The top three reasons I love fall so much are sweaters, scarves, and soup. And only one of those is edible, so you can guess which one is my favorite. Since the first signs of fall appeared a few weeks ago, I’ve been eating soup for lunch almost every day. A bowl of hearty soup and some bread for dunking is one of the most satisfying lunches—and one of the only lunches that can keep me full until dinner, which is no easy task. .
Lentil soup is a particularly satisfying soup, which is super great because it’s so healthy. Definitely not the prettiest soup, but certainly one of the tastiest and heartiest. And it’s so incredibly simple, and so, so good. You wouldn’t think that a soup that looks like…that…and has so little to it would be so tasty, would you? .
Lentils are just a simple legume, but in this soup, they are highlighted and elevated to their most delicious state. I used chicken broth here, but you can use vegetable broth to make it vegan. This is a great base recipe that’s very versatile; add in some fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking, use your favorite spices, add peppers or potatoes to the mirepoix, on and on. But really, you need just a few ingredients and spices to bring this soup to life.
Confession time: I haven’t cooked in, like, a week. I made some cookies for Halloween because I felt obligated, but otherwise, I’d be embarrassed to tell you what I’ve been nomming for sustenance. Let’s just say I completely understand why people who work a lot tend to eat poorly and gain weight. When looking through the recipes I have yet to post, this one reminded me of better days. The days when dinner was whipped up in minutes upon arriving home at a gloriously reasonable hour, and it was healthy and filling and didn’t involve fun size candy. .
I need to stop building my fat stores for winter. So I’m going to let this post inspire me to be better—because this is the kind of dinner that you can’t really find an excuse not to make. It’s nothing extraordinary, I won’t lie. It’s just a standard, easy chicken and dumplings recipe. But it’s healthy, filling, and simple as pie. Or dumplings.
I recently discovered the beauty of lentils. We had dinner one night, late, at a nondescript all-night diner. For some reason, all meals came with a bowl of soup: lentil or chicken noodle. I got the lentil simply because I was expecting typical, oversalted, crappy chicken-soup-from-a-can and I wasn’t interested in that. I was shocked to discover that it was the best lentil soup ever! It was beyond delicious. I’ve been thinking about that soup ever since and thinking about how to replicate it, but I haven’t yet. .
However, that meal inspired me to get a big bag of brown lentils from the bulk section at the store during my next visit. This is the first thing I made with them. After seeing this recipe pop up in my RSS reader via Daily Garnish, I immediately added it to my to-make list. I made a few modifications based on what I had in the fridge, and I was super happy with the results. This chili is stick-to-your-ribs filling and chock full of veggies. It has all the heartiness of any other chili, thanks to the lentils. Love those things! It’s also ridiculously good for you—always a good thing.
It’s starting to get a bit colder out, but I’ll admit I jumped the gun on this one. It’s not quite beef stew weather yet—and it definitely wasn’t when I made this a couple weeks ago. I just couldn’t help it! One of my favorite fall/winter meals is my mom’s slow cooker beef stew, and when I saw stew meat on sale at the store, I couldn’t resist. I asked my mom to send her basic method (she doesn’t need a recipe anymore, of course), and I went to town. .
Beef stew is such a classic cold weather dish, so I think by posting it now, it should give you plenty of time to add it to your recipe rotation this fall and winter. Since this is made in the slow cooker, it’s ridiculously easy. You can basically just throw everything in the pot in the morning (you can even skip the beef-browning step, but more on that later) and leave it. To make it even faster (and give you an extra few minutes of shut-eye), chop your veg the night before. Crazy easy to add to your slow cooker repertoire.
Another Cooking Light recipe today—shocker right? In case you haven’t figured it out, CL is my go-to for recipes. They rarely steer me wrong. And I had yet another winner with this mac n’ cheese from the latest issue. If you know me at all, you know that I looooove mac n’ cheese. It’s my weakness. My kryptonite. I can’t resist it. So, of course, I’m always looking for new ways to lighten it up—and this is one I’d never seen before. Can you guess the secret ingredient? .
… . Squash. Squash and I aren’t really BFF, so I was wary, but I decided to take a leap of faith. Can I just tell you how delicious this mac n’ cheese is? It’s so creamy—it seriously has a similar texture to Velveeta and Kraft out-of-the-silver-pouch cheese sauce, but without the artificial, this-is-so-not-cheese taste. And the squash? Right out of the oven, I didn’t even notice it. Honest. It’s a tiny bit more noticeable in leftovers, but still, not enough to make me put down the fork. Because it’s really good. Cheesy, flavorful, and super creamy and luxurious. This would be a great way to fool picky eaters into getting some squashy goodness in their diet—and no one will be the wiser. Let’s make it!
