Category Archives: easy easy!

lentils and carrots

I went to New Orleans (amazing!) and only ate fried food for four days.  That is too many days of fried food!  Don’t worry, I tempered it with a bazillion raw oysters and too much fun.  But, when I got back, all I wanted was vegetables.  So, I flipped through Diana Henry’s Plenty, again.  Such a lovely book, and I haven’t even gotten past the section on “Vegetable Love.” This lentil and carrot dish seemed like a good idea, since it isn’t quite amazing vegetable season right now.

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  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups, or more, vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • juice of one lemon

Sauté the onion in oil until soft, then add the garlic and spices.  Next, add the lentils, carrots, tomato paste, sugar, and cover in vegetable broth.  Bring this to a boil and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.  You may have to add more broth, or water.  Add the herbs and lemon juice, and make sure the coriander and heat is okay.  I served this with frozen, fried theplas, which are totally delicious.  I actually want to eat everything with my hands.  And I will be, for awhile, because this made so, so much, so basically it’s going to be leftovers forever.

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best barbecue sauce

Awhile ago, Tony emailed me to ask for the recipe for this barbecue sauce. I can’t believe I haven’t put it up here yet; such a clear indicator of just how bad I am at blogging.  Basically, this barbecue sauce is the best, ever.  I can’t take much (any) credit for it, because I found it on Epicurious, but it is, for sure, amazing.

I love making pulled pork.  Everyone loves pulled pork, I think, or at least everyone I love loves pulled pork.  I love that it takes a long time and that it gives me an excuse to go to the butcher shop, and that I can then pour this amazing barbecue sauce all over it. I made about one million pounds of pulled pork for my birthday party (no pictures, I am the worst blogger, but I was too busy having fun, plus as much as I love it, I know pulled pork is not so pretty), and it fed a bunch of people pretty easily.

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It should really come as no surprise that the key to this sauce is bourbon.  I love bourbon.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (I use Bulleit, it is cheap and tastes like delicious bourbon)
  • 1/4 dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot, it is embarrassing how much I love this stuff ohhhh)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Simmer all the ingredients together until they thicken, which usually takes about 15 minutes.  This will keep for awhile, but I usually use it all in one go.

summer salads

Oh man, summer is seriously here. I say this because I’ve spent a bunch of (amazing) time at cottages, and because we are in the middle of a heatwave, and because it’s just true. Anyway, in the summer, eating gets harder because it’s hot and easy to sit around and eat an avocado and drink a gin and tonic rather than cook delicious things. So, instead of making many exciting meals, I’ve been mostly pouring this carrot and ginger dressing over everything. Tonight, for example, it went over black beans, tomatoes and avocados. Sometimes I dip corn chips in it. Basically, this blog is now boring because I keep eating this salad dressing.

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Anyway, it comes via Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop newsletter, which is a super controversial topic and you should probably avoid talking to my roommates about it. But, general consensus: this dressing is great.

  • 2 carrots (regular, kind of puny carrots, or one big one) peeled and chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • grapeseed oil (until you hit the consistency you want.  At the risk of sounding like Jamie Oliver, a few glugs or whatever.)

Throw everything in a food processor and add the oil gradually.  Then, dressing!

Now, Goop maintains that this recipe is enough for two salads, but this is crazy.  This makes a tonne of dressing, like maybe 10 salads worth.  Perhaps if Gwyneth Paltrow eased up on the huge salads, she could avoid the juice cleanses she always seems to be on.  Cleanses are for lames!

farmers market

Basically, in the summer, a food blog gets hard. Mostly I either want to eat burritos on a patio with a gin and tonic, or a pseudo salad of avocado and tomato with balsamic vinegar. Neither of these meals make for particularly exciting blog posts, as you can probably guess.

Summer, though, is also the best time for farmer’s markets. I love the weekly markets in the park, they are just the most romantic. But, they also don’t quite inspire recipes, but rather delicious meals that are maybe a little bit too easy.

