Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pear Toast

You could call this an appetizer or dessert - each bite is full of flavor from the sweet honey and jam, tangy cream cheese, crusty bread, nutty seeds, refreshing pear, and some added crunch from granola.

Pear Toast
1 small slice Seven Stars bread
2 tsp cream cheese
1 tsp strawberry jam
1 pear slice
1/4 tsp sunflower seeds
a few granola oats
1 tsp honey

1. Toast the bread in the toaster.
2. Spread on cream cheese and jam.
3. Top with pear, sunflower seeds, oats, and a drizzle of honey.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rainbow Salad

This salad was delicious. I think it is an evolutionary adaptation that makes us attracted to colorful foods because they are often highly nutritious (Lucky Charms and other artificially colored foods not included).

Rainbow Salad
2 cups baby spinach
4 cucumber slices, halved
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/4 cup shredded carrots
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
3 portabello mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup black beans

1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
black pepper

1. Pile spinach on a plate, and top with cucumber, egg, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and black beans in that order.
2. Mix together the dressing ingredients and drizzle on top of salad.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Josh's Fish Panini

Crispy, warm, and stuffed with melted cheese, this panini by Josh Leung is both easy to make and delicious.

Josh's Fish Panini
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 fish filet
2 slices American cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1/2 cup spinach leaves

1. Assemble sandwich.
2. Press on the panini press for 2 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
3. Cut in half.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Microwave Broccoli

We know, it doesn't sound particularly delicious. You might wonder, "The Ratty has steamed broccoli, so why would I waste my time firing up the microwave for a few vegetables?!" For one, you can control how cooked your broccoli is. Secondly, you can season your broccoli. And last but not least, microwave broccoli turns an awesome other-worldly bright green that just looks cool.

Microwave Broccoli
a few broccoli florets (raw, from salad bar)
a drop of sesame oil
a drop of soy sauce
a drop of broth (any clear soup will do, like beef broth or onion soup) or water
black pepper

1. Get a bowl and combine everything in the bowl.
2. Microwave on high power for 45 seconds, or until broccoli has turned a bright green slightly translucent color. The goal is to get it cooked but not mushy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hot Pastrami Swiss Cheese Panini on Rye

Delicately crispy, with nutty rye, savory pastrami, and melty swiss cheese in every bite. I thought having veggies in the sandwich would compromise the panini's texture, but you can definitely enjoy them on the side.

Hot Pastrami Swiss Cheese Panini on Rye
2 slices light rye bread
3-4 slices pastrami
2 slices swiss cheese
1/2 cup green beans (on the side)

1. Layer one slice of swiss cheese, pastrami, and the other slice of swiss cheese on a slice of rye.
2. Place the other slice of rye on top and press in the panini press for 5-7 minutes or until nice brown char marks appear.
3. Enjoy with steamed green beans (the Ratty calls them "French beans" I think) on the side.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

DO NOT Make this Peanut Butter Waffle!

This was originally posted a long time ago, before we were notified that no one should put peanut butter in the waffle irons because of allergies! We are sincerely sorry for setting a bad example, but instead of deleting this post, we feel that it would be helpful to keep it here as a friendly reminder for future peanut butter waffle lovers.

Original Post:

The peanut butter mixed directly into the waffle batter makes an extra crunchy crust and infuses the whole waffle with a rich peanut butter flavor.

Peanut Butter Waffle
1/2 ladle waffle batter
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 small banana, sliced
1 Tbsp honey + 1 Tbsp peanut butter
whipped cream

1. In a cereal bowl, mix waffle batter and 2 Tbsp peanut butter until well-blended.
2. Spray a waffle machine with non-stick spray and pour the batter in the center. (Note: We used less waffle batter to give the waffle an fun shape)
3. Cook waffle as directed.
4. In a small cup, mix honey and 1 Tbsp peanut butter. (Note: Feel free to use just honey instead of the mixture, if you prefer)
5. Garnish waffle with sliced bananas, peanut butter and honey mixture, and whipped cream.
6. Dust the top with cinnamon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nathan's Macho Nacho Burrito

This delectable burrito is the product of Nathan Feng's genius, and is an efficient and tasty way to get the flavors of nachos without having to load the toppings on individual tortilla chips.

Nathan's Macho Nacho Burrito
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp salsa
1/4 cup shredded cheese
2 Tbsp sliced olives
1/4 cup guacamole
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup refried beans
1/2 cup shredded lettuce

1. Put toppings on tortilla.
2. Wrap it up so it resembles a burrito.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Honey Nut Cheerios"

A friend mentioned the other day that the Ratty doesn't have Honey Nut Cheerios - well, you can make your own! And you can customize the honey-ness and nuttiness.

