Last Week I Cooked….

We just moved the patio furniture out onto the deck. It’s a holiday in MA so there is no work today, I’m wearing shorts and sunscreen, drinking a smoothie, and writing outside. No matter that I can see more of my own reflection in the laptop screen than the words I’m typing….it’s spring!!!!!

Lentil soup with sausage, chard, and garlic. I made this years ago and was disappointed with the outcome. I decided to give it a second go because this soup should be something I absolutely love…and I was right. The key is using really great sausage, because even though there is just a little bit it flavors the whole soup (I used Short Creek red wine and garlic sausage). I added all the chard at once because I couldn’t be bothered to save it on the side for leftovers, but if wilty greens are not your favorite then keep them separate or use a heartier green like kale. I didn’t make the olive oil and garlic at the end because the sausage made an intense enough soup for me, but to each their own.

Last Week I Cooked.... - Vegetal MattersChanna masala. The theme for this week is “Dishes that I made once before and didn’t like but really thought I should.” I’d only tried one recipe for channa masala and it was too sour for me. When Kenji posted this I knew I needed to give it another go. I forgot quite how hot Thai chilis are (so small, so much heat!), so definitely only use one or none if you have a low spice tolerance. Even though there are a lot of ingredients this came together quickly and was intensely flavored. For a little greenery on the side I sauteed the rest of the chard leftover from the soup with some ramps.

Last Week I Cooked.... - Vegetal MattersNancy’s chopped salad. This is an Italian sub in salad form and impossible not to love (if you love Italian subs). We often go to trivia on Thursday nights and I’ve found big salads are the perfect thing to not cook before we need to head out (plus, salads balances beers). This is a truly big salad though, and for us it was more like 8 full servings.

Last Week I Cooked.... - Vegetal MattersSpicy polenta breakfast bowls. I need to frame a sign that says “YOU LOVE POLENTA” so I never forget. I put sweet potatoes, black beans, hot sauce, and cilantro on ours, but I would’ve added avocado and salsa if we had any. These could just as easily be lunch or dinner.

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