Breadwinner

……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Cool Avocado Soup July 31, 2012

I rarely pull recipes off restaurant websites – I always feel like they’re going to leave off a key ingredient in order to inspire me to come back to their spot instead of making a dish myself. But, when I got this recommendation, it sounded too good to pass up.

Before I made this, I’d never eaten a cold soup. Now, I basically want to live off cold soup all summer long. This was incredibly refreshing, all while being incredibly creamy and decadent.

Plus, we finally got to use the antique cold soup china tureen that’s been in the basement for a year. Classy business, this soup.

Plus it’s green. Which is awesome.

Cool Avocado Soup from Panera

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 English cucumber, partially peeled, then chopped (I used a little cucumber from my garden!)
4 scallions, green parts only
2 cups vegetable broth
Juice of one lime
1/3 cup packed cilantro (leaves and stems)
1/2 – 1 jalapeño pepper, depending on your taste preference, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 – 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4+ tsp. cumin
1/4+ tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt

Throw everything in the blender and puree for 2-3 minutes. Let it sit for a few hours, then blend again for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro as desired.

 

Menu ideas: When bacon is on sale June 4, 2012

Filed under: Breakfast,Dinner,Lunch,Soup — krandle @ 10:29 pm
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I like bacon as much as the next gal – but I only ever buy it when it’s on sale (and when I’m feeling relatively healthy / all my jeans fit at the beginning of the week). And it recently was on sale (and I was feeling ready to take on an absurd amount of fat), so I got to try out a whole new slew of recipes. Here are some recipes I found to try to keep my skillet busy.

Bacon, egg and leek risotto – a quick weekend breakfast this is not, but it is pretty delicious. Watch out, though – I halved this recipe and it still made four servings

Amazing grilled cheese sandwich – yes, it includes bacon…and sriracha and avocado. It’s going to change your sandwich world.

Crockpot baked beans – big disclaimer here: total cooking time here is 15 hours, plus you need to soak some beans overnight ahead of time. Sure, you can be sleeping for part of it, but you’re going to need to figure out your schedule ahead of time so you don’t burn anything. The beans are tasty, but you need to have the time committed to do this.

Vegan cream of broccoli soup – what, did you think I was trying to harden my arteries entirely in a week? This soup has become one of my favorites this year, and I don’t even like broccoli. It’s fresh, fast, and freezable. Plus, if you’re not vegan, you can sprinkle your own cheese on top to make it a light version of broccoli cheddar soup.

 

Red Lentil Soup May 30, 2012

Filed under: Lunch,Soup,Vegan,Vegetarian — krandle @ 5:27 pm
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Sometimes, you wind up with an ingredient that you have to invent uses for. It doesn’t fit into the things you normally make, you have no idea how to use it, and none of your stockpiled recipe ideas mention it anywhere. So you start making things up.

A while ago, my mother gave me a bag of red lentils. Not just any old bag. An enormous, unending bag of red lentils, so authentically designed for frequent lentil cooks that Lakshmi is on the outside of the bag. It was an incredibly thoughtful present, and I do love cooking beans/lentils/etc., so I was excited about it. I have to say that I ended up using most of the bag to make a weird rice/lentil mixture. Every time I needed a grain for a stir fry or something, I’d do 3/4 cup rice and 1/4 cup lentils. It added some texture and fiber…and that was pretty much the only idea I had. All my other lentil recipes called for firmer green or brown lentils.

That is, until I decided to make some red lentil soup. I have to say I wish I’d never concocted the rice/lentil mixture; this soup is so much better than that.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro
from Martha Stewart Living

Lentil soup is delicious – but it always looks weird, so you get a small photo. The coconut milk drizzle adds extra creaminess to the soup.

2 tsp. safflower oil (or just vegetable oil if you’re a plain person)
3 Tbs. finely chopped peeled ginger (from a 2-in piece)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 Tbs.)
1 large shallot, finely chopped (4 Tbs.)
2 carrots, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 tsp. curry powder
Coarse salt
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, divided
1 cup red lentils
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
3 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro stems, plus 3 Tbs. cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook ginger, garlic, shallots and carrots, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add in 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup coconut milk, 4 cups water and the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils and carrots are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour 2 cups of soup through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving the solids. Puree the strained liquid and the remaining soup in a food processor until smooth. Reheat after blending and stir in reserved solids.

At this point, if you’re going to freeze your soup, this is the time to do it. If not, stir in some of the cherries and cilantro stems, then ladle soup into bowls. Swirl the remaining coconut milk and garnish with cherries and cilantro leaves.

Per serving: 348 calories, 8 g saturated fat, 48 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 12 g dietary fiber

 

Summer corn fritters with tomato and avocado salsa May 23, 2012

Well, it certainly has been a while! Don’t worry – I’m still cooking like a fiend. Some of it just isn’t worth writing home to the internet about. But, my garden has been planted, and I ate the first fruits (a single, cute radish) this evening – so I decided it’s time to resume sharing all the wonderful things I’ve been eating.

