I Eat Therefore I Cook

Effortless Cooking for Busy Lives

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Why is a Microwave Convection better than a Regular Microwave?

A Microwave oven has become an important part of everyone’s life as it is one of the most convenient and quick ways to not only reheat your food but also cook delicious items. You can use a microwave to bake cakes, make pizza, grill food items, and so on. It wasn’t as affordable as now and there have certainly been a whole new set of oven styles invented by now. Convection Microwave is one such oven style which has become quite popular these days. Wondering what’s the difference between a regular microwave and a convection microwave?

Well, this article will address just that and will convince you that a microwave convection is much better than a regular microwave.

So, what is a Microwave Convection?

We all know that a microwave’s most basic job is to reheat cold food but there are a lot of other things that it is used for too. So, how does it do it? Basically, a microwave uses the energy from radio-frequency waves to cook the items present inside the oven. It focuses on the water and fat content and moves from the center-outward.

 regular microwave and a convection microwave

On the other hand, a convection microwave uses this energy but it also uses a fan to distribute the hot air around your oven. So, you use a heating element and you use a fan to heat up your food. This ensures that your food is evenly cooked and no part is left uncooked. This is one of the reasons why Convection Microwave is much more popular than a regular microwave.

So, does this make it better than a Regular Microwave?

Well, the answer is not really a yes in this case. It all depends on your needs and requirements. If you want a microwave to just reheat your food items then a regular microwave will work fine for you. It will also be cheaper than a convection microwave and will help you in achieving a few basic tasks.

However, if you are looking to reheat a lot of meat in a little time or if you want to bake cakes and cookies at home frequently, then a Convection Microwave is a better choice at it would evenly distribute the heat and will make sure that no part of the item is left uncooked.

It is also a little costly so only buy it if you can afford. If you can afford it, then you should definitely buy it as it will help you in reheating the food evenly.

So, which one should you choose?

Well, as discussed earlier, it all depends on your usage needs and requirements. If you are looking for just a basic microwave to reheat your cold food then a regular microwave is more than good for you. KitchenGuyd has an indepth guide on buying one of both.

However, if you are looking to really get into baking or will be heating up a lot of food items at a time, then a Convection Microwave will be a much better choice for you.

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Huevos Rancheros Pizza

So I know this recipe sounds kind of odd. But seriously, this is one of the best things I have made in a while. Re-fried beans replace pizza sauce and then it is topped with cheese, jalapeno, chicken chorizo, onion, and egg. Once you take the pizza out of the oven, you add fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. Super satisfying and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

Mix refried beans with diced tomatoes and jalapeno. Make sure you get quality re-fried beans since they are one of the main components of the pizza.

Spread the beans on a pre-made crust. I used Rustic Pizza Crust that I got from Sprouts. It is super yummy.

Add cheese, onion, and jalapeno. Make wells inside the onion for the eggs.

Cook the chorizo in a frying pan. I used chicken chorizo, but use any type you want.

Crack the eggs into the onion and add the chorizo.

 

pizza

HUEVOS RANCHEROS PIZZA

PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
Crispy crust topped with seasoned refried beans, cheese, onion, egg, jalapeno, chorizo, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado.
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust ( I used Rustic Crust Pizza)
  • 1 13.5 oz can refried beans
  • 4 oz diced tomatoes with jalapeno
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ jalapeno sliced
  • 4 large slices of onion
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ lb. Chicken Chorizo
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place pizza crust on a greased cookie sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix refried beans with diced tomatoes. Spread bean mixture evenly over pizza, leaving an even crust around the edges.
  3. Cook the chorizo in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on the pizza. Place onion and jalapeno on top of the cheese.
  5. Make wells inside on the large onion rings. Crack one egg inside each ring. Add chorizo to the pizza.
  6. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until eggs are the desired doneness, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Once done, top with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. Serve and enjoy.

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Bahn Mi Meatball Sub

Down the street from my dorm in college was a small Vietnamese restaurantt. Up to this point, I had never experienced Vietnamese cuisine, but that changed quickly. As most of you will understand, when you are in college, anything that is cheap (or free) is amazing. And Bahn Mi Sandwiches were only a couple of dollars, so they ended up being my lunch quite a bit. My love for Bahn Mi and all Vietnamese food has grown ever since then. I tried to elevate the classic Bahn Mi with my take on it.

