Tag Archives: carrots

Rice, Lentils, and Caramelized Onions with Spiced Yogurt

lentils and yogurt

lentils

People often ask me what I make for lunches, and I have to be honest; I will make one meal on Sunday night and eat it everyday for lunch the entire week, provided that it’s adequately delicious.

Even better is when the meal gets better over the course of the week, like this one. The longer the flavors mingle, the more comforting this dish becomes. (For the record, it’s actually called mujaddara.)

Even even better is when that meal maintains some semblance of “healthy.” Granted, I doubled the yogurt sauce recipe, but I also added carrots and celery because I’m aware that some of you have New Year’s resolutions that you’re interested in keeping, and my cupcakes are no help. I wanted to redeem myself this week.

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions — what meals are you looking to make more of in 2013? I’d love some new post inspiration.

Note: This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting the butter for more olive oil, and using a vegan yogurt. (My real vegan roommate suggests the coconut alternative as the almond was too sweet.)

Recipe from Food 52. I added carrots and celery.

Beef Chili and Cheddar Cornbread

I’ve nearly been swallowed by this city in the best, all-consuming sense of the word. I have no other excuse.

I celebrated my one-month work anniversary. It snowed in October. I turned 23.

And this recipe is the best meal I’ve posted yet. Seriously.

Beef Chili:
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 carrots, diced (I also roasted ‘em)
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon crumbled dry oregano
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 8-ounce cans kidney beans
2 red bell peppers, chopped (I roasted these, too)

1) In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat and cook the onions in it for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for one minute more.
2) Raise the heat to medium and add the beef, stirring and breaking up any lumps until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the diced tomatoes, broth and Worcestershire sauce and simmer the chili, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes.
3) Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the bell peppers are tender.

Cheddar Cornbread:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided

1) Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Mix in 2 cups of the cheddar and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
3) Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm.

Recipes based on this beef chili recipe and this cheddar cornbread recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Chickpeas

It’s literally impossible not to love Central Park in fall. (It’s also literally impossible not to get “Danke Schoen” stuck in my head when I hear the phrase “Central Park in fall.”)

Yes, autumn is upon us. In fact, we got a sneak peek of winter the other day when it snowed. In October. It’s time to eat lots and lots of warm orange foods and put cinnamon on everything. Which is what I did the other day when I roasted up these veggies.

I assure you, the smell is better than a Yankee Candle.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1) Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
2) Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Roasted Carrots

All I want to eat in this weather is vegetables. (And cheese, which is a year-round need. But mostly vegetables.) My favorite way to eat most veggies is roasting them. I think I’ve shared my love of vegetable roasting before, so this recipe is nothing new.

This recipe is also embarrassingly easy; I hesitated to post it.

There’s so much I want to say, folks, but no time to say it at the moment.

More Thursday.

Roasted Carrots:
Whole carrots, with stems
Olive oil
Garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Sea salt
Pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems of the carrots, leaving about 1/2 inch of green stem. Sprinkle with olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt and pepper.
2) Put carrots in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they’ve reached desired texture. (I like mine crisp on the outside, soft in the middle. About 25 minutes.)

Green Lentil “Burgers”

Today felt like spring in Chapel Hill. Fortunately, I had the ideal warmer-weather meal to pair with my day of porch sitting (among more productive pursuits)–a fresh sandwich chock full of veggies and protein and other Healthy Things That Actually Taste Delicious.

To be fair, I actually eat these lentil “burgers” year-round. They’re too tasty to be seasonal. They just seemed particularly relevant today.

The recipe was inspired by my friend Miri Leigh, who has a wonderful food blog and far more food expertise than I. She got the recipe from Mark Bittman, who has some of the best recipes around. Lots of brilliance in that bunch, I tell ya.

Green Lentil “Burgers”:
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion
1 cup spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
1 small yellow zucchini, grated
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 egg
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1) Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until tender. (About 30 minutes.) Drain.
2) Pulse the garlic and scallions in a food processor until well-grated. Add the lentils and all remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, into the food processor. Combine well. (Without a food processor, you just need to mash everything together. It’ll take a bit longer, but it’s worth the effort!)
3) Mix breadcrumbs into the mixture, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. The lentil mixture will be wet, but dries off a bit in the fridge.
4) Heat olive oil in a pan. Form patties with the lentil mixture and place in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. (Once I’ve flipped mine, I add mozzarella cheese to the cooked side.) Place onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.

I serve my lentil burgers on toasted whole wheat buns and plate them with salad (when I’m feeling healthy) and sweet potato fries (when I’m feeling American). Oh, and sometimes I top them with curry mayonnaise. (Curry seasoning + mayo).

Dessert can be decadent after such a nutritionally-balanced dinner. But that post is for tomorrow…

Beef Stew

It’s cold outside. Snowing, even.

