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White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Whit Bean Avocado Wrap

Sometimes it’s good to have a quick lunch recipe on hand, like this white bean avocado wrap.  Looking at my calendar, I already know it’s going to be a very busy week, with just two days when I’ll have time for lunch at my desk.  As I was thinking about food prep this week, I also thought it might be a good time to do a little cupboard clean out.  We have plenty of rice, several cans of Great Northern White Beans, and a couple of avocados that are just ripe.  Toss in some cilantro and lime and throw it all in a tortilla and lunch comes together in a short period of time.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

I love jasmine rice.  It’s the perfect filler for my white bean avocado wrap.  It’s so light and fluffy and pretty.  You could definitely make these with brown rice as well, though I have to confess brown rice is not my favorite grain.  It’s so…grainy.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White beans get gently mashed and get spread on the tortilla first.  Avocado goes next and then rice covers it all. then it gets wrapped up and either wrapped in parchment paper or foil and goes into the fridge for the next day’s lunch.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

The Great Northern White Beans add a great non-meaty, meaty texture to the white bean avocado wrap.  Serve with a spinach salad and a few mandarin oranges and you’ll be set for the day.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Ingredients

  • 4 white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cans Great Northern White Beans or cannellini beans
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Gently mash with a fork, leaving some beans whole.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the beans on each tortilla in the middle. Split open the avocados and scoop out the avocado, 1/2 of each avocado spread on each tortilla.
  3. Add the chopped cilantro, the juice from the lime, and the salt to the rice and stir to incorporate. Heap 1/2 cup of the rice over the avocado and beans on each tortilla. Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla toward the middle, over the rice/avocado/bean mix. Fold each side in and roll so that you have a tight wrap.
  4. Enjoy! Serves 4 and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
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This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Monday.  Check it out!

It’s also linked up to Meatless Monday, co-hosted by Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands.

 

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins are my anecdote to winter weather, which I’ve had enough of to last me several years.  I know I’m not the only one feeling this way – it’s been a brutal winter across the US.  We do have tulips and daffodils poking their heads out of the ground finally.   I had a moment this morning where there was that elusive hint of spring in the air.  Still, I think real spring is about a month away still.  So for now, I’m going to spend lots of time fantasizing about tropical beaches and warm weather.

I have some very happy associations with the flavors in these muffins: macadamia nuts, coconut, and chocolate.  I lived in Majuro in the Marshall Islands for two years,  fourteen years ago this year.  I will never forget my trip to get there.  For one, I had never flown by myself before and I was absolutely petrified of flying as it was.  I remember the fear I felt getting on the plane to Honolulu, which was my intermediary stop between the US and there.  But I also remember landing in Honolulu and being so overwhelmed by how beautiful it was.  I was exhausted that first night, so went to the corner ABC store and bought a tuna fish sandwich, Maui chips, a papaya salad, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.  I flew back and forth through Honolulu during that two year time stretch, and that meal became my Honolulu ritual.

So anytime I’m feeling dreary here in the PNW, I’ll do my best to catch those flavors again.  Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins are a great way for me to lose myself to the sounds of the ocean and feel of that beautiful humid air in Hawaii.

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

 

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or honey flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks, chopped into smaller pieces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the macadamia nuts, flaked coconut, and chocolate. Stir to combine.
  5. Butter or line each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cup. If your pan only makes 24 mini-muffins, you'll need to make two batches as this recipe easily makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick entered into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins
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This post is linked up to The Baking Explorer for February’s Treat Petite.  Check out both The Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi, the hosts of Treat Petite.

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad is a #FoodBloggerLove recipe.  What is #FoodBloggerLove?  Each year, The Pintertest Kitchen hosts #FoodBloggerLove, a great chance for foodies and bloggers to share the love around Valentine’s Day with another blogger.  This is my first year participating, and it’s been so much fun!  I was paired with Meadoe from Meadoe Out on a Limb.  Meadoe is a food and lifestyle blogger, so there are lots of great recipes for healthy food, as well as great fitness plans and tips, and parenting tips on her blog.  In addition, she’s got great tips for doing a 21 Day Fix, including lots of really tasty recipes.

Here are a couple of my favorites from Meadoe’s site:

Meatball Veggie Pesto Soup
Apple Crisp Parfait
Supreme Pizza Soup
Chocolate Protein Pancakes

I love that the foods, while healthy, also sound so incredibly tasty – I don’t think I’d miss my carbs and cheese with any of these recipes.

