5 Ingredient Tomato Sauce

My 30 second YouTube video

This is something you’ll be able to make easily as it only requires 5 ingredients.

  • Olive oil – 1 tbl
  • Onion, diced – 1/4 cup
  • Garlic, minced – 3 cloves
  • Basil – 1 large stem
  • Canned Tomatoes – 28oz, pureed

Heat olive oil over medium heat and begin sauteeing the onion until transluscent. Add garlic and saute one more minute. Then, add the basil and saute thirty seconds. Then, add your pureed tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes and remove the basil, and serve!

Meal Prep: Spiced Chicken Breast with Herb Roasted Potatoes, and Green Beans

The finished meal prep containers

Meal prepping is something I do whenever I am going to be very busy or unable to cook for a few days time. This is something that allows me to portion my meals and control how much food I’m eating, save a considerable amount of money by dining out less, and keep my cooking skills sharp.

The Chicken

In my first post directly about meal prepping, I thought I’d keep it simple. I purchased about 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I pounded, spiced and roasted them. Pounding them makes them thinner and cook quicker. The southwest seasoning that was lurking in my spice cabinet added a great flavor to the finished product, but you can use any poultry seasoning, or fresh/dried herbs. Roast at 425 degrees until 165 inside, or until the juices run clear. (I had some extra onion laying around so threw that in there too.)

  • 2lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbl poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbl olive oil

Place everything in a roasting pan and mix well. Roast until 165 or juices run clear.

The Potatoes

These were simply a tri-color potato that I cut in half or quarters, and then roasted with fresh thyme, and garlic, and finished with a looot of parsley and parmigiano reggiano. I seasoned them with salt, and pepper, and roasted at 425 until tender. You can use any kind of potato you’d like, just make sure you cut them into equal, bite sized pieces.

  • Potatoes, cut into equally sized pieces
  • Fresh Thyme, a small bundle
  • Garlic, about 2 tbl, minced
  • Parsley, about 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, about two big handfuls

Toss the potatoes and fresh thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 until almost tender. Add garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and finish with cheese.

The Green Beans

I kept these simple too. In the same pan, I put the cleaned green beans with some julienned red pepper and onion, roasted at 425 until tender and finished with some minced garlic.

  • Green Beans, two big handfuls
  • Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 ea, julienned
  • Onion, 1/2 ea, julienned
  • Garlic 1 tbl, minced

Toss all ingredients except for garlic with olive oil, roast at 425 until almost tender. Add garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.

The Future

I’ll likely be doing more of these types of posts as a try to gain some interest for a side business for myself. You can follow my progress on instagram when I post photos and even some footage from when I’m cooking. I also upload to youtube about once per week with recipe demo’s. Both links are here on my page.

If you had any suggestions for things you might like to see here, please comment down below and I’ll respond.

Full video demo on YouTube

30 Minute Chicken Stew

  • Onion 1 ea, diced
  • Button Mushrooms, 8 ea, sliced
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Celery, 2 ribs cut into a small dice
  • Garlic, 6 cloves minced
  • White Wine, 1/2 cup
  • Kale, about 3 cups, chopped
  • Chicken Stock, 6-8 cups
  • Potatoes, 2 ea medium sized yukon golds
  • Chicken Thighs, 4 ea, Boneless & Skinless
  • Tomatoes, 1x 14.5 oz can, diced
  • Chickpeas, about 1 cup
  • Fresh Thyme, small bundle
  • Labneh, Sour Cream for garnish, as needed

Begin by sweating the onion and mushrooms over medium high heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery, and garlic, and sweat for 2 more minutes. If a brown “fond” develops from caramelizing the sugars in the vegetables, simply deglaze the pan with white wine or water, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add chopped kale, then chicken stock. Add chicken thighs, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Skim the foam from the top. Add chickpeas, and potatoes. Simmer until the chicken is cooked, then remove and shred the meat after it has cooled off. Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove some with broth, and chickpeas and mushrooms. Blend this mixture to a puree, and then add back to the pot to thicken. Add thyme, and the shredded chicken meat. Garnish with sour cream or labneh and enjoy!

Video Demo: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

step by step YouTube video

A favorite Thanksgiving side dish of mine. Salty bacon, acid from the cider vinegar, and a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup, with shallots – that are good with anything.

  • Bacon, 5 slices, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Brussels Sprouts, about 30 ea
  • Shallot, 2 ea, minced
  • Maple Syrup, 2 tbl
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tbl

Cook bacon until crispy, reserve bacon fat. Cut stem from sprouts, cut in half, and par cook in salted boiling water. Chill in ice bath, and remove from water. Heat bacon fat over medium heat. Dry off your sprouts very well or they will splatter in the pan and make a tremendous mess. sear until nicely brown, then flip the sprouts, add the shallot, and cook until the shallot is translucent and the sprouts are brown on both sides. Add maple syrup and cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, and then continue to cook reducing the liquid until it is syrupy. Turn off heat, add bacon to pan and toss to coat.

Par cooked sprouts being seared in bacon fat

Video Demo: How to make an Omelet | Kale and Mushroom Omelet

Here is a step by step video on how to make a basic omelet. The technique takes a few tries before you perfect it, but becomes second nature quickly. The hardest part I think, is knowing when to flip, not the flip itself. You can add anything you like, I’ve kept it simple here for the sake of focusing on the technique, rather than creativity.

  • Eggs, 3 ea
  • Butter, ~1 tbl
  • Button Mushrooms, 1 ea, very small dice
  • Kale, 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Parmesan Cheese, ~1/4 cup
  • Zhug (optional, for garnish)

Heat pan over medium heat, add butter, and saute mushrooms until tender, seasoning with salt. Add kale and saute one minute. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork, then add to pan. Turn heat to medium low, and, with a rubber spatula, lift the sides of the cooked egg and allow the runny egg to go underneath and cook. Keep doing this, tilting the pan and lifting with the spatula until there is no more runny egg. Continue to leave the omelet in the pan over medium low heat, until it becomes very loose in the pan, and flip to cook the other side. Don’t try to flip it if it doesn’t feel loose enough in the pan. Once flipped, turn off the heat, and add cheese to one side, then, using the spatula, be very careful to slowly fold the omelet in half. If you are careless, it will break at the “seam.” Plate up and garnish with zug, pesto, or anything else you like.

The finished omelet, topped with zhug

 

Video Demo: Pan Fried Green Beans with Smoked Paprika

A very simple recipe, just a handful of ingredients, any of which you may already have on hand! This recipe uses a little more oil than usual to get that “fried” preparation.

  • Green Beans, about 30ea, washed
  • Onion, 1/4ea, julienned
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • Smoked Paprika, ~1tbl
  • Olive Oil, ~3tbl – enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan
  • Salt

With heat on high, add the olive oil to the pan and cook the beans until wilted and brown, about 6 minutes, seasoning with salt. Add the onion, then after a minute the garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is soft. Turn the heat off, and add the paprika to the hot pan. The hot oil will toast the spice and it should smell very aromatic. Set aside and serve warm.

Side note – If you leave the pan on the heat for too long the paprika may burn and become very bitter.

 

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Eggs, 8 ea
  • Mayonnaise 2 tbl
  • Mustard 1 tbl
  • Chipotle Purée, 2 tbl
  • Chives, Smoke Paprika for garnish

Begin by hard boiling the eggs. The way I do this is as follows: Put eggs in saucepot in COLD water. Turn heat on high. Once the water begins a steady hard boil, set a timer for 8 minutes. Once the eight minutes has expired, transfer to an ice bath. Once cool, peel the shells off.

Cut the eggs in half and separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, chipotle puree, and season with salt and peppers to taste. Once mixture is smooth, fill the egg halves with mixture. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, and then garnish with chives cut on a bias.

 

4 Ingredient Tomato Soup

This tomato soup recipe couldn’t get any easier. If you don’t count the garnishes there are only four ingredients. I had an abundance of tomatoes – so many I had to pick a recipe that used up many of them. Soup seemed like a great idea.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato, 8 cups, fresh with the core removed, cut in half
  • Onion, 1 ea, diced
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Chicken Stock, 3 cups, low sodium
  • EVOO, 2tbl

Begin by roasting tossing your tomatoes with the olive oil, and season with salt. Roast your tomatoes at 400 for about 20 minutes. Roast them long enough so you can peel off the skins with ease.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pot over medium heat and cook your onions until nicely browned and caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. If you season them with salt when you throw them in the pan, they will wilt and break down more quickly.

