Mid-September Menu + Spicy Coconut Noodles

Another tasty week in the books. Let’s discuss! (Also, someone got new markers!! Me.)

dinners written out on a white board

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

mid-September dinners

What we made last week, with notes:

Sunday, 9/10/22: Pizza and salad! I mentioned last week I’m on a quest for a new pizza dough and, to that end, I tried the NYT Cooking highly-rated pizza dough recipe this week. It was good — my personal favorite for homemade dough so far. What I’m really looking for in homemade dough is for it to emerge from the oven with big, pillowy bubbles. This one had the beginning of one bubble. So, ya know… it’s something. I’m still searching and Joey still prefers store-bought Publix dough.

pepperoni pizza on a cutting board

Sunday 9/11/22: Spicy Coconut Noodles. I started out with Melissa Clark’s recipe for Gingery Coconut Noodles with Shrimp and Greens from her new cookbook “Dinner In One”, and ended up with the Spicy Coconut Noodles recipe shared below, which uses chicken breasts, a hot little gochujang/sambal olek marinade, a bunch of chopped green beans, and subs in pasta for rice noodles. We looooved this and I have to think it’s due to that mound of spaghetti being cooked in a spicy coconut milk bath. Fab!

Monday 9/12/22: Kimchi Fried Rice. A hit! And this recipe also came from that same Melissa Clark book. I made this for the crew at my friend’s inn and my only regret was not being able to include the fluffy scrambled egg that Joey and I got to enjoy with it (scrambled eggs + make-ahead meals for large groups just don’t mix in my mind).

Tuesday 9/13/22: Pizza again! Nope, we did not follow the plan. But, Joey and I did do something this day that’s been 10 years in the making: we took our boat over to our local Indian spot, Masala Bay, for lunch and ate all the things. Ah-mazing.

dishes of Indian food laid out on a table

Wednesday 8/13/22: leftover Indian food!

Thursday 8/14/22: Dinner at mom and dad’s. My mom made paella with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and chorizo and WHY do I not ever make paella?? It was so good.

Friday 8/15/22: Trader Joe’s Cacio e Pepe Ravioli with Cajun Alfredo Sauce. We’d planned on eating leftovers but had this instead and it tasted like canned spaghettios, which to me, is a good thing.

This week’s baking efforts: Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies. I make these preeeetttty often — they’re the just-right combo of nutty brown butter and molassas-y brown sugar and the texture is perfectly crinkly-soft. The recipe is from  America’s Test Kitchen’s “New Essentials Cookbook”, although I think they’re just called Brown Sugar Cookies in there. Why they don’t call out the brown-butteriness in the title, I’ll never know.

cookies on a cooling rack

Now on to this week’s recipe. It’s a goody❤️

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Mid-September Menu + Spicy Coconut Noodles

noodles with lots of herbs and spinach in a skillet with tongs

This recipe is a twist on the Gingery Coconut Noodles from Melissa Clark’s cookbook “Dinner In One”, using spaghetti noodles, chicken breasts, a spicy marinade, and green beans.

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin pieces, about 1” long
  • 1/3 C gochujang sauce
  • 2 TBS sambal olek
  • 3 TBS coconut oil
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (keep the white and green parts separated)
  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (divided)
  • 1/2 lb green beans, chopped into 1/3“-long pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 1” of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 lb spaghetti
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 1 5 oz container of spinach, roughly chopped
  • juice of 23 limes
  • 1 C chopped fresh herbs (I used cilantro, basil, and mint)
  • chopped peanuts, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced chicken breast, gochujang sauce, and sambal olek, toss to coat, and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil, then add the marinated chicken breast. Cook, stirring once or twice until the chicken is seared on the outside – about 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe out the pan.
  3. Melt the remaining TBS of coconut oil in the same skillet, then add the scallion whites, half the jalapeno, and the green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and the beans turn bright green – 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
  4. Increase heat to high and dd the coconut and chicken stock to the pan, stirring to combine. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the spaghetti. Cook, stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente – about 9 minutes. Add more stock if the mixture gets too dry.
  5. Stir in the fish sauce, the reserved cooked chicken, and the spinach, and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Taste and season with as much of the lime juice as you like, and/or add more fish sauce or a pinch of salt if it needs it.
  6. Sprinkle remaining sliced jalapenos, chopped herbs, and peanuts over top and serve.

