Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo…

The post Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

sesame noodles salad recipe

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo dish, I crave noodles with a little more color, perhaps, and more texture and flavor. Must be the “maximalist vegetarian” in me. Always more veggies!

This riff on sesame noodles is exactly what I’ve wished for. This recipe features tender noodles and green onions, of course. I replaced some of the noodles with tons of crisp raw veggies, plus I added tiny sesame seeds, toasted to bring out their best.

The bold but simple seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger and garlic, and a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro (omit it if you don’t like it). I added some chili flakes for extra heat, which you can scale up or down to suit your preferences.

sesame noodle salad ingredients

From what I’ve read, sesame noodles likely originated in the Sichuan province of China (please let me know if you know more). These noodles are not authentic, but they are tasty. I can’t stop going back for more.

Bring these noodles to a gathering or serve them as a side dish. They are nice at room temperature or chilled. Or, turn this recipe into a light meal by adding shelled edamame, crispy baked tofu or a fried egg or two. This recipe keeps well for several days in the fridge, and packs well for lunch.

Continue to the recipe...

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Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad.

This ramen noodle crunch salad is def my new favorite salad. It’s only May so I can assure you that I will say that approximately nine more times before the warm season is over. But still.  Here we go! First summer salad of the year! This salad is SO easy. Throw everything together, let it […]

The post Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This ramen noodle crunch salad is def my new favorite salad.

This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It's full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It's a huge hit!

It’s only May so I can assure you that I will say that approximately nine more times before the warm season is over. But still. 

Here we go! First summer salad of the year!

cabbage, kale, red pepper, carrot, scallions in a bowl.

This salad is SO easy. Throw everything together, let it chill for 30 minutes and serve. It’s simple but everyone loves it. And I’m guessing you’ve maaaaybe had a version of it before? We used to eat this all the time when I was a kid and especially when I was in high school. Pretty sure it was a graduation party staple!

This version is loaded with tons of fresh chopped veggies.

I cannot get enough of it. 

And while it tastes like lovely 90s nostalgia, it is updated quite a bit!

almonds and sunflower seeds on salad

First, a mix of shredded kale and cabbage. Both wilt down when covered in dressing but they manage to hold some crunch too, which is the whole point of this thing.

I also like to add in some thinly sliced red pepper and shaved carrot for more texture. And flavor! And color too? Yes sure. 

The dressing is an incredible mix of toasted sesame oil, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger and even a little lime. I remember making this from a recipe book my mom had back when I was in high school and it used lots of vegetable oil and sugar. So I swapped them! 

tossed ramen noodle crunch salad

For even more crunch: toasted sunflower seeds and almonds. I’m pretty sure these are somewhat standard in the salad. 

And for the final, extra, expected but wonderful crunch: the ramen noodles! I usually use the classic in the pouch, but since I’ve been making my own version of ramen at home, I often have these noodles on hand. They are thinner than the most known brand but they work great. They are so crunchy and then as the salad sits, they get fantastically CHEWY.

Oh my gosh. I could eat this forever!

This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It's full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It's a huge hit!

I’m in love with this salad as a weeknight side dish. Or even as the main dish, served with a side of eggs or something! I mean, I’d do that. You could also of course add in shredded rotisserie chicken or even shrimp if you’d like. 

But the main reason I’m sharing it now is because Memorial Day is coming up and this is the IDEAL side dish to serve with burgers or hot dogs. 

It’s refreshing, it’s crisp, it’s light, but at the same time it’s loaded with tons of flavor and texture. Even the veggie haters love it! 

up close ramen noodle crunch salad

You can make the salad ahead of time. Truthfully, it gets better as it sits. Even if we can’t have our usual huge Memorial Day parties, you can relieve a bit of cooking in the moment by making this ahead.

And finally, it makes for such a good picnic or poolside lunch! 

This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It's full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It's a huge hit!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go eat it for lunch.

This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It's full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It's a huge hit!

Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad

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Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad

This ramen noodle crunch salad is the perfect make ahead party salad! It's full of sesame flavor and super crunchy. It's a huge hit!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6 people, is easily doubled!
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced or shaved
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 6 ounces dry ramen noodles, e.g. from 2 (3oz ramen packs)

sesame vinaigrette

  • cup toasted sesame oil
  • cup olive oil
  • rice wine vinegar, or apple cider, or white wine
  • cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kale, peppers, carrots, green onions, almonds and sunflower seeds. Break apart the ramen noodles and add them into the bowl. Toss everything together.
  • Whisk together the oils, vinegar, honey, lime juice, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat. Toss continuously until everything is combined. Place the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve cold!
  • You can make this ahead of time - even the night before! Just store it in the fridge. Toss well before serving.

up close ramen noodle crunch salad

Crunchy heaven.

The post Ramen Noodle Crunch Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Quick Soba Noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner. Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba! Types of soba noodles Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free. There […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.

Soba noodles

Need a quick noodle fix? Try these simple soba noodles! Soba are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, and they’re perfect as a component for a fast and easy dinner. Done in about 15 minutes, they’re covered in a zingy sauce of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Throw them in a bowl and top with an egg or sauteed shrimp, and you’ve got dinner! Because they’re so fast, Alex and I have been relying on them as a crutch for quick weeknight meals. They’re also a great side dish for Asian-style meals like Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli. Here’s what you need to know about soba!

Types of soba noodles

Soba are a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle. They’re easy to find at your local grocery, either in the noodles section or near the Japanese ingredients. Because they’re made with buckwheat flour, most soba are naturally gluten-free. However, some brands also have wheat flour in them: so make sure to check the package if you eat gluten free.

There is a lot of variation in soba noodle brands! Alex and I have tested dozens, and we find that every brand of soba is different. Some are very thin and tend to break, so we try to look for soba that are thicker and hold up better. Make sure to experiment a bit to find the brand of soba that you like best.

Soba noodles

What’s in this soba noodles recipe?

This soba noodles recipe is fast and easy to make, and most of the ingredients are pantry staples! It’s essentially a pantry meal aside from the green onion. So you can leave out the green onions if you don’t have them on hand! Here’s what’s in this soba noodles recipe:

  • Soba noodles
  • Soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • Toasted sesame oil: make sure it is toasted, not regular! Toasted sesame oil is intended for flavoring, whereas regular sesame oil is neutral in flavor
  • Rice vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Miso: optional but adds great flavor (see below)
  • Garlic
  • Green onions (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional; if you use them toast them!)
Soba noodles with sesame seeds

Rinse your soba to remove starch!

Here’s an important note about cooking soba noodles: rinse them after they’re done cooking! Rinsing pasta is not required for something like Italian spaghetti or penne. But for soba, rinsing is necessary to remove starch the builds up during cooking.

If you don’t rinse, here’s what happens: the soba becomes very gummy and mushy. It also absorbs the sauce and becomes dry instead of saucy. So please: rinse your soba after cooking! You’ll notice a big difference.

A secret ingredient: miso

This soba noodles recipe contains a little secret ingredient: miso! If you’ve never cooked with it, we highly recommend getting a container for your fridge (and it lasts for months). Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor (or, umami). Umami is the so called “fifth flavor” after sour, salty, sweet, and bitter. It adds incredible flavor to any dish!

You can find miso at most major grocery stores near the other Japanese ingredients. There are many different types of miso, all with different flavors: red, yellow, and brown. Alex and I used brown miso here, which contributed to the dark color of these noodles.

Since we cook mostly plant based, Alex and I tend to use it to get a meaty or cheesy flavor in recipes. It’s great in Easy Miso Ramen, and even works to substitute Parmesan flavor in our Vegan Pesto!

Sesame soba noodles

Why to toast sesame seeds

For the best flavor, garnish these soba noodles with toasted sesame seeds! Of course, you can just use straight up sesame seeds. But toasting your sesame seeds in a pan heightens the nutty flavor considerably. It’s almost like using salt on food: it brings out the existing flavor and takes it to new heights! It only takes 3 minutes to toast sesame seeds, and you can store leftovers in a sealed container for months. Go to How to Toast Sesame Seeds.

Make it a meal!

