Yummy yummy noodles!!

I swear I’m not turning into a vegetarian. But I’ve been craving peanut buttery noodles…so I had to make these when I saw them! Mm…delicious. Try it. I stuffed my face and am uncomfortably full but still want more. It’s super easy to make and takes no time at all. I used half the recipe for the dressing and ~1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles and didn’t find I needed any more dressing. 

 

Peanut Sesame Noodles
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2002

Servings: Makes 6 side-dish or 4 vegetarian main-course servings.

For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice

For noodles
3/4 lb dried soba nooodles (dried linguine fini or spaghetti will work in a pinch)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
Half a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Now you just mix up that delicious peanut buttery goodness sauce, cut up the veggies, toast the sesame seeds…and mix em all up and inhale!! 

 

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BBQ TIME!

Oh my goodness me. Make this sandwich. Do it. Run out and get any missing ingredients you don’t have (because you don’t want to miss a single part of it) and then fire up that BBQ.

We just put together our new BBQ and today was the second time firing it up. It’s been a crazy few months, moving to a new apartment, getting wedding stuff organized, and…oh yeah, that whole residency thing and being on call all the time! I have a presentation to finish for tomorrow, but this sandwich was too good not to write about first.

I saw this recipe on Sandwich King, on the Food Network on one of my post-call days when I was in a post-call delirium (as per usual) and it sounded delicious. The good thing about moving to our new place is that there’s a huge patio which we didn’t previously have, which means space for a BBQ! I bought the last few ingredients today and we had the grilled vegetable naan-wiches for supper. I cannot say enough good things about it…it’s to DIE for. And healthy! Maybe other than the goat cheese. But otherwise it’s loaded with veggies, everything’s grilled, and even the naan bread we bought was Superstore’s PC Blue Menu. Try it out, it’s a super easy sandwich to assemble…though there are a few steps to it.

Grilled Vegetable Naan-wich (as seen on Food Network w/ Jeff Mauro)

Marinade for vegetables:

~1/2  C olive oil (I used a little less)

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp thyme (I used dried and added 1.5 tbsp, but if you have fresh, even better!)

Pour the marinade over two large portabello mushroom caps, 2 zucchinis sliced lengthwise, and 2-3 discs of red onion. Mix it by hand to get everything nice and coated.Add the onions last to the mix so you don’t break them into the individual rings (makes it easier to grill if they’re all together in one disc).

Grill on the BBQ. I won’t lie, I have no idea what goes on in this step because I don’t know how to operate the barbeque and Joffre was in full charge of this step.

Then lightly brush two pieces of naan bread with olive oil and grill for a few minutes to warm them up/toast a little.

While all the grilling is happening (hopefully via your partner so you don’t have to worry about it), take a couple tablespoons (or more if you’re glutenous like me) of goat cheese and put in a small bowl. Take a handful or two (eyeball it out based on your taste preference) of sundried tomatoes in oil and chop into finer pieces. Mix well with goat cheese to make the spread.When the veggies are ready, take them off the grill and slice the mushroom caps.

Then assemble! Naan bread. Then a layer of sundried tomato goat cheese spread. Then a layer of portabello mushroom. Layer of zucchini. Throw on the onions. More mushroom/zucchini if you’ve got it. Banana peppers (toss these around in the marinade for extra flavor). Add some fresh basil or spinach leaves. Put another layer of SDT goat cheese spread on the other piece of naan bread. DELICIOUS!

On the show, Jeff also grills up some whole banana peppers that he slices in half. You could do that or just add the banana pepper rings like we did. He also grilled some yellow squash, which I’m sure would be tasty in the sandwich too. Use your imagination! Eggplant would probably be pretty fabulous. If you don’t like goat cheese? Maybe just cream cheese. But really…who doesn’t like goat cheese?

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Good Friday Quiche

Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve just finished my rotation in Geriatrics, where I was going all over the hospitals, back and forth, up and down to the various floors for consults. Needless to say, this didn’t make it easy to bake…and who would I feed it to?

But I’m starting IMCU this week, so there will be plenty of nurses, PTs, OTs, and residents to feed. So stay tuned for more baking…

In the meantime though, since I’ve got friday and saturday off for Easter, I thought I’d make something fancy for brunch. Joffre’s post-call today and in a coma since he didn’t sleep last night, so I had the whole morning to myself to clean up the kitchen and make it messy again with this quiche.

Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Bacon Quiche (adapted from JoytheBaker)

I had a couple pillsbury premade pie crusts lying around, and thought this would be a perfect use for it! If you’re more motivated than me…you can make your own pie crust from scratch.

