May 27, 2017

Spicy Kohl Slaw


2 medium-large bulbs kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks
1 baby cucumber, spiralized
1 baby yellow squash, spiralized
1 baby zucchini, spiralized
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2-3 tablespoons shichimi togarashi
sea salt


Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, toss to evenly distribute all ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.

My thoughts:
I guess technically this is more of a raw salad than a slaw (but what's the difference really? kohlrabi is in the cabbage family after all) but the name kohl slaw is too good not to use. I love kohlrabi so I was excited to see it in my produce box last week. I think it is so good raw so I thought I'd use it in some sort of salad. I was going to use my mandoline to make it into thin strips but it kept sticking on the blades so I chopped it up into matchsticks the best I could. I spiralized the rest of veggies with my decidedly not fancy spiralizer which made them not only pretty but a great size to suck up the vinegar and flavor from the shichimi togarashi while it marinates in the fridge. This is a wonderful salad to bring to a cookout or picnic because not only does it take like 10 minutes to make, it is full of flavor (thanks, 7-spice powder!), can be made ahead of time and is perfectly safe to sit outside in the heat (I know how people are about mayo-based salads even if I disagree with them) and is vegan and gluten-free.

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May 22, 2017

Pickle-Spiked Cheeseburgers


for the burger:
1 1/4 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped "Hamburger" dill pickle chips*
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons horseradish deli mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Butterkäse cheese**
freshly ground black pepper.

to serve:
4 pretzel rolls
horseradish deli mustard
"Hamburger" dill pickle chips


In a medium bowl, mix together all burger ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Firmly form into 4 even patties. Set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness over medium heat. Drain, if needed, on a paper towel-lined plate. Place burgers on buns, top with additional mustard and pickles if desired. Serve immediately.

*find these pickle slices near other shelf-stable pickles on the grocery store shelf, these pickles give the burgers that classic burger taste so don't substitute fancy dill pickles or kosher dills.

**Find this German, smooth melting cheese at stores with a well-stocked cheese section or it is frequently available at Aldi. Gouda would make a good substitute in a pinch.

My thoughts:
I've been on sort of a burger kick lately as you may have noticed. I bought the ground beef hoping that we would get a chance to grill but we were in Washington all day yesterday visiting the amazing NMAAHC and came home too tired to cook and today it is rainy so no grilling for us! Luckily, I think they were still very good even without the benefits of charcoal. I love, love, love pickles and even though I make my own I always keep a jar of hamburger chips in my fridge. It is like $1 at Aldi for a vat and they are really what gives burgers that classic diner/fast food burger taste. These burgers are loaded with pickle flavor (and lots of chunks so you really have to a firm hand with the patties or they will crack) and just a hint of onion. Super savory, super delicious and super easy to throw together--I made these for our lunch in about 20 minutes start to finish. The pretzel roll held up well to the juicy burger and the flavor really complimented the vaguely German flavors of the sandwich. Luckily pretzel rolls are pretty easy to find these days! I remember having to make my own not too long ago and now even regular supermarkets have bags of them.

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May 15, 2017

Kimchi Burgers


for the burger:
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 tablespoons soy sauce

to serve:
4 brioche rolls
gochujang mayonnaise*
3/4 cup chopped kimchi

In a medium bowl, mix together all burger ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Form into 3 or 4 patties. Set aside.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Cook the patties, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness over medium heat. Place on buns, top with mayo and kimchi. Serve immediately.

*I bought some at Target but you can make it yourself by mixing mayo and a small amount of gochujang together.
My thoughts:
Matt has been studying sign language for a while now and goes to a ton of events about ASL. I think the most exciting one he went to was a kimchi making class in ASL where he not only came home with a jar of homemade kimchi but had learned a few words of Korean sign language!

The kimchi was great on its own but we thought we'd make something fun incorporating it. Matt found gochujang mayo at Target (who knew?), we already had gochujang, sesame oil and Korean soy sauce in the fridge (if you don't, a quick trip the Korean or other well-stocked grocery store will get you all set) so burgers seemed to be the obvious choice. The burgers are not quite as hot (unless you use extra hot gochujang!) as one might think but they are very flavorful. A great change from the typical burger.

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May 10, 2017

Very Berry Rice Krispies Treats

2 tablespoons butter
6 oz large marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups crisped rice cereal (AKA Rice Krispies)
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries*
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried raspberries
scant 1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberries


Coat 8-inch pan with cooking spray or brush with oil. Set aside.

Place all of the freeze-dried fruit into a small bowl. Lightly crush using your hands or the back of a spoon. In a large bowl, stir together the cereal and freeze-dried fruit. Set aside.

Melt butter over low heat in a large, tall pot. Add marshmallows and vanilla and stir until nearly completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cereal/fruit mix. Use a greased spoon or spatula the cereal into the pan. Use the back of the spoon to press it firmly into the pan in an even layer. Cool, cut into 9 squares and eat.

*I used Crunchies brand fruit (if you have a bag, you can trace it back to where the fruit was grown!)

Note: Double this recipe to make in a 9x13 inch pan.

My thoughts:
Am I the only one who thinks of the '80s commercial of the mom making the Rice Krispies Treats and then tossing flour on her face before taking them out to her family to imply that they were so difficult and time-consuming to make? I swear I just saw it again this past Christmas. Anyway! Rice Krispies Treats are an even better treat to make during the warmer weather than the holiday season, they are quick, don't heat up the house and are lighter than a lot of desserts. This time of year my mind turns to berries but they are not really ripe here yet beyond strawberries so I subbed in freeze-dried fruit to provide that berry flavor. The great thing about freeze-dried fruit in something like this is that if you lightly crush it, it gives off some dust that helps spread the flavor throughout the whole bar. Really yummy and perfect for summer. These would be great at a cookout, especially for Memorial Day or 4th of July as they are red, white and blue!

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May 08, 2017

Cincinnati Chili Mac

1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground chicken (or sub in lean ground beef)
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 oz hot, cooked, elbow macaroni

to serve:
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chopped onion


Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken (or beef!). Brown, breaking up large chunks until nearly fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spices, and beans. Simmer until warmed through and the liquid is nearly completely evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cook 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and onions. Serve immediately.

My thoughts:
I was planning to make chicken chili mac tonight for dinner as it is oddly chilly for May and was trying to think of a way to make it more exciting when it hit me, Cinncinati Chili is basically chili mac but layered rather than all mixed together. There are several ways to eat Cincinnati style chili:
3-way: Spaghetti topped with chili, covered with shredded cheddar cheese
4-way: Spaghetti topped with chili, cheese, onions
5-way: Spaghetti topped with beans, chili, cheese & onions
I just swapped out the spaghetti for macaroni noodles and stirred the kidney beans into the chili rather than layering them on top. The result was a super comforting dinner. I used ground chicken so it would be a bit lighter but feel free to use the more traditional beef.

Can't get enough? Make traditional Cincinnati Chili, this slow cooker version, and even Cincinnati Chili Dogs and Cincinnati Chili-Inspired Sloppy Joes.

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