Easy Vegan Tomato Lentil Soup

from Runningonrealfood.com

  • tbsp olive oil (use water or broth for oil-free)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (about 3–4 tbsp, minced)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • 5–6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with the juices
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional, for heat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and additional pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and carrots and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the celery, stock, lentils, tomatoes, herbs and spices and bring to a simmer. Start with 5 cups of broth and if needed, slowly add a little more as it cooks to adjust the thickness.
  4. Simmer lightly until lentils are soft and tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and additional pepper, to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve right away. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 day or frozen for up to 3 months.
Published in: on November 27, 2021 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sally’s Blueberry Scones

From Sally’s Baking Addiction (slightly adapted)

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (plus 2 Tbsp for brushing) (I used half and half and they were great)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw) (I used frozen)
  • for topping: coarse sugar
  1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter using a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Stir in the blueberries. Place in the refrigerator or freezer as you mix the wet ingredients together.
  2. Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, the egg, and vanilla extract together in a 2 cup measure. Pour over the flour mixture and mix together until everything appears moistened.
  3. Lightly dust your work surface, dump the dough onto it, flour your hands, and work dough into a ball as best you can. Dough will be sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour. If it seems too dry, add 1-2 more Tablespoons heavy cream. Press into an 8-inch disc and, with a long sharp knife cut into 8 wedges.
  4. Brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. (You can do this before or after refrigerating in the next step.)
  5. Place scones on a plate or lined baking sheet (if your fridge has space!) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. After refrigerating, arrange scones in a circle, about 1/4″ inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown around the outer edges and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes.
  9. Leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Freeze for longer storage. Delicious toasted in a toaster oven.


  1. Freeze Before Baking: Freeze scone dough wedges on a plate or baking sheet for 1 hour. Once relatively frozen, you can layer them in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time. Or thaw overnight, then bake as directed.
  2. Freeze After Baking: Freeze the baked and cooled scones before topping with icing. I usually freeze in a freezer-friendly bag or container. To thaw, leave out on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a baking sheet in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Overnight Instructions: Prepare scones through step 4. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Continue with the recipe the following day.
  4. Over-spreading: Start with very cold scone dough. Expect some spread, but if the scones are over-spreading as they bake, remove from the oven and press back into its triangle shape (or whatever shape) using a rubber spatula.
Published in: on November 25, 2021 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Spaghetti with Zucchini, Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

Serves 1

6 medium mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil or butter
salt and pepper to taste
fresh or dried herbs as desired
1 serving of cooked spaghetti, warm (or other pasta)
A few tablespoons of goat cheese

In a medium skillet, saute the mushrooms in a Tablespoon or so of olive oil or butter until soft. Push the mushrooms to the side, add more oil or butter if necessary, and add the grated zucchini and cook until softened, a few minutes. Push to the side with the mushrooms, then cook the garlic for a minute or so, until fragrant. Stir everything together, add your pasta, herbs if using, crumbled goat cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Published in: on October 31, 2021 at 12:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Turkey Lentil Joes

Slightly adapted from Everyday Dinners by Jessica Merchant

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 lb ground turkey (94% lean)
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup cooked lentils (I will try using 3/4 cup next time)

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Stir in bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook 5-6 minutes until onion softens. Push vegetables to the side of the pan, increase heat to medium, and add the turkey plus 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Break up the turkey and cook until browned. Sprinkle on smoked paprika and cook until you can smell the paprika aroma. Add the tomato paste, agave, tomato sauce, Worcestershire and lentils. Stir, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

You can serve this in a bowl, in a lettuce wrap, on a bun, in a tortilla… with bread-and-butter pickles, ranch dressing, or plain.

Published in: on September 11, 2021 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lighter Fettuccini Alfredo

From Cooking Light Magazine

1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ⅓ cups 1% low-fat milk
5 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups), divided
2 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine (8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or more!)
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 6 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cream cheese, and salt, stirring with a whisk until cheeses melt. Toss sauce with hot pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley. Garnish with black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Published in: on September 5, 2021 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Anti-Ant Spray

From Real Simple magazine, August 2021

1/2 cup distilled water
2 Tablespoons vodka (as a preservative)
15 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops cinnamon essential oil

Spray ant trails on counters, in cupboards, or any other place inaccessible to pets.

Published in: on August 28, 2021 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Cold Sesame Noodles

Slightly modified version of a recipe by Cathy Thomas in the 7/18/21 San Jose Mercury News

4-6 servings

3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar (rice vinegar is the same thing)
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar or granulated sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti

4 green onions, thinly sliced (including dark green parts)

cucumber, in thin matchsticks
toasted sesame seeds

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, then drain again and put spaghetti back in the empty cooking pot. Add the sauce and green onions and stir well. Serve at room temperature topped with cucumber and sesame seeds. Grated carrot might be a good topping, too.

Published in: on August 1, 2021 at 5:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Skirt Steak

from Fine Cooking

Remove surface fat and silverskin.

Cut crosswise into large pieces that will fit well into your cast-iron skillet.

Pound each piece to 1/4″ thickness.

Heat the skillet on medium-high/high.

Make sure the meat is dry. Season with salt, pepper, and other dry seasonings as desired.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on how thick you pounded it.

Let rest a few minutes.

Slice thinly (1/4″ – 1/3″ thick) across the grain.

Should be rosy pink when cut.

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cactus Cooler

Based on the drink served at Macheezmo Mouse in the ’80s.

2 cups decaf Earl Grey Tea, chilled
2 cups fresh orange juice, chilled
1 cup apple juice, chilled
1/2 cup Mint Simple Syrup, chilled
Lemon juice, chilled, to taste (1/2 cup?)
Sparkling water, to taste, optional

Serve over ice.

Mint Simple Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) mint leaves

In a 2 cup glass measure, heat the water in the microwave until boiling. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the mint leaves and steep for 30 minutes. Strain, cool, and refrigerate.

Published in: on July 3, 2021 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Peachberry Buckle

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking

This is rather coffeecake-ish and would be lovely any time of day.



  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
  • 3/4 cup (149g) sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (113g) milk, at room temperature


  • 1 cup (142g to 170g) berries, chopped if large (e.g., strawberries)
  • 1 cup (213g) sliced peaches, peeled or not, your choice (unpeeled was totally fine)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan.
  2. To make the cake: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour in three additions, stirring it in alternately with the milk, and beginning and ending with the flour. Set the batter aside while you make the topping.
  6. To make the topping: Mix all of the ingredients until crumbly. Don’t over-mix, or you’ll get a smooth paste, rather than crumbs.
  7. To assemble the buckle: Spread half the batter (about 10 ounces) in the prepared pan. Layer with the peach slices.
  8. Fold the blueberries into the remaining batter, and dollop it on top; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.
  10. Bake the buckle for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it’s a deep golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove the buckle from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Published in: on June 22, 2021 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment