Well Dined

31Mar/160

Try The World – Japan; Okonomiyaki

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

It's time for another Try The World Post!  Finishing up my Japan box, I used the okonomiyaki mix to make... okonomiyaki, of course!  It's a savory pancake made with flour, yam, eggs, scallions, and cabbage; and topped with all kinds of things, but most commonly pork belly, bonito flakes, seaweed, okonomi sauce, and mayonnaise.

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

The kit came with batter mix, powdered yam, shrimp tempura crisps, and dried seaweed.  Plus instructions in Japanese and English (thank goodness).

Well Dined | Okonomiyaki

First step, chop cabbage.  It really should have been finer than this, like shredded, but I was lazy.  Add scallions.  In a separate bowl, make the batter according to package directions.  Then combine it with the veggies, tempura, and eggs.

25Feb/160

Try The World – Japan; Zaru Soba

Well Dined | Try The World Japan

It's time for another Try The World review (see my first here)!  In my Japan box, I had: Otafuku Foods okonomiyaki kit; Aoi Tea blueberry match tea; House Foods ginger paste; Takaokaya seaweed snack; Akagi soba noodles; Kasugai gummy candies; and Morinaga milk caramels.  I thought that those butter coconut cookies came in the box, but I actually must have picked them up at the Asian grocery store.  So, ignore those (but really don't, cuz they are super awesome and yummy).

The caramels are are firm and not super sweet, I like them a lot.  I haven't tried the tea, gummies, or okonomiyaki kit yet; but I used the rest to make Zaru Soba.

Well Dined | Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba is a cold soba dish usually made in the summer (whatever, don't judge me).  The noodles are cooked, then rinsed, chilled, and drained.  Normally, you would serve them on a woven bamboo mat that lets the extra water drain out; but I don't have those!  So I dried them on paper towels.

Well Dined | Zaru Soba

The noodles are topped with seaweed and sesame seeds just before serving, and dipped in a sauce made of dashi, soy, mirin, sake, sugar, and ginger paste.  Wasabi and scallions are served on the side and mixed into the sauce to taste.

12Aug/130

Tabbouleh

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Smells Like Brownies!  I've never really liked tabbouleh.  Maybe because it's usually cold, or there's too much parsley, or there's raw red onion, or it just isn't that filling - I don't know why.  As it turns out, Melissa doesn't like it either!  So when she suggested we try to conquer it, I was skeptical.  But making something yourself means that you get to adjust it until it is the way you like it.

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

Upping the bulgur, balancing the parsley with mint, and using scallions instead of onion certainly helped this dish out.  But what really sent it into yummy land was serving it warm, stuffed inside pitas, with a generous amount of feta.  We managed to turn something we both disliked into something we both loved!  It may not be traditional, but it sure is delicious.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

I bought extra pita pockets and feta to go with my leftover tabbouleh, but ended up with too much!  Melissa had given me some of her CSA cucumbers (since she was drowning in them), so I threw together a quick cucumber salad with feta, mint from my garden, olive oil, and champagne vinegar.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

Because everything is more fun in a pita pocket!  (Except for peanut butter and jelly - I just found out the hard way that that doesn't work.)

Tabbouleh Pitas with Feta
adapted from Mad Hungry
serves 6

1 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups minced fresh curly parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
6 pita pocket rounds
8 oz feta, crumbled

Rinse the bulgur.  Cook in the water over medium heat for 12–15 minutes, or until soft and chewy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic.  Drain of any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint.  Toss together.
Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir the dressing into the salad to fully combine.
Serve stuffed inside pitas, layered with feta to taste.

Cucumber Pitas
serves 1

1 cucumber, chopped
4 oz feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
splash of olive oil
splash of champagne or rice wine vinegar
pitas

Mix ingredients together, serve with pitas.

17Jul/130

Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

This vegetarian/vegan meal that I made with Melissa of Smells Like Brownies is perfect for summer.  It is light and fresh (but still filling), takes advantage of summer produce, and is packed with protein.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

All you have to do is combine the ingredients - corn, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, scallions, jalapeno, black beans, cooked quinoa.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Then toss with a dressing of lime, olive oil, honey, and cumin.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Top with some fresh cilantro (or parsley if you, like me, are not a fan) and your perfect summer lunch awaits!  You can serve it warm, cold, or room temp - doesn't matter.  The ingredient list is also totally flexible, go with whatever ratio of quinoa to veg you like, take out the stuff you don't like, add in something you do, make it yours.

14May/130

Grilled Halloumi & Quinoa Salad

IMG_0979

Halloumi is a salty, dense Greek cheese that is super amazing when grilled.  My friend Melissa, from Smells Like Brownies, is a big fan so she was pretty excited when I showed her this recipe.  Hearty quinoa mixed with lettuce and veggies and topped with warm cheese - delish!

IMG_0975

We didn't end up having the cucumbers the original recipe called for, so we used tomatoes instead and they were great.  I do really like cucumbers, though, so I would say to use both.  The more veg, the better, right?  The dressing includes red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and scallion - yum!

IMG_0976

We also discovered (by oiling one side and not the other of an electric grill) that the cheese gets better grill marks when the grill is not oiled.  Don't worry, though, it won't stick!

IMG_0977

This is a very satisfying (and light!) vegetarian lunch that is sure to make even meat eaters happy.

4Apr/120

Spring Quiche

Spring vegetables are delicate and fresh and I think that one of the best ways to utilize them is in a quiche.  Fluffy eggs, creamy cheese, and flaky buttery crust - what's not to love?  I used spinach and leeks this time, but zucchini and asparagus work great too!

21Mar/121

Japanese Braised Salmon

More salmon!  I am always questing for tasty salmon recipes so that we will eat more of this super healthy fish (note that it is only super healthy when it is wild caught Pacific/Alaskan; farm raised Atlantic salmon is full of toxins).  This recipe makes super tender, super moist salmon that is packed with sweet and salty flavors.

8Feb/120

Aisan Glazed Ribs


These ribs are one of Jasper's favorite meals - they are sweet and salty and totally messy!