Two Year Blogiversary!

blogiversary

TWO YEARS!

Firstly, thank you to everyone who continues to visit, read, comment, cook and so on.

That being said, my second year into blogging has been much different from the first. I’ve taken my photography beyond the boundaries of the web and got published in print here and there (the most notable being my little feature in Gastropost below). I also had the amazing team from Emerge TO make a profile on the blog which you can watch here. WARNING: I’m a little awkward but what can you do.Gastropost PageAnother big, big difference between this year and last year is that I switched to a .com. This made my blogging that much easier because (as I’m sure many of you can relate to), giving a URL to someone that has .wordpress in the middle gets a lot of puzzled looks. After switching over it made posting to social media that much easier as well, plus the URL doesn’t look too shabby on a business card either.

Speaking of social media, let me just say what we all already know: People of the internet are all crazy. This past year, I’ve had some…encounters…shall we say—about some of the most random topics you could imagine. Let’s just say I never knew someone could get so worked up over enchiladas (I’m looking at you reddit).

And of course, I got more unexplained and creepy google searches leading people to my blog.squash fingersAnd then there’s the food. I’ve tried my best to keep it versatile, creative, and appealing to people with even the pickiest eating habits. I’ve come across some incredibly handy tips & tricks along the way, acquired some new cookware and gear, and ate far too much.

Here’s a list of some of my top culinary tricks from the last year (feel free to add your own in the comments, I’m always looking for more):

  • To get puffy, chewy cookies, make them taller than they are wide and refrigerate them for 30 minutes before baking. This prevents them from spreading out excessively and they bake into a rounded ball of glory.
  • If you cook with a cast iron skillet, get it really hot before adding the oil to the pan. This will prevent your food from sticking and make for easy sautéing, frying and baking.
  • Boil unbaked dough for buns before placing them in the oven to get the chewiest results.
  • If you’re doing any kind of gluten-free baking, try your best to keep the dough moist. Cover it with a damp towel, keep a spray bottle full of water on your work surface—whatever works. This will make it malleable and prevents it from crumbling while prepping.
  • When cooking stir frys, Chinese soups, and making fillings or dipping sauces for spring rolls, rice wine vinegar is a must. It gives that extra punch of flavour without having to unload a bucket of soy sauce into your food.
  • Baked eggs are amazing for groups. They make the perfect single-serving size, are less greasy than the fried alternative, and you can customize each one individually.

To end this off, I’ll leave you with a little gallery of my favourite posted recipes and photos from the past year.

You’re all the best (except for you enchilada hater),

Veronica Sheppard

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Hamburger Cupcakes

Let me say this first before the food blogging population banishes me for using boxed mix—this recipe is purely for fun and not meant to be “gourmet” or any of that. Quick & dirty gets the job done sometimes you guys.

That being said, I initially wanted to make an enormous hamburger cake using fondant layers. But realistically, nobody likes the taste of fondant and it was going to take up way more of my time and money than I would have like. So I went with the simpler route (cupcakes) and the result was what you see before you: an epic dessert.

I followed guidelines from here as a backup, but made quite a few of my own alterations. For one, I baked the brownies in muffin tins to avoid the cutting stage afterwards to save time; this also guarantees identical shapes. The less fuss the better. I also used shredded coconut for lettuce instead of icing to give some flavour and a change of texture.

These are great cupcakes for kids and adults alike, not only because of their clever look but also because of the easiness of the recipe. You can do most of the steps in advance too, saving assembly for the night before or day of.Hamburger CupcakesHamburger Cupcakes

Ingredients

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 (648g) yellow cake mix box (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 2 (581g) boxes of fudge brownie mix **the measurement on the box doesn’t have to be exact, as long as you can yield 24 small brownies from the batch, you’re good.
  • 2 cups royal icing
  • 7-9 drops yellow food colouring
  • 1/2-1 tsp. red gel food colouring
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. green gel food colouring
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • 24 deli toothpicks

Method

Prepare the yellow cake mix as directed on the back of the box. Using cupcake liners is a must. Once baked and out of the oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and allow them to fully cool; proceed to remove all of the cupcake liners and discard them. Slice each cupcake in half horizontally to give the look of a “hamburger bun.”

Next, prepare the brownie batter as directed on the box. Using muffin tins, pour roughly an inch or two of batter into each hole and bake for 7-10 minutes at the it gives temperature on the box. Allow brownies to fully cool on a wire cooling rack.

For dying the icing, you will want 1 cup of the yellow icing and 1 cup of the red icing, to act as your mustard and ketchup. Add the yellow dye to one cup of the icing and the red to the other cup in separate bowls until the colours generally match those of the condiments desired.

Lastly before assembling, place the coconut and green gel food colouring in a ziplock bag. Shake it vigorously until the colour is coating all of the coconut—you’re going for the appearance of lettuce. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be smushed between icing and brownie and cupcake.

Now you’re ready for assembly.

Grab one of the hamburger bun cupcakes and one of the brownies. Spread a generous spoonful of yellow icing on the top part of the bottom half of the cupcake, then spread the same amount of red icing on top of the brownie. Place the brownie icing-side-up on top of the yellow-iced bun. Sprinkle a large pinch of coconut on top of the red icing, then place the top half of the hamurger bun on top. Insert a deli toothpick through the top centre of the cupcake. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you have 24 hamburger-like cupcakes in front of you, ready to be devoured.Hamburger CupcakesHamburger Cupcakes

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Bread is intimidating. You have to keep an eye on temperatures, the rising of the dough, shaping the rolls, boiling and baking. That’s why when I baked these, I was surprised by how process went seamlessly, the buns came out looking picture perfect, and they tasted even better.

The tutorial I’ve included in the recipe is really helpful; if you’re new to rolls (as I was) and need a couple of good tricks up your sleeve, this is a good one to hold on to.

I decided to experiment with a small portion of the dough by making bagels and sandwich-length buns. I would recommend testing out the bagel shape the most because the consistency was ideal for dipping in soups and toasting, while the process was no more difficult than the rolls. Just sprinkle some poppy seeds on top along with the coarse salt and there you have it. Make a long, thin piece of dough, form a circle and pinch to two connecting ends. Boil as you would the other rolls and bake for the same amount of time as well.

The recipe I used for the rolls was from Mel’s Kitchen and worked perfectly. I am still learning the tricks to using my stand mixer so the speeds were up and down, but I generally stayed at speed 2 and it worked out well.

Sidenote: I was pleasantly surprised with how well these rolls turned out, they looked perfect. The only part where I messed up was after the baking—I didn’t wait until they had fully 100% cooled before storing them in airtight containers. This caused the rolls to form a bumpy, moist exterior which is still edible when toasted or oven-warmed, but definitely lessened the appeal. The rolls are best fresh from the oven and if you are storing them overnight, be sure to cool them completely!Soft Pretzel RollsSoft Pretzel Rolls

Ingredients

Dough
  • 1 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 1/2 – 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Water Bath and Extras
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer—or hand in a large bowl—stir together the yeast, oil, milk and water. Add the salt and two cups of the flour. Add the rest of the flour gradually until a soft dough is formed and knead for 3-4 minutes. You may not need to use all the flour so be careful of the moisture level while mixing; add the flour until a soft dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl. Be sure not to overflour.

Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl, cover it with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, dry space until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Portion the dough into 16 pieces and roll each piece of dough into a lovely little round ball. The recipe I followed suggested this tutorial which worked perfectly for me; it gave me that puffy ball of dough without too much hassle or frustration.

Lay out the rolls on baking sheet lined with lightly greased parchment. Let them rest for 15-20 minutes.

While the dough rests, bring the water, sugar and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, carefully take it off the parchment or counter, flip it over in your hand and pinch the bottom to form a little pucker and help the dough form a nice, taut ball. Take care not to deflate the dough; you should pinch just the very edge of the dough.

Place 3-4 dough balls in the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

Remove the dough from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or colander and let the excess water drip off into the pan. Place the boiled dough balls onto lined baking sheets (lined with lightly greased parchment—you can use the same parchment you used to rest them on before).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a lightly dampened sharp knife, slice 2-3 cuts into the top of each boiled roll about 1/4-inch deep or so. Lightly sprinkle each dough ball with coarse salt and you are ready to put them in the oven.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until the rolls are deep golden brown. All bread products are best the day they’re made, but if you have leftovers (this is a pretty hefty batch) you can reheat them in the oven the next day or two.Soft Pretzel Rolls

This is the experimental pretzel--not bad!