Ingredients for the filling:

- 6 whole eggs

- 1 C milk (I used skim)

- 1/2 C heavy cream

- 1 C shredded cheese (I used a combination of cheddar and mozzarella)

- 1 1/2 C chopped asparagus (I used almost 2 cups and the quiche almost overflowed…so stick to 1.5 C)

- 1/2 red pepper, diced

- 4-5 strips turkey bacon, diced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and put your pie crust into a 9′ pie plate.

Lightly saute in butter or olive oil, the asparagus, pepper, and bacon. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Then spread on the bottom of the pie crust, and top with 1/2 C shredded cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour on top of the asparagus/pepper/bacon/cheese mixture. Add the rest of the shredded cheese to the top. Then bake for ~50 mins (45-55 mins) until it’s not longer jiggly on the top and golden brown.

Voila! Enjoy!! I’m sure you can use whatever variation you want. Take away the bacon to make it vegetarian. Substitute half the cheese for feta. Add green onions, spinach, or mushrooms. YUM!

Good Friday Quiche

Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve just finished my rotation in Geriatrics, where I was going all over the hospitals, back and forth, up and down to the various floors for consults. Needless to say, this didn’t make it easy to bake…and who would I feed it to?

But I’m starting IMCU this week, so there will be plenty of nurses, PTs, OTs, and residents to feed. So stay tuned for more baking…

 

In the meantime though, since I’ve got friday and saturday off for Easter, I thought I’d make something fancy for brunch. Joffre’s post-call today and in a coma since he didn’t sleep last night, so I had the whole morning to myself to clean up the kitchen and make it messy again with this quiche.

 

Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Bacon Quiche (adopted from JoytheBaker)

I had a couple pillsbury premade pie crusts lying around, and thought this would be a perfect use for it! If you’re more motivated than me…you can make your own pie crust from scratch.

Ingredients for the filling:

- 6 whole eggs

- 1 C milk (I used skim)

- 1/2 C heavy cream

- 1 C shredded cheese (I used a combination of cheddar and mozzarella)

- 1 1/2 C chopped asparagus (I used almost 2 cups and the quiche almost overflowed…so stick to 1.5 C)

- 1/2 red pepper, diced

- 4-5 strips turkey bacon, diced

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and put your pie crust into a 9′ pie plate.

Lightly saute in butter or olive oil, the asparagus, pepper, and bacon. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Then spread on the bottom of the pie crust, and top with 1/2 C shredded cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour on top of the asparagus/pepper/bacon/cheese mixture. Add the rest of the shredded cheese to the top. Then bake for ~50 mins (45-55 mins) until it’s not longer jiggly on the top and golden brown.

 

Voila! Enjoy!! I’m sure you can use whatever variation you want. Take away the bacon to make it vegetarian. Substitute half the cheese for feta. Add green onions, spinach, or mushrooms. YUM!

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Post-call pancakes

Hold on a minute…we’re at the end of block 8? WHAT?!? I can’t believe first year is passing by so fast…I don’t feel competent enough to be a senior!!

Anyways. To make myself feel better, I’ve been making these cinnamon streusel pancakes. They are the PERFECT treat when you’re post-call, or on a lazy sunday, or for brunch for a few people. They’re heavenly and to die for. Joff thought they were a bit too sweet, so you can adjust how much streusel you top it with for each person’s sweet tooth.

The following recipe makes about 6-7 pancakes (i usually make them pretty big, if you like mini-pancakes it’ll definitely make a lot more). I made them again for brunch this weekend and the four of us were rolling around stuffed. Halving the recipe is perfect for two people, maybe even three if you have smaller appetites!

Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes

(from Twopeasandtheirpod)

Yield: 6 large pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Directions:

1. First, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over mix, batter will be slightly lumpy.

3. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon streusel. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over and cover very generously with cinnamon streusel. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process to make the rest of the pancakes.

4. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter.

 

ENJOY!

Curry Salmon Cakes

Call is slowly killing me. This post-call delirium usually lasts for at least the next two days after a call shift, and then just when I’m starting to feel human again, I’m on call again in another couple days.

For anyone who hasn’t been on call before, basically you spend 24-26 hours in the hospital, working…continuously. Every once in awhile you luck out and get a couple hours sleep here and there. With my luck, I get paged every half an hour to an hour all night long. The post-call feeling is a hard one to fully describe if you haven’t experienced it before. You feel partially hungover, like a night of hard binge-drinking…except without the binge-drinking fun. Nauseated, sick to your stomach, dehydrated…you also start to feel a little delirious. Sometimes walking home post-call, I actually stumble and trip a few times and people look at me judgingly for being drunk at 9:30AM. It’s one part of medicine that I’d rather be without.