"Honey Nut Cheerios"
1 cup Cheerios
1 Tbsp old-fashioned peanut butter
2 tsp honey
2 tsp sunflower seeds
2 tsp pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup soymilk

1. Get a bowl of Cheerios. Drizzle on peanut butter and honey, and top with the seeds.
2. Add soymilk.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pasta and Spinach Salad Medley with Egg

I love making salads with ingredients from all corners of the food pyramid. In this one, you get your grains (pasta), meat/protein (sausage & egg), dairy (cheese), unsaturated fat (olives), and of course, veggies (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes). Oh alright, the candy/sweets group is missing. I suppose you could add a drizzle of honey? Or some chocolate sprinkles...?

Pasta and Spinach Salad Medley with Egg
1/2 cup pasta shells
handful of baby spinach
2 slices sausage, chopped
7-8 olives, sliced
5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 broccoli pieces, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp basil infused olive oil
1 sunny-side-up egg
salt and pepper

1. Mix pasta and all ingredients excluding egg on a plate. Put in microwave for about 1.5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and spinach is starting to wilt.
2. Get a sunny-side-up egg and place on top of salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Break the yolk and enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tuna Salad Salad

What else would you call a salad with tuna salad on top?

Tuna Salad Salad
2 cups mixed greens
4 grape tomatoes, halved
3 olives, sliced
1 slice Seven stars bread
basil infused olive oil

Tuna Salad
3 tsp mayonnaise
black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1 Tbsp red bell peppers, diced
1 Tbsp green bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup tuna

1. Toss the mixed greens, tomatoes, and olives.
2. Lightly drizzle both sides of bread with basil infused olive oil. grill on the panini for 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, mix together all ingredients of tuna salad.
4. Remove bread from panini press, tear into crouton-sized pieces.
5. Garnish salad with tuna salad and croutons, and some black pepper.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Turkey Wrap with Ginger Hoisin Sauce

With ginger hoisin sauce, a little bit goes a long way. To make this a vegetarian wrap, substitute the turkey for cubes of organic firm tofu, whose smoothness balances the sharpness of the sauce very nicely.

Turkey Wrap with Ginger Hoisin Sauce
1/2 spinach tortilla (cut a whole one in half and you can make two!)
2 slices tomato
2 leaves lettuce
2 slices turkey
7-9 sugar snap peas (optional) 1 purple onion ring (not the whole disk)
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
scallions, baby tomato for garnish

1. Make sauce by mixing hoisin sauce, ginger, and sesame oil in a small cup. Spread this mixture over one side of tortilla.
2. Put lettuce, tomato, turkey, peas, and onion ring in tortilla and fold both sides over to create a triangular pocket.
3. Secure with a toothpick (if you happen to have one) and garnish with tomatoes and scallions, and any extra sauce. Devour.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pepperjack Cheese Veggie Pita Pocket

I used to think the whole wheat pita pockets were sour, tough, and inedible, but I was proven wrong by the flavor powers of garlic infused olive oil, pepperjack cheese, and the magic touch of the panini press. This veggie pita pocket is loaded with healthy nutrient-rich spinach, bell peppers, and mushrooms, not to mention the goodness of whole wheat pita. The perfect antidote to all the soft serve we've been consuming (you know who you are!).

Pepperjack Cheese Veggie Pita Pocket
1/2 whole wheat pita pocket
2 slices pepperjack cheese
3 slices portabello mushrooms
3 slices roasted red bell pepper
1 Tbsp corn
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 Tbsp chopped white onion
1 Tbsp shredded cheese
1/4 tsp garlic infused olive oil
1/2 cup romaine lettuce leaves

1. Layer the inside of the pita pocket with pepperjack cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers, corn, spinach, onions, and shredded cheese.
2. Drizzle garlic infused olive oil on top.
3. Grill on the panini for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pita pocket is golden brown.
4. Serve with fresh greens.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peach Ice Cream Swan

Okay, we confess. The swan was unintentional. So even if your attempt doesn't resemble a swan, don't worry because it will still taste good.

Peach Ice Cream Swan
1/2 cup peach slices
1/4 cup ice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
vanilla ice cream
waffle cone

1. Fill a bowl with peaches, ice, and spices.
2. Top with vanilla ice cream.
3. Drizzle honey on top and garnish with waffle cone pieces.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheesy Broccoli Olive Prosciutto Pasta

Pasta doesn't always have to involve tomato sauce; try incorporating different veggies from the salad bar into your pasta if you tire of the same red/white sauce every day of the week.

