wilted greens and pasta with a poached egg in a browned lemon butter sauce

yes, the title is long. i couldn’t figure out how to summarize. i tried taking out the egg, but that didn’t feel right, because that was my favorite part. i removed the browned lemon butter sauce, but i put it back because it’s important (and i knew it would catch your attention). the pasta and wilted greens are the base, so…long title it is.


and the dish tastes complicated. but i promise, it’s not that hard. with a little pre-planning and the wherewithal to wash a couple extra dishes at the end, you’ll find this meal to be very rewarding.

i know i showed this earlier this week, but i can’t get over how beautiful the chard looks.


only barely adapted from the kitchn.

makes 2 servings

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 lasagna noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (i used rainbow again), stems removed, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

in a medium sized pot, bring water and salt to a boil. add lasagna noodles and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. meanwhile, fill a medium sized bowl with warm water and set near the stove. when noodles are cooked, remove from stove and transfer to bowl.

do not get rid of the pasta water in your pot. bring the water back to a boil. crack an egg into a measuring cup (you’ll need at least 1/3 of a cup) and gently slip the egg into the water. poach the egg for 4 minutes for a nice, runny yolk (my favorite). while the eggs are cooking, heat olive oil in a large pan and wilt the swiss chard. once wilted, add in garlic and red pepper flakes.


once the eggs have poached, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the bowl with the noodles.


next, melt butter in a small pan. once it starts to brown, add the lemon juice and a pinch or two of salt. finally, assemble the dish. cut the lasagna noodles in half lengthwise. layer two pieces on the bottom of two shallow bowls or a plate (unlike what is pictured here – it would have been easier to eat from something wider). add the greens to the two bowls. top with the poached egg and the remaining noodles. and lastly, pour the browned lemon butter on top.


* when i make this meal next time, i am not going to use lasagna noodles. they’re a little bit too big and clunky (maybe my problem was the bowl). i think a penne or a smaller noodle would have done nicely for this dish. either way, it’s tasty.


red lentil dhal with rice

yesterday it was russian food, tonight it’s indian. why i chose this meal tonight? i’m feeling a little lazy and this recipe requires no chopping. you don’t even need to pick up a knife – well, except to cut a lime in half. i can live with that.

adapted from pinch of yum.

makes 5-6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups red lentils, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped for garnish

boil 3 cups water in a medium pot. add 1 tablespoon butter and rice. cook rice until tender.

in a separate and larger pot, boil 5 cups water. melt 1 tablespoon butter and add lentils. took for 15-20 minutes, until lentils are soft and water is mainly reduced.

meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except parsley). mix thoroughly. when lentils are cooked, add spice mixture to lentils. mix well, taste, and adjust seasoning or lime as needed.

serve lentils over rice with parsley garnish.

tomato bisque

most of my pre-professional life was spent working in restaurants, and back in college, i spent a good portion of my time at the orpheum in madison, wisconsin. the restaurant has since closed its doors due to lots of unfortunate drama. regardless, for those of us that worked there, there are some things we just can’t forget: tini tuesdays, eating leftover brunches after busy sundays, and the tomato bisque.


while i’m sure this isn’t the perfect recreation, this is my ode to the tomato bisque soup that so frequently was my dinner during night shifts.

makes 4-5 servings

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups high quality canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tomatoes, largely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill

heat olive oil in large pot. saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until soft. add in tomato paste and stir until well mixed. add tomato sauce, water, bay leaf, and honey. season with salt and pepper. cook down for 10-15 minutes, until starting to thicken. add in cream and tomatoes. mix well and cook for 10-12 more minutes. finally, stir in dill. serve with crusty bread.*


*oh if i could only get my hands on the bread recipe from the orpheum, i would be so very, very fat and happy.

warm beet and orzo salad with some of my favorite accoutrements

beets are an underutilized ingredient, in my opinion. so here’s to beets and pairing them with something salty (feta), something creamy (orzo), something bitter (beet greens), and something crunchy (pine nuts).


this recipe is adapted from food52.

makes 3 main dish servings, 6 side dish servings

  • 3 large beets with beet greens, cleaned and peeled and greens chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

boil water in a medium pot. once boiling, add beets. cook for about 15-20 minutes, until tender. meanwhile, cook orzo following instructions on packaging.

