Posts tagged lunch

Arugulatastic Salad

Ahhh yes, it’s the quiet ecstacy of a weekday lunch at home. Arugula salad with grilled corn, black beans, pepper jack, walnuts, avocado, grape tomatoes and popcorn with parmesan peppercorn dressing. And Lebanese lentil soup from Chef Rita – my fabulous and gorgeous neighbor here on the Lower East Side. Aaahhh.

Arugulatastic Salad and Rita Soup

Otherwise known as “throw-it-in-a-bowl-and-dress.”  But let me say that the little extra effort to shave the corn off a cob and sauté it in butter and salt for five minutes will turn this salad into a taste sensation you think must be off the black market, it’s so good.  It makes your Muzak into Mick Jagger, your fish sticks into Katsu-ya sushi, your Bud Light into a Fat Tire, your… well you get it.

And yes, I did say POPCORN.  Newman’s Own microwave light butter flavor, to be exact.  Push the envelope people.  Pop the corn.  Trust Punky on this one – it’s like crack in your salad.

Does crack taste good in a salad?

Nevermind.  You know what I mean.

Serve and Enjoy!

wuv,
Sam

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Lucky 7 Salad!

Yes… I’M BACK!  I know your life has been empty and hungry without your Punky Chef.  So sing to the heavens, hug thy neighbor, and get EXCITED, people.  I’ve been busy traveling and working on many things happy problem.  (New songs!  Visit www.myspace.com/thehappyproblem.  Sorry, brief promotional moment.)  AND, Punky Chef is now AUNT PUNKY CHEF.  Witness my two gorgeous new nephews – born within 24 hours of each other to my sister and my sister-in-law:

Ryder Punky - doing his very first Elvis impression

Punky Ryder - doing his very first Elvis impression

David Punky - doing his first Johnny Rotten impression

Punky David - doing his first Johnny Rotten impression

So I’ve been enjoying the baby parade for the last three weeks, and am now getting back to my teensy kitchen and starting to cook again.  And just to ease us all back in, I’m throwing this fabboo, quick, healthy lunch at you.  Witness Lucky 7 Salad!

Do ya feel LUCKY, Punk?

Do ya feel LUCKY, Punk?

Yeah, it’s pretty much the easiest ever, thanks to our “7” theme and also to the wonderful people at Newman’s Own for the dressing.  Come with me…

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Triple-Threat Quesadillas!

Awww, YEAH! This is a triple threat. And so easy.  So get’cher frying pan and your big knife, and let’s get on down to the Caramelized Onion, Black Bean, Pepper Jack Quesadillas!

lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!

lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!

Ahh, yes.  A classic.  And SO easy, it’s stupid.  But also this is one of the most flexible recipes in the world.  You can vary the kind of cheese, tortillas, veggies, herbs, meat, beans, you can add guacamole, skip salsa, even STEAM the tortillas instead of frying them!  So for the sake of a clear path, I’ve made a decision, and chosen pepper jack cheese, organic black beans, caramelized onions, and a white, low carb tortilla.  Vamanos, mis amigos! Read the rest of this entry »

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Not Grilled Cheese, it’s THRILLED CHEESE!

Oh you know I crack myself up.  And I have really done it this time, I tell ya.  What happens when you make a grilled cheese with pesto, Parmesan, calamata olives and tomato?  It’s a Thrilled Cheese!  And just wait for the special surprise ingredient.  Come with me…

Um-yum-yum-yum, Um-yum-yum-yum...

Um-yum-yum-yum, Um-yum-yum-yum...

What’s that?  CLOSER, you say?  How’s THIS?

So thrilled, I was shaking the camera a wee bit... sorry.

So thrilled, I was shaking the camera a wee bit... sorry about blurriness.

Yes, just when you thought grilled cheese had become frightfully passé, here comes the greatest thing to happen to it since– since PESTO!  And just WAIT for the awesome alternative to butter I used.  Follow me, my friends… Read the rest of this entry »

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Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Sandwich – God Save the Queen!

Need a quick, beautiful, tasty sandwich that will make you feel like royalty? Get’cher Farmer’s Market loot and combine with some fresh, floaty mozzarella and some healthy wheat bread, and you’ve got it! Witness: Mozzarella Basil Tomato Sandwich – or as I’m calling it, the God Save the Queen!

