Monday, April 30, 2012

Meatless Monday: Moar lentilz plz!!!

Okay, okay, so I know there are a lot of jokes going around about lentils.  Namely because they are often used by the well-meaning folks as a cure all for the problems of the poor, fat, and hungry.

I.E.  "All the poor fat peoplez should eat all the lentilz because they're healthy and cheaper than a Big Mac!!"

All ass-hattery aside, I really think people should eat more lentils.  They are healthy, cheap, and insanely delicious!!!  The only downside as far as I can see is there lack of, shall we say, visual appeal?

Honestly, this is actually a pretty good picture of lentils.  If you want to see them in their total paradoxically ugly/ delicious form, see this post here on Sausage with Lentils.

Where was I?

Right, lentils are delicious (if somewhat disgusting looking), and I really could eat them any day of the week.  (Mr. greenhorngourmande still remains somewhat unconvinced of this all lentil diet.  That's okay though, because that just means more for me.)

Seriously though, I'm pretty in love with this tasty little legume.  As seen in a recent photo of me daydreaming of this particular lentil dish, Mujadara.

I can haz all the lentilz!?!?!

I do have to admit that this particular dishes appeal lies not so much in the lentils, but rather the copious amounts of caramelized onions contained within.  This dish is hearty, savoury, and ready in about 45 minutes.  Give it a try, and maybe you too will find yourself as a member of #teamlentilz4life.



1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp garam masala
2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup long grain rice
4-6 cups liquid (veg. stock, chicken stock, water etc.)
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

1.  In a large pot heat 1 tbsp of oil and add the diced onions.  Cook until softened and add the garlic and garam masala, cooking until fragrant.
2.  Add the lentils and 4 cups of liquid.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are beginning to become soft.  Add the rice and enough liquid to cover by about an inch.  Stir together, cover, and cook over low heat until rice and lentils are completely cooked.
3.  While lentils are cooking in step 2, melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook until caramelized.
4.  Stir caramelized onions into the cooked rice and lentils, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weeknight lovin' pt. 2- Why everything should be made in one pot

I am a brown bagger.  Well, technically speaking, I'm a 'zip-lock bagger', since I always pack my lunch in the same old freezer bag.  (Far more leak proof, don't-cha know?)  The soup du jour is pretty much always leftovers, most of the time they're decent enough, but every once and a while they leave the whole office greedily sniffing the air and asking hopefully, "did you get that from around here?"

Of course I have to shatter their dreams of a fragrant lunch when I tell them that it's just my leftovers.  (Although I always offer the consolation prize: the recipe.)

At any rate, this dish I'm about to share is one of the aforementioned leftovers that left my coworkers with lunch envy.

It's something along the lines of a gumbo, but with more of a Mexican flair.  It's bursting with flavor, and when served over brown rice, it makes a hearty and satisfying weeknight meal.

Chicken Sausage Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
2 jalapeno chicken sausages, cut into 1/4in half moons
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2in half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 cups kidney beans
1 cup sliced bell pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

1.  In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat and brown the sausage.  Once the sausage is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  In the same oil, add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook until slightly softened and translucent.  Add the garlic and Serrano, and cook until fragrant, about one more minute.
2.  Add the diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and thyme.  Stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the beans and peppers and continue to simmer until peppers are softened, about 15 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over white or brown rice.  Garnish with avocado if desired.  (I really recommend it).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weeknight lovin' pt. 1

Some nights you just want a quickie...

As I'm adjusting to my new work schedule, I'm finding that I've lost my taste for the long and labourious week night meal.  Monday through Friday, I want it fast and hot- but still delicious and creative.

These two things are not mutually exclusive, or so I've found.  This week I'll be sharing a few of my (relatively) fast weeknight meals that fulfill all four criteria.

First up (pictured above) is Ramps spaghetti.


