food

Lentil Soup Recipe

lentil soup

If you feel like you need a bit of a detox after Thanksgiving weekend, then this lentil soup recipe is probably just what you need. I followed this Barefoot Contessa recipe exactly, though I cut it in half since hers makes ten servings which seemed like a little much for just Justin and me – though to be honest I ate a lot of it before Justin even got home from work so I probably should have just made the entire batch and had some for leftovers. Next time.

This super hearty and flavorful lentil soup recipe is chock full of healthy veggies and is very high in fiber, and calls for some interesting seasonings like cumin and red wine vinegar, which I wouldn’t have thought of on my own but add a really delicious depth of flavor to the soup. The recipe comes out perfect as is, but if you want to kick it up a notch top each bowl with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese as Ina suggests. Also, a nice piece of crusty bread would be delicious with it, though the oil, cheese and bread starts to defeat the purpose of a healthy dinner a bit doesn’t it? Either way, make this next time you want something super nutritious but still filling and tasty.

Find the recipe here.

the best dip/sauce EVER

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I’m barely being dramatic when I say that this Romesco inspired sauce is the best thing ever. There used to be a little company at our local farmers’ market that sold this kind of sauce, but they seem to have disappeared so I decided that I needed to take things into my own hands. This sauce (or dip) is creamy and fresh tasting, and works on/with anything from simple veggies and dip, to pasta, to salad dressing. I love to put a big dollop on a quinoa or farro bowl to instantly make it a bit more exciting. The best part is that it’s easy to make and super healthy…

Combine two roasted red peppers (you can also do them on the stove in a super hot cast iron skillet until they’re nice and charred) 1/2 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, a clove of garlic, and salt to taste in a a blender, and pulse until smooth. I’ve also played around with adding a very small amount of sun dried tomatoes, which is also delicious and adds depth to the flavour. Let the mixture cool in the fridge and them serve with whatever you want. 

 

papa cristo’s easy feta dip

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Last night some friends and I went to Papa Cristo’s, a popular Greek restaurant in downtown LA for a cooking class. Papa Cristo himself led the group to the industrial kitchen, gave us some snacks and homemade wine, and then and taught us how to make moussaka (which was good and very authentic, though I’m not a huge moussaka fan) and a super simple feta cheese dip, which I loved. Here’s how to make the dip:

Ingredients:

1 lb Greek (this is important) feta cheese, 1.5 tbsp oregano, 1/2 cup Greek olive oil (extremely important – Papa Cristo talked a lot about his love for olive oil and how it was a ‘gift from God’ and that there was no such thing as expensive olive oil because it’s so important), optional 1 tbsp dried red peppers for heat 

Directions:

1. Take feta out of fridge about 30 minutes before you begin

2. Once feta is soft enough, combine all ingredients in a large bowl

3. With hands or mixer, thoroughly smoosh (Papa Cristo’s exact words) thoroughly all ingredients until it becomes smooth

4. Spoon dip into a serving bowl, cover and chill

Serve with pita chips or veggies like cucumber and red pepper, and try not to eat it all before your guests arrive 😉

Nicoise Salad Recipe

nicoise salad recipe

Nicoise salads are one of my favorite things to make during the summer (or during a very hot spring like we’re having) when I feel like something light, healthy, and easy for lunch or dinner. I usually make mine with traditional packed tuna (good quality tuna, either Italian or Spanish) but decided to switch things up the other day and used salmon, which was just as good. I seared the salmon in a hot pan before roasting it for a few minutes which makes it crispy and delicious, but simply baking or poaching it would be good as well. I learned the salmon making trick from Ina’s Salmon and Lentils recipe – try it, I promise you’ll be glad you did.

I followed this recipe for the salad, omitting the radishes since I didn’t have any, and am planning to make it again this weekend for a bbq we’re having. Let me know if you try making a Nicoise, or if you have a different recipe I should check out. Have a good day!

best roast chicken

easy roast chicken recipe

I love roast chicken, and it’s become a bit of a tradition in our house to make it on Sunday nights. After trying quite a few recipes (and a fair amount of trial and error) I can confidently say that the very best, easiest roast chicken recipe out there is Ina Garten’s aptly named Perfect Roast Chicken. The instructions are so easy to follow and the chicken really does come out perfect every time; juicy with crispy skin and a really delicious subtle garlic and lemon flavor.

I follow Ina’s recipe pretty much to a T, except that I add rosemary in addition to the thyme, and I use less veggies than she recommends since I find that they tend to get crowded and steam a bit more than they roast. Justin and I have been eating the chicken recently with this really amazing Lebanese dip that we get at the market which is insanely garlicky (we probably stink to be honest but it’s so worth it. Here’s a link to a recipe if you can’t find it at your grocery store) but amazing, or with a jus made from the pan drippings.

Get Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe here.

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