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a lentil story..

this is a true story.  and it happened today.

I had to help a friend this morning, so I was out and about running errands; unfortunatley, my purse was not… it was at home on the counter…

classic michelle.

soo I headed home to get my purse.. debated just waiting until tomorrow to go to the store.. but I had lentils on the brain.

(doesn’t everyone?)  I-needed-to-eat-lentils-ASAP

back to the store I went….. straight to the isle with the lentils.. and headed home ( actually I made a detour, but you get the idea 😉

I set into the kitchen sans recipe.. just an idea. Lentils, spinach, goat cheese. The rest I just pieced together and I loved it!  I’m so glad that I decided to take pictures of it so that I could share it with all of you!

And here is the funny thing.. I took the last bite of my lunch and read a message from a different friend  looking for a recipe for dried lentils.

here ya go!!

Lentil-veggie bowl

1/4 cup dried lentils ( I used brown.. you could use green  but I wouldn’t recommend red for this… they might get too mushy)

1/2 -1 cup water

1 tablespoon oil of coice ( I am having a fling with coconut oil right now… I can’t  get enough of it )

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 zucchini, chopped

2 handfuls baby spinach, rough chopped

a few cherry tomatoes ( the last from the barefoot garden ;( )

Goat cheese ( omit if veganizing your diet)

Sea salt & pepper

Chopped parsley ( if desired)

In a small saucepan. place lentils & cover with 1 cup of water. (unsalted)  Bring to a boil then reduce heat , stirring occasionally until lentils  get just past the al dente stage.. usually 15-20 minutes. If the water evaporates and lentils still aren’t done, add water in 1/4 amounts until they are done. Set aside.

Heat a saute pan , add the oil & let come to a shimmer; add the zucchini and onions. season with salt and pepper. once they start to brown add the spinach and stir… ( you want the spinach to wilt here, not burn)

add maters and lentils; season with salt and pepper

 Place in serving bowl and dot with goat cheese. ( I used about 1/8 of a cup)

this is half of what it made. It was soo tasty.. and healthy!  Did you know that lentils are a veggie? yuppers!

confession… I went back for the second half…. and even cold… it was still good! Bonus…. lunch on the go 🙂

I love it when friends are in sync with each other !

Still working on the give away…. hopefully it will be ready by tonight!

ciao bellas…. eat yer veggies!!

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banish boring salads

well… maybe not banish but know that there are options out there.

You know how when you got to a restaurant and some of the fancier salads look sooo good… but you have a hard  time shelling out 13 bucks for a salad..

yeah  me too.  Here’s the thing.. you can make these at home!!  Now I know some of you are like, “duh? is she going to seriously walk us through salad making 101?”

yes. Because I have a few friends whose diets have changed and they need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet & want to show the amazing amount options that are out there. If you already know all of this.. I apologize…. just scroll to the bottom to help answer a question about my next giveaway.

WHOA!!! wait.. YOU!… get back up here.. I’m not done yet.

We’ll start with making a dressing….  yes.. making it is super simple.. and there are 17,000 combinations that you can create… just use a basic formula and add the flavors that you like!

you will need

1~ an acid.. either vinegar, lemon or lime juice, wine….  1/8 cup

2~ an oil…. olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil.. coconut oil ( my new FAVORITE! ) 1/4 cup

3~mustard… again… SO many flavors out there… play with it! 1 tsp

4~ honey.. or maple syrup ( the real stuff) or agave…. 1 tsp

5~ (optional) herbs.. fresh or dried… or sesame seeds, or crushed garlic….. 1/2-1 tsp.. depending on how strong you would like ( always start with less then add more)

6~ sea salt and pepper…..  I have a slight salt obsession as well…..  we’ll chat about this later 🙂 remind me if I forget.

simply add everything to a small ball jars

   put the top on the jar and shake….

you just made dressing 🙂

trust me.. you can’t get that out of a bottle…. anywhere.

I don’t like overly dressed salads, so I usually use about a tablespoon per salad.. if you like more, then add more… I mix it with whichever greens I am using so that they are coated, then place in serving bowl… top with toppings…

like the quiche ‘recipe’  ( are you starting to get my method of cooking… it’s always a formula, then playing with ingredients… because I am a firm believer in  play!  <—- please read this post, it’s one of my favorites 🙂

so.. you will want

1~ green of choice… baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce..