Now for the fun part: how to make these soba noodles into a meal! You can serve them as part of an easy dinner main dish, or a side to an Asian style entree. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Top with an egg. The easiest way to make it dinner! Top with a fried egg or soft boiled egg. Dinner, solved!
  • Top with tofu. This Pan fried tofu is our favorite method for weeknights. Or try Marinaded tofu, which requires little hands on effort and can be stored in the fridge.
  • Top with shrimp. Try this quick and healthy Sauteed shrimp! To stick with Asian flavors, use plain sesame oil for cooking and substitute the lemon for a drizzle of rice vinegar and soy sauce at the end.
  • Add edamame. This quick Asian style side is so simple! Try with Easy Edamame or Spicy Edamame.
  • Serve with a stir fry! Try it with our Easy Stir Fry Vegetables!
  • Serve as a side dish to shrimp or salmon. Try it with Teriyaki Salmon or Shrimp and Broccoli.
Soba noodles recipe

This soba noodles recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Soba noodles

Quick Soba Noodles


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Need a quick noodle fix? These simple soba noodles are fast and full of flavor: perfect as an Asian style side dish or easy dinner.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce (or substitute tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon miso (optional; we used dark miso)
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • Sriracha, to taste (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds*
  • To make it a meal: Fried egg or soft boiled egg, Pan fried tofu or Marinaded tofu, or Sauteed shrimp

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions: it should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Important: when the noodles are done cooking, rinse them under cool running water in a strainer, tossing them to remove the starch. Then shake off excess water. If you’d like the noodles to be warm when serving, run them under warm water for a few seconds; you can also serve room temperature or cold. (If you skip this step, the noodles soak up the sauce and become too dry.)
  2. Whisk the sauce: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey or maple syrup, miso (if using), and grated garlic.
  3. Slice the onions: Thinly slice the green onions on the bias (diagonally), using both white and dark green parts.
  4. Combine and serve: Return the rinsed and shaken dry noodles to the pan or a bowl; stir in the sauce and green onions. Place in serving bowls, top with sesame seeds and serve. 

Notes

*Toasting the sesame seeds really brings out the nutty flavor! It takes only 3 minutes and you can taste the difference. Store toasted sesame seeds for months in a sealed container in the pantry.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Soba noodles

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Totoro Cookies! (Black Sesame & Lemon Linzer Cookies)

These delicious black sesame linzer cookies look just like a whole team of edible Totoros!! I’ve always loved Studio Ghibli movies (never have been much of a Disney person) and Totoro is definitley one of the most iconic characters from their movies. I’m preeeeetty pumped because tomorrow, Netflix is dropping a whole catalogue of Ghibli movies which means I can watch them ALL. THE. TIME. The soundtracks of their movies are so soothing and since I’ve watched most of them multiple times now, they make the perfect kind of movie to have on in the background as I’m working. I’m usually not the kind of person who enjoys overly decorated desserts (you will never see me make a fondant-covered cake of my own free will). Because of this, I did NOT want to make a boring sugar cookie with coloured frosting, decorated like Totoro. The dough and filling did most of the work for me as I used a black sesame dough for the grey fur and a lemony creme fraiche ganache for the white fur of the belly! I added little leafies to some of their foreheads using candy melts leftover from a food styling job. Candy melts were […]

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Totoro cookies made with black sesame dough and lemon ganache filling from studio ghibli

These delicious black sesame linzer cookies look just like a whole team of edible Totoros!! I’ve always loved Studio Ghibli movies (never have been much of a Disney person) and Totoro is definitley one of the most iconic characters from their movies.

I’m preeeeetty pumped because tomorrow, Netflix is dropping a whole catalogue of Ghibli movies which means I can watch them ALL. THE. TIME. The soundtracks of their movies are so soothing and since I’ve watched most of them multiple times now, they make the perfect kind of movie to have on in the background as I’m working.

rows of black sesame totoro linzer cookies from studio ghlibli

I’m usually not the kind of person who enjoys overly decorated desserts (you will never see me make a fondant-covered cake of my own free will). Because of this, I did NOT want to make a boring sugar cookie with coloured frosting, decorated like Totoro. The dough and filling did most of the work for me as I used a black sesame dough for the grey fur and a lemony creme fraiche ganache for the white fur of the belly!

