Our 5 Favorite Weeknight Meals

posted in: Recipes | 0

5 Healthy Weeknight Meals

As professional recipe developers and food photographers, we spend most of our days cooking — and, let’s be honest, stuffing our faces — in our West Bottoms studio. We love playing with food, and love eating it even more, but a majority of our time is spent creating recipes and taking photos for clients. Sometimes, we’re using an immersion circulator to sous vide beef tongue or alligator (Jeff was more on board with that one than I was), and other times we’re recreating fast-food items.

So, naturally, we were thrilled when, late last year, KC Magazine (on the web at ThisIsKC.com) asked us to put together some healthy recipes for the new year. We saw it as an opportunity to showcase a few of our favorites — the flavorful, easy weeknight meals we make for our own families.

Here are five healthy-ish weeknight meals we actually do make, and eat, at home.

1. Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

A tart balsamic vinegar-and-mustard-based sauce coats roasted butternut squash and shallots, which are all tossed with kale and quinoa pasta and topped off with Green Dirt Farm’s Farmer’s Cheese. GET THE RECIPE

2. Balsamic-Glazed Pork Porterhouse with Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Porterhouse with Brussels Sprouts
The pork, seasoned with only salt and pepper, really shines in this dish. It’s served over a bed of Brussels sprouts and sweet apples drizzled with Café Provence balsamic vinegar reduction, a tart, ready-made concoction available from French Market, right around the corner in the Prairie Village Shops. GET THE RECIPE

3. Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

These roasted chicken thighs are, quite literally, the least you could to make a healthy weeknight dinner. Just chop up some vegetables, and throw them in a Dutch oven with chicken thighs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Tellicherry Peppercorns from Wood + Salt add a slightly smoky essence. You can easily double this recipe, or just double the amount of chicken thighs. GET THE RECIPE

4. Bison and Sweet Potato Chili

Bison and Sweet Potato Chili

For this flavorful bison and sweet potato chili, you’ll make your own delicious chili seasoning. We made this chili on the stovetop in a dutch oven, and it was ready in just over an hour, but you can also make it in the slow cooker. GET THE RECIPE

5. Chile Crunch Salmon with Coconut Rice and Kale

Chile Crunch Salmon with Coconut Rice and Kale

This gluten-free, Asian-inspired salmon is our newest go-to weeknight dinner. Flavorful salmon is served over crispy kale and fluffy coconut rice. The real star of this dish, however, is our new favorite condiment, Chile Crunch. We’re obsessed with it. It’s a blend of fresh roasted chiles, garlic, onion and spices that can be found at Season + Square in Brookside. GET THE RECIPE

Food Toys: The Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker

posted in: Recipes, Work | 0
Anova 9.23.14-10
Making pickled vegetables in the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker

There are lots of food gadgets that typical home cooks just don’t need. They’re unnecessary, frivolous, etc., etc. But, not being typical home cooks, we have more than a few of them — at our homes and at the Feed Me Creative studio. In fact, at Thanksgiving dinner, we got to talking about gadgets with some friends my husband and I had over and after a few glasses of wine, I wanted them to name kitchen items they thought we probably wouldn’t have. We had them all, including (much to their surprise) a sous vide machine.

Anova Sous Vide Photos-4
Cooking root vegetables in the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker

A sous vide machine, or immersion circulator, holds water at an exact temperature so you can cook food at a very precise temperature, which means it never gets overcooked. Before it goes into the water, the food is vacuum sealed, usually with herbs, seasonings, or oils. And after, it’s most often finished with a sear, broil, or some other step to add texture and flavor. If you’ve ever eaten steak at a fancy restaurant, you’ve probably had sous vide food. (And if I’ve done a terrible job of describing it, let Wikipedia guide you.)

Anyway, in the fall, Feed Me Creative was contacted by Anova Culinary, a company that recently began making sous vide precision cookers for home chefs. They wanted our help developing recipes for their app. Since then, we’ve been precision cooking just about everything: vegetables, soups, and weird meats ranging from alligator to sweetbreads (meats do especially well with sous vide).

Check out our recipes here (of course, they won’t do you much good without a sous vide machine of your own). If you’d rather just look at food porn, here are some of our favorite things we’ve made with the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker.

Sous Vide Salmon
Sous Vide Lemon Cordial
Sous Vide Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Loin
Sous Vide Chinese Five Spice Shortrib

Don’t Try This at Home (Or When You’re Out): Thai Spice Challenge

posted in: Life | 0

Hot Thai Spice Challenge Thai Place Westport Kansas City

Yesterday, for reasons that are still not entirely clear to me, I did one of the stupidest things I have ever done: I attempted a spice challenge at Thai Place, my favorite Thai (er) place, here in Kansas City. It was an idea I had when we were brainstorming topics for Central Standard, a KCUR show on which I participate as a Food Panelist somewhat regularly. I thought it would make for fantastic radio, when in fact it made for one very uncomfortable night (and a fairly uncomfortable next morning).

Hot Thai Spice Challenge Thai Place Westport Kansas City

Hot Thai Spice Challenge Thai Place Westport Kansas City

I guess it also made for pretty good radio, considering my lifelong dream of being bleeped on NPR came true. But I’ll let you decide.

KCUR: Kansas City Spice Oddyssey

Hot Thai Spice Challenge Thai Place Westport Kansas City

Cocktail Hour

posted in: Cocktails, Life | 0

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

I’ve never been a big fan of the phrase “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” Maybe it’s because it’s never said right on the hour, so it’s not 5:00 somewhere; it’s 5:13 somewhere or 5:47 somewhere.” Plus, who says you need to wait until 5 pm to have a cocktail? Because our livelihood sometimes depends on day drinking, or at least sampling, I’ve done my fair share of 9 am sipping. Most of it has been on Friday mornings.

For a year, I’ve been writing a weekly cocktail column, Friday Drink Special, for MadeMan.com — which I usually finish at about 9 or 10 am the day it runs (hence my morning sips). This week, they’re launching a new section to feature my drinks. So, they asked me to reshoot them all in a similar style. This is a good thing, considering I started writing the column before I knew what I was doing behind the camera (at Feed Me Creative, I style and Jeff shoots).

Here are a few of my favorites.

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

Food and Drink Cocktail Photographer Kansas City

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