Tag Archives: Black pepper

Lentils – A New Year’s Day Lunch

It’s been a slow day so far, as I’m still recovering from last night’s festivities, but I wanted to cook something somewhat superstitious as well as something gentle on my tummy.

Lentils are great for days like today when you feel like you’re on the verge of falling asleep every time you sit down, and as I was sauteing the onions I noticed the smell was quite comforting. Something about the smell of onions sizzling away that reminds me of those hearty meals my mom used to cook up on cold days.

What’s so superstitious about lentils? Well, they are often eaten at this time of year because they resemble little coins which symbolize prosperity and wealth for the new year. This stew would be great for eating on the 31st as well because the lentils help soak up any alcohol you may be drinking later on that evening, and if you make it on the 1st than you can use up any left-over wine you might have kicking around from the party.

You will need: 1 medium carrot (diced), 2 celery sticks (diced), half of a large onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 cups of pureed tomato, 1 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 2 cups of green lentils, salt & pepper to taste.

Start by sauteing the celery, onion, and carrot  on medium-high heat until softened, then add the garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Add the paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.

Add the lentils and continue stirring for 1 minute.

Pour in the red wine, tomato puree, and vegetable broth, and cover. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes until the lentils are tender and the sauce has thickened, add more salt & pepper if needed (this stew tastes best with lots of black pepper).

Check on the lentils every once in a while, you may need to add more liquid.

I added some baby spinach for a bit of color, you could also add some chopped parsley. Serve alongside some crusty bread and top with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/0erlr7lhfm377fj.swf

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

Do you ever get home from a huge grocery trip, put everything away, and then stare into your fridge and think to yourself…I bought all this food and yet I have no idea what to cook with it! That’s been me lately. This is what happens when you don’t plan your meals and go shopping when you’re hungry.

The good thing about it though, is that it forces you to come up with something using the items that you have, and sometimes the best meals are the ones where you just throw things together without any precise measuring or recipe to follow.

Smoked Salmon and Zucchini Pasta

What I had on hand: 2 Zucchini (sliced), 1 small red pepper (diced), 1 small onion (sliced thinly),  2 cups of baby spinach, garlic powder, roughly 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese, and some smoked salmon (sliced into thin strips), cooked fettucini pasta.

To assemble:

Saute your zucchini, red pepper, and onion with a little bit of olive oil and about a tsp of garlic powder. Meanwhile, cook your pasta (I used fettucini). When your zucchini has softened, throw in the baby spinach. Once the vegetables are cooked, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the cooked vegetables with your pasta and  smoked salmon, and top with crumbled feta.

 

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW:

http://www.box.com/embed/vev6egpp8paf0p4.swf

Spicy Black Bean Soup

This soup is like a party of flavours in your mouth. My favourite part about this recipe is the smoked paprika. Smoked paprika has a deep flavour which sort of tastes like bbq sauce and it works perfectly with this soup. You can use regular paprika if that’s what you have in your cupboard but I highly reccomend to get a jar of this spice to add to your pantry. You can add it to soups, stews, chili, dips, and it also tastes amazing on fish and steak.

First off, you have to prep a few ingredients…your bell peppers and your garlic.

Cut your peppers into large flat pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Then drizzle on some olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Now for your garlic. Take a head of garlic and cut in half to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Now for the rest of the ingredients…

You’ll need: 1 carrot (diced), 1 red onion (diced), 1 jalepeno (diced), 2 cans of black beans (with their liquid), 3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 1/2 tsps of smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp of oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

The lime, avocado, and fresh coriander will be added at the end when you serve your soup.

Heat some olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion, carrot, and jalapeno until the onion is translucent.

Add your spices and cook for 1 more minute.

Now add the roasted peppers and black beans (with their liquid). Stir to combine.

Add your vegetable broth and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Reserve roughly a cup of soup and puree the rest in a food processor along with your roasted garlic. Then add the puree back into the soup and stir. At this point you can add some salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top with some chopped avocado and fresh coriander with a squeeze of lime juice!

This soup also tastes great served along side some potato cakes. My friend Irma has a recipe here