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Lentils + Kale + Egg + Avocado Bowl

11/22/14


Let's face it, it's almost time to stuff ourselves to the brim with holiday feasts.  I am not opposed to that, don't get me wrong.  But before we fatten up for wintertime, how about a nice, light, healthy dinner?  This is exactly that - a meal rich in nutrients but hearty enough to fill our tummies.  Sorry I said tummies, but I have three children under six years old.  

I loved, loved, LOVED this dish.  And versatility is the best part about it.  Quinoa instead of lentils?  Sure.  Poached egg instead of fried?  Yup.  Swiss chard instead of kale?  Uh huh.  Add sausage?  Yes please!  This is getting annoying.  Everything worked so well together... and the crunch of toasted coconut on top sealed the deal.  Even if you think you don't like coconut, toast some up and try it on this dish.  I will pay you, except no I won't.       


Lentils + Kale + Egg + Avocado Bowl
(Makes 2 bowls)

2 large eggs
2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1 bunch kale, chopped (rough stems removed)
1 T parmesan 
1 avocado, cut into long slices
1/4 cup coconut, lightly toasted in a dry pan
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

In a medium pot, combine lentils and water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat until only a few bubbles are left, and let simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils have absorbed water and are no longer crunchy.  Generously season with salt and pepper.  While lentils are cooking, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add chopped kale and parmesan, and sauté until kale begins to wilt (I still like a bite to my kale, so I only cook it for a few minutes).  Place kale in a bowl.  In same pan, add a splash of olive oil and turn up heat to medium-high.  Crack two eggs into pan, and cook until edges start to brown.  With a spatula, gently flip eggs and turn off heat.  Assemble lentils, kale and sliced avocado into two bowls.  Add one egg per bowl, sprinkle with toasted coconut and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch Cookies

11/20/14


As a kid, I had a somewhat sophisticated taste when it came to sweets.  I liked Haagen Dazs bars (my mom's fault), preferred dark chocolate to milk and even enjoyed Mounds candy bars.  I mean, what kid likes Mounds??  The kid who loved Billy Joel and not New Kids On The Block, that's who (weirdo).  And one of my favorite ice cream flavors was Ben and Jerry's Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch.  I didn't like coffee, but to me it tasted buttery and caramely, and I loved it.        

The other day I bought a bag of broken up Heath Bar bits, and decided to recreate the flavors in that ice cream in cookie form.  These have that buttery toffee crunch, creamy milk chocolate chips reminiscent of the candy bar, and instant espresso + brewed coffee for that rich, morning flavor.  These cookies are good!  They remind me exactly of the ice cream.  Very sophisticated, only suitable for Billy Joel lovers.  Because we're sophisticated?  I don't know.      


Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch Cookies
(Makes 12 large cookies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp (1 stick) 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp brewed coffee, cooled
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 heaping tsp instant espresso
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl fitted with a standing mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, a few minutes.  Add egg and egg yolk, and mix.  Add vanilla and brewed coffee and mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Slowly add to wet, and mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and toffee.  Using an ice cream scooper or a large spoon, place rounded balls on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

Pinon (or Puerto Rican Lasagna)

11/17/14


I love sweet and savory combinations, but I usually only think of them in terms of desserts.  Well, a reader sent me this main dish that combines layers of salty meat and veggies with layers of sweet, fried plantains, and I was very excited to try it.  Apparently it's very popular in Puerto Rico, and often referred to as their "lasagna."  So last weekend, with my mom in town, we decided to make a traditional lasagna as well as Pinon.  

