flailing in my kitchen v3

How can I be sad when I have breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Chimichurri chicken and rice

I wasn't going to make a blog post for this, because I made this during my workday, and I only took one picture, and it's not that great.

Chimichurri chicken and rice
At least it had natural light

But before I made this, I went searching through my old blog posts to see if I had made this before, and I feel like I have, but I must have not blogged about it. And there's a decent chance I'll make this again some time in the next five years or so, and when I do, I know I'm going to look for it in my blog and wonder what I'd do differently. So...

  • This was really water-y. Maybe just use 1.25 cups of water next time. I did sprinkle in a little chicken msg, which I think was a good addition
  • The chicken was a little dry. I basically had it cooked completely in the beginning, so maybe just throw that in at the end instead of having it sit in the pot while the rice is cooking
  • Feta would be great on top!
  • I didn't add peas. I'm sure they would be fine, but I wouldn't go out of my way to include them

This was pretty good, and it was a good way to use up a bunch of cilantro that I didn't want to waste.

Filed under: chimichurri chicken

Hummus pasta

I'm trying to eat healthier. I know that means something a little different for everyone, but for me that mostly means more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.

One of my coworkers mentioned that they like the site Pick up Limes, which has lots of vegan recipes, and that's gotta be healthy, right? I saw a recipe for hummus pasta, and people had such good things to say about it, so I had to try it out.

Hummus pasta in a baking dish
I don't like all the post-processing that my phone does to these photos D:

This was really easy to make. It had very few ingredients, and even though I always make hummus from scratch, I decided I didn't want to make hummus and pasta, so I just bought some from Aldi. The recipe also includes vegan "parmesan" and I just bought real parmesan from the store.

When I was mixing up the hummus and the coconut milk, I was worried it would be a little bland, so I added some salt and pepper which I think was a good decision. In fact, I think I should have added even more salt and pepper.

Hummus pasta in a bowl

It wasn't bad though! I think I'd want to try making this again. I didn't want to halve the recipe because I didn't want to have half a can of coconut milk left, but I think I could just make the same amount of sauce and halve the pasta. Also, I gotta stop buying penne from Aldi. I haven't had my pasta fall apart quite as bad as that one time, but it always ends up falling apart a little bit. And I should probably get better quality coconut milk too.

Oh, I also had to see how the leftovers would taste, and they weren't terrible, but they weren't good either. Very few pasta dishes make good leftovers though, so it's alright. I'll just make a smaller batch next time.

Caramelized onion and balsamic hummus, with more onions topped on it, in a container
One day I'll be fancy and actually put my hummus in a nice bowl

I actually bought pita bread to eat with my store bought hummus, and I'm not sure why I did, because I basically used all of the hummus for the pasta. I needed to eat something with the pita, so I went and made my own hummus later! A while back I had tried this caramelized onion and balsamic hummus, and I thought it was really good, so I wanted to try making some of my own. And what do you know, Pick up Limes, has a recipe for this too.

It took a bit of time, and my eyes were dying from the onions, but it was very tasty! I'll definitely make it again.


Asian sauces

Guys, I'm making such good progress on my quest to get rid of everything in my pantry, and I think I'll actually be able to get through everything by July! I've gotten through various ingredients with long shelf lives, and now I pretty much only have sauces and vinegars left.

And I have a lot of Asian sauces, so it's time to make some Asian food.

Glass noodles with cabbage in my large pan

Last entry I mentioned that I have a bottle of Chinese black vinegar that's been expired for a while. I've been looking up recipes to use up that vinegar, and I came across these glass noodles with cabbage. I love glass noodles. I've made a different cabbage and glass noodle recipe from Woks of Life before, and that was delicious, so I figured this one would be too.

Me holding up glass noodles with cabbage on a plate

And it was! But it was also a little too spicy, and I really should have known better than to put four dried chiles in this because this is exactly what happened last time I made glass noodles.


I also figured that this Chinese black vinegar would go well with some dumplings, so I bought some frozen dumplings (I know I usually make them myself, but I was lazy). I mixed it into a dipping sauce along with golden mountain seasoning sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and some water, which tasted great with dumplings.

I had saved this hot and sour dumpling soup recipe from Woks of Life because it looked really good, and this was the perfect opportunity to make it.

My first attempt at the dumpling soup
SO many sesame seeds. I don't think I like sesame seeds that much

My first attempt wasn't that great, and the soup looked really dark. I guess I didn't have the chili oil that I needed to give the soup a red color like in the recipe. But it was also too oily, too salty, and too sesame seed-y. The fact that I only have black sesame seeds didn't help the color balance either.

