Wednesday, February 27, 2013

simple lentil soup

This time of year it really hits the spot!

6 cups vegetarian stock, or water
1 pound red lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
(I added in 1 carrot, chopped)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 2 small lemons)
1. heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes.
2. Add stock, lentils, cumin, and cayenne and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
3. Carefully puree the soup in a standing blender, or with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice before serving.

** for baby food, make soup without salt, pepper, or cayenne, then separate and puree desired amount for baby, add the salt, pepper and cayenne into the adult soup **

Friday, February 22, 2013

Quinoa and greens salad

We just got back from a trip to Australia, and in case you were wondering, getting re-adjusted to a 5-hour time difference with a 6-month-old is not fun. On top of that I am coming down with some illness. I was really craving something healthy yet filling, and more importantly quick to prepare. This salad, full of protein-packed quinoa, was just the thing. It comes from one of my new favorite food blogs, Green Kitchen Stories.

Quinoa and Greens salad
adapted from this recipe

 2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. 3/4 cup dried)


2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 small lemon (peel and juice)
2 tbsp hot english mustard
salt and pepper

(maybe try a little honey in the dressing next time?)

Salad ingredients: 
3/4 bunch spinach, washed, destemmed, and chopped fine (or use kale, or other greens you like)
1 large apple
1 handful sprouts (I did not add these as I didn't have any on hand and it was fine)
100 g (1/4 lb.) feta cheese

Cook the quinoa. To do this, mix dried quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and boil for about 10 minutes, covered, then turn off heat and let sit until all water is absorbed.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a high glass or a small bowl. Let the quinoa cool of for a while then add the dressing.

Rinse the spinach and chop it. Cut the apples in small cubes. Mix all the ingredients with the quinoa and top it with the feta cheese.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

FINAL Roasted Gobi Manchurian recipe

I have been perfecting this recipe for a while now, I have other versions on this blog but this is the one I made today, I am very happy with it and would make it again.


-- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
-- 2 teaspoons oil
-- salt, pepper
-- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

-- 2 teaspoons oil
-- 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
-- 2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
-- 1 bunch spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

-- 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
-- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (or asian black vinegar, if you have it)
-- 1 teaspoon rooster sauce (or other spicy sauce)
-- 1/2 teaspoon sugar

-- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
-- 1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Put in oven, turning every 15 minutes until tender and beginning to brown, about 40 minutes.

2. Heat frying pan to medium-high heat. Add oil, then ginger, garlic, and most of the spring onions. Fry for a minute until fragrant and then add in the soy sauce, vinegar, and spicy sauce. Let that bubble a bit.

3. Mix the cornstarch, sugar, and water together, then add the mixture to your pan, boil for about a minute, it should thicken up a bit into a sticky sauce. Add more water if you need to to get the consistency right.

3. Add the roasted cauliflower to the sauce, stir to coat everything completely. Turn out onto your serving dish, add the reserved spring onions for garnish and serve.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tofu Larb

Tofu Larb

A delicious and flavorful Thai salad. In Thailand, this is typically made with ground pork (sometimes raw!!) but for us Sai made a tofu version.


-- 1 block fried tofu (can use regular firm tofu as well here but not as delicious)
-- 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic (approx. 6 cloves)
-- 2 Tablespoons lemongrass, minced-- 1 Tablespoon chopped Vietnamese mint (can use coriander here, or normal mint)
-- 2 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
-- 2 Tablespoons of toasted rice, coarsley ground (to make this, roast uncooked dry rice on a pan on stove or in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until light brown, then blend in coffee grinder or mixee until coarse, resembles bulgur wheat)
-- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
-- 2-3 Tablespoons water
-- Chili flakes to taste
-- salt to taste


1. Soak tofu in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and break apart into small crumbles resembling ground beef.
2. Fry garlic and lemongrass in a pan with a little oil until it becomes a little brown and fragrant. DO NOT BURN THIS.
3. mix everything together in a bowl, taste, add more salt, chili, or lemon to taste. 

Can eat this with rice, or serve with lettuce and make lettuce wraps with it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Best Lentil Salad, Ever*

*not really the best ever, but good

Okay when I saw a lentil salad called "The Best Lentil Salad, Ever" as a lover of hyperbole I had to try it.

from here with a few modifications


2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
1 medium red onion, diced small (or 1/2 large onion)
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers


1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. strong mustard
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves (I left this out but might try it next time)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins:

Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Crispy seasonal veggies


1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.
4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.