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! This has also been served as an appetizer; I thought could be served with rice as an entrée!
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!
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:
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!
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!
Some of my favorite Game Day Bites include:
And my spinach artichoke dip:
- 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese
- 1 ten ounce frozen package of shredded spinach, defrosted
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese + more for topping, if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
- Strain spinach and squeeze out all water
- In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated
- Spread mixture into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
- Top with additional Parmesan cheese and brown the top under the broiler for 2 minutes
- Serve with slices of baguette or your favorite chips!
- Enjoy 🙂
There is nothing that offers more comfort in the fall than a hearty, hot cup of soup!
My favorite is my mom’s Lebanese Lentil Soup. A delicious blend of lentils, vegetables and spices, that simmer together perfectly to create a beautiful, yellow soup.
This is a highly requested recipe, so I hope you enjoy it! Be sure to tag me in your posts @amandasplate or use #CreateAmandasPlate 🙂
I keep this soup recipe vegetarian, but you can use chicken stock. Just be sure to taste and season, as the chicken stock salt content will vary.
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- ¾ cup finely shredded carrots
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1-2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1½ cups red lentils (they look orange :D)
- 3 tablespoons short grain rice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper (black pepper works well too)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or water; taste and adjust seasoning)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + more for serving
- Rinse lentils and rice under cold water until water runs clear.
- Place lentils and rice in a stock pot with 2 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and place the lid on the pot.
- In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Add in the cumin, turmeric, white pepper and salt. (Heating the spices draws out more of the flavor!)
- Add the vegetables and spices to the pot of lentils.
- Once vegetable stock has been absorbed, add the remaining 6 cups and continue to simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Squeeze in fresh lemon juice.
- Taste and season if needed.
- Enjoy 🙂
Some prefer the texture to be smooth and will blend the soup. Others like to enjoy as is. Both are delicious! If you decide to blend, simply use your immersion blender or food processor.
Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Please tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate or @AmandasPlate
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 🙂
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 😛 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 😀
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
- Reserve 1/2 cup chickpeas.
- In a food processor combine remaining chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh lemon juice.
- While on low speed, slowly stream in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, olives, parsley, mint, oregano, and 1/2 cup chickpeas.
- Using a mason jar make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Shake until emulsified.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.
- Smooth hummus over serving plate.
- Top with salad mixture and sprinkle feta crumbles over the top.
- Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, or whatever you like!
- Enjoy 🙂
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 😛
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 and 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! 🙂 These make for a great appetizer! I served them with a BBQ chicken salad 🙂
How do you toast? Tell me on Instagram
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
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.
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 🙂
Now that the cat is out of the bag, and you all know I will be competing for a white apron on Master Chef, I can share my inspiration for this soup!
I was inspired by none other than Gordon Ramsay!! One day early last week, I was binge watching Youtube when I came across a super easy broccoli soup recipe by GR. I decided to recreate it and put my own twist on it.
The soup is delicious on its own and makes for a great base for a number of toppings! I list some of my favorites below.
Here is what I came with! 🙂
Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 10 minutes
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 cup water
pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
goat cheese, crema
toasted baguette, croutons
herbed oil, parsley, cherry tomato
1. In a pot, boil broccoli in water and vegetable stock, just until broccoli is cooked (overcooking will cause soup to loose bright green color). Season with salt, pepper and garlic.
2. In a blender, such as a Nutribullet, blend broccoli and 1 1/2 cup of the stock/water. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a bowl and garnish as desired!
4. Enjoy 🙂
As the first day of Spring approached, all I could think was “summer is almost here”. And with that thought, I reflected on the beautiful flowers, the greenery, the water and the bounty of fruits and vegetables that come in the summer.
I began to create a salad recipe and thought it needed a little something more.. a vessel, a boat of sorts, to hold it together.
Squash are a beautiful versatile vegetable that serve as a great vessel for your favorite salads, chili and almost anything else! I chose green zucchini for this recipe.
I wanted to keep the flavors light and fresh. Feel free to get creative and swap or sub ingredients for those you like more!
I used quinoa, but lentils, faro, rice, and couscous would all work great! This is also a great way to use some left over grains!
Here is my recipe:
- 1½ cups cooked quinoa
- 3 medium sized green zucchini
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curly parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons dried apricots, sliced
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut ends and tops off zucchini. Scoop out the seeds.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange zucchini on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Make vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Assemble the filling by mixing quinoa, olives, apricots, tomatoes, almonds, mint, parsley and feta cheese. Toss in vinaigrette.
- Allow zucchini to cool and then scoop in quinoa salad mix. Top with more feta if desired.
- Enjoy 🙂
Is there anything more comforting on a chilly, gloomy day than a nice warm plate of Mac and Cheese? I certainly don’t think so. There are many variations to Mac and Cheese and so many ways to play it up. Like it spicy? Add some sriraccha. Like a more earthy flavor? Add some truffle oil or finely grated truffles. I like a classic, smooth Mac and Cheese. I have been working on this recipe for some time, so let me know what you think!
Here is my recipe:
2 cups pasta
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese, I used sharp cheddar and Beecher’s Flagship
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt butter in large pan and whisk in butter to make a roux. This will create the base of the cheese sauce. Stir for a few minutes, until mixture is smooth and flour flavor has cooked off.
3. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.
4. Add milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the roux. Temper in the egg. It is very important that your egg is at room temperature and that you whisk quickly. You do not want scrambled eggs in here! At this point, this sauce resembles a bechamel; the classic French white sauce.
5. Mix in the grated cheese until smooth.
6. Drain pasta and add into cheese sauce. Pour into ramekin.
7. Toss panko bread crumbs in melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of your delicious cheesy noodles.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Then place until broiler for 1-2 minutes until panko is golden browned.
9. Enjoy 🙂
Tabouli is a Middle Eastern dish that originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria. It is generally served cold, as part of a mezze platter. I love make a large bowl of tabouli and enjoying it on a picnic during the hot summer months.
Seattle has experienced a bit of a heat wave over the past few weeks, making it impossible to use your oven. Okay, according to the National Weather Service what we have experienced would not be consider a heat wave; but it sure feels like it to me. Did you know that most homes in the Puget Sound do not have central air conditioning? Well neither did I. It was on a 90 degree afternoon in July that I discovered our condo did not have air conditioning. Along with the rest of the city, we went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase a cooling device.
Using ripe but firm tomatoes is important, to ensure they are able to hold their shape 🙂 In the Lebanese version of this dish, there is more parsley than bulgur wheat. Ratios vary across the region. Feel free to put your own spin on this favorite!
- 3 cups curly parsley leaves, stems discarded
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup fine bulgur wheat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Romaine lettuce, for serving
- Make dressing by combining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- In a medium size bowl, pour dressing over the bulgur wheat in order for it to soften.
- Using a food processor, pulse parsley until fine.
- In a large bowl, mix together parsley, tomatoes, mint and green onions. Toss with bulgur wheat.
- Serve with romaine lettuce.
- Enjoy 🙂