The Culinary Life https://www.theculinarylife.com Get fearless in the kitchen with Stephanie Stiavetti Mon, 27 Jul 2015 00:36:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Making Kimchi: How Long to Ferment Kimchi https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/making-kimchi-how-long-to-ferment-kimchi/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/making-kimchi-how-long-to-ferment-kimchi/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:28:06 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=16373 A short story about how I came to love kimchi, and finally learned how to ferment it myself so that when I move out of my apartment, I won't have to call my Korean roommate once a week to ask her how to make it. It got to the point that I was really, really digging this kimchi stuff. I was eating it plain, mixed into eggs, and in my very favorite Korean recipe ever, the kimchi pancake. This week marked a milestone: for the first time, I bought my own jar of kimchi. I brought it home and sat there staring at the jar, with the lid bulging from the pressure inside. Honestly, I was a little concerned about opening it. I poked at the jar until Eun-ji came home, because I had no idea what to do with it.

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Five years ago I never thought I’d be asking myself how long to ferment kimchi. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but Korean food was something I’d never connected with. Kimchi in particular was tough for me, as it carried a bunch of flavors and smells I wasn’t used to. I generally limited my cabbage intake to either my Russian beef and cabbage stew, or the occasional stuffed cabbage roll.

It didn’t matter that several dieticians and naturopaths had recommended I eat kimchi – aka, fermented cabbage – regulary to help with some digestion problems I have. Kimchi is fermented, which provides all sorts of probiotic goodness to your gut and can help when you have low stomach acid or suffer from indigestion.

As a professional foodie at large, I don’t consider myself a picky eater. In fact, picky eaters drive me nuts – so I doubly hate it when I realize that I’m avoid an entire swath of the culinary world. Over the years I’d tried to expose myself to more Korean foods, and while I was getting used to them, I still wasn’t enjoying them.

Then a new roommate moved into my apartment, a smart, funny Korean girl named Eun-ji. Which means fermented cabbage became a part of my everyday life. ... Read the rest of Making Kimchi: How Long to Ferment Kimchi on The Culinary Life.


Permalink | Posted in Gluten Free, Recipes, Savory, Soup, Salads, Sides, Vegan and Vegetarian on Jul/Sun/2015
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Bellini Peach Jam Recipe with Champagne https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/bellini-peach-jam-recipe-champagne/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/bellini-peach-jam-recipe-champagne/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=14793 Over the weekend I wanted a nice, summery drink that tasted like sunshine, and with so many peaches in my kitchen, they were the perfect candidate for drink-making. And my dream cocktail must contain bubbles. So I thought, how about a Bellini? After sipping my drink for a few minutes while staring out into the cityscape, it occurred to me that I could easily turn this little concoction into the perfect peach jam recipe. And that's just what I did.

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– My peach jam recipe just got a whole lot more awesome with a little added champagne. – 

Hallelujah, it’s PEACH SEASON! This is hands-down my favorite time of year for produce, that period between June and August where peaches are just bursting with color and flavor. When I go to the farmer’s market, I can smell them halfway down the aisle. Between the strawberries I’m grabbing for making strawberry-cranberry jam, my little basket it pretty full every week.

Over the weekend I wanted a nice, summery drink that tasted like sunshine, and with so many peaches in my kitchen, they were the perfect candidate for drink-making. And my dream cocktail must contain bubbles. So I thought, how about a Bellini?

After sipping my Bellini for a few minutes while staring out into the cityscape, it occurred to me that I could easily turn this little concoction into the perfect peach jam recipe. And that’s just what I did. On those mornings when you don’t fancy a drink at 9 a.m., a swath of these preserves spread across a bagel or buttered baguette is the next best thing.

This wonderfully refreshing Bellini peach preserves recipe combines the sweetness of peaches with the giggly swagger of champagne. (Don’t worry, a lot of the alcohol cooks off.) When high temperatures and a wave of humidity come knocking, can you think of a better way to perk yourself up than with summer fruit and a touch of booze? Like a fresh Bellini during a weekend brunch, these preserves smooth out the creases in life—only with no hangover.

Happy summer jam-making! (< julia>A little champagne for the jam, a little for me… < /julia>)

And in case you weren’t in the know, a dab or fruit jam goes really well on top of real, homemade mac & cheese, to cut through the richness and add a level of refreshment that might surprise you. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! ... Read the rest of Bellini Peach Jam Recipe with Champagne on The Culinary Life.


