I have been making this butternut squash quesadilla almost daily for the past few weeks because it is just that good. Just like I do with my kiddos, I try my best to incorporate a vegetable at least 2 out of the 3 meals that we eat each day. Sometimes I don’t have the time to sit and cook a full lunch for myself, which is why I love this recipe. To make it simpler, I make a huge batch of butternut squash at the beginning of the week and prepare it so it’s ready to add to my lunch quesadilla. Saves me time and sanity.
Butternut Squash Quesadilla Recipe
- 1 c. cooked butternut squash
- ¼ tsp. each of cumin, paprika, chili powder, and pepper
- ¼-½ tsp. salt
- Tortillas and cheese for quesadilla
- Add squash and spices to the Magic Bullet blender. Blend until completely creamy. Add a few tsp. of water if needed to blend.
- To assemble your quesadilla, spread a nice layer of butternut squash on one side of the tortilla. Top with cheese and another tortilla. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until tortillas are golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite toppings. I love cilantro, salsa, and taco sauce.
These black bean cakes are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The secret is Panko bread crumbs, which are used both inside and outside. The batter is made of finely chopped onions, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and black beans blended in a Magic Bullet blender, which is then dipped in flour, egg and Panko bread crumbs and fried until golden and crispy on the outside. These black bean cakes go great with avocado, sour cream and cilantro and can be served as an appetizer or side dish. I also like to top salads with them!
Black Bean Patty Recipe
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Add the onion, half of the beans, cumin, and cayenne pepper to a Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining beans, blended mixture, and 1/3 cup bread crumbs and stir well.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Pour the flour onto a plate, and the remaining bread crumbs on another plate.
- Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.
- Form balls with your hands and flatten, then dip into flour, egg, and bread crumbs in that order.
- Fry on each side for about 2 minutes until golden.
Makes 8 black bean cakes
Spaghetti carbonara… it’s a classic, easy, delicious, cheap, and hearty dinner, so why haven’t you made it? If you don’t know what carbonara is, you’re in for a treat. This classic, Roman dish consists of bacon, barely cooked eggs and parmesan, to create a rich, delicious pasta sauce.
Although I’ve made carbonara many times before, this one follows a new recipe from Serious Eats, which involves more egg yolks and less bacon and cheese than other recipes. The result is particularly eggy and rich but less greasy. You can also use any type of bacon; here I use pancetta, which is more porky and less smoky.
The Magic Bullet does triple duty here, grating the parmesan, chopping the garlic, and grinding the pepper.
Pasta Carbonara Recipe
- 1 pound pasta (I used bucatini; spaghetti is “traditional”)
- 1/2 cup diced bacon (or guanciale or pancetta)
- 2 tbl olive oil
- 2 whole eggs plus 6 egg yolks
- 1 large parmesan (enough to make ½ cup when grated)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Cook pasta until al dente in heavily salted water. Without draining the pasta water, remove the pasta.
- Add bacon to pan with oil over medium heat and cook until crisp. Turn off heat.
- Blend garlic in the Magic Bullet and remove to a large metal or glass bowl. Blend the parmesan and remove to the bowl. Blend the black pepper and remove to the bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolks and stir everything up.
- Add cooked pasta to the pan with the bacon and stir everything together. Add the egg mixture to the pan and stir everything some more. Add ½ cup of the pasta water and bring the pasta water to a boil.
- Dump everything in the pan back into the bowl over the boiling water. Let the pasta cook from the heat of the steam until you have a creamy sauce.
- Serve immediately.
This is one of my favorite lunch time sandwiches, especially because it’s a nice switch up from the regular turkey and cheese. It also comes together almost as quickly too! You could easily switch up the flavors and seasonings to adjust to your liking, play around and have fun with it!
Avocado Chickpea Sandwich Recipe
- ½ can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ avocado
- 1 tb. hummus
- 1 tsp. mustard
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder, paprika, and cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In your Magic Bullet Blender add chickpeas. Blend until the chickpeas have mashed a little. You don’t want a puree, just a rough mash.
- Add chickpeas to a medium bowl and mix in the avocado, hummus, mustard, lemon, and spices. Mash together until combined. Adjust seasonings if desired.
- Spread onto sandwich bread, and top with lettuce and tomato, or other preferred sandwich toppings.
- Eat and enjoy! You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-3 days.
“Bowls”: I know, trending right now. I’m sorry to be part of the trend. I really am. But, what can I say? Sometimes trends happen for a reason. (I still like pesto.) Anyway, if you haven’t tried making sushi bowls, you’re in for a treat: it turns out that a lot of the magic going on behind the sushi counter is about presentation. You can make a perfectly delicious, sushi-like creation with only a few simple ingredients. I use brown rice for a better glycemic index, too.
I’m lucky enough to live near an excellent Japanese store in Washington, DC that sells sushi-grade fish at reasonable prices, but you could easily substitute crabstick or shrimp for an equally delicious meal. The Magic Bullet whips up the seasoning in no time flat.
Sushi Bowl Recipe
Sushi Rice Ingredients
- 1.5 cups short grain brown rice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbl sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Protein, any type (I used seared tuna, sliced)
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced (peeling is optional)
- Scallions, sliced
- Big dash of sesame seeds
- Nori (roasted sushi seaweed)
- Soy sauce
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add the rice. Cook for 30 minutes. Drain and refrigerate for 60 minutes (or if you’re pressed for time, rinse with cold water).
- Meanwhile, blend vinegar, sugar, and salt in the Magic Bullet.
- Mix rice with vinegar mixture.
