Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunchtime Lentil Video!

Hello everyone!  It is nasty cold and very snowy and blowy where I live.  I am and warm today.  Luckily I had some great food in the fridge :)  Here's a short video highlighting my lunch today.  If you'd like to give it a try, the recipe is below the video....


Curried Apple Lentil Salad
Things To Prep Ahead of Time
*Soak 1 cup of green lentils in hot water for 1 minutes.  Green lentils hold their form a bit better than other kinds of lentils.
*Core and dice 2 medium apples of your choice.  Soak them in 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar to prevent browning...and for flavor :)
*Peel and dice one large Idaho potato.  Cook until just tender.  Drain and cool.
*Heat 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of curry powder and heat until bubbly.
*Drain the soaked lentils and add them to your saucepan and fry briefly.
*Pour 1 cup of water into the pan.  Bring the water to a boil...and then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes.  If the lentils are not tender when the liquid is absorbed, add more water.  Transfer the lentils to a heatproof dish and allow them to cool.

Assembling The Salad
*Add your diced apples to the cooled lentils.  I added in about half of the vinegar as well.  The flavor was just right.  I think that adding in all of the vinegar would have been too powerful.
*Add in the diced potatoes.
*Season with a bit of sea salt, freeze-dried parsley, and freeze-dried chives.
This recipe serves 6-8 people.
Source: Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind & Cathleen Hockman-Wert

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Unexpected Gift :)

      Before I begin this story, I will tell you that I am a book geek.  More specifically, I am a cookbook geek.  I counted my cookbooks the other day, and my total was something like 130!  I am also in love with my public library :)  I think it's wonderful that I can enter a building full of books and walk out with several of them for FREE!  Well...a month ago, I checked out a newly published cookbook called At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chapin.  It is a vegetarian cookbook full of luscious recipes made from REAL FOOD.  I really liked this cookbook, but I was trying to save my pennies.  I saw the cookbook at Barnes and Noble...but I was strong.  I mentally added the title to my "wish list".  
      Then.....a few weeks ago, my good friend Lynn called to ask if I had heard of a cookbook title.  Just guess what the title was.....yup....At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen!!  She saw it listed as one of 2014's best books.  She had ordered it for me ...and it became a late Christmas present :)
      Lynn and her husband came over on Super Bowl Sunday to enjoy the game and some good food.  I decided to try out a recipe from my lovely present.  My husband had made homemade soup and chicken I chose "Roasted Winter Vegetables and Arugula Salad with Mustard Dressing".  It was absolutely delicious...something different and fresh!  There is such a great combination of flavors and textures.  This salad also kept very well...even with the dressing on the greens.  So here's the recipe for you to enjoy!

First, Cut Up Your Veggies:
*Peel 1 medium sweet potato, cut it lengthwise, and cut each half into 1/4 inch slices.
*Peel 1 medium parsnip, cut it lengthwise, and cut each half into 1/4 inch slices.
*Cut 2 medium carrots (peeled or not) into 1/4 inch diagonal slices.
*Peel 1 medium beet, cut it in half, and cut each half into thin slices.

Now, Roast Your Veggies:
*In a large bowl, toss your sliced veggies with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
*Lay out your veggies, in a single layer, onto parchment paper-lined jelly roll pans
*Roast for 20 minutes.  Stir the veggies...rotate the pans...and roast for another 20 minutes...or until veggies are slightly browned and crisp.
*Set the pans aside so that the veggies can cool.

Now, Toast Your Walnuts:
*Spread 1/3 cup of raw walnuts onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Toast the walnuts in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes...or until they are fragrant.  Set them aside to cool.  Chop them to your liking after they have cooled.

Now, Make Your Dressing:
*Combine 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a jar.  Shake to combine and set aside.

And finally...Create Your Salad:
*Place 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, the toasted walnuts, the roasted veggies, and 6 cups of baby arugula leaves into a large salad bowl.  Toss to combine the ingredients.  Drizzle the mustard dressing over the salad (to your liking) and toss again right before serving.

>>>Arugula is a peppery dark, leafy green.  Baby arugula has a milder flavor. 
Recipe credits to Amy Chapin :)