Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup

This soup is made from pantry staples, so it is perfect for one of those night when you don’t want to cook, it is so good and so easy you’ll want put it in regular rotation. It’s vegan too!!

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 2½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 2 a 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • ½ c finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c basil, chopped
  • 1/4 c roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, coconut milk , a generous pinch of salt, and 2½ cups water; season with pepper. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20–25 minutes. Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, divide soup among bowls. Top with basil, peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Tomatoes, Pancetta and Artichokes

This is one of those pasta dishes you can make when there nothing in the house and it comes together super quick! Leave off the cheese and it’s 30 day friendly, drop the Pancetta and it’s vegan!

  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 c mushrooms or 1 small can canned mushrooms
  • 6 oz grilled artichoke hearts chopped
  • 4 oz diced Pancetta
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 c parsley chopped
  • 6 oz pasta

Cook pasta according to package.

In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook Pancetta until crispy, add tomatoes, mushrooms and Artichokes, cook 5 min. Stir in pasta, adding a little pasta water if needed, cook over low heat stirring. Top with cheese and parsley.

Serves 2 – 4.

Shakshuka

I can’t believe I’ve never made this dish before – I have at least 3 cookbooks with similar recipes – it is a great weeknight meal. I made a few tweaks.

  • Olive oil
  • 3 – 4 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes or canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese, sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • Pita bread or flatbread

Heat oven to 375.

Heat oil in an oven proof 12 inch skillet. Add peppers and onions with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook stirring until the veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices and cook 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook partially covers until tomatoes are very soft and form a thick sauce, about 15 minutes. Stir in goat cheese. Crack eggs over the surface and bake for 7 – 10 minutes until eggs are just set. Serve with pita.

Serves 4.

Lemon Chicken and Tomato Salad

Perfect end of summer salad!

4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

2 large Buffalo mozzarella, torn in half

Pesto

Poached lemon chicken, sliced

2 tbsp lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Lemon Chicken:

4 c chicken stock

1 lemon, sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp peppercorns

4 chicken breasts

Place stock, lemon, thyme and pepper corns into a large pot and bring to a boil, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a small jar, shake to combine.

Divide tomato, mozzarella and mint between plates. Slice chicken and toss with dressing to coat. Drizzle with pesto. Divide amount plates and serve.

Serves 4.

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

These are pretty quick and serving them on heirloom tomatoes is so yummy! I froze mine before cooking – lesson learned the hard way in the past, don’t ask 🤣.

12 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible

1 1/2 c ricotta

1/2 c grated Parmesan

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 1/4 c flour

2 eggs

4 – 6 heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin

1/2 c Basil

salt and pepper

Olive oil

Toasted pine nuts

Combine spinach, ricotta, parm, zest, flour, and eggs in a bowl and mix well. Place on lightly floured surface and divide into to balls. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick rope, cut into 1/2 in pieces and place on a floured baking sheet.

Cook Gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling salted. Gnocchi are done when they float.

Divide tomatoes among plates, top with Basil, Gnocchi and pine nuts – drizzle with a little olive oil.

Serves 4.

Eggplant Gratin

Another healthy late summer dish!

1 1/4 lb eggplant, sliced thin

1 lb tomato, sliced thin

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp Thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

Pepper

1/4 c olive oil

4 oz goat cheese

1/2 c Panko

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl combine eggplant, tomatoes, zest, thyme, garlic 1 tsp salt, pepper and 1/4 c olive oil.

Spray a gratin dish with olive oil. Layer veggies, dropping goat cheese as you go, make sure to end with veggies on top. Sprinkle with panko and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.

Bake for 45 min until golden brown.

Serves 4.

Burrata Caprese

Peaches, tomatoes, Basil and creamy burrata – oh yes!! And your are welcome!

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

1/2 c packed Basil

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c olive oil

6 oz burrata

2 peaches, sliced into wedges

1 lb tomatoes, cut into wedges

In a blender combine Basil, lemon juice, salt and 1/4 c oil. Purée until smooth.

Arrange peaches and tomatoes on a platter, place burrata in the middle, drizzle with olive oil, Basil oil and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Smoky Kale and Haloumi Salad

A quick and filling salad – the smoked paprika really makes it special.

6 oz baby kale

4 oz haloumi, sliced thin

Croutons

2 tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

Combine lemon juice, paprika and olive oil in a small jar and shake.

Toss the kale and breadcrumbs in a bowl with dressing. Divide among plates. Add tomatoes.

Heat a non stick pan over medium heat and cook cheese until golden. Divide amount plates.

Serves 2.

Rice Bowl with Egg and Avocado

Super easy and healthy!

1 c brown rice, cooked

4 poached eggs

12 halves, slow roasted tomatoes (recipe below)

2 avocados, sliced

Basil salsa

Preheat oven to 350. Slice tomatoes in half, season with salt and pepper and spray with olive oil. Bake for 1 hour until browned and collapsed. You store in fridge for up to a week.

Place rice in the bottom of a bowl, top with tomatoes, Avocado, egg and drizzle with Basil salsa.

Serves 4.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes & Burrata


Another Melissa Clark winner!

6 oz pasta
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp chile flakes
Salt
1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp butter
4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn
3 c torn herbs, such as basil, mint and parsley
6 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package. Drain and reserve ½ cup of cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil along with garlic, chile flakes and a pinch of salt and cook 1 to 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook 5 to 8 minutes, until they begin to burst and shrivel at their borders.

Add pasta to skillet. If it looks dry, add a little reserved pasta cooking water. Increase heat a bit so pasta can finish cooking in the sauce. When pasta is cooked, add butter and Parmesan and toss until everything is coated.

Serve pasta warm and garnish with chunks of burrata and a handful of herbs and green onions. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.into bite-sized chunks

Serves 4.