- Put rice in bowl and add garnishes. Serve, passing wasabi and soy sauce.
Sometimes the simplest salad dressings are the best. This recipe blends balsamic, olive oil, honey and a handful of almonds into a light and delicious dressing you’ll be pouring over every salad. It’ll become your reason to have salad!
Honey Balsamic Almond Dressing Recipe
- 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 12 almonds
- Combine all ingredients in Magic Bullet and blend thoroughly.
- Add some chicken, quinoa or tofu and dig in!
Recapping 2016, I wonder, is farro going to be the IT grain of 2016?! Farro seems to be getting a lot of buzz! Its star is rising! Farro appreciates all the attention, but has it lost touch with its roots? Only time will tell….
Anyway, here I combine farrow with another once-trendy ingredient, pimenton, aka smoked Spanish paprika, for a delicious grain “salad” with fish and roasted broccoli. The pimenton makes an appearance in the dressing as well as in the fish. This ended up being a home run: the farro was nutty and crunchy, the pimenton smoky and savory, the broccoli healthy and flavorful and also crunchy and smoky, and the whole thing pretty darn healthy.
Get ahead of the fad and try farro today. It’s just pretty darn good.
Pimenton Grain Salad with Fish, Farro and Roasted Broccoli Recipe
- 1 lb fish, any type (I used swordfish)
- 2 tbl pimenton, separated
- 4 tbl olive oil, plus more for cooking and coating
- 2 tbl white balsamic vinegar, or any vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2/3 cup farro
- four scallions, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli with olive oil and salt and roast until crunchy and just beginning to blacken.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the farro. Cook for 20 minutes or until al dente, then drain.
- Toss the fish with a tablespoon of pimenton and salt. Heat a dash of olive oil over medium heat, then add the fish and cook until just barely cooked through.
- Meanwhile, blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet. Add the olive oil, a tablespoon of pimenton, and the vinegar and blend.
- Mix together broccoli, farro, scallions, and the dressing. Top with the fish and serve.
These noodles will drive you craaaaazy. OK, I can’t back that up, but they’re spicy and funky and unexpectedly cold, like a salad and ramen’s spicy funky lovechild. OK, I can’t back that up either. In any event, get yourself some kimchi – I got delicious radish kimchi from my local farmer’s market – and you’ll have these noodles made in twenty minutes or less. Might we even say they are healthy? They contain very little fat and a lot of vegetables, so… Hey, yeah. A salad it is.
The Magic Bullet makes whipping together the dressing very easy, and the only other time factor is the minutes it takes to boil the noodles and the time it takes to slice some veggies. Add a soft-boiled egg for protein and incredible richness, and you’ve got yourself a spicy, funky meal.
Adapted from The New York Times
Cold, Spicy Kimchi Noodle Recipe
- 1 cup kimchi
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 tbl brown sugar
- 1 tbl gochujang
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 tbl sesame oil
- 1 tbl rice vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbl fish sauce
- ½ lb soba noodles
- 1 cucumber, peeled and large diced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbl sesame seeds
- Blend kimchi, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, gochujang, miso, sesame oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, and fish sauce in your Magic Bullet.
- Meanwhile, cook soba noodles until al dente and rest in cold water. Drain. Boil eggs for about five minutes and rest in cold water. Peel.
- Mix noodles, sauce, tomatoes, noodles, and cucumbers. Serve, garnishing with eggs and sesame seeds.
There’s something deeply satisfying about a sweet, cheese spread. The combination of complementing flavors hits all of your taste buds in just the right way. This recipe uses the Magic Bullet to blend together goat cheese, honey and dried fig for a unique spread that has both a winning flavor and texture.
Goat Cheese, Fig and Honey Spread Recipe
- 2/3 to 1 cup of goat cheese
- 3 dried figs
- 1 tbsp. honey (or more if you like it sweeter!)
- Combine all ingredients in Magic Bullet and blend. If the figs are very dry and somewhat stale, boil or microwave them for a moment to soften them up before blending.
- Be ready to whip up another batch – this goes quick!
The lamb takes on the flavors of cumin so well in this Chinese food dish.
Recently I shared with you velveting, the Chinese method for keeping meat tender and delicious. Does it work with lamb?! Only one way to find out… Long story short: yes, it works! Tender, mildly chewy lamb, bursting with cumin flavor, smoky and spicy from poblano peppers, vegetable-y and vaguely healthy from lots of onion and green peppers, and tingly from Sichuan peppercorns. Puts new meaning into better-than-takeout: much healthier (more vegetables and less oil) and it’s fast and delicious!
Cumin Lamb Recipe
- 1 lb boneless lamb shoulder, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp. Chinese rice wine, separated (or mirin or omit)
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce, separated into 1 tbsp. and 2 tbsp.
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch, separated
- 3 tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns (available in Chinese groceries or online)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 very large onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and sliced
- ½ bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
- Vegetable oil
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add to the Magic Bullet and blend. Remove spice mixture, add the garlic, and blend.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. In a bowl, mix the lamb, one tablespoon of rice wine, one tablespoon of soy sauce, egg white, and cornstarch.
- When the water is boiling, add the lamb and cook two minutes, until just beginning to change color. Remove lamb and rub with ground spices and a pinch of salt.
- Meanwhile, add the onions to the wok with a big glug of vegetable oil and a big pinch of salt. Cook until softened and just beginning to brown.
- Add both peppers and the lamb and cook, stirring, until lamb is just cooked through. Add remaining soy sauce, garlic, and rice wine, stir and cook until just fragrant, another 30 seconds.
- Add cilantro, stir, and serve.