Archive for the ‘Avocado’ Category

Lentil Soup

January 19, 2008

Sorry for being so terribly MIA.  Being pregnant with twins has fairly squashed any desire I’ve had to cook.  But, as the twins crowd out my stomach I’ve been trying to make each calorie count, and that means cooking more.  It feels good to get back in the kitchen!

Lentils are an ingredient I tagged a while ago as wanting to explore more.  I love meat, but it’s not always the healthiest, most cost effective ingredient.  I also dearly love the 101 Cookbooks site.  It’s so pleasing to the eye and the recipes always sound so good, it was an easy choice to get me back in the kitchen. The recipe was easy and quick to make, making it an excellent choice for a weeknight dinner.

 As Heidi talks about, this recipe is full of nutrition.  Even eating a small bowl, I felt like I was getting a nutritious, well balanced meal.  Since I didn’t have any saffron at home, I skipped the yogurt and instead topped the soup with a swirl of olive oil and chopped avocados.  The avocado added just the right touch of butteriness.  Because I knew I would be reheating the soup, I added in some chicken stock so that it wasn’t so thick. The best part? There was enough to freeze!

Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

2 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon + extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 cups kale, rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, water, and chicken stock and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a swirl of olive oil and chopped avocado.

Lobster Cobb Salad

July 7, 2007

This is based off of an Ina Garten recipe that I saw her do on her show a few months ago.  It stuck in my head as the perfect Saturday lunch with the girls.  Unfortunately, my Saturdays have been crazy so instead it became a Friday dinner.  We grilled the lobster which was fine, but I think next time I would simmer the lobster in their shells and then do an ice bath after.  I love lobster, but it’s best when perfectly cooked. 

Lobster Cobb Salad
adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 2

For the vinaigrette:
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
5 T. good olive oil
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper

For the salad:
1 ripe Haas avocado
1 lemon, juiced
Mixed greens – about three cups
1 1/2 pounds cooked lobster meat, cut in 3/4 inch dice
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound lean bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 cup crumbed blue cheese

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in small bowl.

For the salad, cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and peel. Cut into 3/4 inch dice. Toss the avocados and cherry tomatoes with the lemon juice. Add the mixed greens and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinagrette. Mound the salad on the plate and add the lobster, blue cheese, and bacon on top in stripes.

Something towards the healthier side

June 10, 2007

My cousin came over for dinner last night and since she’s trying to lose weight, I wanted to do something that was healthy, but didn’t feel like the standard grilled chicken and vegetables fare.  Mark Bittman’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry that Elise had highlighted had been in my head as something easy, yet high in protein.  But, I needed a salad, some vegetables.  I looked through all of my cookbooks and found a recipe in Local Flavors that I liked, but I knew my grocery shopping was going to be limited and I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the ingredients that I needed.  I had bookmarked the recipe for Carrot and Avocado salad from Chocolate and Zucchini and that stuck in my head.  I love avocado’s and will use them anytime I can, so I decided to go with it.

Carottes Rapées à l’Avocat

– One small ripe avocado, about 150 grams (5 1/3 ounces), diced
– The juice of a lemon or an orange
– A dash of balsamic vinegar or oxymel
– Fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper
– Tabasco sauce or similar (I use Bayou Red) or strong mustard, to taste
– 4 medium carrots, about 450 grams (1 pound) total, peeled and grated
– 250 grams (9 ounces) firm tofu or cooked chicken, diced
– Toasted seeds — sunflower, sesame, flax, or a mix thereof

Serves 2.

Combine the avocado, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar in a medium salad bowl, and mash the avocado roughly with a fork. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Fold in the carrots and tofu, and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour or up to a day. Toss again before serving, adjust the seasoning, and sprinkle with liberal amounts of toasted seeds.

I do think that you could substitute some jicama for one of the carrots and it would be fabulous. I used tofu because I was doing chicken in the main dish, but I think if you do do chicken here, it needs to be flavorful, not just grilled chicken. Again, this salad was fabulous and bright and perfect for summer.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry
1 Tbsp corn, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder, or to taste
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 cup sour cream
Minced fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

* Chicken breasts can be so huge. I prefer smaller pieces and so cut each breast into thirds to make something more like chicken tenders.

1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions (and optional raisins), sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, sprinkle with half of the curry powder, and continue to cook a minute or two.

2 Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle it with the remaining curry powder. Move the onion to one side of the skillet and add the chicken in one layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

3 **Add the sour cream and stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture is nice and thick. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook for a couple more minutes, or until cooked through, turning once.

Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with rice.

** As I scrubbed the pan, I noticed there were tons of delicious brown bits that were wasted. When I make this again, I would deglaze the pan at this point with a little chicken broth, then add the sour cream.

Serves 4.