Amazingly Good Air Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken legs
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs canola oil or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all spices in a single spice dispenser
  2. Using a clean rag, grab part of the chicken skin with the rag and pull the skin off
  3. In a bowl, rub olive oil over each chicken leg and sprinkle on the seasoning. Mix with hands to ensure complete coverage.
  4. Let chicken marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The longer the better. Overnight is best!
  5. Set air fryer to a target thermometer temperature of 160 F.
  6. Insert thermometer such that tip is at center of thickest part of one chicken leg
  7. When air fryer has preheated, put all legs in the air fryer
  8. When half way done, turn legs over
  9. When target temperature reached, remove legs and let stand for 5 minutes
  10. Eat

Granola Yoghurt Parfait Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 container (150 grams) Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla Greek Yogurt (15 g protein, 0 g added sugar, 100 calories) – Target
  • A little bit of Kefir (Lifeway Kefir cultured lowfat milk 1% milkfat plain unsweetened) (1 cup / 240 ml / 110 calories, 0 g added sugar, 11 g protein) – Smart n Final
  • Handful of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • ½ cup granola (Kirkland Signature Organic Ancient Grain Granola) – Costco
  • 1 tbsp crushed mixed nut topping

Instructions

Mixed everything

Shakshouka / Menemen Recipe

Moroccan Shakshouka and Turkish Menemen are very similar. Here’s my version of these dishes.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 8oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Target / FoodMaxx / Smart n Final)
  • 2 handfuls of frozen diced onions (Smart n Final)
  • 1/4 lb of ground beef
  • 2 tbsp wet minced garlic
  • 10 tbsp olive oil
  • Smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional – remove seeds so you don’t sweat)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • Sourdough bread
  • 1/8 cup cilantro for garnish (you can also use Lightly Dried Cilantro)
  • Shredded parmesan or cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pour olive oil in large 12″ pan on high heat
  2. Fry ground beef, onions, jalapeno pepper and garlic until slightly brown
  3. Pour in diced tomatoes and sprinkle in smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste (optionally, add tomato paste) and cook for 5 minutes. Optionally add cheese.
  4. Put 5 slices of sour dough bread in toaster and toast until slightly hard
  5. Add eggs being careful not to break the yolk
  6. Cover and poach on medium heat until egg white changes from translucent to white. Turn off heat so that egg yolk is still runny.
  7. Garnish with cilantro
  8. Eat by scooping up Shakshouka with spoon and chase it with a bite of the bread

Tri-Tip or Boneless Ribeye Steak?

So, I recently tried pre-marinated, ready-to-cook beef tri-tip steak from Costco ($6.49 / lb). To my pleasant surprise, not only was it easy to cook, it tasted really good.

I’ve also had Costco’s boneless ribeye steak ($16.99 / lb) which isn’t pre-marinated and though the results can taste good as well, it doesn’t taste $10 / lb better!

Here’s a pic of the tri-tip easily cooked to perfection.

and here’s a pic of boneless ribeye (or maybe this was of NY steak). Either way, the pre-marinated tri-tip at Costco is just as good, if not better, and a much better value.

Simple But Very Filling Breakfast

If you’re trying to lose weight and/or want to eat something simple and yummy that will keep you from feeling hungry for a long time, then the recipe below is one of my favorites.

Ingredients

  • Banana Nut Crunch Cereal (2 cups) – available at Target
  • Kirkland Ancient Grains Granola (1 cup) – available at Costco
  • Blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • Chopped walnuts (1/4 cup) (if you want more walnuts than what’s included in Banana Nut Crunch)
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (2 cups)

Instructions

Combine everything, wait 5 minutes for ingredients to soften from the milk, eat.

Quick and Easy Vegetable Stir Fry

There are many stir fry vegetables recipes online but they seem more complicated than they need to be (unless I’m just not picky enough about how stir fry vegetables is supposed to taste). The main thing the be concerned with is sodium / salt. You typically add soy sauce to the vegetables but unless you get low sodium soy sauce, the sauce will be already salty so you don’t need to add salt to the vegetables.

