May
21
0

Falafels Made Easy

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Having lived in New York City for almost ten years, I’ve turned into a bit of a falafel snob. I can’t get enough of it. Delicious and inexpensive, it’s a great and uncomplicated meal. It’s also a food I would have never considered making myself before the Magic Bullet. With the Bullet, making falafel at home is just as easy as running to a falafel stand, and, better yet, it’s consistently great.

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Falafels Made Easy
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (about half a can)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Canola, vegetable, or olive oil for frying
Directions
  1. Lightly chop onion and garlic and add to Magic Bullet. Blend briefly and set aside.
  2. Combine chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, cumin, red pepper, salt and pepper in Magic Bullet and blend roughly.
  3. In Magic Bullet, combine garlic and onion puree with current mixture, along with baking powder and half of the flour. Blend and keep adding flour to dry out mixture slightly.
  4. Place in refrigerator for one hour to cool (this will make it easier to ball up).
  5. After the hour, if mixture is still too wet to scoop, add more flour as needed. Scoop mixture and add to frying pan coated thoroughly in canola oil on medium heat. Cook each side for 3 minutes, until brown.

This yields about seven to nine falafel balls, depending on how large you’ve made them. I added some tahini sauce to my sandwich, however these are flavorful enough to be eaten by themselves or over a bed of greens.

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This banana bread recipe was my grandma’s. My mom still has a copy of the recipe that my grandma wrote on a card for her. It’s a small card, with cramped writing, spotted with years of batter droplets.

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It’s the best. And I love it. And it smells like home and family and bananas and bread and sweet and yummy.. and so I’m telling you about it. Turns out, you can make it in the Bullet with the blender attachment. Who knew?

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Grandma’s Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 2-3 bananas (or 4 if you’re using apple bananas like me!)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Blend up bananas, oil, and sugar. Add in eggs and blend for just a couple seconds, until beaten. Add in dry ingredients and pulse to mix, scraping the sides as necessary until just mixed together. (If you have the blender attachment, you can make the entire bread in it; if you don’t, just mix up all the wet ingredients and pour them into the dry ingredients in a bowl.)
  2. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 min-1 hour, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before eating (but it’s delicious warm with butter!)

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This peanut butter banana trifle dessert is so fast and easy to make, and incredibly delicious! You can make it in one large trifle dish or in four miniature trifle dishes. All you need to make these tasty little trifles is a box of instant vanilla pudding, milk, peanut butter sandwich cookies, peanuts and bananas. The Magic Bullet will whip up the pudding in no time and then you just need to add everything to the trifle bowls. No need to worry about making them look pretty – they will do that all on their own, no matter how you add in the ingredients! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the peanut butter and banana combo!

You can cover these miniature trifles with plastic wrap and keep them for up to a day in the refrigerator. The cookies will soften and lose their crunch, but they’re delightful soft, too.

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Peanut Butter Banana Trifle
Ingredients
  •  1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 8 peanut butter sandwich cookies
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • Whipped cream for topping
Directions
  1. Add the instant pudding mix and milk to a Magic Bullet cup or pitcher and blend for 30 seconds. The pudding should be thick after letting it stand for 1 minute.
  2. Transfer a few tablespoons of pudding to each trifle glass, and top with crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies, peanuts, and bananas.
  3. Repeat these two layers once more, then top with whipped cream, peanuts, bananas and half of a cookie.
  4. Serve chilled.

Makes 4 trifles

May
15
0

Tamarind Chicken

Tamarind is one of those mysterious ingredients that seems like a secret ready to be unlocked: it’s sour, yet it’s sweet, and might it also be savory? What is it? Where does it come from? Why, tamarind, why?!

Anyway, this dish is a great variation on an American barbeque sauce for baked or roast chicken. You get all the same coloring and some of the same flavor, but with great tangy (tamarind!) and fermented salty notes (from fish sauce). The Magic Bullet does a great job of blending up onion and garlic, to give a nice depth of flavor and heft to the sauce with minimal effort. Letting everything marinate for a few hours also lets the flavors permeate.

The original recipe over at Food52 uses lime zest and some exotic spices; I’ve skipped those here as I think they overly complicate what is really a straightforward recipe. (Tamarind paste and fish sauce are both available in the Asian section of a good grocery store.)

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Tamarind Chicken
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (legs or thighs)
  • ¼ cup tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. cumin
Directions
  1. Blend garlic and onion in Magic Bullet, shaking as necessary. Add remaining non-chicken ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Add chicken pieces to a bag with the blended sauce. Shake everything up, and marinate at least one and up to eight hours.
  3. Roast chicken in the oven at 450 degrees, or to taste.

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One of my good friends has a “specialty dessert,” and I get so excited every time she makes them: mini cheesecakes! I have always wanted to try making them in a chocolate version and finally created a delicious mini chocolate cheesecake recipe using my Magic Bullet.

The ganache layer on top is optional, especially if chocolate cheesecake is already rich enough for you, but I love including it when I make these. I can’t get enough chocolate! Leave them plain, or top them with fresh raspberries before serving.

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Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp half-and-half
  • Fresh raspberries for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a bowl until evenly mixed, then divide evenly between 9 paper-lined muffin cups. Firmly press against the bottom and sides to form the crust. Set aside.
  3.  Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips to a Magic Bullet pitcher and blend until you get a creamy texture.
  4. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler (30 seconds at a time in the microwave, or they will burn!), then add the smooth melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth.
  5. Evenly divide the cheesecake filling among the baking cups.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops become raised and firm. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Melt the remaining chocolate chips and stir with the half-and-half to create the ganache.
  8. Once cooled to room temperature, add the ganache on top of the cheesecakes and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes 9 mini cheesecakes

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I’ve had a can of green olives in my pantry for about five years. It’s become my Do-Everything jar: It smashes garlic! It weighs down chicken-under-a-brick! It integrates complex functions! OK, not that last one. On the other hand, it’s been taking up space that could be take up by countless other things I bought and forgot about, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and use the olives, so to speak.

