Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is a perfect dish for you to make right now, as it is a wearer of many hats.  It feels indulgent, yet it is much healthier than its namesake.  It is fun and impressive enough for company, yet with a little planning, it’s simple to execute.  You get to boast a little, and say that you made your own salad dressing, but the dressing requires little more of you than measuring and stirring.  Also, it won’t overly heat your kitchen, and this recipe gives you a great excuse to buy a nice chunk of blue cheese. I found this […]

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Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with Cabbage and Chicken

  It’s still relatively early in the new year, which brings about the usual healthy eating reboot.  This year, I am noticing a perceptible shift in the annual routine: I can’t ignore the fact that I feel best when I am consuming more roughage, and less rich, heavy food.  Go figure: it turns out that vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains are touted for a reason.   While my taste for huge helpings of pasta will never disappear, I have discovered that the splurges feel much better in moderation, and more importantly, I feel much better.  This realization simultaneously brings me […]

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Taco Salads

“Plates or bowls?” Jean queried. “Definitely bowls,” I responded. This was the brief, yet definitive exchange I had with my friend as I put the final touches on the inventory of ingredients for taco salads.  There’s something infinitely satisfying about a smattering of ingredients heaped in a bowl, waiting to be mixed up and scooped up.  There’s no risk of a stray bean or avocado cube falling over the edge; you can enjoy with reckless abandon.  Due to rising summer temperatures and a busy schedule, I have been seeking out quick meals, and this taco salad certainly fits the bill.  […]

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Grilled Chicken with Warm Chickpeas and Green Salad

Monday was the most glorious spring day in Boulder: mid seventies; sunny with a few clouds, alleviating the direct heat of the sun; foliage greening out before your eyes.  It seemed like the perfect day to lavish my grill with a little love, and I found the perfect recipe in the recent issue of Bon Appétit for the occasion.  It was a simple dish of grilled chicken thighs, accompanied by a salad of baby greens and lightly sautéed chickpeas.  Straight out of the can, chickpeas can be a bit tinny, but when dressed up a bit, they can prove themselves […]

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Chopped Salad

Sometimes, I steal recipes.  This can happen in a completely innocent way.  For example, I may be perusing a cookbook or cooking magazine in a bookstore, and I stumble upon an enticing photograph or recipe.  The idea may simply stick with me, and lead to my own version of the aforementioned image, visual or verbal.  My previous post is prime example of this borrowed creativity.  I saw an idea that I liked, and put my own spin on it.  Other times, it is a little more malicious.  I might, say, take a picture of a photograph, or quickly type up […]

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Roasted Red Pepper Salad

I have spent the last month cooking hamburgers on my grill, striving towards the perfectly cooked, medium burger.  Grilling is a delicate dance between timing and heat.  It takes just the right balance to achieve a moderate char on the outside and a juicy, pink inside.  No one wants a blue burger, or a hockey puck, and no one wants a burger with a gray exterior, no matter how perfectly pink it may be in the middle.  Apparently, I have a few more burgers to screw up before I manage to avoid all of these undesirable traits.  Roasted red peppers […]

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Pan-Fried Tilapia Remix

Pan-fried tilapia is simply delicious, and if you need further justification of that statement, you can read about it in more detail in a one of my previous posts, singing its praises.  I usually don’t blog about the same dish twice, unless I find a way to improve it.  My recipe for tilapia recently received an upgrade, not by varying ingredients, but by varying the cooking vessel.  I recently purchased my very first cast iron pan, and my only regret is that I waited so long to do so.  This is not only an upgrade for tilapia, but also an […]

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Snow Day

Although my student status technically remains, as I am not yet gainfully employed or anything normal like that, I no longer function as a student in the classic sense of going to class, writing papers, and taking tests.  No, no, I am now done with that.  Now I am essentially “playing house” as a speech pathologist, tagging along with a real speech path in a public school, working with students, dabbling in the paper work, and trying to soak up every last bit of knowledge I can before I am expected to fend for myself (and get a pay check).  […]

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Al Fresco Dining

What’s the perfect ending to a perfect spring day?  The perfect dinner, outside, of course.  What’s the perfect outside dinner?  Parmesan chicken topped with a simple salad dressed in lemon vinaigrette.  There’s really no witty story or commentary behind this recipe.  Last Sunday, I just happened to spend a lovely homework-free day in good company.  I literally forgot I was in grad school for they day, and as I rode this wave of contented delirium, this recipe popped in my head.  I saw Ina Garten make it for Mel Brooks on Barefoot Contessa a while back.  If it is good […]

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Black Bean Salad and Roasted Poblano Quesadillas

I adore Deb Perelman’s blog, Smitten Kitchen.  It’s fun to read, the recipes always sound great, and she takes beautiful pictures.  Deb even provides pictures of her adorable baby, who lacks the alien-like quality frequently associated with newborns.  I say the food sounds great because I had never made one of her recipes until the other night.  I actually have a document on my computer devoted entirely to Smitten Kitchen recipes that I intend to make, but I only acted on this for the first time earlier this week.  It was a variation of her black bean confetti salad.  I […]

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