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Tuesday Recipe Club: Slow-Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup, Cheddar Biscuits, Mo Indonesian Stir Fry

February 16th, 2016

Those of you who are new to cooking with me, welcome. Those of you who’ve been here before… you know how I am. Bon appetit, babies!

Slow-Cooker Moroccan Lentil Soup

(originally from EatingWell magazine)

2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 3/4 cups lentils
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 4 to 5 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in spinach. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

Tips & Notes:
Make Ahead Tip: Stir in spinach (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice just before serving. Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

OK, that’s from their website, and I’m sure the recipe is super-good that way. But I had to free-style it, like always. First of all, I skipped the slow cooker because I didn’t feel like using it. I carmelized one onion, not two, along with the carrots, the spices (which I doubled because of course I did), and the garlic. And you know I didn’t use a measly two teaspoons of olive oil. Because I was out of olive oil (wth?). So I used vegetable oil and butter and omg so good.

I added in a small can of tomato paste and fried that up, too. Then I turned the heat down a bit and added the canned tomatoes. Only I was out of the regular kind, so I used what I had, along with a can of Rotel. Hello, Rotel, I love you, baby.

Then what? Then things went to hell, and Steve got involved, so you can imagine. No cauliflower: I subbed a bag of frozen broccoli. No fresh spinach: Added a frozen package of spinach. Then I had to turn up the heat again, because of all the frozen stuff. Water to cover, plus a little extra, plus two vegetable bouillon cubes. Half a package of lentils, but was it 1 3/4 cups? I have no idea.

Then I let it simmer simmer simmer and dear God, this was the best soup I’ve ever made. We ate it all up and didn’t even share with the kids. #letthemeatpizza


Cheddar Biscuits, a la Steve & Betty Crocker

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (why use shortening when you can use butter?)
3/4 cup milk
add: a big pile of shredded, extra-sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 450°F. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk until dough leaves side of bowl (dough will be soft and sticky).

On lightly floured surface, gently roll dough in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place biscuits about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. (We just used teaspoons and made drop biscuits.)

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm with what’s left of the soup.

Mo Indonesian Stir Fry (from OSU Extension Service)

I swiped this recipe from my students at the Young Women’s Academy, many years ago. It’s been my go-to ever since.

4 cups water
2 packages (3 ounces each) ramen-style noodles
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips
1⁄4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1⁄2 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
2 carrots, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1⁄2 large head cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1⁄4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

Bring 4 cups water to boil in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan. Add noodles, cover, and remove from heat (do not add flavor packets). Wait one minute, drain noodles and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, and 1/2 cup water. Heat over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (350 degrees in an electric skillet). Add chicken and cook until no longer pink when cut, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add red pepper, ginger, and carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cabbage and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender.
Stir in green onions, cooked noodles and peanut sauce. Toss and serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

To avoid peanuts or peanut butter, try this stir fry with sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter.

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