Simply Recipes

Joe’s Special (Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Beef, and Mushrooms)

Joe's Special Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Beef, and Mushrooms

Have you ever heard of Joe’s Special? This is a classic San Francisco diner dish dating back to the 1920s. It’s a hearty scramble of eggs, ground beef, spinach, mushrooms, and onions.

This scramble is great any time of day, but in my house growing up, we always had it for dinner, with thick slices of San Francisco sourdough bread alongside.

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Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage

Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage

It’s Mardi Gras season, time for gumbo! If you question anybody from Louisiana or the Mississippi Sound about making gumbo, the first thing they will tell you is about making the roux.

My college roommate (from Metairie), my brother’s girlfriend (Biloxi), and my parent’s neighbor of 35 years (New Orleans), have pretty much all told me the same thing, “My mother used to take out an old penny and sit it next to the pot. ‘You’re done when the roux is the color of this penny.’”

Now, these women certainly did not have the same mother, but they shared the same story. I’m guessing making a proper roux must be a rite of passage for a kid from around those parts, and probably a bit challenging because it requires a little patience. 25 minutes or so of stirring can seem like forever to a 10 year old!

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Spicy Lamb Stew with Chickpeas

When you add lots of spices to a dish, sometimes that’s all you can taste. But I’ve found that lamb is one ingredient that can handle a lot of spice.

This hearty lamb stew is well-seasoned with cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. The meat keeps its delicious and distinctive taste, while the seasonings add intrigue to every bite.

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How to Make Overnight Oatmeal

How To Make Overnight Oatmeal

There is a certain beauty in discovering a shortcut that is both convenient and just as good — if not better — than the real thing.

Steel-cut oats normally require a good ten to twenty minutes of stovetop simmering to render them creamy and soft. This is worth the effort for a fantastic bowl of oatmeal, but let’s be real here: not many of us have that kind of time in the morning.

Overnight oats, on the other hand, only require you to mix the oats with water and let them hang out together in the fridge overnight. A minute or two in the microwave the next morning, and you’re good to go.

For a not-at-all-morning person such as myself, this is game-changing.

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Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail

Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail

Valentine’s Day just begs to be celebrated with something red and bubbly, right?

Enter one of my favorite cocktails—the classic French 75—but instead of using lemon juice, we infuse the drink with something to make it brilliant pinkish red—blood orange.

So pretty! And just as lovely to drink as the original, if not more so.

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Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)

Salmon Moqueca

One of the dishes Northern Brazil is known for is their “Moqueca“, a delicious savory fish stew made with a local white fish, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and coconut milk.

Several years ago a Brazilian friend of mine introduced to me a salmon version of this stew she had improvised, given that the typical Brazilian fish used for moqueca isn’t found around here.

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Quick Chicken Pho

Quick Chicken Pho

A few years ago, I’d never even heard of pho, let alone tasted it. Now, giant bowls of this traditional Vietnamese noodle soup are a regular meal in our house.

There are three things I can thank for this change: 1) Moving to a part of the country where pho restaurants are as common as pizza joints. 2) Several months of gluten-free eating last year due to a health issue. 3) Meeting and becoming friends with Vietnamese cooking expert Andrea Nguyen.

Andrea has now published a new book entirely devoted to — what else?! — pho, and I’d like to share with you her recipe for Quick Chicken Pho.

This recipe is a great introduction to pho if you’ve never had it before. And for pho addicts like myself, it’s a good one to have around when a pho-craving strikes.

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Omelette in a Mug

Mug Omelette

Friends, I have a new favorite way to cook eggs—in a mug, in a microwave.

No kidding. For reals!

Why??? Well first, it takes only a couple minutes to make, and clean-up is easy.

Second, while so many microwave mug recipes result in a poor substitute for something properly cooked, a microwaved mug omelette is surprisingly tender and delicious.

Third, when I’m trying to eat light, this way of cooking eggs cuts down substantially on added fat. It just uses a quick spray of cooking oil (or a wipe of olive oil) on the inside of the mug. (For those of you who count calories, I counted 200 in this recipe, your analysis may vary.)

