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Dan Dan Noodles

This recipe helped me figure out how to use peanut butter in Asian recipes without it feeling heavy when you eat it. Use your food processor.  I added some pre-cooked chicken for some extra protein..

Recipe from the great Alton Brown does not disappoint. I skipped the jalapeno due to some picky eaters.


Ingredients to serve 4

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
1 tablespoon chili oil
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces ramen noodles
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped


Place the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, black vinegar, and chili oil into the bowl of a mini-food processor. Process until the mixture is well combined and forms a paste, 1 to 2 minutes. With the processor running, gradually add the chicken broth and process until the sauce is creamy and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, cover, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Place 4 quarts water into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander. Add the noodles to the bowl with the sauce and toss to combine. Serve topped with the peanuts and scallions.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Serve as a side to help cut the heat.


Mix 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar,

1 tablespoon sesame oil,

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl.

Toss with 1 pound sliced cucumbers,

2 sliced scallions,

1/4 cup cilantro,

2 tablespoons sliced pickled ginger,

1/2 finely chopped red jalapeno

1 tablespoon sesame seeds.

From: Food Network 

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This is one of those meat recipes that you can do a lot with. You could shave it thin for sandwiches or cut it a little thicker and eat it like you would for flank steak. Real easy and if you follow the instructions pretty impossible to mess up. Which is good given that flank can be a pricier cut of meat.

I had to make mine on a grill pan as I ran out of gas on the grill. Don’t forget with flank you are shooting for a medium temp. A tad on the pink side when you cut it is perfect. image1

Ingredients for 4 large portions:
1 trimmed beef flank steak (usually 1.5 to 1.75 pounds)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard with a touch of honey for sweetness


Mix pepper, coriander, salt and paprika in a small bowl.

Cover both sides of meat with oil. Puncture both sides of meat with a fork.

Rub in about half of the spices on each side.

Wrap up meat and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. You can cook it right way if you need to.

Leave on counter for 30 minutes before cooking.

Fire up grill or grill pan, cook to medium. Aim for a 135 F internal temp, which will rise to about 140 F as it rests.

Let it cool for 15 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.

Serve with slightly sweetened mustard and rye bread or however you can stuff this in your mouth.

From: FoodWishes 

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One Pan Pasta

I gave this a try after seeing it posted on the web in a couple of places. One pot recipes are big for the college crowd as it means fewer dishes to wash. You’re pretty much putting everything for a pasta or noodle dish into a pan with some water and the raw noodles. As the water boils and cooks the noodles it also reduces the liquid down to a sauce. This is also a handy recipe if you’re pressed for time.

I wasn’t happy with my first try at this, but I do want to come back to it and work on it. I think I’ll try to cut back on the water a little as it was a tad on the watery side. This won’t be like dumping a jar of Ragu on some noodles.

The recipe I found has the proportions for a basic spaghetti/linguine dish. It also includes some other ideas and while it doesn’t offer specific measurements it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.

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One Pan Pasta

Serves 4

12 ounces linguine
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet (the linguine should lay flat).

Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs or a fork, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes. Make sure you taste noodles and cook longer if necessary.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.
Other Ideas:

–Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe: Brown the sausage first, then add the rest of the ingredients: pasta, water, broccoli rabe, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes. Finish with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
–Rotelle (or cavatelli, or mini conchiglie) with corn, shallots, lemon zest, butter, salt and pepper.Finish with mascarpone, tarragon, and basil.
–Spaghetti alle vongole: Start with spaghetti, garlic, chopped fresh chiles, olive oil, salt and pepper, sprigs of parsley (remove them later, as with basil in the original recipe). Add clams a few minutes before the end of cooking, then finish with chopped parsley, lemon juice, and additional olive oil.
–Rigatoni (or rigatoni corti, or casarecci), balsamic vinegar, capers, olive oil, eggplant, garlic, salt, and pepper. Finish with mozzarella or ricotta salata, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and Parmesan.
–Cacio e Pepe: Pasta, water, salt, and cracked black pepper, and grated Pecorino. Some would add butter, too. Finish with additional Pecorino.
–Bolognese: Brown off the meat first, then add wine to deglaze and the rest of ingredients—carrots, onions, and celery (all minced super finely in a food processor), sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, a can of tomatoes (or keep it white and add milk), salt and pepper, a Parmesan rind.
–Miso ramen with ramen noodles or soba. Dried shiitakes, ginger, garlic, miso, scallions, napa cabbage, and crack an egg into it at the last two minutes; finish with sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh scallions or cilantro. If you reduce the cooking liquid as with the others, this would be a dry ramen, a mazeman style.

Seven New Visions for One-Pan Pasta from Nora Singley: Link 

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I found this recipe on the Food Buskers’s YouTube channel. He doesn’t have a website where he posts his recipes so I had to watch the video a dozen or so times to get all of the ingredients and proportions. I think I have everything correct.

This recipe is like a really fresh slaw with chicken. Take your time with all of the chopping, especially the cabbage. The thinner the strips the more manageable it is when you try to eat it. There’s isn’t a real specific amount for the dressing, just add it to your liking. I will say that a little goes a long way and I’ve had to eat some servings with a paper towel to wipe my face. I’ve also swapped out green, red and orange peppers for the fennel if i can’t find it. I’d also like to try adding some avocado.