Cheesy Broccoli Olive Prosciutto Pasta
2 spoonfuls of corkscrew pasta
3 spears broccoli
2 slices prosciutto
3 mushrooms
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
8 olives
2 purple onion rings
2 tbsp basil infused olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Cut broccoli, prosciutto, mushrooms, olives, and onions into small pieces. Mix with pasta.
2. Sprinkle cheese over pasta. Drizzle olive oil on top, add a pinch each of salt and pepper.
3. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir; add more salt if needed. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Josh's Ham and Turkey Panini

This gorgeous panini by Josh Leung features savory ham and turkey layered neatly with lettuce, tomato, and American cheese, grilled to perfection!

Josh's Ham and Turkey Panini
2 slices whole wheat bread
3 slices American cheese
2 slices tomato
sliced turkey
sliced ham

1. Assemble sandwich.
2. Grill on the panini until bread is golden and crispy.
3. Slice in half and devour.

Yogurt with Grape Jelly Honey Drizzle

Grape jelly mixes with honey to create an interesting balance of fruity tartness and honey sweetness that contrasts nicely with plain yogurt and crunchy granola.

Yogurt with Grape Jelly Honey Drizzle
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 packets grape jelly
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granola

1. In a small cup, mix grape jelly with honey.
2. In a separate bowl, toss granola with cinnamon.
3. Drizzle grape jelly honey over yogurt and sprinkle cinnamon-coated granola on top.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Omelette Bagel

There's this poster outside Au Bon Pain with a gorgeous egg bagel, and it inspired me to make this. I don't know if this has occurred to anyone else, but how exactly does one eat a bagel sandwich? It's like they expect our mouths to be 7 inches tall. It looks nice, but it's impractical. Yet I found that if you take the thing apart and eat it with a fork and knife, interspersing your mouthfuls of egg with bites of toasted bagel, it's actually quite good. Enjoy!

Omelette Bagel
1 oat bagel
1 omelette (with mushrooms, peppers, cheese, onions)
baby spinach leaves

1. Toast the bagel.
2. Cut omelette into a circle to fit on the bagel.
3. Layer spinach and omelette between the top and bottom halves of bagel. Attempt to eat as a sandwich, fail, and use fork and knife.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creamy Tuna Dip

Chunky and savory appetizer with ingredients from the grill (lettuce, onions, relish), drink station (lemon), Tastes of the World line (scallions, sour cream), salad bar (tuna, green bell peppers), spices counter (garlic, ginger, paprika), soup station (cracked black pepper, crackers) and burger condiments counter (mayo).
Creamy Tuna Dip
Juice of 2 lemon wedges
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup tuna
1/4 tsp paparika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of garlic salt
a few turns of black pepper
1/8 tsp ginger powder
2 Tbsp diced green bell peppers
3 Tbsp scallions
1 Tbsp white onions
3 tsp relish
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 hard boiled egg
2 lettuce leaves
1 lemon wedge for presentation
1. Mix all the ingredients up to the mayonnaise in a cup.
2. Peel the egg, dice it up, and fold it into the dip.
3. Spoon the dip onto the lettuce, garnish on the side with a lemon wedge and garnish the top with scallions and paparika.
4. Serve with crackers.

Crunchy Chewiness on Whole Wheat

A big thanks to Susie for providing this awesome, healthy, energy-loaded breakfast recipe! All the monounsaturated fats from the nuts and peanut butter balance nicely with the complex carbs of whole wheat, and along with hints of sweetness from the raisins, this breakfast goes great with a glass of milk.

Crunchy Chewiness on Whole Wheat
1 slice whole wheat bread
1.5 tbsp all natural peanut butter
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp raisins

1. Spread all natural peanut butter on one side of whole wheat bread.
2. Sprinkle seeds and raisins on top and enjoy folded over or open-faced.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Roast Beef Sweet Bean Sauce Wrap

The combination of sweet bean paste, roast beef, and onions create a flavor balance reminiscent of Peking duck wraps.