The meatballs are made from ground pork and all sorts of spices and herbs. This gives it the authentic Vietnamese flavor. I know the cinnamon sounds odd, but trust me, it is essential to the dish.

Roll the meatballs into a 1-inch diameter. When you put them in the pan make sure they do not touch.

The meatballs all done.

Make the sriracha lime sauce. This is made with Greek Yogurt to lighten up the sandwich. It also gives it a great tang.

Slice the jalapeno, make thin slices of carrot with a vegetable peeler. You can leave the cilantro whole.

Bahn Mi Meatball Sub

Bahn Mi Meatball Sub

Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Juicy Pork Meatballs made with Spices, Basil, Garlic, and Onion Placed in a Fresh Baguette with a sriracha lime sauce and sliced veggies.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALL:
  • 2 Ground Pork
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 White Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Basil, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • FOR THE TOPPINGS:
  • 2 Large Carrots, Trimmed and Peeled
  • 3 Jalapenos
  • 1 Cup Cilantro, leaves removed
  • 1 1/2 fresh baguettes
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Lime, Juiced
  • 2 TSP Sriracha Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the meatballs. Mix the meat with the spices, garlic, onion, lime basil, hoisin and soy sauce until evenly distributed. Roll the meatballs into 1-inch diameter meatballs. Place in multiple glass baking dishes, making sure the meatballs do not touch. Cook until done all the way through, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the veggies. Thinly slice the jalapeno. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin ribbons of carrot.
  3. Make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix yogurt with sriracha and lime. Cut the baguette into about 6-inch pieces. Cut those pieces in half horizontally.
  4. Plate the sandwich. Spread about 1 TBSP of sauce on a baguette. Place slices of carrot, jalapeno and some cilantro on inside bottom of baguette. Place 3 meatballs on top. Repeat for each sandwich. Serve and enjoy!

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Easiest Green Beans

Greens beans are a wonderful summer vegetable, but they can be kind of a pain in the rear to cook. If you cook them too much they become mushy and too little and they are not tender. This is the best and easiest way to cook green beans that have amazing flavor. And it is also the easiest way to make them. Your whole family will enjoy this recipe.

Cut the ends off of the green beans and thinly slice shallots.

thinly slice shallots

Add shallots and garlic powder to the pan. Add the green beans after.

garlic powder

Add chicken broth to the mixture. Cover and let the green beans cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Easiest Green Beans

Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time: 
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Serves: 4
Tender green beans cooked in shallot and garlic powder.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Trim ends off of green beans. Add olive oil to a large frying pan.Preheat l to medium-high heat. Once hot, add shallot and garlic powder. Stir and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add green beans. Mix together. Add chicken broth and cover. Reduce heat to medium and let cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce

Growing up, we had a huge garden and for some reason every year my dad would plant 6 tomato plants. Those of you that garden understands the magnitude of that decision. We would end up with so many tomatoes we didn’t know what to do with them.

We would try to use as many as possible and ended up making lots of pasta sauce. The beauty of pasta sauce is that you can freeze it for later. I no longer have a garden living in an apartment, but I still love my fresh tomato sauce. Usually, my family would blanch the tomatoes first, but this sauce does not require you to do that. So yay, fewer steps!

Soften and caramelize onions and carrot under the broiler. This gives a sweet and slightly smoky flavor.

Toss the tomatoes with the onion and carrots, spices and bay leave.

Cook for 8 hours, 4 on low and 4 on high. This should break down the tomatoes and give a great flavor. Just puree it with a hand blender, my favorite tool and you are done!

Sauce in the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Sauce

Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Serves: 4
A fresh tomato sauce that is light, full of flavor and tastes like it comes straight from the garden.

Ingredients

  • 10 medium tomatoes, Diced
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1 Carrot, Peeled and Diced
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Minced
  • 2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
  • 1 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler. On a baking sheet, toss onion, carrots and olive oil. Broil until onion begins to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a slow cooker, add onion and carrot mixture. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Put lid on slow cooker and turn to low. Cook for 4 hours. Mix and turn on high. Cook for another 4 hours. Turn off slow cooker. Using a hand blender, puree the tomato sauce until no large chunks remain.
  3. If freezing, let cool completely and freeze in heavy duty plastic bags.

