Archive for April, 2011

April 12, 2011

Spring has sprung?

Spring has sprung, but it’s still very cold out there, and here in Portland, Oregon, the sun is no where to be found. The cherry blossom trees, and their lovely scent have tricked my nose. The short skirts, tent dresses, and 70’s style pants are filling the racks of boutiques, and I’m still wearing my rain coat. Mangoes, blackberries, strawberries, and tomatoes that actually taste good are finally popping up at Whole Foods.

And I’m simmering a pot of hot lentil soup for dinner tomorrow.

What is wrong with this picture?? All I could think of while waiting for the bus after a 12 hour shift was this soup. It’s cold, wet, and rainy out. Nothing hits the spot more than a nice hot, spicy bowl of my Anything Goes Lentil soup. P likes it too. It’s one of those soups thats different each time. I take what I have on hand and reinvent my lentil soup all Winter long.


Anything Goes Lentil Soup

2 yellow onions chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced, or crushed, salted to sweat
2 TBS olive oil (pure is best for cooking, Extra Virgin is best for drizzling)
4 ribs of celery chopped
4 carrots chopped
Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, Braising greens, Collards (whatever you like and have on hand – I like fresh, but frozen is fine too)
1 16oz can of crushed, diced, or stewed tomatoes (once again, whatever you like and have on hand – I prefer Pomi brand)
1 lb lentils (whatever you have on hand, but green or black are best in this Winter soup)
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne to taste
6 cups good tasting broth
1 tbs Ground Cumin
Fresh herbs for garnish

In a large pot heat oil, add garlic, and onions. Add carrots and celery, cook medium until veggies lightly soften. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin. Once veggies are lightly cooked add broth, tomatoes, and lentils. Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until lentils are fully cooked. Add washed greens to the soup. Serve hot with fresh herbs, cheese of choice, and even sour cream.


April 12, 2011

The fancy in the simple!

Life is just a bit crazy right now. It seems like P and I are so busy that we’re eating very simple meals, especially in the evenings. After twelve hours at work, and an hour commute home on the bus- I was starving!
On the bus ride home I had the chance to catch up with a good friend. She lives in LA and is experiencing California unemployment at it’s absolute worst. Luckily she’s landed a great job; but is still 4 weeks behind in unemployment checks. I completely sympathize and feel for her right now. It sucks being broke, and choosing between groceries, or a tank of gas when you just started a new job, and need a way to get there. She told me eggs and oatmeal were all she had. Simple and healthy, but not exactly appealing. She’s a tough lady, and has money on the way. I offered to send some cash, and she politely declined.
This simple meal is absolutely inspired by our conversation this evening. It’s basically the staples that fill my fridge on a weekly basis that are both nutritious and delicious.
Nan with Olive Oil fried eggs, wilted garlic spinach, and harissa sauce for good measure

1/2 piece of nan bread ( Whole Foods Brand )
1 TBS Good quality Olive Oil
1 Clove chopped garlic with sea salt
2 Cups spinach
1 Egg
1 tsp Harissa paste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in fry pan with salted garlic. Add two TBS water to oiled pan and toss in spinach.On the other side of the pan add egg to fry. Pre-heat nan in 350 oven for 10 mins while egg is frying and spinach is wilting. Top nan with spinach, egg, and harissa. Salt and pepper to taste, enjoy the simple things!
I really enjoyed this simple meal so much that I forgot to take a picture before stuffing my face!

Lots of love!