Lentils and Rice

This box of spanish rice has been my nemesis forever. I bought it at least a year ago when we were still living in Noe Valley. I have no idea why I bought it. Maybe for burritos or taco salads? Whatever it was for, it wasn’t used. We gave away almost all our food before the move and yet, it somehow found its way into the moving boxes, all the way across the country and back into our new kitchen just to stare me down for another 6 months. Resilient little bugger.

spanish rice

Yesterday it finally met it’s fate!

lentils and rice

Work is crazy for Michael right now as he prepares for a big meeting at the end of the month. Knowing he would be working late again last night I thought I’d make him something that would only get better with a little time in the fridge. Plus, he’d asked for a veggie stew this weekend and I didn’t make it for him so I used this to make it up to him.

I love the combo of rice and lentils and it was also the easiest recipe I’ve made in a long time. Saute veggies with spices, add lentils and rice, add liquid, done. I actually made and photographed a smoothie for a WalkJogRun article while this was cooking.

Feel free to add whatever rice you have on hand you absolutely do not need this specific box of rice but if you’re like me and have one hanging around, it might be a great time to finally use it.

Lentils and Rice (vegan, gluten-free)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 broccoli stalk, diced

1/2 jalapeño with seeds, diced

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

1 box spanish rice and half flavor packet

1 can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup green lentils

2 cups veggie broth

3 cups water

————

Heat olive oil over high heat and saute vegetables until soft. Add garlic, salt, turmeric, cumin and chili powder, saute another minute.

veggies and spices

sauteed veggies

Add rice, flavor packet, diced tomatoes, lentils, veggie broth and water to the vegetable mixture.

rice and lentils

Cook over medium high heat for 20-25 minutes or until all liquid has evaporated.

lentils and rice

I ate my plain. Michael told me this morning that he made sandwiches out of his and topped the mixture with cheese. He also brought it to my attention that I made A LOT of it, which is very true. If you’d like to make a smaller portion, cut the lentils and rice in half. You’ll also want to reduce the water to 1 cup.

lentils and rice

lentils and rice

Enjoy and Exhale!

Weekend: This and That

Oh daylight savings, how I love thee. I know this morning was rough but how nice is it to have extra sunlight in the evenings? I taught at 4:30 yesterday afternoon and it was still light when the class let out! So wonderful.

Not in the mood to write a long post so here are just a few highlights of the weekend.

I went out of my way to get a nice wine for us to drink last week at a little wine shop right by Sangha. I spent 15 minutes talking with the wine people (are they considered sommeliers in wine shops or just restaurants?) I was told this would be perfect for our combined preferences of Pinot Noir (him) and Zinfandel (hers). We were sorely disappointed by this wine but the label was cute enough to share and aptly named, as some of this little troublemaker ended up on our couch.

troublemaker wine

Dinner with my friend Naina at the Beehive in the South End. I love that place, we’ve been at least 5 times! Probably should branch out and try some other restaurants in the neighborhood though.

Naina and Me

Mezze platter. Dip lovers dream. 7 dips on one plate!

mezze platter

We went to see a friend’s play.

The Lover Play

I did some yoga in our living room. Pincha mayurasana.

pincha mayurasana

Vrischikasana attempt. Still working on it.

Vrischikasana

We went on a 3.5 mile run an 8:29 pace. Then stopped in at Pavement Coffee while Eli waited patiently outside. Such a good boy.

Eli

Finally had a chance to take Michael to The Hawthorne for a drink and some nibbles.

bar nibbles

He hates this picture. I love it. I write the blog so I get to post it! 🙂

Michael

And with that, we’re back to Monday and everyone is pooped.

Eli napping under the table

Enjoy and Exhale!

Kale, Potato and White Bean Soup

Last night I had a dream that I looked out the window to see the trees blooming with a million pink buds. Then I woke up and all the branches were still bare and surrounded by piles of gray snow.

I’m pretty sure I’m making it up but I feel an almost imperceivable shift toward spring. It’s coming, oh please oh please let it be coming.

I was telling my sister yesterday that I’m feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately. This is likely because I’m sick of winter vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweet potatoes and carrots and parsnips but what I’d really like to eat are some lovely green asparagus stalks that don’t cost $5.99 a bunch! Or some sweet, red tomatoes that haven’t been imported from Brazil.

Guess we’ll have to make do with what we have right now. And what we have are white beans and kale! The pairing of white beans and kale seems almost as natural as peanut butter and jelly.

Actually it doesn’t at all but it does sound good together. So we’ll make another soup with hopes that it’s one of the last of the season and that soon we’ll be turning our attention to fresh salads and fruit.

Until then…

kale and white bean soup

Kale, Potato and White Bean End of Winter Soup (vegan, gluten-free)

2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 cup of loosely packed basil, cut into ribbons (optional)

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2-1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

8 cups of water and two no salt bouillon cubes (or 8 cups of no salt veggie stock)

6 red potatoes, diced

2 cans of white beans with juices (I used a combo of great northern and white kidney beans)

3 cups chopped kale (I used curly but lacinato would work well here too)

————

White Bean and Kale Soup Ingredients

Slice onion, carrot, celery and potatoes.

vegetable assembly line

Heat olive oil and saute onion, carrot and celery until lightly soft. Add garlic and basil. Saute for another minute.

sauteed veggies

Add thyme, salt, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Mix with veggies.

Next add water and bouillon cubes. I always use no salt bouillon cubes but it’s especially important here because I’m not draining the beans and the juice of the beans adds extra salt.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

Add beans and potatoes cook for 25 minutes.

Lastly, add kale. Cook until wilted.

Adjust salt to taste and remove bay leaf before serving.

I turned the burner off and left the soup covered on the stove while I taught my noon class and went to the gym. When I ate it a couple of hours later it reminded me very much of the soups my dad used to make, which made it taste that much better.

kale and white bean soup kale and white bean soup

If we have to eat more soup, might as well be good soup right?

Enjoy and Exhale!

New York, New York Part 2

If you missed part 1 click here.

After an event filled Saturday we took it a little slower on Sunday.

We had a late breakfast at a little diner by my sister’s house. I had a bagel which wasn’t worth photographing but I will say the service was exceptionally good. It made up for Saturday’s brunch and then some.

In the afternoon we met an old co-worker and friend for a walk in Central Park. She is pretty much Eli’s favorite person in the whole world so we couldn’t let the opportunity to meet up pass us by, despite the very cold day.

We walked around in the park for a while as Eli nearly passed out from happiness. He LOVES Christine!

Eli and Christine

After our walk we headed home to meet up with Sarah and discuss dinner.

We knew that after eating out all weekend we would want to cook on Sunday night. I perused the blog-a-sphere and offered up a few options for dinner.

We settled on veggies burgers with fries.

I used this Oh She Glows recipe. They were very tasty but not perfect. They didn’t hold together very well and were missing some seasoning. I’m going to make some adjustments to hopefully perfect them. In the meantime here are a few pictures of the process.

veggie burgersveggie burgers mixingsveggie burgers mixforming veggie burgersveggie burgers on the grillveggie burgers

In full disclosure, Will lit and set up most of the above shots. He was also kind enough to give me an idiot’s photography 101. I haven’t totally master the tutorial. You should see last night’s dinner photos, bleh.

photography tutorial

Please excuse my awesome outfit.

After dinner we decided to play Jenga. Everyone was a little skeptical but it was ridiculously fun and intense, even if I lost…both times.

jenga

Thank you for the lovely weekend NYC. We’ll be back soon.

Times Square

Enjoy and Exhale!

Tofu Vegetable Stir Fry

First let me say that I wish these photos had turned out better. This was such a tasty meal but I was hasty with the photography. What can I say, it was late, there was good TV on and I was hungry!

These photos really don’t do this meal justice. It was so good that it was actually meant to be yesterday’s post but the blueberry muffins stole the show (or post). It will have to settle for second in the posting schedule but not in flavor.

vegetable tofu stir fry

To be honest, l’m actually not a huge fan of stir fries but they are one of Michael’s favorites and I owe it to him to make it from time to time. This recipe was so simple and tasty that it may just have changed my opinion on the lowly stir fry.