Meadoe is also on social media – check out her social accounts here:

Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Twitter

So when I got Meadoe’s name for the exchange, it included some information she wanted me to know, including that she posts easy, healthy recipes, in addition to stories from her fitness journey and posts about adventures in parenthood.  Her favorite recipes are soups and salads, but she hates onions.

This, and the health focus overall, inspired my macadamia lemon shrimp salad recipe.  I’ve been curious about the whole Whole 30 thing – by and large, minus the carbs, cheese and dairy, Clay and I eat a pretty healthy diet.  However, my lunches have been a little decadent here of late (I’m blaming the weather and the need for comfort food).  As spring is finally starting to peek around the corner, I think I’m ready for some healthier lunches.  So this week’s recipe is my inspired #FoodBlogerLove salad, which is Whole 30, quick, easy and definitely healthy.

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

  • 16 – 20 medium sized shrimp (I used frozen – you could definitely use fresh here and cook until they are done)
  • 1 package of mixed lettuces (spring mix or similar)
  • 1 chiogga beet
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • Juice of 1 lemon + lemon wedges for an additional lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice the chiogga beet into thin slices. Slice the radishes. Toss the lettuce, beets, and radishes in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Either cook the shrimp or thaw the frozen shrimp by running it under cold water. Once the shrimp is ready, combine with the chopped garlic and the juice of the lemon and set aside.
  3. In a small pan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the macadamia nuts and stir the nuts until they turn a golden brown. Drain and add to the salad.
  4. Plate the salad and add the shrimp to each plate. Squeeze a bit more lemon over the top and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serves 4
  6. Enjoy!
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If you would like to join up with #FoodBloggerLove next year, join the Facebook group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/foodbloggerlove/

 

An InLinkz Link-up


This post is linked up to Kahakai Kitchen Souper Sunday.

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta is a great recipe for an indulgent breakfast treat or late day snack.  It’s also my entry for February’s Food ‘n Flix for the movie Pan’s Labyrinth.  (Food ‘n Flix is hosted this month by Katharina at Pretty Cake Machine).  Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fairy tale directed by Guillermo del Toro.  The story takes place in post-civil war Spain in 1944.  There’s an undercurrent of political unrest and distress, and the film itself is a dark telling of a young girl following mythical creatures into the labyrinth.  I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say, it doesn’t end well.  It’s one of those films that’s incredible for its filmography and story, but probably best not watched if you are depressed.

Both times I’ve watched this movie, I’ve done so kind of between my fingers – yep, I’m a wimp when it comes to dark movies.  Still, I was inspired to create my star anise panna cotta.  The inspiration came from the scene in which Ofelia encounters the Pale Man at a banquet.  Of course, much like Persephone going into Hades, Ofelia shouldn’t be touching any of the food at the banquet – and of course, all the food is beautiful and alluring (and of course, she eats something, thus jeopardizing her very future).  I was particularly drawn to the molded desserts, which got me to thinking about jello molds and the like – very old fashioned desserts.  The whole temptation and desire thing came to mind, too, especially since we are moving swiftly toward Valentine’s Day.

All of this led me to making panna cotta.  Panna cotta is a rich, creamy dessert that has that air of old-fashioned about it.  At first, I thought I might aim for a bright sauce for my panna cotta, but then decided to go a bit darker, landing on a star anise caramel for the sauce, which complements the star anise panna cotta nicely.

star anise panna cotta

star anise panna cotta

star anise panna cotta

Just in case you don’t want to try to get the panna cotta to cooperate coming out of its mold – this tastes just as good in a small jar.  It sets nicely, and you can just drizzle the sauce over the top, throw a lid on it, and call it an afternoon snack.

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Ingredients

    Brown Sugar Star Anise Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 star anise pods
  • Star Anise Panna Cotta
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 star anise pods
  • Star anise caramel
  • 1 cup sugar (either white or brown)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar star anise simple syrup

