Tag Archives: VB6

Spicy Mango Ice Pops + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Here we are – the final day of my giveaway! There’s still time to enter to win a copy of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman!

I’ve been very impressed with it. This is the fourth recipe I’m sharing from the book, and it is so ridiculously easy, and healthy, and delicious (of course).

When you take your first lick or bite (whichever team you belong to) of these ice pops, the first thought you’re going to have is, “pfft, these aren’t spicy. I can’t even taste the cayenne.” It’s okay. Just wait. Keep working on the ice pop. It’ll get there. Oh, trust me. It’ll get there.

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The spicy part is what we like to call a slow build-up. At first you don’t notice it, then there’s a tiny, little pop of heat, then there’s the background heat – kind of like it’s only in the after-taste. Then you get it, on every single bite.

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That said, these are quite tasty. They are very thick, and the only sweet part is the sweetness from the mango itself. So, perfect for those without much of a sweet tooth. They actually remind me of the ice pops my mom would make us growing up. She never divulged this until later, but often she would just pour orange juice into the molds and freeze them, or just puree a fruit like strawberries and freeze that into molds, with no added sugar at all. We never figured it out…

Be sure you enter the giveaway by 5 pm EST!! I can’t wait for one of you lovelies to win this wonderful book!!!

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{One Year Ago: Pan-Roasted Clams with Bourbon, Bacon and Jalapeno, Hummus (the Classic)}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped mango
2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne, or more to taste

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to your blender, plus about ¼ cup water. Puree until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more water, 1 tbs at a time, if it’s too thick and isn’t cooperating.
Spoon the mixture into your ice pop molds and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy!

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Chicken Stir-Fry in Lettuce Cups + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Alright, guys – my giveaway is ending tomorrow at 5 pm EST! Get yourself entered to win my excess copy of “The VB6 Cookbook” by Mark Bittman! I’ve been showing you recipes from the book all week, and this one is a real gem in the flavor department.

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For anyone unfamiliar with Bittman’s story, I’ll summarize it quickly for you: a few years ago he found himself at his doctor’s office, not insignificantly overweight and with his blood test numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar) on the high side. His doctor told him he needed to make some major changes to his overall diet, which initially didn’t sound too appealing to Bittman. I mean, the guy has a career in food. So after some research and pondering the situation quite a bit, Bittman decided he could compromise on his diet: before 6 pm (dinnertime) he eats vegan, with no refined sugar or flour. After 6 pm, he can eat whatever he wants, but he does try to keep things on the leaner side (most of the time).

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So the recipes in this book are presented as vegan breakfasts, vegan lunches, vegan snacks, non-vegan dinners, and then desserts. Today I’m sharing a non-vegan dinner, one that Matt and I absolutely loved. I love stir-fries anyway, but this one really endeared itself me to it when it used chicken thighs, which I adore, but I’ll tell ya – that sriracha mayo is what really makes it. That was so delicious.

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I hope y’all will enjoy this one! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway, and this book could be yours – there’s still some time!

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{One Year Ago: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio}

Source: slightly adapted from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
1 head of bibb or Boston lettuce
2 tbs vegetable oil
About 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, whites and green parts separated, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ lb. sugar snap peas or snow peas, chopped
½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup chicken stock or water
2 tbs soy sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs sriracha, or to taste

Directions:
Core the lettuce and separate it into as many individual leaves as possible. Rinse and wrap them in towels. Refrigerate until needed.
Put a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbs oil, swirl it around, and immediately add the chicken. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed until the pieces brown and can be stirred easily without sticking. Stir the chicken around to start cooking the other sides, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir frequently until the chicken is no longer pink and the veggies have softened, about 3-5 minutes total. Transfer the chicken mixture to a plate. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbs oil to the wok or skillet along with the white parts of the scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to avoid burning, until they turn golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining veggies except for the scallions greens. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken mixture to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Now add the stock, soy sauce and scallion greens. Cook and stir about 1 more minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. If it isn’t saucy at all, add a touch more stock to help it out. But remember, you are putting this in a lettuce cup you’ll be eating with your hands, so it may be unpleasant to have the stir-fry be too liquid-y. I found mine was perfect without adding any extra.
Turn the heat to very low and let it hang out a minute while you make the mayonnaise. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice and sriracha together until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more hot sauce if desired.
To serve, gently fill a lettuce cup with stir-fry, then drizzle the mayonnaise on top, as liberally or as conservatively as your desire. Eat immediately or the lettuce gets soggy.