I added little leafies to some of their foreheads using candy melts leftover from a food styling job. Candy melts were also used for the whites of the eyes and then very dark chocolate for the eyes, nose and whiskers. Royal icing would work for those jobbies too.

I made a card template of Totoro to be used for the cookies. It worked well but meant I had to hand cut every cookie which was VERY time consuming. Therefore the instructions below are just for the cookie dough and filling cut as regular circles. There’s a template below for if you want to print it and make your own but if you’re just here for a tasty cookie, go with the circles!

Download the template below

(note – It should be around 5cm wide so make sure the scale is correct before/after you’ve printed so you end up with the right size of template).

Black Sesame & Lemon Linzer Cookies

Black Sesame & Lemon Linzer Cookies

Yield: makes ~24 sandwich cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

Black sesame cookie dough:

  • 35g (1/4 cup) black sesame seeds
  • 150g (3/4 cup minus 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 120g (1 cup) plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 egg yolk

Lemon creme fraiche ganache:

  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) white chocolate
  • 75g (1/3 cup) creme fraiche
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

Make the cookie dough:

  1. Blitz the black sesame seeds in a food processor or blender until you get a rough, mealy texture.
  2. Cream the softened butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a medium bowl until smooth (you could use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted instead).
  3. Add the ground black sesame seeds, ground almonds and flour and mix until you get a crumbly dough. Add the egg yolk and mix until a cohesive dough forms.
  4. Divide the dough into two balls, flatten into disks and place into separate re-usable sandwich bags. Chill for at least 1 hour until firm.


Make the ganache filling:

  1. Finely chop the white chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl.
  2. Place the creme fraiche, lemon zest and salt into a small pot. Set over a low heat and allow to loosen and warm up.
  3. Once gently steaming, remove from the heat and pour over the white chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate and then stir together until smooth. Finally, stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Allow to cool (either at room temperature if your kitchen is cool, or, in the fridge if not) until the texture is thick but you're still able to stir it.
  5. Use an electric whisk to beat the cooled ganache until light and fluffy.

Cut and bake the cookies:

  1. Cut a large piece of baking paper and place on your work surface. Dust with plain flour.
  2. Remove a chilled disk of dough from the fridge, take out of the bag and place onto the baking paper and dust with more plain flour.
  3. Roll the dough out until it's about 2mm (1/16-inch) thick, dusting the top and underneath the dough with flour as needed to prevent it sticking to the paper too much. Cut out into 5cm (2-inch) circles. Remove the scraps around the edges and transfer the circles to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Chill for 15 minutes.
  4. As the cut cookie dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 130°C (266°F). Use this time to also roll and cut circles from the second disc of dough. Place onto a second, lined baking tray. Use a small circular cutter (or the end of a piping tip) to cut a small circle from the centre of these cookies. Chill for 15 minutes as well.
  5. Remove the chilled cookie circles from the fridge and bake for 25-35 minutes; the cookies should barely start to colour and should become crisp once cool (they'll stil lbe slightly pliable when hot). Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Re-roll the scraps, cut and bake as above, making sure that there's one plain circle per one 'doughnut shaped' circle so they can pair up when being sandwiched!
  7. Take a plain circle cookie (without the hole) and spread a thin layer of the white chocolate ganache over the surface of the cookie. Take one of the cookies with the hole in the middle and sandwich it on top. Repeat with all your baked cookies!
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days - they will soften a bit as they sit.


Notes

- Dough adapted from Alexandra Stafford via King Arthur Flour

- I handmade a card template of totoro to cut out the cookies with (around 5cm wide). Half of the cookies made were just the whole outline cut out. The other half of the cookies had the 'belly' cut out to make a hole for the lemon ganache to show through. I decorated them using piping bags with melted green & white candy melts and very dark chocolate. Please see the post above if you want to download the template!

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Toasted Everything Bagel Seasoning

Do you love everything bagels? Me, too. They’ve always been my favorite. When we were little, our parents would take us to the bagel shop on Sundays.…

The post Toasted Everything Bagel Seasoning appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

toasted everything bagel seasoning recipe

Do you love everything bagels? Me, too. They’ve always been my favorite. When we were little, our parents would take us to the bagel shop on Sundays. I’d jump up and down for an everything bagel, while my brothers went for the asiago or cinnamon raisin options. No, thanks!