The only perk to being sleep deprived, exhausted, and feeling terrible for a night is that you get a glorious post-call day of no-work. And because of the aforementioned delirium, usually any kind of productive work (like studying or extra reading) goes out the window because I can’t even focus on one spot for long enough before I drift off into space. So instead I spend my post-call days shopping, cleaning, and cooking.

These salmon cakes were a product of a post-call day. They are DELICIOUS!!! While they’re a little messy and involved, they take a surprisingly small amount of time to make. Do it on YOUR next post-call day. You won’t regret it.

The picture is of my salmon cakes, some left over thai curry from a restaurant, the curry-tartar sauce, and some plain rice.

Curry Salmon Cakes (From my Food Network cookbook – Great Easy Meals)
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, halved crosswise (I used 1.5 fillets and it made 5 cakes)
2 tsp curry powder (preferably hot)
salt and peper
8 tablespoons store-bought tartar sauce
1/4 cup cracker meal/crushed saltines plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger (I just used ground ginger instead)
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Mango salsa – I didn’t make this, but you can if you want!
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
juice of 1 lime

1. Combine the salmon, 1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the fish is opaque (2-3 min). Flake with a fork and cool slightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon tartar sauce, the cracker meal, ginger, and half of the scallions and the egg. Form into 5 patties and freeze until firm, about 10 mins.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 7 tablespoons tartar sauce and 1/2 tsp curry powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tbsp of curried tartar sauce with bell pepper, celery, mango, scallions, and lime juice.

3. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the patties with cracker meal on both sides and fry until golden, 2-3 min per side. Drain on paper towels, serve with mango salad and curried tartar sauce. Be careful flipping them, they can be quite fragile!

You can also turn these salmon cakes into burgers by serving them on crusty rolls with tartar sauce as a topping!

Chicken enchiladas for one…really fat person.

Well, in two days I’ll have officially been a “Haligonian” for a month. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here that long, but at the same time I almost feel like I just got here. I’ve started to settle into my new apartment and so far I love it. It’s a ton of space and I’ve been slowly getting it set up the way I want to. The walls are still a little bare and ugly, but I’ll be able to add artwork and things once I’ve got a couple paycheques!

Residency has been a total whirlwind to start. Just getting thrown in and all of sudden having responsibilities after not using our brains very much for the past two months is extremely disconcerting at first!! Especially in a new health care system with new computer health records systems, different paperwork, and different people. So far I think I’m managing to tread water and just keep my head above water.

Being on call is definitely one of the things to get used to, what with not having any call in fourth year. There’s good nights, and there’s bad nights, and then there’s terrible nights (like last night). But I’m slowly discovering that the worst part of call is when your partner is also a resident…and also doing call. Last weekend he was on home-call all weekend and we couldn’t go anywhere because he kept getting called into the hospital. I’m on call three out of the next four weekends, and he’ll have to go into the hospital for two of the four. I barely get to see him!!

What this story is leading up to is that last saturday night, I had planned out a delicious meal for us, since I had time to cook and I figured he wouldn’t get called in all night for home call. How wrong I was. I ended up cooking these delicious enchiladas and he got called into the hospital right at 5 when I started making them and didn’t come back til 10PM. So I had a whooole lot of chicken enchiladas to eat all by my lonesome! Such are the perils of residency. This recipe makes 12 of them. Good thing they’re still delicious as leftovers for lunches. So enjoy them with a big crowd if you can, there’s definitely enough food for everyone!

Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Yield: 12 enchiladas
Ingredients:

For the sauce:
1 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sugar
1 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce/pasta sauce (I had leftover pasta sauce)
½-¾ cup water
Salt and pepper

For the filling:
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups enchilada sauce (above), divided
1 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1 pre-cooked chicken breast (diced or shredded)
Salt and pepper

For assembly:
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Lime wedges, for serving

Directions:
To make the enchilada sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Transfer half of the black beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until almost completely smooth. Set aside. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the mashed beans mixture, whole beans, and diced chicken and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the big mixture to a large bowl and stir in ½ cup of the enchilada sauce and the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble, warm the tortillas in a damp cloth, then place some filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional feta and/or cilantro for garnish, if desired. Serve warm with lime wedges.

Enjoy (maybe with some margaritas)!!

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