in a medium sized pan heat olive oil and roast pine nuts for about 5 minutes. transfer pine nuts to a bowl and add onions and garlic to pan. cook until they start to brown. add in beet greens and cover for about 5 minutes.

once beets are tender, remove from pot and chop into medium sized pieces. add to beet green mixture and toss around to coat. yes, everything will be very very red. salt and pepper the vegetables to taste.

transfer orzo and vegetable mixture to bowl with pine nuts. mix well. lastly, stir in feta. serve warm as a main dish or a side. or, eat as cold leftovers for lunch (that’s my plan for tomorrow).

sweet potato and chickpea burgers

something tasty and healthy for this monday evening – vegetarian burgers made from sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and a little something else.


this recipe is adapted from ambitious kitchen.

makes 4-5 burger patties

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chickpeas, no juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg
yogurt sauce
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt

boil water and cook sweet potato for 10-12 minutes, or until soft. meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until browned. transfer onion and garlic to food processor. add in all seasoning, chickpeas, and herbs. once sweet potato is cooked, chop up into smaller pieces and add to food processor. pulse several times until mixture is consistent and small. transfer to a bowl and add cooked quinoa. mix thouroughly.


form patties using your hands. it should make 4-5 depending on the size.


place burgers on baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help keep form. meanwhile, make yogurt sauce by combining all ingredients and mixing.


heat olive oil in pan. whip up egg in a small bowl and brush patties on both sides with egg wash. add patties to pan and cook on medium for 3-4 minutes each side.


serve on a bun or baguette with your favorite accoutrements and the yogurt sauce.


spinach, sweet potato, and pasta casserole

i skimmed this recipe from love & lemons a couple weeks back and didn’t think much of it. sweet potatoes and pasta? seems unnecessary. but the picture was pretty, so i flagged it. then i read a little more carefully – the sweet potato becomes the base of the creamy sauce. creamy pasta? that sounds delicious.


i adapted the recipe to be vegetarian instead of vegan, because i have no problem with dairy. and made a couple other minor tweaks.

makes 4-5 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces fusili pasta (i used whole wheat)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

preheat oven to 350. heat the olive oil in a large pot. add in shallots and cook down for a couple of minutes. next, add garlic, potatoes, broth, and heavy cream. salt and pepper the mixture. bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let it reduce for 20 minutes.

meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente. drain and pour pasta over spinach, so spinach begins to wilt.

once the potato mixture is nice and thick, pour it into a food processor (you’ll need kind of a big one). add in mustard and syrup. blend until you get a smooth, creamy mixture. place pasta and spinach mixture in the bottom of a baking dish. pour potato mixture on top.

*the sweet potato cream is so good,  i licked the food processor blade. and then i thought of what my mother would say if she saw me do that…


finally sprinkle scallions and bread crumbs. cook for 20 minutes and then broil for 3 on high at the end.


eggplant mozzarella (f.k.a. eggplant parmesan)

there are a million eggplant parmesan recipes in the world. and at the basic level, they aren’t all that different. when making this dish, i realized that i use significantly more mozzarella than parmesan, so i’m renaming it to be more appropriately descriptive.


my inspiration for a new eggplant moz/parm recipe came from the amateur gourmet. he made one really smart observation – why are all eggplant parmesan recipes so focused on the cheese and not the eggplant? why cut it up into thin slices and make it lose all it’s delicious eggplanty-ness? for that, i thank him, because he is right. the key to this recipe is nice, thick pieces of eggplant with a hint of the other ingredients. okay, so there is a decent amount of cheese in this, but still.

makes 3 servings. but, i’m not going to lie, i ate half of this my myself while watching the biggest loser. i don’t know what that says about me.

  • 1 medium to large eggplant
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 can peeled, whole tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped into medium sized pieces (or torn, if you’re feeling dangerous)
  • 4-6 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (you can use other bread crumbs, i just really love panko)

preheat your oven to 450. combine onion and garlic in a large pot with some olive oil. heat until it starts to brown. add in carrots and thyme. stir and let it took down for about five minutes. add in tomato paste and canned tomatoes (with juice). let it cook down for about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. oh and of course, salt and pepper the thing.

while that’s cooking down, slice your eggplant into nice thick pieces. they should be about half an inch to an inch thick. spread some olive oil on the bottom of a pan and lay the eggplant flat (use two pans if needed, don’t layer). bake those for 30 minutes.

