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high protein

Winter Lentil Loaf

Winter Lentil Loaf

Hello winter.

I wasn’t quite ready for you. Even after you dragged your feet. And let 60-degree days creep into my December. I am still not prepared for your arrival.

I’m sorry. I wish I liked you. I really do. But for now, I cope with comforting foods. And warm blankets and faces and seven layers of sweaters.

Winter Lentil Loaf

As a vegetarian, sometimes you just need something comforting, and it’s not always as easy to identify those quintessential items as it is in the meat kingdom.

Sure, there is soup. Which I adore.

But sometimes I want mashed potatoes, and gravy, and something hearty. And wholesome, too, of course.

This meal satisfies all of the above.

Winter Lentil Loaf

You could consider lentil loaf akin to meatloaf…that is, if you don’t think meatloaf is yucky.

It looks a little dull, but if prepared right, it’s oozing with herbs and umami flavor and warmth that radiates up from your plate.

It also happens to be packed with some rather superb ingredients, like lentils and walnuts, and in this case, tomatoes and collards, too. Those latter two actually bring some color to this particular lentil loaf recipe.

Winter Lentil Loaf

I like to serve lentil loaf alongside some of my other favorite wintry dishes of comfort. However, the sides for this dish are endless.

It must also be mentioned, my absolute favorite is to sandwich the leftovers between two slices of whole grain bread with a healthy handful of sprouts and good smear of ketchup and/or mustard on top. No reheating needed.

Ketchup isn’t a bad condiment for it when hot, either. I’m always torn between that and a veggie gravy. Try them both out, and decide what appeals most to you.

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Breakfast Socca with Eggs and Greens

Breakfast Socca with Eggs and Greens

If you’re not on the socca train yet, you should grab a ticket this week and get on it. It’s so easy to make, and incredibly tasty in many, many forms.

I’d say socca is akin to pizza crust – only full or protein and nourishment and a little more flavor. Really, you can add any toppings of your desire, including the classic tomato, basil, mozzarella trio that makes a good slice of ‘za. You can get fancy, like in this roasted carrot rendition. Or you can keep it fairly simple like this breakfast version below. And unlike pizza crust, it takes just a handful of minutes to whip up, no rolling pin needed.

Note – if you’re going to grab a ticket for the breakfast route, go for the savory option vs. taking a ride down a sweet socca road. I’ve tried to turn socca batter into blueberry pancakes, and it’s the first time socca’s failed me. Although, I must say, I haven’t totally given up on it in a sweeter form just yet. Future experiments are certainly to be had, and if you find a creation that works, by all means, please share!

Breakfast Socca with Eggs and Greens

As far as savory goes, this is a combination that works. Eggs, greens, and the last of summer’s tomatoes get piled onto a warm, nutty socca canvas. You could add a sprinkle of Parm on top, but it doesn’t even need it. If you’re seeking for more, serve it with a side of sweet potato hash, and a steaming cup of coffee. Magic. Continue Reading…

Spring Nicoise Salad

Spring Nicoise Salad

Spring is made for salads, especially those tossed with asparagus fresh from the farm. Nothing beats a topping of crisp radishes, too, to compliment the butteriness of the season’s lettuce.

Spring Nicoise Salad

This season – which I long to never part – let’s us rethink our salad bowl – which I love. Love. Love. With it, it brings endless light options for lunch that would be a disgrace to label as boring.

Salad can be fun. And this one more than proves that to be so.

Spring Nicoise Salad

Here, asparagus takes the place of the green beans in a classic Nicoise salad. Aside from that, the make-up is pretty straight forward. Hardboiled eggs? Check. Tuna? Check. Thinly sliced onion? Check. Radishes? Check.

For the asparagus, a simple steam actually works well with this salad, given the complexity of the other flavors. However, if roasted spears are your absolute fav., by all means, get the oven going and go for it.

SpringIf you want to get fancy, you could sear some fresh tuna instead and add it on top. Or reserve that fanciness for the olives and bread you may wish to serve alongside this.

Bright, light and easy to assemble, this is spring at its best.  Cheers.

Spring Nicoise Salad

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My New Roots’ Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Life-Changing Bread

More than a handful of my friends have made this bread. Nearly all of my fellow let’s get in the kitchen, anytime, anywhere friends have made this bread. And pretty much my entire food blogging world has mentioned, created, and/or featured this recipe in some form.

Published a little over two years ago, it was about time I tried this illustrious Life-Changing Loaf of Bread for myself. Here I am. Another blogger to declare this recipe is awesome. And despite it’s cult following, I admit it was a bit to my surprise.

Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Sure, I’ve heard everyone rave about how great this is. But as I was stirring up a bread pan’s worth of nuts and seeds, I found myself a bit skeptical. I knew this thing was going to be dense, and what I didn’t know was how that would play out into its finished form. I wasn’t even sure how it’d come together to ever fully form a loaf. I mean, what was this foreign psyllium husk ingredient, anyways? Could a few Tbsp. really bind a bunch of nuts into a loaf of bread? After finding it in the supplement aisle, the lady at Whole Foods told me psyllium husk is often used to help make you go..

Life-Changing BreadAnyway, when I finally got my first loaf out of the oven and cooled down enough to eat, it proved itself in no time. Yes, it’s dense, but incredibly delicious. Especially in its toasted form, as  many other food blogs assured me prior to making. “Toast it!” So toast I did, and slathered it with jam. I would recommend you do the same.

The toaster (I’d recommend a toaster oven, if you have one) pulls out an extra intensity of flavor from the already slightly browned nuts and seeds. Delish. Again, pair with jelly, or go for the savory route with some crisp radishes and a very thin spread of avocado.

Bluebells

This bread + spring + good cup of coffee + morning breakfast spent outside…now that might just make it to a life-changing status. Head over to My New Roots for the recipe!

Ethiopian Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

Ethiopian Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

Yesterday I had my first omg-are-you-sure-this-isn’t-child-birth moment to announce the coming season. Okay, okay so that’s probably (definitely) a bit dramatic.

However, after running through burst after burst of frigid winds, it did feel as though I just experienced a 45-minute tattoo session. There’s nothing like inking your legs with icy, sunsetting winter temps. Those winds stung.

Red Lentils

Luckily, on the other end of that run, I had these spiced and warming, Ethiopian-styled lentils waiting for me. What I did not have was much sun to take their beautiful, natural-lit glam shots.

So begins the rough season for all food bloggers, sans studio space. Good thing I like challenges. I really like red lentils, too.

Full of protein, and creamy once cooked, red lentils make for the perfect topping to smear across flatbreads. They are a staple in Ethiopian cooking, often found accompanying the unleavened bread, known as injera, that most Ethiopian recipes use to replace both fork and spoon.

With this recipe, I’ve tried to replicate a go-to lentil dish that I often order at my neighborhood’s Ethiopian spot. I wanted that buttery, spice-infused dish that they create, and through research, called upon my spice cabinet to help me execute this properly. The only spice I was missing seemed to be allspice. However, I can’t say I noticed its absence.

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