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!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Veggie Fried Quinoa

Last week we were spoiled with the most beautiful summer like weather .. this week is has been off and on raining and not a hint of sunshine. It's not so bad to be stuck inside but I'd sure like to get outside and go mountain biking a few more times before I leave for vacation. The gloomy, rainy weather forced me to stick to workouts at the gym, gave me a chance to organize some things, catch up on a few tv shows and of course gave me time to cook all kinds of yummy meals. 

Our CSA veggie box last week came with all kinds of style stir fry veggies like bok choy, snow peas and carrots, typically I will make Udon Noodles with Bok ChoyCilantro Peanuty Udon Noodles or Thai Vegetable Soup. This time I decided to switch it up and try something new. A while back I saw a recipe on another blog for fried quinoa and it looks awesome so I decided to try it on my own. This dish is similar to fried rice but a much healthier version that is packed full of protein.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 scallions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh ground ginger
2 bok choy, cut into 1 inch squares
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup julienned carrots
2 cups of snow peas, stems removed

2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs siracha 
1/2 tbs olive oil

2 eggs, beaten 
2 tsp olive oil

1 cup quinoa
2 cups of vegetable stock
Pour 1 tsp of olive oil in a small pot and turn to medium heat. Add in the quinoa with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or two. Then pour in the stock, bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Once the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Heat 1/2 tbs olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, add in the chopped onions and cook for 10 minutes. Next add in the scallions, garlic and ginger and cook for 3-5 minutes. Place the rest of the veggies into the skillet and mix well. 
In a small bowl mix the siracha and soy sauce together until lumps are gone then add it to the veggies and stir well, cook for 10 minutes. Remove the veggies and place in your serving dish. 

Wipe out the skillet then add in 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot add in the eggs, cook constantly stirring until eggs start to scramble then add in the rest of the olive oil along with the quinoa and continue to fluff and cook for a few minutes. 
Once the egg is cooked and mixed well in the quinoa add the veggies back into the skillet and toss. Serve warm and enjoy! 

** Try not to over cook the qunioa or it will get a little mushy by then end of the process. 

Thai Vegetable Soup with Udon Noodles

This yummy soup is very similar to my Lemon Grass Coconut Soup recipe but with out the lemon grass plus a few more veggies. It is a pretty simple and delicious dish to just throw together. You can even toss it all in the crockpot and let it cook on low while you are at work, just add in the cooked noodles when you get home and serve. 

Makes 4-6 servings

1/2 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup snow peas
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup bell peppers, sliced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 
1/8 cup basil, chopped

2 cans of coconut milk (or 1 cup broth + 1 can coconut milk)
2 tbs red curry paste

1 lime, juiced
2 tbs soy sauce

In a large pot, bring the oil to a medium heat and saute the garlic, celery and ginger for 3 minutes. Add in the snow peas, broccoli, mushrooms and bell peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. 

In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with the curry paste until smooth then add in the rest of the coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, cilantro and basil. Stir well and pour into the veggies. Cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes. Cook the udon noodles while the soup is cooking, drain and add to the soup. Serve warm. Enjoy!

**I like to top my soup with a little siracha for some extra heat.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cilantro Peanut Udon Noodles

1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 spring onion or green garlic, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup broccoli florets
2 bok choy, cut into 1 inch squares (approx. 4 cups)
1 cup shelled edamame, defrosted
1 package of udon noodles 
1/4 cup chopped cashews

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes on low. Increase heat to medium and add in the ginger, broccoli florets and bok choy and edamame. Cook for 5 minutes or until the bok choy wilts, stirring frequently.

Cook the noodles according to the package and while the noodles are cooking prepare the sauce. 

For the Sauce 
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup peanut natural peanut butter
1 tbs red curry paste or sczechuan chili paste 
1/4 cup cilantro

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixed well. 

Pour the sauce into the wok and mix well. Serve the peanut veggie mixture on a bed of udon noodles, top with chopped cashews and serve. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring Asparagus & Pea Pizza

I have a lot of time on my hands right now so I've been cooking up a storm and my favorite thing to make when I have free time is to yeast bread. There is just something about kneading the dough that I find fun and rewarding. We had plans to go to a friends house for wine so I decided to whip up some pizza dough throw together a couple little pizzas. I looked through the fridge for so I could find some yummy ingredients for pizza toppings and came across some asparagus and ricotta. I remembered seeing a picture of a pea and shaved asparagus crostini with ricotta that looked quite yummy so I decided to add in some other fixins and make a pizza out of it. This recipe make the perfect spring pizza, you can use fresh or frozen peas for this pizza and if you have extra topping fixins left over just eat them as a side dish another time. 

Makes 3 small pizzas

6 large asparagus
2 cups of peas (defrosted if frozen)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 pinch of salt
1 tbs olive oil (plus more for the dough)
asiago or romano cheese
pizza dough

Use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips out of the asparagus  starting from the bottom and slicing up to the top. Do this to all of the asparagus and place in a large bowl along with the peas, onion and salt. Place a skillet on the stove and turn to medium heat. Toss the vegetables in 1 tbs of olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 425. Prepare your pizza dough and place it on a baking sheet or stone so it is ready for the toppings. Brush a thin layer of olive oil around the edges of the pizza then evenly sprinkle the asiago or romano cheese on the dough. Place the asparagus and pea mixture on the pizza, laying the asparagus out flat so it looks nice and neat. Top with a few dollops of ricotta cheese (as little or as much as you'd like).

Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of cooking spread another thin layer of olive oil on the edges of the dough and finish baking. Remove from the oven, slice and serve. 
Vegan Option
Spread 2-3 tbs of arugula pesto onto the pizza dough. Top with the pea and asparagus mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

*The asaparagus makes this a little tricky to cut so make sure your pizza cutter is sharp or use a rocking pizza knife. 

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Making pizza at home is cheap and much easier than you think. All you need is a few minutes to mix the dough and an hour to let the dough rise. You can prep your fixins while the dough is rising, read a book, do laundry or a squeeze in a quick workout.  

Makes 2-3 pizzas
2 1/2 Cups White Flour
1 Cup Wheat Flour
1 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 Cup Warm Water
3/4 Cup Warm Water
2 1/4 Tsp. Active Yeast
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 1/2 Tsp. Salt

Place flour and salt in a large bowl making a well in the middle. In a separate bowl add the yeast and sugar then pour in 1/4 cup of the warm water, set aside for 5 or more minutes until the yeast bubbles. Once the yeast is bubbled pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into the well in the flour.  

Use a fork or a dough hook on you mixer and mix adding 3/4 cup of water a little at a time, until a ball is starting to form. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball and turn out onto a floured surface. Continue to kneed the ball for 5-7 minutes or until a elastic ball forms. The more you kneed the dough the better, I typically knead my dough for 7 or more minutes.

Place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Set the bowl in a very warm spot and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 425. Once the dough is ready kneed it once more to get the air bubbles out. Split the dough into however many pizzas you plan to make and either toss the pizza dough int the air to spread the dough or use a rolling pin to flatten it out.

Place the dough onto the stone or baking sheet, spread a little olive oil on the dough then place toppings on the dough and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

** If you are using a pizza stone make sure to preheat the stone in the oven. 
** If you are making a topping heavy pizza make sure not to spread your dough too thin and then bake for 5 minutes before topping. 


 If you are looking for a healthy, quick and easy side dish tabouleh is a great choice! Tabouleh is  traditional middle Eastern salad. There are many variations of this salad some recipes call for mint and parsley and some call for onions and garlic along with fixins like tomatoes and cucumbers. The tabouleh I make is pretty simple but quite tasty! Next time you need a healthy side dish, give this one a try. 

Makes 4 servings

1 cup bulgar wheat 
1 3/4 cup of boiling water
juice from 1 small lemon
1 tbs olive oil
2 tomatoes
2 cups parsley

Place the bulgar wheat in a mixing bowl along with the lemon juice. Bring the water to a boil and pour into the mixing bowl with bulgar wheat. Stir then let it sit for 30 minutes. While the bulgar is cooking prep the veggies

Remove the seeds from the tomato and dice into small pieces. Rinse the parsley, remove the stems and mince until very finely minced.

After 30 minutes pour the bulgar mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess water. Place the bulgar back into the bowl and add in the parsley, tomato,, olive  oil, S &P and mix well . Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Serve cold and enjoy! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Arugula Pesto Eggplant Sandwich

It sure is nice being home for lunch it give me a chance to prepare a yummy lunch every day. Last night I made my first loaf of ciabatta bread (recipe soon to come) just so I could make some delicious sandwiches for lunch this week. It was a two day process to make the bread but so worth it! 

The first ingredient I thought of for a good sandwich was eggplant. Eggplant makes a great addition to a vegetarian sandwich because it is so meaty. Since I have a lot of leftover arugula pesto in the fridge I decided to combine the two. You can use any type of pesto for this sandwich and add just about any fixins but I decided to keep it simple and use what I had in the fridge. This sandwich is yummy and good for your so give it a try and enjoy! 

2 tbs arugula pesto
1 large eggplant 

Cut of the top and bottom of the eggplant and slice into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. Turn the oven to high broil. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil and place the rounds on the pan then spray them or brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle and place the pan in the oven, broil for 5 minutes, flip and broil for another 3-5 minutes or until they start to brown. If you cut your rounds thick you may want to broil longer so the eggplant is not chewy. 

Remove the eggplant from the oven place the rounds in a bowl and toss in the arugula pesto. 
Asiago Cheese or Three Cheese Blend 
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Ciabatta Bread

Place a sprinkle of cheese on each side of the ciabatta and place in a toaster oven or broil in the oven until the cheese starts to brown. Put the eggplant and sun dried tomatoes on one slice of the bread then top with the other. Serve warm and enjoy!!

Ciabatta Bread

Sponge Ingredients
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (105°‐115° F.)
  • 1/3 cup room-temperature water
  • 1 cup bread flour*

Sponge Recipe- Make 1 day prior

In a small bowl stir together yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In a bowl stir together yeast mixture, room-temperature water, and flour and stir 4 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge stand at cool room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Bread Ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk (105°‐115° F.)
  • 2/3 cup room-temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

In a small bowl stir together yeast and milk and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy. In bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with dough hook blend together milk mixture, sponge, water, oil, salt and flour at for 4 minutes or until a sticky ball forms. Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and knead for another 4 minutes. Place the ball into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare a large baking sheet by spraying a little olive oil on it and top with 2 tbs of cornmeal. Shape the ciabatta into a large oval and place on the baking sheet. Dust the loaf with flour, cover the loaf with a kitchen towel and let it rise at room temperature until almost doubled, 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy.