German Lentil Soup

I love lentils, but I did not love this soup. I should have added more broth at the end to make it more like soup. This really lacked in flavor. 😦

rating: 4

German Lentil Soup
(Happy Herbivore Abroad by Lindsay S. Nixon)

serves 3

 

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander, divided
2 carrots, skinned and sliced
1 cup lentils
1 potato, diced
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
lemon zest
parsley (garnish)

 
Directions:

Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water (or broth) and saute onions and garlic over high heat until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add cumin and 1/2 tsp coriander, then stir to combine. Add carrots, plus another splash of water if necessary, and cook for a minute. Then add lentils, diced potato, and 2 cups broth. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until lentils are softer and liquid has evaporated, about 40 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tsp coriander and a pinch or two of lemon zest. Then add up to an additional 1 cup broth so it’s more stew-like and not just a pot of lentils and vegetables. Add salt to taste and more coriander if desired. Garnish with parsley.

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Product Review: Morningstar Farms Veggie Pulled Pork

Veggie pulled pork? Wha??? I wasn’t sure what to make with this (was thinking sliders), but I ended up making nachos. The veggie pulled pork is easy to make- just put it in a microwave-safe bowl, add a little water, then microwave for about 3 minutes. I then added some tortilla chips to a baking pan, added the veggie pulled pork, cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of barbeque sauce, and some cheese. It was good! Husband thought the veggie pulled pork would be “softer”, but I thought it was really good. I could totally see it on a sandwich with barbeque sauce and slaw. Both kids really liked it, too.

rating: 9

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Tres Leches Cake with Berries

Tres Leches is my favorite cake. I order it whenever I see it on the dessert menu. This recipe was SO easy and SO good! It’s now my children’s favorite cake, too! It says to refrigerate at least 6 hours after poking the holes and drizzling the milks, but I tried it after only a couple of hours. And it was good then! But the next morning (yes, I tried it after breakfast), it was AWESOME! It really did get even better. This is a dangerous thing to have in my house, and it is the reason I am lacing up my walking shoes right now. I need to walk that cake off!

rating: 9.9

Tres Leches Cake with Berries
(Food Network Magazine, May 2017)

 

time needed: 1 hour, 20 min. (plus 6 hour+ chilling)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (I omitted)
8 cups sliced fresh strawberries, for serving
Sifted confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream, for topping

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Place the eggs, 1 cup of granulated sugar and the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes (really!) until light yellow and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add half the flour mixture, then the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 25 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched lightly in the middle and a cake tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the pan for 30 minutes.

In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, almond extract and vanilla seeds. Using a bamboo skewer, poke holes all over the cooled cake and slowly pour the cream mixture over the cake, allowing it to be absorbed completely before continuing to pour on more of the mixture. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To serve, toss the strawberries with the 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, cut in squares and place on dessert plates. Surround the cake with the strawberries, put a dollop of whipped cream on top and serve.

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Farro Burrito Bowls

Having discovered farro a short while ago, I can’t seem to get enough of it! This dish was really good, and it was a nice change from the typical rice bowl. I didn’t have the recipe for the roasted veggies (they were on another page and I had recycled the magazine already), so I just roasted some veggies with some Italian seasoning. My son doesn’t like queso fresco, so I used feta instead.

rating: 9.4

Farro Burrito Bowls
(Cooking Light, July 2017)

 

serves 4
time needed: 25 min.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (I omitted)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cooked farro
2 cups grilled vegetable mixture from (grilled caponata panini), coarsely chopped
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)- I used feta
1 medium avocado, sliced
Lime wedges

 

Directions:

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture. Add farro to remaining cilantro mixture; toss to coat.
Divide farro mixture, chopped grilled vegetables, beans, cheese, and avocado among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle with reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

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Egg-In-A-Nest BLT Sandwiches

My 10 year old didn’t love this (said it was too messy), but husband and I really liked it! I mean, what’s not to like here?! I used Vegan Magic to fry the “bacon” in, and I do think that added a nice smoky “meat”-like flavor to the dish. I had never thought about making sandwiches using what we call “Toad in the Hole” toasts, but what a great idea!

rating: 9

Egg-In-A-Nest BLT Sandwiches
(Cooking Light, July 2017)

 

makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

8 (1-oz.) whole-wheat sourdough bread slices, lightly toasted
2 center-cut bacon slices, diced (I used Morningstar Farms veggie bacon)
1 medium ripe avocado
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 Bibb lettuce leaves (about 2 oz.)
8 tomato slices

 

Directions:

 

Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut a hole from the center of 4 bread slices. Discard bread rounds or reserve for another use.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 2 minutes or until crisp. Place bacon on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon drippings into a bowl and reserve.
Combine avocado, mayonnaise, and salt in a small bowl; mash to combine. Stir in bacon.
Add half of reserved bacon drippings to pan over medium-high. Place 2 cut bread slices in skillet; break 1 egg into each hole. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon pepper on each egg. Cook 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set. Carefully turn bread; cook 2 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining half of bacon drippings, cut bread slices, eggs, and pepper.
Spread avocado mixture evenly over 4 uncut bread slices. Top each with 2 lettuce leaves, 2 tomato slices, and 1 egg-in-a-nest bread slice.

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Pasta with Charred Broccoli, Feta, and Lemon

Two recipes back to back with charred broccoli! This pasta was awesome! Actually, my kids didn’t like the broccoli, but I thought it was really, really good. The sauce for this dish was so tasty, but so simple! I took the liberty of adding toasted pine nuts at the end for a little crunch. I had planned on having the leftovers for lunch the next day, but husband ate it ALL.

rating: 9.8

Pasta with Charred Broccoli, Feta, and Lemon
(Cooking Light, July 2017)

serves 4

Ingredients:

4 cups small broccoli florets
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I omitted)
8 ounces uncooked strozzapreti or mezze penne pasta (I used a different pasta)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (such as Maldon) (I omitted)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Combine broccoli, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and crushed red pepper on a baking sheet; spread in a single layer. Bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until broccoli is charred and browned in spots, stirring after 15 minutes.
Bring a large saucepan filled with water and remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt to a boil. Add pasta, and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-low. Cook 2 minutes or until garlic is golden, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add reserved 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid and milk to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in feta; cook 3 minutes or until feta begins to melt and sauce is slightly thickened. Add broccoli, pasta, and lemon rind; toss. Divide pasta mixture among 4 bowls; sprinkle evenly with black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon flaked salt.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Charred Broccolini Salad

These sandwiches were good! My family didn’t love the broccolini, though. 😦 I thought it was okay. I am trying to get my kids to eat more green stuff, but this way did not work.

rating: 7

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Charred Broccolini Salad
(Everyday with Rachael Ray, June 2017)

 
serves 4
time needed: 30 min.

 
Ingredients:

1 lb. broccolini
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 ⁄4 cup mayonnaise
8 thick slices rustic bread
6 oz. aged cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest plus 2 tbsp. juice (from 1 lemon)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. In a large bowl, toss the broccolini with 1 tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Spread the mayonnaise on one side of the bread slices. Divide the cheese, herbs and beefsteak tomato among 4 slices of bread; season. Top with the remaining bread, mayonnaise side down. Brush the outside of the sandwiches with 2 tbsp. oil. Grill until the cheese melts and the bread is grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

3. Chop the broccolini into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, toss the broccolini with the cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and the remaining 1 tbsp. oil; season. Serve alongside the grilled cheese.

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