Saturday, December 6, 2008

tummy warming meals

It's been cold here.  Seriously cold.  This kind of weather (which will only get worse) calls for foods that fill you up and make you warm.  We had three of these types of meals in the past week, and one of them was definitely a winner.  It's also the one that I took the worst picture of, which figures.  

Soup, friends!  Hearty, veggie-filled, lentil and rice soup!  I'm not the only one who's been soup-crazy lately though.  Liz and Jessy have been souping it up recently as well, which only fueled my fire.  This particular soup was made by me totally on the fly and in 15 minutes (from conception to leaving it alone time) no less!  I was going to an art show in the next town over and wasn't going to be back in time to make dinner before Michael got home, so I made it superfast before I left.  Because of this, I don't really know how long it took to cook...  Anyway, enough stallin' (like Russia), here's the crappy photo of this wondeful soup:
i think the steam got on the lens

By the time we ate last night (late late late...bah), I was too hungry to fool with getting a decent photo.  Ah well.  Recipe?

Smushy Lentil Rice Soup with Veggies

1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 bunch of kale, destemmed and torn into medium pieces
1 small summer squash, cut into medium sized chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into medium sized chunks (we were sent home with these when we went to Michael's sister's house)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lentils (any color, I used green)
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/4 cup wild rice
3 bouillon cubes (whichever type you like...I used unchicken)
2 bay leaves
1-2 Tbsp sriracha chili sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Add onions and carrots, cook until onions get soft.  Add squash, zucchini, and garlic, cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes.  Add in the thyme, rosemary, marjoram and lentils and stir until coated in the herbs.  Cook another 2 or 3 minutes.  Now take your pot over to the sink and fill it up with water until it's 2/3 full.  I didn't measure because I didn't have time to mess with it, sorry!  It's maybe...8 or 10 cups?  Put the pot back on the heat and turn it to high.  Add bouillon cubes, garlic powder, bay leaves, sriracha, rices and kale.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until rice and lentils are cooked.  I let mine simmer for about 25 minutes, then turned it off and came back ohh...a little over 5 hours later and the risidual heat had cooked it all, and I only had to heat it back up haha...  Anywho, this next step is optional, but I think it's totally worth the little extra work.  If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree about 1/2 of the soup, just a few whizzes to make it smooth, but still with chunks of veggies hanging about.  You could also pour half of it in your blender and puree it there.  It's just a million times easier to use an immersion blender.  At any rate, add your salt and pepper to taste (it may need quite a bit of salt, depending on your bouillon) and enjoy!  It makes enough for leftovers for at least a couple lunches, so the big pot and loads of ingredients is really worth it.

Going completely out of order here, this is some mac n cheese n peas (and spinach and chickn bits) that was made on Monday night:
well, i guess technically it's ziti n cheese n peas

This was the result of a yucky Monday after a 4 day weekend.  Sometimes you just really, really need mac n cheese.  This was good, but not fabulous.  I used my basic cheese sauce recipe, but added a bunch of poultry seasoning for some crazy reason.  It didn't taste bad, but it did taste like...poultry seasoning.
chickn flavored pasta

Still, it was nice and gooey and smushy.  Plus, I added spinach and peas to make it healthy.  Sure.  The chickn is part of a can of Worthington's that we got on sale forever ago because our grocery store stopped carrying it.  I wish that stuff wasn't so expensive...  Kroger has the swiss steak, hot dogs, and chili still, but they're like $8 a can!  I can't bring myself to pay $8 for a can of fake meat.  No wonder they stopped carrying the others.

Wednesday night was enchilada time.  Or...burritos.  I've had this dilemna before.  They're baked, but they don't have enchilada sauce on them.  So.  We'll call them baked burritos.
we made enough for a small army

The theme this week seems to have been to make enough food to have leftovers so that we don't have to cook again the next night.  Seriously, it's so cold in the apartment that it's almost painful at times to pry yourself away from a space heater and go into the kitchen to cook.  You can't even imagine what it's like going to bed.  Sheesh.