As an adult, I’ve begrudgingly come to realize that white bread doesn’t make me feel very good. So, I opt for whole grain bagels when bagels present themselves, even though what I really want is an everything bagel.

everything bagel seasoning ingredients

Imagine my delight when I discovered how to make my own everything bagel spice blend. Now I can make any bagel an everything bagel! I can even make toast taste like an everything bagel. You can use this blend on much more, as you’ll see below.

The trick to making the best everything bagel seasoning is to toast it in a skillet. If you think about it, everything bagels go through the oven with the seeds and spices on the outside, so the toasted flavor is key. Freshly toasted everything bagel seasoning tastes way better than store-bought blends, like Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” blend. Let’s make some.

Continue to the recipe...

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Multigrain and Seed Biscotti

I was browsing some older cookbooks recently. There are so many really great new cookbooks that come out every season that it’s easy to forget some of the beloved ones waiting patiently on our shelves, for us to return to them. Before electronics came on the scene, I used to curl up every night under the cover with an actual book or two, before dozing…

I was browsing some older cookbooks recently. There are so many really great new cookbooks that come out every season that it’s easy to forget some of the beloved ones waiting patiently on our shelves, for us to return to them. Before electronics came on the scene, I used to curl up every night under the cover with an actual book or two, before dozing off to bed.

The downside was that I always ended up bookmarking recipes that I wanted to make, and I’d get excited, and start running up and down (in back and forth) in my mind, about how I’m going to gather the ingredients when I wake up the next morning. Recently one that I came across was a recipe for Multigrain Biscotti in a cookbook from the ’90s that had nearly two dozen ingredients in it. But they sounded so good, I made a little (okay…not-so-little) shopping list, for the next day, using that list as a bookmark, planning to make them the next day.

Continue Reading Multigrain and Seed Biscotti...

Veggie Teriyaki Stir-Fry with Noodles

As promised! This is the made-from-scratch version of the teriyaki stir-fry that my husband whipped up with our leftover veggies. He’s so good at improvising meals with…

The post Veggie Teriyaki Stir-Fry with Noodles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

vegetarian teriyaki stir fry with noodles recipe

As promised! This is the made-from-scratch version of the teriyaki stir-fry that my husband whipped up with our leftover veggies. He’s so good at improvising meals with what we have on hand.

I loved it, and decided to come up with my own homemade teriyaki sauce to replace the jarred kind. This dish is inauthentic (maybe we can call it Asian fusion), but definitely delicious and healthier than take-out.

teriyaki stir-fry ingredients

This stir-fry has a lot going for it. It’s simple to make, especially if your sauce is ready to go. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables—in fact, it’s made with more veggies than noodles. Lastly, it packs great for lunch.

You can change up this recipe however you see fit. You could substitute leftover brown rice for the noodles. Add crispy baked tofu, steamed edamame, scrambled eggs or a crispy fried egg for extra protein. How about a stir-fry for dinner tonight?

Continue to the recipe...

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Za’atar Spice Blend

I’m having a moment with za’atar, a classic Middle Eastern seasoning. Za’atar is a unique blend of herbal, earthy, savory, tangy and salty flavors. Za’atar has been…

The post Za’atar Spice Blend appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

za'atar spice blend recipe

I’m having a moment with za’atar, a classic Middle Eastern seasoning. Za’atar is a unique blend of herbal, earthy, savory, tangy and salty flavors.

Za’atar has been enjoyed for centuries on the other side of the world, yet it has gained popularity in the U.S. over the past five years or so. To be honest, I didn’t understand the fuss when I sampled a za’atar blend from Trader Joe’s several years ago. But then…

zaatar ingredients

Everything changed when za’atar landed on our table at Shaya in New Orleans. They simply mixed their house blend of za’atar with olive oil and served it with crusty bread, for dipping. I fell in love with za’atar that night, and couldn’t stop going back for more.

This recipe is my best attempt at recreating the flavors in Shaya’s recipe, and I think it’s pretty close. Za’atar is versatile and complements many savory meals—you’ll find all of my suggestions below.