When the onions are nice and cooked, add in the garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Then, add the peeled tomatoes to the pot, along with the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Purée the soup with an immersion blender (or a standing blender in batches). This might take longer with an immersion blender, but check the consistency to ensure it is smooth and velvety.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Ladle into a bowl, and garnish with anything you’d like. I’ve garnished my soup with a dollop of labneh, minced chives, and some extra virgin olive oil.

 

Garden Tomato Frittata with Heirloom Marinated Tomato Salad

I use a cast iron skillet for this recipe and it’s perfect. It is the perfect size and doesn’t stick to the pan when I’m finished cooking. Begin by sauteing your onions on medium heat with a tablespoon of butter. Sweat the onions for about three minutes until soft. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook for 2 more minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. Meanwhile, whisk eggs with a fork and add arugula to mixture. When the jalapeno and garlic have sweated for a couple of minutes, add egg and arugula mixture into the pan, and slightly stir to incorporate the aromatics with the egg. Add slices of tomato to the pan, layering them nicely into the pan so they stay on top. Cook the egg mixture on the stove for 2 more minutes, but turn on the broiler in the meantime. Grate the cheese over the par cooked frittata. After about 4 minutes on the stove, grab the skillet and put it into the oven and broil until the cheese has melted and frittata has puffed up and caramelized. Remove from oven, garnish with minced arugula, a dollop of labneh, and enjoy!

Ingredients for Heirloom Tomato Frittata:

  • Eggs, 4 ea
  • Onion, 1/4 cup chopped finely
  • Garlic, 4 cloves minced
  • Tomato, 1 or 2 ea, sliced
  • Arugula, about 1/4 cup minced
  • Jalapeno, 1 medium, minced
  • Butter, 1 tbl
  • Parmesan Cheese, small block for grating
  • Labneh, for garnish

For the tomato salad, I’ve used home grown roma and heirloom tomatoes with. a prepared salad dressing from Trader Joes. It’s so easy, this recipe. If the tomatoes are a bit bigger, cut them into more wedges. You can also make your own vinaigrette to dress the salad with, but Trader Joes has high quality products, so I can justify buying one to save myself some time. Cut the onion very thinly so it can cook in the acid from the vinaigrette to take away the sharp onion pungency. Season the tomato salad with salt and pepper.

Here are the ingredients for the tomato salad:

  • Roma tomatoes, 4 ea, quartered
  • Heirloom tomatoes, 2 ea quartered
  • Parsley, 1 tbl, minced
  • Onion, 1/4ea cut into fine julienne
  • Vinaigrette, your choice, 1/4 cup

Toss all of the ingredients together and store them in the fridge either in portions or in one big container. If the tomatoes are on the riper side, be gentle so the inside part of the tomato wedge doesn’t detach. Not a big deal but it ruins aesthetic. This is very quick and easy to make, and does not cost much at all. It’s a great way to use up excess tomatoes if you or someone you know has grown them, and the recipe only gets better as it sits in your fridge while it hangs in that marinade.

 

Cooking on a budget: Oven roasted potatoes.

potatoes/bellpeppers/onions/garlic/olives

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods you can cook. There are hundreds of applications you can apply for texture, or flavor. The best part of cooking with potatoes is that they are extremely cheap so they’re a great option if you’re looking for some low budget meal prep. The other benefit to roasting potatoes is that you can do them in large batches and make enough for the week. For this batch I used:

  • About 30 small redskin potatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 olives, pitted and halved
  • Salt, Olive oil

Begin by preheating your oven to 400F. Grab an oven safe baking sheet or roasting pan, and place your cut up potatoes into the pan. Toss them with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt. Toss them to distribute evenly, to ensure an even roast, and throw the potatoes in your preheated oven. I like a hotter oven not only because the potatoes cook a little more quickly, but they also brown a bit better over time. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, until about half cooked.

Next, add your cut onions and bell peppers on top, and toss them with the par cooked potatoes. Add a little more salt. You’ll want to ensure they’re well coated in oil so they begin cooking right away and continue to cook. Put back in the oven for about 20 more minutes, and leave in the oven until the peppers and onions are soft and slightly brown or caramelized. After this, add your minced garlic, and leave in the oven for a few more minutes. At this point, if your oven has a broiler, I’d suggest turning it on to high, to quickly caramelize everything. But keep a close eye because it can easily burn things if you’re not paying close attention.

Throw the olives on top and mix in well. Wait to cool until you throw into meal prep containers and you’re good to go!