Notes

*The cooking times and nutritional info noted in this recipe are approximate.

Keywords: easy chicken breast recipe, coconut milk noodles, spicy noodle recipe

Early September Menus

This week’s post is a twofer with no real recipe b/c I’m a bit behind schedule — a bit behind all of life, actually but that’s ok. I couldn’t just skip a post because there’s been so much good food the past two weeks and I need a record of it!

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

last days of August, first days of September dinners

What we made last week, with notes:

dinners written out on a white board

Saturday 8/27/22: Kimchi and bacon grilled cheese with fries. What else do you need on a Saturday night? This was Pinch of Yum‘s recipe, except I added spinach to the bacon/kimchi mixture. We eat this sandwich on the reg — it’s pretty much perfect.

Sunday 8/28/22: Pasta e fagioli with garlic bread. Ok, this I ate all week long with many, many Ritz crackers and it was so satisfying. The recipe came from a book I’ve mentioned before, my all-time fave: “Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook” by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. If you have a mouth and like to cook even a little bit, buy this book. Just LOOK at the tiny pasta and the greens and the broth and the Parm:

Pasta e Fagioli in bowls with bread on the side

Monday 8/29/22: Chicken and squash mafe curry. I thoroughly regret not snapping a picture of this because it was a real highlight of the week. I used a lamb and sweet potato curry recipe from the latest Food & Wine magazine — the recipe is not on their website for me to link to here but it has both peanut butter and coconut milk (like, wow), and a super flavorful spice blend. I swapped in chicken thighs and butternut squash for the lamb and sweet potatoes and I gotta make this again and write it all down, it’s a definite keeper.

Tuesday 8/30/22: Tacos. TACO TUESDAY mmkay

Wednesday 8/31/22: Merguez meatballs with roasted squash and salad. This recipe kinda sorta came from a book called “For The Table” by Anna Stockwell except I used merguez sausages I got at the state farmer’s market instead of ground lamb and turned the whole thing into a flatbread/wrap situation with lots of pickled onions and cucumber and feta and a pistachio gremolata. I thanked myself for those bright ideas.

Merguez Meatballs and Roasted SquashMerguez Meatballs and Roasted Squash

Thursday 9/1/22: Summer squash and onion lasagna and salad. I must must must come back to this one someday and write out the whole recipe. I basically combined the caramelized squash and onions from Vivian Howard’s book Deep Run Roots with the lasagna verde from Italian American, which includes an incredible, bright green pistachio pesto and a creamy bechamel. I mean, come on.

Summer Squash and Onion Lasagna on two plates

Friday 9/2/22: Collard green pizza and salad. I had half a big bag of collard greens left after Sunday’s pasta e fagioli and they sure did end up sauteed and on my pizza Friday night. New thing: I’m on a quest for the best pizza dough recipe. I’m over my go-to pizza dough at the moment, although I haven’t found one I like better yet. This one did not quite do it for me, but even bad pizza is good pizza:

Pizza on parchment paper with marinara sauce

And that’s the end of that week! On to this week, where I took far fewer pictures:

Early September dinners

dinners written out on a white board

What we made this week, with notes:

Saturday 9/3/22: Rigatoni with sausage, basil, and mustard cream sauce and salad. I get big end-of-summer-almost-fall vibes from this meal. It’s a crossover dinner! The recipe is from Food & Wine, and the whole thing only takes up the space of one paragraph. Read: it’s easy.

