Tag Archive: Pan Frying

Savory Garlic Green Beans


A lot of the time I’m asked if this is purely a dessert blog. It’s not, but I can see where the confusion comes from between brownies and bark and cookies.

Desserts are just easier to photograph. You don’t have to worry about them cooling too much. You can even wait a whole day before cutting a slice. But spend 10 minutes photographing green beans and all you’re left with are mediocre pictures and cold vegetables.

You’ll only get one mediocre picture from this blog post, but a darn good recipe. If you like vegetables—or even if you don’t—using garlic and shallots and just the right amount of salt makes these greens addictive.

Savory Garlic Green Beans

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2-3 servings):

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1lb fresh green beans, end chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook until they begin to brown.
  3. Add in the rest of the oil and the green beans. Sauté moving constantly so that the green beans cook on all sides.
  4. Season with salt and toss before removing from the pan. Serve while hot.

My Favorite Comfort Food


I think you can tell a lot about people based on what they love to eat: If they go to bed dreaming of bagels slathered in cream cheese, or wait each year until grilling season for authentic BBQ, or haunt the same local restaurant week after week for all-you-can-eat sushi.

A few years ago if you asked what my favorite comfort food meal was—the dinner I couldn’t get enough of—I’d say buffalo wings and pizza. It was the same thing we got every Tuesday night from a downtown restaurant where the pizza was particularly doughy and greasy and the wings drenched in batter and hot sauce. It wasn’t a particularly gourmet(or even good) meal but just the sight of it was familiar and inviting.


A lot’s changed since then. Having to stop eating gluten and becoming a vegetarian have opened my eyes up to a whole new set of foods. Most of all it’s shown me that there are healthier options than greasy pizza and fried chicken that can be just as familiar and comforting at the end of a long day.

When I was little I spent most of my Summer at my grandparent’s apartment since both my parents worked and they lived 1.5 miles away. My grandmother knew how to cook a few things, one of them being scrambled eggs that she cooked with a large wooden spoon and served with buttered toast. Now whenever I need that taste of home I go straight for the scrambled eggs—occasionally made with a wooden spoon—and served next to buttered home fries and a bed of steamed kale for color.


A lot of people will tell you the secret to good scrambled eggs is adding milk to the batter. I don’t think that’s it. The key to making good eggs is to take them off the heat before they’re finished cooking—when they’re mostly cooked but still have a glossy, wet shine on top. Eggs, like any protein, continue to cook even when they’re cooling; if you cook them fully on the stove, they’ll dry out as soon as you take them out of the pan.

And the secret to good potatoes? Time. Time in the oven, and then time on a hot pan on each side to get a brown crust. Oil, butter, and sliced onions never hurt either. 


And of course there’s nothing more comforting than the whole plate covered in tangy, salty-sweet ketchup, coarse sea salt and fresh black pepper.

What’s the one meal that feels like home to you?

Green Beans Provencal


When you’re around Italian cooking a lot, you start to pick up the unspoken rules of Italian cooking. These are the rules that tell you how to pair sauce with a specific shape of pasta, not to pair cheese with a fish dish, and to never put a red sauce over green vegetables.


Lucky for me this isn’t Italian, it’s French. There’s also no red sauce, just whole tomatoes. But I’m not sure that exception would fly in Italy. But what no Italian can deny is that when tomatoes combine with garlic and olive oil magic happens and whatever comes out of the pot will undoubtedly be good.

Green Beans Provencal

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 1lb green beans, trimmed
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Slice the garlic cloves thinly lengthwise. Add the slices into the hot oil and sauté just until the edges begin to brown.
  3. Add the green beans into the pan and toss with the oil. Continue cooking until the green beans cook and darken their color.
  4. Slice the tomato into halves and then quarters so that each tomato yields 8 slices. Add those to the pan and toss with the green beans.
  5. Continue cooking until the tomatoes blister. Remove the pan from the heat and drain off any water that’s cooked out. Add in the remaining tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper and toss one last time. Move to a serving dish and serve hot.


My original plan was to serve this with spaghetti squash. By the time I finally cooked it, I had eaten all the spaghetti squash and had it with quinoa instead, which is a grain that always reminds me of quinoa. I guess what I’m getting at is that this makes a great dish with any pasta.

Stovetop Kale And Mushroom Frittata


This school year I’m doing something different. For the first time, I’m completely off of meal plan. That means I’m making every meal for myself, 3(who am I kidding? 5) times a day.

I did enjoy dropping into the cafeteria and piling up options from the salad bar from time to time, or bumping into friends to have dinner with. But this undoubtedly feels better for me. I feel comfortable grocery shopping and making meals for myself, even if half of those meals are made in a microwave and completely unphotogenic. And it’s still easy to eat meals with friends, just at different places.


