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Fast and easy recipes for your Magic Bullet personal blender.

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  • 03/27/15--12:21: Vegan Roasted Banana Pudding
  • I was recently in the south at an event called Porkapalooza. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. There was pulled pork, and cabbage with pork belly, and beans with pork shoulder, and brownies with bacon, and donuts with bacon. And yet, one of the best things I ate there did not contain bacon, or pork of any kind. It was banana pudding – with whipped cream, and Nilla wafers. This is banana pudding, too, but it’s vegan. The [...]

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  • 04/03/15--12:40: Ma La Cold Noodles
  • I guess I’m on a Sichuan kick, because I woke up this week with a craving for these delicious cold noodles. These are sort of like an authentic Chinese version of the Chinese-American classic cold sesame noodles. “Ma la” is the Chinese expression for hot and numbing, provided by the combo of Sichuan peppercorns and red chili peppers. (You can get the peppercorns, as well as peppercorn oil, aka “prickly ash oil,” at a Chinese grocer or online.) While I [...]

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  • 04/10/15--12:45: Sichuan-Spiced Roast Chicken
  • Have you ever tried grinding your own spices? I never have before, because I didn’t think I had the appropriate equipment for grinding spices. I have a coffee grinder, but then I’d have spices all over my coffee grinder. It’s a shame there isn’t a blender-like device that’s easy and even dishwasher-safe. Oh, wait. This is my first foray into Bullet-ground spices and I decided to go for a recipe that really takes advantage of the fragrant flavors of fresh [...]

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  • 04/17/15--10:47: Miso Lime Steak Sauce
  • There are some times when you want unadorned, perfectly-cooked steak, with a crispy salty crust and a warm medium-rare center. And then there are times when you get a little bored of simply cooked steak and want something a little more complex. This is for those other times: a salty, savory, tangy, funky umami sauce to top your perfectly cooked steak (or chicken or pork). If you’ve never used miso before, this sauce is a great place to start. Miso [...]

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  • 04/24/15--03:00: Brussels-Farro Salad
  • There are some dishes that are great because of balance: sweet and sour, fresh and rich, salty and tangy… you get the idea. This is not one of those dishes. This “salad” (if something that’s a combo of grains and brussels sprouts can be called a salad) has strong flavors that all but whack you in the face. I use high heat on brussels to get them good and crispy, a vinaigrette of fish sauce and lime (from David Chang [...]

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  • 04/24/15--03:00: Sichuan Shrimp Stir Fry
  • Well, at this point I might as well up and move to Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan): here’s yet another dish with that ma la (“hot and numbing”) flavor. This stir fry involves fermented broad bean paste (available in most Asian markets), which alone would make for one of the most flavor-packed quick meals you’ll have made in quite a while. And I also use Chinese black vinegar for an added funky flavor and Sichuan peppercorns (available online or in [...]

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  • 05/01/15--17:13: Edamame Miso Pesto
  • This one’s an oldie (for me), but a goodie and vegan to boot: edamame-miso pesto. I wouldn’t exactly say this mimics classic Italian pesto, as without basil the flavor is very different, but it’s a cool little spin-off. The idea is to make a pasta sauce that hits all the same flavor receptors as pesto: the edamame is nutty and the miso is umami, providing the pine nut-parmesan punch that we love about pesto, and ginger in place of the [...]

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    I’ve had a can of green olives in my pantry for about five years. It’s become my Do-Everything jar: It smashes garlic! It weighs down chicken-under-a-brick! It integrates complex functions! OK, not that last one. On the other hand, it’s been taking up space that could be take up by countless other things I bought and forgot about, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and use the olives, so to speak. This is a great pasta [...]

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  • 05/15/15--02:30: Tamarind Chicken
  • Tamarind is one of those mysterious ingredients that seems like a secret ready to be unlocked: it’s sour, yet it’s sweet, and might it also be savory? What is it? Where does it come from? Why, tamarind, why?! Anyway, this dish is a great variation on an American barbeque sauce for baked or roast chicken. You get all the same coloring and some of the same flavor, but with great tangy (tamarind!) and fermented salty notes (from fish sauce). The Magic [...]

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  • 05/22/15--11:18: Ramp Pesto
  • It’s spring! Finally! Here in DC we have great farmers’ markets (and bike lanes – DC is surprisingly hipster) around the city and at the Dupont market on Sunday you can, for a limited time only, find ramps, a.k.a. wild leeks. Ramps are a beguiling mix of flavors: mildly oniony like a scallion, yet garlicky and earthy and wild, too. It turns out when you blend ramps into a pesto you get something that is surprisingly different and even arguably [...]