Sunday 9/4/22: Moroccan roast with chickpeas and couscous with lemony broccolini. 10 out of 10 would make again, just for the smell. It’s pot roast but with harissa, cumin, and cinnamon and my house smelled like heaven for at least 4 hours. This recipe was perfect and came from Colu Henry’s book, “Colu Cooks“. The picture doesn’t do it justice but it makes me happy to remember this meal.

Moroccan Roast with Chickpeas and Couscous with Broccolini

Monday 9/5/22: Grilled wings; grilled moo cheese, pork tenderloin and broccoli rabe subs, roasted potatoes, and brownies. It was Labor Day! And we had friends over and had a ball. Is it a good idea to make hot, time-consuming sandwiches for a crowd? No, but these pork and broccoli rabe subs are really, really good. They’re from America’s Test Kitchen’s “New Essentials Cookbook“.

Tuesday 9/6/22: leftovers!

Wednesday 9/7/22: leftovers again! Joey wasn’t home so I didn’t cook.

Thursday 9/8/22: Lentil soup in bread bowls. If you ever need a self-esteem boost, make these bread bowls from Molly Yeh. If you follow the recipe exactly, you will end up with restaurant-quality bread bowls and feel like a total superstar. I sort of regret not making the lentil soup she serves in them but I had to try the recipe from “To the Last Bite” by Alexis deBoschnek. Alexis warns it will seem weird that the bacon in the soup is not crisped, it just simmers/cooks along with everything else in the stock, then you thinly slice it at the end and add it back to the soup and the pieces end up as velvety little flavor bombs. I agree it did taste wonderful and yes, it was weird.

Lentil Soup in Bread Bowls on a countertop

And with that, we’re done! Looking forward to more great food and trying out some new stuff next week.

Late August Menu + Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken Sandwiches

Shall we talk about what we’re eating? Here’s what went on at our house this week:

dinners written out on a white board

Usually we deviate from the white board slightly but, this week, I’m glad to say it all went pretty much as planned. Let’s discuss the juicy details, and keep scrolling for how I finally perfected the Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken Sandwich pictured at the top, which has been haunting my dreams.

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

late august dinners

What we made this week, with notes:

Saturday 8/13/22: Fig, caramelized onion, and bacon pizza. Come on. Do I need to say this? It was obviously amazing. The recipe came from NYT Cooking except I used fresh figs we grilled last week and added shredded fontina and goat cheese to the blue cheese called for in the recipe. More is more when we’re talking cheese.

Caramelized Onion, Fig, and Bacon Pizza on a cutting board

Sunday 8/14/22: Beef phyllo pie with salad. Wowzers… this was even better than expected and I expected a lot — it is super-seasoned meat wrapped in flaky pastry, after all. I’d originally planned to add some sauteed zucchini and bell peppers but then thought, “Calm down here, just try it the way the recipe was written.” Very glad I did — this phyllo pie needs nothing but the beef, the feta, the fresh herbs on top, and maybe a little lemony yogurt sauce on the side. The recipe came from the cookbook “To the Last Bite” by Alexis deBoschnek . Except, her recipe used lamb. Lolz, I guess I didn’t follow the recipe 100% but whatever — it was still amazing and will be making it again!

Monday 8/15/22: Chicken mole with cilantro-lime beans and rice. A repeat recipe in our house from America’s Test Kitchen’s book, “Dinner Illustrated: 175 Meals Ready in 1 Hour or Less”. It sounds wrong, but this mole sauce can be made in like… 10 minutes. And it’s reeeeeaaalllly good. This time, I used the leftover chile-peanut salsa from last week’s skirt steak tacos in the mole and it worked great!

Tuesday 8/16/22: Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken Sandwiches! Recipe below! Proud to say, on what ended up being the third try, I finally nailed the right combo of ingredients (following last Sunday’s fried chicken cutlet disappointment). The elements that righted all my past sandwich wrongs: a toasted brioche bun (not a kaiser roll!), my standby Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken recipe (crackly and crispy, not greasy like previous attempts), and homemade quick pickles for a much-needed tangy crunch. Hallelujah.