The reader, as she will be known, sent me this recipe, as well as some very helpful tips that I completely ignored because I was running short on time.  BAD IDEA, SIRI.  We (my mom, I love you mom) cut the plantains too thick, resulting in not enough for the multiple layers.  The reader even suggested flattening them in between foil with something heavy, like a can of soup, which would have thinned them out nicely and assisted with the layers, but... we ran out of time!  Our plantains were also pretty green and unripe, hence, not sweet enough?  Does that make sense?  I know nothing about plantains.  (By the way, do you say plan-TAIN or plan-TIN?  Major topic of debate in our household.)  In general, I think I failed the reader with this otherwise marvelous recipe.  I will make it again with more time and better listening ears.  Can you tell I have small children?      


two weeks from today...

11/13/14

...is Thanksgiving.  And then it's Christmas and then it's spring and then our kids are grown and we're old and we die.  Kidding!  Here are some of my favorite dishes.  What are yours?  I'm in charge of vegetable sides, and I welcome your warm ideas...


Pumpkin Scones

11/10/14


Did you know that Trader Joe's is currently selling THIRTY FIVE different pumpkin products?  Did you know that women across the country, wearing cozy sweaters, boots and scarves, are buying ALL of them?  They might even be secretly listening to Christmas music in their cars on the way home!  I am not, of course, talking about myself... and even if I were talking about myself, I would claim it was all in the name of "blog research" - holiday music included.  I'm a normal person.

So I may or may not have a lot of pumpkin puree around the house, and I may or may not be in search of recipes.  Similar to this recipe, for these Pumpkin Scones.  They are moist, they are full of all those spices that accompany pumpkin so well and they are topped with sweet, sugary icing (I ran out of powdered sugar, therefore only made the basic glaze).  Also, they are perfect with coffee for breakfast.  Joy to the World!  (I'm talking about myself I'm listening to Christmas music already help) 

Los Angeles, take 3

11/6/14


HELLO!  I have been away for awhile and you hate me.  You've totally written me off, forgotten about me, and I am nothing more than the robot lady on your phone who can't answer a single question correctly.  But wait!  I'm back!  I love you!  I have exciting things to share with you on the horizon!  For now, though, I will leave you with a few Instagram photos from our trip to Los Angeles.  Of food, of course.  The above photo was taken at The Griddle Cafe on Sunset.  If you ever find yourself in Hollywood, this is a must.  The pancakes and french toast are ridiculous, and the entire restaurant smells like that freshly made batter.  I ordered the Fiesta Scramble, and then also ate the majority of my kid's Chocolate Chip Pancake.  Why do I order my own food again?

The photo below is of the Chocolate Pizza at Craig's on Melrose.  It's not on the dessert menu, but you MUST ask about it if you're ever at this restaurant.  Also order the Honey Truffle Fried Chicken.  I SAID HONEY TRUFFLE FRIED CHICKEN.  But don't worry, plant eaters, they have four featured vegan dishes as well!  Love this place... and it's always a fun spot for a celebrity sighting or two (ahem, Pat Sajak and John Stamos).    


We also went to Katsuya this trip.  Not my favorite sushi restaurant (Sugarfish, Sasabune and Nobu are much better in my opinion), but a fun spot nonetheless.  Even though the geisha in the bathroom scared the S*@T out of my son: 


Be back soon!

Deep Fried Cookie Dough

10/27/14


I know what you're thinking.  Is Deep Fried Cookie Dough really necessary??  No.  Absolutely not.  But also, YES.  It is ab-so-LUTELY necessary!!!  OH MY GAWD.  Oh my gurrrrrrrd.  I'm not sure how I've survived almost 34 years on this planet without this monstrosity.  

Last week, thanks to a friend and thanks to this buzzfeed article, I discovered that Deep Fried Cookie Dough is a thing.  A real thing that some (mental) people have actually tried.  Of course, I just HAD to join their place in history, as a fellow freak of nature human that thinks this is a good idea.  Let me tell you what happens when you fry cookie dough: you are left with a crispy crust, not unlike the edges of a funnel cake, and an ooey, gooey half-baked cookie-like interior.

It's rich.  It's intense.  It's something you might want to share with a friend.  But it's totally worth it.  And if you don't think so, then go eat some kale in the corner. 




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