All posts tagged recipe

  • ginger carrot and sweet potato soup

    It’s getting COLD in Michigan. Too cold for two former San Francisco wussies. And it’s going to get even colder. We’ve had no shortage of tea and hot chocolate on hand, and now I’ll be cooking up soups, stews, and chilis until the first sign of spring. I recently made a chicken soup and had a pound of leftover carrots that needed to be used and decided to make a soup around them based on what I had on hand. The result was a nourishing and slightly spicy and sweet soup perfect for chilly autumn days and nights.

    ginger sweet potato carrot red lentil soup

    Ginger Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

    1 pound of carrots, chopped
    1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
    1 cup red lentils
    1 onion, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
    3 cups water
    1 teaspoon curry powder
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 tablespoon honey
    cayenne pepper, to taste
    salt & pepper, to taste

    Ideas for optional garnishes: freshly chopped cilantro, parsley, chives, yogurt, creme fraiche, bread crumbs, heavy whipping cream

    Heat oil in a large stockpot. Add onion and cook until onions are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and cook for another few minutes. Add stock, sweet potatoes and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are very tender. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Bonus points for using an immersion blender (less cleanup!). Return the soup back to the pot and season with curry powder, coriander, honey, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve.

    Serves 6-8

  • recipe: peanut butter & spinach smoothie

    peanut butter and spinach smoothie

    I’m still on a breakfast kick. Or rather, I was until I found a new favorite breakfast I love so much that I eat (drink?) it 5 times a week.

    Yup, it’s a smoothie.

    This smoothie is a twist on mowz bil-laban (banana milk), a drink consisting of just bananas blended with milk that I’d buy at juice stands on the streets of Cairo. Over the years, when making banana milk at home, I’d tweak the recipe here and there. I’d add a mango or handful of strawberries here and there. I’d top off the smoothie with a couple pinches of slivered almonds here and there just before serving. Then I started freezing bananas because I would purchase so many I’d have to freeze them before they went bad. What I then discovered was an accidental miracle, adding a frozen banana to a smoothie suddenly gave the drink a milkshake-like consistency. I haven’t looked back since.

    The idea for a breakfast banana milk came when I was standing in line at my favorite work day lunch spot. They have a  banana, kale, almond milk, and almond butter smoothie on the menu that I’ve never tried, but sounds delicious. I made my own adaption at home a couple days later, but with peanut butter. My poor little Oster beehive blender couldn’t quite blend the kale into the consistency I had hoped, so the next time I made the smoothie (and every time since!) I’ve used spinach. As much as I love kale, spinach is a much better candidate for smoothies because you can’t really taste it once it’s blended with fruit and milk. What really makes this smoothie a meal not a drink are the cacao nibs added at the very end. Cacao nibs are raw chocolate, with the crunchy consistency of macadamia nuts and deep bitter chocolate taste. I used to only make banana milk as an evening treat, so every morning I feel like I’m eating dessert and every night I can’t wait for breakfast.

    Peanut Butter and Spinach Smoothie

    2 handfuls spinach
    1 cup milk of your choice (I use almond)
    2 teaspoons peanut butter
    1 banana, frozen and broken into 2-3 pieces
    1 tablespoon cacao nibs

    Add the spinach, milk, and peanut butter to your blender and blend until smooth. Once you have a smooth mixture, add the frozen banana. Blend again until completely smooth. Pour the drink into a glass and top it off with cacao nibs. Enjoy!

    Serves 1

  • recipe: baked eggs with bacon & avocado

    baked eggs with bacon and avocado

    Lately, I’ve grown tired of my usual breakfast fare: a plain egg, some manner of citrus, yogurt with chia seeds and a dollop of jam on weekdays and oatmeal or fried eggs, bacon, and potatoes on weekends. Weekends are my time to experiment with new breakfasts, and I think I’ve found a new regular. This dish includes a combination of my three favorite ingredients: cheese, bacon, and avocado. Heavenly. And I’m super stoked that I finally have a reason to use those individual pie dishes from Crate&Barrel that I just had to have.

