Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lentils with Mushrooms and Spinach

The other night I was feeling creative, and I wanted to take advantage of some ingredients I had on hand: fresh spinach from the farmers market, white mushrooms, French lentils I picked up in the newly discovered bulk bins at the local food co-op, and the end of an open box of vegetable broth. I used this recipe from Closet Cooking as inspiration and got to work.

The result was delicious, if a little overcooked (I watched a whole episode of Star Trek: Voyager while waiting for the lentils to cook and found out that 42 minutes is too long). The dish was dark, sort of earthy tasting; the flavor was subtle but strong. It was the first time I'd tried French lentils, so I'm not sure which flavor was coming through the most.

Veggie Sandwich on Pita

I ate lunch early because I couldn't wait to try this! The recipe is basic, and I think I'll repeat it frequently. To take this to work, I packed the hummus and tomatoes separately so they wouldn't make everything else soggy. I just assembled it at lunchtime. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera.

Veggie Sandwich on Pita

  • Pita bread cut into pockets
  • Hummus
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Thinly sliced cheese (I used Swiss)
  • Vegetables in small pieces (I used sliced tomatoes, chopped carrots, and spinach)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lightly toast pita.
  • Spread inside of pita with hummus.
  • Top with seeds, cheese, and vegetables; season with salt and pepper.
Try substituting other vegetables, cheeses, and spreads - turns out my friend Mia had almost the same thing for lunch today, but with herb cream cheese and some other veggies.

On another note: please forgive the inconsistent formatting! I'm having some trouble with Blogger.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Garlic-Cheese Soda Bread

I've always liked soda bread (plus, I haven't worked with yeast yet and I'm sort of intimidated). Kevin at Closet Cooking posted this recipe back around St. Patrick's Day; I made a couple loaves then, and I've made it a few times since. It's good, and it's easy! Kevin makes his in a bread pan, but I've only made it on a baking sheet. Last weekend I decided to make it more interesting with garlic and cheese. Mmm. Great fresh and warm, or reheat it in the oven before serving.

This recipe, like the original recipe from Closet Cooking, makes one medium-size loaf.

Garlic-Cheese Soda Bread

  • 2 cups flour (I use at least 1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for top
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional - for egg wash)
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the buttermilk and form a dough. It should hold together, but not be too sticky to handle.
  3. Shape the dough and place it on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan. Cut an X in the top with a sharp knife. Brush with egg to make a shinier crust (optional). Sprinkle extra cheese on top.
  4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 40 minutes or so (the top should be golden brown).

*If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Probably works better with 2% or above.


I'm Katie.  I'm a recent university graduate living in Michigan.  In the last year I've become more interested in cooking as a way to eat healthier, save money, and live more sustainably.  Most of what I cook is vegetarian, for the above reasons and because I don't like dealing with raw meat.  My favorite flavors to work with are garlic, coriander, rosemary, and lemon; my favorite vegetables are spinach, bell peppers, and broccoli, and my favorite proteins are lentils, white beans, and black beans.  Also, I LOVE SOUP. 


I started this blog after I realized I was calling my mom on a weekly basis seeking maternal validation for my latest cooking adventure.  Now, she can follow me online and see pictures and recipes - I still call her, though.  My plan is to post at least once a week, showing what I've made and passing along some great recipes from other cooks. 


I hope people will want to recreate some of my dishes. Unfortunately, I don't usually measure my ingredients unless I'm going off someone else's recipe; I'm trying to get a feel for cooking.  If you really want measurements, let me know and I'll see what I can do.