Wednesday 8/17/22: –leftovers–

Thursday 8/18/22: Smoked ribs with cola BBQ sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, and salad. Fun times and a good bottle of shiraz were had on Thursday. This cola BBQ sauce is where it’s at. The recipe came from Toni Tipton-Martin’s cookbook ,”Jubilee” and is the sauce she pairs with the orange-glazed wings shared last week. Loved! I mean… look at these freaking ribs:

glazed ribs on aluminum foil

Friday 8/19/22: Pasta with white vodka sauce, garlic bread, and salad. Heck yeah! A deceptively simple recipe that tastes like the best alfredo sauce you’ve ever had but better, from my all-time favorite book, “Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook” by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. I bought this book b/c Bon Appetit wrote about its mussels stuffed with pepperoni rice recipe and I thought, “These people get me.” I’m quickly cooking my way through the whole thing and am very glad I tried this buttery, creamy, onion-and-shallot-laced pasta. It’s fab. No photo b/c we ate it too fast.

What a tasty week! Now please enjoy this crispy chicken sammy:

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Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken Sandwiches

crispy chicken sandwiches on parchment paper

Thinly sliced chicken coated in a mixture of grated pecorino romano cheese and breadcrumbs and pan-fried, topped with shredded cabbage, parmesan, and quick pickles, sandwiched between toasted brioche with a generous layer of lemony mayo!

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning the mayo
  • 1/2 C white vinegar
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 C mayo
  • 1/4 C greek yogurt
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken
  • shaved Parmesan
  • shredded napa or savoy cabbage
  • 4 brioche burger buns, toasted

Instructions

  1. Make the quick pickles: in a large bowl, toss thinly sliced cucumber in a teaspoon of salt and let sit for an hour in the fridge with a heavy bowl on top to help press the liquid out. Drain off the liquid, stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved (or mostly dissolved) then toss the cucumber slices in the vinegar mixture, season with pepper, and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  2. Make the lemon mayo: stir together the mayo, yogurt, and lemon juice. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Assemble the sandwiches in this order: toasted brioche bun, lemon mayo, 1 piece of Crispy Pecorino Romano Chicken (slice in half and stack it to make it fit), shaved Parmesan, quick pickles, shredded cabbage, more lemon mayo on the top half of the toasted brioche bun.

Notes

*The cooking times and nutritional info noted in this recipe are approximate.

Keywords: crispy chicken sandwich, pecorino romano chicken, chicken breast recipe

Mid-August Menu + Orange-Glazed Grilled Wings

Back again with another week’s worth of dinners and a recipe! Here was the original plan for the week:

dinners written out on a white board

We didn’t totally stick to this plan but came pretty close. Pizza delivery made an appearance and one meal was swapped out because our grocery store didn’t have what I needed, plus I found FIGS at the farmer’s market. Fig life forever.

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

Mid-August dinners

What we made this week, with notes:

Saturday 8/6/22: Grilled fig and cheese skewers w/ hot Italian sausage. Man, this was a good one. We were meant to have grilled halloumi and veg skewers but my local search for halloumi only turned up something call The Big Moo baked cheese, which I now never want to be without. It can be grilled or cooked in a skillet and tastes just like a grilled cheese sandwich, except no bread. We threw the above-mentioned figs on skewers with the cheese, some red onion, and tossed it all on the grill alongside sausage. *Chef’s kiss* and so good for summer. Check it out:

figs, cheese and onions on skewers

Sunday 8/7/22: Fried chicken cutlet sandwiches with fries. This was… ok. I was following a recipe for the breaded and fried chicken cutlets and, IMO, it ended up too greasy-tasting. We can do better! Stay tuned for round two of this meal next week.

