Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Red Curry Butternut Squash

Squash is such a good hearty vegetable that is good for so many different kinds dishes. I have had a butternut squash on the counter for a few days and could not decide what I wanted to do with it. So I did what I usually do when I don't know what I want to make. I search through the cabinets and the fridge and make a list of all of the fixins I have to get creative with then I sit down with my list and brainstorm. One of the things I found in the cabinet was an unopened jar of red curry paste (one of my favorite condiments) so I decided to make red curry butternut squash. The past few curry recipes I've made were pureed vegetable curry dishes so this one is a new one for me. I invited a few girlfriends come over  for some wine and to help me eat this dish and it was a hit! 

1 tbs coconut oil 
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger, crushed
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbs red curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 bell pepper, chopped into large squares
1 tsp curry powder

2 cups cooked rice

Heat 1 tbs of coconut oil in a large deep pan to medium heat. Add in the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant. Next add in the curry paste and a squeeze of lime juice stir well. 

Pour the coconut milk and vegetable broth into the pan, whisk until clumps are gone then add in the squash, bell pepper and curry powder. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium/low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until soft. 

Place 1/2 cup of rice on a plate and top with curry the curry squash. 

I served the squash with Sauteed Leeks, Greens

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Udon Noodles with Bok Choy & Shrooms

This recipe is usually my go to when I need something quick for dinner. Luckily I had a few bok choy and leeks in the fridge and edamame in the freezer so it was the perfect dinner for my busy schedule this week. I suggest that you add tofu, sauteed shrimp or chopped chicken to this dish for some extra protein but if you don't have any of those ingredients this dish is still good as it. 

Makes 4 Servings  
1 tbs sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup leeks, chopped
2 tsp chopped ginger
2 small heads of bok choy
8 oz of baby bella mushrooms
1 cup shelled edamame, defrosted

3 tbs rice wine vinegar
3 tbs soy sauce
6 oz of udon noodles

Optional garnish- green onions and sesame seeds

In a large wok heat the sesame oil to a medium/low heat. Saute the ginger, garlic cloves & leeks for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Rinse and slice the baby bell mushrooms and set aside. Cut the base off of the bok choy, rinse and cut into squares.

Place the mushrooms, bok choy, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce into the wok. Cook on medium/high until the bok choy wilts then add in the edamame and optional meat. Cover and cook on low until your noodles are ready. While the veggies are cooking boil the noodles according to the package. Drain the noodles and place each serving in a bowl. Top with the veggies making sure to scoop up some liquid to go with it. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Celery Root Soup with Truffle Oil

Have you ever seen one of these vegetables? 
Neither had I until last week but this is celeriac or most known as celery root. It totally reminded me of the mandrake plant from Harry Potter and if you don't know what i'm talking about please look it up, it will give you a good laugh. The celeriac has a very strong smell when peeling it and cooking it but it makes a great soup. If you see one of these crazy looking root vegetables around pick it up and give this recipe a try. Enjoy! 
Makes 4 Bowls

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup leeks, chopped
2 tbs butter
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt

3 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup almond milk or heavy cream
6 shitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)
truffle oil
parsley or chopped green onions

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the celery root. Boil until very tender then drain.
2. In a separate pot, melt the butter on medium heat and add in the garlic and leeks. Cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat, stirring just a few times.
3. Add in the salt, vegetable broth and celery root, cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Once the celery root is very tender either place the soup into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree. 
4. Once the soup is smooth, add in the milk and taste. Season with more salt and garlic powder if you would like, it all depends on how you like it. 
5. Place the soup into a bowl, then the sliced shitakes on top and drizzle a little truffle oil. Garnish with parsley or green onions and serve. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pumpernickel Walnut Bread

This is my first yeast bread recipe post and it is about time. I absolutely love baking yeast bread and really enjoy the whole process. This was my first go with pumpernickel bread and it was pretty darn awesome! I don't know about you but I have always loved Outback Steakhouse's pumpernickel bread with honey butter. I haven't been to an Outback in years but I think about that bread quite often. This bread is pretty dense and super filling which makes for a great breakfast bread. You can serve it with peanut butter or good ol' honey butter.

