Chia seed pudding, part II

IMG_2689Adapted from Wellness Mama retry of this

Ingredients:
2 cups almond-coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

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sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon

Instructions:
Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight. Eat with fresh fruit in the morning.

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pre-almond topped

I wanted to try a chia seed recipe without using yogurt, because I love my yogurt, but I wanted to use up the almond milk before it expires (one week after opening, according to the label).

So I layered 3 spoonfuls of chia pudding with 2 spoonfuls of whole milk plain yogurt. Added chopped strawberries and toasted chopped almonds and a spoonful of jam to finish. This made enough chia pudding for six (small) servings.

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~Jessica

Chicken cacciatore

IMG_2684Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 thin cut chicken breasts, organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced root to tip
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
140 g (5 oz) white cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
80 mL (1/3 cup) white or red wine
800 g (28 ounce) can of plum tomatoes in their juice
1 teaspoon dry thyme
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped

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Rinse the chicken, let dry. Season each side with salt. Add some oil to the pan (big enough to fit everything), brown both sides of the chicken. Set aside. Make sure there’s enough oil/fat in the pan, then add the onions, saute until fragrant. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the rest of the sliced vegetables. Cook until they’re all a little bit softened, then deglaze with the dry white wine. Cook until half the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and all seasonings. Taste the sauce and season accordingly. Add the chicken on top, turn down the heat to low and cook 20-40 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through, and serve with  rice.

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Amber was feeling like chicken cacciatore, so voila. Rike from Hamburg helped me prep and cook! Food for three plus leftovers for one. Cacciatore (“hunter”) suggests a working man’s meal, better with country bread or pasta, in my opinion. Next time I might try the recipe with bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Also our “dry white wine” was some questionable cognac-looking Georgian wine, as in the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Don’t try their wine. Someone brought it to the apartment for a house party, probably. Friends.

~Jessica

A former fellow graduate student

 who became a science communicator! At a time when understanding science is more vital than ever.

This week, Megan Litwhiler responds to the #MySciComm questions! Megan is a scientist turned science communicator. After finishing her PhD in bird ecology, and a brief stint at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, Megan moved on to her current role as a Research Communications Associate at the Museum of Science in Boston. When she’s not science communicating, she’s hanging […]

via #MySciComm: Megan Litwhiler — ESA SciComm Section:

Steel-cut oats oatmeal

IMAG1097Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1 cup almond milk
pinch of salt
toppings: ground cinnamon, honey, toasted chopped walnuts, extra milk

Directions:
Melt the butter in a saucepot. Add the oats and toast for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the boiling water, then reduce heat to low and leave untouched for 25 minutes, simmering. Add the cup of milk and mix to combine, scraping up the bottom if need be. Leave for another 10 minutes. Add the salt; stir. Let rest 5 minutes to thicken. Serve with toppings of your choice. I like to add a little more milk at the end, like a warm porridge cereal.

My favorite packet of Quaker ® Instant Oatmeal is apples and cinnamon, since childhood. So I first started trying this type of oatmeal when I came across a rust-red box of it in the organic cereals section of my local ShopRite back in Jersey City, during my grad school days. Eating healthy and cheaply then was the priority. Now I think of steel-cut oats as being Irish, ever since visiting Ireland. This does take longer to cook than instant oatmeal, but I like the chewy texture and nutty flavor. It’s worth it. Plus, slow food!

~Jessica

Chia seed pudding

IMG_2677Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk
1 cup plain Greek/organic whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped and sugared
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
Mix almond milk, yogurt, honey, vanilla, pinch of salt, and chia seeds together. Let sit 30 minutes before covering. Refrigerate overnight. Toss the berries in a wee bit of sugar and the almonds together. Serve pudding topped with the sweet nut-berries.

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I prefer using the metric system on this blog but I was terrible the first time I tried to “eye” the amount for all the ingredients, so I’ll leave them be. I don’t really like vanilla-flavored nut milk, so I was glad this worked out fine as long as I substituted honey for the maple syrup, which made it rather too liquid and not as viscous as a pudding out to be. I didn’t have sliced almonds so I chopped them myself before toasting them in the pan for a few minutes, until they had that nice warm toasty smell. Amber had a sizeable bag of chia seeds in the fridge, and she was just eating them raw before — hence, this for breakfast.

~Jessica

Chinese broccoli with garlic

IMG_2674Adapted from steamy kitchen Gai Lan

Ingredients:
400 g Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan)
cooking (vegetable) oil
3-4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed but left intact
1/2 thumb of fresh ginger, cut into coins and smashed
Chinese rice wine, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil
cornstarch mixed with cool water (1:2)

Directions:
Rinse the greens. Trim the ends. Cut diagonally, approximately splitting the leaves and (edible!) stems. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger if you prefer that. Add the oil to your wok and heat on medium-high. Saute the garlic, then ginger, until fragrant, without burning. Add the gai lan but watch out for oil splatters! Wield the wok lid as a shield if need be. I added diluted soy sauce to substitute vegetable stock, and steam covered for 3-4 minutes. Heat the oyster sauce and sesame oil and cornstarch water, all mixed together for 1 minute to thicken a brown sauce.

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Amber’s Method:
Soak the greens in cool water for 10 minutes, several times. Trim the end but don’t cut them in half. Smash the garlic cloves, slice the ginger. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan (proportionate to the amount of greens) and a pinch of salt to the wok. Saute the garlic, then ginger, then add the green and stir and toss constantly, quickly. Stir-fry, basically. Do not steam covered. After a few minutes, plate the greens. Drizzle the oyster sauce and serve immediately.

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Asian greens are great. I think it would have been nice to make this with mushrooms, although I hadn’t any in the fridge at the time. Next time perhaps!

~Jessica

Rigatoni carbonara

IMG_2667Amber’s recipe, learned in a cooking class on her Phillippines-Vietnam trip

I love fettuccine or linguine (pasta lunga) best, but we only had pasta corta (short pasta) in the cupboard. Amber had a hankering for this as we had all the ingredients and had been eating my grandmother’s cooking for several meals by now (food is equal to love, for Chinese families — accept the gifts of food and be grateful).

Ingredients:
400 g pasta of your choice
2 eggs
75 g Parmigiano-Reggiano (aged three years), grated
3-4 strips of bacon (if only we had guanciale or pancetta!)
black pepper
100 g peas, frozen
2-3 cloves of garlic

Directions:
Bring a pot of salted water to boil, while you do other things. Fry the bacon until crisp but not too overdone. Beat the eggs, and mix in the cheese. Season this with some salt and pepper. Mince the garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the peas to cook them a little bit, or cook them in the pasta pot of boiling water for one minute like Jamie suggests.

When pasta is al dente, drain and make sure you reserve some pasta water (we did not, sadly). Toss the pasta, peas, and bacon all together in your pan. Season with fresh cracked pepper if you have a grinder. Now, make sure the pan isn’t too hot, or the eggs will scramble. Slowly add the cheese-egg mixture so the heat of the pasta cooks it, tossing all the while. Jamie also suggests adding pasta water to thin the sauce if need be. Garnish with some more freshly grated Parmigiano and slivered basil (we took a few leaves from the window herb “garden”).

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~Jessica