Monday 8/8/22: We ordered pizza! I did also make the coconut curry meatballs mentioned in the photo above but that was for the folks I cook for at our local inn. I used this coconut curry pork meatball recipe from How Sweet Eats, used turkey instead of pork, subbed ground almonds for the breadcrumbs, (one of the gals at the inn doesn’t like to eat pork and is gluten-intolerant) and added sweet potato and spinach. For me, this recipe is as good as takeout. Winner! I just didn’t make enough for Joey and me to eat, plus we had friends over for haircuts… it was a busy night, so pizza was the solution.

Tuesday 8/9/22: leftoveeeeers

Wednesday 8/10/22: Skirt steak tacos with chile-peanut salsa. This recipe came from Alison Roman’s cookbook ,”Nothing Fancy”. The salsa, which is just toasted dried chiles, peanuts, and oil, came out a little bitter (I think b/c I overtoasted the chiles). However, we added lime juice and honey and it ended up tasting good enough that I’m going to reuse it in a mole sauce this week. Fab!

Thursday 8/11/22: Curried turkey and vegetable quinoa. Here, I was messing with a simple recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli’s book, “Cook With Me” by adding zucchini, red onion, and tomatoes to a ground turkey quinoa pilaf seasoned with curry powder. I topped it with the spicy chakri mix from Trader Joe’s, which turned an otherwise soft, semi-textureless meal into a crunchy adventure. Loved, and will be making it again with even more tweaks.

Friday 8/12/22: Orange-glazed grilled wings, roasted broccoli, and fries. Wing recipe below! What a way to end the week.

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Orange-Glazed Grilled Wings

orange-glazed chicken wings on a sheet pan

Grilling chicken wings on indirect heat for 15-20 minutes, then tossing them in a sweet and salty orange glaze and throwing them back on the grill for a couple minutes prevents the glaze from burning and gives you perfectly sticky, glazed, grilled wings. The glaze recipe came from Toni Tipton-Martin’s book ,”Jubilee”. (In the book, she shares a method for oven-baking the wings if you prefer not to grill them, and pairs them with a delicious barbecue sauce.)

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 wings 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch, appetizer
  • Method: grilling

Ingredients

Scale
  • 20 chicken wings
  • canola oil for coating the wings
  • 3 TBS orange marmalade
  • 1 TBS light brown sugar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the wings
  • 1 tsp black pepper, plus more for seasoning the wings
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 TBS toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill, setting one side to medium heat and one side to medium-high.
  2. Pat the wings dry with paper towels and either brush them with canola oil or use a canola oil spray to coat them on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Place the wings on the side of the grill set to medium heat and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is just starting to show grill marks and the wings are cooked through.
  5. Transfer the wings to the bowl with the orange glaze and toss to coat. Place them back on the grill, this time on the side set to medium-high, and cook for a few minutes longer, turning occasionally, until the glaze is showing grill marks. Be careful not to take your eyes off the wings during this step, as the sugar in the glaze can easily burn.
  6. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Notes

The cooking time and nutritional info noted in this recipe are approximate.

Keywords: grilled wings, grilled chicken wings, grilled glazed wings, orange-glazed chicken wings

Early August Menu + Grilled Vegetable Bolognese

Hiiiii! It’s been about a million minutes since I’ve posted but I’m excited to try something new here today: sharing last week’s menu from our house! Selfishly, I want these weekly menus here because I want to document the memories. IDK why but I remember most things through what I was cooking or eating at the time. So, here we are. Also, I’m including a pretty wonderful recipe for a grilled vegetable bolognese that only a monster wouldn’t love.

*This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite cookbooks. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

Early August dinners

What we made this week, with notes:

Saturday 7/30/22: Cassoulet on toast with a green salad. The cassoulet was frozen leftover from the winter, when I made a real-deal, legit cassoulet with homemade duck confit and all. Bucket list! The recipe came from Michael Ruhlman’s cookbook “From Scratch” and was completely delicious piled on some toasted, crusty bread. A squeeze of lemon on top and a salad on the side were just right to balance out the richness.