2~ dressing of choice

3~ ( optional.. ) protein of choice… ( chicken, beans, salmon, beef, tofu, edamame.)

4~ other veggies.. just pile them on!

5~ (optional ) cheese

6~ (optional) something for crunch.. croutons, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sliver almonds

7~ (optional) dried cranberries or apricots or mandarin orange wedges

and  you, my dear have just made a killer salad worthy of any restaurant.

here’s your 13 buckaroos back 🙂

This salad  has

baby spinach

basic vinaigrette

topped with edamame ( I used trader Joe’s ).. about 1/2 cup

black beans .. about 1/4 cup

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese ( if you are vegan, by choice or m=by force, eliminate it…  the avocado give the same mouthfeel… and you probably wont miss it)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

finish with sea salt and pepper..

I ate this for lunch yesterday and it kept me full all afternoon!  ( and peeps ask me all the time where I get my protein from 🙂  )

so be brave…. look beyond iceburg, cukes and tomatoes ( not that there is anything with it, it’s the only way I can get my kids to eat a salad, so I still make it… ) and have fun!!!!

NEEEEXXXXTTT…

I have fallen in LOVE with Greek Yogurt. Have you tried it yet? I buy the non fat plain and it tastes just like sour cream. I sub it out for sour cream all the time.  It is also a perfect base to make granola parfait but also… to make some ‘creamy’ sauces!  like this

Chipotle cream sauce

I used about 1/2 the can of peppers.. if you like it more mild, use less

about a cup of the Greek Yogurt

half a lime

I put them all in the magic bullet looking thing and blended

if you don’t have one of these babies, you could use a blender, just keep scraping down the sides.. or use a food processor.

that’s it folks… does it get simpler than that? I think not.

The girls had this on their tacos last night & I topped my tostada with it.

the girls’ taco filling is made with lean ground chicken, then when I add the taco seasoning ( only half the package… it’s so loaded with sodium.. a little goes a long way.. you also can make your own, considerably knocking the sodium down, but I had it so I used it) and when I add the water I add a can of refried beans. They blend in perfectly… it stretches the filling and boosts the protein 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years..

It also freezes and defrosts well, so you can make double the amount and have it in the freezer for a super quick dinner…. If you need to cook for one, make a batch and freeze it into individual portions…  again.. quick dinner for one

*if you have dinner for one, please do me a favor and do it by candle light.. you are special and should have a nice dining experience.. if you want you can face time me and we can eat dinner together 😉 *

My filling was chopped mushrooms, sautéed  in oil, then  I mashed some back beans and lime juice in, seasoned with sea salt, cumin & chile powder

I placed it on a small flour tortilla that I heated in my cast iron skillet ( I CANNOT say enough how much I love  cast Iron to cook with)

top with cheese ( if vegan, try the daiya cheese shreds.. it’s very good, melts and stretches like cheese and can be frozen.. It is on the pricey side ( $5 a bag) but it does freeze, and I just pull out what I need when I need it )

the I added avocado.. fresh salsa.. Chipotle cream sauce and some plain Greek yogurt..  YUM!  ( and sooooooo easy )

As far as the rest of the chipotle peppers ( I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used the whole can ) I take a freezer bag & label it… place in a jar

then press out the air & seal

Whenever I need some for a recipe, or a burst of flavor, I just break a piece off! No waste here.. yo!

so now that I’ve made you hungry… I have a question for all of you.

I have a fun company that has offered for me to give away one of their products.  I have the choice…

1~ 1 big gift for one lucky recipient…

OR

2~ 10 small gifts ( of the same item) so that TEN of you can win….

so whatcha all think? 1 big winner or 10 smaller ones???

smooches friends!!  oxooxo

quick and easy quiche

quiche scared me.  for years. for real.

I don’t know why I was so scared to make it, but it was so intimidating ..  but lets be real… it’s eggs, and cheese and cream and crust. could it get simpler?

no.

