I dip, you dip, we dip… our pita chips in delicious, creamy, garlicky baba ganoush. If you’re looking for an easy dip that sounds exotic, is simple to prepare, and wins you more points for originality than whipping out a container of the ubiquitous hummus, I’ve got your new favorite right here.
Sometimes we think of salads as a summer meal, but around the holidays–when rich, celebratory comfort foods are so often on offer–I think of a seasonally appropriate salad like this as a great way to detox in-between indulgences. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover roasted root vegetables you have around if you, like me, find yourself making sheet pans full on heavy rotation. To make this salad a real meal, I absolutely love adding sorghum.
A couple years ago, I went over to a friend’s apartment to hang out. Since we were about twenty two at the time, it seemed reasonable to assume that, since I got there around five, we would all — at some point — go in search of some sustenance. So, imagine my surprise when everyone had already eaten! I think may have indicted everyone with a round of zippy insults that relied heavily on references to nursing homes and early bird specials, and when I had resigned myself to silencing my rumbling tummy with the battered protein bar that swims around in the bottom of my purse for the occasional unforeseeable emergency such as these, good ole Dave gave me a pitying look and sprang into action. He whipped up this pasta for me: a simple sautee of veggies you probably already have languishing in your crisper drawer, multi-grain rotini pasta and that wonderful gilder-of-lilies, feta cheese. Ever since, this has been one of my favorite go-to quick meals for a healthy serving of veggies combined with that wonderful chew that only pasta can deliver. When the feta melts into a kind of sauce, all I can say, my friends, is “Opa!”
In college in California, I went through a considerable phase where a simple, economical, relatively healthy lunch obsession for me was Trader Joe’s’ canned lentil vegetable soup. I only say “relatively healthy” because canned soups, including that one, are on the high-ish side in sodium content. I grew up eating my mom’s lentil soup, which she made with the bone of a leftover Easter ham, and although that was delicious in its own right, I actually kind of prefer a vegetarian lentil soup to one with a lot of hammy flavor. (Please don’t tell her this. Watching her painstakingly spend an entire afternoon devoted to chopping tiny squares of ham for the ordeal of making her lentil soup, I couldn’t bear to tell her that I like a canned soup better. It’s just too cruel.) I tried my hand at many different lentil soup recipes to try to replicate the Trader Joe’s soup in order to reduce the sodium level, but none satisfied in the same way. Until, eureka, I arrived at this recipe. This is a hearty, rich, and totally vegetarian soup that will satisfy even the lentil-haters in your life. Make it in a big batch and do as I do: freeze individual portions for a quick, nutritious lunch in just the time it takes to nuke a bowl’s worth!