once your eggplants are done, add the chopped (or torn!) basil to the tomato dish. remove it from the heat. you want the basil to wilt a little. now start building your tower of delicious eggplant mozzarella. put half the eggplant on the bottom of the pan, spoon half the tomato mixture on top. now layer your mozzarella. now the second half of your eggplant! it’ll look like this:


you’re almost done – use the other half of the tomato mixture to cover the eggplants. sprinkle your parmesan and panko on the top. and bake for 15 minutes.

kale and white bean soup & tomato and mascarpone tart

i know it doesn’t make sense to make a cold tomato tart in january, but this has been on my list of things to try for quite some time. so i paired it with a very winter soup. it seemed to hit the right balance.

kale + white bean soup


adapted from love & lemons

makes 3-4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, halved
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, to taste

in a large pot, heat olive oil. saute shallots until translucent. add mushrooms, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. cook until mushrooms start to release their juices, about 10 minutes. add sherry and white wine and scrape the vegetables off the bottom. let the liquid reduce for about 10 minutes. add in the white beans, vegetable broth, and rosemary. bring to a boil. finally add kale and lower heat, simmering for about 15-20 minutes. serve soup with chives and parmesan and some good bread.

tomato mascarpone tart


adapted from food52.

makes 4-6 servings

for the tart:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter

to make the tart, mix the dry ingredients in a mixer or food processor. slowly add in water. cut in butter. mix until it forms big chunks. combine with your hands. on a floured surface roll out the dough so it will fit into a 9 inch round pan with a removable bottom. lay the dough into the pan, cutting off the edges to make it even. put the dough into the freezer for at least 30 minutes (this will help the tart not bubble up or shrink). pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until brown.

for the filling:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes

using a food processor, chop up the garlic and basil. add olive oil and lemon juice, and pulse to blend well. then add in the mascarpone cheese. pulse until mixture is even. using a spoon, spread filling into tart (after it has cooled). thinly slice tomatoes and place on top.

roasted vegetable terrine with goat cheese

my cousin anya (actually i think she is my second cousin once removed, but who is counting) shared her secret vegetable terrine recipe with me. she’s made this for several family get togethers and i am always embarrassed by the portion of this dish that i eat. but it’s just so good. so, i decided to share the joy and make it for our new year’s party.


makes 12-15 servings (as appetizer)

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 4-5 zucchinis
  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow… or a mix of these)
  • 8 ounces of goat cheese
  • large handful of basil
  • olive oil
  • small jar of sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves

start by slicing the eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise. gut the inside of the peppers. coat a couple baking dishes in olive oil, and bake the slices and peppers at 425 for 25 minutes. when they come out of the oven they should look like this:



next, scrape the skins off the peppers with a knife. try not to mangle it too much, but it’s okay if it comes apart in a couple different pieces. then, using a food processor, chop up your basil into medium sized pieces. add the goat cheese and pulse the food processor until you’ve got a good blend:


once the vegetables cool down, take a bread baking dish and start layering: eggplant, zucchini, pepper, goat cheese. repeat this layer if you’ve got more ingredients. on top of the last layer of cheese, you want at least another layer of eggplant. i had both zucchini and eggplant left over. note that when you serve this, you’re going to flip it over, so use your prettiest piece of eggplant on the bottom and save the more torn up pieces of the top.


next, cover it with plastic wrap and put in the fridge with some weight on it. this will help it all meld together. i used a bag of potatoes and a water pitcher. i’m sure there are better options. it should stay in the fridge for 8 hours minimum to set. the more the better.

finally, make the sauce. in a food processor, combine the sun dried tomatoes (with oil), and garlic. blend until smooth. before serving, flip terrine upside down onto a plate from the baking dish. drizzle sauce on top of the terrine before serving.

israeli couscous salad

this one’s a quickie – israeli cous cous salad that takes a total of 10 minutes (plus water boiling time) to make. it’s my go-to meal when i don’t feel like cooking. it’s filling, fresh, and healthy.

makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup dry israeli couscous (i use whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 of an onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • balsamic + olive oil dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste

cook couscous according to instructions. meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small pan and saute onions for a couple of minutes. let the onions and couscous cool for a couple of minutes. add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. this is my kind of 10 minute meal.