This is the experimental pretzel–not bad!

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Mini Mixed Berry Pies in Muffin Tins

Earlier this week as a graduation present, my aunt and uncle got my a KitchenAid Stand Mixer (in an awesome retro blue colour) and I’ve been trying to make as many recipes as possible with it. I’ve never mastered a good pie crust until now, but I went with a really basic base on a low speed and it worked perfectly. Not too crumbly or moist, just perfect. I swear this isn’t a plug, I’m just really excited about having one!

The filling is also really easy to make, takes no time and you can switch around the fruit if you’re partial to some more than others. I had a little bit of filling leftover from this recipe so feel free to cut back as well.

Since I don’t own any round cookie cutters, I just used a ramekin with a sharp knife to cut out my dough shapes. If you can find a large cup or small bowl that generally fits the size of your muffin tins, that will work.

One mistake I made when making these was that I filled up my pies a little too much, so probably 90% of them overflowed or drowned the lattice a little bit. They still tasted great, but if you’re serving these up and want them looking cleaner, I’d stick to filling the cups about 3/4 of the way.Mini Mixed Berry PiesMini Mixed Berry Pies

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 6-8 tbsp. cold water

Filling

  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch

 

Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, mix together the flour and salt. Cut the cubed butter into the dough until it has the consistency of cornmeal, then add water in small portions at a time until the dough feels just moistened and doesn’t crumble when squeezed.

Pack the dough into two disc-shaped balls and cover in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for an hour in the fridge.

In the meantime, prepare the filling in a large bowl. Add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar and cornstarch and toss well until the fruit is coated. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a thin sheet of pastry, then cut circles about 3″ wide (however big your muffin tins are, you want the circles to fit snugly up to the rims). Continue until almost all the dough is used up—cut the remaining dough into thin, short strips to use as lattice.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the dough circles in lightly greased muffin cups (no lining necessary) and spoon in the pie filling about 3/4 of the way. Weave a small lattice on top of each pie, tucking the strands under and over one another.

Bake the pies for approximately 30 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes once removed from the oven. Serve hot with fresh vanilla ice cream and enjoy!Mini Pies in Muffin TinsMini mixed berry pies

Huevos Rancheros

These aren’t your traditional huevos rancheros—you need to be anticipating a different flavour when you eat this. Fresh radish, coriander, a softer tortilla…it all adds up to a filling, colourful and healthy breakfast.

This is a great breakfast to make on weekends because it takes a bit of time but it’s totally worth it. I had ordered huevos rancheros a couple of months back at this great vegetarian diner in Toronto called Sadie’s Diner and it inspired me to try something out at home. I haven’t mastered it (since this is my first try) but it was a good first attempt.

It depends on the day, but sometimes I find runny egg a little gross. Soggy food becomes really quickly unappealing to me, so I have an alternative for those of you that are the same way. I would use a small corn tortilla and try it until it’s crunchy, OR I would hard boil the egg and turn this into a wrap. The second option is less of a huevos rancheros idea but it would still taste really good!Vegetarian Huevos Rancheros

Ingredients

Makes 1 giant serving

  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. salsa of choice
  • 3 tbsp. frozen corn kernels
  • 4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large sundried tomato tortilla
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 radish, thinly sliced

Method

In a small skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add salsa, corn, tomatoes, mushroom, onion and spinach. Once vegetables begin to soften add cumin, black pepper and salt. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove the mixture from heat.

In a small bowl, mash together the avocado, lemon juice and coriander.

Heat a lightly greased pan and cook egg until the whites are cooked all the way through and there is still some runny yolk in the centre. In the meantime, heat the tortilla on a skillet until lightly browned and crispy.

To assemble, put the tortilla flat on a large plate. Layer the vegetable mix and avocado-lemon mix, then carefully place the cooked egg on top. Crack a small amount of black pepper overtop of the huevos rancheros and sprinkle some shredded parmesan. Distribute the radish slices evenly and serve immediately.Vegetarian Huevos RancherosVegetarian Huevos Rancheros

Dragon Fruit and Avocado Salsa

Sweeter salsas are a nice way to cool off on a summer day because they’re light, fresh and healthy. No added salt is a huge bonus, plus if you’re eating them with tortillas/tacos/crackers, you won’t need the salt anyways.