Permalink | Posted in Baking and Sweets, Breakfast Recipes, Recipes on Jul/Wed/2015
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Ethel’s Easy, Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/ethels-easy-fresh-strawberry-pie-recipe/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/ethels-easy-fresh-strawberry-pie-recipe/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:00:44 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=16272 This week's super easy, super fresh recipe comes from our own Julie Dreyfoos, production manager for Fearless Fresh and The Culinary Life. "This fresh strawberry pie recipe is made with the sweet strawberries of summer inside a buttery pie crust. The recipe was passed down to me by a very special woman with a heart of gold, who adopted my family as her own when I was a toddler growing up in Ohio. Ethel taught me the basics of cooking and I spent many days with her in the kitchen rolling out sugar cookies, baking pies, canning pickles and everything else from the garden."

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Ethel's Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe on https://www.theculinarylife.com

This week’s super easy, super fresh recipe comes from our own Julie Dreyfoos, production manager for Fearless Fresh and The Culinary Life. I’ve been trying to coax Julie into the limelight for a while now, and I’m excited that she’s decided to step out from behind the curtain and share a little bit of her childhood through a story about strawberry pie. (If you’re in a super pie mood, also check out my Spiced Summer Blackberry Pie and Nectarine Bavarian Pie.)

This fresh strawberry pie recipe is made with the sweet strawberries of summer inside a buttery pie crust. The recipe was passed down to me by a very special woman with a heart of gold, who adopted my family as her own when I was a toddler growing up in Ohio. Ethel taught me the basics of cooking and I spent many days with her in the kitchen rolling out sugar cookies, baking pies, canning pickles and everything else from the garden.

During hunting season, Ethel’s husband Eddie brought home venison, quail, and pheasant, and in the summer brought in enough fish that we could eat perch and catfish all through the winter. Her freezers were always full, and her cellar shelves always brimmed with jars of the summer’s bounty.

One of my favorite things Ethel made was her fresh strawberry pie recipe. It was my ‘birthday cake” for many years, and she would always make two strawberry pies, because she knew I would eat a whole pie by myself and would not want to share even a bite. ... Read the rest of Ethel’s Easy, Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe on The Culinary Life.


Permalink | Posted in Baking and Sweets, Recipes on Jul/Wed/2015
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Fearless Fresh: It’s FINALLY Here!! https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/fearless-fresh-its-finally-here/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/fearless-fresh-its-finally-here/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:00:43 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=16052 Oh my GOSH! I am so excited and I can barely contain myself. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had a big project under way, one that would totally redefine what I do in this newsletter and on the website. And it’s finally done! ​Before I ramble on for paragraphs about how elated I am to push this baby out into the world, here she is: The new FearlessFresh.com is ready! Click here to tweet and help spread the word! The new Fearless Fresh website is for people who want to get serious about cooking. It’s where I share friendly­-fierce guidance with steps and inspiration to sharpen your skills, ...

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Fearless Fresh Color Logo http://www.fearlessfresh.com

Oh my GOSH! I am so excited and I can barely contain myself. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had a big project under way, one that would totally redefine what I do in this newsletter and on the website. And it’s finally done!

​Before I ramble on for paragraphs about how elated I am to push this baby out into the world, here she is:

The new FearlessFresh.com is ready!

Click here to tweet and help spread the word!

The new Fearless Fresh website is for people who want to get serious about cooking. It’s where I share friendly­-fierce guidance with steps and inspiration to sharpen your skills, so we can tame and reclaim the kitchen as your happy place. And I am so, so happy to share it with you.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I want to explain a little about what you’ll find on FearlessFresh.com:

I’ll be adding new content to Fearless Fresh every week – actionable, purpose-driven advice designed to make your cooking life not only easier, but totally awesome.

I have one passionate purpose: to turn you into a cooking ninja. By the time I get through with you, you’ll be a total badass in the kitchen.

Here’s what you can expect to see next:

  • The Ninja Cooking Support Group on Facebook will become the primary center of support, where I and a handful of professional chefs offer free advice and coaching to home cooks. Be sure to check it out!
  • Soon, TheCulinaryLife will also be re-branded to match Fearless Fresh. The two sites will remain separate for the time being, but will have a similar look and feel.
  • All social media channels are also rebranded to match the new Fearless Fresh design. Check out Twitter and Facebook.
  • This fall I’m releasing a new digital ebook, totally free, that will change the way you think about dinner. So keep an eye out for that! Make sure you’re on the mailing list so you can be the first to get a copy.

