Coconut Popsicles

As the temperature rises in Los Angeles into the 90’s and 100’s, it’s essential to have something cold (and preferably) sweet in the freezer. This time I decided to use my Zoku Quick Pop Maker to make coconut popsicles.

I made this recipe without the shredded coconut because I hate the consistency of shredded coconut…kind of grosses me out. I’m aware that I’m a minority in this so I added the shredded coconut as an option and included instructions on how to add it in. Photos show the popsicles without the shredded coconut. They tasted great without it!

Ingredients

7 oz. coconut milk (not lite)
1/4 cup low fat milk
3 tbsp. water
3 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut (optional)

Whisk together all ingredients until sugar has dissolved.

Insert sticks into the pop maker molds and pour the coconut base in the molds. If you are using shredded coconut, pause to add large pinches of coconut on each side of the sticks as you pour. Fill until the fill line and, if using shredded coconut, top each filled mold with a pinch of coconut to create the skirt.

Let the pops freeze completely before removing from molds and serve.

Reference
Zoku Quick Pops by Jackie Zorovich & Kristina Sacci

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Greek-Style Chickpea Salad

I’m obsessed with this recipe–straight from Serious Eats. It’s great for the summer: light, no cook, and healthy. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 (15.5-ounce) cans reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 small red onion, minced
3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1/2 large cucumber)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1 ounce reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, pitted and minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss chickpeas, onion, cucumber, mint, feta and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olives, mustard, oil, and garlic together.

Pour dressing on top of the chickpea mixture and stir gently until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and feel free to add slightly more cheese, lemon juice, oil, salt, or pepper right before serving.


Carne Asada

When I think of the summer, grilling naturally comes to mind. By far, carne asada is my favorite thing to put on the grill. I found a great recipe from the LA Time’s website (see references below). It sounded perfect as is so I didn’t make any changes to it.

Ingredients

4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup tomato purée
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds skirt steak

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the chipotle, garlic, onions, cumin, green onions, cilantro, parsley, tomato purée, lime juice, salt, pepper and oil.

Rub the marinade all over the skirt steak, then place the steak in a large, resealable plastic bag with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bag from the refrigerator one hour before grilling to allow the steak to come to room temperature.

Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Grill the steak about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Set the steak aside until cool enough to handle, then cut it into a half-inch dice or slice it against the grain into 1-inch slices.

Serve with tortillas, pico de galo salsa, chopped white onions, chopped cilantro, and slices of lime.

References
Carne Asada Recipe from the LA Times

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Pico de gallo is my favorite salsa. Once it’s made, it’s hard for me to stop eating and walk away. Don’t ask me how it got it’s name, which literally translates to “rooster’s beak,” but it’s amazing and really easy to make.

Ingredients

1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound fresh ripe tomato, any type, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2/3 cup white, chopped
Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste (I did 1 1/2 teaspoons)

Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

References
Pico de Gallo

Sichuan Chicken With Bell Pepper And Chilli

If it hasn’t become apparent yet, I love stir fry. When I saw this recipe on Serious Eats, I had to try it. I didn’t change much to it either as you can see. However, in the future, I would like to add large chunks of white onion, red bell pepper, and maybe some unsalted peanuts. If you are considering trying this out, I would recommend adding those. Regardless, this is a solid recipe as is.

Ingredients

2 boneless chicken breasts
For the marinade:
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon cooking rice wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
To stir-fry:
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 inch chunk of ginger, thinly sliced
About 10 dried red chillies
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
Vegetable oil

Cut the chicken 1 inch cubes. Mix with the marinade ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok (or in my case a non-stick cooking pan) over high heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil and place all of the chicken into the oil, stirring gently to fry the meat. Cook until chicken is lightly browned, then remove the chicken and set aside.

Pour 3 more tablespoons of oil into wok or pan. Heat the wok over high heat until it’s almost smoking. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chillies, Sichuan pepper, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds until they are fragrant, taking care not to burn them.

Add the green bell peppers to the wok and stir-fry until they are tender-crisp.
Add the chicken back to the wok and continue to stir-fry for 30 seconds, until the ingredients are well-combined.

Serve immediately.