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Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

It doesn’t get much healthier than this vegan vegetable and chickpea stew!

Humble veggies like carrot, sweet potato, and parsnips shine when paired with the intoxicating Moroccan seasoning known as ras el hanout.

Have you ever tried this spice mix? The main components are cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon — they make a warming blend that’s perfect for perking up a hearty vegetable stew and serving on a cold day.

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How to Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth

How To Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth

I am a freezer hoarder. I can admit that here, right?

My freezer is jammed to the gills — and not only with normal things like frozen fruit and chicken sausage, but also with the random bits of food that one tends to collect as a professional food writer and recipe tester. (Witness: several cups of unused rugelach filling, enough frozen whipped cream to last for months, and more Thanksgiving turkey than you need to know about.)

This is all to say that I have learned a trick or two regarding Freezer Tetris and how to maximize space.

Since I had a few batches of pressure cooker beans in urgent need of freezing, I thought I’d share my favorite way to freeze soup, beans in their cooking liquid, and broth to both save space and make my weeknight meal prep a little easier.

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Creamy Celery Soup

Creamy Celery Soup

Time to curl up under a cozy blanket and enjoy a warm bowl of soup. This week’s pick? A classic creamy celery soup.

Like cabbage, celery is an oft neglected vegetable, prized for its place in a mirepoix, but rarely the star of the show. Which is silly when you think about it, given how good celery is in soups. (Can you imagine chicken soup without it?)

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Apple-Cinnamon French Toast Muffins

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Muffins

You’ve got to admit it: they’re cute. These individual bites of not-quite-muffins and not-quite-French-toast are almost too good to be true.

Not only are they scrumptious, but they work on your schedule. Throw them together tonight and bake them tomorrow morning for an easy warm breakfast. They also reheat well, so you can make a batch this weekend and have them for breakfast all week long.

Whatever your breakfast situation, these French toast muffins are up to the challenge.

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How To Steam-Fry Vegetables

How To Steam Fry Vegetables

Need a quick side dish of vegetables to go with your meal? Try steam-frying them!

Using this method, you quickly stir-fry vegetables to develop some color, and then steam them until tender. Steam-frying uses less oil than a regular stir-fry, but the vegetables still quickly cook through.

The veggies also pick up a little browning from the stir-fry step and some flavor from the liquid used for the steaming step, making them more exciting than plain steamed vegetables.

You can use this technique to cook just about any vegetable in the fridge, from cauliflower to green beans.

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Bloody Mary Smoothie

Bloody Mary Smoothie

This month we’re sharing a few recipes from our friend Tess Masters, The Blender Girl! Tess is our go-to gal for fantastic vegan and gluten-free blender recipes. Check out her newest book The Perfect Blend, available now on Amazon.

Have you ever tried making a savory smoothie?

This non-alcoholic, breakfast-worthy spin on a traditional Bloody Mary cocktail is a splendid (s’blended!) introduction to veggie-based smoothies.

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Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Arugula Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

Winter in California is the season for peppery arugula. Several years ago my parents planted some arugula in their garden and for years the arugula would re-seed itself, taking over the entire garden with a flourish, starting in December.

While mature arugula can be almost too intense to eat raw (best for left for cooking), young baby arugula is perfect for salads, and can easily be found in markets these days.

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Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Frosting

2017-01-24-chocolatecake-5

Everyone needs a go-to recipe for chocolate cake. Maybe you volunteered to bring dessert for a dinner with friends, or you’ve got weekend guests, or there’s a birthday to celebrate.

This isn’t one of those dense death-by-chocolate cakes, but more like a richer version of devil’s food cake. Cover it with a thick layer of chocolate frosting and serve it right out of the pan.

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Paleo Hot Cocoa

Paleo Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa may be the most comforting beverage of all time. And while I have fond childhood memories of packets of hot cocoa with tiny hard marshmallows, my taste in hot chocolate has become slightly more sophisticated as an adult.

This Paleo hot chocolate is high on the cocoa content, lower on sugar. It’s sweetened with dark amber maple syrup and gets a flavor boost from espresso powder.