Makes 2 Small Loaves

1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup bread flour (plus more for kneading)
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs cocoa powder
Mix the above ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.

2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup warm water 
Place yeast and sugar into the warm water and let it sit until it bubbles.

1/2 cup dark molasses
1 cup hot water
Mix the molasses into the hot water and mix well.
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats

Once the yeast has bubbled add the yeast and molasses mixture into the flour. Use a mixer with dough hooks to mix the ingredients until a ball starts to form. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface or silpat and knead for 5-7 minutes until you have a ball of dough that isn't sticky. Place the ball of dough in a large bowl and toss it with 1/2 tbs olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a dish towel and set in a warm place.

Your rising times depend on warmth and altitude. The first and final rise should be 35-50 minutes or until doubled in size. When the dough has doubled in size remove the dough, knead in the walnuts, place on your baking sheet or bread pan, cover with plastic and let the dough rise again until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 425 while your dough is rising.

Reduce the oven to 400 and bake the bread for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat again to 350 and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

It is not often that my b/f requests that I cook something specific but this week he reminded me that I haven't made anything with quinoa in quite some time. The firs thing that I thought about was stuffed bell peppers. I tried to keep the ingredients similar to the stuffed bells I grew up on but meatless. Quinoa and mushrooms mixed with tomato paste has a very similar texture to ground beef which makes the perfect bell pepper stuffing. I really enjoyed cutting into the crunchy bell pepper, what a tasty dinner! 
Served with Spinach Feta Scone/Bread
Makes 4 Servings

1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water 
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano + 1 tsp oregano
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
2 tbs olive oil
4 bell peppers, tops cut and seeds removed
4 slices of fresh mozzarella

1. Place the vegetable broth and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in the quinoa with a dash of olive and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. 
3. Preheat the oven to 425 and while the quinoa is cooking prep the bell peppers and chop the vegetables. 
4. Bring the olive oil to medium heat in a saute pan and saute the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms, 1 tsp or oregano, red pepper and tomato paste and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.
6. Once the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork and add the the onion and garlic mixture, cover and cook for just a few minutes. 
7 Fill each bell pepper with the quinoa mixture, top with cheese and place in a small baking dish, bake for 30 minutes.


Spinach Feta Scone/Bread

This weekend the b/f and I took a trip to ski at Alpine Meadows. On the way up we made the a stop at the Tahoe House in Tahoe City to get some coffee and a little breakfast to go. It is a must have if you are in the Tahoe City area. They serve scones, bagels and so many other pastries and goodies. I usually go for a good ol' bagel but this time I decided to go for the spinach feta scone and it was yummy! After having one slice I knew I had to try and make it myself. 
This was my first time making a scone and I totally started off on the wrong foot because I was out of butter and had already made one too many trips to the grocery store. So instead of butter I used a little olive oil and some Greek yogurt and it turned out to be a great decision and a healthy alternative. The end result was not as dry as a scone but not quite a bread so I will call it scone/bread. This recipe makes for a great side for dinner or a yummy breakfast. Enjoy! 


2 cups white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg 
1/2 cup Greek yogurt 
3/4 cup milk
 cup sauteed spinach
/2 cup feta 

1. Preheat the oven to 450. 
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, soda, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. 
3 .Whisk the egg in a small bowl then add in the yogurt and milk and mix well.
4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients together until evenly combined. 
5. Mix in the spinach and feta into the dough and knead into a ball.
6. Form the ball of dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle and cut into triangles. 
7. Place the triangles on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. 
8. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato & Asiago Turkey Burgers

I really enjoy bringing a delicious meal to work for lunch. It really helps the day go by when I know I get to eat something enjoyable instead of a microwaved meal or lunch from the restaurants at the resort. I try to make sure my lunch it filling and healthy so I'm not hungry by the time I get home.
This is probably one of the best turkey burgers that I have made and it made a wonderful leftovers. This recipe is simple and delicious but keep in mind that the fixins are just as important as the ingredients in the burgers. Give it a try and enjoy!   

