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From the category archives:

Side Dishes

Southwestern Egg Rolls

by Emma on March 7, 2012

in Side Dishes,Snacks,Vegan

Confession: My sister and I love California Pizza Kitchen. Judge if you must, but I’m just saying… when we go on a  little weekend trip to shop in a bigger city we usually eat at a California Pizza Kitchen. If at all possible. It’s just… a thing.

One thing I love is their southwestern egg rolls. I love how they have avocado in them-yum! The only thing I would change is I wish they were vegetarian-so, of course, I decided to try to make my own.

I don’t want to toot my own horn too much-because that’s not very becoming. But. I have to say… I really did it this time. These were so good. So good. They could easily be a fun meal, not just an appetizer. I ate, like, four. So I’m pretty sure that’s a meal.

Ok, it was four and half.

I will definitely be making these again-next time I might try to make some kind of spicy ranch sauce to go with them. So if you have any good sauce recipe suggestions for these send them my way. Please.

Southwestern Egg Rolls, makes around a dozen.

Needed: egg roll wrappers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 yellow onion, 1 can black beans, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, salt+pepper to taste, 1-2 ripe avocados and oil for frying (I used vegetable oil).

In a small pot sauté the finely chopped onion in oil until it begins to soften. Add in the drained beans, spices, salt and pepper and cook until hot. Taste and see if you want to add more spices or salt. Turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Fill your egg roll wrappers with the bean filling plus 2 small slices of avocado. I wrapped mine in the traditional egg roll style, using the directions on the package. You do as you will. :) As you are wrapping these heat 2 inches of oil in a large pot or dutch oven until it’s around 350 F. I used a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of my oil, but you don’t have to. Just adjust your oil as you cook so you don’t burn them. Fry a few at a time for 2 minutes, flip and continue to cook for another minute or two. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot.

xo. Emma


Curried Pumpkin Hummus

by Emma on February 9, 2012

in Side Dishes,Snacks

I am a hummus enthusiast. Love it. And although my favorite will probably always be store-bought Trader Joe’s variety (yep, I just admitted that) I tend to make it at home. As evidence, here and here. I’d like to say this is because I’m such a gourmet, foodie type that I can’t be bothered with store-bought. But…

… it’s mainly because we don’t have a Trader Joe’s in my town. The closest one is over 3 hours away…

… so…


I like to try new flavor combinations, especially with the seasons. So I added come toasted curry and pumpkin to this hummus and it was just fab. Totally fab.

That’s short for fabulous. Just in case you weren’t sure.

Curried Pumpkin Hummus, makes 2-3 cups.

Needed: 1 can (drained and rinsed) chickpeas, 1/2 can (about 1 cup) pumpkin, 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, juice from 1/2 lemon and 1/2 to 3/4 a tablespoon toasted curry powder.

First toast your curry powder. You can do this in a dry pan over medium heat, just cook it until its very fragrant. Toasting curry powder really does make a huge difference in flavor, but you can skip this step if you are total slacker.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get hummus. Boom. Serve with toasted bread or veggies. You can save left over hummus in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Just saying.

xo. Emma


Fried Ravioli

by Emma on January 31, 2012

in Dinner,Side Dishes,Snacks


It’s a virtue. Sure, sure. I get it. But can I just be honest for a sec? Patience is SUCH a drag. It is WAY more fun to get what you want right when you want it.

Waiting around for something you want is not the most fun thing ever. In fact I’d put it pretty low on the list of things I’m hoping will happen this week. Real low.

But, it’s probably good to recognize that if you’re at a place in your life that requires some patience… all that really means is that something you want is probably headed your way. You just have to wait a little bit. And really, if something really great is on its way to you and you’re totally complaining and mopping around because you have to wait for it. Well, that doesn’t really look good for you, now does it.

Not that I’m guilty of this. Ever. Oh, no, not me.

I’m not just talking about fried ravioli here. You probably guessed that. You’re smart, I can’t fool you. But it does sort of relate, in that this is more a lesson in patience than a recipe. Fried ravioli is a process. If you get impatient half-way through you will not make fried ravioli, you’ll just have regular ravioli. Which is no great tragedy… but, fried is pretty fun. Just saying.

Fried Ravioli, make as much as you like.

For the ravioli you need: wonton wrappers, ricotta cheese and herb cheddar. You can fill these with anything you like, this is just what I used. You do your thing.

Mix up the filling and spoon a tablespoon or so in a wonton wrapper. Dab a little water on the edge and fold it up, making sure to not have big air pockets inside your ravioli. Set them aside as you fill them, so not stack them as they will stick.

Once you have filled them all boil them in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on a cooling rack. Do not lay them on paper towels at this stage, because they will stick. (These guys have a real sticking tendency!)

Next we need to bread them to do this you need: flour, egg, and bread crumbs (I used Panko).

Dip a cooked ravioli in some flour. Then into the egg (whisk your egg first). Then into the bread crumbs, trying to fully coat the ravioli. Once they are breaded, fry them in hot oil (I used canola) for 3-4 minutes, flipping in between.

Serve with marinara sauce. These make an awesome snack or appetizer, or meal with a big salad on the side.

xo. Emma


Avocado and White Bean Dip

by Emma on January 16, 2012

in Side Dishes,Snacks,Vegan

Avocados and beans go together, right? I mean, I don’t know about you but a lot of restaurants with guacamole on the menu tend to serve up bean entrees. Surely I’m not the only one who’s noticed. So all I’m saying is, although this may seem like a very odd couple pairing, really makes a lot of sense. It’s like those friends you have who have always known each other but were just friends for, like, ever and then they ended up falling in love and even though no one really saw that coming it still made sense once it happened.

Huh? You don’t have any couple friends like that?

Yeah. Me neither, I guess. Maybe I saw it in a movie. It sounds totally cute though, huh? And pretty plausible.

This dip is like that. Meant to be, even though you didn’t see it coming.

It’s almost like an avocado humus… sort of. This is probably my new favorite way to eat avocados, and that’s saying something because I am a HUGE guacamole fan.

Huge. Did you see those capital letters. Emphasis.

You should try this dip out, feed it to your friends to. See what ya’ll think.

Avocado and White Bean Dip, makes 4-5 cups. Recipe loosely adapted from Everyday Food.

Needed: 2 cans cannellini beans, 4 avocados, 3 tablespoons minced garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (plus more for garnishing purposes) and 1 lime.

Drain and rinse the beans. In a food processor combine: beans, avocados (this is probably obvious but, leave out the skins and seed), garlic, oil, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and juice from 1/2 lime. Puree until smooth and dip-like. Garnish with a few more cilantro leaves and squeeze on the rest of the lime juice. If you find it’s too dry add a little more olive oil.

xo. Emma