Pork Meatball Sandwich (Banh-Mi Style)

Pork Meatball Sandwich (Banh-Mi Style). I am a huge fan of Vietnamese food. Especially the Banh-mi sandwich. And If you have never given this cuisine a chance you don’t know what you are missing! I had my first banh mi sandwich at a small restaurant in Oakland and became hooked. Its a hearty sandwich served in a crispy baguette and filled with juicy grilled meats like pork or chicken. Its then topped with fresh flavors and crunchy veggies like cucumber, carrot, and jalapeño. It’s just an incredibly delicious and quickly made sandwich. This version has a ground pork meatball that incorporates all of those flavors. And topped with a crunchy and tangy carrot, jalapeño, and cilantro mix. You could quickly make a tray of these meatballs and set out all the fixings for this at your next gathering. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Pork Meatball Sandwich (Banh-Mi Style)

Pork Meatballs:

1 pound ground pork
One shallot, finely diced.
Two garlic cloves, finely minced.
Two tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped.
One tablespoon brown sugar
One tablespoon fish sauce
One tablespoon sriracha
Salt and pepper to taste.
One tablespoon canola oil
Mayonnaise, for serving.
Two baguettes, cut into halves. (Or just a crusty roll)
Thinly sliced cucumber slices for serving.
Thinly sliced jalapeño, for serving.
Cilantro, for serving.
Carrot mixture, recipe below.

In a large bowl add the first seven ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Form into evenly sized meatballs and set aside. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Now cook the meatballs in batches until browned and cooked thoroughly. You could also bake these meatballs at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Allow the meatballs to cool slightly. Spread your baguette with mayo on each side. Fill with meatballs, carrot, cilantro, jalapeño, and cucumber slices. Yum!

Carrot mixture:

One cup julienne carrot (Save time by buying it pre-cut)
One tablespoon rice wine vinegar
One teaspoon sesame oil
One tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch salt and pepper

In a small bowl add carrots. Toss in sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper and toss gently. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Turkey Sloppy Joe. Sure to be one of your next dinner favorites. Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The “sloppy” sauce came out of a can but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? So this is a decidedly healthier spin on your classic sloppy without losing that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love.  Using ground turkey and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. I mean what’s not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY! I hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

1lb ground turkey
One tablespoon olive oil
15 ounce can tomato sauce
One small red onion, diced.
One red bell pepper, diced.
Two cloves garlic, minced.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (You can substitute regular)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Buns, for serving.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown your ground turkey until cooked through. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute the mixture for 1-2 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. (Obviously not the bread!) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.

Spoon mixture inside of your favorite bun. Toasting the bread is also a nice touch. I like to serve it with homemade sweet potato chips or fries and some crunchy cucumber slices!

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti. Hey everyone! Here is a recipe that’s easy enough for a busy school or work night. Now we all love those classic comfort foods that we had as a child. And baked ziti was one of my favorites. Its loaded with cheese, pasta and meat sauce. Not to mention a very inexpensive and easy throw together meal. Now this recipe is a lightened up baked ziti. We start with a flavorful ground turkey that’s tossed with a velvety butternut squash sauce. And topped with fontina cheese and baked until bubbly and golden. I use ground turkey in place of ground beef to lighten it up. The roasted butternut squash is pureed into a sauce alongside a little cream and chicken stock. This meal will honestly fool even the pickiest of eaters. It looks and tastes like a decadent cheese sauce. I hope that you enjoy this comforting casserole as much as we did. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

8oz pasta, cooked. (You can use ziti or whatever pasta you have on hand.)
Two tablespoons olive oil
4 cups roasted butternut squash (See below)
1lb ground turkey
One cup sweet onion, finely chopped.
Two garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
One cup Mozzarella, shredded.
4 ounces fontina cheese
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. And saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add ground turkey and seasonings, break into pieces and cook until browned about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a blender add roasted squash, cream, stock, salt, and pepper. If it is too thick for your liking, you can always thin it out with a little leftover pasta water.

Add butternut squash sauce and mozzarella with the turkey mixture. Combine with pasta and transfer mixture into a prepared baking dish. Break off chunks off fontina cheese and place over the top of the pasta.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and browned. Serve immediately.

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce. Let’s flashback this weekend with these fluffy melt in your mouth clouds of greatness that is smothered with maple syrup and in my household some form of fruit sauce. These “Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce” are irresistible and surprising. Now when I think ricotta cheese I definitely don’t think of pancakes. But try it and I promise to change your mind. And the strawberry sauce is simple and tasty and the perfect partner for this dish. You can always substitute others fruits instead of strawberries. I just happened to have a bunch on hand. My “Raspberry Sauce” in my book “The Seasoned Life” would also be perfect with this dish! Share your favorite pancake toppings in the comments below.

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes With Strawberry Sauce

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh.
One cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar (You can substitute white sugar.)
2-3 tablespoons butter for frying

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl add ricotta, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and combine well.

Carefully add the dry to the wet ingredients until combined. Don’t over mix the batter. It should be slightly lumpy. And set aside.

Heat a large griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and add a tablespoon of butter. (Use about one tablespoon butter for each batch of pancakes you make.)

Scoop pancake batter onto the hot pan. (I use a 1/4 measuring cup to get the same sized pancakes every time.)

Cook until the edges are set and bubbles form on top of the pancake. Flip and cook until browned.

Serve ricotta pancakes warm and top with strawberry sauce and a little or a lot (no judgment here) of maple syrup!

Strawberry sauce

1 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped.
One tablespoon brown sugar
One tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt

To make the sauce place chopped strawberries, sugar, and agave into a small saucepan. Coat well and add water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and stir until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Allow to cool and serve with pancakes!

Kid-Friendly French Toast

Now I love to entertain. But my favorite people to entertain are my KIDS! Which is why I am so in love with the dollar section at most stores. I’m usually able to get a bunch of cute and inexpensive items to make my kid’s faces light up. I created a Valentine’s day inspired breakfast for dinner, using some heart-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes and milk jugs. And you can get creative and do different shapes. This can be done with pancake batter as well. I hope that this puts a smile on you and your loved ones. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Hope you all have a great day celebrating LOVE!

Enjoy,

XO Ayesha

 

Kid-Friendly French Toast

Kid-Friendly French Toast

3 large eggs.
3/4 cup of milk or heavy cream.
1 teaspoon cinnamon.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
1 teaspoon brown sugar.
Pinch salt.
Any type of bread. (3-4 slices)

*Tip* Mix together 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a separate bowl and sprinkle on each side as cooking.

Beat eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in shallow dish. Stir in milk.

Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make your shapes.

Dip bread in egg mixture, turning to coat both sides evenly. (Don’t be the victim of soggy bread!)

Cook bread slices on greased nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides. (Butter baby!)

For the eggs. I simply sprayed a heart shaped cookie cutter with non-stick cooking spray. Put it in a heated skillet and crack an egg inside of each one. Cook it to your liking! And season with salt and pepper.

*Tip* Placing a pan lid over the top ensures fully cooking your egg. Usually for about 2 minutes.