PLUS.. it’s like when you make pizza  you can have fun disquzing your leftovers  I mean… being creative with ingredients 🙂 

And you can have it on the table in under an hour

AND  you can have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, snack. 3 am munchies  ( who am I to judge? ) whatever your little heart desires…

 

Mine is based off of this recipe.

 

I have  loosely included the ingredients, because each and every time that I make it I make it different. Use what you like.. just follow the base of the recipe & you’ll be good to go 🙂

 

quick and easy quiche

1 pie crust un-baked ( I use the Pillsbury roll out brand near the dinner rolls)

1/2 cup of cheese of your choice ( I used goat cheese with dried cranberries)

1/2 cup of another cheese of your choice ( I used feta)

1/2 cup to a cup of veggies of you choice ( I used baby spinach & diced onion)

1/4 cup bacon, ham, sausage… whatever you have ( omit if vegetarian) <– I did that

1 cup heavy cream or light cream ( both work, heavy cream just makes it richer) I had heavy cream.. now I have a quiche baby.. If I don’t judge your 3 am munchies then you can’t judge my quiche baby. I called it.
First so I win 🙂

fresh herbs.. chives, parsley, thyme.. whatever floats your boat.. if you don’t have fresh use a smaller amount fo dried, but rub it between your fingertips to release the scent. ( I used fresh parsley and chives)

 

local friends, I have fresh (organic chives, mint and rhubarb up the whazzooo if ever you want some.. let me know )

Sea salt and pepper ( I used sea salt and pepper 😉

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out pie crust, place in pie plate and crimp edges really pretty for the camera. ( oh wait, maybe that’s just my house) just crimp. ( unless you want to take a picture and send it to me… that could make me smile 🙂

sprinkle cheese on the prepared pie crust.

 

In a bowl, beat eggs lightly, add cream. herbs veggies and meat. lightly mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust..  finish with an extra grating of pepper.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set and lightly browned.

 

Kiss your pup a lot while it’s baking.. because that is way more fun than cleaning the kitchen 😉

Let sit a bit before cutting.

( the cooler it is the easier it is to cut)

I love to serve it with a light salad with lemon dressing & parm cheese.

 

( did you know that I love cheese? like so much that I named my car after cheese? true story. I’ll tell you about it sometime)

 

so you know what an awesome food blogger I am? Tian and I ate the whole quiche before I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the finished quiche.

yep…. I’m classy like that.

 

and since it’s almost FALL  ( my very favoritest time of the year..I come to life in the fall).. I enjoyed one of these while staring at my four-legged bundle o joy.

This might just be my favorite  pumpkin ale.. I love what the box states…

off centered ales for off centered people.

 

it’s like they knew me when they brewed this 🙂

 

Remember, there is still time to enter for the 1803 wax melter give away contest consider sharing with your friends.. it will make me happy and if they win then it will make them happy 🙂 

t-48 hours until the race….. I must be crazy…

 

xoxoxox~shel

 

girls’ night out & garlic party

Busy weekend ’round here. My talk at the breast cancer walker

information session was quite easy. No one showed 😦

I was able to meet my ‘walker buddy’,  Jennifer & got some of the behind -the-scences information. She mentioned that during the winter she has info sessions with upwards of 30 people, and wanted to know if I felt comfortable coming to one of those.
She asked me if I could bring some of  my quilts that I’ve raffled

‘raffle quilt 2009’

pink breast cancer raffle quilt

which means that I need to start to think of what kind of quilt I will make for 2011…

Then Scott & I went to Plato\’s Harvest Organic Farm for our CSA

the turkeys are getting BIG!!!

shel picking herbs at the farm

Sat night there was a surprise 40th birthday party for a friend that included a Limo trip into  Boston & an award-winning broadway show Rock of Ages ..

SO. MUCH. FUN.

erika and I

my best buddy, Erika & I prior to the limo arriving.

ok.. you’d think that I’d have more pictures of this night.. and trust me, there are pictures, but none that should be shared on the internet 😉

I’ll try to see if I can scrounge some respectable pics up from someones else’s camera to add….

While the girls were in the city.. the boys were making ‘man food’

bacon cheeseburger on glazed donut

Bacon cheese burgers on…. wait for it…

grilled glazed donuts.

