Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

February 18, 2011

Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry

Yesterday we had a surprise visit from our favorite neighbor and ultimate LYK fan, Russell. He waltzed into the Little Yellow Kitchen with a gigantic smile exclaiming that he held in his hand what was soon to be our new favorite evening activity, Julia. No, not the recent film Julie and Julia, but the real Julia — The French Chef with Julia Child: Disc 1. Never have I ever been a fan of black and white films, but Julia my friends, can entertain with the best of them.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Julia Child

We immediately began watching Julia create her classic Bouillabaisse Marseillaise with the head of a giant cod sitting front and center on the screen the entire time. This woman has no fear. She chops hacks fish in half like it’s an everyday activity – maybe it was? She is so much more real than what we see today on cooking shows. She cooks on a electric stove with switches for goodness sake! Needless to say, if you get the chance watch some of her infamous episodes, do it, and take copious notes.


Onto the stir fry…

We cheated a little on this recipe because of time constraints but it gives me the chance to tell you about more great products from Trader Joe’s – I promise they don’t pay us to use their name so much, we just basically live there grocery shopping and love it.


If you want a quick and delicious stir fry then this is the way to do it. Use Trader Joe’s Ginger Soy Marinade and their bag of fresh stir fry vegetables. If you can’t get to a Trader Joes, then use the vegetables listed in the ingredients of our recipe below.


Stir Fry

(4 servings)


1 chicken breast

8-10 shrimp

1 bag of Trader Joe’s stir fry vegetables (snow peas, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli)

1/2 cup ginger soy marinade

1 zucchini, thick slices

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Marinate the chicken and shrimp in the ginger soy marinade for 30 minutes. Pour oil into a fry pan with fresh ginger and add the vegetables, sauté about 15 minutes or until cooked down. Add the chicken and shrimp with the marinade and cook through.

Remove from heat and mix in the soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.

Serve with brown rice.

Buon Appetit!


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


January 11, 2011

Chipotle Black Bean and Yam Soup

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Cracker.

It’s a great time to indulge in some soup for the soul! Thanks for putting this event on!

It all started when Lauren and I were at Henry’s market, picking up some groceries for the meals we had decided on for the week. Everything was going as planned, and we found exactly what we needed, but we were in for a real treat that day. Yams, Garnet Yams, were on sale, and boy were they ginormous! Lauren and I look at them, wide-eyed, and start laughing. Although we didn’t have a recipe for Yam the Gigantor yet, we couldn’t pass up purchasing such an odd looking growth. Now that I think about it, I really should have taken a separate photo of Yam the Gigantor, whoopsies.

An extra squeeze of lime is an excellent option

Since we were in a soupy kind of mood and we found a copious amount of black bean and sweet potato recipes, we ran in that direction. Here was the dilemma: we had a yam not a sweet potato. Naturally, I got curious and set off on an expedition to clear up the confusion, which meant that I went straight to the source: Wikipedia (don’t judge). After learning about the difference between the two similar-looking vegetables, I decided that Yam the Gigantor would be an even better addition to the black bean and chipotle chili soup. A little curiosity pays off…sometimes. Here’s the scoop:


Yam the Gigantor is on the
right, but please note that the biggest part of his bod
wouldn’t fit in the frame.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, minced & seeded (unless
    you want your mouth to burst into flames)
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped (plus 1 Tbsp of the adobo sauce)
  • 1 Yam the Gigantor, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 4 cups (3 cans) canned black beans
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1-2 limes (we always love to use extra)
  • Salt & peppeh to taste
  • 4-5 scallions, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped


You can either throw all ingredients into the CrockPot for a few hours on High, or you can cook in a pot on the stove. We did a little of each to get the best of both worlds. In medium skillet, heat some olive oil, add onion and cook for a few minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, jalapeños, and chipotles with adobo and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Throw onion/chili mixture into the Crockpot and turn on high. Add yams, black beans, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and stir together. Then, cover with vegetable broth and nestle the bay leaves into the middle. Let cook  on high for around 2 hours, or until yams are tender, stirring occasionally to make sure they are cooking evenly.

Whip out your immersion blender (if you don’t have one, well, get one! We just did and it is a kitchen essential!) and blend until desired texture is achieved. We left it a little bit on the chunky side.

Add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in scallions and cilantro. Dish up into bowls and serve with the option of more hot sauce! (Since we had company over for dinner there weren’t as many leftovers as we had hoped, so I guess this means we will be making this dish again soon!
Little Yellow Note: We stirred in some yogurt to the small amount of leftovers and whad’ya know, it doubled as bean dip!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen


January 4, 2011

Fennel Frittata

Growing up, I always thought that a Frittata was a scrumptious breakfast food. Eggs, assorted veggies, and sometimes some bacon or ham–you have to admit, together they scream “Eat me for breakfast!”


It wasn’t until I spent a semester living in Tuscany with a darling older Italian couple, that my Frittata worldview changed drastically. Many nights, I would trek up the 6 flights of stairs and at about the 5th floor (yes, at this point I was getting terribly winded…I blame it on the pasta) heavenly baked goodness would start filling the air. Yep, you guessed it, it was fritatta night.


Fennel: Don't forget to cut the core out of the bottom (its the tough part)

Flora, my homestay mom, absolutely adored fennel, which is called finocchio in Italian. For the first month or so, there would always be this white-ish onion-looking thing on my plate and all I knew it as was finocchio. It was the bomb. It wasn’t until my Italian class established a mastery of introductions and present tense verbs that I started learning fruits and vegetables, and  I could finally translate finocchio into fennel.

Now back to Frittatas…Flora would make hers with all fennel, but sometimes she would use either zucchini or potatoes, and top generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese mmmm…excuse me while I go buy a plane ticket to Italy really quick). The moral of the story is that frittatas are so simple and tasty they are good for any meal of the day, not just breakfast.

This is what you will need: eggs, vegetables, meat (optional)

This is what we used (get creative!): fennel, onion, crimini mushrooms, bell pepper, spinach, yellow chedder & white chedder cheeses, bacon, eggs, milk, salt and pepper.


(Serves ~4)

There's lots of flavors layered in there

  • Thinly slice a small potato, chop half a fennel bulb (cored), dice half an onion, dice half a green bell pepper, slice 6-8 crimini mushrooms. Set aside.
  • In a medium cast iron skillet, cook 3 strips of bacon until desired crispiness (its easier to crumble if it’s crispy). Drain most of the bacon fat. Add in the potatoes and fennel to sauté for a few minutes, stirring to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Add in the rest of the vegetables to sauté for a few more minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine 8 eggs with 1/3 cup milk, 1/2 cup shredded cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the sautéed vegetables in the skillet so that they are evenly distributed. Add a handful of fresh spinach and pour the egg mixture on top. Cook on the stovetop for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

    Batter up!

  • Transfer the skillet to the top rack of a 400 degree oven and cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until the egg mixture looks cooked.
  • Add another handful of shredded cheese to the top of the frittata, turn the oven on Broil, and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!





Get crafty and top with avocado (you won't regret it)












From the Little Yellow Kitchen