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    This meal is delicious and both vegan and gluten-free. I mean, come on: that’s a food trend trifecta. (Is deliciousness a trend? You heard it here first.) Despite containing no animal products and no gluten (whatever that is), these tacos are truly satisfying. The Magic Bullet does a great job of faking out Mexican crema (like sour cream, only a bit runnier); the cashews blend up into a nice, creamy white sauce, and the lime provides that classic sour tang. [...]

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  • 06/26/15--11:30: The Absolute Best Hummus
  • You may think you’ve had good hummus. And maybe you have. But have you had the best hummus? This is a reasonably quick and quite easy way to make what I think of as restaurant-style hummus: ultra smooth and rich with tahini, night and day better than the stuff in the tubs. This hummus has secrets on top of secrets beneath secrets. The first secret is to use dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, rather than canned, to give a fine and [...]

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  • 07/03/15--02:30: Compost cookies
  • Have you ever completed the pantry challenge? Two weeks ago, I filled a box with everything in my pantry that I hadn’t used in more than a year. It was a big box. Amid the scones and bloody mary mix, I found ancient graham crackers and dried milk powder, as well as a bunch of old snack food. These compost cookies (made famous by Momofuku milk bar in New York) do a great job of using up whatever’s in your pantry [...]

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    I recently discovered that the Magic Bullet makes a great spice grinder, presenting me with endless possibilities to add a new depth of flavor to my cooking. But when it comes down to it, if I’m going to be grinding spices, I almost always want one of those spices to be Sichuan peppercorns. This is a recipe for a spicy, sesame vinaigrette with the distinctive floral mouth-tingle of the peppercorns – in other words, it really packs a flavor punch. [...]

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    News flash: Mexican food is trending right now. Tell your friends. But before you do that, try these tacos. I spent some time in Mexico this winter and gorged myself on cochinita pibil, which is an all-night roast pork extravaganza that you eat for breakfast. That was great, and maybe someday I’ll make this with roast pork, but a similar concept works great for a healthy, very easy weeknight meal with chicken thighs. This recipe relies on achiote, which is [...]

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  • 08/07/15--12:36: Vegan Basil Pesto
  • If you’re like me, you may not be vegetarian, let alone vegan, but you have more and more vegans in your life and sometimes you need to cook for them. Hey, I’m cool with that. Basil pesto is a classic in more ways than one – a classic dish from my childhood, a classic dish from Italy and a classic recipe from the Magic Bullet. This is the perfect time of year for making pesto, too, with basil overflowing from [...]

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  • 08/14/15--15:36: Fresh Pasta Puttanesca
  • There are some dishes that are so classic they don’t need to be improved upon. But everything can be improved upon, right? I present to you, courtesy of the clever little buggers over at Cooks Illustrated, fresh pasta puttanesca. Pasta puttanesca is a famous classic Italian pantry dish. Its name translates to – well, you can google that yourself – but suffice it to say it’s a dish that’s known for being salty and satisfying. What I love about it [...]

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    I was recently in Greece, home of my ancestors (not really) and, in addition to having no trouble getting money out of ATMs, I had Greek salad almost everyday. There’s nothing more Greek than Greek salad, except debt crises and ouzo, which is a nasty liquor that tastes like a mixture of fennel, vodka and squashed bugs. Okay, I can’t really back that up. Anyway, when I got home, in addition to watching the Greeks and the Germans negotiate on [...]

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    I love take-out Chinese food – who doesn’t, really? – but it’s hard to justify a greasy meal like that more than one or two times a month. That’s why lately, I’ve been experimenting with making take-out style food at home, with less grease, fresher ingredients and more vegetables than what would otherwise be delivered to your door. This Taiwanese chicken dish – named “three cup” for its use of sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce — turned out [...]

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    OK, so this one is a little unusual, but it shows off one of my best strategies for this time of year: just wander into the farmer’s market, buy what looks good and make a pasta. And it was delicious. There’s this guy at the Dupont Circle farmer’s market in DC who sells a wide variety of strange, wild mushrooms. These mushrooms are exorbitantly expensive – often like $20 per pound – but a little goes a long way. I’d [...]

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