Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Herbed Brown Butter on Angel Hair & Asparagus

Melt a stick (yeah....) of butter and toss in sage leaves, chopped chives, and the leaves of a few stalks of marjoram or thyme.  Heat on low until butter browns and leaves get crispy.  Add some pine nuts.  Pour over angel hair pasta and steamed asparagus, with shavings of parmesan.

Wilted Kale Salad with Lemon, Currants and Pumpkin Seeds

The CSA box is good for the creativity.  This week, we got kale, kohlrabi leaves, beet greens, and some others.  And this salad was my favorite thing I've made in awhile.

1.  Tear the greens up.  Halve about half a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes.  Juice a lemon (two if paltry) and finely grate about a cup of parmesan.

2.  Heat olive oil (citrus-flavored if you have some) and, when it's hot, toss in the greens and tomatoes and half a cup of currants.  Turn with tongs until the greens wilt and turn a darker shade of green and tomatoes start to just barely look cooked.

3.  Put the greens & tomatoes in a salad bowl and add the lemon juice, cheese and 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds.  Serve warm.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I almost posted this recipe sans anecdote, and then I remembered Chris, munching happily on a tortilla strip, asking, "So what did you make these from?"  (Yep....... tortillas.)

Group One:
1 diced onion
3 thinly sliced carrots
3 thinly sliced celery stalks
2 tsp ea: Paprika, Cumin
1 tsp salt
2 Tb butter

Group Two:
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 can tomato paste
2 chipotles canned in adobo (deseeded and diced)
2 tsp adobo from can
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
**other diced veggies you want to sneak in (I had kohlrabi and summer squash)**

Group 3:
10 cups veg broth
1 TB soy sauce

Group 4:
Chopped cilantro, quartered limes, sliced avocado, feta or cotija cheese

Group 5
1 package fresh corn tortillas, sliced in strips
Vegetable oil

Sautee Group One in bottom of sauce pan until soft, about 10 minutes, adding garlic from Group 2 about 5 minutes in.  Then add rest of Group Two and cook another 5 minutes.   Then add Group 3 and simmer.  Top with Group 4. 

Make tortilla strips (Group 5) by heating about 2 inches of oil in a deep frying pan, throwing strips in (careful not to splash yourself, and removing w/tongs to dry on paper towels once crispy (about 2 minutes).  Shake a little salt on while they cool.  Yum.  Add to soup and gobble. 

(Based on this recipe which includes chicken and is probably amazing for the meat-eaters!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chopped Lentil Salad

Between the two of us, P and I have traveled to New Zealand, Mexico, New Mexico, Texas, California, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming in the last six weeks. (Mostly for work.) From this information alone, you can probably guess that we 1) are very fortunate to have fantastic jobs and 2) haven't been eating all that well. We're finally back together and though there are upcoming trips to Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, and who knows where else, for now we are getting back to eating together and eating well. Using what we had on hand the other night, I came up with this fantastic, filling salad. 

I have used some self-constraint and titled this post "chopped lentil salad". But if no one on the internet cared about long titles, I would call this what it really is: "Chopped Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Avocados, Spinach, Red Onion, Bacon and a Smoky-Lemony Hummus Dressing." Yesss.  

Make this however large or small you need it to be. I don't like chopped salads that feel like you are mainly eating bacon or eggs or whatever. For that reason I was heavy-handed with the spinach, tomatoes, and lentils, but as always you should make this to suit your personal preferences.  

Salad Components
Chopped fresh tomatoes (I used 1/2 container of baby heirlooms from Trader Joes and some of P's garden tomatoes)
Chopped avocado (1 small avo for us)
Chopped spinach (many large handfuls chopped into tiny pieces)
Lentils (I used about 1 cup of the pre-prepared container of lentils available at Trader Joes. A nod to "convenience", also known as "laziness and lack of planning".)
Chopped red onion (just a bit)
Cooked and chopped bacon (about 4 slices)
Thinly grated Parmesan cheese

Dressing Components
Several tablespoons hummus (plain or whatever kind you like)
Juice of one lemon
Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to taste
Splash of olive oil

Dressing salad with hummus is super easy and another way to sneak in some protein. I also rubbed the lentils down with some additional lemon juice, smoked paprika, and olive oil.

Considerations for food ethics and allergies: Gluten free, but please check your hummus ingredients just in case. You could omit the bacon and this would still be delicious and vegetarian. If you are vegan or dairy free, omit the cheese and you're good to go!