christmas menu 2011
December 28, 2011, 5:23 pm
Filed under: carrots, leek, recipe, rutabaga | Tags: , , ,

Somehow we ended up having 3 thanksgivings this year! We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with my parents. And had a great lentil loaf. Then Best pal and her man came down for American Thanksgiving. We did a redo of the lentil loaf dinner. Good but a bit dry compared to the first one. Finally, Doode’s parents came down the week after American Thanksgiving, so we did another run of lentil loaf. Sheesh. We like the lentil loaf but the big lentil loaf and gravy dinner no longer seemed special. We needed a different outlook for Christmas. I think the dinner was really terrific!

We had:
Carrot and Feta Parcels–(filo dough packages with cumin and dill spiced carrots)
Brussels Sprouts–pan fried with olive oil and some parmesan
Sage dressing (so the kids would have something they wanted to eat!)
Swede and Leek gratin (the surprise hit in my books!–though not sure why it’s called a gratin as there wasn’t any cheese in it!)


indian split pea soup with spinach, carrots and potatoes
November 24, 2010, 1:00 pm
Filed under: beans, carrots, recipe, soup, spinach | Tags: , , , ,

Back in the early days of our relationship I would occasionally make the dude a fancy soup. These health tonics, as I called them, were not much appreciated. Dude recalled later that he dumped the Beet greens soup I gave him for lunch. And I have captured on film the inimitable expression of *pain* that accompanied my personal favorite, the Indian Split Pea soup. Sigh. Dude did, however, struggle on gamely with the strange parade of healthy soups, and for that he got the big prize–the live-in cook (who sometimes makes him good desserts, right?!)

Well last night he said he was in the mood for soup. I have been on a carrot rampage of late, having bought two five pound bags of the things in separate shopping trips. We’re almost through the second bag! Woo hoo! So as I was googling I found this recipe. I kind of missed the indian part, but noticed that it called for a block of frozen spinach and it was labeled fast. So off we went.

The Food and Wine recipe. I really didn’t follow the instructions so much as it required two pots. And we can’t have that, now can we? Not when you don’t have a dishwasher you can’t.

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup yellow or green split peas
9 cups water, more if needed
2 1-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled, 1 piece chopped
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Here’s what I did. I put the green split peas and 3 cups of water and a chunk of peeled ginger on to boil. I cooked them for about 10 minutes or so, they were still a tad crunchy. Then I added the chopped carrots jalapenos and potatoes. I only felt like using 2 carrots and found that that was enough. I added the spices. I cooked the soup again for about 10 minutes and then added the frozen block of spinach. The pot simmered along and the spinach slowly melted.

Additional googling revealed a review on cooking.com. She confirmed what I was afraid of, the soup needed more spice. She had some good tips for sauteing garlic and spices and adding them at the end (basically 2 garlic cloves, and another hit of all of the spices and more jalapenos and fennel). I might do that next time. But the extra pot thing, remember? So I just added more spices.

Serve with yogurt on top. Yum.

Next time I would do the extra saute step. If we get that dishwasher that is.

spicy red lentil soup
October 14, 2010, 12:04 pm
Filed under: carrots, recipe, red lentil, soup | Tags: , , ,

We’re now into the gloomy fall part out here. Some pretty cold mornings heating up to about 60 in the afternoon.

view of field fall 2010

Time for some soup!

I’ve made this one at least twice and it’s good! We like the red lentils around here.

Spicy red lentil soup inspired by Daily Mail version.



½tsp chilli flakes
2tsp cumin seeds
Dry roast in a frying pan until fragrant.

2tbsp olive oil
1 lb carrots, washed and chopped
1 cup butternut squash cubed (I have cubed squash in the freezer–so easy!) If you don’t have squash use more carrots, or that leftover bit of canned pumpkin you have around would be good too.
1 celery stick, finely sliced
3/4 cup split red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
7 oz coconut milk (1/2 14 oz can)

To serve–plain yogurt dollops
Small handful of coriander leaves

Dry fry those seeds. Set aside. In medium saucepan add oil and saute carrots and celery.

Add the oil to the pan and, once it is hot, stir in the carrots and celery. Stir around for a couple of minutes, and then add the lentils, stock and coconut milk. Simmer about 15 minutes covered until lentils are cooked. Add in those toasted spices. Process with a stick blender. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon into bowls, add a spoon of yoghurt on top, add a few coriander leaves if you have them. I didn’t this time. Still good!

carrot lentil soup
January 20, 2010, 12:42 am
Filed under: carrots, soup

Every now and again i get a craving for carrot soup. The folks around here don’t love carrot soup, but I keep trying. This one seems to have had some success, at least for the spicy food eaters. But they did all agree to eat this one again. And I thought it was great! The lentils were a nice touch.

Spiced carrot & lentil soup from BBC good food


2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
600g carrots , washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
140g split red lentils
1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
125ml milk
plain yogurt and naan bread, to

1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli
flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and
release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a
spoon and set aside (I just left them all in the pot). Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk
to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the
lentils have swollen and softened.
2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until
smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and
finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved
toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

carrot dip, who knew?
December 18, 2009, 2:02 am
Filed under: carrots, recipe

Found this recipe in an old better homes and gardens magazine. Carrot dip! Shredded some carrots in the old food processor and it was good. Needs overnight to meld flavors, and needs the horseradish. Mix it up well in mixer. I served it with triscuits and breton crackers and it was good!

1/2 of an 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Dippers such as flatbreads, crackers, tortilla chips, celery sticks, sweet pepper strips, jicama sticks, and/or zucchini sticks
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat together sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, soy sauce, horseradish (if using), salt, and pepper with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in shredded carrots and green onions until combined.

2. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours (do not prepare further ahead than this or the dip will become too thin). Keep the dip chilled while transporting. Stir dip before serving with dippers. Makes 2 cups (about 10 servings).