Simple Sisters

What to Cook and How to Cook It!

Friday, December 16, 2011

simple salad

Composed salads -- think of a Cobb: stripes of egg, bacon, lettuce, bleu cheese -- sound fancy but they're actually so simple to put together. We tried a recipe for a Spanish salad recently and I was inspired by my lack of counter space to make one platter we could serve from at the table rather than lay out all the plates. The unexpected upside is that going down the line added another level of choices to dinner for the toddler! At our house, one taste is the rule, so for each item, he chose if he wanted just one bite or several helpings. Guess who likes Manchego cheese and olives!

Salads are also a great way to clean out the fridge when you have just a few slices of mango left. Make it colorful and use what you've got!

Green Beans/Peas
Artichoke hearts
Asparagus spears
Tomatoes (fresh or sun-dried)
Peppers (fresh or roasted)
Roasted Beets
Apples, or Pears, chopped
Orange segments
Onion: raw (grated or sliced), caramelized, or spring onions
Beans: Chickpeas, Black beans, Cannellini beans, Lentils
Meat: Ham, Chicken, Turkey, Bacon, Tuna,
Cheese (cubed, crumbled, or shredded)
Hard-boiled eggs (sliced or chopped)
Nuts and Seeds (try pumpkin seeds!)
Raisins, Cranberries, or chopped prunes
Fresh chopped herbs

Visit the classics for inspiration:

Bon appetit!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

i have no picture to share but the soup was delicious

Cold weather has me inspired to cook soup...I did lentil soup recently and thought I'd share the recipe bc it was so easy (and cheap!). This might be a double-batch, but we all eat it (even the baby wolfed it down!) so it went quickly around here.

1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups onion, chopped (about 2 big onions)
2 cups carrots, chopped (about 8 medium carrots)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 pound lentils (16oz bag/about 2 1/4 cups uncooked) ~ rinsed & drained
7- 8 cups stock (about 2 quarts)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme

Heat oil in large pot. Add onion and carrot and saute 10-15 minutes, until tender and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, stock, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1.5-2 hours. Lid off the pot, stir it up, remove four cups (mostly solids), puree in a blender, and add back to the pot. Add thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook another hour or so, simmering uncovered. If too thick (mine wasn't), you could thin it with 1/4 cup broth at a time.

I used the plain, cheap lentils for this. Doing another version with French lentils soon!

I like blue cheese crumbled or Parmesan shaved on top. Serve it with toast points for children to dip/gnaw.

Send some good cold-weather recipes our way!