I love how incredibly versatile this recipe is, consider this the jumping off point. How you mix and match is totally up to you. I already have a dozen new sauce and veggie combos in my head, one of which will likely become dinner tonight. Lucky Michael!

Tofu Vegetable Stir Fry (vegan, gluten-free)

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 onion, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 carrot

2 tbsp garlic, minced

pinch of salt

1 package of firm tofu, pressed and sliced into cubes

1 tbsp tamari

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp brown sugar, vegans can omit

dash of cayenne pepper

1/2 tbsp paprika

Toppings:

1 tsp sriracha

2 tbsp slivered almonds

1 tbsp cilantro

———–

Slice onion, pepper and carrot.

onions and peppers

Heat oil in a large wok. Make sure the wok is really hot. Peanut oil is best for stir frying because it has a high smoke point, meaning it can be heated very high before it starts to break down and taste bitter. The hotter the oil and the pan, the better tasting the stir fry.

Once oil is hot, throw in the sliced veggies. Stir fry for about 5 minutes or until veggies start to get soft but still have some crunch to them. Add garlic, cook for another minute.

healthy stir fry

Next add the tofu. I put my tofu in and then immediately added my liquids but next time I’ll give the tofu a few minutes to brown.

Add tamari, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and paprika. I used regular paprika but I think smoked paprika would add an excellent flavor to this.

Stir fry for a few more minutes until veggies and tofu are coated.

tofu stir fry

Serve with sriracha, slivered almonds and cilantro on top.

Michael would have preferred this over brown rice. I’m not the biggest rice fan so I liked it as it was but could also imagine it being tasty over rice noodles.

The perfect, fast, easy weeknight meal.

tofu vegetable stir fry tofu vegetable stir fry

Enjoy and Exhale!

Everyday Eats 2

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Everyday Eats post. I take photos for it almost everyday so it’s never far from my mind. But, I need enough time between posts or else you’d be seeing 15 pictures of taco salads. I’m not going to lie, I eat a lot of taco salads. I also eat a lot of tortilla chips. I don’t want to lead you to think I only eat veggies and quinoa all the time. I love chips. Michael loves chips. Together we can easily eat a huge bag of tortilla chips in a day or two if we aren’t careful.

Anyway, I digress.

If you missed Everyday Eats 1 you can find it here.

And now, Everyday Eats 2:

I’ll start with what else? A taco salad with lentils, cilantro, salsa and veggies. This Whole Foods salsa is the best salsa I’ve ever had. On Sunday we ate an entire container! We usually buy two at a time.

Taco Salad

If eating a whole bowl of coleslaw on its own wasn’t weird enough let me add that I ate this at 8 in the morning for breakfast one day. It had wasabi vegan mayo in it and was so strong that I haven’t had wasabi since.

vegan coleslaw

The portions on this look pathetic but I took the picture about half way through eating the broccoli. Simple sweet potato fries, broccoli and roasted tomatoes.

roasted vegetables

Curry chickpea salad with celery, tomatoes and what else…chips.

curry chickpea salad

Really simple vegetable, tofu, noodle soup that I make all the time when it’s cold.

veggie noodle soup

Leftover Chickpea, Curry, Coconut, Quinoa Soup with a bowl of lentils and veggies.

curry coconut chickpea quinoa soup

Trader Joe’s Veggie Gyozas with steamed cabbage, wasabi vegan mayo (pre-coleslaw) and tamari.

veggie potstickers with cabbage

Roasted potatoes, rutabaga and brussel sprouts.

roasted potatoes

Corn tortilla tacos filled with quinoa and sweet potatoes.

quinoa corn tacos

Another chickpea salad. I make this at least once a week for lunch. Always with lots of avocado.

chickpea salad with avocado

Do you remember Totino’s Party Pizzas? My brother used to love them as a kid. These taste like that but way better and they happen to be gluten-free. Glutino’s Brown Rice Personal Pizzas (not vegan) with a side of peas. I ate this the week I was sick, hence the big bowl of frozen peas as the only green you see.

gluten-free pizza

Taco salad number 1000 with chickpeas and leftover Tahini Cashew Dressing…so so so good! Of all these Everyday Eats I recommend making this one the most.