​I’d like to take a second to acknowledge the amazing team of people who were instrumental in building the new Fearless Fresh site. Kathleen Shannon, Tara Street, and Liz Johnson of Braid Creative designed the spot-on branding and visual identity, and Lisa Butler of Elembee turned their vision into a gorgeously designed and developed website. Jeff and Joy Miller of Five Js Design handled many of the flourishes and creative assets you’ll see popping up in ebooks, accompaniments, and social media. Julie Dreyfoos, our fearless production manager, kept the backend tethered together and helped me stay [semi-] sane when I thought this project might consume me.

Every single person on this team did an incredible job and it shows in the finished product. If you’re looking for design or branding help, I highly recommend you check out their services, linked above.

And a million thanks to you, yes YOU, the person reading this right now, for being here to experience this right along side me. You’re the whole reason I’m doing this.

To-Do this Week: Check out the new FearlessFresh.com! Then leave a comment and let me know what you think. Your opinion really does mean the world to me. If you see any bugs, please let me know about those, too.


Permalink | Posted in Miscellaneous on Jun/Tue/2015
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The Dark Knight Cake (Triple Chocolate Layer Cake) https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/dark-knight-triple-chocolate-layer-cake/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/dark-knight-triple-chocolate-layer-cake/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 18:00:16 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=15787 I love cake, but I have a serious aversion to bad cake. What do I mean by bad cake? Too-sweet cake. Too-dry cake. Boring cake. Uninspired cake. Cake that tastes like it’s made from a cake mix, or cake that has a texture resembling a used sponge from a college cafeteria dish pit. Some people believe that any and all cake is good, just for the sheer fact that it’s cake. I’m not like that. For me, bad cake is the worst form of baking heresy. And there are a lot of bad cakes out there. I’m always tinkering with recipes, trying to ...

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The Dark Knight Cake (Triple Chocolate Layer Cake) on https://www.theculinarylife.com

I love cake, but I have a serious aversion to bad cake. What do I mean by bad cake? Too-sweet cake. Too-dry cake. Boring cake. Uninspired cake. Cake that tastes like it’s made from a cake mix, or cake that has a texture resembling a used sponge from a college cafeteria dish pit.

Some people believe that any and all cake is good, just for the sheer fact that it’s cake. I’m not like that. For me, bad cake is the worst form of baking heresy. And there are a lot of bad cakes out there.

I’m always tinkering with recipes, trying to make them more interesting. More… compelling. Sometimes that involves reducing the amount of sugar, changing up the type of fat used, experimenting with different kinds of flours, or adding other ingredients that the average person might not think to put in a cake. This cake is a great example of that line of thinking.

I’ve dubbed this decadently rich, moist cake The Dark Knight Cake. It’s a tall, glowering tower of chocolate intensity – the emo Christian Bale of baking. A generous blast of dark roast coffee and a touch of milk makes for a gently bitter tone, while a hint of cayenne adds mystique without turning up the heat.

I’ve also added dates for extra tenderness – you might think it’s weird, but trust me and try it. It’s nearly impossible to ruin this cake unless you A) seriously over bake it, or B) overmix it within an inch of its life. Don’t go crazy with the baking and mixing, and you’ll be sure to have a masterful dessert on your hands when all is said and done.

This dish calls for one recipe each of chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream frosting. I’ve linked to these additional recipes in the ingredients list below. Feel free to make the icings the day before and keep them in the refrigerator, allowing them to come fully to room temperature before constructing the finished cake. ... Read the rest of The Dark Knight Cake (Triple Chocolate Layer Cake) on The Culinary Life.


Permalink | Posted in Baking and Sweets, Recipes on May/Wed/2015
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Join the Fearless Fresh Ninja Community: Your Key to the Kitchen https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/join-fearless-fresh-ninja-community-key-kitchen/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/join-fearless-fresh-ninja-community-key-kitchen/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 16:32:08 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=15958 We all need help sometimes, no matter how good a cook we are. Things go wonky: Cake pans overflow, vegetables melt into a gray gelatinous puddle, chicken suddenly decides to go rubbery in the frying pan. Even those of us who wrangle food for eight hours a day run into our fair share of problems. Like, just today I put a few potatoes in the oven to bake. One &@$#!% potato refused to cook while all the other potatoes in the oven baked just fine. Either this potato had nine lives or there was something seriously wrong with it. I’m not sure who cursed ...

