This food blog is written and maintained by GW Bites founder Cristina Roman. You can read these and other posts on her personal blog, cmroman.wordpress.com.
March 23: Pasta with Walnuts and Anchovies
So this recipe includes anchovies. Gross, right? That’s what I thought when the woman I cook for asked me to make this recipe. But I promise, it’s actually really good.
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a stockpot. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Toast walnuts on 350 degrees until they are slightly browned.
While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add anchovies, and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Combine anchovy mixture, pasta, and reserved liquid; toss well to coat. Stir in walnuts; sprinkle with parsley.
Note: I bet this would be even more delicious with feta on top!
March 21: Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Wrap
When I used to have J Street money- those were the days- you could find me at Campus Fresh ordering the Big and Buffalo- a gooey, cheesy mess on a tortilla. Now that I don’t want to spend about $8 on lunch at an on-campus food spot, I come up with creative at-home alternatives, like this incredibly easy maybe-not-so-healthy one.
Melt cheddar cheese on a tortilla (whole wheat!). Drizzle TJ’s Parmesan Ranch and Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce on top. Toss chopped pieces of prepared Morningstar Buffalo Wings (fake meat) on top. Yummm.
Great additions: add chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, and black beans for a more filling and nutritious version.
P.S. Are you a vegetarian? Check out Adventures in Fake Meat for reviews of meat alternatives.
March 21: Quick and Easy Island Stir Fry
The other day, I had 4 hours to write an 8 page paper (oops!), so I had to make a quick lunch. When my friend smelled it, she had to have some!
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 container of extra firm tofu, cubed
- a handful of TJ’s steamed lentils
- 1/2 cup(ish) of TJ’s Island Soyaki sauce
- dash of olive oil
Heat skillet over medium-low. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, and zucchini. Saute until zucchini is slightly soft. Add lentils and tofu. Pour in sauce. Heat through. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re on a faraway island (not writing a paper).
Note: tofu is always better when left to marinate for several hours or even overnight. Simply put it into a Tupperware with soyaki sauce and refrigerate
March 21: Ad-Libbed Stuffed Tomato
I recently bought a beefsteak tomato at Trader Joe’s because they didn’t have cherry tomatoes in stock (so sad!).
I ad-libbed a baked stuffed tomato with the ingredients in my fridge.
- One large tomato
- Two scoops of ricotta
- Two basil leaves, chopped
- A small slice of jalapeno, chopped finely
- A dash of oregano
- A small spoonful of tomato paste
- A dash of herb feta
- A slice of baguette, cut or ripped into small crumbs
- A dash of salt and pepper
- A sprinkling of mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Cut top off tomato and hollow out. Combine all ingredients (except mozzarella) in a small bowl; mix well; and scoop into tomato. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Bake on a cookie sheet for 18ish minutes.
March 21: Leek & Potato Soup
WOW! This soup is seriously incredible. Easily one of the best soups I’ve ever had. Try it and let me know what you think!
I’m trying to fit in as many hearty winter-y soups before spring hits DC (which I am really looking forward to!).
I bought 400 Soups at Borders at 18th and L, where everything is on sale because they are going out of business (get there soon!)
Leek & Potato Soup
1/4 cup butter
2 leeks (washed and chopped)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1/2 of the butter in large pan over medium. Add leeks and onion and cook until softened (about 7 minutes). Add potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes (until potatoes are tender). Season to taste and remove from heat. Stir in remaining butter. Serve hot with warm, crusty bread.
Note: I used my immersion blender on this one! I liked it better that way.
February 26: Shakshuka
Because I’m having withdrawal from Israel, I decided to bring the culinary goodness to my own kitchen! I found a recipe for a traditional poached egg dish, called shakshuka, on Smitten Kitchen. This is originally meant to be a breakfast dish, but it is still delicious for lunch or dinner. My friend, who’s traveled to Israel many times and had many dishes of shakshuka, loved it!
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.
January 31: Golden Winter Soup
I found this hearty and nutritious soup on Lo Bosworth’s blog, The LoDown; it’s originally from Cooking Light. I made it extra-easy by throwing the ingredients into a Crockpot and simmering all day, but here are the original instructions:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 2 peeled and cubed potatoes
- 2 sliced leeks
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half-and-half
Melt your butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt and pepper to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the leek and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the potato is cooked, making sure to stir occasionally. Take your immersion blender to the soup and blend until the soup is almost smooth. Stir in the half-and-half and then serve when you’re ready to eat!
