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Pumpkin Seeds at Home

After Halloween we’re left with pumpkins of all sizes here and there. Here’s a simple pumpkin seed recipe. Everyone at home loves this pumpkin seeds recipe.

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin seeds

– 1 tsp of butter

– 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

– Heat up oven at 345 F.

– Take the pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin. Wash them throughly and place on a round baking pan or big plate where you can spread them out well. Let them air dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight.

Heat the butter until it melts and add the salt. Mix well. Add the seeds to the butter mixture. Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Place the seeds on the pan making sure they are well spread appart.

– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until seeds are brown.

– Enjoy! 🙂

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Easy Warm Noodle Salad

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Warm Noodle Salad

Warm Noodle Salad is the prime dish when it comes to budget. It is an extremely ‘easy’ recipe! I couldn’t help but share it with all of you. It’s attractive, colorful, delicious! My kids love ramen noodles but not the veggies. This recipe gets them eating the veggies every time.  I hope you agree with me. 🙂

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 Ramen noodle package, red, green and orange sweet peppers, 1/2 yellow onion, broccoli (as much as you want), celery, carrots and peas (optional.) 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

1. Start by chopping the veggies.

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2. Boil the ramen but do not use the seasoning package. Instead add salt and olive oil to the boiling water, before adding the noodles. Cook exactly according to package directions. They will be sautéed later on.

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3. Saute the veggies. Add salt and pepper according to taste. ( I like 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. )

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4.  Saute the ramen noodles and the veggies together.

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Serve! This warm noodle salad is so easy and so delicious everyone will want the recipe.

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BBQ and ‘Other’ Bold Flavors

A friend recently shared an article on BBQ flavored chips and their history. I have to say that BBQ chip flavor is familiar and appealing today, but that was not the case years ago. Far more interesting than history, I was impressed with a discussion on how food brand marketing companies take the taste introduction process to the furthest extreme, to open remote markets. They learn from and adapt to foreign food, culture and regional likes/dislikes to better understand the target. The article also talked about chips and soda companies daringly reinventing products to win the Asian market. For example, one of  them recently came up with Chicken-Cola flavored chips in Asia. “It’s apparently a favorite flavor there!” What a concept! I was also greatly surprised to learn that there are 205 types of chip flavors available worldwide.

Two points in my post: ‘Adaptability and diversity.’ Thinking about these bold flavor combinations encouraged me to get into my kitchen, be creative, mix familiar ingredients with totally new ones, innovate, come up with different ideas and flavors. Kids are great for this! They’re creative, explorers, fun! When it comes to cooking, I am with them… After all, we should at least attempt to have fun cooking! 🙂

So, from BBQ chips to BBQ chicken… What could I do different this time? Since winter is still here, I went from outdoor BBQ to indoor BBQ on my electrical skillet! Talk about adaptability… It turned out to be a great (and super easy) recipe, I hope you agree.

Recipe

Ingredients: Boneless chicken thighs (1 or 2 per person), BBQ sauce (your favorite brand; Use 1 bottle), salt, pepper.

1. Add 1 TBSP of canola oil to the electric skillet. Place the thighs on the electric skillet.

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2. When brown, add salt and pepper. Add the BBQ sauce on top and cover with lid.

 

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3. Lower setting to 250 degrees on the electric skillet and let it cook for 20-30 minutes. Turn pieces so both sides cook well. Let it cook for another 20 minutes. Finally, check the chicken to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

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Serve with rice and veggies or with salad greens. 🙂

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“Quiero Arepas” – Venezuelan Inspired Arepas

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Owned by Igor (Venezuelan) and Beckie, “Quiero Arepas” food truck carries delicious ‘Arepas Venezolanas.’ Beckie told me their story. Igor used to bring Beckie Arepas Venezolanas to work. Daily observers of the daily lunch ritual grew curious and gave Beckie lots of positive feedback. At that point Beckie and Igor knew it was time to open their “Quiero Arepas” Food Truck business.

Their website (http://www.quieroarepas.com) is very well-organized. I was able to plan my trip and meet them at the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Without regrets, I drove over 20 miles to try the Venezuelan Arepas, and I was not disappointed. 

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I ordered a QUESO AREPA (cheese arepa), which to my delight was also vegan.

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My husband ordered “LA HAVANA”, a classical arepa with pork and cheese.

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I asked Igor if he was worried about the Latin food truck competition and he replied confirming their concept and winning edge. They don’t compromise, they are true to the Venezuelan tradition. In Venezuela, if you want an arepa you go to the areperia (an arepas food store.) It’s simple, honest, true and authentic, just like the arepas we enjoyed.

They promote fresh local products. They work hard to lower environment impact, not just by driving a natural gas truck but also by reducing human footprint. Check out the note posted at the bottom of their menu.

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I also enjoyed their art! 🙂

 

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We talked about Venezuela and Colombia, our rich culture, and how these two neighboring countries share corn flour as the main ingredient to diverse, exquisite meals. “Quiero Arepas” truly brings an authentic cultural experience.

Salad Recipe Collection – Warm Eggplant Salad – 4 of 5

Warm Eggplant Salad

Eggplant was frequent at home, since our Dad was of Middle Eastern descent, and he loved this warm eggplant dish! It is extremely easy to make and if you have enough eggplants, it can be served as an entrée dish. My aunts taught my Mom all they knew about authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine and we loved every dish! Our Mom handed down every recipe, tip and trick learned. Eggplant is a power ingredient, low-calorie, potent source of energy and foundation for versatile and unique dishes. We were fortunate to enjoy delicious, extravagant, flavorful recipes. I intend to continue with the tradition and pass these recipes down to my kids as well.

Recipe:

Ingredients: 1 Eggplant, oil, onion, tomatoes, ground beef (optional)

1. Cut the eggplant sideways in mid-size portions carving out the inside. Discard the ends. Add beef or vegetables (I added tomato and onions) and top with any skim milk cheese (I used Ranchero) as it keeps its consistency while melting at the same time. Saute the eggplant on a pan with oil, after adding the toppings.

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2. After the eggplant skin part is cooked, transfer to a cookie sheet and then into the oven at 350F for 20 minutes.

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Once done it will look like this..

Warm Eggplant Salad