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Kona Pork with Pineapple Slaw

Kona Pork with Pineapple Slaw

For those stay cautioners out there, I am bringing the balmy breezes of the Hawaiian shores to you. This Kona pork combines island flavor with some Asian ingredients, which is typical of Hawaiian cuisine. The guava juice used with the pork is inspired by my trip the Maui a few years back. That was where I really enjoyed guava juice, so I had to incorporate it into my Hawaiian inspired dish. Top the pork with a pineapple cabbage slaw, and you have a refreshing, island dish.

The pork all done after 8 hours in the slow cooker.  It will fall apart as you take it out of the slow cooker.

Shred the pork with two forks. Let it sit while you prepare the sauce.

Strain out all big chunks from the slow cooker and let the sauce remain. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and pineapple juice.

Place shredded pork back in the sauce when ready to serve.

Then, you need to make the slaw. Combine fresh pineapple pieces with chopped green cabbage.

Then mix in salt, pepper, greek yogurt and green onion.  Now your slaw is finished! Serve the slaw on top of the pork with some rice on the side.

Kona Pork with Pineapple Slaw

Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Tender pork soaked in an Asian island fusion sauce and topped with a tangy pineapple sauce

Ingredients:

  • 8 King Hawaiian Rolls
  • FOR THE PORK:
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 6 oz pineapple juice
  • 6 oz guava juice
  • 3 1/4 inch slices fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Ground Ginger
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 2 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • FOR THE SLAW:
  • 2 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper

Instructions

  1. Place pork chops in slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients for the pork. Place lid on top and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove pork with tongs and shred with forks. Strain out any large chunks out of the sauce. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar. Place lid back on and turn slow cooker to high. Let simmer for 15 minutes. When done, place pork back in the sauce and turn the slow cooker off.
  2. Make slaw. In a medium bowl, add chopped cabbage and bite-sized pineapple together. Add Greek yogurt, pepper and green onion. Mix until evenly distributed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, place some pork on King Hawaiian buns, making sure to let excess sauce drip off before placing on bun. Top with some slaw and top bun. Serve with some rice on the side. ENJOY!

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STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COBBLER

Strawberry-Shortcake-Cobbler

I have always loved strawberry shortcake. I think last summer I ate it for a week straight.  But as always, I love to put a new spin on a classic. This cobbler has a sweet berry filling and a shortcake crust. And to top it off the shortcake is made with greek yogurt to cut down on the fat. This is a great summer dessert that everyone will love.

Half or leave strawberries whole if small. Mix with blueberries. When you rinse the berries, make sure to dry thoroughly so that there is no extra liquid.

Add sugar and cornstarch.  The cornstarch will keep the liquid from seeping everywhere and keep the berries intact.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda to the food processor. Add cubes of butter and process till butter is incorporated. The texture of the dough should be grainy.

Mix in milk and greek yogurt til rough batter forms. The batter will be dry, but remember this is more similar to a biscuit dough, so that is ok.

Top the berries with the shortcake dough. With your hands evenly distribute the dough over the berries.

strawberry shortcake

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COBBLER

PREP TIME: 
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Shortcake topping with a sweet berry filling. Serve it with whipped cream or ice cream.
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE SHORTCAKE:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP Cold Butter, Cubed
  • 2 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1½ Cups Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Granulated Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Low Fat Milk (1%)
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 2 Lbs Strawberries, Halved
  • 1 Lb Blueberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix berries, sugar, and cornstarch. Pour into an 8 by 8 baking dish.
  2. Make the shortcake: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a food processor and add butter cubes. Process until butter is evenly incorporated and the flour has a grainy texture. Pour back into the bowl.
  3. Add yogurt and milk. Mix and combine until rough dough forms. Place dough evenly on top of the berry mixture. Sprinkle 1 TBSP Sugar on top of the dough. Cover tightly with foil.
  4. Cook for 40 minutes. Berries should be bubbling. Remove foil and cook another 25 minutes or until dough is evenly golden brown and shortcake is done.

