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.
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.
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:
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
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 😉