I find that some people prefer a stronger onion flavour in salsa, but chives are a great substitute for me because they’re lighter tasting and I have an insane amount growing in my backyard. Since the dragon fruit is sweet, the chive along with the lime juice balance out the flavours, making for a perfect, refreshing condiment.

In case you aren’t familiar with dragon fruit (a.k.a. pithaya), it is a soft and seedy fruit that tastes like a more mild version of kiwi. It tastes basically no work to prepare, is versatile, cheap and delicious. It’s also high in vitamin C, packed with antioxidants and fibre. I used it as a simple dip but you could also throw it on top of burgers, pita, tacos, etc. for a unique flavour.

Sidenote: For all my fellow bloggers out there, I went to a magazine conference this past week and attended a Food & Wine Writing Session while I was there. Among talking about how to efficiently post on social media, monetize your blog and build an audience, they touched upon photography. What are your tips and tricks for taking mouth-watering photos? What camera/lens do you use? What about lighting? Dragon Fruit and Avocado SalsaDragon Fruit and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 large dragon fruit, halved, emptied and cubed (keep the shell for presentation)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped (I cut mine up with scissors)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Method

To scoop out the dragon fruit, take a large spoon and just run it around the edges. Since this fruit is so soft, it basically comes right out of the flesh. Cube it up, toss it with the avocado, chives, cilantro and lime juice.

Spoon the prepared salsa back into the husk and serve up with crackers or tortilla chips, in tacos, and on a burger.Dragon Fruit and Avocado SalsaDragon Fruit and Avocado Salsa

Grilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Now that barbecue season is upon us, I feel the need to grill everything. Although most of the ingredients in this salad are raw, the grilled corn gives a perfect kick of flavour and colour. Pair that along with quinoa and a light dressing and you’ve got yourself a protein-packed vegetarian side dish for picnics, lunches and parties.

This is a recipe is built for summer because it’s really quick, lasts for days in the fridge and brings a colourful aspect to your plate. Since it’s not drowning is a heavy dressing, it’s very portable and won’t make you feel sluggish afterwards.

Two weeks ago I planted my vegetable and herb garden and it is off to a great start (give or take a couple of now dead plants). I’m growing the following, so you can expect to see many more recipes featuring these in the upcoming months:

  • buttercup squash
  • tomatoes
  • scotch bonnet peppers
  • okra
  • red onion
  • herbs (sage, lavender, basil, chives, oregano, thyme, dill, and more that I can’t remember right now)

Sidenote: The other night, I re-made my Avocado Pesto and threw in some of the fresh herbs listed above—it made it that much better. I find store-bought pesto to be loaded up with salt and oil (which can admittedly be awesome) but when you feel like something light, healthy and still satisfying, this is definitely the way to go. Grilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup royal quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 cups cold salted water
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried vegetable soup stock
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • 1 (540 mL) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 shucked corn cob, grilled
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • Handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice from half of a large lemon

Method

In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa, two cups of water, dill, vegetable stock and hot sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all moisture has been absorbed. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix chickpeas, bell pepper, kale, and grilled corn kernels (you can cut them off with a knife), celery, chives, black pepper and lemon juice. Toss quinoa into the bowl until all ingredients have mixed well together and serve hot or cold as a great summer sidedish.Grilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa SaladGrilled Corn and Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Gluten-Free Maple Whisky Butter Tarts

Serve these up on a warm, sunny afternoon with some cider and you’re good to go (and by go I mean take a nap).

One of my mom’s favourite baked goods are butter tarts, but since she’s been gluten-free for about 10 years they are a rare treat. I know that gluten-free baking can be really frustrating since the dough often dries out or crumbles, so I was determined to make a decent tart crust. Since the filling is really moist, it helps prevent the dough from crumbling.

Plus, you really can’t go wrong baking with booze. Whisky gives these tarts that extra kick of flavour they need. In the ingredient list, when I say use real maple syrup, I mean it! Do not use that garbage mystery “table syrup”, the results will not be the same and Canadians everywhere will cry.

Now, I know in previous posts I’ve truly hated on raisins (and I still stick pretty closely to it). But once you soak them in water, bake them in maple-whisky filling and eat them warm out of the oven, they really aren’t so bad. Feel free to sub them out with chopped nuts or other types of dried fruit!Gluten-Free Maple Whisky Butter Tarts

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
  • 6 tbsp. sweet rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. pure xanthum gum
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/8 cups cold butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

**Keep a spray bottle full of water on your work surface to keep the dough moist and workable—not necessary but definitely helps with the gluten-free dough.