Roast Beef Sweet Bean Sauce Wrap
1 spinach tortilla
3 tbsp sweet bean paste (the one in the un-labeled bottle)
1 tsp powdered ginger
2-3 slices roast beef (from bistro line)
1/2 cup green snap peas (from noodle bar)
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1/2 spoonful mustard mashed potatoes
1/4 cup diced scallions
10-12 baby spinach leaves
3 purple onion rings

1. Pour sauce over tortilla. Add ginger powder and spread evenly over tortilla with butter knife.
2. Add rest of ingredients.
3. Carefully fold up both sides of tortilla and roll up the ingredients inside.
4. Cut in half and enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grape Cream Pumpkin Seed Bagel

Grape Cream Pumpkin Seed Bagel
1 bagel top half (I used the brown/white swirled one, whatever it's called)
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2 tsp grape jelly
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

1. Spread bagel with butter. Toast for 1 minute, or until slightly browned and crispy.
2. Mix cream cheese and grape jelly the best you can (it's hard to get it smooth).
3. Spread cream cheese onto toasted bagel and sprinkle on pumpkin seeds.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Banana Split Chocolate Cake

An extravagent dessert from the V-Dub. This cake combines the classic unbeatable pairings of bananas and chocolate, strawberries and bananas, strawberries and chocolate, chocolate and vanilla, and strawberries and cream. In short, a pillow of happiness.

Banana Split Chocolate Cake
1 square slice chocolate cake
1 large banana, sliced
2 Tbsp chocolate ganache
1/4 cup sliced strawberries in juice
whipped cream

1. Slice cake into 3 sections.
2. Sandwich banana slices and chocolate ganache between the sections.
3. Garnish with banana slices, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Grilled Cheese

The butter and cheese on toasted Seven Stars Bread is delicious.

Grilled Cheese
2 slices Seven Stars wheat bread
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 lettuce leaf
1 tomato wedge

1. Spread inside faces of both slices of bread with butter.
2. Sandwich cheese in between, and grill on the panini press for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is browned.
3. Serve with lettuce and tomato.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Asian Spinach Salad

Powdered ginger is the secret ingredient that gives this salad an Asian flavor. The dressing goes especially well with chunks of organic medium-firm tofu (the kind featured at the Ratty).

Asian Spinach Salad
handful of baby spinach leaves
5-6 slices cucumbers
7-9 slices mushrooms
8 cubes tofu
5-6 rings purple onions
1/4 cup raisins
1 tbsp chopped scallions
Sweet Bean Paste Sesame Ginger Dressing:
1/4 cup sweet bean paste
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp powdered ginger

1. Make sauce (I like to use a small cup, such as a coffee cup) by combining ingredients and mixing well.
2. Drizzle sauce over salad using a fork.
3. Garnish with chopped scallions and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich
2 cookies
vanilla soft serve ice cream
chocolate soft serve ice cream
whipped cream

1. Turn one cookie upside down and add vanilla ice cream. Add the second cookie.
2. Garnish with chocolate ice cream and a strawberry, and serve with whipped cream.

Hummus Ham Sandwich

Hummus Ham Sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 Tbsp old fashioned peanut butter
2 slices swiss cheese
2 slices ham
1 lettuce leaf
1 Tbsp hummus

1. Spread one slice of bread with peanut butter and the other with hummus.
2. Layer on cheese, ham, and lettuce.

Grilled Cheese with Onion

Just can't get enough of the grilled cheese! A recipe seems silly for this one.

Grilled Cheese with Onion
2 slices Seven Stars multigrain seed bread
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp garlic infused olive oil
3 onion slices

1. Butter both surfaces of the both slices of bread.
2. Place cheese on one bread slice and drizzle garlic infused olive oil on top.
3. Add onions and the second bread slice.
4. Press on the panini press for 2 minutes or until cheese is melty.
5. Tear in half and devour.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich

Mild and refreshing cucumber perfectly balances the colorful personalities of light rye bread and savory cream cheese spread.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich
2 slices light rye bread
1 container cream cheese
1 tsp garlic powder (or onion powder)
a dash of black pepper
juice of 1 lemon wedge
4 cucumber slices
2 tomato slices
2 lettuce leaves
2 slices swiss cheese

1. Mix cream cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, and lemon juice until well-blended.
2. Spread onto one slice of bread.
3. Layer on cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and cheese.
4. Add the slice of bread, cut in half and eat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peanut Sesame Noodles

This peanut sesame sauce can really spice up anything from the Asian noodle bar. If you like to spice up your noodles literally, by all means feel free to add a tablespoon or two of hot chili sauce to the recipe.

Peanut Sesame Noodles
1 heaping spoonful plain noodles (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup shredded chicken
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup green beans
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1/4 cup crispy round things from noodle bar (optional)
1/3 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions

1. Mix all of sauce ingredients together until well incorporated.
2. Pour sauce over noodles and rest of ingredients.
3. Mix until sauce is well mixed in (I find it helps to mix noodles and veggies/meat separately with the sauce). Garnish with chopped scallions. Bon appetit!