Make a double batch of the cocoa syrup base and store it in the fridge so you can have truly great hot chocolate in the time it takes to heat up some milk!

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Farro, Mushroom, and Spinach Soup

Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach

If you haven’t met farro yet, let me introduce you.

Farro is an ancient grain with long-ago origins in western Asia. It has an earthy, nutty flavor and a chewy texture that works well in everything from winter soups to hearty salads.

Italian cooks have enjoyed this grain for years, and it’s beginning to catch on here, too. Give it a try in this hearty, but easy, meal of cooked farro, sautéed mushrooms, and greens!

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Green Mojito Smoothie

Green Mojito Smoothie

This month we’re sharing a few recipes from our friend Tess Masters, The Blender Girl! Tess is our go-to gal for fantastic vegan and gluten-free blender recipes. Check out her newest book The Perfect Blend, available now on Amazon.

If you’re wary of green smoothies, this delicious blend may just change your mind.

Flavored with lime and mint, this smoothie is simultaneously zesty and sweet. It tastes like a fancy cocktail and boosts your immunity at the same time.

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How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker

I think that a warm pot of beans whenever you want them is at least half the reason for owning a pressure cooker.

Forget pre-soaking. Forget hours of gentle simmering.

With a pressure cooker, you can go from opening a bag of dried legumes to pump, tender beans in under an hour. How’s that for a sales pitch?!

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French Toast with Caramelized Bananas (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

This month we’re sharing a few recipes from our friend Tess Masters, The Blender Girl! Tess is our go-to gal for fantastic vegan and gluten-free blender recipes. Check out her newest book The Perfect Blend, available now on Amazon.

Whoever thought of soaking bread and frying it should be nominated for sainthood.

This recipe uses gluten-free bread and a vegan batter so that everyone at the table can enjoy a slice. Top with caramelized bananas for an extra-decadent breakfast.

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Easy Tuscan Bean Soup

Tuscan Bean Soup

The best bean soups have a lived-in quality, as if they have been simmering on the back burner for hours, just waiting for you.

You can achieve this by cooking the dried beans from scratch, of course. Or you can skip the long simmer and pop open a can!

Bean soups have the distinct advantage of tasting terrific either way. Today’s soup uses canned beans to make a 30-minute meal that tastes like it took all day.

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How To Make The Best Detox Smoothie

Detox Smoothie

This month we’re sharing a few recipes from our friend Tess Masters, The Blender Girl! Tess is our go-to gal for fantastic vegan and gluten-free blender recipes. Check out her newest book The Perfect Blend, available now on Amazon.

Today, I’m going to share my fool-proof system for making delicious detox smoothies.

Whether you binged over the holidays, drank too much alcohol on the weekend, want to boost your immune system or lose some weight, or just want to eat a bit healthier, smoothies are the easiest way to pack a ton of nutrition into your meal.

You can make a smoothie in less than 10 minutes. And the best part is, you don’t even need to turn on the oven!

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Cream Of Celeriac Soup with Brussels Sprouts Chips

Cream of Celeriac Soup

This month we’re sharing a few recipes from our friend Tess Masters, The Blender Girl! Tess is our go-to gal for fantastic vegan and gluten-free blender recipes. Check out her newest book The Perfect Blend, available now on Amazon.

This sensational soup will make you look like a gourmet chef, and it only takes 30 minutes to make! It works as an elegant starter or even the main course.

It’s also so rich and creamy, no one will ever guess that we’ve actually ditched the dairy.

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Welcome Emma Christensen!

Emma Christensen and Elise Bauer

Hello everyone! Several months ago I announced big changes brewing here at Simply Recipes. We have new recipes, new contributors, and now a new addition to our Simply Recipes team.

Please join me in welcoming—Emma Christensen, who is our new Managing Editor! Emma is responsible for working with our contributors and making sure that all of the new recipes posted to the site meet the standard of quality and ease that we all expect from a Simply Recipes recipe.

After 13 years of flying mostly solo on this site, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have Emma as a partner on Simply Recipes. 

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