Archives for posts with tag: soup

Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs
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I made this on Wednesday when the rain was pouring down and boy, did I plan that right! This soup is crazy delicious, especially the meatballs. I added about 3/4 cup of frozen peas and they were a nice addition. Delish!

Garlic Bread

Maybe not the healthiest, but you have to indulge once in awhile…

1 baguette, halved lengthwise
1 TB. butter
¼ cup of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
handful of parsley, minced (optional)
¼ ts. garlic powder
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat butter, olive oil and garlic until the garlic releases its aroma and gets a little bit golden.

Garlic Cooking

Remove from heat and stir in the parsley (if using), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brush mixture all over the inside of the baguette. Wrap the baguette in foil and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then open up the foil so that the top of the baguette is exposed and bake for another 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is hard to the touch and a bit crispy.


I’m really happy that I finally started this meal-planning blog, but as the weeks have gotten busier it has been more difficult to find time to research recipes, prepare meals and put together each post. I’m not complaining, just saying that you never really know what you’ve gotten into until you’re in it! That said, one unexpected benefit of this site has been that I have an excuse, or really the impetus, to finally try a bunch of recipes that I have clipped or dog-eared or saved on Pinterest. Like anyone, I make roughly the same 20 meals per season rotated over the course of 3-4 weeks. Many of those meals have already been featured on this blog. However, when I started this blog I knew that if I provided readers with just 20 recipes my endeavor would be short lived. So, I started digging through my recipe collection, which lives in a large accordion folder, a collection of food magazines, many cookbooks, a “recipe box” on and of course my trusty Pinterest recipe board.

My trusty recipe board on Pinterest

My trusty recipe board on Pinterest

This week I bring you three recipes that I tried for the first time this week, but that I have wanted to make for awhile. Along with those three I added a re-post of my pasta marinara (a mainstay). Enjoy!

Meal #1: Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs with Couscous
Meal #2: Pasta with Marinara + Green Salad
Meal #3: Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs and Garlic Bread
Meal #4: Shrimp with Orange and Ginger

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

onion – 1
carrots – 2 lb.
lemons – 2
lettuce – 1 bunch or bag
leek – 1
baby spinach – 1 cup
red bell pepper – 1
oranges – 2
scallions – 1 bunch
basil – 1 small bunch
chives – 1 small bunch
ginger – 1 small piece
parsley – 1 bunch (optional)
cilantro – 1 bunch (optional)
low-salt chicken broth – 5 cups
egg – 1
pasta – 1 box
small pasta (such as orzo or ditalini) – 1 box 
crushed tomatoes – 28 ounce can
baguette or whatever bread you like
breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup (if you don’t already have it)
sesame oil – (if you don’t already have it)
honey – (if you don’t already have it)
paprika – (if you don’t already have it)
cinnamon – (if you don’t already have it)
crushed red pepper – (if you don’t already have it)
bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs – 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 lb total
ground chicken – 6 ounces
shrimp – 1 lb. 

How was your lunch today? Did you eat the same sandwich or salad that you always bring to work or buy at a nearby deli? Yeah, me too.

Obviously, I put a lot of effort into planning dinners that are pretty varied, but when it comes to lunch – not so much. Most days, I pack my lunch because if I am going to spend $50 a week on food (lunch in Manhattan is rarely cheaper than $10 – so multiply that by 5) it had better be great, which unfortunately, it rarely is. I don’t usually mind the monotony, but once in awhile I have to mix it up.

Soup, especially this time of year, is such a treat in the middle of the day. My mom said that when I was a toddler I refused to eat anything that wasn’t hot. While my palate has expanded since then, I still think a hot lunch feels a little bit special. This lentil soup recipe will spice up your regular lunch routine and is super inexpensive. I haven’t figured out how much it costs per serving, but a bag of red lentils at my grocery store costs less than $2 and I only used half of the bag for this recipe.


Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

This is an especially good recipe if you haven’t tried or cooked with lentils before. It is super easy, relatively fast, and tastes fresher than your typical lentil soup. Inspired by Melissa Clark’s recipe, originally published in The New York Times, my recipe is a bit simpler to prepare. The lemon at the end is a must, but if you don’t have cilantro you can skip it.

3 TB. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB. tomato paste
1 ts. ground cumin
¼ ts. kosher salt, more to taste
¼ ts. ground black pepper
pinch of ground chili pepper or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
3 TB. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

In a large pot, heat olive oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and saute until golden, about 4 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and saute for 2 minutes longer.

Add broth, 2 cups of water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in lemon. Taste, and add salt if necessary. If serving immediately, add the cilantro, but if you are storing the soup for the future, skip the cilantro and add it after the soup has been re-heated, or not at all.