Simple. Fresh. Local

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." JRR Tolken

Month: February, 2012

Blackened Lentils with Broccoli, Kale, Goat Cheese and Limequats


I am really inspired by lentils right now. I’ve made several soups, many different tacos, have ideas for black bean and lentil “meat” balls, and this simple recipe was delicious. I think I go through lentil phases every year, suddenly I rediscover these little legumes and start adding them to everything. I ate kumquats and limequats with roasted broccoli and kale the other night and they pair perfectly and look beautiful. As a dinner this meal was fulfilling, I broiled an egg on top, and saved the leftovers for lunch the next day when I went skiing. This might be the best lunch I’ve brought to the mountain in a long time. I only had a little bit left over but it was perfectly satisfying. I leaned up against my car in the sunshine and ate my little feast in the mountains.


Blackened Lentils with Broccoli, Kale, Goat Cheese and Limequats

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
¾ cup cooked green lentils
Head of broccoli
Big handful of kale, stems removed
1 meyer lemon
Goat cheese
2 limequats or kumquats
Sea salt & pepper
Cayenne pepper

Turn the oven onto broil. Add oil to a cast iron, sauté the onions for a few minutes on high heat. Add the garlic and the lentils. I cooked everything on high heat so the lentils were a bit crispy. Add the broccoli and kale, squeeze meyer lemon juice all over, season with salt and pepper, and cover the pan so the vegetables steam. Once the kale loses most of its volume, mix everything together and add a little more seasoning and lemon juice. Add some chunks of goat cheese to the skillet and crack a few eggs in there, seasoned with cayenne,  if you want. Broil until the eggs are cooked and the kale and broccoli is slightly crisped, just a few minutes. Meanwhile chop some kumquats and limequats. Remove the skillet from the oven and sprinkle the chopped quats on top and season again if needed. Enjoy with some plain Greek yogurt and another squeeze of lemon juice.



Anchovy, Gruyere & Comte Flatbread

I made these crackers from 101cookbooks. When I was ready to bake them, I turned on my oven to 450. The oven started smoking furiously, filling my house with smoke and a horrible electrical smell. So I’m without oven right now, except the broil function, which is what I ended up using to cook these “crackers.” They turned into little pizzas instead. I just rolled them out, sprinkled them with sea salt & pepper and broiled them. When I flipped them, I added gruyere & comté and some anchovies and another grind of sea salt & pepper. They were crispy and simple and light and rich and delicious. Not necessarily pizza, not necessarily crackers, more like a flat bread somewhere in between.  I’ve burned so many things using the broiler, I’m extra careful, and these you really have to watch or they will burn to a crisp. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Lentil and Split Pea Tacos with Gruyere, Comté and Sauteed Kale

I lose track of what is in my cupboards several times every year. So I didn’t buy groceries for a little while and decided to see what I had and wasn’t using. Millet, quinoa, amaranth, sprouting seeds, bee pollen, various types of beans, soup mixes, lentils and wheat berries and the list goes on. I have a wide variety of interesting and obscure ingredients to play with but I’ve been hooked on the first one I made from the pantry. I like having survival food on hand for when I have limited time or money. Some of the best survival food is Bob’s Red Mill soup mix with green and yellow split peas, barley, lentils and vegetable pasta. I ate it as a soup the first night cooked just in chicken broth and then I started incorporating it into other dishes. The lentil-split pea taco with gruyere and comté topped with sautéed kale and lemon juice is my favorite use for the soup mix so far.

Lentil and Split Pea Tacos with Gruyere, Comté and Sauteed Kale

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Vegi Soup
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 sprouted corn tortillas
Sliced Gruyere and Comté
Handful of kale
Lemon juice
Sea salt & pepper
Olive oil

Simmer 1 part soup with the 4 parts of water/vegetable broth for about an hour, until tender. Heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and place the tortillas in the pan. Top them with a few spoonfuls of the lentils and several slices of cheese. Top with the other tortilla, cook for several minutes on each side (until cheese is melted, tacos are crispy). Remove the taco from the pan, and add the kale to the hot skillet. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon onto the kale, cover, and sauté until the kale is soft and a bit crispy (about 5 minutes). Top the taco with the kale and season with salt & pepper. This is a really simple meal, but don’t forget the lemon juice, it is essential. And definitely serve these with spicy chutney and Greek yogurt if you have it on hand.

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cookies

These are my favorite winter cookies. Fresh ground clove, chopped fresh ginger and chocolate chunks make them especially delicious. I love filling my house with the smell of spices, it would only be better if instead of sunshine everyday, snow was piling on my doorstep, or at least in the mountains. But, at least these cookies offer some suggestion that it’s February even though it feels like early fall. I haven’t made any other type of cookie in months, I’ve just made these in different forms with various spices. I freeze them and have a sweet, spicy, rich treat when I get home after a long day.

Fresh Ginger and Molasses Cookies

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup butter
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
2 tsp milk
¼ cup molasses
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2-3 oz. chopped dark chocolate (I use Green & Black)

 Oven 350. Mix the flour with the baking soda, salt and spices. Melt the butter, mix it with the sugar until slightly fluffy. Mix in the egg, water, milk, molasses, chocolate chunks and chopped ginger. Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients. Roll into small balls and cook for around 10 minutes. They cook quite quickly and are chewy and soft when they’re finished.



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