Anywho, Michael and I made three types of burritos:  bean and corn in a burrito seasoning, spinach and chickn in a fajita seasoning, and potato and mushroom in a taco seasoning.  We wrapped them up in wheat tortillas and baked them underneath some salsa, jalepenos, and black olives.  

I  made a giant batch of guacamole from a bunch of avocados that the sushi chef had given Michael to take home (they were presliced and wouldn't last until the next shift).  That with the addition of some sliced scallions made these burritos pretty fabulous.  

I'm getting sleepy.  I was going to do a review of some holiday soy drinks, but I think I'll save that til next time.  Instead, I'm going to drink one of those drinks, watch more Harry Potter, and possibly take a nap.  Because it's doing this outside:
the view from my kitchen window...dreary isn't it?

And I'm not going anywhere just yet.  You see those specks?  It's actually snowing right now.  Finally, something to show for all this cold weather.

Oh, one more thing.  You all are not the only ones enjoying my xmas tree:
cuddle puddle

They like to try and screw stuff up.  Luckily for them, they do it cutely.


Jes said...

All of that food looks so warm and delicious! I wish I had an enchilada with some mac and cheese and some soup on the side right now. And a cuddle puddle of kittens. :) And I think the "dreary" picture looks perfectly wintery and what I wish we had!

Anonymous said...

Aww, I love Mexican food! That looks GREAT!

T said...

That sucks that its so cold there, but it does look like you guys had amazing comfort food all week! Especially that lentil soup... yum!

Anonymous said...

I hate the cold as well! I've been trying every was possible to stay warm. But it looks like you were doing a good job with all of that warm yummy food!!!

Aww, cuddle puddle =)

Liz said...

oh my goodness. Those kitties are so cute all cuddled up under the tree. That could be on a holiday card!

Our Monday was a mac 'n cheeze night for us, too. Sometimes you just need it!

Gina said...

Ohh, kitties!! They look so sweet all curled up together! We have 5 cats and none of them like each other enough to sleep together anymore. I had someone tell me once that I should keep pictures of cats out of posts about food because people might be "turned off" or something...stupid person, TOTAL lie.

I love macaroni and cheese with peas...sooo good!

Anonymous said...

Jeez! That's the second Sunday in a row that blogger has eaten my comment! I'll try again~
Lovely warming food, snow, and an adorable cuddle puddle! Dude you're the best! >:O)

miss v said...

i like the ziti 'n cheeze 'n peas idea! i'll hold back on my poultry seasoning, but i'm definitely going to try it.

Anonymous said...

Oh baked burrito goodness! And soup, and macaroni casserole! Lots of great wintery meals for dreary, snowy days!
And I love the kitty cuteness!!

Virginia said...

oh how i wish it snowed in south carolina!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm soup! Thanks for the recipe!

jessy said...

cuddle puddle made me laugh! ahhhhhhhhahahaa! i love it! totally going to call my pile 'o kitties that, too! yay!

thanks for the soup recipe - it sounds soooo super scrummy! lentils + rice + veggies + sriracha = fuck yeah! :D

mac 'n cheeze with peas 'n chikn sounds soooo super good. sorry it tasted a bit like poultry seasoning. looks like some seriously tasty comfort food though.

all of your baked burritos sound fabulous! especially the potato and mushroom ones! omg, mmmmmmmmm! i need to start putting more mushrooms in things (and sneak them in there so dan doesn't know! ahahahahahaaa!). i want burritos now! jeebus, they look glorious!

i wish it would snow here in VA! totally keeping my fingers crossed!

stay warm, Jessica! and keep making delicious awesomeness!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Ooooh oooh oooh I wanna join the cuddle puddle.
Awesome food! That'd warm you up no problem.

Sal said...

Smushy soup - love it. Smushy is my new word of the day!

The mac & cheese looks so good, it's making me wish it was lunchtime.

Your kitties are soooo cute. My cat growing up used to love the chrimbo tree as well. I'm putting mine up tonight and I'm excited!!