Sunday 7/31/22: Grilled Vegetable Bolognese with garlic bread and a green salad. The recipe is shared below! The sauce freezes perfectly so we were eating this leftover. High-fives to me for cleaning out my freezer last week, I guess!

Monday 8/1/22: Veggie Fried Rice. A Serving Tonight staple in this house and a great use for leftovers!

Tuesday 8/2/22: Grilled chicken wings and sauteed corn and leeks with fresh mozzarella. When I tell you we tossed the wings in the Thai curry sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings, it sounds weird that we paired them with anything involving fresh mozzarella. But, IDK… it worked! We threw some fresh jalapeno and lime juice in with the corn and leeks and lived happily ever after. If you’re in need of a good method for grilling wings, refer to this NYT recipe for Chicken Wings With Gochujang, Ginger and Garlic and use any sauce/seasoning you want. It’s foolproof!

Wednesday 8/3/22: Potato and Leek Top Frittata with goat cheese + marinated red peppers on toast. Leek tops! Eat them. The cookbook “To the Last Bite” by Alexis deBoschnek will show you how; this frittata recipe and the marinated red pepper recipe came from there and were super good.

Thursday 8/4/22: Chopped Thai Salad. We used this recipe from Pinch of Yum and threw in some savoy cabbage and chicken thighs we grilled on Tuesday night while the grill was already fired up for the wings. HUGE fan of this salad.

Friday 8/5/22: Tuna steaks with miso noodle salad. When your friend texts to offer fresh-caught tuna, you say yes. We seared the tuna steaks and dunked each bite in a fiery homemade wasabi-yaki sauce. I also added a miso noodle salad on the side that I think I ruined by adding some of that savoy cabbage from Thursday. What should have been a lovely, creamy noodle dish ended up a sad, watery salad. Boooo. But yay for tuna:

raw tuna steaks being seared in a hot skillet

Just for fun, here’s the original menu I wrote out at the start of the week. Didn’t stick to it 100% but still a delicious week. (The food marked for the Inn is what I cook for the staff at my friend’s beautiful Corolla Village Inn❤️)

On to that bolognese recipe…

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Grilled Vegetable Bolognese

two bowls of grilled vegetable bolognese with salad and bread

This grilled vegetable bolognese is my attempt at recreating an amazing charred vegetable bolognese my mom and I ate at chef Ashley Christianson’s Raleigh, NC restaurant, Death & Taxes. It’s smoky, loaded with summery veg flavor, and somehow hearty and light at the same time — a fabulous pasta dish for hot summer nights.

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 carrots, sliced in thirds lengthwise
  • 1 eggplant, sliced in 1/4″ thick slices lengthwise
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, cored and sliced into two or three large, flat peices
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced into 1/4” thick rings
  • 24 green onions
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into 2 or 3 steaks
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes you have
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • roasted garlic puree or 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/3 C chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 1/2 C white wine
  • 1 lb long pasta (I used bucatini)
  • reserved pasta water
  • grated parmesan
  • crispy fried onions for serving (store-bought French’s brand is perfect)

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. Drizzle all of the vegetables with olive oil and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Grill the veggies, turning them occasionally, until nicely charred. (For the cherry tomatoes, I used a perforated grill pan. You can put them on skewers if that’s easier, or just grill larger whole tomatoes.
  3. Allow veggies to cool slightly, then roughly chop them all.
  4. Add both kinds of onions, the carrots, and the celery to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms.
  5. Heat 2 TBS of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or whatever pot/pan you like over medium heat, add the onion/carrot/celery mixture, a large pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes or until nicely browned.
  6. Pulse the remaining chopped vegetables in  the food processor and add them to the pan with the onion/carrot/celery mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated.
  7. Add a tablespoon or two of roasted garlic puree or 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, sundried tomatoes, and cook for another minute.
  8. Add the tomato paste and cook 3-5 minutes more. Season with another big pinch of salt and however much crushed red pepper you like.
  9. Add the white wine, turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to cook for another 30 minutes or so, adding water as needed to prevent burning/sticking. I used about 3/4-1 C of water total. Also, taste as you go and add salt as needed. The vegetables can take a lot of salt, especially as you add water to them. Just remember you’ll be adding salted pasta water and salty cheese later.
  10. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it with salt. Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente.
  11. Using tongs, transfer the pasta to the pan with the vegetable mixture and toss to coat, adding enough pasta water to allow everything to move around easily. Let the pasta and sauce cook together for another minute or two, then turn off the heat, grate in some parmesan, and toss. Serve with extra grated parmesan and crispy onions on top.

