save the mushroom broth, you’ll be using this.
-1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons red miso paste
-2 tablespoon mirin
-Reserved chicken marinade
-3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
-1 tablespoon granulated sugar
-2 cups mushroom broth
-4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

-The veggies:
-1/2 yellow onion
-4 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1/3rds
-1/2 cup sweet yellow corn kernels (canned is fine, just drain and pat dry)
-6 reconstituted shiitake mushrooms

-Other goodies:
-Firm tofu, sliced into squares and patted dry
-Pickled ginger
-2. 8-minute boiled egg, peeled & halved
-small handful fresh cilantro

Deep breath, you can do this!

Cook your noodles, then drain the pot, saving the noodles of course.
Put the pot back on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Let’s cook the tofu & vegetables first – we’ll cook the each individually to both tenderize and brown, but also so we can plate each component at the end.  Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and once it’s good & hot, add the tofu. Cook on both sides until browned (about 2-3 minutes each side). Remove from the pan and add the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly charred. Remove from the pan and set down onto a large plate in a pile. Remember, the vegetables will stay separated until you plate the soup, and then everyone will become fast friends. Add the corn kernels and cook for 2-3 minutes, again until browned. Remove and set aside in a pile on the plate with the onions. Cook the green onions similarly. Remove and set aside. Throw in the shiitake mushrooms for about 4 minutes. Remove and set onto the plate.

Add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook the chicken according to package instructions  (make sure you pat it dry of excess marinade). Cook the chicken on both sides until browned, caramelized and most importantly, cooked through. Remove from the pan. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Add more vegetable oil if needed. Quickly cook the ginger and garlic — the pot will be very hot so this will happen quickly. Add the miso paste and cook for about 1 minute. Deglaze with mirin. Add the reserved chicken marinade and bring to a low boil for 1-2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sugar, mushroom and chicken broths. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes to marry the flavors. Taste and season as needed.

Strain the broth into 1 large or 2 medium serving bowls.

To assemble:
-Add a heap of noodles into each bowl. The noodles will be the comfy bed for the rest of the ingredients.
-Top with small piles of onion, green onion, corn, mushroom, egg, sliced chicken, tofu, pickled ginger and cilantro.


Asian-inspired Sloppy Joe with Teriyaki Beef

The beef: chop up the raw beef into small pieces. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Don’t even think about ditching the marinade as this will become an ingredient in the sauce.

The aromatics, veggies & spices:
-3 cloves of minced garlic
-1 2-inch knob of peeled, fresh ginger, minced
-1/2 yellow onion, diced
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
-1 small carrot, peeled and diced

The sauce:
-1 lime, zested and juiced
-Reserved marinade
-1 15oz can tomato sauce
-1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
-2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
-1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-2 teaspoons kosher salt
-1 teaspoon white pepper

The slaw:
-3 cups pre-packaged cole slaw mix
-1/4 cup Kewpie (Japanese) mayo, or regular mayo
-1 lime, zested and juiced
-1 teaspoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 teaspoon white pepper

The bun:
-Totally democratic. It’s your choice — just pick one that has some structure and won’t turn to total mush. I like a good ol’ Kaiser roll.

-2 sprigs of cilantro, stems trimmed

To make the slop: In a large stainless steel pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Cook the beef until browned. Remove from the pan and add all of the vegetables. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and white pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add the beef back in. Deglaze the pan with the lime juice and zest, scraping any of those delicious brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil before adding the tomato sauce, Hoisin sauce, five spice and brown sugar. Bring to a boil once again and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the slaw: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, lime zest & juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage slaw.

To assemble: On the bottom half of an untoasted roll, liberally spoon the sloppy joe mixture. Don’t be shy — you gotta just go for it. Top with a generous heap of slaw, fresh cilantro and finish with the top bun.

Miso Chicken Banh Mi

First, pickle the veg:

The pickling juice is rice vinegar, sugar and salt. I eyeball all of it, seriously. It’s hard to mess up. Just be sure to have enough liquid to submerge the veg.
Cut into sticks: 1 peeled carrot, 1 Persian cucumber, 1 (3-inch piece) of Daikon radish.
It’s a quick pickle, maybe 20 minutes. Remove and pat dry.

Then cook the chicken: In a stainless steel or cast iron pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Pat dry any excess marinade and then cook according to package instructions. Remove and set aside to rest. In the meantime…

The roll: French baguette. Or, any roll that is crusty-on-the-outside and soft on the inside. Dig out some of the innards of the top half — just spread some butter on it and eat it.

The mayo: I love Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise. You can find it in Asian markets. It’s creamy, a bit sweeter (it uses rice vinegar instead of white distilled) and has an umami quality that’s just plain different than regular mayo. But feel free to resume your loyalty to whatever mayo you choose.

Garnish: cilantro springs and sliced jalapeno pepper.

To assemble: spread mayo on the top and bottom halves of bread. Place a whole chicken thigh on the bottom half. Top with the pickled veg, sliced jalapeño and cilantro sprigs. You can squeeze some sriracha on top or even add some Hoisin sauce for added flavor.

Good Stuff Salad

No disrespect to lettuce, but I think it’s fair to guess that pretty much every person who has ever eaten a salad has at least once, cleared the lettuce away to only eat the good stuff that’s settled on the bottom. Sometimes the lettuce gets in the way and hides those little gems that all together make a really good salad without the leaves. All veggies are allowed admission — this salad does not discriminate. Here is a version of the good stuff, no lettuce.