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The Fearless Fresh Ninja Community on https://www.theculinarylife.com

We all need help sometimes, no matter how good a cook we are. Things go wonky: Cake pans overflow, vegetables melt into a gray gelatinous puddle, chicken suddenly decides to go rubbery in the frying pan. Even those of us who wrangle food for eight hours a day run into our fair share of problems.

Like, just today I put a few potatoes in the oven to bake. One &@$#!% potato refused to cook while all the other potatoes in the oven baked just fine. Either this potato had nine lives or there was something seriously wrong with it.

I’m not sure who cursed this demon tuber, but it sat in that 425° oven for well over an hour, completely impervious to heat and flame. I ended up chucking it into the bin so it could go haunt the landfill (god knows I didn’t want its funky vibes anywhere near the compost bin).

Sometimes you need to ask a question. (“Is there a weird variety of potato that’s exempt from the laws of physics?”)

Sometimes you accomplish an amazing feat and really want to shout it from the rooftops.

And sometimes you just need a little support, sharing an epic failure that threatens to lock your culinary self esteem in dry storage for the next six months.

That’s why I’m building Fearless Fresh, and why I started the new Ninja community on Facebook. It’s a place for cooking beginners and adventurers alike, where you can find friendly-fierce guidance and inspiration for sharpening your skills… so you can feel like a total badass in the kitchen. (Because, you can be. I promise.)

This new community is a place you can go to get answers and hang out with like-minded folks who want to talk about food, cooking, and how it all relates to life. But it’s more than that – it’s also a group of good people who have your back when the beef stew hits the fan.

It’s totally free. So join us today, say hello, and share your questions and experiences!

To-do this week:

Join the Fearless Fresh Ninja group on Facebook, and say hello! Introduce yourself, ask a question, share your biggest win.


Permalink | Posted in Miscellaneous on May/Mon/2015
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Learn How to De-Stress Dinner https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/want-to-know/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/want-to-know/#respond Fri, 08 May 2015 15:15:01 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=15852 I get so many questions from home cooks about learning how to prepare quick, healthy meals that taste delicious. Dinnertime stress is a real problem, even for me! But I learned how to eat awesomely every night, even while crazy busy. Do you have a burning question about how I did it? I really want to share everything I discovered. Here are a few examples of the questions I’ve gotten just this week: What can I do to improve my knife skills? How can I make my bland dinners taste better without expensive ingredients? Do I need a cabinet full of ...

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Burning Question on https://www.theculinarylife.com

I get so many questions from home cooks about learning how to prepare quick, healthy meals that taste delicious. Dinnertime stress is a real problem, even for me! But I learned how to eat awesomely every night, even while crazy busy.

Do you have a burning question about how I did it? I really want to share everything I discovered.

Here are a few examples of the questions I’ve gotten just this week:

  • What can I do to improve my knife skills?
  • How can I make my bland dinners taste better without expensive ingredients?
  • Do I need a cabinet full of spices if I want to be a good home cook?
  • How can I make sure all of my dishes are hot and ready to eat at the same time?
  • I can barely boil water without messing it up. How can I cook better? (That’s a biiiiig question!)

I appreciate getting these questions, because I’m really passionate about food and I want to help every person I interact with become a serious ninja in the kitchen. So here’s what I’m going to do about it: I’m going to create a super useful course to answer all of these questions based on my years of experience in the kitchen, developing recipes and writing cookbooks.

I’d love to answer your questions, too, and I’ll bet you’ve got one worth asking. So hop over here to submit your question and answer one quick thing: what’s on your mind?

Note: I want to keep this super organized, so please use the question form here so I can keep track of everything. Comments are turned off for this post so it doesn’t get bonkers!


Permalink | Posted in Miscellaneous on May/Fri/2015
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Exciting Changes – They’re Coming Your Way! https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/exciting-changes-theyre-coming-way/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/exciting-changes-theyre-coming-way/#respond Tue, 05 May 2015 12:00:26 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=15835 The past few months have sailed past, and spring is officially here. Woot! And to celebrate the new season, I’ve got something really exciting on the horizon: the new FearlessFresh launch. In the next few months, I’m officially launching FearlessFresh.com, with the intention of helping regular, everyday home cook become ninjas in the kitchen. My goal is to up the ante when it comes to skill and technique, teaching you exactly what you need to know to turn out dishes that you’ll be proud to call your own. The tagline for the new site is “Tame & reclaim your kitchen,” and I’ll help you do ...