This would never happen if I were actually home.

Poor Ali, stuck here with the two of them….

She had Ice cream for dinner 😉

I know, I know… mom of the year, right?

Then Saturday morning we were up early *yawn* to head back to the farm to participate in the annual garlic planting party!!

and it was held in conjunction with the 350 mission

garlic

 

photo courtesy of Shasha Purpura

 

we began with separating the garlic heads  into cloves

this took us almost 2 hours…. we’re talking LOTS of garlic!!

then Farmer Dave prepped the one of the fields for planting

with a couple of cuties along for the ride…

we planted.. and planted. and planted.then we had lunch!!

quite possibly the best lunch that I’ve EVER had.  Everyone’s addition to this pot luck was over-the-top!!

Then we dug for some taters…

My contribution for the day- (food wise) was my

Cranberry-Cashew Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

cranberry-cashew quinoa salad

1 cup quinoa , rinsed

1 cup chicken stock

3 cups h2O

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup cashews, toasted

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1 bunch mint, chopped

1 small carrot, grated

1 whole lemon, zested & juiced

1/4 cup  canola oil

a few splashes of Raspberry wine vinegar

Kosher salt & pepper

what to do:

In a large saucepan, bring rinsed quinoa, stock, a dash of salt & water to a boil; Reduce to a simmer & let cook for 20 minutes.

if there is any excess liquid, drain it, but don’t rinse.

Add remaining ingredients & toss to combine. Season with salt & pepper.

This is one of those fhb dishes that is delicious hot or cold or even room temperature ( which is wonderful for a pot-luck)

I let the quinoa come to room temp before I wrapped it for the party…..

yum!

what a great weekend!!

 

photo courtesy of Sasha Purpura

 

ahhh!! Fall!!!

FINALLY!!  It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve woken to a breezy morning where snuggling under my favorite quilt

with my cup of coffee was even possible….

but his morning was THAT morning!  AHH!!

I started by having this oatmeal

It was overnight oats

1 scoop of chocolate amazing grass ( sounds naughty, dontcha think?)

1 teaspoon almond butter

1/2 ripe banana mashed a bit

1 teaspoon coconut butter

a few slivered almonds on top

When I described this to my sister, Jodie , she said, “OMG!, you had a sundae for breakfast!!”

Yes. Yes, indeed I did!

and it was Oh-so-Good!

Farmer Dave & Sasha from Plato\’s Harvest Organic Farm were looking for some help to harvest an early crop of winter squash, so Scott & I headed out to the farm on this early perfect Sunday morning.

The farm has 2 fields; One that we go to each week to receive our share of our CSA.. and a larger field about a mile down the street. Where the squash were 🙂


After a brief tour of the field.. we set out to pick & polish

BUTTERNUT SQUASH!!

( Amanda, did I just hear you squeal all the way from Florida?)
We  loaded the squash into crates, load them into Dave’s truck & trailer

we had a picnic lunch under the trees. ( we had heirloom tomato sandwiches with a basil-garlic mayonnaise , I didn’t think to take pictures because I was still in the afterglow of my ‘Sundae’ (pun completely intended )breakfast.. but I smashed a garlic clove & mixed it with some light mayonnaise *Hellman’s* and shredded basil , salt & pepper) on our bread from our bread share.. buttermilk honey.

I also mixed some frozen raspberries with some Non-fat greek yogurt (Chobani) & a few slivered almonds on top. Stir it all together & as the berries defrost, they keep the yogurt cold & then whole thing mixes together.. great for packing ahead 🙂

and some unsweetened iced tea

Really, a perfect ‘fall’ day 😉

On another note, hopefully you have found me here from my previous bloodspot address. I’m really liking wordpress!!  There is not anywhere (that I can find) to click a ‘follow’ button, but if you enter your email, wordpress will automatically send you an email whenever I have a new post… Plus, this may be handy in the upcoming weeks.. I foresee a giveaway 😉

I’m off. It’s fondue night at Casa Hagg…. Ryan’s last non-school night for awhile and like his mama.. he loves fondue!!!

Have a happy & SAFE Labor Day!!

xoxo~ shel

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