Notes

The times and nutritional info noted in this recipe are approximate.

Keywords: grilled vegetables, vegetable bolognese, summer pasta, how to use up vegetables, grilled vegetable pasta, what to do with grilled vegetables

Szechuan Miso Noodles with Crispy Shallots

It’s miso noodle time again, friends. If you’ve been with me on this blog for some time, you may have already come across my miso noodle obsession, in the form of these garlicky, life-changing, miso butter noodles. It’s one of the most popular recipes I’ve ever written, which makes me believe the world must need more miso noodle recipes. Well, this one delivers – big time. Richness? Check. Acidity? Check. Heat? CHECK. A crispy, fried garnish? CHECK!!

Szechuan miso noodles in pan
Continue reading “Szechuan Miso Noodles with Crispy Shallots”

How to make eggplant taste good

TL;DR: Add a delicious sauce and roast the heck out of it.

Eggplant haters of the world, this one’s for you. I know you’re out there because a) I’m one of you and b) there are countless articles on the internet explaining why eggplant is the worst with recipes dedicated to all the people who hate it. But, despite the drama surrounding eggplant and its gross, bland, bitterness, it is possible to make this vegetable taste good. (Fact check: eggplant is technically a berry -*eye roll*.) All you need is some umami-loaded oyster sauce, a little sesame oil, and a generous drizzle of sambal oelek. And while we’re at it, you might as well throw in some broccoli, red onions, and fluffy jasmine rice to make it a Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Bowl. Trust me, you will be hungry enough for a meal once you get a whiff of this eggplant business roasting in the oven.

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Giant Dinner Salad

Giant Dinner Salads: if you know, you know. When the mood strikes, they can be your one-way ticket to total satisfaction, in a leafy-green kind of way. (Looking at you Charred Corn Salad and Steak and Apple Salad😘.) If you’re familiar with this blog at all though, you’re aware there will be more than just greens in this salad bowl. In my on-going saga of “more is always more”, we’re adding farro, cheese (Parmesan is good but manchego is great), smoked almonds, sliced pears, and dried cranberries to this towering pile of good-for-you greens. Also, this Giant Dinner Salad features thinly sliced chicken breast. But, you are welcome to leave that out for a meat-free situation and things will still be delicious.

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Beef and Beer Stew with Cheddar Dill Scones

Here’s the thing. I’m all about healthy food and vegetables. And, I can even get behind using up all the odds, ends, and scraps of your plant-based delights in the interest of maximizing nutrients and such. But, I’m also veeeeery into super-cozy comfort food, and that’s what we’re dealing with today. This Beef and Beer Stew with Cheddar-Dill Scones is semi-quick-cooking (when compared to traditional beef stew, anyway), super-flavorful thanks to a beer-infused beef stock, and the whole shebang is topped with flaky, cheesy, herby scones. Yes, yes, and yes.

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Squash and Country Ham Hand Pies

Listen up, friends – it’s fall! Ok, it’s been fall ever since this epically delicious mac and cheese found its way into our mouths and hearts. But in this moment, fall means cozy, savory hand pies stuffed with an earthy butternut squash and salty country ham filling. And did I mention the pastry is loaded with toasted pecans? Yup. Fully channeling autumnal North Carolina goodness here.

hand reaching for one Squash and Country Ham Hand Pie
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