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Imagine my delight when I opened our latest CSA box to find a bag of snap peas! First sign of spring. Hurrah!

We were coming of a weekend of heavy food and drink so I jumped at the opportunity to use these crispy suckers for a nice dinner salad. I threw in some shrimp because I thought we needed a protein to make the salad more substantial, but then halfway through cooking the shrimp, I realized an egg would be a perfect balance to the acidity. So I started cooking the eggs and realized it was turning into a crazy irresponsible salad.

I’d say pick one or the other (might I suggest the egg) and commit to it. Definitely toast up some delicious crusty bread to soak up the egg yolk AND the vinaigrette…it’s addictive!

Spring Pea Salad with Tarragon Mustard Vinaigrette
2 c snap peas, blanched
1/2 c frozen sweet peas, defrosted
1 bag baby spring mix
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 poached eggs
10 medium shrimp, cooked (optional)
1 slice bread, toasted and halved
Tarragon Mustard Vinaigrette (below)

Combine beans and about 1 tbsp of dressing in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss spring mix with 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of dressing. Toss in radishes, sweet peas and snap peas to coat.

Distribute greens among plates (I made 2 large dinner salads and had some left over for lunch) and top with beans, shrimp (if using) and eggs. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Serve with a slice of crusty bread for dipping into the egg.

Tarragon Mustard Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
2 tbsp tarragon, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl or resealable container.



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Not going to lie. I totally made this up as I went along. I vaguely remember doing a braised beef dish that had me marinated it overnight in red wine. Then again, I could have been thinking of coq au vin. Or nothing at all. I could have imagined all these dishes.

While this clearly isn’t a traditional approach to a braised lamb shank, I think it ended up tasting pretty good. I served it with some leftover roasted root vegetables and asparagus.

Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank
1 lamb shank (I asked for one that would be good for 2 people)
1 c red wine
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
1-2 c beef broth
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped

Combine red wine, garlic, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and plenty of black pepper in a resealable container. Add lamb shank (trim any excess fat), cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, turning at the halfway point.

Bring lamb to room temperature and reserve marinade. Brown lamb on all sides in an oven safe pan with lid. Remove lamb and place on a plate to rest. In the same pan, cook onion, celery and carrots for about 2 minutes. Return lamb and any reserved juices to pan. Add reserved marinade with garlic and rosemary and pour in enough broth to mostly cover the lamb. bring to a boil, cover and place in a 350 degree oven.

Cook lamb for about 2-3 hours depending on the size of your shank. Meat should be tender and falling off the bone.



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Here’s another recipe from the vault. After a weekend of indulgence, I’m desperately in need of simple, healthy eats. 

Warm Broccoli Quinoa Salad
1 c quinoa
2 c water
1.5 c broccoli florets, steamed
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 c almond slices, toasted
1 1/2 tbsp carrot, grated
1 tbsp onion, grated
1/4 tbsp ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
pinch salt

Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 13 minutes.

As quinoa cooks, prepare dressing by whisking together carrot, onion, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and set aside.

Place broccoli, almonds, scallion, and tomato in a large bowl. Pour in half the quinoa while it is still hot. Toss and stir in half the dressing. Stir in remaining quinoa and dressing. Serve immediately.



This weekend Manfriend and I hosted our second house guest. Not bad for living in a teeny studio.

After debating on where to brunch the night before, I woke up Sunday morning and decided eff dealing with the Easter brunch crowd. I’m going to make an impromptu rooftop brunch. Cheaper, easier and way less stressful.

I stared at a few recipes online and then sort of winged this based on my last strata experience. I was a little worried that it would end up too dry since there wasn’t as much of the egg mixture, but it ended up having the perfect mix of squishy and crispy parts!

Ham, Kale & Mushroom Strata
1/2 sweet batard loaf, cubed
1/2 bunch kale, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
1 shallot, minced
1 c cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 slices thick cut deli ham (I used Fra’mani Ranch’s Rosemary Ham)
1 tbsp white wine or chicken broth
6 eggs
1 c 2% milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 c grated cheese (I used a mix of fontina and Point Reyes Toma)

Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven. Set aside.

Brown ham in a skillet. Add shallot and kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale begins to wilt. Add wine or broth and mushrooms. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt.

Whisk together eggs, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and set aside.

Place half the bread on the bottom of a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish. Top with half the kale mixture, followed by about 1/3 of the egg mixture. Repeat with the remaining bread and kale. Pour remaining egg mixture evenly across the top. Let sit for 5 minutes before placing in a 350 degree oven.

Bake for 30 minutes if you like your eggs on the softer side, 35-40 if you want a firmer, drier dish.



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Oh, pasta bake. It’s been ages since you’ve crossed my kitchen table!

