Archive | December, 2010

Slow cooked lentils

21 Dec

That’s Jesse Bull. Man of open ranges and scuffed boots. Not much slows Jesse Bull down, except for my slow cook soup. My slow cook soup was so good Jesse awkwardly made a “yum” sound with every spoonful he downed. I was so proud.

People! Slow cookers are AMAZING! I had a meeting in the morning, and while I was talking I chopped some vegetables, shook some spices, found some lentils and dropped it all in the slow cooker. And then, 6 hours later, it was like this amazing, delicious soup.

Alayna has been making slow cooker soups more than I have, but not anymore. So easy and delicious! Buy a slow cooker one and all!

Slow Cooked Lentils!

  • Really, put in whatever vegetables you want. I put in a ton of chopped carrots, 1 chopped yellow onion, a head of broccoli, shiitake mushrooms and a lot of collard greens
  • I put in about 2 cups of green lentils
  • For spices I was very generous: Salt, 2 bay leaves, thyme, a little red pepper, a lot of fresh parsley
  • Cover it in water with 2 veggie bullion cubes
  • Set on low for 6 hours. Done!

Vitamin C Soup

15 Dec

It’s finals time at academia central in DC and you know what that means: all work and no play. Especially because most of that work gets done in the library where it seems like everyone and their mother has either a little sniffle or a big cough.  It also means I am brain-dead by the time I come home for more studying. The good news is that my brain-deadness brought us this delicious (and easy! and orange!) soup that I’m crediting with keeping me healthy.

The bad news is that I’m reeeeeally good at finding ways to stall on my studying.

Exhibit A:

(This is Mary. Uhm, can you find ZiZi? It took me reading this post three times to spot her. Alayna may have moved zipcodes but a crazy cat lady’s heart knows no boundaries.)

Exhibit B:

What can I say? ‘Tis the (finals) season!


  • peel and de-seed on large-ish butternut squash and chop into hunks, with about a pound of chopped carrots, 6-8 cloves of garlic, one large chopped white or yellow onion and a couple of chopped celery sticks then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, mixing to coat
  • Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes until you can easily push a fork through the squash and carrots
  • Transfer the veggies and their juice to a large soup pot, top with chicken (or veggie) broth and bring to a simmer, then blend, adding in the juice of 1-2 lemons and a handful of parsley
  • Voila! Make those snifflers jealous!

Acorn Squash Chili

8 Dec

Do you know what today marks? The first day of my winter CSA that involves meat. Very, very exciting. I just picked up a giant frozen chicken and eggs. Mother and child! All in my refrigerator. I also picked up a few acorn squashes which are my favorite things in the world these days. And Jerusalem artichokes. Which look like ginger knobs and I have no idea how you cook them, but don’t fret I will find out and report back.

Meanwhile I have become somewhat obsessed with a very simple and hearty winter meal that I made up. It began as a mix-up. Gavin’s trivia co-host, Adam, noticed an acorn squash on my counter and said how he read a recipe about baked beans in a pumpkin. (That sounds so good right!) I got confused the next day and thought he said chili. So I made chili in an acorn squash. And then I told Adam and he was like, What you talking about?

Either way, it’s so good. And I’ve eaten it three different times. It’s also nice because you just drop the chili in the acorn and it looks fancy and nice but it’s actually incredibly easy. This also works to satisfy my recent onset of uncontrollable winter squash cravings. Is it the weather? Who knows. But make this ladles, and enjoy!

Acorn Squash Chili

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Put 2 halves of acorn squash on baking sheet in oven, with seeds scooped out. Bake for 40 minutes
  • (I like to set the timer for 20 minutes and then start on the chili so everything finishes at the same time but whatever floats your boat)
  • Saute on low heat onions in olive oil with some salt and a lot of chili powder
  • Add a 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • If you want to add other vegetables like mushrooms or green peppers add them now and wait until they are soft and sautéed to your liking
  • Then put in a 14 oz. can of black beans with generous shakes of cumin seeds (I put in 2 tspn)
  • Add 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • I always like to add spinach too. Taste and see if you need more chili powder or cumin seeds or salt.
  • Spoon the chili into the acorn squash.
  • enjoy!!