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Fearless Fresh Color Logo http://www.fearlessfresh.com

The past few months have sailed past, and spring is officially here. Woot! And to celebrate the new season, I’ve got something really exciting on the horizon: the new FearlessFresh launch.

In the next few months, I’m officially launching FearlessFresh.com, with the intention of helping regular, everyday home cook become ninjas in the kitchen. My goal is to up the ante when it comes to skill and technique, teaching you exactly what you need to know to turn out dishes that you’ll be proud to call your own.

The tagline for the new site is “Tame & reclaim your kitchen,” and I’ll help you do exactly that with a series of new e-books and e-courses designed for one purpose: to make you a culinary badass. I’m going beyond recipes and diving deeply into the fundamentals… and beyond.

Cooking newbies will find a ton of information on how to sharpen those skills, and experienced cooks will find all sorts of challenges to take your cooking to the next level.

I’ve also created the Fearless Fresh Kitchen Ninja group on Facebook, where you can hop into a vibrant, supportive community to share your cooking struggles and get your questions answered by both pros and other home cooks. Come join the group and say hello! Introduce yourself, ask a question, share your biggest win.

All of this is coming down the pike this summer. My team and I have been hard at work with branding and design, and you will be totally blown away come launch day. I can’t wait.

Don’t forget to sign up for the FearlessFresh list. I want to make sure we keep in touch so you can enjoy all the fun things I’ve got planned!


Permalink | Posted in Miscellaneous on May/Tue/2015
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Easy, Healthy Spanish Rice Recipe https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/easy-healthy-spanish-rice-recipe/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/easy-healthy-spanish-rice-recipe/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:00:07 +0000 https://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=15796 – A Spanish rice recipe you can serve with almost anything. – Had a bad day? Dig out your favorite Spanish rice recipe and you’ll feel better. (My easy brown rice chicken enchilada casserole does a pretty good job also.) Come on, you know how this goes: It’s been a long one, and you somehow got stuck in that time warp where it seems to take 12 hours to get from noon to 5 pm. You’ve been eyeballing the clock every fifteen minutes for most of the afternoon, and even though you’re super busy – or rather, stressed to the max – ...

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Easy Healthy Spanish Rice Recipe on https://www.theculinarylife.com

– A Spanish rice recipe you can serve with almost anything. –

Had a bad day? Dig out your favorite Spanish rice recipe and you’ll feel better. (My easy brown rice chicken enchilada casserole does a pretty good job also.) Come on, you know how this goes: It’s been a long one, and you somehow got stuck in that time warp where it seems to take 12 hours to get from noon to 5 pm. You’ve been eyeballing the clock every fifteen minutes for most of the afternoon, and even though you’re super busy – or rather, stressed to the max – the day is dragging like an ’85 VW Jetta with two flat tires. (Because you had one of those, too? Right?)

By the time you get home, you feel like you’ve aged ten years when it’s barely been ten hours. You walk in the door, wander into the bathroom, look in the mirror and think, oh god… this day sucked.

The last thing you want to do is cook, right? I don’t blame you. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to either after a day like you’ve had.

The thing is, I know I always feel better when I’ve eaten something that’s both healthy and delicious, and I’ll bet the same goes for you also. Now where’s that damn personal chef?

Since it looks like you’ll need to fend for yourself tonight, I’ve got something for you. It’s a dinner recipe that will not only feed you well, but will leave you feeling a lot better after even the crappiest of days. I’ve made countless variations on the classic Spanish rice recipe, but this is by far my favorite because it’s easy, healthy, and – fancy that! – crazy delicious.

Enter: A Spanish rice dish that’s simple and healthy.

This Spanish rice is both simple and versatile. It can be served with tacos, in burritos, alongside fajitas, stuffed into peppers, or eaten on its own in a big bowl. When I know I’m going to have a crazy week, I make double the amount of this recipe and eat it for dinner until it runs out. Then every night I sit on the couch with a bowl and a fork, and eat until I forget what caused me to want to crawl under the bed with a blankie and a bottle of Scotch.