Makes 4-6 Patties

10 oz ground turkey
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 egg white
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs asiago

Preheat the oven to 425.Place the onion and garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Put the rest of the ingredients along with the onion and garlic mixture into a mixing bowl and mix well. Once the mixture is evenly combined create 4-6 burger patties and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure the burgers are cooked thoroughly  the baking time will depend on the thickness of your patties. 

Dress your turkey burgers with any fixins of your choice and enjoy!

My favorite fixins for this burger are:
Asiago or mozzarella cheese
Arugula Pesto
Roasted red bell peppers

Homemade wheat bread

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Radish & Orange Salad

Anyone can throw a salad together but for those who just need some inspiration here you go. I had some yummy Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar in the fridge and thought it would go great with all of the radishes I had from my CSA box. For all of you folks who have a crazy amount of radishes and don't know what to do with them just toss them in a salad and enjoy! 

Makes 4 Small Salads

1 daikon radish, peeled & sliced thin
1 large watermelon radish, peeled & sliced thin
1-2 navel oranges, peeled & cut into cubes
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
3 carrots, sliced

2 cup arugula
2 cups mixed greens
10 mint leaves (optional)

1/4 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar*

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

Mix the dressing and set aside. Add all of the other ingredients into a salad bowl and toss with the dressing a little at a time until you have as much or as little dressing as you like. 

*If you don't have the dressing above just juice an orange and add it into the red wine vinegar and oil. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Truffle Mac & Cheese

I had a seriously craving for truffle macaroni and cheese today! A friend of mine made this for dinner last year and it has been on my mind since then. I finally broke down and purchased some truffle oil so I could try making my version of truffle macaroni and cheese. I tried to make this dish on the healthy side so I used less butter than most normal folks and subbed and wheat flour in place of white flour. Holy moly this was freaking delicious!! 

Makes 4 Servings

1/4 cup butter
3 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 cup almond milk
2 tbs truffle oil
3 cups of pasta
1 cup grated white cheddar
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the pasta according to the instructions then drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking place the bay leaf, butter and garlic into a sauce pan and heat on low for 5 minutes. 

Combine the flour and milk and whisk until all clumps are out. Pour the milk mixture into the garlic butter, bring to a light boil for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently then remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf from the milk mixture and add in the truffle oil and cheese and mix well. Pour the cheesy mixture onto the pasta until spread evenly. 

Top the mac and cheese with bread crumbs and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes turn the oven to high broil for 4 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quick & Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup

This soup recipe was created with a few random vegetables that I had left over from last weeks CSA vegetable share. This is the kind of soup you could add just about any vegetable into and it would be delicious. I would have loved to add in some chard, celery and turnips but even with just a few ingredients I had in the fridge this recipe turned out to be quite scrumptious.
The star ingredient in this soup was the Herbs de Provence. This was the first time I cooked with this seasoning and it was such a great choice! Herbs de Provence gave this soup so much flavor it tasted as if it took hours to cook.  

Makes 4 Servings

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 cup lentils
1 large leek, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, cut in half
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 tbs Herbs de Provence 
olive oil

1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil to medium heat in a large pot, add in the leek and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add in 1 more tbs of olive oil, lentils, potatoes, carrots,
Herbs de Provence and a pinch of salt, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

3. Pour the broth, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. 
Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. 

4. Serve warm with a delicious slice of french bread. 

Maple Curry Squash

Have you ever had a buttercup squash? We received one of this yummy squash in our CSA this past week and it was a first for me.

 It is a delicious winter squash that looks more like an acorn than acorn squash does. Buttercup squash has a sweet and creamy taste and can be used in place of any recipe requiring squash. 

This recipe is very easy and make the perfect side dish, snack or appetizer.

1 squash
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1 tsp curry powder

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the buttercup squash in half, removed the seeds and cut into thin slices. Once the slices are but use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Place the slices into a mixing bowl, add in the curry, syrup and olive oil and toss until everything is coated evenly. Spread out the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and serve warm.