1/4 to 1/2 Red cabbage

1/4 to 1/2 white cabbage

1/2 a red onion

1 bunch of cilantro

4 radishes

3 carrots (orange ones will do. if you can get rainbow or heirloom it makes a more colorful salad)

1 fennel bulb

1 jalapeno pepper

2-3 boneless chicken breasts

2-3 limes(juice and flesh)

olive oil

salt and pepper

  1. Take off a quarter to half of each cabbage depending on size. This is the base of the salad. So take your time cutting it into thin strips. Place in a bowl and break them up into strands when your done.
  2. Cut the red onion in half and then thinly slice. Break apart the slices into single pieces and place in the bowl.
  3. Separate cilantro stems from leaves. Finely chop the stems and add to bowl. Reserve leaves to garnish later.
  4. Wash and then thinly slice the radishes. Add to bowl.
  5. Wash carrots and then using a peeler shave two of the carrots down and put the shavings in the bowl. Using your knife slice the remaining carrot into thin sticks and add to bowl.
  6. Remove fennel stems. Cut bulb in half, then quarters. Cut the bottom corner out of each piece of the bulb. Thinly slice remaining fennel pieces.
  7. Open up the jalapeno pepper with a knife. Remove the seeds and pith. Thinly slice.
  8. I used a George Foreman grill and cooked each chicken breast for 9-11 minutes. Before putting each breast in I covered it in plastic wrap and whacked it with a rolling pin to get it a uniform thickness. Let it cool before slicing it into thin strips. Season with salt and pepper. You could also buy pre-cooked chicken breasts or use leftover rotisserie chicken meat.
  9. Give it all a mix in the bowl to get it evenly distributed. The proportions here are approximates based on the size of your veggies and also your preferences for certain veggies.
  10. Roll the limes on a cutting board to loosen up the insides. Slice in half and squeeze out as much juice as possible into a separate bowl. I push the halves inside out and milk as much juice out as possible. Then I try to strip out some of the flesh, chop it and then add it to the salad. Add olive oil to lime juice mixing two parts oil to one part juice. (The FoodBusker uses rapeseed oil. I couldn’t find it in US grocery stores. I tried canola, but found it lacking.)
  11. Shake or stir the dressing until it emulsifies. Dress the salad by adding a little at a time. Garnish with some radish, carrot and cilantro pieces. Dress it right before you eat it.
  12. This makes about 6 good-sized salads with leftovers. I chopped all of the leftovers and put them in a bag in the freezer. Waiting to see how they taste after i thaw them out.

Here’s the FoodBusker’s video to see how he chopped all of the vegetables, especially the fennel bulb.

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This is an amazing dish and the story of how it came to us is almost as amazing. My wife was staying at a monastery and the monks served it up at one of the meals that night. I don’t know why but the idea of the monks searching the internet for a Giada De Laurentis recipe makes me giggle.

This is a great summer side dish and it also works as a great item to take to a potluck. Make sure you get the Israeli couscous, which looks like little balls.




2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous (or barley or orzo)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium green apple, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, see Cook’s Note

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


For the couscous: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.

Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.

Food Network

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I heard Matt Bittman talk about this recipe on the radio and then watched him make it online. i remember putting it in the oven thinking this makes more servings than I needed. After dinner, I was more than happy to have a lot of leftovers to take for lunch.

Bittman suggests using sliced tomato, but I prefer to use tomato sauce. Also when you halve the chicken breast you’ll get a more even cut if you cut along the long side of the meat instead of the short side.

To make it and get it out of the oven in under 30 minutes you cut, assemble and cook as you go along.

Make sure you have a sturdy pan. Warming a thin cookie sheet covered in oil directly under the broiler can start a fire. Trust me.

The recipe says it serves 4, but with a side salad and/or some veggies I’d say more like 4-6.

5 tbs. olive oil
2 cups seasoned tomato sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.)
salt and pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 oz. Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 bunch fresh basil


1. Turn broiler to high; put rack 6 inches from heat. Pour 2 tbs. olive oil onto rimmed baking sheet and spread it around; put baking sheet in broiler.

• Core and slice tomatoes.

• Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets from each breast. Press down on each with heel of hand to flatten.

2. Carefully remove baking sheet from broiler. Put chicken cutlets on sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes; broil on one side only until chicken is no longer pink in center, rotating pan if necessary for even cooking, 5 to 10 minutes.

• Grate mozzarella and Parmesan.

• Combine bread crumbs, mozzarella, and Parmesan in small bowl.

• Strip 16 to 20 basil leaves from stems.

3. When chicken is cooked through, remove baking sheet from broiler. Lay basil leaves on top of tomatoes, sprinkle with bread crumb-and-cheese mixture, and drizzle with remaining olive oil.

4. Return sheet to broiler; cook until bread crumbs and cheese are browned and bubbly, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Reader’s Digest 

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Just enough salt to balance the small kick of heat from the rooster sauce with a touch of sweet from the maple syrup. I’ve given these in plastic bags for Christmas presents to very happy gift-getters.

Make sure you stir the pretzels in the sauce to evenly coat them before popping them in the over. I’ve made these in bulk in a large turkey pan and also on cookie sheets. The cookie sheets seem to work better as you have a thinner layer of pretzels.


1/2 Cup olive oil
One 2-ounce packet ranch dip mix
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Cup maple syrup, warmed
3 Tablespoons Sriracha
One 16-ounce bag pretzels

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Whisk together the olive oil, ranch mix, garlic powder, maple syrup, and Sriracha together in large mixing bowl.

Once well mixed, add the pretzels and toss until all pretzels are well coated. Spread out on cookie sheets or baking pans (it will likely take at least 2 pans, the more spread out the better!). Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes so the pretzels remain coated and don’t get stuck together.

Remove from the oven and put on paper towels to cool and soak up any extra oil that may remain.

The Daily Meal

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