I also started classes today. My last semester of college has begun.

So, I made stew. It’s just a meat ‘n’ potatoes kind of day.

End of story.

This stuff is going to taste even better tomorrow, I can tell. The greatest aspect of this recipe is altering the ingredients to suit your personal tastes. More meat, additional vegetables, etc. It’s really difficult to mess up, I promise.

Beef Stew:
1 pound stew beef
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice
2 cups beef broth
5-6 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, quartered
cornstarch (optional)

1) Coat beef pieces in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper. Cook the meat on medium heat in a large pot with oil until the beef is browned thoroughly. Add onion and soften briefly. Add garlic.
2) Stir in Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, paprika and allspice. Pour in beef broth and let simmer for about an hour.
3) Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, for about an hour. If the stew gravy isn’t thick enough, remove a cup or so of the gravy from the pot and stir in a few tablespoons of cornstarch until all the clumps are gone. Combine back into the stew.
4) Serve with bread for maximum gravy enjoyment.

I’m also in the process of writing up my New Year’s resolutions/bucket list for the year. What’s on your list?

Chicken Noodle Soup

There is no excuse for this picture. Except that I’m sick and also was hungry at the moment I captured this disgusting photo.

This recipe, however, is not disgusting. It’s really, really delicious. And it used up the rest of my roasted chicken. And it made me feel like my mom was in the next room ready to cater to my next whim. She wasn’t, but at least I didn’t have to eat out of a can.

Chicken Noodle Soup:
For the broth
leftover roasted chicken
1 onion
1 celery stalk

1) In big pot, put in chicken bones and skin, saving the leftover meat. Fill pot 3/4 full with water. Throw in big pieces of onion and celery. Simmer for 5 minutes.
2) Bring to boil, and let boil for 5 to 10 minutes, then simmer for about 2 hours covered, and 30 minutes uncovered.

For the soup
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
leftover chicken from roasted chicken
thyme

1) To make noodles, combine eggs, salt, baking powder and flour, knead until resembles pie dough. Spread additional flour on rolling pin and counter. Roll dough very thin
2) Dry the dough for 20 minutes, then cut skinny strips with pizza cutter, then cut the strips short, about 1 inch. Let dry again.
3) Meanwhile, heat broth. Add chopped carrots, celery and onion and bring to boil. Cook until tender.
4) Add chicken pieces and thyme, then add noodles. Cook until noodles are soft.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

This is Andrea. Andrea is my newest food model. (No meat dresses here, though. Sorry.)

At home, the logical next dinner following roast chicken is chicken pot pie. Mom’s orders. Who am I to question years of logical cooking? Leftover chicken practically begs to be combined with gravy and vegetables. Its lil’ carcass gets cold in the fridge, all lonely next to the unfriendly cranberry juice cocktail.

Also, roommate and I are collectively experiencing a cold that is single-handedly (virally?) keeping tissue and decongestant companies in business. So chicken pot pie is also the logical antidote, the ultimate in feel-good meals. (Aside from chicken noodle soup, which I’ll post about Tuesday.)

And, as I always enjoy a good food personification opportunity, sometimes it’s comforting to pretend that I am one of those buttermilk biscuits, steaming away in a bubbling mixture of Delicious Things. I’m quite certain that my recovery would be drastically expedited if I had a chicken pot pie hot tub. My birthday’s in a few weeks, FYI.

Chicken Pot Pie:
2 carrots
2 celery stalks, diced
2 C. peas
1 onion, diced
2 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 C. milk
2 C. chicken stock
2 C. cooked, cubed chicken
1 tsp parsley
salt & pepper

1) Heat chicken stock in medium sized pot. Add carrots, cook until a bit soft. Meanwhile, cook celery and onion with butter until softened. Sprinkle in flour.
2) Add celery and onion to pot. Stir in peas, add salt, pepper and parsley. Remove pot from heat.
3) Once the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in chicken and milk.
4) Pour into a deep-dish pie pan, making sure to leave room for biscuits to expand as they bake. Drop in biscuits (see recipe below) or top with pastry dough. Place pie pan on top of a cookie sheet, in case your pie pan runneth over. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Buttermilk Biscuits:
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 TB sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 TB butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 C. & 2 TB buttermilk

1) Combine flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Rub in butter cubes with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2) Add the buttermilk until a soft dough forms.
3) Place the dough on a floured work surface. Knead slightly and flatten until 1-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with round cookie cutter or with the opening of a jar. Combine remaining dough and cut additional biscuits.
4) Place biscuits on an ungreased round cake pan so they all touch slightly, or, if adding to pot pie, gently place biscuits on top of pot pie mixture. Follow directions above for baking.
5) Bake any solo biscuits at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.