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Most of this breakfast came from the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market. Grilled ramps, poached egg, delicious bread and seriously, for real, the most amazing ashen goat cheese from Monforte Dairy. This cheese! So incredible! But, you know, so good that any sort of recipe is totally unnecessary.

asparagus soup

Lauren posted that they were making asparagus soup over at Good Egg last weekend, and it totally inspired me. I think I was feeling a little too inspired, because I really skipped some key steps from the recipe, but it still turned out wonderfully. I had originally skipped over this soup, from Jamie at Home, because Jamie Oliver calls it a “creamy asparagus soup with a poached egg on top,” which is exactly what it is but also exactly what I don’t love. First, milk- or cream-based soups aren’t usually my thing. Second, I am picky about eggs. But, this recipe works so well because all the creaminess comes from the egg. I initially thought I would prefer the soup without egg but now that seems crazy. This soup is good, Jamie Oliver is right!

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  • 4 bunches asparagus, broken to discard the ends, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • poached eggs (poached in un-vinegared water)
  • toast

Fry up the onions, celery, and leeks in olive oil.  When they are nicely cooked, add the stock and the asparagus.  Jamie Oliver suggests keeping the tips out until the end but I missed this step and it turned out okay.  Simmer the stock for 20 minutes, and then purée the veggies.   Season carefully with salt and pepper.  At this point, put the asparagus tips in, if you haven’t already.  Heat everything up.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and toast up some bread.  Olivia Go’s awesome class taught me to use a really tall, thin pot to poach eggs, but I don’t have one. Once the water has boiled, give it a stir and crack an egg in. After 3 minutes or so, fish out the egg (or two) with a slotted spoon and top each bowl with the egg and bread. Split the yolk and stir. Seriously tasty and creamy in a good way!

pickles

I love pickles.  Making pickles has been on my to-do list forever, but higher on the list is “not die of botulism” so I kept not making pickles.  But, then!  I found a lovely book on quick pickles at Good Egg, and the main selling point was not speed and ease, but the lack of botulism potential. Basically, because these pickles are not canned, you have to eat them within two weeks, which is a fair price to pay for life. I know that the likelihood of getting botulism is low, but I am unwavering in my fear, so this book is the best.

Okay, enough about botulism. I made pickles! This book is also pretty exciting because it gave me lots of exciting pickle possibilities. This first round, I made smoky pickled corn. The book is a bit overwhelming because the recipes call for a lot of ingredients, but then you look at it closely and see that 8 of them are spices, so it’s okay.

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  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled, whole
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut in rings
  • 4 tomatillos, quartered (take off the paper skins!)
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 cups white vinegar (this was supposed to be white wine vinegar, but I misread it)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 4 dried fresh chilis, sliced
  • 4 ears of corn, cut into chunks

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic, peppers, onions and tomatillos until everything is softened.  Don’t brown them!  Set them aside, then bring all the other ingredients except the corn to a boil in a really big pot.  Boiling vinegar smells crazy, you might cry.  Add the corn once everything is boiling, and then let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the veggies and bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat off and let everything cool.  Keep these in the fridge and eat them for 2 weeks, no more!

I had many fake ploughman’s lunches with these pickles, and was pretty into it.  Eat the corn rounds like corn on the cob, they are pretty spicy but pretty delish, I think.

pancakes

These are really just delicious pancakes.  They are so good that I have kept my 2009 agenda for two whole months because it was written in over a week when I apparently had absolutely no plans or deadlines in November. It seems like a better idea to keep this recipe here, and get rid of last year’s plans.

When you make these, the first thing you notice is that the batter tastes like cake.  You have to be truly committed to raw food (in the bad way, not in the healthy way) to try pancake batter, because it usually tastes like baking powder.  Luckily, both Ashley and I are, and now we know that this batter tastes amazing.  But it also makes really light and fluffy pancakes and basically only needs ingredients that I usually have in my cupboard.  Basically, best pancakes ever.

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  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together well, then add the liquids except the oil, then add the oil.  Fry them in a butter/oil combo.

This recipe comes from Ashley, and I’ve only ever made them with her.  The first time was at her cottage, and we had them with Lindsay’s homemade lemon ricotta (delish!), the second time was at Ashley’s parent’s house the morning after going to a serious serious haunted house.  Basically, lovely days made better by these pancakes.  I should make them more, so good!