You can use white or brown rice in this recipe, though you’ll have to adjust the rice’s cooking time (here are some tips for cooking and storing brown rice and other grains, which can save you serious time). For an even heartier meal, try tossing in a chopped avocado and sprinkle with shredded cheese right before you dive in. Without the added avocado or cheese, this recipe freezes well or keeps in the refrigerator up to five days, so feel free to make enough to feed an army.

... Read the rest of Easy, Healthy Spanish Rice Recipe on The Culinary Life.


Permalink | Posted in Gluten Free, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soup, Salads, Sides on Apr/Tue/2015
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Refreshing Pistachio Parsley Pesto https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/refreshing-pistachio-parsley-pesto-recipe/ https://www.theculinarylife.com/2015/refreshing-pistachio-parsley-pesto-recipe/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 05:00:09 +0000 http://www.theculinarylife.com/?p=8623 – This parsley pesto would have saved me. Sigh. – I’ve got a confession to make: I ate my first McDonald’s burger in YEARS last week. I was stuck in an airport late at night, starving, and I’d exhausted all of the healthy snacks in my bag. No other “restaurants” were open and I was a quarter mile past hangry, to the point that I was about to pose a serious health risk to any airline staff who might get between me and a bag of peanuts. So I took a deep breath, plunked down my $1.49, and bought a ...

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– This parsley pesto would have saved me. Sigh. –

I’ve got a confession to make: I ate my first McDonald’s burger in YEARS last week. I was stuck in an airport late at night, starving, and I’d exhausted all of the healthy snacks in my bag. No other “restaurants” were open and I was a quarter mile past hangry, to the point that I was about to pose a serious health risk to any airline staff who might get between me and a bag of peanuts. So I took a deep breath, plunked down my $1.49, and bought a cheeseburger.

(If I’m being totally honest, I was so hungry that it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.)

 

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 – Parsley pesto – or any pesto, really – is easy to make. –

What does this have to do with pistachio parsley pesto?

The problem wasn’t that I was caught in an airport in the middle of the night, or that there was nowhere else to eat, or even that I was hungry to begin with. The problem was that I was not prepared. I usually carry real food in my bag when I travel, like these flax muffins with raspberries, but I’d just been too tired and stressed to pack anything beyond an apple and a few packets of nuts. I also hate dealing with the TSA food nazis, who seem to think hummus is a hazardous substance, and I didn’t want to play the “Is this considered a liquid?” game. (No, overly empowered TSA manager, hummus is not a liquid. Thanks for playing.)

Sheepishly, I must admit that I even wrote a whole post on avoiding food at airports. So I really have no excuse.

 

Refreshing Parsley Pistachio Pesto on http://www.theculinarylife.com

– Pesto, in media res. –

The burger did not sit well. Fast food usually upsets my stomach, and I spent the rest of the night feeling like someone kicked me in the gut. I had plenty of time to think about my food choices on the long trip home, in between twisting uncomfortably in my seat and begging the flight attendant for a Tums.

Last time I made this flight, I’d packed the perfect travel meal: a takeout container full of parsley pesto over pasta, with pistachios added for a little extra love. It whips up quickly in a food processor and keeps well at room temperature for hours. With only a handful of ingredients and five minutes worth of actual work, I had prepared and packed a simple, delicious meal that had carried me through the night and left me feeling good the next day. Somewhere over the Great Plains, I deeply regretted not bringing any.

The awesome thing about this parsley pesto is that you can do so much with it. Hate mayo? Spread pesto on your next sandwich. Need an appetizer? Serve pesto alongside thinly sliced sourdough bread. Need a way to brighten a boring steak or chicken breast? A dollop of pesto provides a mega-dose of BIG FLAVOR WITH ALL CAPS.

Pesto even freezes well, so you can make a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays for the world’s easiest single-serving dinner.

Once I got home and managed to somehow digest the offending burger, I needed something simple to eat that wouldn’t zap the little energy I had left after traveling. I found a bunch of parsley in the fridge and a managed to dig up a handful of pistachios from the cupboard. In less than ten minutes I had a huge bowl of steaming pasta smothered with seriously flavorful parsley pesto.

I might not have had it when I needed it last night, but it will do me perfectly right now.

 

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Permalink | Posted in Main Dishes, Recipes, Savory, Soup, Salads, Sides, Vegan and Vegetarian on Apr/Tue/2015
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© Stephanie Stiavetti for The Culinary Life, 2015.

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