Instructions

  1. Make the brown sugar star anise simple syrup first. Combine the brown sugar, water, and star anise pods in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool for at least an hour (though for more intense flavor, refrigerate overnight). Remove the star anise pods.
  2. Make the star anise panna cotta. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Bring the gelatin/water mix to a simmer and fully dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and the star anise pods and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for five minutes. Add the milk and sugar, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Take the mixture off the heat and add the gelatin (it will have formed a gelatin pancake - just scrape the whole thing into the heated milk and cream and mix until dissolved). Remove the star anise pods and pour the panna cotta into individual ramekins or half-pint jars. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.
  4. As the panna cotta sets, make the star anise caramel. Combine the sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir occasionally for 7 minutes. Take off the heat and add the simple syrup. The caramel will thicken as it cools. If it gets too thick, microwave for thirty seconds or so.
  5. To serve, drizzle the caramel over the panna cotta and enjoy!
  6. Makes four servings.
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Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple mushroom and truffle risotto is my contribution to Final FantaFeast February, being hosted by Pixelated Provisions.  This month’s Fandom Foodies theme is all about the Final Fantasy video game.  So full disclosure here – I haven’t actually played Final Fantasy.  However, my husband is hooked on Final Fantasy XV, which is the most recent of the Final Fantasy series.  I watch sometimes as he plays, peeking over my I-Pad as I watch the latest episode of Top Chef, and have thought it looks interesting.  But not interesting enough for me to put down the I-Pad or the latest book I’m reading.

I am, however, fascinated by the role food plays in the game.  One of the characters, Ignis, is the chef for the group and throughout the game, players can unlock various recipes, as well as go to the market, and forage for food.  Uh yeah – that’s an awesome part of the game as far as I’m concerned. When Fandom Foodies put out the schedule of themes for this year and I saw Final FantaFeast February, I immediately started looking for the foods that Ignis cooks in the game.  And when I saw Triple Truffle Risotto, there was no going back.

So the top image is from the game and the bottom is my triple mushroom and truffle recipe.  Since I didn’t have access to funguar, alstrooms, and Saxham rice (all the ingredients to make the dish in the game), I opted to go with a mix of mushrooms for the triple part, as well as some truffle oil and truffle cheese.  I would have gone full out triple truffle, but $21 for truffle salt at Trader Joe’s was a bit out of even my this-food-is-for-my-blog-cost comfort zone.  I love the combination of mushrooms though – some maitakes, some oyster mushrooms, and some creminis.  Feel free to substitute out any combination of mushrooms here – this would be lovely with chanterelles when they are in season, as well as morels, and so on.

Risotto takes a bit of time to make – I usually schedule about an hour from start to finish, as I like to baby it along.  A long slow simmer of the rice and stock is the key to a lush creamy risotto.  I also tossed in a cipollini onion – and honestly, if you can find these in your market, I encourage you to use one to make this dish.  Cipollinis become caramel rich when they are cooked (and even better – when they are cooked in butter), making them a perfect complement to the mushrooms.

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

I think my triple mushroom and truffle recipe would do Ignis proud.

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Ingredients

    For the mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 types of mushrooms, chopped. (About 2 cups of mushrooms, total)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • For the risotto
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup truffle cheese, grated (or Parmesan or Asiago cheese)
  • Truffle oil to finish

Instructions

    For the mushrooms
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for a minute. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and salt, and saute until all the liquid has cooked off. Set aside.
  2. For the risotto
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable or chicken stock to a simmer. Leave simmering.
  4. Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the Arborio rice and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and stir until it is incorporated in the rice/onion mixture.
  5. Add the simmering stock, 1 cup at a time. Cook on a low simmer between each addition until the stock is mostly absorbed. This will take anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes. Continue to do this until all the stock is used and the risotto is al dente. Take off the heat and add the cheese and salt. Stir to incorporate. Add a dash of truffle oil.
  6. Portion into bowls and top each bowl with the mushroom mix. Enjoy!
  7. Serves 4
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This recipe is linked to Meatless Monday, hosted by Deborah (Confessions of a Mother Runner) and Sarah (A Whisk and Two Wands).  Take a look at the great recipes being linked!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also hanging out with some other really wonderful recipes on #CookBlogShare at EasyPeasieFoodie.

Hijacked By Twins
Baby Kale Salad with Bitter Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Baby Kale Salad with Bitter Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Did I promise no more blood orange recipes?  I hope not – though I really do think this baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette is my absolute last recipe with blood oranges until next year.  Maybe.