Just to kick it off, here’s a lovely, delectable summer treat that simple to make and involves fresh corn. This is also, aside from one other horrific experience, the first thing I’ve ever fried. My boyfriend was quite pleased about being able to have fried food as a side dish to our dinner.

Fresh Corn Fritters
slightly adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

3 ears corn, shucked and cut from the cobs (scrape the juice from the cobs into the bowl as well)
1 cup flour
¼ cup diced red onion
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup thinly sliced basil
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
salt and pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. buttermilk (you can also substitute greek yogurt)
2 Tbs. butter, melted
Vegetable oil for frying

Serve with tomato and avocado salsa (recipe below)

After getting the corn off the cob, place 2 cups of it into the food process and pulse several times to create a chunky puree. Return the mixture to the bowl with the remaining corn. Add the onions

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, basil, powder, soda, salt and pepper. Add to the corn mixture. Then, add in eggs, buttermilk (or yogurt) and butter, stirring just until combined.

Heat the oil in a skillet, and scoop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls in to create little fritters. Fry the cake 1 to 2 minutes per side until golden brown. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper, then pop them in a warm oven to stay warm while you finish cooking the remaining fritters. Top with tomato and avocado salsa.

Tomato and Avocado Salsa

1 large tomato, cored and diced
1 scallion, minced
½ jalepeno, cored, seeded and diced (I left this out because I had a heat-averse dining partner)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of ½ lime
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 avocado, diced

Stir all ingredients (except avocado) together. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve, then add the avocado.

Per serving: 209 calories, 3 g saturated fat, 27.6 g carbohydrates, 3.8 g dietary fiber, 5.7 g protein,

 

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup October 28, 2011

This recipe, in addition to being tasty, is incredibly easy to make when you’re away from your kitchen (or feeling very lazy). I made it while away for a weekend when I didn’t have refrigeration beforehand, and didn’t have access to all my normal kitchen things (and yes, I brought all these ingredients and a pan of cornbread with me when I was on vacation).

The original recipe suggests serving with warm tortillas, but I found cornbread to be a great accompaniment.

Note: while I normally advocate adding more of whatever spices you like, this recipe is uniquely balanced as it is. Don’t add more cilantro, even if you love it.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup 

This is supposed to be two servings, but we found that it’s more like four servings.

1 tsp cumin
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can black beans
1 can light, unsweetened coconut milk (in case you’re having a hard time finding this, check the Asian foods section of the grocery store)
1 cup vegetable broth
4 Tbs fresh cilantro
2 Tbs lime juice
3/4 tsp. lime zest

In a large saucepan, combine cumin, pumpkin, black beans, coconut milk, broth and 3 Tbs cilantro. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes to combine the flavors. Turn off heat, add lime juice, lime zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining cilantro.

 

End of Summer Rice September 12, 2011

Here in Philadelphia, it does not feel like summer has ended. It is muggy and hot and humid and muggy and humid. Yuck.

But on the bright side, my squash plant is finally showing signs of dying, so I’m delighting in what I finally know are the last squashes of summer. To celebrate, I’ve thrown together a nice rice dish that I served with sausage.

[Sorry, no photo. I packed it all up into little containers for my lunch this week before I snapped its picture.]

End of Summer Rice adapted from B.A. 

1 bell pepper, diced
2 small-medium squashes, diced
1 onion, diced
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups broth – or 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 3/4 cups water, if you’re, say, out of broth
Cayenne pepper to taste

Cook the diced veggies in olive oil, stirring frequently, until onions begin to become translucent and all have softened. Then, add rice and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Dump in your liquid and spices, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until water has been absorbed.

Healthy, simple, and delicious with some nice spicy Italian sausage on top.

 

Simple Veggie Stir-fry September 3, 2011

It’s that time of year again wherein working (3 jobs this time around) and full-time school converge to make cooking interesting things a secondary, sometimes tertiary activity. (I could venture to say when is it not that time of year actually…) Things have started off swimmingly with classes, although at the end of the day I’m pretty exhausted and headache-y most of the time. Solution 1: drink more water throughout the day. Solution 2: eat meals with a lot of different colored vegetables, and not just cobbled-together unrelated/minimal energy sources. Such as watermelon and matzoh crackers. Yes, I just admitted that. Don’t let it happen to you; make this stir-fry instead.

2 cups frozen peas

2 cups frozen cauliflower

1 cup frozen sweet corn

1 cup frozen orange bell pepper, sliced

1 cup sliced mushrooms, dirt patted off

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

2 eggs, whisked*

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Black pepper to taste

Saute onion, ginger, and garlic until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and saute on high heat. Deglaze pan with the vinegar after about 3 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and stir until cooked through on medium heat. Season to taste, and remove from pan to serving dish. Using the same pan, pour in the whisked eggs evenly and cook on medium-low heat as you would for an omelet, flipping over after about 3-5 minutes. Serve atop the veggies or crumble it into the mix.

*Omit the eggs if you want to keep it vegan.