Sweet Onion Lentils and Rice (Mother’s Day 2017)

For our Mother’s Day celebration this year we made a delicious recipe courtesy of Buzzfeed. Get a large pasta pot for this if you’re going to double the size! I’ve included the doubled ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 red onions (2 will be thinly sliced, 1 will be diced)
  • 4 T olive oil, divided in half
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 cups long grain rice (we used Basmati)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, for serving
  • 2 lemons, for serving

Directions:

  1. Make the caramelized onions: Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the onion slices, stirring for about 30 minutes, until they are caramelized and brown.
  2. In a large pot, saute the diced onion and garlic in 2 T olive oil until soft and translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 7 cups of water, salt, and the lentils to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves to the pot. Stir well and replace the lid. Cook covered on low for 15 minutes, or until rice is soft and cooked through.
  5. Fluff the lentil-rice mixture and serve topped with the caramelized onion slices and lemon slices. Top with parsley.

Skillet Lemon Chicken with Mega-Sweet Potatoes

It’s almost May! This year is flying by, and that means some fun new recipes for spring. Chicken seared on a cast iron or regular skillet tastes delicious. I buy the cutlets when I want a quick meal because they brown in 10-15 minutes. The lemon slices cooking along with the chicken in this recipe give it a sweet tangy flavor.

The chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken cutlets, about half an inch thick
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Wash and pat the chicken dry.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley.
  3. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze one half over the chicken. Slice the other half into 4 rounds.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil into the skillet and add the chicken. Let cook 4-5 minutes and flip, making sure the bottom half is browned.
  5. Cook the chicken an additional 4 minutes. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken. Continue cooking 1-2 more minutes or until the chicken has browned. Flip the chicken over for the last couple of minutes so that the lemon slices are underneath the chicken.
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth into the pan to deglaze at the end to create a tasty sauce.

The sweet potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks with skin on
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 T melted coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Toss the sweet potato chunks with the maple syrup, brown sugar, and coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place sweet potato chunks onto a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with Pam.
  3. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.

Fettucini with Garlic and Mushrooms

This is a fast pasta dish that comes together in 15 minutes (if you roast the mushrooms the night before).

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (1 box) Buitoni fettucini pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • 1 box baby bella mushrooms

Directions:

For the mushrooms:

  1. Toss the mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400F for 30 minutes. Set aside.

For the pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet to medium and add olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and dried parsley. Saute for a few minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Drain the pasta and combine with the olive oil sauce, cooking water, and roasted mushrooms.

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Parmesan Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

This is a very easy dish for a weeknight:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box angel hair pasta (4 servings)
  • 3 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Parsley flakes

Directions:

Boil a pot of water and add salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions (4-5 minutes).

In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil to medium heat and add the garlic, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and parsley flakes. Saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant and remove from heat.

Drain the pasta and toss with the olive oil mixture. You may also reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and toss it in too. Sprinkle pasta with grated Parmesan cheese!

Chimichurri Sauce

This chimichurri sauce goes great with skirt steak!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T fresh oregano leaves, chopped (You can use 2 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red (or white) wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well!

How to prepare skirt steak in a cast iron skillet:

Pour olive oil in the cast iron skillet and heat to medium-high. Marinate the steaks with salt, pepper, parsley flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Place the steaks in the skillet and turn once, cooking 4-5 minutes per side or until it is cooked enough.

Four-Bean Salad

We usually buy a dish called “Bean City” at our local Dorothy Lane market, where you can find everything from freshly-baked “Killer Brownies” to beer to amazing seafood. I tried recreating it at home and gathered ideas from various recipes. Here is my own version of “Bean City” using a vinaigrette recipe from Simply Recipes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of beans (three different kinds in one–black beans, navy beans, kidney beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • a dash of dried rosemary
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 T olive oil (I used about 2.5)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the beans, celery, onion, and herbs. In a separate bowl, make the vinaigrette: whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the vinaigrette with the beans.

Note: To cut down on the pungent smell of the onions, soak them in 1/2 cup of water for a few minutes, then drain and combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Parsley-Walnut Pesto

So, it has been a while since I have posted, and I thought I’d start again with a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for years. Now, I’ve had my Cuisinart food processor for a while, but until recently I had not even taken it out of the box. This contraption is the most useful kitchen appliance I can think of! (Other than my oven) I’ve made almond butter with it (talk about having patience!), and now I love making homemade pesto sauce with it. I found this recipe online somewhere (sadly, I do not remember where), and it worked like a charm.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Add all the ingredients except the olive oil into the food processor. Process them until they are mostly combined. Scrape down the sides and continue processing a bit more. Add the olive oil and process for 20-30 more seconds.

 

Pesto sauce