IMG_3506

Healthy black bean dinner bowl with sautéed peppers, onions, corn and avocado.

healthy black bean dinner bowl

As you can see these aren’t very creative. They supplement all the other new and exciting recipes that I share with you all as feature recipes. These photos tend to be of lunches or quick dinners that I pull together before or after teaching. None of these meals takes more than 20 minutes to make and use the normal, everyday foods we already have in the house. If you want a specific step by step on anything in particular let me know.

If you’re on the east coast, especially in Boston today, stay warm. It’s 10 degrees out there right now! Cold enough that I walked through the mall to get to Starbucks from the studio today. Now I get why they made an indoor mall that stretches 5 city blocks.

Have a great Wednesday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

New York New Years

Our new years eve started out great. We went on a long run in Central Park with Eli. We did a bit of exploring and walking during our run so it was on the slower side. It’s so easy for the distance to add up in the city. We ended up covering way more mileage than we’d planned.

NYC run

After our run we went to Le Quotidien for breakfast. I had a tartine with black bean hummus and spicy tahini and an English breakfast. Michael had an unpictured omelet.

Le Quotidien breakfast

In the afternoon, we headed to Grand Central and then Bryant Park with my sister. There is a really cool market in Grand Central with just about anything you can imagine.

SpicesGrand Central market

Sarah Horvath in Grand CentralMichael and Sarah in Grand Central

We’re so lame. But had to do a reenactment of Gossip Girl while we were there. Spotted.

GG

Then we headed over to Bryant Park to check out our third skating rink of the trip.

Bryant ParkBryant Park

My sister had to work the evening shift last night so Michael and I walked down to Chelsea for dinner at Blossom.

Empire State Building

Here’s a pic of the menu but as you can see it was super dark in the restaurant so the rest of the photos aren’t worth sharing. It was a tasty dinner but I much preferred my meal at Candle 79 a few months ago.

Blossom Prix Fixe

After dinner we tried to find a place to ring in the new year with little success. After walking around for almost an hour we stopped in at a speakeasy called Middle Branch in midtown which was perfect. Great specialty drinks, a small manageable crowd and a cool vibe. We spent the last bit of 2012 writing down our resolutions and reminiscing about our favorite memories of the year.

Middle Branch

Sarah met us after midnight with a couple of her work friends before we all called it a night.

Sarah and Friends

We spent most of today in the car and are now happily home watching School of Rock while lamenting the end of the holidays.

Onward and upward to a busy January. Recipes to come again soon.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Christmas in Pictures

We had a great holiday. Hope you did too.

My mom is still here so I won’t spend my short time with her writing a long post but here are a few highlights in pictures.

Eli and Michael

Eli waiting patiently for a little scrap of daddy’s sandwich.

Eli

Eli’s holiday necklace.

Me

Cooking in my father’s daughter apron. A gift from my mom last Christmas.

Sarah and Me

Pearls in the kitchen.

Holiday veggies

Root veggie hash, roasted brussel sprouts with grapes and chocolate soufflè cake in the back.

Christmas Eve Dinner

The Christmas Eve spread.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Close up of my plate.

Mom

My mom by the tree.

Christmas Day Lunch

Christmas day lunch: leftover salad with Field Roast loaf.

Holiday Presents

His and hers gifts. Can you guess which is mine?

Christmas Cards

Our mantle with my sister’s holiday card for Michael.

Christmas Day Dinner

Christmas day meal. Pumpkin mashed potatoes with spinach, brussel sprout and kale salad and a lentil loaf peeking out from the back. I changed up the lentil loaf recipe a little which made it much easier and faster to make. I’ll update the recipe in the next few days.

Sarah and Teddy

Sarah and my brother Teddy.

Sibs

Horvath kids.

Michael and Teddy

Michael and Teddy.

Sarah

My sister’s boyfriend made a custom puzzle from a picture he took during their last visit to Boston. Nice work Will!

Family

Dinner shot.

Now time to get back to work. Teaching at Crossfit at 12:15 and 7, All One Yoga at 4:30. If you’re in Boston come by.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Holiday Prep

Sorry for the silence.