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (get the real stuff!)
  • 4 tbsp. Canadian whisky
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Method

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Adding a few cubes of butter at a time, rub the butter into the dry mix. When all of the butter is used up, it should have the texture of almond meal. Turn out onto a dry, clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs and pour the lemon juice into the well, and work gradually into the flour mix until a rough dough it formed. Shape with your hands into a ball and cover with a damp paper towel to keep moist.

Whisky together brown sugar, maple syrup, whisky, butter, eggs, cider vinegar and salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the dough into equal parts (this will depend on whether you choose to use mini-muffin tins or regular) and press into greased tins until the dough just comes up the top, and there is a thin layer of dough evenly around the edge. Place a couple of raisins in the bottom of each tart, then spoon filling into each tart, filling them about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15-23 minutes until the tops are just browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the tins.Gluten-Free Maple Whisky Butter TartsGluten-Free Maple Whisky Butter Tarts

Baileys Crunchy Candied Almonds

Everything is good in moderation, right? WRONG! Eat this entire batch of delicious boozy snacks and be proud.

I’ve always had the same problem with homemade roasted almond recipes: they always, always, get overcooked. This time I used a lower cooking temperature than normal and cooked the almonds for much less time than usual, and they were perfect. When I first bit into it, it felt softer than I would have liked but I just let them sit regardless—after an hour they had firmed up to the perfect texture. Since the almonds get so hot inside, they continue to cook once they’re removed from the oven.

I’ve always loved candied nuts but never thought to try them out for some reason. I’d say my first attempt was a success since everyone who tried them was a fan, plus I’m already thinking of new flavours for my next batch. I just ate these as a snack but I think they could serve as a really nice muffin topping as well.Baileys Crunchy Candied AlmondsBaileys Crunchy Candied Almonds

Sidenote: If you want a vegan option, you can leave out the Baileys entirely and the recipe will still turn out. You could also try using whiskey but maybe use a little bit less because the flavour is stronger.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar (you can use light or dark)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. Baileys Irish Cream or a similar cream liqueur
  • 2 cups whole almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, mix brown sugar, water, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture is at a solid boil, add in almonds and stir, keeping the heat on the same temperature.

Continue to stir very frequently until almost all of the excess liquid has evaporated. Add in the Baileys and stir the almonds until they are coated in a thick layer of the sugar mixture with no liquid left at the bottom of the saucepan.

Transfer the almonds to a lined baking sheet, making sure they are separated and spread out. Bake for exactly 10 minutes and allow to cool for an hour—the almonds will still feel slightly softer when they first come out, but the outer coating and almond will harden into a nice crunchy snack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.Baileys Crunchy Candied Almonds

Hearty Lentil Barley Stew

This is a great year-round stew because it has fresh herbs and flavours while packing substantial protein and other essential nutrients. Lentils are one of the best vegetarian go-to foods when you need a healthy, filling legume for a dish, and barley pairs really nicely with it, giving a thick and “hearty” taste.

This was my first time cooking with barley and I’m already looking for more recipes to try out. I was initially going to make a mushroom barley soup, but my mushrooms were very sad-looking in the fridge so I used a recipe from my Canadian Living vegetarian cookbook instead. If you’re looking for a new cookbook, I’d seriously suggest trying this one out—I’ve never tried a bad recipe from it and everything looks amazing.

Before this stew, I didn’t know there were different kinds of barley. The two main kinds for cooking stews and soups are pearl and pot barley. From what I found, pot barley (which is what I used) still has its outer husk and its inner kernel. Pearl barley can be substituted and takes generally the same amount of cook time, but apparently it is a little less nutritious than pot barley.

Hearty Lentil Barley StewIngredients

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pot barley
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Sour cream for garnish

Method

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry onion, garlic, carrot, celery, thyme, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper for roughly 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and very lightly browned.

Add the vegetable broth plus an additional 2 cups of water, then add in lentils and barley—bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils and barley are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve hot with a dollop of sour cream in each serving.Hearty Lentil Barley StewHearty Lentil Barley Stew