There was a period of time, not long after college, where my friends and I would host dinners at our respective homes and the pasta bake was a regular guest. It showed up with different ingredients every time, but without fail, it fed several starving kids in their early twenties on the cheap. On the SUPER cheap.

I had some ground turkey leftover from another random dinner, so I decided to bring back the pasta bake. Here’s the grown up (yet still pretty ghetto) version.

Just a quick note - for whatever reason my store didn’t have any shredded mozzarella so I bought a random ball of smoked mozzarella thinking I could shred it on my own. Then it ended up being too mushy. SO, I had to chop it up into bits. It was ugly. Use the shredded. ALWAYS.

Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
1/2 lb penne, cooked and drained
1 jar pasta sauce
1/2 - 3/4 lb lean ground turkey
1 c chopped tomatoes
1/2 c chopped basil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 c red wine or broth or water
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 triangles light Laughing Cow Cheese
1/3 - 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

Brown turkey in a large skillet. Add garlic, onion and tomato and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in pasta sauce and wine/broth/water and stir to combine. Add crushed red pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes until sauce is warm.

Add triangles of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in pasta, basil and half the mozzarella and parmesan to coat.

Place pasta in a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.



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I’m not a huge five spice fan, but for whatever reason, I had a container of five spice powder in the cabinet and a bunch of wonton wrappers that needed to be used. This was what happened.

Hoisin Chicken Triangles
1/2 c hoisin sauce
1 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 tbsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
2 scallions, chopped
1/3 c water chestnuts, chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
salt
pepper
1 1/2 c Five Spice Roasted Chicken, shredded (see recipe)
1 egg, beaten
10 wonton wrappers

Combine hoisin, mirin, broth and sriracha in a bowl and set aside.

Heat sesame oil in a pan and heat chicken and scallions for 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin mixture and cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat. Add water chestnuts and ginger, combine well and remove from heat. Chill for 20 minutes and spread mixture out on a cutting board (you’ll need to do this in batches). Quickly run a knife through to coarsely chop the mixture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.

Lay out wrappers and place a heaping teaspoon of the chicken in the center. Swipe egg on two sides of the square wrapper, fold over to make a triangle and pinch sides to seal. Bake for 5-7 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Five Spice Roasted Chicken
1.5 lbs split chicken breast
1.5 tbsp five spice powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine five spice, sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rub all over breast, including under skin. Place on baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Roast for 20 minutes covered. Remove foil and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.



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I had a tub of white miso paste in the fridge (impulse buy, obviously) and according to the internet, miso makes a great glaze for salmon. Excellent.

I basically combined a recipe for a miso glaze I found online with that sriracha maple salmon I made awhile back. 

The result was an AWESOME glaze that I will for sure be making again. It was perfect for the salmon…just the right amount of salty and sweet. I’m sure it would be great on chicken as well!

Miso Glazed Salmon with Kale & Butter Beans
2 salmon fillets
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sriracha
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp sake
drizzle maple syrup

Whisk together miso, soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, garlid sesame oil, sake and syrup in a bowl.

Coat salmon fillets in about half the miso mixture and let marinate for 30-40 minutes.

Place salmon and any extra marinade on a lined baking sheet. Coat with about half the remaining miso mixture. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes depending on how thick your fillets are. About halfway through, baste with remaining miso mixture.

If you want more of a burnt/crusty top, toss it in the broiler for the last minute or two.

Kale & Butter Beans
1 bunch red russian kale
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 c white wine
salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add kale and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and butter beans and cook for 3-4 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.



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This is a trusty and easy recipe that’s great to make for guests…brunch, dinner or even just as a snack. A friend and I made this a few years ago and paired it with a nice brothy soup for dinner. YUMS.

Leek & Chard Tart
1 sheet puff pastry
1 large leek, chopped
2 stems chard, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
salt
pepper
sheep’s milk feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Saute leek in olive oil until it starts to soften and cook until both chard and leek are soft and slightly browned.

Spread puff pastry on a cookie sheet and top with greens followed by feta. Bake until pastry turns golden brown, let cool before cutting.



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I cobbled this together one chilly night last week just because I had some ingredients on hand and was feeling lazy. I’m mostly posting this because I’m incredibly proud of the perfectly soft boiled egg. 

I used to make noodle soup like this all the time back in DC and it was basically a hodgepodge of ingredients I needed to use before a weekend away. You can put in whatever you want (it works well with ramen noodles too), but my standards are onion, egg, a green, dumplings, soy beans and fish cake.

Udon Noodle Soup
2 packages udon noodles, cooked
2 eggs, soft boiled and cut in half
3 c low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1 c warm water
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 scallion, chopped
8 dumplings, still frozen
1/4 c edemame, shelled
1/2 c shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp ponzu
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Furikake (optional)
Shichimi tōgarashi (optional

Dissolve miso in warm water and pour into a pot. Add chicken broth, ponzu and oyster sauce. Bring to a boil. 

