eats, extras

Van Life: What Our Friends Eat On The Road

Today’s special extra comes from our DINK friends, Courtney and Bryce Zinckgraf. For those of you who don’t know us, Courtney and Bryce are the reason we’re married and so in love. They paired us to walk down the aisle together at their wedding, and the rest is history. But this post isn’t about us – it’s about them!

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“Hi! We are from Jacksonville, FL. We quit our jobs, bought a 30-year-old van named Hidalgo and fixed it up. Now, we are living full time in the van while we drive around America seeing National Parks and meeting cool people.”

For those of who haven’t seen any of their videos yet, you’re in for a real treat. You can follow their journey HERE (and hit “Subscribe” – you won’t regret it).


But this EXTRA is all about their most recent video, which is what they eat in a typical day. We wanted to share two of their recipes with you, since we’re such foodies! See the full video and the two recipes below:

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 Avocado
  • ½ Medium onion
  • 1 Apple -1 tomato
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
Directions:
  • Empty chickpeas into a large bowl
  • Mash about ½ to ¾ of the chickpeas
  • Add avocado and mash to combine
  • Dice the onion, apple, and tomato
  • Add diced onion, apple and tomato to bowl with chickpeas and avocado
  • Add salt and garlic powder to taste
  • Stir to combine
Other things that are good in chickpea salad sandwich:
  • Mustard
  • Celery
  • Pickles
  • Lots of possibilities!

Peanut Butter Stir Fry

Ingredients:
  • Rice Noodles (check package for serving size and cooking instructions)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 small package of mushrooms
  • 1 head of broccoli Sauce
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic (or however much you want)
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger (or however much you want) –
  • Splash of water to thin it out
Directions
  • Cook rice noodles based on packaging instructions
  • While the noodles are cooking combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well
  • Dice the onion and pepper
  • Cut up the broccoli
  • Lightly stir fry the onions, pepper, mushrooms and broccoli (or cook to your liking)
  • Combine rice noodles, veggies, and sauce
  • Mix to combine

Viola – there you have it! A special treat from our two friends who are pursuing their dreams and have the most incredible videos and photos to prove it. We hope you enjoyed this EXTRA and continue following Courtney and Bryce on YouTube or Instagram.

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eats

Blue Apron Review: Seared Steaks & Miso Butter

Every once in a blue moon, we splurge and purchase an “ingredient-and-recipe meal kit.” Most of the time, the splurge stems from a busy week, and we appreciate having everything laid out for us. Alternatively, sometimes Melissa forgets to hit “Skip” for the week, and we’re pleasantly surprised by one at our front door. This is what happened this past week. (Oops!) Either way, Andrea, Melissa’s sister, introduced us to the idea, and we’ve enjoying trying many different ones.

This week, we served up Blue Apron’s Seared Steaks & Mission Butter with Marinated Bok Choy, and it didn’t disappoint. We both think it’s a definite “do again,” and would give the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Here’s what you need to know, and what minor changes we made to the recipe to make it more “us.”


Here are the ingredients they send you:

  • 2 Steaks
  • 1 cup Sushi Rice
  • 10 oz Baby Bok Choy
  • 2 Tbsps Soy Glaze
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsps Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Sweet White Miso Paste
  • 1 tsp Furikake
  • 4 tsps Yuzu Juice

We supplemented:

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped

Our Instructions:

Miso Butter
  • Place butter and Miso Paste in small bowl and set aside to bring to room temperature.
  • Once at room temperature, stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Your Miso Butter is complete!
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Butter and Miso Paste before combining.
Bok Choy Marinade
  • Cut off an discard the root end of the Bok Choy, thinly slice.
  • (Added step by us: Chop approximately 1/4 cup on red onions.)
  • Combine sliced Red Onions, Bok Choy, Furikake, Yuzu Juice, 1/2 Tbsp Mirin, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Your Bok Choy salad is complete!
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Our Bok Choy marinating with added Red Onions.
Sushi Rice
  • Thoroughly rinse the rice. (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!)
  • Combine rinsed rice, large pinch of salt, and 1 1/4 cups of water, and heat to boiling on high.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and cook without stirring for 15 minutes.
  • Once water is absorbed and rice is tender, turn off heat and fluff with fork.
  • Stir in half the mirin.
  • Your Sushi Rice is complete!
Steak
  • We decided to celebrate our recent Reverse Sear blog (by Bar-B-Chu), by reverse searing our steak.
  • Rinse the steak and pat dry with a paper towel in preparation to season with your favorite steak rub.  We choose Wassi’s Classic Steak for this recipe.
  • While the rub and the steak become friends, heat your grill to 250 degrees indirect (we did this on the Big Green Egg).
  • Once the grill is up to temperature place your steak(s) on the grate and let them bake for 35-45 minutes depending on what internal temperature you want.
  • When you are about 5-10 degrees away from your desired internal temp, remove the steak(s) and set your grill for 400-450 degrees direct heat.
  • Place you cast iron on the grate and add butter, bacon grease, or your favorite searing fat.
  • Add the steak(s) to the cast iron and cook for 30ish seconds on each side until crispy.
  • Once crispy, remove the steak(s) and let them rest for 5ish minutes
  • Cut into strips, plate, and ENJOY!
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Our bacon grease reserve for the reverse sear!
Plating
  • Pile rice and top with steak. Drizzle Soy Glaze. Top with Miso Butter. Add Boy Choy salad as a side.

Final Product: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This meal was on point. We were starving, so the sticky, starchy rice was amazing and filling. The soy glaze added the perfect sweetness to the salty. The Miso Butter added the perfect combo of flavors. 5 out of 5 on that side of the plate.

The Bok Choy salad was a little bland, which is why Blue Apron lost .5 point overall. Because of its blandness, we ended up adding the touch of red onions. It balanced out the flavor, and made the side a little more refreshing. We were really glad to have some on hand.

Overall, this was definitely a great recipe! We’re glad Melissa forgot to hit “Skip” this week.

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Voila! Thanks, Blue Apron!