April 17-23

New recipes inspired by Game of Thrones posted every day until the premiere!

Get Your Meal Prep On

Simple bento boxes that look fancy and taste delicious.

Easy Dinner Night

Try this fifteen minute spaghetti carbonara.

One Pan Meals

Keep breakfast on the simple side.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mini bites filled with Gruyère cheese.

May 1, 2016

Healthy Chicken Wraps | Meal Prep Sundays


If you are one of those people who really hates to cook or if you are trying to save some money instead of eating out for lunch every day of the week, then meal prepping for every week might just be the answer to your woes. This week, I prepped three different wraps: barbecue chicken, chipotle ranch, and hummus and cucumber with chicken. Most of these ingredients I already had in my kitchen, so I only needed to buy fresh wraps and veggies. Get creative with your ingredients (meal prepping is also a great way to clean out the fridge)!


I grilled up two large chicken breasts, then sliced them thin. I wanted to spread the chicken out between the wraps so there was just enough to get some protein, but then also pack the wrap with filling vegetables. This week's challenge was brown bag meals, so I actually packed each of my meals in a brown bag for lunch! I made a garlic orzo salad too, which was a perfect side dish.

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap


Monday's Lunch: Chipotle ranch chicken wrap with garlic orzo salad, an apple, and two Oreos.


BBQ Chicken with Parmesan Cheese


Tuesday's Lunch: Chicken marinated in BBQ sauce, two mandarin oranges, and garlic orzo salad.

Hummus & Veggies Chicken Wrap


Wednesday's Lunch: Chicken with hummus, cucumbers, red onion and lettuce, hummus with carrots, and two Oreos.


Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 8-10 minutes

Makes 3 wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 3 tortillas
  • 2 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups spinach (or lettuce blend)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups cucumber, julienned
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8-10 pepperoni (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle ranch dressing
  • 3 tablespoons hummus
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

  1. Grill the chicken breast until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the grill and let cool. Slice into strips.
  2. Marinate the chicken slices you want for a barbecue wrap in the barbecue sauce as the chicken cools.
  3. Using your favorite tortillas, place 4-5 slices of chicken in each wrap along with cheese, one cup of lettuce, and hummus or chipotle ranch dressing. Add pepperoni, onions, cucumber and tomatoes as desired in each wrap.
  4. Roll the tortillas into a burrito by tucking in the edges, then rolling the tortilla into itself. Wrap the tortilla tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Chill until ready to serve. 
  5. Wraps will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Pack into brown bags alongside healthy treats and orzo salad. Enjoy!


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Apr 25, 2016

Baked Avocado Eggs with Tomato Herb Hollandaise


I have a slight obsession with Eggs Benedict. I’ve eaten it weekly for the past few years and have come to believe that even the classics could do with some improving. 


I made a tomato and herb hollandaise sauce and baked the eggs inside of an avocado - this breakfast is perfect for any warm spring or summer morning and is packed with healthy fats and protein to keep you moving.


Seriously, this has become my go-to breakfast. Eggs Benedict may never be the same again now that I've tried THIS. The hollandaise sauce incorporates tomato, shallots and a variety of herbs and spices for maximum deliciousness.


Avocados make for the perfect egg vessel once the pit has been removed. You may need to widen the hole so the yolk and a majority of the whites can fit inside the avocado. I used a turkey baster to suck up any of the overflow of the egg whites onto the pan. 


Bake the avocados while you work on the hollandaise sauce - if timed perfectly, both will be done at the exact same time.


The most important part to making the hollandaise sauce is making sure the tomato has lost a majority of its moisture before adding the shallots, otherwise the shallots might burn.


When the tomatoes and shallots have somewhat melded together, remove the pan from the heat so the mixture won't burn.


With the tomatoes removed from the heat, quickly whisk in the butter and egg yolks along with the herbs and spices. The sauce should be thick, but still smooth enough to be drizzled across the tops of the baked avocados.


Remove the avocados from the oven when the center has reached your desired wobbliness. I like my eggs pretty runny, so I baked mine closer to 25-30 minutes. If you like a soft egg, bake for 30-35 minutes and a hard egg bake for 35-40 minutes.


Garnish the avocados with any remaining diced tomatoes, shallots and fresh parsley.


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocados
  • 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks
  • 5 T butter, cold
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 2 T tarragon
  • 2 T parsley 
  • 1 T red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed in the center. Use a spoon to widen the divots where the seed was if they don’t seem big enough to hold an egg.
  2. Brush the top of the avocado with lemon juice. Crack an egg into each avocado half and season with salt and pepper. Use a baster to remove any excess egg that might fall off the top then pop the avocado halves into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes for runny eggs, 30-40 minutes for soft yolks, 40-45 for solid yolks.
  3. As the eggs bake, place a tablespoon of butter into a skillet over medium heat with the chopped tomatoes and shallots. Sauté until the moisture of the tomatoes is gone. 
  4. Pour the white wine and white vinegar into the skillet. Bring to a simmer until the volume has reduced by half. Remove from the heat. 
  5. Add the remaining cold butter, one tablespoon at time, then add the egg yolks as the butter melts. Whisk constantly so the sauce doesn’t separate. Stir in the lemon juice and herbs.
  6. Spoon the hollandaise sauce over the tops of the baked avocados. Garnish with diced tomato, sliced shallots and fresh parsley.

