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Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Corba)

I’m on the record as stating that soup is not a meal, in and of itself, with very few exceptions.

This is one of them. (My mom’s baked potato soup is basically the only other)

Delicious & easy Turkish red lentil soup, ready in half an hour

I also don’t like lentils usually.  That is, until I went to Istanbul last year and we ate in a Kurdish family’s house and were served corba as an appetizer.  Corba is a hearty red lentil soup, super flavorful and comforting.  When I returned to the States, I started pinning recipes right away so I could try it myself.  I learned that red lentils are very different than the dark ones I’d had before, and didn’t have as many texture issues for me.

I’ve made this recipe a few times, trying to get the texture and flavors just right.  For some weird reason I have issues with it separating a bit (so becoming a little watery), but since I like it better with crushed up crackers in it anyway, I decided to just let that go.  One time I even tore up half a bagel into the soup, and the texture was awesome!

Healthy & easy red lentil soup

One of the great things about this soup is that it comes together really quickly—like half an hour from start to finish.  So you can get home from work, get it simmering, and go about your business until it’s time to blend everything up and serve.  Efficiency FTW!
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Lemon Shallot Chicken

I literally don’t know what to call this chicken.

lemon-shallot-chicken

Sure, it has lemon juice.  And chopped shallots.  And garlic.  And paprika.  And brown sugar.  And chopped rosemary.

lemon-shallot-chicken-rosemary

It’s…complex.

lemon-shallot-chicken-shallots-chopped

And ugly.  Sorry, this dish won’t photograph well no matter how hard I try.  But it is really easy, unique, flavorful, and makes great leftovers.  So despite its ugly appearance, that’s a win in my book. [Read more…]

Chicken with Creamy Feta Sauce

I just realized that it’s been MONTHS since I brought you a main dish recipe, which is crazy!  So making up for that now with an insanely easy and super delish entree that is great for dinner as well as to pack in your lunch for work all week.

Chicken with Creamy Feta Sauce

(Confession: I made this recipe Sunday evening so I could have awesome, healthy lunches all week long.  And then I ordered Chinese takeout for dinner that night, because I was going to be healthy all week.  Does anyone else do that?)

chicken with creamy feta sauce chives chopped

Don’t be scared by the idea of a feta cheese sauce—it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of feta specifically, but rather contributes a super creamy, slightly salty, weirdly comforting flavor without owning it.  I’m not the biggest fan of feta, but I am a BIG fan of this sauce. [Read more…]

Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, & Feta

Somehow I totally forgot about this recipe.

Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, & Feta

I started making it in college, and pretty soon it was my standby recipe. I made it at least once a week while I was doing my internship, and later once I moved to Atlanta. Sometimes multiple times a week. It was easy and cheap, came together in the time it took the pasta to cook, and felt kind of fancy. Before I started this blog I basically had a 3-recipe rotation…

pasta with spinach tomato & feta tomatoes cooking

Then somehow I totally forgot about it once I started trying out lots of recipes for this site. But when I was at the grocery store last weekend trying to figure out what to do for dinner (since my Kroger was totally out of avocados, which I’d kind of needed), I saw these beautiful heirloom tomatoes and this recipe popped into my mind. It’s very forgiving, the veggie amounts aren’t super exact and neither is the feta amount. You could substitute kale for spinach, though it definitely would change the texture a little. I recommend this for a night where you just need something on the table fast, and want fresh, healthy ingredients. [Read more…]

Easy Pad Thai

I never expected pad thai to become my Everest…

Easy Pad Thai

Pad thai is such a great, uncomplicated dish. Simple flavors, not too many extras mixed in—it’s basically thai comfort food. Recipes vary, many more on the authentic route using tamarind paste, fish sauce, and other Asian staples. Others, like this one, stick to the basics. I’ll be trying the more complicated ones later [update: tried, hated, sticking with this one], but this one is a great place to start.

easy pad thai assembled

The sauce calls for only three ingredients—brown sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. And maybe a squirt of sriracha if that’s how you roll. The first time I made this recipe, it came out pretty great. “This is so easy!” I thought. “But honestly I’d like it to have a little more sauce, it’s a little dry. I’ll try it again.”

Cue descent into madness…

easy pad thai green onions

I don’t know what was wrong with me but the next few times I made it, something went terribly wrong. First of all, I am the WORST at reading directions, so I had to throw like three different batches of sauce away because I accidentally added the oil to it instead of to the pan. (Don’t be like me, boys and girls.) And then one time I soaked my noodles exactly like I had before and when I added them to the pan they were still super tough and gross. Had to throw the entire pan of food away.

easy pad thai noodles sauce closeup

However, I finally got my act together and here you go. It really is a simple recipe, I have no idea why I had to make things so hard. So without further ado, I submit your next favorite 30-minute meal… [Read more…]

30-Minute Mongolian Beef

Happy Independence Day! Because what’s more patriotic than Americanized Chinese food?!

30-Minute Mongolian Beef

It’s  funny, I looked through all the recent recipes I’ve made but not posted yet, and there’s not a single one I’d classify as American. Apparently I’ve been on an Asian kick, though. And this one’s a doozy—the most delicious, successful Asian recipe I’ve made since this super easy sesame chicken.

30-minute mongolian beef green onion

I’ve gone through like a hundred green onions lately. They’re the best!

30-Minute Mongolian Beef done

The sauce is obviously the hero of this recipe—you could switch the beef out for chicken and maybe wouldn’t even notice. It’s a little sweet and salty and garlicky and super tangy. It’s got bite. I honestly don’t know that I’d classify it as a traditional Mongolian beef sauce, which I think of as a little more mellow. But no matter what you call it, it’s awesome. And as a bonus, this recipe creates a lot of sauce to soak into the rice, which is one of my non-negotiables where Chinese food is concerned. [Read more…]

Dynamite Grilled Chicken

Last Sunday I just wanted something SIMPLE. I’d had a super long, exhausting week at work and even after resting up over the weekend I just found the prospect of cooking daunting.

Dynamite Chicken bite

I didn’t want to assemble 20 ingredients or spend an hour preparing different elements of a meal. I wanted quick and tasty and healthy. Also, I wanted ricotta, which is a weird craving but I went with it and threw together a delicious spinach, tomato, and ricotta frittata (bonus breakfast leftovers), then I added some more protein with this “dynamite” chicken.

Dynamite Chicken

Honestly, the main reason I made the chicken was so I’d have some leftovers for lunch, and also because I wanted to use my grill for the first time this spring. Aaaaand, that was a total fail because when I went out to grill the chicken like half an hour after turning on the grill, it was totally cold. I went to plan B (the stovetop), but still need to figure out what’s going on with my grill.

Oh well…it was worth it in the end, because the flavors on this chicken will knock your socks off. It’s really got some tangy bite, which was a nice complement to the more soothing, mellow frittata. Also, it was super easy, which is always a win in my book. [Read more…]

Roasted Salmon with Shallots & Tomatoes

Summer means simplicity.

Roasted Salmon with Shallots & Tomatoes

This recipe practically screams summertime. Flaky roasted fish? Check. Juicy, wrinkly roasted tomatoes? Check. A side of roasted okra? Double check.

Roasted Salmon with Shallots & Tomatoes 2

I wanted to grill the salmon but my grill was malfunctioning, so I went for this instead. And, boy, was that the right choice! The shallots and garlic sink into the flavor of the salmon, and it’s all just so…simple. [Read more…]

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