My second attempt at dumplings
I did not do a good job cutting those scallions into individual pieces

But I tried it again a few days later, and I adjusted the amounts of each sauce. I also fried the garlic for a little to bring out the flavor more. It was definitely better, but I think it could still use more tweaking. I'm all out of dumplings for now, though I might buy more because those dumplings were really good.


And just yesterday, I made some fried rice! I had leftover Chinese sausage from another meal, and this was a good way to use that up. Because I basically just use Woks of Life for finding Asian recipes, I also used their Chinese sausage fried rice recipe.

The ingredients for fried rice all sitting out
Stir fries. Very little cook time, but so much prep time

I realized this isn't shown in the picture, but I have a bottle of rice cooking wine that's been sitting in my pantry for who knows how long, so I used that instead of Shaoxing wine. I only used a dash of it, so I have no idea if it really made a difference in flavor. I also added waaay more soy sauce than the recipe called for. (The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon! That's nothing!) (Wait, I said this last time I made it)

A close up of the pan of fried rice
I like how colorful this is with egg, sausage, and peas!

Me scopping out some fried rice from the pan into a bowl
I am very happy to be cooking and soon eating

This was really good! I still have two links of the sausage so I think I'll make some more this week. I need to get better at just pouring soy sauce and salt and sugar by feel instead of always measuring.


Finally, I made some beef and cabbage stir fry! I don't quite remember why I decided to make this, but I think it's because I knew my boyfriend was coming over, and he really likes this dish.

Beef and cabbage stir fry in a pan

Look at those carrot slices! My sister bought a mandoline, and kept it at my place, and it's been sitting in a drawer for years, and I finally used it to slice up my carrot. Thanks sister!


Scallion oil noodles

This past week has been a busy week, but today is a lazy Saturday, so I was able to cook and take my time. Plus it was a very nice and sunny morning (as opposed to the wind and rain that's happening right now) and I had to take advantage of that natural lighting. I saw some youtube videos on scallion oil noodles, and they looked really good so I wanted to make some for myself.

Some sliced scallions on a cutting board
Scallions are beautiful no matter how you slice them

I used both Binging with Babish and J. Kenji Lopez Alt for inspiration. I only had 5 scallions, so I cut most of them into these little strips, and also diced some little circles for garnish at the end. Cutting them like this takes way more time, but it's a lazy Saturday, so I don't care.

I wish I had more scallions though. I think this could have used three times as much.

See that last photo? That was perfect. I should have taken the pan off the heat before it got to that point, so the residual heat would actually cook it to that point, which is exactly what the youtube videos told me to do, but I didn't listen. So I may have overcooked my scallions a little, but that's okay. They were still tasty.

Scallion oil noodles with more scallions garnished on top
Natural light!!

I tossed my noodles in the scallion oil as well as some sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and some Chinese black vinegar (which has been sitting in my pantry for waaay too long--that's gonna take a while to use up). The flavor was good!

The noodles themselves were a bit sticky, and that might have been because I bought the noodles from an American grocery store instead of an Asian one. I also used a little too much of the oil. But I've got more scallion oil and more noodles and waaay more sauce, so I'll be making this a few more times this week, and I'll keep tweaking it to my tastes.


My go-to meal

Salmon. Brussels sprouts. Two things that I make so often, that I almost wasn't going to write another post about them. But I want to share more of my meals (and more photos of me prepping the meals!) so here I am.

Me cutting brussels sprouts
See that 50% off sticker?!

I decided to make some brussels sprouts because I had some bacon left over from that pork sticky rice dish I made. And when I have a few strips of bacon, my mind always turns to brussels sprouts.

And then when I went to Aldi to pick up a bag of brussels sprouts, I saw that there was a bunch of salmon for 50% off, and I had to get one. That meant it was less than $5/lb! You don't see prices like that any more! Somehow I ended up buying like twice as many things from the grocery store as I intended to.

Of course that also meant that I had to cook it that day, because it was getting close to its sell-by date. That's okay. I can always come up with a way to prepare fish.

Me zesting half a lemon
That's half a lemon, not a piece of cheese. Guess what's in the pot?

I decided to make a brown sugar rub for the salmon, similar to how I prepared it way back in this entry. Except I didn't include any of the citrus. And if you're wondering why I only zested half a lemon, it's because we didn't plan well, and we threw out the first half of it before I started zesting. But that's okay! Half a lemon is better than none.

Brussels sprouts, bacon, and onion
It's bacon! (I think...it's been a while)

Baked brown sugar salmon on a pan, with a cut in the middle
Why do I keep taking these photos after I make a cut in the middle?

We also had some white rice on the side. Very good meal.


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