Like flags in a royal procession...

Like flags in a royal procession...

Yes, if your mouth isn’t watering now, you’re just not human. Or a dog or a bug. (Because I think bugs would like this sandwich, too.) But I digress! This sandwich is also so easy to make that you can do it with only one ankle. (I know this because on Wednesday night, I broke my ankle. Yes. So there’s not a lot of tossing and whipping around the kitchen happening for this Punky Chef at the moment.)

At least it looks punky, eh?

At least it looks punky, eh?

So, get ‘cher boot on and here we go. Now, technically, this combo would be called a “Caprese Sandwich”, but we’re calling it a “God Save the Queen,” because my good friend Carolyn has told me I should name all of the Punky Chef creations after punk bands and punk themes. Trouble is, most punk bands have names like the Velvet Underground, which makes me think of mold in the fridge. (However, it would be the PERFECT name for a red velvet cake recipe, but I don’t like red velvet cake, so I will never make it for you.) Or you could name something a “Sid n’ Nancy,” but then all we think of is heroin and blood, and that’s not very appetizing, though it could make a great cocktail, I suppose. Even the thought of eating something called a “Sex Pistol” – well, I don’t have to tell you.

But then I thought, wait – there is nothing so classic and filled with pageantry as a fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato sandwich, and what else is classic and filled with pageantry? THE QUEEN! So we arrive at the title for this fabulous and fast sandwich – and you can imagine the most famous Sex Pistols song, or you can imagine carriages, crowns, and receptions. Either way, it’s damn tasty, so let’s get started!
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Snappy Sweet n’ Salty Spring Salad!

Yeesss, Spring is upon us people, and nowhere is that more evident than at my local Farmer’s Market, where sugar snap peas were on the tables this week.  So, in honor of the ‘snaps, I bring you: Snappy Sweet n’ Salty Spring Salad!

I'm not sure what little animal I was trying to make on top there.  Maybe a fish?  Caterpillar?  Maybe just a feathered earring.

I'm not sure what little animal I was trying to make on top there. Maybe a fish? Caterpillar? Maybe just a feathered earring like your Anthropology professor used to wear. Either way, not very appetizing.

I am a HUGE sugar snap pea fan, and it’s one of the only vegetables that remains stubbornly seasonal.  Yeah you can get strawberries anytime of the year, and we pretend that leeks and potatoes are a winter thing, but we all know they’re just hangin’ happily in the produce section all 365 days.  But Sugar Snaps?  Oh no, people.  They are SPECIAL.  They do not let us in to their snappy, crispy, sweet little world unless they feel like it.  (And unless it’s Spring.)  So let’s celebrate the ‘snaps with this crunchy, yummy little salad!  I combined the crisp of veggies with the crunch of walnuts and pepito seeds, and the sweet of the ‘snaps with the smoke of the nuts and the salt of the… well, of the salt.  Come with me… Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Bean Walnut Caesar Salad

Ahh yes, my punky lovelies! Here is a really quick, stupendously tasty salad with an extra kick of flavor. Witness: Black Bean Walnut Ceasar Salad!

Special surprise for your taste buds waiting inside...

Special surprise for your taste buds waiting inside...

Ahh, yes. Necessity is truly the mother of invention, and I stumbled upon this salad in one of my “Hmmm-what-else-do-we-have-in-the-kitchen?” moods. Well we had romaine, carrots, pepito seeds, cheese, and some Mexican Caesar dressing left over from the grocery store. We also had some black beans and I thought “Oh cool – protein,” because us vegetarians are always on the lookout for proteins, (even us fake, free-range-meat-eating vegetarians).

But we also had some WALNUTS left from the cornbread and the tricolore salad the other day, so I chopped ’em up and threw them in too, thinking, “Walnuts? Wow, I’m totally ruining this whole salad, but what the hell.” But THEN I ate a forkful and it was like BANG! POW! MUGGA MUGGA WOW WOW! This incredible nutty and sweet aftertaste hit me after the already awesome savory rich Caesar taste. Suffice it to say, I was in love… Read the rest of this entry »

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