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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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Traditional Spanish Tortilla

See, I would have called this a frittata. And apparently I would have been wrong.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla done

One of my co-workers is half Spanish, and one time he brought in a traditional Spanish tortilla for breakfast. While it looked exactly like the frittatas I’m so fond of, it just had a slightly different flair. The gold potatoes are delightfully tender and add a delicate base to the dish. Many also include onion, asparagus, chorizo, and other fillings. The recipe below called for tarragon, though I used fresh rosemary and oregano instead.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas and frittatas are very similar, though there are a few differences. Tortillas are always egg- and potato-based, while frittatas only have to have eggs. Also, apparently the main difference is that you’re supposed to flip a Spanish tortilla on the stovetop at the end, versus finishing in the oven like a frittata. I’ll definitely be trying this method next time—I’m trying to wheedle my co-worker’s recipe out of him! [Read more…]

Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herbs

It’s really starting to feel like I’m back!

I’ve spent the last two months being almost singularly-focused on my hip surgery. I had two weeks to get everything lined up for my out-of-state surgery and being out of work for a month and a half. Then after the procedure my world initially was a fairly regimented schedule of pills, injections, ice packs, braces, weird machines on and around me, and those absolutely terrible anti-blood clot stockings that were the bane of my existence. My mom and then my sister (and baby niece) came down to help take of me, and I worked a ton from home, but the scope of my world basically shrunk to my living room.

fresh herb grilled chicken

My mom and sister left three weeks after the surgery, when I was able to start driving again (I’m still driving left-footed out of fear for my right hip). Since then I’ve basically just been trying to do the bare minimum, getting up and down my condo stairs, starting to wean myself off crutches, getting all my physical therapy in, working from home, and then collapsing at the end of the day. I’ve re-watched two seasons each of Bones and Castle, and devoured three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix (Buffy + Angel 4EVER, amirite??).

I haven’t been making anything new lately (as you may have noticed), surviving on pre-made food and leftovers from when my sister was here. And cheese. But now, finally, I seem to have turned a corner.

fresh herb grilled chicken closeup

Beyond throwing pasta with various fixings, this recipe was a first try at really cooking something (besides boiling up ravioli or baking a Kashi pizza). I knew it would need to be fast and easy, since I didn’t want to spend lots of time on my feet—I still tire really easily. And I’m still obsessed with my grill and want to use it as much as I can before it gets cold out. Plus, my mom planted me this awesome indoor herb garden while she was here.

herb garden

Isn’t that the BEST?! The only places in my entire condo (including the patio) that get direct sunlight are the two bedroom windows, so we put this in the guest bedroom. She planted tons of basil (my favorite!), rosemary, oregano, sage, and thyme. I’ve been doing my darnedest to keep them alive since she left, though I think the sage has shuffled off this mortal coil. It wasn’t terribly hardy. It’s not my fault!

Mom, if you’re reading this, I promise I took care of it…the sage just had no will to live.

fresh herb grilled chicken herbs

Man, fresh herbs are the best. I used a combination of the rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage for this dish. I was worried the basil would be too overpowering, so I left it out. [Read more…]

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