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Apr 24, 2016

Game of Thrones Recipes


The excitement for the premiere of Game of Thrones sixth season is palpable in the Starving Chef's household. Over the past several days leading up to the premiere, my kitchen has transformed into Westeros. From King's Landing to the Dreadfort, to Pentos and beyond, every meal was inspired to look and taste like it came straight out of the books (or show). Mild, past season spoilers may be in the post ahead - you've been warned!

Baratheon Boar Ribs


"Eat the bastard. Don’t care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned." The boar that killed Robert Baratheon in the very first book was also served up at his funeral feast as revenge for the King. Served alongside root vegetables from the cellar of Winterfell, buttered bread and plenty of wine - these braised ribs were certainly fit for a King.

Hot Pie's Direwolf Bread


The Inn at the Crossroads is a location frequented by many characters throughout the books and television series. It seems that at least once per season a pair of characters winds up there (sometimes crossing paths with other characters) and is served by Hot Pie, who you might remember from the beginning of the series who stayed behind at the Inn to work for the Keep after baking the best bread the Keep had ever tasted - this is that recipe.

House Bolton Stuffed Squash


Despite my hatred for Ramsay Bolton, I'd still like to think that the rest of his family is not quite as demented. Sure they may like to flay men alive, but they might still have some highbrow tastes in food. Inspired by the Bolton's stay in Winterfell, these squash are stuffed with healthy fats and proteins to keep your men moving despite the impending cold approaching.

King's Landing Pigeon Pie


Pigeon Pie is another popular dish that shows up many times throughout the books and show, in almost every town and kingdom of Westeros, you are sure to find some variation of the poultry packed pies. My recipe was inspired by the pie served at Joffery's wedding.

Tyrion's Leg of Lamb


Lamb is commonly eaten throughout the books during many important feasts. It is requested by noblemen and peasants alike, and was even served at the infamous Red Wedding. Tyrion's lamb is inspired by the flavors of King's Landing and stuffed with pine nuts, spinach and goat cheese.

Sansa's Lemon Cakes


Sansa's favorite dessert has always been lemon cakes. She grew up dreaming of living in King's Landing, where the cakes are a frequent delicacy. Usually seen served to the women in the gardens, these tangy treats are also popular at weddings, including Sansa's.

Pentoshi Mushrooms with Garlic Orzo


We leave Westeros to journey to Pentos, where the Targaryens took up temporary residence before Daenerys joined up with the Dothraki khalasar. Tyrion Lannister also spends time in the free city before traveling to meet Dany herself in Meereen. The flavors of this dish were inspired by the geography of Pentos, between the sea and the flatlands.

Sandor Clegane's Roasted Hen


Also known as the Hound, Sandor Clegane is a well-known and deservedly-feared head of the King's Guard during Joffery's reign. While he certainly is no knight, he's not entirely without compassion, though it's not necessarily shown. When stopping with Arya on their way to the Eryie, the Hound kills a man over a roasted chicken.

The Red Woman's Trifle


Speculation abounds about Melisandre's arrival at the Wall, just as Jon Snow lays dead in the snow. The Red priestess might just be the one who brings him back. In the meantime, we can distract ourselves with trifle until we can finally learn the secrets of the Red Woman. This red velvet and cheesecake trifle can be topped with spicy cinnamon for an extra burst of heat.



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Apr 23, 2016

Sansa's Lemon Cakes | Game of Thrones Recipes


Lemon cakes are a popular dish eaten by the upperclass folk of Westeros, being especially popular in King's Landing. 


Sansa herself frequently enjoys them during her time there and is offered them by her handmaiden, Shae, alongside pigeon pie, right after her wedding.


The batter itself is very sweet and can be baked into a large cake or cupcakes. Made with tangy ingredients such as lemon and buttermilk, I can certainly see why this dessert is Sansa's favorite.


Whip together the wet ingredients with the sugar until light and frothy, then add the lemon zest.


Slowly add in the flour until a thick batter forms. Take care not to over beat the cupcake batter, otherwise you'll risk removing all the air from the batter. Gently fold in the flour until just incorporated. If desired, use flood coloring to color a few tablespoons of batter to make designs in the bottoms of the cupcakes, for a little surprise on the bottom of each. I made little purple flowers with green stems.


Pour the batter in 1/3 cup amounts into a buttered and floured cupcake tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean - about 25-35 minutes. The cupcakes should be golden brown and just starting to crack across the top.


While the cupcakes cool, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, heavy cream, and powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle or pipe the glaze across the tops of each cupcake.


Top each cupcake with a thin, fresh slice of lemon. Serve to your lady in the gardens by the sea, just take care not to wear too much purple to the wedding...


Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes

Makes about one dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (for glaze)
  • pinch salt

Here's How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and the juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons) until light and frothy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. The batter should be thick, but still fairly fluffy.
  3. Butter and flour dust your desired baking tin. Bake for 25-35 minutes if using cupcake tins or 35-45 minutes if using a cake tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the tops and sides of the cake is browned and slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan.
  4. Cool the cake completely. When the cake is cooled, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, heavy cream and powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. Spread or drizzle the glaze across the tops of the cakes. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
I'll be posting new Game of Thrones themed recipes all week, so be sure to check back every day for a brand new recipe! 



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Apr 21, 2016

Winterfell Root Vegetables | Game of Thrones Recipes


Winterfell is ready for winter. As the snow and cold (and presumably the White Walkers) approach its stone walls, the folk who live there are bunkering down and hoarding all the food they can. This includes a large cellar full of roots and vegetables harvested during summer.


I managed to collect a vast range of rooty vegetables from rainbow potatoes, parsnips and radishes to carrots, leeks and onions.


This recipe is as hardy as it is easy. Just wash and chop all of the vegetables, season with salt and pepper as desired, then toss with some vegetable oil and dot generously with butter. If there's one thing George R.R. Martin loves to include in his recipes its vegetables "swimming in butter."


Roast the vegetables, covered, for 45 minutes then uncover and roast for another 20 minutes after gently stirring and flipping them.


The potatoes, onions and garlic add a robust flavor that is defined by the sweetness of the parsnips, radishes and carrots. Feel free to use your favorite root vegetables like beets or celeric too!


Serve the root vegetable medley alongside some Baratheon boar ribs and a large cup of wine.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 1 hour

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rainbow roasting potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large parsnip, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 radishes, chopped
  • 8-10 pearl onions, skinned
  • 8-10 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek, chopped to the root
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

Here's How:

  1. Wash and chop all the vegetables. Toss the vegetables in the oil.
  2. Arrange the veggies in a roasting pan. Dot with the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the vegetables, covered, for 45 minutes or until tender to prick with a fork. Gently stir the vegetables to ensure they are cooking evenly, then continue to cook uncovered for an additional 15 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables have browned and cooked through.
  4. Garnish with parsley and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve alongside Baratheon boar ribs. Enjoy!
I'll be posting new Game of Thrones themed recipes all week, so be sure to check back every day for a brand new recipe! 

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Baratheon Boar Ribs | Game of Thrones Recipes


"I want the funeral feast to be the biggest the kingdom ever saw, and I want everyone to taste the boar that got me," a fat king once said. If you've been watching Game of Thrones since the beginning, you'll know exactly who that fat king was (but for the sake of first season spoilers I won't name him here...as if the title of this post doesn't give it away already.).


Because of the relationship between House Stark and House Baratheon, I'd like to think this delicious rib feast was a variation of the whole boar that was roasted at the king's funeral. “Apple in its mouth, skin seared crisp. Eat the bastard. Don’t care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned.”


For my rendition of the boar, I used pork ribs and braised them for about an hour to lock in all of the tender juiciness. For the marinade and sauce, I ended up using regular white onion instead of the pearl onions featured in the image above. The spices are influenced by the differences between Winterfell and King's Landing - sage and thyme represent the cold north while the paprika and red pepper flakes come from the warm seaside kingdom. Use wine fit for a king, red or white.


Sear the ribs in a skillet over high heat until all sides have been browned. Each side should only take a few seconds to brown so you'll have to move quickly. You want a good sear that doesn't cook all the way through the meat to the bone.


Set the seared ribs aside, then use the same skillet over medium heat with an additional drizzle of oil to saute the onion and whole cloves of garlic.


When the onions and garlic have started to caramelize, turn up the heat and add the wine, apple cider vinegar, and herbs and spices.


Let the sauce reduce for about fifteen minutes, then place the ribs back into the liquid. Be sure to flip occasionally so the ribs cook through evenly.


Simmer over medium to medium low heat for about one hour, until the ribs have cooked through and the meat is falling off the bones.


When the ribs are ready, remove the bay leaves from the sauce, then drizzle the sauce over the ribs when serving. 


Honor the friendship between the Starks and the Baratheons by eating a root medley from the Stark's root cellar. Serve alongside an extra strong flagon of wine - but don't tell the king.


Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Makes 6-8 ribs

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs pork ribs
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons local honey
  • 1/2 cup white onion (or pearl onions), chopped
  • 6-7 whole garlic cloves, skins removed
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for searing
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

  1. Split up the ribs so each bone contains an even amount of meat on each side. Season with salt and pepper. In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil then sear the ribs on each side until browned but not cooked through.
  2. Remove the ribs from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the onions and whole cloves of garlic with a drizzle of olive oil. Saute until beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine, apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add the sage, thyme, paprika and red pepper flakes (and bay leaves if using). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the ribs back into the skillet with the sauce. Simmer over medium to medium low heat for about one hour until the ribs have cooked through. Be sure to turn about every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
  5. Plate the ribs then pour the remaining sauce in the pan over the ribs. Serve alongside Winterfell root vegetables. Celebrate the King of the North!
I'll be posting new Game of Thrones themed recipes all week, so be sure to check back every day for a brand new recipe! 


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