Asparagus Tart with Homemade Ricotta

I first made ricotta cheese at home, after watchingย Stephen Lee make it on MasterChef. I was in awe! How did he manage to make cheese in a competition?

I remember watching my grandmother make labneh at home, but never thought about doing it myself (lazy millennial? Idk…)

Well, I looked up some ricotta recipes and to my surprise they were fairly simple and I had all the ingredients at home. You will need a cheesecloth (or a nut milk bag), which can be found in most grocery stores.

homemade ricotta cheese

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Pumpkin Curry Soup with Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish, pumpkin curry soup, pumpkin soup, cranberry and pumpkin

There is no denying I love a good spice blend. Layers of flavors, that dance around the star ingredient.

I came across a few variations of a pumpkin curry soup and knew immediately that I wanted to try making it my own.

I had previously purchased some pumpkins, roasted and peeled and then pureed them. So, I was excited to have fresh pumpkin puree for this recipe. You can read

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Bang Bang Shrimp

bang bang shrimp

There are many recipes on the inter web for bang bang shrimp. I’ve learned that many of these are a copy cat recipe of Bone Fish Grill. I have not tried their bang bang shrimp, but decided I wanted to try it at home!ย  This has also been served as an appetizer; I thought could be served with rice as an entrรฉe!ย 

bang bang shrimp

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Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

shrimp lettuce wraps, lettuce wraps

Hussein loves Asian food. From Thai to Japanese to Vietnamese to American takes on Asian flavors.

I also love Asian Cuisine and don’t cook it often enough. We generally get take out Pho or go out for sushi!

But I need to do a better job of using these flavors (& the personalized chop sticks my friend Rana got us) in my kitchen!

personalized chop sticks, chop sticks, cool chop sticks

When planning my dinner menu for the week, I try to mix up the proteins and styles of cooking to keep things interesting.

But I also don’t want to spend two hours making dinner. Because in the words of Sweet Brown:

via GIPHY

 

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Game Day Bites

spinach artichoke dip, dip, spinach dip, football game food, game day bites, tailgating, seahawks

I grew up watching football, college and professional. Sundays, Monday’s and Thursday nights from September until the Superbowl in February, were spent watching football.
My mom a Dallas Cowboys fan. My dad a Detroit Lions fan. My sisters and I, didn’t have strong opinions until years later when Deana became an Indianapolis Colts fan, Mona a Lions fan and myself a Seahawks fan.

Yes, I was a fan of the Seahawks before I moved to Seattle, met Russel Wilson and they won the Superbowl!

It was in 2007 when the Superbowl was hosted in Detroit, when I really became a Seahawks fan. I bought an oversized Seahawks sweat shirt and wore it in Downtown Detroit where the Steelers fans growled and booed at me!

Fast forward a few years and I was living in Seattle with my husband, Hussein. My sister Mona came to visit and we went to the mall and I casually said “Oh, hey!” to Russell Wilson as he walked past. My sister asked “who is that?”. “Russell Wilson” I responded. She quickly turned to follow him, grabbing my arm as she hurried towards him. She asked for a picture with him and to our delight he agreed! This was just a few weeks before the Seahawks Super Bowl win!

russell wilson with seattle fans, seahawks, 12th man

As I reflect on football and my family, I can’t help but think about all the amazing food we would snack on while watching the game! The Superbowl always had the most elaborate menu, as it usually falls on my birthday!

Game Day spread

Some of my favorite Game Day Bites include:

Turkey Burger Sliders

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Key Lime Cupcakes

And my spinach artichoke dip:

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Serves 6
A rich and creamy spinach artichoke
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
312 calories
7 g
90 g
29 g
8 g
16 g
121 g
586 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
121g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312
Calories from Fat 253
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
44%
Saturated Fat 16g
82%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 90mg
30%
Sodium 586mg
24%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
34%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
18%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
  2. 1 ten ounce frozen package of shredded spinach, defrosted
  3. 1 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + more for topping, if desired
  6. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne, optional
  9. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
  2. Strain spinach and squeeze out all water
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. Spread mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Top with additional Parmesan cheese and brown the top under the broiler for 2 minutes
  6. Serve with slices of baguette or your favorite chips!
  7. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚
beta
calories
312
fat
29g
protein
8g
carbs
7g
more
Amanda's Plate http://amandasplate.com/
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Loaded Hummus Dip

loaded hummus dip

This summer has been unusually dry and hot for the Seattle area! Climate change? Al Gore would say so! Whatever the case, it is often too hot to cook and bake. I find myself looking for a quick dinner using the tomatoes and cucumbers from my little patio garden ๐Ÿ™‚

Garden

The quickest dinners in our household consist of grilled chicken breast, a large salad and fresh baguette from one of many favorite bakeries. Some days, I would be okay with a bowl of cereal for dinner but Hussein says “that’s not dinner” and “has no protein”.

This recipe was developed on a super hot day. It was 90 degrees and I was not feeling the heat in my kitchen ๐Ÿ˜› I grilled some chicken and decided to make a salad and hummus. Then it hit me; we often dip the chicken into the hummus, and add salad to the top for a perfect bite, so why not make it a loaded hummus!

I made my hummus using canned chickpeas, but feel free to use a premade hummus for an even easier dinner! I served this dish with Stacy’s Pita chips ๐Ÿ˜€


 

Ingredients:
3 cans chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup cucumber diced
1 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup Kalamta olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced

 

Procedure:

  1. Reserve 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  2. In a food processor combine remaining chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh lemon juice.
  3. While on low speed, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, parsley, mint, oregano, and 1/2 cup chickpeas.
  5. Using a mason jar make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Shake until emulsified. dressing
  6. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.
  7. Smooth hummus over serving plate.
  8. Top with salad mixture and sprinkle feta crumbles over the top.
  9. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, or whatever you like!
  10. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Loaded hummus, easy hummus, hummus and salad

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So Many Ways to Toast

Eggplant toast, eggplant and jalapeno toast,

Many often ask where I find inspiration for my recipes or what my process is for developing new recipes. I sometimes have an idea after seeing something at the farmer’s market or on the web. But most of the time, I have no idea what I am going to do until I actually start doing it! I just get in my kitchen and start working.

My husband does not like this! In his words, he “needs to know what’s for dinner” so that he can “get excited about it”! I think he’s learned to accept that my menu planning is non-existent and this is the best way for me to be creative ๐Ÿ˜›

I know which flavors I like and which flavors and ingredients work well together; this helps a lot! I rarely have a recipe that is totally off!

I’m also inspired by all of you! When you tag me in your beautiful culinary creations, it inspires me to create something using those flavor profiles! So keep tagging me: Twitter andย Instagram and by using #TeamAmandaSaab

My best friends mother, Mona Elhelou send me a picture of her eggplant toast! I loved it so much, I created my take on an eggplant toast! ๐Ÿ™‚ These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad ๐Ÿ™‚

How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram


 

 

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted
2 tablespoons pomegranate arils
1/2 cup micro greens
2 jalapenos, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar

 

Procedure:

1. Placed jalapeno slices in bowl. Heat vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons sugar until boiling. Pour over jalapenos and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Roast eggplant on open flame, until skin is charred.

Eggplant and Jalapeno Toast
3. Peel away skin and mix eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons lime juice.
4. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until broiler until brown.
5. Toss micro greens and pomegranate arils with remaining olive oil.
6. Drain jalapenos.
7. Assemble: spread eggplant over toasted bread, layer on jalapenos, sprinkle on micro green mix and almonds!
8. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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