Hi friends. I know I haven’t been around much lately; I apologize. Big things are happening in my life that demand my attention—which I can’t talk about here quite yet, but I promise to share soon. I hope I can make up for the unpredictability of my posting with these muffins. Try them and I’m sure you’ll forgive me. Let’s get to it. .
In my produce delivery this week, I received a gorgeous pint of local, organic blueberries. I’m not really a fan of blueberries in general, but these berries were just too beautiful to not be baked into something. I couldn’t just let my boyfriend shove them into his face all week without at least trying to bake something yummy with them! So, I asked him what his favorite blueberry-thing was, and he of course said muffins. I found a delicious-looking recipe on MyRecipes (originally from Oxmoor House’s healthy eating collection) and set to work, not really thinking that I’d be eating the fruits of my labor. .
However, as soon as I tasted the batter, I was in love. I’d happily eat these delicious lemony muffins without any blueberries in them, but I was surprised to find that I actually liked the muffins as a whole, blueberries and all! They’re light and lemony, with the tart and sweet bursts of blueberry goodness throughout. These are a great muffin to kick off summer, and the best part is, you can use any berry you like. Use the lemon muffin base and use your favorite berry. Raspberries would be great, or a mix of the two (perfect for a 4th of July party, am I right?). And of course, they’re stupid easy to make. Continue reading →
Among my produce for the past couple weeks has been a plethora of citrus. Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Now, I’m not a person who loves oranges, fresh and unadulterated. I like orange-flavored foods, but I have a weird “thing” about the texture of oranges so I don’t eat them by themselves. Obviously, I had to find a way to use some oranges in recipes so I wouldn’t have to eat them plain. .
I found a Cooking Light recipe for a basic orange coconut bread using orange zest and orange-flavored yogurt (Seriously? Yuck! If you’re going to buy an orange for the zest, at least use the juice!), so I messed with it a little and came up with the bread I’m featuring in this post. I could tell as soon as I finished mixing the batter that this bread was going to be insane. The smell was out of this world, and I could see that the texture was going to be fluffy and amazing. I was right—I’m in love with this stuff! .
The combination of the orange flavor and coconut (with lovely toasted bits on top) is, of course, delicious. The added lemon gives it an extra punch (though it doesn’t add a pronounced lemon flavor, it simply enhances the orange flavor), and the texture is soft and fluffy with just the right amount of chew for a quick bread. It’s just the right amount of sweet, but if you wanted to dress it up a little, you could make a quick glaze out of powdered sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, and maybe a little splash of milk. You could even add some orange liqueur to the cake itself or a glaze to really take it over the top for a special occasion, but it’s perfect as-is for everyday deliciousness. Continue reading →
I don’t eat a lot of red meat. I never ate a whole lot of it to begin with, but in the past year or so I’ve really made an effort to cut it out of my diet as much as I can. The problem with that is that sometimes, I just really want a burger. And it’s not usually the meat itself that I’m craving, but just the idea of a burger. Know what I mean? These chicken burgers satisfy the urge for a big ol’ patty of ground meat on a bun, but they’re much healthier than beef burgers. And so flavorful too! .
I actually made these from a chicken meatloaf recipe, so it has all the flavors of meatloaf, but on a bun. How could you go wrong? With ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and green onions, they’re almost like an Asian-American fusion meatloaf burger. Did I just invent that? Believe it. Also believe that these are really delicious. They’re super fast and easy to throw together for a weeknight dinner that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on Everybody Likes Sandwiches and for several days, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I love broccoli, and I’m pretty sure you already know that if you’ve read this blog before. I love it steamed, roasted, and even raw—in all its forms. The fact that this was a recipe with the sole purpose of dressing up raw broccoli immediately caught my attention. I finally made it, with a few modifications, and it was scrumptious. If you love broccoli, you’ll love this crunchy slaw. If you don’t, well, you might like it anyway. Or you might not. But then I’ll feel sorry for you. Continue reading →
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Muffins don’t really help much in the grand scheme of things, but they’re pretty good for some quick carby comfort. Waking up to one of these muffins, warmed up with a smear of peanut butter and raspberry preserves—well, it kinda makes the day seem a little brighter. They’re fluffy and nutty, with little chewy bursts of dates and figs and those tiny, crunchy fig seeds. The tops have a satisfying oatmeal “streusel” topping that adds yet another layer of texture. .
If your week/month/year has gotten off to a shaky start, join me in enjoying some muffin deliciousness. These muffins are healthy, hearty, and extremely delicious. Let’s bake.