One of the reasons I’ve considered discontinuing the blog is I get so much satisfaction from my time on social media, especially Instagram. I’d rather be hanging out there, including posting actual recipes on those outlets so you can get all the details where you are, too. On the other hand, it’s nice to have this journal of recipes to refer back to and bookmark from, and I have the freedom to post several photos.
I had an AHA! moment this morning when I realized the obvious: I can do both. So, going forward, I’ll be posting blog recipes directly to Facebook and Instagram, as well as recording them here. I suspect this is one of several changes I’ll make to how I use this space in the coming months to make it work for me (and hopefully, you too).
I borrowed the idea for this cilantro salad dressing from my friend Viney, who whipped it up during our apple picking trip a few weeks ago. Making do with random odds and ends in our rental kitchen, she combined fresh cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and sour cream to make this tangy, creamy, herbaceous number. I can think of a few different salad combinations where this application would be particularly great, but we’ve been sticking with one version in particular. A big bowl of greens, apple slices, and salted peanuts tossed with the cilantro dressing makes
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add the olive oil and process until just incorporated.
Toss with baby greens, sliced apples, and salted roasted peanuts. Serve immediately.
Things have been busy around here (or, as Kathleen would say, “wildly productive and living the dream“), but I wanted to pop in here to wish you a happy fall with this simple, satisfying, autumnal smoothie.
Last weekend we went upstate with friends for our annual apple picking trip. I left my camera at home so as not to pressure myself to document the experience, only to thoroughly document the event with my cell phone. Of course, we came home with a lot of apples, so I’ve been tucking them into every meal I can manage.
This apple pie smoothie is the way to keep my smoothie habit alive as we transition to cooler weather. It’s cold yet cozy, thanks to apple pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg; it’s creamy yet vibrant, thanks to the marriage of soaked cashews and sweet-tart apple. I bumped up the nutritional value with maca powder, its maple-y flavor a wonderful complement to the dessert-themed snack.
Now, back to living the dream…
(PS – I’m sending out a newsletter tomorrow with another fall-inspired recipe. Sign up below if you’re not already on the list.)
Apple Pie Smoothie
1/4 c raw cashews
1 medium apple, quartered and cored
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp maca
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c water, plus more for soaking
handful of ice
Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover by an inch of water. Soak 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the water from the cashews and move the nuts to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.
This week, I finally caught up on my blog feed after getting horribly backlogged over the holidays. I couldn’t bring myself to “mark all as read” because I have serious FOMO, but honestly I’m glad I took the time because my favorite blogs killed it – wrapping up 2014 and starting off 2015 right. I also just read Lean In, so I’m either two months or two years behind, depending on your yardstick.
Bearing that in mind, today’s recipe is not Valentine’s Day themed, as that would require the kind of forethought I can only applaud others for commanding. I dream of being that kind of writer one day. Except not really because I’m too busy dreaming about a full night’s sleep.
(But rest assured I will not miss Pi Day, partly because pie and partly because this.)
What I have for you instead of a chocolate dessert or romantic dinner menu is something more unassuming – I think “humble” is a good word for lentils – but no less rousing to eat. I love lentils’ earthiness but sometimes their texture is lackluster, so for this dish they get a little makeover via a fry in a hot skillet to become satisfyingly crispy. For extra crunch, I add chopped walnuts that become aromatic as they cook alongside the legumes. Everything is coated in a generous sprinkling of za’atar, an herbaceous and tangy spice blend of sumac, sesame seeds, and thyme. The sesame seeds also toast up in the pan, deepening their flavor. Oh, and I threw some kale in there for some extra goodness, to find it also became delightfully crisp at the edges.
I’d been coming back to this dish for a while, especially to use up leftover lentils, but didn’t find it notable enough to share until I began adding lemon zest. See, there are a lot of hearty flavors going on here, and they needed a little uplift. The zest brings a brightness to the meal that simultaneously balances and boosts it. Topped with a fried egg, I’ve been relishing it for breakfast, although it could just as easily stand in for lunch.
So there you have it, your non-Valentine’s Day recipe. It’s not glamorous, but it’s really good.
Crispy Lentils with Walnuts and Za’atar
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 c julienned kale
1 c cooked lentils, cooled and patted dry*
1/2 c roughly chopped walnuts
1 tsp za’atar
2 tsp lemon zest
Add a splash of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the kale and saute until bright green. Stir in the lentils, walnuts, za’atar, and two big pinches of salt and continue to saute until the lentils are crispy and walnuts are fragrant. This whole process takes 7-10 minutes.Stir in the lemon zest.
At this point if your skillet is large enough you can move the lentil mixture to the side, otherwise divide it among two plates before frying the eggs. Add another big splash of olive oil to the pan, crack in the eggs, and sprinkle each with a little salt. Cover and cook until the edges are crispy, whites are just set, and yolks still runny. Plate the eggs over the lentils and serve warm.
*I like to keep my lentils in a mesh strainer overnight in the fridge to cool and drip/air dry.The drier the lentils are, the more easily they’ll crisp up.