Regardless, if you happen to have blood oranges on hand that need a purpose, one of the easiest things to do with them is to salt preserve them.  Blood oranges impart the salt brine with a lovely rose hue.  The salted blood oranges themselves are more subtle than a lemon and infuse a salty-citrus flavor to a dish.  Just a quick salted citrus tutorial: take your blood orange (or lemon or other citrus) and make cuts to quarter the orange.  Don’t cut all the way through – you’ll want to leave the orange attached at the bottom.  Fan your orange out and add salt.  Gather the orange up around the salt.  In a pint jar, layer about 1/2 inch of salt at the bottom.  Add your salted orange and push down with the end of a wooden spoon.  Add another layer of salt and then do the same with another orange.  Add another layer of salt and another orange if you can.  Layer with salt at the top.  If you don’t have quite enough salt/juice to cover the top blood orange, you can add a bit of filtered water to top off.   Let the salted blood oranges hang out in the fridge for about a month, shaking occasionally to distribute the salt.

Isn’t it pretty?  Once you have your salted citrus, you can make baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette.  The bitter part comes from the use of bitters.  If you happen to have even more blood oranges on hand and have about two weeks to wait, Kelly Bakes has a beautiful recipe for bitter orange bitters.  I used some of the blood oranges from the windfall at the start of January to make these bitters – they aren’t fully infused yet, but I used just a bit of them for baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette and it was heavenly!  The vinaigrette is both salty and tangy – a perfect counterpoint for baby kale.  You can most definitely use store bought orange bitters to achieve the same effect.

baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette

baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette

Baby Kale Salad with Bitter Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped salt preserved blood orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange or blood orange bitters
  • 1 package baby kale

Instructions

  1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt preserved blood orange, and bitters in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Tighten the lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Dress the baby kale with the vinaigrette and enjoy!
  3. Serves four - six
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Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Adobo Sweet Potato soup is my answer to the in-between time of winter and spring.  The end of January and the start of February are such awkward times of the year.  In the PNW in particular, it’s not quite winter, but it’s not quite spring, either – it’s still raining, but there are those occasional days of sunshine that suggest that maybe, just maybe, spring is around the corner.  In terms of seasonal foods, it’s a good time to do some pantry and fridge clearing, as well as explore what root veggies have been hanging out for too long underneath the onions.  It’s definitely the time of year when sweet potatoes and potatoes get some love.

I tend not to cook sweet potatoes around the traditional times of year, like Thanksgiving.  I wait, instead, until I’m back to work post-holiday, and looking for lunches that can be frozen easily.  I never know quite what each week is going to bring, so it’s good to have a guaranteed good lunch waiting for me in the freezer.  This adobo sweet potato soup definitely fits the bill.  It’s easy to make, so didn’t consume my entire Sunday to prep.  It freezes beautifully, and I’m already looking forward to eating it at lunch this week.

Canned adobo chilies lend the adobo sweet potato soup a super smokey flavor.  I also used some smoked paprika, which is arguably one of my all time favorite spices.  As part of the fridge/pantry clean up effort, I gathered up all the celery I could find, leaves and all, and tossed those in too.  The end result is a silky, smokey, soup with a bit of sweet and just the slightest kick from the peppers.

If you checked out my post from last week with the black lentil and poached egg bowls, you know that I’m a bit mirepoix obsessed here of late.  The adobo sweet potato soup has a modified mirepoix: adobo chili, celery, and onion.  It’s just so colorful in the pan:

Once the smoked paprika and salt go in, the mirepoix takes on a deep red shade

And then the sweet potatoes go in.

adobo sweet potato soup

All of this beauty becomes a gorgeous adobo sweet potato soup (after the addition of some veggie stock and some pureeing).

adobo sweet potato soup

I added a dollop of Greek yogurt to cut the heat a bit.  Greek yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche would all be a lovely addition to this soup.

adobo sweet potato soup

Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 adobo chili, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, preferably with leaves, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the adobo chili, the celery, and the onion and saute until the celery and onion become soft. Add the sweet potatoes, smoked paprika, and salt and stir a few times. Add the veggie stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Use an immersion blender or blender and puree to desired smoothness. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
  3. Serves 4
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This recipe is getting around.  It’s linked up this week to

Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen

and at Meatless Monday on Confessions of a Mother Runner (co-hosted by Sarah at A Whisk and Two Wands).

Confessions of a Mother Runner

 

 

 

 

and at Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Mondays where it was featured for the week of February 6 (check out the great menu ideas for the week!).

Hijacked By Twins
Hijacked By Twins

 

 

 

 

 

 

and at #CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked by Twins as well as at #SimplySeasonal hosted by Hijacked by Twins. 

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

I’m at that stage of winter when a black lentil bowl with a poached egg sounds like a perfectly light lunch for the week.  I’m also at the point at which I’m itching to do some spring cleaning, including making an effort to use up what’s been lurking at the back of the pantry.  It helps motivate me that we might be moving and I really don’t want to drag a half-eaten bag of black lentils with me.  As it is, I still have jars of home canned jam and pickles that we moved last year that will need to be packaged and moved again (because I’m not letting those pickles go to waste).

Black lentils just lend themselves to a simple meal.  The black lentil bowl with a poached egg takes just seven ingredients (counting salt and olive oil).  This recipe took so little time to make – I prepped my mirepoix first, cooked that and the lentils and then poached the eggs.  I’ve been obsessing a bit about mirepoix here of late.  The combination of onion, celery, and carrot adds such a deep flavor to dishes and it’s so, so simple.  With this dish, I understood the full complexity of the flavor – initially, I thought that the black lentil bowl with a poached egg would need a dressing of some sort, but when I tasted the lentils, that idea went out the window.

A note on the poached eggs: back in December, I tried my hand at poaching an egg in the traditional way in a saucepan.  It came out a flimsy mess.  Recently, I ran across a video of a chef poaching eggs in the oven, so that’s what I did.  The eggs came out beautifully!  The best part was I didn’t have to swirl the water, baby the eggs, watch the temperature, etc.  Eggs went into muffin cups with a tablespoon of water each, hung out in the oven for 9 minutes, and came out perfectly poached.

The full technique is included in the recipe below.  The best part is that poached eggs can be prepped in advance, so I poached my eggs on Sunday and will have an egg a day each day at lunch with my lentils.  I love super easy lunch prep!

black lentil bowl with poached egg

black lentil bowl with poached egg

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup black beluga lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion, celery, and carrots finely. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion, celery, and carrot mix until the vegetables start to soften (about 10 minutes). Add the salt and the dried lentils. Stir a few times and then add the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
  2. To oven poach the eggs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In each muffin cup, add one tablespoon water. Break each egg directly into the muffin cup. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Bake for 9 minutes or until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. Use a slotted spoon to remove each poached egg and drain on a paper towel. Eggs can be prepared up to five days in advance.
  3. Recipe makes 4 servings. Enjoy!
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This post is linked to My Legume Love Affair #103, hosted by The Big Sweet Tooth (conceptualized by Susan and hosted by Lisa at Lisa’s Kitchen).  I’ll be hosting in April – can’t wait!

It’s also linked up to #CookBlogShare, which is hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.  Check out all the great posts!

Hijacked By Twins

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you can find it linked up on Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Monday.

This recipe is getting around!

 

Baguettes and French Kiss Sandwiches

Baguettes and French Kiss Sandwiches

This month’s Food ‘n Flix pick resulted in honeymoon nostalgia and these baguettes and French Kiss sandwiches.  French Kiss is a lighthearted comedy from 1995, starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline.  The basic plot of the movie is woman (Meg Ryan) loses boyfriend to another woman, goes to Paris to track him down, meets a jewel thief (Kevin Kline) along the way, and then falls in love with the jewel thief.  It’s a cute romantic comedy – the kind of thing that my husband plays video games through and mixes up with another cute romantic comedy (namely Runaway Bride) which we watched a few weeks after.

And maybe it’s because I’m equally a cynic, what I mostly thought about the movie after I finished watching it was – oh those simpler times in the 90s when a woman could safely run off with a man she barely knows after losing her passport and money to his family’s vineyard without fear of being murdered.  Just saying.  Still – what a vineyard!

My one challenge with watching movies for Food ‘n Flix is this – I watch them as a food blogger, which means I want them to slow down and focus on the food!  It’s Paris – it’s France – show me beautiful food!  There was beautiful food in this movie, just not enough of it that was up close and personal.  So my inspiration ended up being less of something in the actual movie and more of Paris itself.  What better way to celebrate Paris than with baguettes and French Kiss sandwiches?

A big part of my inspiration also came from all the memories that watching this movie brought up of Clay and my honeymoon nine years ago.  We did a two week Europe trip – starting in Paris, taking a train to Amsterdam, and then flying to Rome and then home.  My one regret, particularly from the Paris part of the trip, was that I was still a hard-core vegetarian, and even though I was drooling over every baguette with ham and cheese that Clay ate, I stuck to the baguettes with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.  No – I wasn’t suffering that much.  But still, these baguettes and French Kiss sandwich are my attempt to recapture the days we spent in Paris and the glorious smells of the bakeries and the beautiful slow food that was everywhere around us.