January 23: Lemon Coconut Bread
I decided to make a big loaf of this sweet but relatively healthy Lemon Coconut Bread to have for breakfast throughout the week. I found it on Farmgirl Fare, an adorable food blog from a courageous woman who gave up city living for farm living.
The recipe sounded delicious, so I didn’t make any adjustments- and it turned out beautifully and deliciously!
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
¾ cup milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (or more if you want a bigger kick of lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick or ¼ pound) butter, melted
1. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8×4 inch or 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, then stir in the sugar and coconut.
3. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture, stirring just until combined.
5. Add the melted butter and stir just until smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean.
January 16: Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew
Two girls and I got together for a small potluck dinner last night. It was the best meal: green beans with almonds, roasted pepper and white bean dip, spinach salad, basmati rice, and my contribution, slow-cooked Moroccan Chicken and Potato Stew, based off this recipe.
As usual, I made several changes, which are below:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1.5 lbs chicken breasts [despite the warning not to use them, they turned out great]
- 1 potato, cut into big chunks
- 2 sweet potatoes, cut into big chunks
- 1 1/2 cups cut carrots [cheaper than baby carrots!]
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1/2 onion
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
- 1 can (14 ounces) stewed tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. In 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook, turning chicken occasionally, until browned. Drain grease.
2. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery. Top with browned chicken and garlic. In small bowl stir cumin, ginger, ground red pepper and crushed red pepper until well blended. Sprinkle over chicken and vegetables. Add chicken broth. Cover; cook on LOW heat for 6 to 7 hours.
3. Stir in tomatoes. Increase heat to HIGH. Cover; cook for 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.
January 12: Eggplant Dip
I wrote on a friend’s Facebook wall saying that I bought my first eggplant ever. A mutual friend commented, suggesting that I try a recipe for eggplant balls. Because I only had half an eggplant left, I had to cut the other ingredients but unfortunately (or fortunately!) didn’t have the correct proportions, so my balls didn’t stick together [sorry for that awkward sentence haha]. Sooo, I did some quick thinking and churned out eggplant dip instead! It went over SO well with my friends!
My amended recipe is below:
- 3 large eggplant
- olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 red chilli, finely diced [I used my new sweet long red peppers]
- 1 – 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs [I used sourdough]
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil one large baking sheet.
Slice the eggplant [I left the peel on] into 1/4 inch thick disks; evenly space the sliced eggplant on the oven trays. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40mins or until golden and soft; remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Chop the cooked eggplant finely.
In a large bowl mix the finely diced onion, garlic, chilli, 1 cup of the bread crumbs, oregano; combine well. Add the whisked egg, parmesan cheese and eggplant; season with salt and pepper as needed.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute mixture over low until onions are softened.
Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a slightly chunky dip.
Serve with pita chips, carrots, or bread…or eat plain!
January 9: Crockpot Recipes
I finally bought a Crockpot (for only $20 at Target!) and I’m so excited to begin using it. I found this helpful primer, which contains important information for getting the most out of your slow cooker. Have a few extra dollars to spend and love having a hard copy of recipes? Check out this highly rated cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook.
I also found these great recipes, which I plan to make the minute I’m back in my apartment.
Do you have any slow cooker recipes you would recommend? Comment below!
(Cross-posed on my blog)
December 12: Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese
I had some grated butternut squash left over from the butternut squash risotto I made for GW Bites this week, so I searched for a recipe that would put it to use. I found this recipe for “Healthy Mac N Cheese.” Here is my edited version:
- 1/2 package of pasta (any kind will work)
- Several tablespoons of half and half or milk
- 5ish ounces of cheddar cheese
- 2 cups of shredded butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- A dash each of salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne, garlic powder, and minced dried onion
- Some crackers or breadcrumbs
- A dash of soy sauce
1. Cook pasta as directed
2. In a separate pot, melt the butter and add the milk. Stir in spices, squash, and soy sauce. Heat for several minutes. Add in cheddar cheese.
3. Mix the squash & cheese mix with the pasta and layer into small casserole dish.
4. Top with more cheddar and a layer of breadcrumbs or crushed crackers.
5. Cook at 350 for approximately 15 minutes.
December 10: Spiced Tomato and Chickpea Soup
It willdefinitely be a staple in my recipe repertoire from now on. It will easy, delicious, and healthy (I just realized that I describe everyrecipe I make as those things- common thread!).
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 dried hot red chiles, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes, with juice
- 1/2 cup drained jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
- Sour cream, for serving
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish
- Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon, crush garlic, chiles, coriander, salt, and caraway to form a paste.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic mixture, and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and stock. Simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Rewarm if necessary. Divide among bowls, and top each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of parsley.