The chicken: In a stainless steel or cast iron pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Pat dry any excess marinade and then cook according to package instructions. Remove and set aside to rest. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

The veggies: You can chop, peel, dice, slice — whatever you and your knife feels like doing. Be whimsical.
-Radishes: quartered
-Broccolini: Cut into florets
-Cucumbers: In sticks
-Baby bell peppers: sliced in rings
-Sunburst squash: thinly sliced on a mandolin
-Kumquats: sliced (no seeds)
-Purple carrot: peeled into ribbons

Garnish with sesame seeds, or toasted almonds, or sunflower seeds.

The dressing: use your favorite store-bought or keep it simple with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Toss it all together. Super simps.

Kalbi Beef & Broccoli

Broccoli: In a pot of boiling water, cook 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets for 2 minutes until tender. Remove and submerge in a bowl of ice water. Remove the broccoli and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

Sauce: Lee Kum Kee brand Broccoli & Beef Sauce. It tastes like the real deal, and the ingredients are recognizable, not scary.

The beef: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a cast iron or stainless steel pan. Pat the beef dry of any excess marinade and then cook according to package instructions or until desired doneness.
Add the onions and broccoli into the pan with the beef and coat with sauce.

Serve on a bed of white rice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Beef & Vegetable Spring Roll

The components:

Veggies: Whatever veggies you like to eat are perfect. For this one, I used:
-Red, yellow and orange bell pepper, thinly sliced into batons or strips
-Red onion, thinly sliced
-Persian cucumber, cut into batons or strips
-Whole fresh mint leaves
-Romaine lettuce leaf, just the upper part of the leaf, not the stem

Rice vermicelli noodles: Otherwise known as rice sticks. You really only need a handful of dry noodles. Cook those according to package instructions (which usually just means submerging in a pot or bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes. Then draining. But read the instructions to be sure.)

Beef: In a stainless steel or cast iron pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil. Add the beef and cook according to package instructions or to desired doneness. Remove and keep the beef in strips.

To assemble:

1. Soften the Rice paper/spring roll wrappers: In a bowl of hot water submerge 1 wrapper and soften for about 10 seconds. (The water should be cool enough that you can put your hand in it, but hot enough — even a wee bit of steam is okay as long as you don’t burn yourself of course — to soften the rice paper). You’ll do this one-by-one so don’t get ahead of yourself and soften 18 of them… it won’t work. Remove from the water and spread the wrapper onto a clean and flat work surface.

2. Lay 3 mint leaves down in the middle of the paper.

3. Top with a couple strips of bell pepper, cucumber and red onion.

4. Top with strips of beef.

5. Lay the romaine lettuce leaf on top.

6. Fold the end of the wrapper closest to you over the mound of ingredients. Then fold in the left & right sides toward the middle. Roll gently upward into a tight package being careful not to rip the paper.

Serve with a dipping sauce of sambal, peanut sauce, or sweet chili sauce.

Asian Chicken Noodle Stir Fry

(using the Garlic Ginger Teriyaki Chicken)

-Prepare the vegetables: Really, you can be creative and use the vegetables you like to eat. For this specific dish, I used:
*1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
*1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
*1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
*1 bunch green onions, sliced into 2-inch pieces
*shredded carrots

-The noodles: Let’s talk about noodles… feel free to buy spaghetti if you wish. It works just fine. We love a good Asian egg noodle though, and if you’re looking for a dish that is more reminiscent of a restaurant-style noodle stir fry then definitely go with an egg noodle. Look on the packaging for “Chow Mein,” or “Lo Mein.”

-The sauce: You can either buy your favorite prepared Asian stir fry sauce or make your own. If you prefer to make your own, then here is a recipe we used:
*1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
*1/4 cup sweet soy sauce (found in Asian markets or buy online)
*3 tablespoons Shoaxing cooking wine (found in Chinese markets or buy online)
*1 tablespoon sesame oil
*1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, or sambal
*1 tablespoon corn starch
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

-The Garlic Ginger Teriyaki Chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade. Pat it dry. Then, you can either slice the chicken or dice into cubes. Dicing will of course yield more bite-sized pieces to disperse throughout the dish.

Whisk the sauce together and set aside. This makes a good amount of sauce, but you’ll want it depending on the noodles you use and also how many veggies you choose to incorporate into your dish. Better to have more than not enough.

To cook:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. No need to salt the water.
2. Cook the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until tender.  Remove from the water with a handheld sieve and submerge in a bowl of ice water. (use that sieve to then clean the water of all remaining broccoli particles… like cleaning the pool :). Remove from the ice water onto a clean towel and dry.
3. Now cook the noodles in the same pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Remove and drain.
4. In a large, seasoned wok, cast iron pan, or stainless steel pan: heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
5. Add the chicken to the hot pan, coating it with oil to keep it from sticking. Add 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Move the chicken to the side of the pan.
6. Add the vegetables and another tablespoon of sauce. Stir to combine and allow to brown. 3-4 minutes.
7. Add the noodles and another tablespoon of sauce — or more as needed.
8. Let the sauce reduce and any additional moisture from the vegetables and noodles evaporate. This is where the stir-frying and browning really happens.
9. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. If the noodles are dry, add more sauce at the very end but do it in the middle of the pan to cook off any cornstarch flavor. Stir one last time to combine and serve.