This is LITERALLY a one-pot wonder. My favorite kind of meal. This is another reason why I'm obsessed with my pressure cooker! Easy to make quick meals that taste amazing and clean up is a cinch! Lentils are one of my favorite foods. They are so easy to make (and quick with a pressure cooker), taste delicious, are incredibly filling, and very nutritious! The beauty of lentils is you can make them a million different ways. This is just one example below. Feel free to mix it up with whatever veggies you have, add pancetta, prosciutto, or simply make them plain with just a little garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes with a drizzle of olive oil and shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Oh the possibilities! Oh and did I mention they are cheap?? A one pound bag is only about $4-5 and will make enough food for half the week for two people eating it every day! They are so good for you, I can't get enough! High in protein and fiber, low in calories, carbs, sodium and all the other bad stuff we don't like :) Below is just what I made tonight, but please feel free to mix it up and let me know what your favorite combos are! I make lentils almost weekly and will be sure to post other good combos in the future. I know that when the time comes and I have a family and need a quick nutritious meal on the fly, this will definitely be a good go-to! Let me know what you guys think!
Hey guys! Again please forgive my absence! A lot has happened in the last few weeks! I signed up for a freaking FULL marathon. Like a crazy person. I'm still trying to watch what I eat and come up with healthier things to eat. This is certainly a good one and I'll be using it again. My favorite part is that it's a one-pan wonder (except for the pot you have to use for cooking the pasta...but the rest can all be done in a single frying pan). Read on for the Verdict to see more about how much I liked this recipe, and how my co-workers liked it as well!
Hey guys! Quick post this evening... Today was a lonnngggg day. To tell you the truth, I felt like I was in 50 places at once today, so by the time 5 o'clock came around, I wasn't feeling much up to making dinner. But, like a good housewife (yeah right lol), I texted Matt to see what he wanted for dinner. To my pleasant surprise, he texted back that he was already making spaghetti and had made enough for me as well... what a keeper! But for those of you who have read the blog before, you probably know how I feel about Matt's famous spaghetti with meat sauce.
I figured I'd take the spaghetti and make something else to go on top, since I wasn't crazy about the idea of Ragu and ground beef (in Matt's defense, I had just read on twitter about some meat company that just recalled and insane amount of ground beef for salmonella...and even though it wasn't our brand, it was just kind of unappetizing). SOOOO, I figured that I wanted to come up with something that I could just throw together in a jiffy so that I could pile it all in a bowl, curl up on the couch, and watch Stabler and Benson throw some perverts in jail.
So it's the day after Christmas! Actually it's almost the day after the day after Christmas because it's almost 11 on December 26th so I'm getting dangerously close to missing the "Christmas post" window... or maybe I already have...who know's I'm new to the blogosphere. Anyway, I had a really wonderful Christmas and I hope that you all did as well (or a happy hanukkah or whatever your celebration of choice may be!) I truly hope it was a happy one filled with laughter and family.
Family is what Christmas is all about to me. This year was a completely different Christmas than we are used to. It was our first Christmas without our beloved Mimi, who always reminded us what the true spirit of Christmas was all about. This was also the first Christmas in I don't even know how long that our whole family has not been able to be together for the holidays. We had planned to go to West Virginia to see the whole family, as we did for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately sometimes life does not permit those things to happen.
My Uncle J, with whom I'm very close, has been battling cancer since 2006. He's a stubborn man though and he's been fighting the fight so well. He's still doing okay but had to be admitted to Johns Hopkins last week, and so, the family would be split up for Christmas...half of us in NC and half of us in MD. We still spoke on the phone and we are going to have a January "Christmas" once everything calms down, but we are all certainly hoping that next Christmas we will get to be together again.
So, basically my life is crazy. I thought studying for the bar was hard but still I found time to post and tweet and facebook etc. during that frantic time. Now, life seems even crazier. My caseload is huge and my retail job which started at 10-12 hrs has been bumped up to about 25-35 hrs per week.... totally not complaining because (a) I love it, (b) I love the people who work there, and (c) I could most certainly use the money! But with all that combined and snowballing I have had much less time to devote to my favorite outlet-- OinK (that's my cheeky name for Order in the Kitchen and YES I know I left out the "the" but come on? OinK? Can't get better than that for a food blog nickname... it just screams "I love to stuff my face".
So anywayy, as some of you probably know I love Top Chef. Love may be an understatement as I am mildly obsessed with it. So I was watching it the other night and a contestant was making risotto (and got sent home for not having it plated in time (tear)). And the judges kept talking about how risotto was a make it or break it dish on the show because there have been so many times it has gone horribly wrong. Naturally, this caused me to want to make risotto even though I have been trying to watch my weight and risotto is on the bottom of the list of things I should be eating. That's neither here nor there. So I decided to make some risotto, only to find out that I didn't have anything I needed to make it except arborio rice. I improvised. It worked (sort of). By sort of, I mean that I would certainly suggest doing it differently, change it up a bit, and I'll tell you how I would do that.
Yesterday was Matt's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is, but I will tell you that one of his absolute favorite meals is spaghetti with meat sauce. He makes it multiple times per week. Truth be told, this is actually why I started cooking. I don't like to eat the same thing over and over again and I thought I could find new things that he would like. So far, it has worked pretty well. What I did tonight was his favorite, pasta with meat sauce, but with an upgrade (in my opinion). Upgrade meaning that the sauce isn't Ragu and simmers for over an hour instead of being zapped in the microwave for 20 seconds (the pasta also isn't angel hair and the meat sauce involves more than just ground beef). But if it makes him happy, he can eat pasta with meat sauce the way he wants, I just thought we should change it up.
When I was in college, I studied abroad in Rome for a semester (Fall, 2006). I lived with a family--a woman named Elvira and my Italian sister, 11 year old Silvia. Now, I think when most people think of "Italian" food, they think pasta and pizza, and while we did eat those things, my experience of Italian food was much different. Most nights at home, Elvira would make simple things like lentil stew (my first experience with lentils), sauteed spinach, and carrot salad. In fact, just about every night we had carrot salad.