There are times, however, when it’s inconvenient. Tuesday and Thursdays I have class all day. There’s simply no time to cook. Because of that, I usually make meals like this frittata the day before to heat up and serve when I’m in a rush—a much better option than fast food. While a traditional frittata is baked, this one is made entirely on the stovetop; it’s for no reason other than I hate moving things around, and this is easy enough that anyone can do it. . 

Stovetop Kale And Mushroom Frittata

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 3 or 4 servings):

  • 12 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • Salt to taste



  1. In a large bowl, crack and beat the eggs. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a 9 or 10-inch frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until both are cooked. Remove these from the pan briefly.
  3. Put the pan back on the stove and pour in the beaten eggs. After 10 seconds or so, evenly distribute the mushrooms and onions throughout the batter.
  4. Gently press the kale on top into the raw egg and put the lid on the pan.
  5. Leave the frittata on the stove for 10 or 15 minutes undisturbed as it cooks. It will be ready when the egg in the center of the pan has set.
  6. When cooked, remove the pan from the stove and gently jiggle it to unstick the frittata from the bottom. Move to a plate to cut and serve.


I get about 3 meals out of one pan. Frittatas are great because they work for any meal of the day. I’d happily eat this for all 3.

How To Fry Plantains


I’d say I’m an adventurous eater and an adventurous cook. I’ll try anything once… except for deep frying, because we really don’t need to get the fire department involved.

For a long time I had never had a plantain. They just seemed… odd.


I mean, look at that—isn’t that kind of creepy? But also familiar looking. It took a freelance job to lure me outside of my comfort zone and try a plantain for the first time. And you know what? It wasn’t bad; in fact, it was good. The flavor was surprisingly sweet compared to what I expected. In fact it was cloyingly sweet, more like an apple than a banana. But the savory oil helped to balance out the flavors. Since then I’ve bought plantains and made them for myself a few times and I can’t figure out for the life of me why more cultures haven’t tapped into this delicious starch.

How To Fry Plantains

You’ll need(for 4 side servings)…

  • 2 plantains
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil*

*or other neutral oil.



  1. Peel the plantains and slice them on a bias.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Fry the plantains in the oil, turning every minute or so to brown each side.
  4. When browned all around, remove from the heat, drain from the oil, and serve hot.


I really like the subtle flavor of coconut with the plantains for a true tropical flavor. If you’re serving this as a dessert, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of brown sugar into the pan towards the end of cooking.

Have you ever tried a plantain? If not, would you try one now?

Tempeh And Broccoli


I’ve been getting a lot of questions on tempeh recently. I want to put all my thoughts into a post about it but until then you’ll only get recipes, which is pretty good considering half the time I eat tempeh it’s raw, cold from the fridge. I would not suggest eating it that way if it’s you’re first time; it would be a horrible, bland introduction to something that can be so tasty.

If tofu is soy chicken, tempeh is soy beef. It’s much firmer, earthier and has a chew to it. Naturally it’s a great vegetarian substitute for beef in Asian dishes, like beef and broccoli. Since broccoli was one of the three vegetables I liked growing up(the other being carrots and olives), beef and broccoli was what I always chose on Chinese take-out night. This recipe keeps all those same flavors and textures, but with whole food ingredients anyone can enjoy.


You can substitute rice vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar for a more traditional ingredient list. I like apple cider vinegar here because it replicates the sweet, fruity flavor of plum sauce common in Asian cooking.

Tempeh And Broccoli(inspired by Caitlin)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(makes 2 servings):

  • 1 block of tempeh, diced
  • 6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon soy sauce(or wheat-free tamari)
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, preferably toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed
  • 1/2 onion, julienned
  • 1 bell pepper, julienned(optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine the tempeh, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, agave, and chili powder in a large pan and heat it on a burner set to medium-high.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes flipping once until the liquid thickens up like a sauce.
  3. Add in the broccoli, onion, pepper, and garlic powder. Continue cooking over medium heat until the moisture has boiled off of the pan and the onions turn soft(about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Plate and serve hot.


When this is cooked the tempeh should be fork-tender with a sweet, nutty flavor and fall apart in your mouth. It’s a great introduction to a food that could become your best friend.

Sesame Mushroom And Kale


Last week a reader asked me to post about how I cook kale and specifically a mushroom/kale side dish I photographed. You don’t have to ask me twice to cook this dish; kale and mushrooms are two of my favorite foods when prepared properly.

This recipe cooks kale by steaming it, which gets it to that soft and tender point without removing many nutrients. Properly steamed kale should be bright green, stiff, and still have a crunch in its stalk.

As for the mushrooms, I’m a big believer in that you don’t need to buy the expensive mushrooms to bring out an expensive flavor. Mushrooms do a great job of soaking up whatever you give them, so I use oil and seasonings to make the cheapest mushrooms taste like a 5 star dish. 


I’m crazy for this sesame seasoning I got in a swag bag from a conference last month.


They do not hold back on the ginger, which I love. You can either use a seasoning like this or make the recipe with just sesame seeds and salt for a milder flavor.

Sesame Mushroom And Kale

Prep time: 0 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(makes 2 servings):

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds



  1. Heat the oil in a pan that has a lid over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the mushrooms until they’ve browned on both sides.
  3. Add the kale and cover the pan. Let it stand still for about a minute while the kale steams.
  4. When all of the kale has turned a vibrant green color, remove the pan from the heat. Add the salt and sesame seeds and toss all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve hot.


I like to eat mine with seared tempeh, another favorite. Just toss the tempeh in the pan and cook it until it’s browned on both side. It’s delicious and one of the healthiest soy products for you. If you know anyone who refuses to eat healthy because they think healthy eating is bland, this is the dish that will change their mind.

Pizza Omelet

July 12th 043

Do you remember that joyous moment when Bagel Bites promised you pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time? And do you remember that heart-wrenching moment when you realized a diet of only Bagel Bites probably wasn’t that good for you?

I do.

Let’s fast forward ~10 years to my current egg phase, when I could(and usually do) eat eggs with every meal. They’re cheap, tasty, and oh so good for you. Like tofu, they’re pretty tasteless, too, and take on the flavors you add to them. Flavors like pizza. I mean, who can say no to melted cheese?

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Pizza Omelet


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese(I used Daiya)
  • Torn basil for garnish(optional)
  • Oil for greasing

Lightly grease a 10’ frying pan and heat it over a burner set to medium. Meanwhile, crack and whisk together the 3 eggs until completely beaten.

When the pan has heated, pour in the eggs and cover with a lid.

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Once the egg has completely cooked, pour on the sauce and spread across the surface. Sprinkle on the cheese in an even layer, return the lid, and turn off the heat leaving the pan on the burner for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Once ready, slide the omelet onto a plate and garnish with fresh basil.

July 12th 050

Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t had a “real” pizza in ages, or maybe this is just damn good; either way, I’m obsessed. Anything herby with melted cheese is a winner in my book. It’s also a good way to sneak protein into a picky-eater’s diet, but don’t tell them that.

The Only Omelet Recipe You’ll Ever Need

June 20th 034

I’m careful never to overuse superlatives, so believe me when I say this is the best omelet I’ve ever had. It’s filling and meaty with a salty-sweet kick. The maple syrup takes this to a new level that other omelets just can’t compete with. In fact, if chocolate and peanut butter didn’t exist, I’d probably eat this for dessert, too. You could add melted goat cheese or cuts of smoked bacon but honestly this omelet doesn’t need either of those; it has so much flavor on its own.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Maple Syrup Omelet


  • 1/2 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1/3 cup sliced and washed mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten together
  • Extra oil for greasing

June 20th 018

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add in the onions, mushrooms, maple syrup, and salt and sauté the vegetables until the onions have caramelized and mushrooms cook a golden brown. Move the vegetables to a plate and heat enough oil in the same pan for the omelet.

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Beat together the 3 eggs and pour them into the pan. Add the cooked vegetables on top of the omelet and cover the pan to let the eggs cook. When the omelet egg has mostly cooked, fold it over once and let it rest in the pan for a minute. Plate and serve hot.

June 20th 024

I’ll start heating up the pan; how many should I make?

Savory Italian-Style Socca Pancakes

May 9th 029

I’ve had an unopened bag of chickpea flour in my pantry for 4 months.

That’s 4 months too long.

After seeing socca on Anna and Serena’s blogs recently, it was about time that I try out socca pancakes. These were so flavorful, and so easy, too. It really was just like making any old pancakes. I might have burned myself trying to pick the fried batter off the bottom of the pan; it was worth it. When(not if) I make this again, I’d use a jarred marinara sauce, but since I didn’t have any I threw that together, too, and threw in the recipe. Top with a fried egg for something truly amazing. 

Savory Italian-Style Socca Pancakes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

For the pancakes,

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • olive oil for cooking

For the sauce*,

  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, mostly drained of water
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

*You could also just use 1/2 cup of your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.

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To make the pancakes, whisk together the flour, water, salt, and herb seasoning until there are no clumps in the batter.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add half of the batter to the pan to cook. Once the sides have darkened and the bottom has cooked, flip the pancake once to cook the top batter. Move to a plate and cook the other half of the batter.

May 9th 024

To make the sauce, mix together all of the ingredients.

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Assemble by spreading half of the sauce over the first pancake and layering it with the second. Scoop remaining sauce generously over the top and season to taste.

May 9th 028

Socca to me.

I’ve said that about 60 times by now. I still think it’s funny.