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Stuffed Baked Potatoes

This is one of our standards when we’re low on time and ingredients. It is a good pantry meal, which is super delicious and nutritious.

Stuffed Baked Potato

  • Idaho potato (1 per person)
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Black beans (canned are fine, but be sure to rinse)
  • Scallions
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Lime

Poke holes in the washed potato with a sharp knife. I bake potatoes on a baking sheet (not wrapped in foil) in a 375F oven for about an hour. In the mean time, cut the avocado and toss with lime juice and salt. Mix the rinsed black beans with cumin and olive oil. When the potato is cooked, slice in half and layer toppings: Salsa, beans, avocado, scallions…top with cilantro, grated cheese and hot sauce.

Chicken Fried Rice

I stopped on the way home from work at the take-out Chinese restaurant near our house for a small container of white rice and a small container of brown rice. Usually I make fried rice with left-overs, but since we didn’t have any, and I was really craving fried rice, I bought some rice. I guess I could have just as easily bought the fried rice…

Fried Rice

  • 3 cups rice, brown or white or a mixture of both
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 T chopped ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame beans (they come frozen)
  • 1-2 cooked chicken breasts (can be left out or substituted with tofu or  tempeh)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

First heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chicken (or tofu or tempeh) and continue cooking. Add rice and shelled edamame beans and cook for a few more minutes.

When the rice is all broken up, make a hole in the center of the pan and pour in the beaten egg and scallions. Stir the rice continuously until the egg is just cooked through. Remove from heat and add soy sauce and sesame oil.

Chicken Tagine

Disclaimer: Our camera broke (hence our slight hiatus on posts this week). All pictures below are from our cell phones, and are therefore of inferior quality then we would like.

Tonight, inspired by Sheila’s North African Cooking Class, I decided to make a chicken tagine. While we do have an actual Le Creuset tagine, I didn’t use it tonight for some reason. I am not sure that this is the authentic way to make tagine–I guess Sheila will tell me after her class.

Chicken Tagine

  • 3 Chicken legs
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 T chopped ginger
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • Spices to taste: cinnamon, cumin, oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • honey
  • red pepper flakes

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and spices. Brown the chicken (skin side down) in a little oil (it will release oil as it cooks, so you don’t need much initially). Flip the chicken after 3-5 minutes after it’s browned, and continue to brown the other side. After about 5 minutes, add the onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, raisins, honey and tomatoes. Add a bit of water so the liquid comes up almost to the top of the chicken. After the liquid begins to boil, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Browned chicken with onions, garlic, ginger

Chicken with tomatoes, raisins


Couscous is not actually a grain, but rather a very small pasta. It is extremely easy and quick to make–all you have to do is pour boiling water over the couscous in a sturdy glass/ceramic bowl and cover with a plate for about 5-10 minutes. During this time couscous absorbs all the water, and when you lift off the cover, you should fluff the couscous with a fork.

Fluffing the couscous

Fluffing the couscous

Couscous is very versatile. For this meal I mixed in:

Clockwise: sliced almonds, chopped parsely, chopped ginger, chopped red onion, dried cranberries and scallions (center)

The finished dish: Chicken tagine with couscous

Crepes for Breakfast

I opened my eyes wanting crepes. With the Cuisinart Griddler, which we got from our wedding registry, crepes are very easy and quick to make.

Crepe Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 c milk
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t salt

Mix all ingredients until smooth. The batter will be very runny. Heat up the Griddler.

Drop a small amount of the batter with a ladle onto the heated griddle. Spread the batter with a small offset spatula until the batter is evenly distributed in a circle. After about 30 seconds, when the batter has small bubbles around the edges, it is ready to flip. Because of the super-non-stick surface of the Griddler, the crepes are extreemly easy to flip. Slide a large spatula under the crepe, lift up and flip over. After 30-45 seconds, they are done.

Tuna Melt

What can I say? I had a craving.

Tuna Melt

  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 T mayo
  • 1 T mustard (I prefer whole grain or Dijon)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Nice, crusty bread, sliced thick and toasted
  • Cheese, we used Havarti today

Turn the broiler on high. Mix the tuna, mayo, mustard, scallion and salt and pepper. Mound the tuna salad on the bread, top with tomato and cheese. Place on a sheet pan and place under the broiler for 3-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Little BBQ

Living in an apartment, we don’t get to do much barbecuing, but we do have a little travel grill and thankfully, we got to use it once before the summer ended.

Grilled Corn, Bratwurst, and Grilled Peaches:

A great tool for barbecuing is the chimney starter.  Using this chimney eliminates the need for lighter fluid, and allows you to get the charcoal heated evenly.  Just fill the chimney with enough charcoal to create a single layer in the barbecue, stuff some newspaper in the underside, and light the newspaper with a match.  I did this on the grill.  The coals should ignite pretty easily, so just allow them to burn for 10-15 minutes, or until the fire goes out and the charcoal is glowing red.  Then just pour the charcoal into the grill and you’re ready to go.

The meal from here is pretty simple grill fair, nothing fancy.  I learned a great trick to grilling corn from Bobby Flay a while back: pull the husks down, remove the silks, and then pull the husks back up.  Then soak the corn in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes, and shake it out before grilling.  This makes it so that the corn steams while on the grill.  I cooked the corn first, cause it takes the longest, and left it on for about 30 minutes.

The bratwurst was precooked, so I just scored it with a knife and grilled it for about 5 minutes, turning it once.  There’s really no reason not to grill the buns for a couple of minutes, it makes all the difference.

Whole grain mustard and saurkraut finish the dogs.  Add a side of baked beans and you’ve got summer comfort.

Grilled peaches for dessert.  Just halve the peaches, pull out the pits, and sit them face down on the grill for about 15 minutes, turning 90 degrees once to get nice grill marks (ours didn’t mark for some mysterious reason).   Serve them in a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The warm soft peaches with the cold creamy ice cream, divine!