Add onion, edamame and mushrooms. Bring back to a boil for 1 minute. Add dumplings, bok choy and half of the scallions. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Divide noodles among two bowls and fill with soup. Top with egg and remaining scallion. Sprinkle some furikake and shichimi togarashi on top if desired.



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I made this a few years ago for Easter brunch at my parents’ house and it seemed to please everyone’s tastebuds. Not bad for a first go at lamb! I thought the pieces we got were a little too fatty, so in hindsight, I’d probably trim them a bit.

Rosemary Lemon Lamb Chops
8-10 lamb chops
1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
zest of one lemon
olive oil

Combine rosemary, salt, garlic, salt, pepper and zest in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil on lamb chops and liberally sprinkle rosemary mixture on each side. Heat a pan over medium high heat and cook chops for 3-4 minutes on each side. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.



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Chard. I’ve had enough of it. Our CSA box came with a big bunch of rainbow chard (surprise!) and pasta seemed like the best way to use it up. I just can’t do it anymore. I know it’s a healthy leafy green, but I’m running out of recipes that use chard. GAH! Bring on the spring veggies!!

Penne with Rainbow Chard & Chicken
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 box penne, cooked and drained
1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
1/4 onion, sliced
1 c cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp parmesan cheese

Mix lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in bowl. Stir in chicken and let marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until chicken starts to brown. Add onion and mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in sherry and reduce heat. Add chard and cook for 5 minutes or until greens are soft.

Stir in penne and parmesan until combined. Remove from heat and serve.



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I lovelovelove LOVE these little cheese puffs! The tapioca flour gives it that gooey texture that makes them so addictive! note: objects in photo seem bigger than they actually are.

Pão de Queijo 
3 eggs
3/4 cup corn oil
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded manchego cheese

Bring oil, milk and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour tapioca flour into a large glass bowl. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir milk and oil mixture into the flour with a wooden spoon (you will not use the whole mixture) until a firm ball forms. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before using a hand mixer to stir in cheeses. Once cheese is combined, add eggs one at a time and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350. Fill mini muffin pan with about 1 tbsp of batter in each slot. Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.



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I love guacamole. I love cilantro. I love lime. I love salad. This should come as no shock to you.

I was day dreaming about food the other day and I thought hm, what if I turned guacamole into a salad?? Chopped up avocado, tomato and onion instead of mashing them all together, maybe a little lettuce for fun. Mix all the spices, herbs and lime juice to form a dressing…YESSSS!!

So this was born. I thought it could use a little more avocado so I’d chop up 2 whole avocados next time. I am indifferent about the cucumber. I added it because it needed to be used. I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there.

Guacamole Salad
Dressing:
1/2 c cilantro
1 clove garlic, chopped
Juice of one lime
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1/4 c olive oil
Pinch sugar
Salt and pepper

Salad:
romaine lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
avocados, diced
red onion, minced
cucumber
salt & pepper

Puree all dressing ingredients in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Toss lettuce and onion with some of the dressing. Top with remaining ingredients and a splash more of the dressing if desired. 



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This is an incredibly fast and easy stir fry to whip up when you’re lazy. You could add baby corn, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, shrimp, chicken…whatever you want. The version I list here was served as a side dish for a veggie-less entree.

Black Bean & Garlic Veggies
2 bunches baby bok choy, chopped
1/2 eggplant, diced
2 tsp black bean garlic paste
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp broth (I had beef broth on hand so I used that)
1/3 c water

Dry fry eggplant in a large skillet until they start to brown (about 3 minutes). Add broth and bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Combine black bean paste, oyster sauce and water in a bowl. Pour into skillet and increase heat to medium high. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately over rice or noodles.



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FINALLY! We’re nearing the end of our CSA box. Just in time for the next one to arrive. Ooof. 

I thought I’d do something different than just roast the whole bunch of asparagus, so I grabbed some salmon and whipped up this filling dish. Originally I envisioned a pasta dish with smoked salmon, but there weren’t many options at the store so I opted to poach a fillet. Super easy and fast…and way less sodium than the smoked options!

Bowties with Poached Salmon and Asparagus
1/2 lb salmon fillet
2 c water
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp white peppercorns
1/2 lemon
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 clove garlic, halved
pinch salt
1/2 box bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp goat cheese
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces on the bias
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, bring water, 1/2 c wine, peppercorns, garlic, onion and salt to a boil. Squeeze half a lemon into pot before dropping into the pot. Place salmon into the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from water and place on a plate. Flake when cool.

Stir together goat cheese and mustard. Set aside.

Saute shallot in olive oil in a large skillet until softened. Add asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp wine and goat cheese mix. Stir until cheese starts to melt. 

Stir in pasta and a little bit of the pasta water until all pasta is coated with the cheese mixture. Add lemon zest and cook for another minute on low. Serve immediately.