I didn’t have caraway seeds or coriander, but it was still great without those spices. I actually just bought coriander, so I’m excited to try the soup again with it! I substituted vegetable broth for chicken broth, since some GW Biters are vegetarians. I roasted my own peppers- it’s cheaper, fresher, and more fun than jarred ones! See below for roasting instructions. I got to use my new immersion blender again, which was fun! I don’t particularly like parsley, so I didn’t use a sprig on top, but a dollop of sour cream makes all the difference. Ricotta would be good too!
Best of all, making this recipe was great because I saw how healthy each and every ingredient was. It’s hearty (protein in the chickpeas), flavorful, andddd nutritious.
December 5: Roasted Peppers
My friend Sarah taught me how to easily roast peppers, so I tried it on my own! It’s insanely simple- just rub a little bit of oil on the peppers and put them on a cookie sheet in the oven on 400. Roast for 10-15 minutes per side. Remove from oven and place in a pot with a tight lid. Let steam for about an hour then peel the skin off (it should come off easily). That’s it!
December 2: Roasted Vegetable Panini
I made up this dish for dinner last night and it was delicious.
1. Sautee chopped vegetables over low until they are tender. I used red, orange, and yellow peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion. I threw in oregano, basil, pepper, & cayenne for seasoning.
2. Cover bread with cheddar cheese slices. I used TJ’s Parmesan Garlic Baguette, which I highly recommend. Place cooked vegetables on bread and cover with second bread slice.
3. Grill on low until cheese is melted. I put a plate on top of the sandwich to weight it down and make it more panini-like. If you have a George Foreman or panini press, even better!
Easy and delicious- like every other recipe I recommend :)
*Note: these vegetables aren’t actually roasted, but the panini might be even better if they were! Roasting vegetables brings out phenomenal flavors.
December 1: Butterscotch Brownies
My mom used to make these brownies all the time when I was younger. They’re so easy to make, they require just a few ingredients, and everyone loves them!
From Joy of Cooking, via Post-Gazette.com:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped nuts (or 3/4 cup grated coconut)
Set oven rack to upper middle level. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9- by 9-inch baking pan. Melt together in a small saucepan the butter and brown sugar. Set aside to cool slightly and while it cools, sift together into a separate bowl the flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat egg and vanilla into butter mixture. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in chopped nuts (or coconut). Pour into prepared pan. Bake blondies on upper middle rack at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, cut, and serve. Makes 1 dozen bars.
November 30: Ziti with Roasted Zucchini and Tomatoes
I found this recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine and made it as a GW Bites meal. It’s slightly time-consuming because of the roasting, but it’s very simple and delicious.
My slightly edited version is below.
Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve tomatoes and roll in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on cookie sheet and roast for about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss zucchini, garlic, shallots, 5 tablespoons oil, and crushed red pepper in bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, turning occasionally, 30 to 35 minutes.
Boil pasta according to package instructions. Toss cooked pasta with 1 tablespoon oil.
Place pasta in large skillet. Add roasted vegetables, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, and 1 tablespoon oil; stir over medium heat until heated through. Add 3/4 cup basil and cheese. Toss, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to large platter. Sprinkle pasta with remaining 1/4 cup basil.
Cheap, nutritious, and easily reheated!
November 20: Margherita Tortizza
Tortizzas are just about the easiest thing to make- ever. They’re cheap, quick, versatile, and healthy.
1) Top a tortilla (I like Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tortillas) with tomato sauce (again, Trader Joe’s is great; but try homemade if you’re feeling daring!)
2) Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese
3) Add on fun extras- I love sauteed onions & peppers, ricotta, pepperoni, & basil
4) Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes or until cheese begins to bubble
5) Cut into slices or roll up for a tortizza roll
November 16: Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
I’m so excited about my sweet potato fries that I’m writing this blog post as I enjoy them.
I’m generally not a huge sweet potato fan, but I picked up a bag at Trader Joe’s on a whim the other day. Let’s be honest, I’m a sucker for anything fall-related, so I should have seen it coming.
I roughly followed this recipe from Country Living, but mostly just improvised (as usual). I picked a spicy /sweet recipe because I’ve been experimenting with opposite combinations lately (on a related note: check out Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Yum!).
I cut my sweet potato into fries (and by fries, I mean awkward lumps) and sprinkled with salt, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, oregano, and some chopped onion for flavor. Then I drizzled a tiny bit of vegetable oil over the fries.
I baked them at 400 degrees for approximately 23.76 minutes and it made them the perfect texture- crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside.
Do you have other suggestions for sweet potato fries or just other sweet potato dishes?