For the ingredients, all you need is a stir fry vegetable blend (I get mine from Costco) and soy sauce.

I sometimes add chicken to if I want to add protein.

To make the dish look colorful, I like to add one red bell pepper chopped into bite-size pieces.

You don’t need to defrost the vegetables. Just get a wok, put in some olive oil, wait a bit for the wok to heat up, throw on some frozen veggies, and toss periodically.

Once the veggies are soft, pour on some soy sauce and toss periodically again. the picture below shows it with chicken. If you want a darker look, add dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is less salty than regular soy sauce. After a while, give it a taste to see if it needs more soy sauce or not. If not, you’re done.

The soy sauce is only 15 calories / tbsp.

UPDATE: I tried some other recipes that call for a mix of various sauces and I think it did taste better BUT it come with a lot more calories to the all the sugar in Hoisin sauce. If you don’t care about calories, then try this recipe for the sauce instead:

  • 1 tbsp Hoisin sauce (90 calories)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black vinegar splash of toasted sesame oil

If you do care about calories, omit the Hoisin sauce.

Beef Instead of Chicken

If you prefer beef, you can add precooked, pre-sliced beef sirloin (available at Costco).

Or, to get more for your money, you can buy pre-marinated tri-top (available at Costco).

I tried this out and it came out great. Just preheat an over to 375 (convection bake), stick in a thermometer and set the target temperature to 135. When it’s done, your oven will (should) beep. Take it out and leave for 10 minutes.

Then just add to your veggies.

Fire-Roasted Vegetables

Costco also sells frozen fire-roasted vegetables as well.

This was good but the vegetables were smaller and I didn’t care for some of the vegetables. Nevertheless, it was still very good. In the pic below, I added yellow bell pepper.

Quick and Yummy Pasta Recipe

1. Add water to a pot and bring to boil

Add salt to water to taste

2. Put pasta in a bowl

I prefer angel hair pasta. Since it’s long, break it into 3.

WARNING: Pasta will grow like crazy when cooked. Put half or a third of the raw pasta amount.

3. Cook the pasta

Put the pasta in the pot and cook till it reaches your desired hardness

4. Prepare meatballs

For convenience and speed, just buy pre-cooked, frozen meatballs. Then, heat them up in a microwave on high for 4 minutes.

5. Prepare pasta sauce

For convenience and speed, just buy premade pasta sauce. Rao’s marinara sauce is particularly good and available at Costco. Pour an adequate amount over the cooked meatballs.

then heat in a microwave for 2 minutes.

6. Strain pasta

When pasta is cooked, strain it and put it back into the pot.

7. Mix sauce, meatballs and pasta

Pour the sauce and meatballs into the pot of pasta and mix.

8. Serve and enjoy

Optionally top with grated parmesan cheese

Best Baklava

Though you can find baklava all over the world including in the US and the Middle East, I find that the best baklava is Turkish baklava. This should come as no surprise as you will find baklava shops on almost every street in Istanbul and probably all over Turkey. Since a main ingredient in baklava is pistachio, and the center of pistachio cultivation in Turkey is in the city of Gaziantep, some consider Gaziantep baklava to be the best. In 2013, Gaziantep baklava became the first Turkish product with a European protected designation of origin and geographical indication.

According to the Lonely Planet guide book on Istanbul, following are some of the best baklava shops there.

