I want to start a series where I give you all a rundown of what I ate in a month. I’ve recently had a couple of conversations with people who are not as comfortable in the kitchen. They tend to meal prep the same two meals and aren’t comfortable cooking without a recipe. I want to use these monthly (or semi-monthly) posts to inspire them to branch out and get comfortable not cooking from a recipe all of the time. So, here’s what I eat in a month: May 2021 edition.
Food I Cooked this Month
AAPI Month Food
I started off the month, with a cold. So, I used it as an opportunity to work on a Thai chicken soup recipe. I love the side cups of soup from the local Thai restaurant, so normally when I get a cold I try to re-create it.
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 in. ginger (steeped in the stock)
- 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 1/4 onion, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper finely minced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 dried lemon
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- salt to taste
Sauce the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the carrots re tender. Remove the ginger before serving.
Air fried baby bok chow with a soy and peanut dressing. I found a nice bag of baby bok choy at the local asian market. I thought it would be fun to air fry some of them. I then dressed them with a peanut butter and soy dressing.
Not everything I think of turns out well though. It happens. I tried to take some of the other bok choy and rice to make an asian tabouleh-inspired salad. It didn’t turn out very well. I didn’t care for it. So it ended up in the trash and not on this blog. I just want you all to know that not everything food bloggers make turns out well. But don’t let that stop you from experimenting in the kitchen!
This month I have been reading an Asian food cookbook from the late 1970s. The cookbook discusses and contains recipes from China, India, Japan, Korea, and other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam. This chicken and broccoli stir fry recipe came from this cookbook. It has a simple sauce of ginger, soy, and rice wine. By coating the chicken in egg white and cornstarch, it gets crispy without the need for a lot of oil.
Orange chicken is one of my favorite take-out foods. Whether it’s considered Chinese or just Chinese-American food, it’s delicious. I used Jet Tila’s orange chicken sauce recipe (and his Hong Kong style fried rice) for this meal. His orange chicken recipe calls for frying the chicken pieces, but I didn’t feel like making fried chicken pieces. So, I just added the sauce to sautéed chicken breast.
To finish the asian inspired dishes for AAPI month, we’re going to a different part of Asia: India. Aarti Sequeria has a Food Network recipe for spicy paneer fingers with almonds and dates. This was my version. I forgot the almonds and used white wine for the sauce instead of chicken stock. It was so delicious! I absolutely devoured the plate of food.
Other Food from my Kitchen
Another kitchen experiment, but this one turned out amazingly: Fennel and Onion Gratin. I received a fennel bulb in my Imperfect Foods box, but I’m not a big fan of fennel. So I created this gratin in an effort to like fennel. It was delicious! I mean, caramelized fennel and onions smothered in cheese. It can’t be bad!
I served the Fennel and Onion Gratin as a side to Chicken Cordon Bleu. But, I made a slight adjustment to a traditional recipe. I substituted prosciutto for ham. It was absolutely delicious!
I also made my Potato Crust Quiche (and a frittata with the same filling) this month. The filling was made of Mexican chorizo, pico de Gallo, and Mexican cheeses. It was so good! There are a lot of other quiche filling ideas available on the blog post if you are needing inspiration!
May the 4th be with You: Tatooine Blue Milk (Cold Foam) Cold Brew. You can make your own cold foam like you would get from Starbucks by using a milk frother on half and half. Turn it blue with just a bit of food coloring!
For Cinco de Mayo, I made some veggie tocos with cauliflower and sweet potato. For the cauliflower, I tossed it in a bit of oil and some of the homemade taco seasoning I keep on hand. Then, it is roasted in the oven until the cauliflower is tender. Serve it with your favorite taco toppings. I choose pico de Gallo, a cilantro salsa verde, and some chihuahua cheese.
If you remember from a previous post, I am working on a writing a family cookbook. This is my grandma’s chocolate sheet cake. I decided to make it for a Mother’s Day dessert.
Dining Out and To-Go
If you’re in or near Independence, Missouri, you should check out Ranchero’s Mexican Food. I love their tacos. Their burritos are also amazing. And authentic drive-thru Mexican? Yes please! I’m so glad my roommate introduced me to this place. And we probably eat rancheros at least once a month. Also, in the Month of Cinco de Mayo, if you’re going to eat Mexican food, support your local Mexican owned and operated restaurants!
My niece had a dance recital down in Springfield, Missouri, so my roommate and I decided to make a weekend of it. I studied for my undergraduate degree in Springfield and decided to so my roommate all of my old favorite food places. Or at least, the number of them we were able to reasonably fit into a weekend.
We started our weekend at the Springfield Brewing Company. First, they have amazing beer that is made on-site. Second, they have HUGE yet delicious portions of Mac and Cheese. It was a favorite among families and college students.
In the morning I wanted to taker her to Gailey’s, but it’s so popular that if you don’t get there before 8:00 am on the weekends then you’re going to have a LONG wait. So, we ended up at Ziggies. I spent a lot of early mornings at Ziggies after partying all night. I also spent a lot of late nights there for coffee and pie for a study break.
We had a late dinner after the recital. I originally wanted to take her to Bambino’s, but they closed at 9:00 pm and I didn’t want to get to the restaurant 30 minutes before it closed. So, we ended up eating at the downtown version, Nonna’s. But they basically have the same menu because they are owned by the same people. Whether it’s Nonna’s or Bambino’s, the food is DELICIOUS and in the spirit of a college town, is reasonably priced.