Back on Lentils – Hearty Lentil Stew

There was a time in my life when I ate lentil soup for lunch every day for probably 6 months straight.  A friend of mine inspired me and she and I both vowed to never eat lentil soup again around the same time as we both got completely sick of it.  That was about a year ago so I figured it was time to try it out again.  It’s a great lunch staple afterall!

IMG_18054 tablespoons coconut oil

4 medium onions, roughly chopped

4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

4 cups dried green lentils

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning

1 bunch kale, chopped

2 cups frozen peas

Fresh sage, chopped

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

IMG_1806Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions, celery, and carrots in the oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the lentils, stirring to coat them evenly with the oil and vegetable mixture.  Add enough filtered water to the pot to cover everything by an inch.  Add the bay leaves and Italian seasoning.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, add the kale and peas.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the chopped sage to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

IMG_1810This makes a bunch and is hearty enough to keep you full until dinner time. I guess I’m back on the lentils!  Happy cooking!

 

 

 

You asked, I made! – Squash Rounds with Shallot-Cider Sauce

A few weeks ago I posted the link to the recipe for this and asked people to like it if they thought I should make it.  It got a few likes so I went ahead with it.  Good thing I did too because it turned out great!  This is a great little twist on butternut squash if you’re not feeling the usual puree or soup.  You’ll note that I’ve switched out some of the not so healthy ingredients for their healthy counterpart.

IMG_16261 3-pound butternut squash with a 6-inch neck

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced shallots (8-10 medium)

1 teaspoon rapadura (or succanat if you cant find rapadura.  Rapunzel is labeled as whole cane sugar but it’s real rapadura)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

IMG_1628

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil.

Cut the neck off the squash and peel it.  Slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds; remove any stray fibrous threads or seeds in the centers.  (Reserve the  rest of the squash for another use, such as squash puree).  Place the rounds on the baking sheet.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until the squash is tender, about 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, rapadura, and salt and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, until the shallots are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cider and vinegar and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, 6-10 minutes.

IMG_1629

To serve, place 1 squash round on a small plate and top with about 2 tablespoons shallot sauce.  Place a second round on top and finish with another 2 tablespoons of the sauce and a sprinkling of walnuts.  Repeat with the remaining rounds and sauce.

IMG_1631This was SO yummy.  I served it as a main dish because we had a late lunch and weren’t starving but you could also serve it as a side dish.  Happy cooking!

 

 

Veggie post! – Red Lentil and Coconut Curry Dahl

I’ve been MIA for a bit and I apologize.  In the past 10 days I’ve had two weddings, my anniversary, the Super Bowl, layoffs at work (I’m still employed yay!) and several events for school.  I’m pooped!  But I did whip up this soup last week and I’m finally getting around to posting it.  It’s a little something different for lunch.  My camera has been taking pictures very dark for some reason.  I’m not sure whats up so apologies for the less than stellar photos.

IMG_16222 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

3 tablespoons finely minced ginger root

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon red curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

12 oz tomato sauce

2 cups dried red lentils

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

IMG_1623

 

Melt the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onion and saute slowly until it is translucent and soft.  Then stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, and curry paste, mixing everything together well.  Add the coconut milk, reduce the heat, and let mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes covered before adding the tomato sauce, lentils and stock.

Remove the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often to keep the lentils from sticking to the bottom.  As the lentils cook, they will break down and thicken the soup.  Add more liquid as needed.

When ready, add additional seasoning to taste and serve.

IMG_1625

This is a pretty easy soup to throw together if you don’t have a lot of time and it’s different than your every day lentil soup.  Happy cooking!

 

Sauteed Baby Bok Choi

I’ve moved! I am now a real life blog!  So this is my first blog post on WordPress.  Bear with me as I learn to use this platform.  I’m sure there will be some kinks along the way!  My first post will be a side dish that I served with the turkey recipe I posted earlier today on Tumblr.  I found this recipe in the New York Times cooking section Jan 5, 2011.The ingredientsI got these baby bok chois (is bok choi already plural?) in my CSA box this month and needed to use them before they went bad so although I’m not sure asian veggies go so well with American turkey I figured what the heck.  We live in a melting pot right?  Why not cook that way too!

Sauteeing

2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like canola (I used olive because I don’t like those light veggie oils)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 1/2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced (I used about a half teaspoon pre-minced ginger which I forgot to include in the photo)

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste

4 bunches of baby bok choi, approximately 1 1/2 pounds, cleaned, with the ends trimmed

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon chicken stock or water

Toasted sesame oil for drizzling.

1. In a large saute pan with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer.  Add garlic, ginger and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. (Watch for flying oil drops, it hurts!)

2. Add bok choi and stir carefully to cover with oil, then cook approximately 2 minutes.  Add soy sauce, stock or water, then cover pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes more, until steam begins to escape from beneath the lid of the pan.

3. Uncover and continue to cook until liquid is close to evaporated and stalks are soft to the touch, approximately 3 minutes more.

4. Remove to warmed platter and drizzle with sesame oil.  (This was a last minute dish and I was out of sesame oil so I skipped this part).

The finished product

This was a simple but delish recipe.  I definitely recommend.  Happy cooking!