Lentil salad with goat cheese

Based on a recipe from Once Upon a Chef

Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course

Ingredients

  • 1 cup French green lentils (or common brown or green lentils)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (= 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces goat cheese

Directions

  1. Combine lentils, chicken broth, and bay leaf in medium sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 25-30 minutes (French green lentils) or 20-25 minutes (brown or green lentils).
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except goat cheese.
  4. When lentils are done cooking, remove bay leaf, drain, and let cool.
  5. Add lentils to ingredients in large bowl and mix.
  6. Transfer to serving dishes and crumble goat cheese on top.

I was pleasantly surprised by this lentil dish. I used green lentils and fresh thyme.

The lentils seemed to be even tastier later. I did very slightly reheat the leftover lentils to bring them up to room temperature before adding goat cheese on top.

Chilled avocado soup with spicy tomato salsa

Based on a recipe from The Culinary Institute of America

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

For soup:

  • 1 ripe avocado, skinned and pitted
  • 1.5 cups of water, milk, or vegetable broth
  • 2 ounces of sour cream (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp green jalapeño sauce OR 1/4-inch slice fresh jalapeño with seeds + 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For salsa:

  • 2 to 3 (depending on size) ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, minced
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients for the soup in a blender and process at high speed until completely smooth. Season with salt and lime juice to taste. Transfer to tightly covered container. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the salsa in small bowl.
  3. Divide soup into serving bowls. Add salsa on top.

I was so happy to find yet another way to enjoy avocados. This avocado soup is simply divine, and the salsa adds a nice zing to it. Some soups can be the entrée; this soup is more of an appetizer or accompaniment to a meal rather than the meal itself.

I used soy milk instead of water, milk, or vegetable broth, which worked quite well. I didn’t use sour cream. (I didn’t have any on hand, but the soup was quite creamy with just the avocado and the soy milk.) I used an actual jalapeño rather than jalapeño sauce in the soup.

After my last bowl of soup, I found myself looking longingly at the empty bowl. Next time, I’m going to make a double batch.

Avocado halves with tuna salad

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1-2 per avocado

Ingredients

  • Avocado
  • Tuna salad

Directions

  1. Slice avocado in half on a cutting board.
  2. Remove seed and scoop out each half with a spoon.
  3. Place avocado halves in bowls.
  4. Fill space left by seed with tuna salad.

I recently found a tuna salad recipe that I just love. (I can’t seem to get enough tuna salad sandwiches. It’s kind of embarrassing.) And I love avocados. So put the two together and you have a delightful snack or breakfast.

The avocado you select should be relatively firm. You want it ripe by not mushy so the avocado halves remain intact as you scoop them out of the avocado skins.

Caution! Be sure to cut the avocado on a cutting board, not while holding the avocado in your hand.

Classic tuna salad

Based on recipe on Food website

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: enough for 3 to 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 cans solid white tuna, packed in water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickle, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Drain tuna. Break apart clumps in bowl.
  2. Mix in lemon juice, onion, pickets, garlic, salt, and parsley until well blended.
  3. Fold in mayo and Dijon mustard until mixed well.

I am not really into tuna salad, but I strangely got a hankering for a tuna salad sandwich. I stumbled across this recipe…and yum! It is delicious on slightly toasted multi-grain bread.

You can keep the tuna salad in the fridge for three days (if they last that long!). Before using the leftovers, stir the tuna salad to mix the juices.

Chinese home-style eggs and tomatoes

Based on recipe on Food website

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 green onions, sliced and separated between white and green parts
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Dice tomatoes.
  2. Slice green onions. Keep white and green parts separate.
  3. In small bowl, mix cornstarch with 1 1/2 tsp of water.
  4. Beat eggs together. Add salt, white parts of green onions, and sesame oil. Mix well.
  5. Add olive oil to skillet and heat to medium. Add egg mixture. Stir and break into pieces as the eggs cook. Remove from skillet before completely cooked.
  6. Add olive oil to skillet and heat to medium. Add tomatoes, rice vinegar, and sugar. Cook 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add egg mixture, green parts of green onions, and cornstarch mixture. Cook and mix until no longer watery, about 2 minutes.

This Chinese dish is a good alternative to typical American scrambled eggs. Recently I have used 4 Roma tomatoes with 4 eggs, but you can use any type of tomato.