The baguette recipe is adapted from a King Arthur recipe.  I reduced the rise time without any negative impact on the taste of the baguette.  I do use a starter, which I realize adds time and the need for advanced planning to make these, but I promise you, it’s worth it.  The actual hands on time with these is minimal – 15 minutes at the most.

baguettes and French Kiss sandwiches

baguettes and French Kiss sandwiches

baguettes and French Kiss sandwiches

Baguettes and French Kiss Sandwiches

Ingredients

    Starter
  • ¼ teaspoon active yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (around 115 degrees)
  • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • Dough
  • 1 cup warm water (115 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • All of the starter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 ¼ cups flour
  • For the French Kiss Sandwiches (for two sandwiches)
  • 4 – 6 slices of Jamon Serrano (or prosciutto or thinly sliced ham)
  • 8 thin slices of brie cheese

Instructions

  1. Start the starter the night before. Combine all the ingredients for the starter in a medium bowl and stir. This should form a sticky dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight – about 14 hours will do it, though the starter is forgiving.
  2. To make the dough
  3. Combine the warm water, the yeast, and all of the starter. Mix until the starter is mostly incorporated. Add 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Combine to make a shaggy dough and then knead the dough for 6 minutes on a floured surface. Add a bit of the remaining flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to you. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl.
  4. First Rise
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Second Rise
  7. After 45 minutes, punch the dough down (deflate it). Cover it again and let rise for 1 hour.
  8. Shaping the Dough and Preparing it for Baking
  9. After the second rise, deflate the dough again and cut it into four even sections. (You can also divide it into two sections or six sections – depending on how many baguettes you want to make). Roll the sections of dough into rectangles and fold them into baguette shapes, placing the seam-side down.
  10. Place the shaped baguettes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  11. [The baguettes may spread a bit during the final rise– so if you want more classically shaped bread, you can place the baguettes on parchment paper or a clean dishtowel and pull up a bit of parchment paper or dishtowel between each baguette to help it keep its shape. If you do this, when it’s time to bake, you’ll need to gently roll the baguettes onto a greased baking sheet.]
  12. Cover the baguettes with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees 20 minutes before the end of the final rise. To get a nice crispy baguette, it helps to have a very hot oven.
  13. Once the baguettes have completed the final rise, transfer them to the baking sheet (if you need to) and then place them in the oven. If you have a spray bottle with water handy, gently spray the baguettes, being careful not to spray your oven’s element. Bake for 20 minutes or until the baguettes are a golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Turn the oven off, crack open the oven door, and let the baguettes sit in the oven for 10 minutes after they are done. This helps get an even crispier texture on the outside.
  14. Let the baguettes cool for at least 30 minutes. When they are cool, to assemble a sandwich, slice the baguette in half and place the brie and jamon on the baguette. Enjoy!
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This post is also linked to to #CookBlogShare at the Easy Peasy Foodie’s site.  Check out all the great recipes!

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Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Sometimes, the only thing that helps is comfort food, like penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons.  We’ve had another epic cold weekend here in the PNW with snow and ice throughout most of the Oregon and Washington again.  We’ve becoming more accustomed to the concept of snowpocalypse: in other words, it’s best to get all shopping down before the first flakes because there’s no salt on the roads and everyone panics.  On the plus side, there was very little traffic in the Trader Joe’s parking lot.  It’s the little things that make life enjoyable.

Penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemon is also a dish I like to make when I start longing for spring.  It’s got all the right spring notes: peas, lemon, and lush burrata cheese.  I have just a very few daffodils poking their first sprouts out already, though I swear every time it gets icy, they retreat.  I can’t say I blame them – I retreat, too.

I used frozen peas for this, though am so eager for fresh peas to be available.  Bookmark or Pinterest this one and make it with fresh peas and pea shoots – trust me, you won’t regret it.  Grind a bit of fresh pepper over the penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons and dream about the sunshine.  It has to be right around the corner.

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package dried penne pasta or similar pasta
  • 1 ball burrata cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, sliced into thin slices

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. At the end of cooking time for the pasta, add the frozen peas. Drain the pasta and peas. Distribute among four serving dishes. Garnish each dish with some of the preserved lemon. Tear the buratta cheese into pieces and add 1/4 of the buratta to each dish. Enjoy!
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This recipe is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes: Meatless Monday.  If you are looking for great vegetarian recipes, check it out!

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