    This is the first new recipe I’ve posted here in almost two years. I keep intending to returning to blogging on a regular basis, but something else always seems to pop up. I still cook regularly, not as much as I used to since I joined the 40+ hour a office job world. Perhaps now I that I’ve finally posted a new recipe, I’ll get back into the swing of blogging again. I certainly hope so!

    Cheesy Baked Eggs with Bacon and Avocado
    (adapted from Use Real Butter)

    1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
    4 eggs
    3-4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
    1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
    1/3 cup steamed kale or spinach, chopped
    a couple pinches of dried thyme
    2 strips bacon, crumbled
    salt and pepper, to taste

    1 medium avocado, sliced

    Pre-heat oven to 375F. Butter or oil ramekins or individual pie dishes. Add two eggs each to the ramekins. Season eggs with a few dashes of salt and pepper. Layer the ramekins with shredded mozzarella. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, and steamed kale to the ramekins. Bake for 10-15 mins, take the eggs out around 10 minutes if you prefer runnier eggs.

    Once the eggs are done to your liking, set them aside for a few minutes to cool off. While the eggs are cooling off, slice an avocado. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the eggs and top it off with the avocado. Serve immediately.

    Serves 2

  • deconstructed hummus salad

    If there’s one thing I could eat everyday it’s bread and hummus. Okay, I guess those are two things. I don’t make hummus as often as I’d like, since I like to eat it only with bread and I consider bread to be a “sometimes food”. Nothing in the world can compare to freshly baked bread. And I could eat a lot of it. Everyday. Probably even right now. I’ve had an itching to make hummus for awhile and came up with the idea to make a deconstructed hummus salad. All the ingredients of traditional hummus over a pile of greens. I made it on a whim as a small side dish just before dinner and ended up going back for seconds of the salad. And I ended up making the salad three more times throughout the week. Yeah, I think I have a new favorite hummus recipe now. No bread or taking out the pesky food processor out of storage.

    Deconstructed Hummus Salad

    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons tahini
    1-2 tablespoon lemon juice (start with a tablespoon, add more to taste if needed)
    1 tablespoon water
    salt, to taste
    1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    5 oz package of mixed greens (note: I also had about 2 cups of leftover red kale and used that as well)
    2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
    sumac or paprika (optional, for garnishing)

    Mince garlic and toss in a large mixing bowl. Mix in olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt. Stir until everything is mixed together and fold in the chickpeas. Serve the chickpeas over mixed greens tossed with chopped dill. Garnish with sumac or paprika, if desired.

    Serves 4

    Originally posted in March 2011

  • recipe: sahlab

    Sahlab is a popular wintertime drink throughout the Middle East. The drink is made with milk and salep, a flour made from the tuberous root of a species of orchid, Orchis mascula. Salep has a faintly floral taste, but the drink is mainly consumed for its thick texture. Other flavorings, such as orange blossom water and rose water, are added to the drink just before serving and it is traditional to dust the cup with a couple pinches of cinnamon.

     Pure salep is notoriously difficult (and expensive!) to come by outside of Turkey, so you’re more likely to find powdered mixes with cornstarch, sugar, and a small amount of salep sold in Middle Eastern groceries. I’ve also seen people ditch the salep altogether and use cornstarch in its place. Even when only made with cornstarch, sahlab is a great drink for those chilly winter nights and a good alternative for those who don’t like tea or coffee. Salep is also a key ingredient in Turkish ice cream (dondurma), which is known for its chewy texture and resistance to melting.


    2 cups milk (Whole milk is my milk of choice, but use low-fat or non-fat if you’d like)
    sugar, to taste (if using pure sahlab powder or cornstarch, most if not all pre-packaged sahlab mixes already include sugar)
    2 tablespoons sahlab powder or cornstarch

    Optional flavorings and garnishes:

    Rose water (1/2 teaspoon per serving)
    Orange blossom water (1/2 teaspoon per serving)
    Almond extract
    Shredded coconut
    Chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts)
    Ground cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg, for dusting

    Add the milk (and sugar, if using) to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until hot, then add the sahlab powder or cornstarch and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. If adding extra flavorings, like rosewater, orange blossom water, almond extract, or vanilla, stir those in once the drink has thickened. Divide the drink into individual cups and garnish with chopped nuts, coconut, and dust with cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg.

    Serves 2

    Originally posted in February 2012