Continue to the recipe...

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Chocolate Tahini Blender Mousse

Thanks to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post I’ve been making a version of this blender mousse since I was a kid! I think my mum always let me and my brother make it because it’s incredibly easy to do and would satisfy our chocolate cravings since it’s so rich. All you need to do is heat the cream up and blend everything together until smooth, then chill it for a bit. It’s really more of a chocolate pot de crème but the super high speed blitzing action of the KitchenAid blender actually incorporates lots of tiny bubbles into the mixture meaning it has a lighter, moussier texture than a standard, custardy chocolate pot. I’ve changed the recipe slightly to make it more ‘grown-up’, adding tahini for an extra creaminess and bitter, toasty edge. I also switched the chocolate from a semi-sweet (~54% cocoa) to a bittersweet (70%) although you can use whichever chocolate you prefer here. I think even a milk or white chocolate would work well and would suit for a sweeter dessert. By using a darker chocolate, I made up for the increased bitterness by making a very quick & simple sesame brittle to serve with the mousse. […]

The post Chocolate Tahini Blender Mousse appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

four glasses of chocolate mousse with sesame brittle on top

Thanks to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post

I’ve been making a version of this blender mousse since I was a kid! I think my mum always let me and my brother make it because it’s incredibly easy to do and would satisfy our chocolate cravings since it’s so rich. All you need to do is heat the cream up and blend everything together until smooth, then chill it for a bit.

overhead of a glass of chocolate tahini mousse with a spoonful taken out

It’s really more of a chocolate pot de crème but the super high speed blitzing action of the KitchenAid blender actually incorporates lots of tiny bubbles into the mixture meaning it has a lighter, moussier texture than a standard, custardy chocolate pot.

I’ve changed the recipe slightly to make it more ‘grown-up’, adding tahini for an extra creaminess and bitter, toasty edge. I also switched the chocolate from a semi-sweet (~54% cocoa) to a bittersweet (70%) although you can use whichever chocolate you prefer here. I think even a milk or white chocolate would work well and would suit for a sweeter dessert.

a cluster of glasses of chocolate tahini mousse with a bowl of creme friache, sesame brittle and a vase of flowers

By using a darker chocolate, I made up for the increased bitterness by making a very quick & simple sesame brittle to serve with the mousse. Just sesame seeds and sugar are needed, caramelised on the stove and rolled into a thin sheet. A few shards of that plus a dollop of tangy crème fraiche on top of each cup and you’re good to go.

Chocolate Tahini Blender Mousse

Chocolate Tahini Blender Mousse

Yield: serves 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 175g (6.25 ounces) dark chocolate, I like 70% here
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 285ml (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) single cream
  • Sesame brittle and crème fraiche, to serve

Instructions

    Roughly chop the chocolate and add to the jug of your KitchenAid blender along with the tahini, egg, vanilla and salt. Put on the lid and blend together on a low speed for 30 seconds to help chop the chocolate up even more.

    Place the cream into a small pot and heat on a low heat until just gently steaming. Remove from the heat. Turn the blender on to a low speed (1 or 2) and open the plastic fill cap of the blender lid – carefully but quickly pour in the hot cream then replace the plastic fill cap to prevent spillage.
    Turn the blender up to high speed and blitz until uniform in colour throughout – you may need to stop the blender to scrape down the sides of the jug with a spatula to make sure everything is mixed.

    Divide the mixture between 6 small glasses or ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours until completely cool and set. Top with a dollop of crème fraiche and some sesame brittle (recipe below).



Sesame Brittle

Sesame Brittle

Ingredients

  • 80g (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
  • 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

Notes

  1. Cut two pieces of baking paper about the size of a baking tray and set aside.
  2. Add the sesame seeds to a large, light-coloured frying pan and set over a medium heat. Stir until the sesame seeds just start to colour. Add the sugar to the pan and shake the pan back and forth to make the sugar spread out in an even layer. Let sit over a medium heat without stirring until the sugar starts to melt. Once the liquid sugar starts to colour, gently stir together to coat all of the sesame seeds.
  3. Pour out onto one piece of baking paper and place the other piece of baking paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the candy out into a thin, even layer. Let cool before peeling away the baking paper and breaking up into small pieces.