Michael came home on Friday and we’ve been busy wrapping gifts and watching holiday movies, including one of my all-time favs, Elf!Will Ferrell in Elf

[Photo Source]

We’ve also been running millions of errands and cleaning the house.

My family is coming to visit for Christmas. My mom and brother arrive tonight and Sarah is heading up on the train tomorrow afternoon. A full house means lots and lots of cleaning. I’m seriously considering shaving both pets (just kidding!). House guests also means grocery shopping and food prep for 5 instead of 2. Much harder than I imagined, especially for 3 people I don’t live with and don’t really know their tastes.

We’ve planned for a lot of food, some of which I’m sure will be vetoed by my unconsulted family, but here’s our tentative plan for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners.

Christmas Eve: 

Turkey for the meat eaters with cranberry sauce.

This root vegetable hash from a few months back, yum!

Spinach salad with candied pecans, dried cherries and crumbled blue cheese

Michael’s mom Linda’s roasted brussel sprouts and grapes

For dessert, we’re attempting Jacques Pepin’s Chocolate Soufflè which happens to be naturally gluten-free.

Christmas Day: 

Brown sugar glazed ham for the meat eaters

Pumpkin, spinach mashed potatoes from here. I’ve made this a bunch of times, it’s amazing. If you’re still looking for a potato dish to serve I strongly suggest this one.

Shredded brussel sprout and kale salad topped with a garlic vinaigrette and pecorino

Roasted carrots with tahini sauce

For dessert my mom’s famous green cookies!

I’m very much looking forward to some family time, eating good food, drinking a little wine by the fire and hopefully enjoying my first white Christmas.

Wishing you a peaceful, happy holiday filled with sweetness and love.

Enjoy and Exhale!

A December Weekend

This morning I woke up to sunshine, blue skies, 50 degree temps and a bright sparkling river outside my living room window. We bought our Christmas tree this weekend so the house smells like the holidays and despite having been on hold with BofA for the past 30 minutes, life feels very cheerful and full. I’ve chosen optimism over last week’s pessimism. It was getting tiring feeling glum. I am incredibly affected by the state of the weather, can you tell? 🙂

Regardless, the weekend was very nice.

It started on Friday night with a special class with one of my favorite San Francisco yoga teachers, Les Leventhal. He was in town for a weekend of workshops. Friday’s class was so heartfelt and warm with a dynamic sequence that included lots of standing twists and arm balances, my favorite. Being in his class again made me really homesick for San Francisco and its yoga scene but as class went on I became more and more grateful for the chance to be homesick at all. If I’d never left home, I’d never have known how wonderful it is. Wow, I’m all sorts of PollyAnna today!

Saturday was snow filled. White flurries came floating down as I made my way to my Saturday morning classes. After teaching, Michael, Eli and I headed out for a walk and coffee. I must say having a proper winter jacket makes the cold much more manageable. Imagine that.

Saturday evening we picked up our Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree ShoppingIMG_2635

Saturday night we met our friends, Kristy and Eric, for dinner at Cafe Sushi in Cambridge.

I had a slew of vegetable rolls.

First up, a piece of fennel and wasabi. Tasty.

IMG_2636

Then an asparagus roll on the left. Best of the night.

And a roll with assorted pickled vegetables on the right which was okay but I probably wouldn’t order again.

IMG_2638

After dinner we went to the Miracle of Science for a drink. They were playing old 90s R&B hits. The whole place was like a big bizarre dance party. The people watching was amazing. Below is a dark picture of Kristy and me.

Kristy and Me

There was lots of discussion about Kristy’s new hashtag #lifebetweentwofingers so naturally there are about 30 pictures like the below.

IMG_2690

IMG_2658

And one sweet kissing one of course.

IMG_2692

I swear Eric was there too but I didn’t have a good pic and didn’t think he’d appreciate a blurry call out.

Sunday morning I woke up with a lovely sore throat. So,we ended up spending the majority of the day watching football on the couch while Michael played with his new Ipad and I drank lots of tea.

And that brings us back to this sunshine filled day.

Hope you can enjoy a dose of vitamin D as well!