Monthly Archives: November 2013

Lena Kaligaris-Bombolito, otherwise known as Greek-Italian Pasta.



The odd title of today’s post references a few things. First of all, yes, the name Lena Kaligaris sounds familiar because it is none other than Alexis Bledel’s character in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the movie. Meek and Greek, Lena is a beautiful Greek-American teen who ventures to Greece one summer. The Bombolito part just sounded really Italian to me. Hence, Greek-Italian food, leading to the most delicious lamb bolognese!!!!!

Okay secondly, I wanted to reference a multicultural name similar to an establishment in California I remembered from last summer. There was this place called Shanghai Kelly’s which apparently has nothing to do with two cultures but a wildly fierce Irishman. Here’s an interesting story I just found… I thought it sounded cool so I tried to recreate the name 🙂

Please make this lamb bolognese for your guests. Adrianna says this feeds four, and I must say this feeds four people of moderate hunger. I would double the recipe if you were having hungrier friends around. I’m working on prep these days so I’m not making such a mess in the kitchen, and I think it’s working out well. The first thing is, chop up your carrots and onions first. Most of the bolognese recipes I have made before include celery, so I added a stalk and a half of celery and the mire poix was solid. Plus it just looks pretty right? I had no shallots on hand so used 1/2 of a very large onion.


bolo6I often freeze tomato paste if I dont use a can. This causes a tiny problem for measuring, but the good thing is, you can add less or more as you cook depending on how thick you like sauces.

bolo5What do you mean you don’t eat no meat? Oh, es okay, I make lamb.




Thai Shitake Mushroom Coconut Chicken Stir-fry



Because what else is there to do after you run 7 miles with your soul sistah?!?! “We’re goin ta flavor town with this one!!” would be the response we’d get from Guy Fieri if he were interviewing my friend Sarah and me on DDD. SOLID post-run meal if you were wondering, and also good with white vino. I was telling someone the other day that it’s gonna be a longggg road before I feel comfortable recommending wine/spirits pairings with food, but hey, the cheapest bottom shelf Pinot Grigio at Whole Foods worked well here. So there you go.

If any of you out there have listened to the Parent Trap Pandora station, you’ll understand my confusion when the entire playlist throughout this cooking experience provided us with songs from the 1950s. To give those non-Parent-Trap-lovers some perspective, the classic was filmed in 1998. NEVERTHELESS, OLDIES BUT GOODIES. AHHH what a great night it was. And really, you should make this for a group of four. Preferably to impress them with your chopping skills because you’ll have some mastery after all these veggies go in.

Being all non-cultured with the appropriate seasonal vegetables, we were not aware that Whole Foods does not sell Napa cabbage this time of year. Luckily, savoy is a useful alternative my friends! Serve this recipe from EatingWell circa 2010 over some simple short grain brown rice or rice noodles. You can’t go wrong! Honestly. In fact, if you’re nervous about cooking meat, just eliminate the chicken and throw in a few more mushrooms.

Can someone help me with my Thanksgiving pinterest board by the way?? I’m struggling big time. I seriously need some advice on sides?!



Props to Sarah you’re my chopping hero. We used chicken breasts and pounded them thin to get the pieces all tender!

stirfry8Friends all hangin out and whatnot – Scallions + Ginger + Jalapeno

stirfry1Mushrooms simmering away in coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice




stirfry4We almost bought a basil plant to get this lil bit…but then we found some. The end.


Swiss-chard wrapped Black bean Bell pepper Quinoa Burritos


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Good news, swiss-chard can be a substitute for collard greens! Maybe not the best green to wrap into burritos, but they’ll work! I very slightly adapted this recipe (literally only swapped swiss chard for collard greens bc they didn’t have it at Publix) and served two of them with a burr and some salsaaa. Goes perfect with some chips on the side but you know, I pretty much ate those as my appetizer and “protein powder” for getting me through the cooking process. For the record, I do realize there is no protein in tortilla chips.

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My sister stopped by and although she wasn’t the biggest fan of the green leaves, she gave another stamp of approval for this flavor-rich filling. When to serve this? I’d suggest it for a low-key dinner for you and one other friend. Jill says you can make the filling a day in advance, and it’s not the kind of meal you really want to prep for a big dinner or party. All that leaf-wrapping-and-stuffing-flying is not the mood you’re going for on an entertainment night, right?

I ended up with some leftover quinoa great for lunch the next day, and I made a few without cheese that ended up great as well! One problem with using swiss chard is when you try and cut open the burrito, the tough red center of the chard is difficult to cut without a steak knife. So, get in your steakiest mood and whip out the big guns!

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Start by blanching your chard or collard greens in a boiling bath of salty water. Takes a bit of the toughness out of the greens. Meanwhile get your quinoa going on a smaller burner.

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Quick peek! See ya soon!

photo (95)Got my quinoa going, time to make the filling. Shred up the carrots and scallions (I used 4 instead of 3)

photo (94)Garlic is in the pan cooking with the cumin+coriander+oil

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Filling infusing with spices! I added some salsa to make it more saucy

photo (91)Set up your station. Don’t forget to put potholders underneath hot pans. Key step here is to slice the chard’s stem so it can wrap easily over the filling.

Here’s how I went…quinoa, filling, cheese, roll, REPEAT (I am now a military chef)

photo (90)Example uno

photo (88)Little guys before going in the oven, covered at 350 for 20 mins.

photo (86)MMMMMMMMM helllooo

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The cut open pic wasn’t as cute, so I’ll spare you 🙂