a little recipe

in my search for healthy foods i came across a recipe i love. it’s for chicken baked with lentils and it’s really, really good. really. it may not look pretty but it’s warm and stewy and delicious. i first found it on the wednesday chef when i was looking for a dish to bring to my friend and her family.

i used smaller chicken thighs (not drumsticks) and added extra celery for good measure. the chicken comes out incredibly tender and the lentils are perfect and flavorful. it’s meant to be served with mashed potatoes but this is a potato free zone now and really it was filling and satisfying on it’s own.

i managed not to lick the dish. but just barely.

11 days + a magical salad

It’s been 11 days since I’ve had ANY sugar. I repeat… ELEVEN DAYS. NO SUGAR. I fluctuate between feeling really great about myself and wanting to kill someone.

But it’s not just sugar that I’ve given up. It’s bread, cheese AND fruit. Now before you tell me I’m crazy (which is okay, since I sort of agree) this is not a permanent change. It’s just sort of a detox thing for me to get back to feeling good about my health, weight, etc.

So what am I eating? Well it’s mostly special bars, shakes, soups, plus one “lean and green” meal per day. So yes, I AM eating. Since I’m not a great cook and am not very imaginative I’ve been mostly doing salads with either chicken or tuna. And yes, that does get boring even after 11 days so I’m looking for new recipes that will be healthy and delicious so I can stick with this for a few months.

This is what I really wanted to tell you about: my new favorite, magical salad. Yes, I said magical. It’s that good. First, when it comes to salad making I’m kinda boring: lettuce or spinach, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, celery… See? Boring. But then the other day I had this salad and OH MY GOSH.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The ingredients are: spinach, carrots (which I didn’t eat bc they’re too starchy), roasted bell peppers (my new favorite thing), roasted onions, grilled and marinated artichoke hearts, sliced beats, a few sliced black olives and a piece of grilled mahi mahi (or chicken). It’s so good I want to marry it. YUM!

If you have any favorite healthy recipes you’d like to share I’d love to hear them.

Sunday recipe

I decided I would (try to) share a new recipe with you every Sunday. I’m hoping this will be good motivation for me to actually try cooking more.

So today I give you: Adorable Egg Baked in Cream. I added the “adorable” part myself. As far as raw eggs go I think it’s pretty fitting.

This is a perfect dish for one person but can easily be made for several people. I used a little ramekin and it was just right. The only tricky bit is cleaning the leeks but once you’ve got it down it’s a piece of cake. Just chop off the dark green part, then take a sharp knife and cut long ways from the root to the end going 1/2 way through the leek. Then with the root facing you spread the layers open and hold under the tap to rinse. See, it’s not that bad. And it’s worth making this dish if only for the smell of fresh thyme. Heaven.

Now I have to say when I first came across this recipe I almost passed it up. I’m the sort of person who would rather overcook eggs a little than risk any gooeyness. So even if you’re not crazy about eggs I would recommend giving it a shot. Of course the photo I took is pre-cooking. I recommend cracking the yoke before putting in the oven.

Now the recipe, finally:

Egg Baked in Cream
Serves 1 with leftover leeks for many uses

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, sliced, light green and white parts only
2 sprigs thyme, leaves roughly chopped
2 sprigs parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 large farm-fresh egg
About 2 tablespoons half-and-half
Coarsely ground black pepper
Grilled or toasted bread slices

1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, a splash of water and a pinch of salt and cook until the leeks are tender, about 2 minutes. (If you like sweeter leeks just cook them longer, but I think 2 minutes is perfect.) Add the herbs and transfer to a 6-inch cazuela, cocotte or other ceramic dish (I used a small ramekin), covering the bottom with the butter, leeks and herbs.

2. Crack the egg into the middle of the dish. Add enough half-and-half to barely cover the white. Sprinkle with salt and coarsely ground pepper. Cook until the white is set, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve with grilled or toasted bread.