  • Karaköy Güllüoğlu
    Karaköy, Rıhtım Cad. Katlı Otopark Altı No: 3-4 Istanbul / Turkey T: +90 212 293 09 10 
  • Köşkeroğlu Restaurant
    Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Mumhane Caddesi, No 2/D, Beyoğlu, Istanbul – Tel: 0212 245 35 14
  • Kaşıbeyaz Baklava
    Nispetiye Mahallesi, Aytar Caddesi, No 31/C, Beşiktaş, İstanbul – Tel: 0212 281 10 50
  • Emiroğlu Baklavacısı
    Murat Reis Mahallesi, Nuh Kuyusu Caddesi, No 289/A, Üsküdar, İstanbul – Tel: 0216 334 58 26
  • Hacı Bozan Oğulları
    Bahçelievler Mahallesi, İzzettin Çalışlar Caddesi, No 13, Bahçelievler, Istanbul – Tel: 0212 575 49 49
  • Gaziantep Baklavacısı
    Küçükyalı Merkez Merkez Mahallesi, Rüştü Sarp Caddesi, No 25/A, Maltepe, Istanbul – Tel: 0216 417 71 20
  • Gaziantepli Altınoğlu Baklavaları
    Kadirga Liman Cad. 17, 34450 Istanbul, Turkey

I have personally tried Emiroğlu baklava and can confirm that it is one of the best. It’s got just the right amount of moisture unlike some other baklava which are too dry or wet.

One baklava shop you will most likely see in Istanbul is Hakkizade Hafiz Mustafa 1864. Their baklava is good but a bit too dry for my taste. Emiroglu is better.

Some particularly good types of baklava are:

Baklava with Pistachio

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Pistachio, Milk, Starch, Egg, Salt, Semolina, Water, Lemon juice.

Carrot Slice Baklava with Cream and Ice Cream

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Pistachio, Milk, Starch, Egg, Salt, Semolina, Water, Lemon juice.

Nuriye with Milk

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Hazelnut, Milk, Starch, Egg, Semolina, Salt, Water, Lemon juice

Şöbiyet

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Pistachio, Milk, Starch, Egg, Semolina, Salt, Water, Lemon juice,

Creamy Baklava

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Milk, Starch, Egg, Salt, Semolina, Water, Lemon juice

Baklava with Walnuts

Ingredients: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Walnut, Starch, Egg, Salt, Water, Lemon juice

Beef Stew in a Pressure Cooker Recipe

So, I tried making this traditional beef stew in a Crock-Pot pressure cooker and it came out so good that I had to post the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.75 lbs stewing beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 tsp minced garlic (prepackaged wet or dry)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme (dried is easier if available)
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups diced carrots (frozen is easier if available)
  • 1 cup diced onions (frozen is easier if available)
  • 1.5 cups quartered baby red potatoes (prewashed is easier if available)
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (if not available, substitute with regular onion)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives (dried is easier if available)

Directions

  1. Press BROWN/SEAR, set temperature to HIGH, and then press START/STOP. Allow multi-cooker to preheat.
  2. Add oil to cooking pot.
  3. Toss beef with salt and pepper and add to cooking pot.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until well browned.
  5. Add
    • garlic
    • thyme
    • tomato paste
  6. Stir for 1 minute
  7. Add
    • carrots
    • chopped onions
    • potatoes
    • pearl onions
    • broth
    • bay leaves
  1. Stir and bring to boil
  2. Press Start / Stop to stop all functions
  3. Secure the lid
  4. Press MEAT / STEW
  5. Set pressure to HIGH
  6. Set timer for 35 minutes
  7. Close Steam Release valve
  8. Press START / STOP to star the pressure cooking
  9. When cooking is done, add
    1. peas
    2. chives

10. Remove bay leaves and enjoy!

Yummy Coffee Recipe

This is the recipe to make Yummy Coffee. I call it Yummy Coffee because it’s yummy.

Ingredients

  • Nespresso Variations Italia Amaretti Flavor – Limited Edition
  • 3/4 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Little bit of whole milk

Instructions

  1. Make espresso using the Variations Italia Amaretti capsule
  2. Froth a little bit of milk in a milk frother
  3. Pour milk + froth into espresso
  4. Add honey and cinnamon
  5. Stir and enjoy