 

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CILANTRO LIME JALAPENO CORN

cilantro corn

Usually, I am a purist when it comes to corn with only butter and a bit of pepper. But after seeing flavored corn over and over again, I decided to try it.  Wow, was I missing out? The flavors in this butter take the corn to the next level and give it a great twist. So when you think you are sick of corn this summer ( though, how could you ever be), try this new version.  All you do is mix the ingredients in the butter and let it sit. Then melt it all over the corn and you are finished.

CILANTRO LIME JALAPENO CORN

PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 
TOTAL TIME: 
Fresh corn with a lime, cilantro, jalapeno butter.
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ears of fresh corn, cleaned and shucked
  • FOR THE BUTTER:
  • 3 TBSP Butter softened
  • 1 TBSP Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 TBSP Jalapeno, Chopped
  • 1 TBSP Lime Juice
  • 1 TSP Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add corn and cook about 15 min.
  2. Mix butter with all other ingredients until evenly distributed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Spread the desired amount of butter over corn. ENJOY!

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TEX-MEX BURGER

As I was eating this burger I had a hard time coming up with one that could top my tex-mex burger. It was just that good. What I really enjoyed was that it was not your typical burger but it also didn’t taste like a taco. The flavors just made it taste very fresh and juicy. If you need something different for burger night, this is definitely a winner.

tex-mex burger recipe

Mix ground beef with salsa and spices. These patties are about 1/2 lb. The salsa does not overwhelm the beef if just adds a tang and quite a bit of flavor to the burger. If you are making the patties ahead of time, take them out the fridge about 15 minutes before you plan to cook them so they can come to room temperature. This allows the burgers to cook evenly.

Add burger to a hot pan, then after about 3 minutes 30 seconds flip over and add cheese. Cook for another 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Make sure to resist the temptation to press down on the burgers. Just let them be! If you squish them, you will push out all the juices.

Assemble the burger: Place the patty on a toasted bun. Quickly toast the buns either on the grill or under the broiler. They get done fast to make sure to watch them.

tex-mex burger

Add salsa on top of the patty. You may be thinking that this may be too much salsa, but I assure you it is not. The flavors will be very balanced.

Top with red onion. The sweet red onion will add some crunch, color, and sweetness to the burger.

Place cilantro inside the red onion. This gives the burger the fresh flavor that it needs.

Add avocado to the bun. The creamy avocado replaces any mayonnaise and unhealthy fats.  Get that creamy texture without filling out your waistline.

TEX-MEX BURGER

 
PREP TIME: 
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Juicy Burger Mixed with Salsa and Topped with Red Onion, Cilantro, and Avocado
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE BEEF:
  • 2 lb 90% Lean Ground Beef
  • 4 TBSP Your Favorite Jarred Salsa
  • 1 TSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 2 TSP Cumin
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 4 Hamburger Buns, Toasted
  • 8 thin slices red onion
  • ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 TBSP Salsa
  • 4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat. Make patties: Take the ground beef, add salsa and spices. Mix together till evenly distributed. Place patties on frying pan and cook for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
  2. Flip over and place 1 slice of cheese on each patty. Cook for another 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Meanwhile, get out all toppings and toast buns. Once done, let burger rest for 5 minutes on a plate.
  3. Assemble burger: Place patty on a bun. Top with 1 TBSP Salsa, then 2 slices of red onion. Place ¼ of the cilantro on red onion and then place avocado on top bun. Add bun to the burger and serve with some fresh corn and potato wedges.

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Zucchini Rice

zucchini rice

This rice is a wonderful side that goes well with any BBQ, especially chicken. It uses lots of summer zucchini, red onion and garlic to make a savory flavourful rice.

Saute the onions and the garlic

Add zucchini and spices:

Add chicken broth:

Zucchini Rice

Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Creamy rice with zucchini and red onion mixed in with spices

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grained rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP Chili Powder

Instructions:

  1. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, red onion, and garlic. Saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and spices. Saute until zucchini begins to cook, 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and rice, stir and cover. Reduce to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender.
  3. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

Need a twist? Try this Zucchini Fried Rice recipe.