Friday, March 23, 2012

Two times the Martha

I recently started subscribing to Everday Food magazine (Martha Stewart's food magazine). I've been a longtime fan for it's simple, short recipes highlighting fresh ingredients, because it provides a great place for ideas for my own recipe creation. This recipe is a mash-up of a recipe in this month's Everyday Food (I couldn't find it online) along with a recipe from Martha Stewart that I found online for rosemary lentils. Fun fact, I'd never prepared lentils before this and had rarely eaten them, but I loved it! so Martha, I owe you double thanks for this recipe.

Roasted Veggie and Rosemary Lentil Salad

3/4 pound red or fingerling potatoes, halved or quartered
4 medium-sized carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 shallot, peeled and cut into 5-6 large pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs rosemary, divided
1 cup dried green lentils
1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 ounces spinach
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 ounces goat cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large baking sheet, place potatoes, shallot and carrots. Finely chop the rosemary on one of the sprigs, reserving the other sprig. sprinkle over vegetables, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil; toss to combine. Place in oven and bake until vegetables are fork-tender and slightly charred, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place lentils, shallots, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan; cover with 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Drain; discard garlic, rosemary stem, and bay leaf. Place in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil, stir to combine and set aside.

When vegetables are done, add to the large bowl with lentils. Toss in spinach and and balsamic vinegar and combine. Top with goat cheese and serve!

Fun bonus, Luke and I used leftovers to create a delicious pita for lunch. Love repurposing leftovers like that!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Egg and I

Something about springtime makes me crave three things: Asparagus, goat cheese, and EGGS! Luckily, I ran across this recipe in The Kitchn yesterday, and with a few tweaks and the addition of goat cheese, we had one crazy unique and flavorful sandwich. Can't wait for the leftovers!

Egg, Asparagus and Pickled Veggie Sandwich
2 eggs (4 if you want leftovers)
1 bunch asparagus spears
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices sourdough bread
Pickled vegetables (I had homemade pickled cucumbers, carrots and onions on hand, or check the recipe link above for their method on quick pickled onions)
1/2 lemon
2 ounces goat cheese, slightly softened

Place eggs in a saucepan full of cold water, covering the eggs at least 1-2 inches. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12 minutes, then place eggs in ice water to stop cooking. Gently crack eggs then roll on a counter, then peel. Slice for sandwiches.

While eggs cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus in olive oil and roast until slightly charred, turning once, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle olive oil on bread and toast. Spread mustard on the toast then top with pickled vegetables, asparagus spears and chopped eggs. Lightly squeeze lemon juice over the top. Spread goat cheese on other toast piece and top. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SXSW survival meal

For those who live in Austin and have attended SXSW, you know it's a week and a half of crazy schedules and excessive food and drink. This year having an interactive badge and lots of fun free parties and work events, I wanted to have a plan so that Luke and I wouldn't be forced to eat out for lunch and dinner every day due to our busy schedules. In addition to getting some vegalicious ingredients for sandwiches (I knew we needed it!) I wanted a hot option for our work lunches.

The inspiration here? Some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in my fridge that needed to be used. This reheats beautifully, make it next time you have a busy week ahead!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 14-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium high heat and warm oil. Cook chicken thighs to browned, about 5 minutes per each side.

Add chicken, sweet potato, onion, carrot and peppers (including sauce) to a slow cooker. Top with crushed tomatoes and seasonings and toss to combine. Let cook 7-8 hours on low. Serve with cooked quinoa. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not-So-Average Pasta

What started as a simple, I-don't-feel-like-being-creative Monday night dinner turned into a surprising combination of flavors that we both really enjoyed. Try this the next time you feel like jazzing up pasta sauce with something other than ground meat:

Asparagus and Pancetta 2-Cheese Pasta

1/2 pound whole wheat pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 pound asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 ounces pancetta, chopped

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (I prefer Cucina Antica)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

8 medium-sized mozzarella balls (I had some leftover from my beet salad)

1/4 cup pine nuts

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta per package's instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large cast-iron (or preferred skillet) to mdium heat and warm olive oil. Add onion and asparagus and saute until onion softens and most of the crunch is taken off the asparagus, about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes of cooking onion and asparagus, add pancetta and cook those last 3 minutes.

Once pancetta is lightly browned and veggies have softened, stir in tomato sauce and let warm. Add pasta and toss to combine, then stir in Parmigiano Reggiano (reserving a bit to sprinkle on top) and mozarella. Top with pine nuts and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We've got the beet

Or rather, I've got the beet! Luke's not the biggest beet fan, but he does put up with my mild obsession. This is a spin on the first way I enjoyed beets, at a dinner at FINO two years ago now. This simple salad is so beautiful to behold, it's almost too pretty to eat (but once you start, you won't be able to stop!)

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

2 large (or 3 medium) sized beets, ends trimmed off
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 blood orange
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
Salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces medium-sized mozzarella balls (about 1 inch diameter)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil. Rub 1 tablespoon oil over beets and place in dish, covering with foil. Roast 1 - 1 1/2 hours in the oven, until beets are tender when pierced with a fork. Let beets cool, then rub with a paper towl to remove the skins (I wear plastic gloves when I do this so I don't die my hands red!). Chop beets into bite-sized pieces.
Before mozzarella

Peel the orange and pull apart sections, then cut in half. Add oranges with beets in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, add mozarella balls and toss to combine.

With mozzarella added