This is a great pasta dish with Greek flavors. The beans really make the whole thing more substantial tasting, and the Magic Bullet does a great job of chopping the basil, olives, cheese and garlic. I used the risotto method here, cooking the pasta in the flavorful sauce to make it all come together in the bowl in 30 minutes or less.

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Pasta with Olives, Cherry Tomatoes and Beans 
Ingredients 
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 can olives
  • 1 can white beans (cannellini work well)
  • 1 chunk parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 cups broth, any type
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
Directions 
  1. Add basil to Bullet cup and turn on to chop. Remove basil. Add parmesan cheese to Bullet and turn on to chop. Remove parmesan and add garlic and olives and turn on to chop.
  2. Add pasta, olives, broth, oil, and garlic to a pot and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until pasta is just short of being done.
  3. Stir remaining ingredients into pot and cook until everything is hot, two minutes. Serve, passing additional parmesan, if desired.

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Eating sausage with peppers and onions can be messy. You’re often negotiating the incompatible sizes and shapes of these vegetable spears inside sausage your sandwich, which can lead to dripping oil and messy faces. For this recipe, we’re going to reduce the pepper and onion spears you love so much to a chop that’ll go well with any way you choose to eat your sausage.

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Sautéed Pepper and Onion Chop
Ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • a splash of oil
Directions
  1. Add chopped peppers and onion onto grill or frying pan with oil and begin to sauté.
  2. While browning, add sausages to cook and share flavor.
  3. Place peppers and onion into Magic Bullet and blend.
  4. Spread over your sandwich and enjoy!

 

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Last night was Fish ‘n Chips night, so I made some homemade tartar sauce to go with it. Yes, they sell it pre-made at grocery stores, but it tastes so much more fresh if you quickly whip some up at home with the Magic Bullet. It seriously takes less than 5 minutes to make. This tartar sauce is bursting with flavor and is guaranteed to be an essential addition to your dish. Enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Tartar Sauce
Ingredients
  •  1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp diced pickles
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
Directions
  1.  Add all ingredients to a small Magic Bullet cup and pulse a few times (should be a little chunky).

Makes 1/2 cup

May
2
0

Edamame Miso Pesto

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This one’s an oldie (for me), but a goodie and vegan to boot: edamame-miso pesto. I wouldn’t exactly say this mimics classic Italian pesto, as without basil the flavor is very different, but it’s a cool little spin-off. The idea is to make a pasta sauce that hits all the same flavor receptors as pesto: the edamame is nutty and the miso is umami, providing the pine nut-parmesan punch that we love about pesto, and ginger in place of the basil provides fresh, herby flavor. Oh, and it’s green. Like pesto. See?

In my humble opinion, this is actually considerably healthier than classic pesto, since the edamame provides low-fat protein that you won’t find in regular pesto. Plus, you can make this one year round, without using suspicious winter basil.

I like a small-shaped pasta here, so that you can spear the pieces of edamame as you spear the pasta. A spicy garnish can be nice here, too, like Korean hot sauce or Tabasco.

I actually got the idea for this dish from a dumpling filling from Rickshaw Dumpling Truck, in New York City. Of course, when you make it at home you get to eat a whole bowl of it, which is pretty good if you ask me.

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Edamame Miso Pesto
Ingredients
  • 1 lb frozen shelled edamame, thawed in the microwave for one to two minutes
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 large piece ginger (about 4 inches), peeled
  • 2 Tbsp miso, any kind
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or more to taste)
Directions
  1. Blend garlic and ginger in Magic Bullet, shaking as needed to move it all around.
  2. Add 2/3 edamame, miso, and olive oil to Bullet. Process until well-blended, shaking as needed to move everything around.
  3. Add remaining edamame and pulse just a few times.
Apr
28
0

Salmon Burgers

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When we were out for dinner the other night, I saw something on the menu I have never tried: salmon burgers. I wondered how easy it would be to make them at home and, it turns out, they are very easy to make!

I found a really good recipe on Food Network that I adapted to my own taste. To start, you will need a boneless, skinless salmon fillet. This is very important – I almost bought a salmon fillet with the skin still on, which would have been a nightmare. Then, you’re going to divide it into quarters, saving one quarter for the Magic Bullet. It will get blended with other tasty ingredients to make a flavorful paste that will help hold the burgers together. Serve with fresh arugula, tartar sauce and pickles!

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Salmon Burgers
Ingredients
  •  1 lb fresh boneless, skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
Directions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease by brushing olive oil over the top. Set aside.
  2. Chop the salmon fillet into 1/4 and 3/4 portions. Chop the 3/4 portion of the fillet into very small, bite-sized pieces using a very sharp knife and add to a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop the 1/4 portion and add to a Magic Bullet cup.
  3. Add the mustard, mayo, lemon juice, peppers and salt to the Magic Bullet cup and blend until you get an even paste.
  4. Use a spatula to transfer the paste to the rest of the chopped salmon and mix until well combined.
  5. Use your hands to form 4 patties and place onto the baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  7. Coat each salmon burger patty with Panko breadcrumbs and transfer to the skillet to cook, about 4 minutes on each side. Check the middle with a thermometer or knife to ensure they are done (you can transfer them to an oven and broil to finish baking, too).

Makes 4 Salmon Burgers