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Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns (vegan)

After having Korean fried chicken in a restaurant a while ago, *that* spicy gochujang sauce stuck in my mind. It’s like a grown up version of the sauce on sweet & sour chicken. I made it at home, using it to coat crispy tofu (coated in cornstarch and pan fried) to stuff into pillowy soft bao buns. I actually made these a while ago but never got round to posting the recipe! Now that I’ve been going a bit bao crazy I thought I would get this one up on the blog at the same time so there are some filling options for people to look at. We used this sauce last night for coating katsu seitan and it was epic – we had it with pickled radish/red onion and carrot ribbons which was a great combo. I think the sauce would work well on katsu sweet potato for an easy option. These are a bit ‘involved’ since you do need to do the whole tofu pressing, coating & frying situation. I also roasted some butternut squash to go in the buns but you can leave it out if you want (or use something seasonal like roasted carrots instead). However, […]

The post Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns (vegan) appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Assembling Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu, lettuce and butternut squash

After having Korean fried chicken in a restaurant a while ago, *that* spicy gochujang sauce stuck in my mind. It’s like a grown up version of the sauce on sweet & sour chicken. I made it at home, using it to coat crispy tofu (coated in cornstarch and pan fried) to stuff into pillowy soft bao buns.

I actually made these a while ago but never got round to posting the recipe! Now that I’ve been going a bit bao crazy I thought I would get this one up on the blog at the same time so there are some filling options for people to look at. We used this sauce last night for coating katsu seitan and it was epic – we had it with pickled radish/red onion and carrot ribbons which was a great combo. I think the sauce would work well on katsu sweet potato for an easy option.

Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu and lettuce with a bamboo steamer

These are a bit ‘involved’ since you do need to do the whole tofu pressing, coating & frying situation. I also roasted some butternut squash to go in the buns but you can leave it out if you want (or use something seasonal like roasted carrots instead). However, once you’ve done the prep it’s easy to keep the components warm or reheat them, making the whole thing perfect for when you have a few friends round.

You can get frozen bao from Chinese supermarkets or, if you want to make them yourself, see my post for an in-depth recipe with some helpful shaping GIFs.

Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns

Crispy Gochujang Tofu Bao Buns

Yield: 12 buns (serves 3-4)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Squash:

  • 1/2 a butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Tofu:

  • 340g (12 ounces) extra firm tofu
  • 50g (1/2 cup) corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

To serve:

Instructions

For the squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Cut the butternut squash into pieces about 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. Toss with the vegetable oil on a baking tray. Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through roasting, until starting to turn brown around the edges.

For the sauce:

  1. Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed to thin it out so it's drizzleable.

For the tofu:

  1. Press the tofu: drain the tofu, wrap in 2 layers of kitchen towel and place on a cutting board. Top with another cutting board and place something heavy (like a few cookbooks) on top. Let sit for 30 minutes to drain.
  2. Unwrap the tofu. Cut into 12 planks.
  3. Place the corn flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Toss the tofu in it to coat well, shaking off excess.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the coated tofu in a single layer and fry on both sides until crisp.
  5. Remove to a dish lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat the frying with the remaining tofu, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  6. Once you've fried all of it, toss the tofu into the bowl of sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  7. Keep warm in an oven at 100°C (215°F) until serving.

Warm the bao:

  1. Place the bao into a steamer and cover with the lid. Fill a wide saucepan with a ~1 inch depth of water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low then place the steamer into the pan.
  2. Steam for 5-6 minutes if they were frozen, or 2-3 minutes if they're fresh.

Assemble:

  1. Take the warm bao and fill with a leaf of gem lettuce, some of the warm crispy tofu and a piece of butternut squash.
  2. Eat warm!

Notes

  • Gochujang is a spicy, Korean fermented chilli paste. It can be found in many Korean or Chinese grocers and even in larger supermarkets in the 'world food' aisle.

Bao buns filled with crispy gochujang tofu and lettuce with a bamboo steamer" data-pin-description="Crispy tofu with a sweet & spicy gochujang sauce in soft, fluffy bao buns. Great for a plant-based dinner!

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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