If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love food. Pretty much my whole grid is made up of food (and my pets, of course!). But I don’t share my love of eating and cooking on the blog very often, and I want to change that. So today I’m introducing a little mini-series called “In the Kitchen,” where I’ll share some of the recipes I’ve been making lately.
This year, I’ve really gotten back into trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, and this first “In the Kitchen” is going to be a fun mix of different things!
- First up, a lemon orzo salad! I went to lunch with my grandma early in the summer and ordered the most delicious, light but filling, lemon-y orzo salad served over spinach. I couldn’t stop thinking about the salad for days…literally, I dreamed about it. So I searched the internet for recipes and ended up with this one, which is the recipe that orzo dreams are made of. Seriously, my entire family loved it, and it’s my new go-to recipe for parties or having friends over. It’s really easy to make, and it’s also easy to just cut back on the amount of cheese for my fellow lactose-intolerant friends out there (the recipe calls for feta, but I actually used a bit of parmesan instead). Plus, it makes a TON, so it’s perfect for a large group of people, or you can have leftovers for days (which is my jam). I like to serve it over fresh spinach or lettuce!
- To make my brother’s birthday extra special, I decided to make chicken coconut curry — a task that seemed a little ambitious considering I’ve never made curry before, but luckily it turned out great! I made this recipe, and made a few alterations. The recipe calls for poppy seeds, but I used a little extra thick coconut milk instead. I also added cooked potato chunks, salt, and a little curry powder to make it a little more flavorful. All in all, I felt like this recipe is a winner, and kind of a no-fail way to make a really impressive dish to wow your relatives into thinking you’re a cooking genius. Side note, this recipe is not spicy *as is* so if you want a little heat, add some of your favorite spicy spices (cayanne, red chili powder, etc.). Next time I make it, I’m going to add some spicier chili peppers.
- The team at A Beautiful Mess always has inspiring and creative vegetarian meal ideas, and when I saw their recipe for Polenta Pizza Bites I was salivating. I finally got around to making them this fall, and they were both easy and tasty. I liked them as a meal, but they’d make excellent appetizers as well. The polenta gets nice and crispy on the outside, and stays soft inside. I didn’t need to cook my polenta for as long as the recipe stated, but I sliced it fairly thin…just keep an eye on your polenta while baking so you don’t accidentally burn it.
- I’d been wanting to make this Spaghetti Squash Bake for a long time, and a few weeks back I went for it (even though 2 members of my family don’t care for spaghetti squash and have made their opinions loudly heard). Everybody tried it, and ended up really liking it, which was a major “I told you so!” moment. The biggest thing with this recipe is it takes a little prep work (you have to cook the squash in advance, which is really easy but takes upward of 40 mins usually). But it’s the perfect casserole to cook while you’re watching football or hanging around the house this fall. And, it’s a recipe that you can customize for your eating needs, i.e. you can add mozzarella or parmesan cheese, you can use lactose-free cheese, or you could skip the cheese altogether. Up to you!
So, that wraps up the first “In the Kitchen” with 4 tried and true recipes to add to your arsenal. Now go forth and cook well. (: