Homemade Lentil Soup & Grilled Cheese

It was not the best looking dinner, but it did certainly taste great! Lenny made this lentil soup inspired by the Split Pea Soup recipe on page 67 of the Thug Kitchen cookbook. With a plethora of lentils on hand, I didn’t want to buy dried peas to make this soup so we swapped those but pretty much followed the rest of the recipe. It was pretty simple with most of the flavouring coming from the vegetable stock. I often forget how simple and tasty soups are to make but thank goodness for cooler weather and how much it makes me want warm things!

Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza from Martha Stewart

Another hit recipe recently in our house was this Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza from Martha Stewart.  We make a standard red sauce and mozzarella pizza in our house probably twice a month, so I have been looking for a recipe that changes that up a bit. I really loved the sweetness of the roasted vegetables on this pizza and incorporating a cheese other than mozzarella also brought a new taste to an old standard. I think if we were to make this again in the future, we’d use less ricotta, but other than that, we both really liked this recipe!

A new take on an old standard

 

Bojon Gourmet Quiche

How amazing does this look?

Lenny recently made a delicious quiche inspired by this one on Bojon Gourmet. Quiches are one of our go-to dinner options because you can use them to use up any remaining quantities of vegetables or cheeses in the fridge, are super filling, can be used for leftovers at any meal, and are really inexpensive to put together.

One of our favourite restaurants, the Black Walnut, uses potatoes in their quiches so I wanted to try out a recipe that had them since we don’t normally put those in ours. The result was fantastic and the potatoes really helped bulk up each serving. The gruyere cheese was also just so delicious; if you want to try a new cheese to give a standard recipe a new kick, pick some up from your local supermarket!

You can really see the potato layers in this pic!

Thug Kitchen 101 – Red Curry Noodles

Red curry noodles were desired left overs in this area!

The red curry noodles on page 116 of the Thug Kitchen 101 Cookbook were really tasty! This is one of the first times we’ve ever cooked with tofu in our house, and the dish was a pretty big success! The curry paste was great at adding flavour without the addition of onions or garlic. I suspect we’ll have more curry-based dishes in our future. Now if only we can find Thai basil somewhere in London to use as a garnish…

Thug Kitchen 101 – Scones

Over the last few weeks, we have tried quite a few new recipes but one of my absolute favourites was this scone recipe from the Thug Kitchen 101 Cookbook. The scone recipe was really easy to modify for different fruits and made the perfect amount to share some and keep some. If you’re looking to use up some polenta from your cupboards like I was, you might want to check this book out of the library (or check this page out for something super similar) and get to baking!

I think this would be a really good kid-friendly recipe.

They were equally as good hot and room temperature.

Creamy Carrot Farrotto

I tried something new. And I liked it.

Last night’s dinner was billed as an easier alternative to risotto and it won accolades from my Italian husband. Using farro instead of arborio rice, the carrot farrotto only took about 30-40 minutes to make, was really inexpensive (only about $3 worth of farro from the Bulk Barn was needed), and was really tasty. The carrots made the dish sweet, but the stock that everything cooked in also made it a bit salty. I did spend $11 on a brick of parmasan, but we only used about a fifth of it and will have it for many future meals.

I found this recipe in my Skinny Taste cookbook, but you can also make it online follow the instructions posted on Take a Bite Out of Boca.

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Arugula Pizza

My husband Lenny makes the best pizza dough. It is rarely the same process twice, however, it always tastes delicious. He has also introduced me to the balls of mozzarella that you can buy in the deli section, as opposed to the bars of cheese in the dairy area of the grocery store, and they make a world of difference in the quality of your pizza. If you need a recommendation, my personal favourite is the Tre Stelle Mozzarella Ball.

Pizza from last Friday

In terms of a dough recipe, here is a Wolfgang Puck-inspired recipe that Lenny has adapted for use in a breadmaker.

You will need:

  • 1 1/8 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
Optional (but tasty!):  Add a 1/2 tbsp of chopped dried rosemary and 1 tsp dried oregano to the dry ingredients in the dough.

Layer the ingredient according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine uses wet, dry, then yeast) and set it for Dough. Hit start and come back in 1.5 hours (or delay it till later).

When it’s ready, roll the dough ball out onto a floured work surface, knead briefly for a minute, then place into a lightly oiled bowl to rest for 30 more minutes. Cover with a moist cloth and set in a warm place.

After the dough has increased in size (about 50% larger) punch the dough down and roll back out onto your work surface. Roll out into a pizza-like shape and assemble your pizza. 14-16 minutes in a pre-heated 425-degree oven will give you a nice crispy crust if cooked on either a pizza stone or perforated pizza sheet.

Buon appetito!

Chicken sausage and Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Last week one of the meals that I did make was chicken sausage and Grilled Brussels Sprouts from Skinnytaste. I love grilled vegetables so finding a non-onion-y and non-garlic-y “sauce” that I could use to flavour them was pretty exciting. I ended up making my own balsamic glaze as I didn’t want to buy an entire container of it, and it was pretty simple: just boil 4 tbsp of balsamic with 1 tbsp of honey for a few minutes. It was super tasty and will be something I think I’ll try with other vegetables too!

Not the most appetizing shot, but this dinner was delicious, I swear!

Campfire Series: Cheesy Potatoes & Chicken Sausages

Last summer we really fell in love with the Schneider’s Chicken Sausages. Aside from being delicious at home, they were also great for camping because they were really flavourful and already cooked — no need to worry about raw meat!

We ate them chopped into dishes, but pretty much on their own. To add some additional calories (camping with two dogs involves a LOT of exercise!), we wrapped them in Pillsbury dough hot dog wrappers, wrapped those in tin foil, and then roasted them on the fire for a tasty but healthier version of a Pogo.

Roasting on the fire. Yay for metal shishkabob sticks! They made this dish way easier to cook than had we done it on wood sticks.

One of my favourite sides with this dish was cheesy potatoes. We bought frozen hashbrowns and then parceled those out with some pre-shedded cheese and bacon bits left over from a salad on the first night. What a great creation!

Homemade Pogo on the left and cheesy potatoes on the right.