Posts Tagged ‘pepper’

by Sarah Steimer


I tend to go a little carbohydrate crazy, and every once in a while I need a meal that will fill me up, but without any breads or pastas or what have you. I almost always turn to quinoa in these instances, which is high in protein and is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus.


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by Sarah Steimer

We normally just wing it with our homemade pizza toppings, but I was in the mood to switch it up a little and try something a bit more gourmet.

We normally just wing it with our homemade pizza toppings, but I was in the mood to switch it up a little and try something a bit more gourmet.


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by Sarah Steimer

I’ve never been a huge Bloody Mary fan, but this may have turned me. You can, of course, leave out various ingredients such as the kale or the bacon.

  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1 small kale leaf, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes hot sauce, to your liking
  • 1-2 shots vodka (or you can cheat like me and use whiskey – I just can’t get into vodka)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon, optional
  • 1 strip bacon, for garnish
  • cherry tomato, for garnish
  • 1 small kale leaf, for garnish

Add the tomato juice, kale, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and liquor to a food processor. Pulse until the kale is blended into the drink to your preference (you can always strain some out if you choose). Add the ice cubes, crushing a bit before hand if your blender is a little weak like mine.

Season with the salt, pepper and lemon, adjust to your taste (maybe even adding more liquor or hot sauce if you really need it).

For the bacon garnish:

You could crumble the bacon and add it straight into the drink itself, but I really loved the look of this garnish.

Take one piece of raw bacon and arrange in a squiggle or another cool shape it on a wooden skewer — NOT a metal or plastic skewer. Place the skewered bacon between four paper towels, two on the bottom and two on top. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.

* Power Trio is our July guide that features BLT recipe ideas — including bacon, leafy greens and tomatoes, minus the two slices of bread. See all of our Power Trio BLT recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Plan ahead... I made enough pulled pork for this meal and barbecue pulled pork sandwiches.

  •  about two cups (or less) pulled pork or meat of your choice, cooked
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • shredded cabbage
  • wheat tortillas
  • avocado and plain yogurt (instead of sour cream), optional

Saute the onion and peppers until tender. Add the cooked meat, salsa and cumin. When the food begins to stick to the pan, add the water.

Serve warm on the tortillas with the cabbage and other toppings. Makes about two servings.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

Is it weird eating asparagus with a spoon? Maybe. But forks don't work so well with this dish.

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • bowl of ice water

OK, let's be honest, this dish is almost too simple to have a recipe. But I just love this slicing technique. I'd never tried asparagus in little bite-sized beads before! So cute!

Chop the asparagus into small beads (no longer than a centimeter in length). Put the asparagus and a splash of water in a pot on the stove top. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until asparagus turns bright green. Turn off the heat and transfer the asparagus to the bowl of ice with a slotted spoon. Allow to sit in the ice water for a couple of minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice, and stir well. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with extra lemon zest.

Makes 4 big side-dish servings.

Recipe adapted from: Keep it Simple Foods

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Caitlin Saniga

Any time I'm not cooking eggs on the stove, it makes me nervous. And on top of that, I hadn't read the recipe all the way through before I started cooking (bad, bad, I know). So! Anyone who hasn't made carbonara before should read the recipe *first*, and then start cooking to avoid the short-lived panic I put myself through. That said, this recipe was simply delicious.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces zucchini, cut into pieces the same size as penne
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (or a mixture of Parmesan and Romano cheeses)
  • 8 ounces penne

This dish has no salt, but you hardly miss it. The pepper is the star this time.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the bacon until it browns and crisps, then transfer the strips to a paper towel with a slotted spoon.

Add the pepper and zucchini to the pan and cook until zucchini chunks are nicely browned, 2-3 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, yolk and cheese. Crumble the bacon over and stir.

Add penne, scrape the contents from the zucchini pan into the bowl (oil and zucchini), and toss, adding splashes of pasta water to create a creamy sauce.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

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by Sarah Steimer

If I have a choice, I choose loose tea. Allowing your tea to be free releases more of its benefits.

For the bread:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup prepared chai tea*
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, tea, milk and vanilla on low speed until well combined.  Slowly add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into one prepared loaf pan or three prepared mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack before glazing.

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • – 5 teaspoons prepared chai tea

Combine sugar and vanilla. Stir in the tea until you reach a desired consistency (I went with thick but runny). Pour over loaf.

Makes one regular loaf or three mini loaves.

Recipe adapted from: The Jey of Cooking

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*I used chai tea from Tupelo Honey Teas, based in Pittsburgh. Danielle hand-blends wonderful teas, many of which are organic. I highly recommend stopping to see her at the Pittsburgh Public Market. Otherwise, you can order her tea online — I have now that I’ve moved! Gotta stay loyal.

Chai tea facts

-Good for: Digestion and nausea. Black pepper in chai stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid required for breaking down food, fennel inhibits bacteria that cause gas and cloves refresh the mouth and throat. Black tea (the base for chai) and cinnamon contain antioxidants and ginger is a nausea remedy that soothes the stomach, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

-Origins: Chai is actually the Hindi word for tea and is more accurately called “masala chai” or spiced tea. There are numerous types of chai tea and no set recipe, although it is most commonly steeped in boiling water with steamed milk added. Chai is a very commonly found beverage in India and is traditionally served after meals.

-Taste: It varies, but chai usually has a black tea base with spices that include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn and cloves. Because of the spices, the smell and taste of the tea has an autumn or winter comparison-flavor comparison.

Sources: Livestrong and Tea Genius

**Throughout May, “Strange Brew” will feature tea-based recipes — all of which can be found here.

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