At this point you may be asking yourself "what the fuck is a ramp?"  That was a question I found myself asking about this time last year while looking at seasonal produce online.  (Yeah, I know I'm a food nerd.)

Ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks,  grow for a ridiculously short period of time in the early spring.  They are likened as a cross between garlic and green onions, and are known to drive the food obsessed into some kind of spring frenzy where they are willing to pay upwards of $16lb to get a taste of what pretty much boils down to weeds some guy pulled from his yard...  Excuse me, I mean foraged....

Seriously though, I heard about them, and I knew I had to at least have a taste.  I searched far and wide last spring, but alas was unable to find them in my local market.

Since I now live in The Big CityTM, I was able to find them at my local farmers market.  The verdict?

They are delicious, and are a truely unique ingredient.  I found them to have a rather delicate, almost sweet, flavor (although they are described by some as footy).

 Since their season is so short, you can only have them once or twice a year- so I say have a little splurge!  You only need a quarter lb or so for this recipe, which by the way, is ridiculously rewarding for the required effort to make this sunshiny little number.

Ramps Spaghetti (with lemon and Pecorino)

This recipe takes about 20 minutes including the time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil.  It's fast and easy, but I find the ramps make it feel extra special.  Serves 2.


2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces ramps, greens roughly chopped, whites finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 ounce Pecorino Romano, grated
6 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the pasta.
2.  In a large saute pan heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the whites of the ramps and cook another minute or so, sprinkling with salt and pepper.
3.  Add the greens of the ramps and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly wilted.  By now your pasta should be  slightly crunchier than al dente.  Bring the pasta from the pot directly into the pan, and add a tablespoon or so of water. 
4.  Pour in the lemon juice and toss the pasta.  Sprinkle in about 3/4 of the pasta and toss to combine.  Serve sprinkled with a little more cheese.  

Tune in tomorrow for more weeknight lovin pt. 2!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WIAW 23- covert veg.

Happy WIAW y'all.

I've got a confession to make.  This is my first post since last Wednesday's WIAW.  Oopps.  Yeah, I suppose I've been feeling a bit lazy lately.  My new job is pretty awesome in that I don't have to go in until 10am (fuck yeah!), but this also means I don't get home until around 7pm.

Don't get me wrong, I've been cooking.  It's just when I'm making dinner at around 7:30 or 8pm, the novelty of documenting the whole process just seems incredibly annoying.

At any rate, I pledge to make more posts next week... Maybe...

On to the eats!!!


After a couple weeks on my oatmeal hiatus, I've returned to my old breakfast steady, old fashioned oats with natural pb and turbinado sugar.  Delicious, filling, and reliable.

Lunch also featured an oldie but goodie:

Pumpkin mac and cheese with roasted cauliflower (it's in there  I swear!).  I made this pretty consistently this winter, but it had been about a month since I made it last.  My pumpkin stash finally ran out, so I had to make this one with regular ol' canned pumpkin.  The verdict?  Equally tasty.  

Snacks were the usual suspects:

Orange, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and an apple.  Not terribly exciting, but they served their purpose.

Dinner tonight was a fly by the seat of your pants operation:

Blurry Leek and Potato soup.  This photo is pretty poor, however it demonstrates my previously made point.  By the time dinner rolls around, I really can't be arsed with the blog/photo element of my cooking hobby.  The soup was delicious, and was wrought from these GIGANTIC leeks I bought at the farmers market this past weekend.  It was an impulse buy, but I really couldn't resist.  They were just so beautiful, gigantic, and only $3.50 for the whole lot of them.  They definitely were done justice in this pottage.

So I believe the theme for this month's WIAWs is an extra cup of vegetables.  While I know I could have done better, I believe I had my fair share today.  It's just that most were rather stealthy.  So lets give a recount: pumpkin, cauliflower, celery, carrots, leeks, and potatoes.  Not to shabby.

Make sure to check out all the other posts over at Peas and Crayons to see how everyone else is bulking up on the veg (heh).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...