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Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama “Chips” + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Welcome back! This week I am giving away my surprise excess copy of Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook! And each day of blogging, I’m sharing a delicious recipe from the book, to give you a taste of what you’ll be getting if you win. The giveaway goes on until Friday at 5 pm EST, and you can enter at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

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Yesterday I shared his insane Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs – totally vegan, and beyond delicious. I was in awe. Today I’m sharing one of the snacks chapter recipes. I have a huge weakness for bean dips, and they are super easy to make at home. Being from Texas, Frito scoops are quite common and popular for use as a dipper. Tasty? Oh yes. Healthy? Ummm, not really.

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So I was incredibly pleased to see Bittman’s take on what the heck we should be using to scoop up creamy, spicy bean dip. He had several, but the idea that really jumped out at me was jicama. Jicama! Yes! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Jicama is perfect for bean dips. It’s crispy, it’s sturdy, and it’s commonly used in Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking, so it doesn’t feel out of place at all. I am seriously doing this again.

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A quick warning about the bean dip: you can use one chipotle in adobo or two. It will surprise no one that I used two, and I can assure you it is super spicy that way. If you’re not into the heat, definitely use only one! enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Grilled Romaine Hearts with Bacon Blue Cheese Vinaigrette}

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1-2 chipotle in adobo, plus a little bit of the adobo sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into discs, like chips

Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the scallions and jicama into your blender. Puree until very smooth, adding water if it’s too thick and not completely cooperating.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Transfer the dip to a bowl and garnish with the scallions. Serve with the jicama “chips” for dipping.

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Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Thanks to a snafu with my local post office and a generous Amazon customer service agent, I wound up with two copies of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman. So I’m giving away my extra copy to one of my lucky readers! The giveaway will run all week, until Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5 pm Eastern, and each day that I blog until Friday, I’ll be featuring a recipe from this wonderful book!

First up we have these amazing vegan meatballs. When I say these were amazing, I’m not joking. At all. For full disclosure, I’ll freely admit I was a little wary of these. I’d never before had meatballs that didn’t contain meat or at least poultry or fish. So there was a touch of trepidation at how they would taste, whether I’d screwed them up, etc, etc.

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I needn’t have worried one bit. They were so insane. Matt ate seconds the night I served them, and we argued over who was to get the last container of leftovers. They are that good.

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Whether you are vegan or not, or occasionally vegan, or whatever: try these meatballs – I guarantee you’ll make them again and again. And like any kind of meatballs, they are flexible. I served them simply, just in a bowl with some marinara (someone might have been too lazy to make pasta that night), but they would be so delicious over pasta or in a meatball sub.

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And stay tuned for three more VB6 Cookbook recipes! You can enter to win a copy of this lovely book in the rafflecopter below.

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb. eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch of crushed red chile flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Use 1 tbs olive oil to grease a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Add 1 tbs olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining 1 tbs olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic. Return to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the beans (also rinse them if using canned). Add the beans and parsley to the food processor bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not completely pureed.
Transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl and add the onion and garlic mixture, along with the bread crumbs, chile flakes, and oregano. Mix to combine well.
Make sure your hands are clean and get them wet. Roll the mixture into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. You’ll wind up with between 12 and 16 meatballs. You will likely need to rewet your hands between each meatball or every other meatball.
As you form them, place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake undisturbed until they are firm and well browned, 20 to 30 minutes (start checking after 20 minutes, though you may need longer).
Meanwhile, warm the marinara sauce; and this is when you would cook pasta or toast hoagie rolls if desired.
Serve the meatballs with the marinara in a bowl, or in whatever other fashion you desire.

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