It’s COLD Outside Quick and Easy Asian Egg Drop Soup (OV)

Um, California, ahem!, San DIEGO, why you gotta be so cold?

This is no lie, people.  It was 36 degrees last night!  36! Sunday night it is supposed to be 32!

This is NOT what I signed up for.

Did you know I worked out practically all day yesterday IN TWO JACKETS so as not to be cold?  And the wind…geez!

I know, we Californians are wimps.  But low-to-mid- 50s in the daytime and into the 30s at night is just not right.  I had to actually close my bedroom window which I leave open 365 days a year because this ultra-cold weather nonsense just doesn’t happen by the beach.

So, last night after getting back from HOT yoga (105 degrees, thank GOODNESS), I made a fire in the living room (we don’t have central air or heat here because, WHY?  Our average temps are between 65-72!), but I was still chilly.

A quick soup, perhaps?  Why, yes.  That sounds lovely!

Quick Asian-y Egg Drop Soup

I say Asian-y with all due respect.  I am not an authority on Asian food, but I understand flavors, so I thought, why not try my hand at this VERY quick little soup?

1 bag of Tofu noodles (or rice noodles are ok, too)

Water (or veg. broth)

Soy or Teriyaki sauce

1 lime wedge

1 egg, beaten

handful baby spinach

red pepper to taste

salt/pepper to taste (though, if you use soy, maybe lay off extra salt

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One egg, beaten

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A little lime

Rinse out the tofu noodles.  If you have never seen these before, they are usually in the refrigerated section with the other tofu products in your store.  I only shop at Sprouts (formerly Henry’s), so I have no idea if you can get them at more mainstream grocery chains like Vons or Ralph’s.  They are kind of amazing, though.  I think the whole bag has about 12 calories.  Anyway, rinse these well, and put in your saucepan with enough water or veg. broth to more than cover them (just eyeball it, maybe 2 cups–a nice amount for a broth soup).  Put this on the stove over med-high heat.

Next, add your soy and teriyaki sauces (I would do a couple splashes of soy, and maybe a 1/4 cup of teriyaki)

Add a handful of spinach and some red pepper. Squeeze in the wedge of lime.

All in

All in

Bring to a boil for a few mins, then turn down to med-low.

Have your egg beaten, and in a small bowl ready to go.

With a steady hand, SLOWLY drizzle the egg as you stir the soup as to create egg ribbons.

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

Once this is done, SERVE.

It was pretty tasty, if I do say so.  And I needed that hot soup in this freakishly cold weather!

Five-minute soup!

Five-minute soup!

Stay warm:)

Pesto in THREE Minutes (V)

That’s right, people.  And it costs almost nothing to make.

I just whipped up a batch because I just happened to have a lot of greens on hand.

Most people think basil when they hear pesto.  Pesto is traditionally these things: basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and garlic.

However, I think the word has taken on a more general definition lately because I see all sorts of “pestos” these days.  Spinach with walnut, kale pesto, etc.

Keeping that in mind, I used parsley, basil, AND spinach.  I happen to always have pine nuts and parsley on hand.  And who doesn’t have olive oil and garlic around?  STAPLES, people.  HAVE THEM.

So anyway, get your food processor out and be prepared for some awesomeness.

In the bowl of the processor add the ingredients listed.

Mixed Herb/Greens Pesto

Note: omit the cheese to make this vegan

One large handful of baby spinach

One bunch of Italian flat-leaf parsley

One bunch of basil

1/4 cup pine nuts

a teaspoon each of kosher salt, and pepper

2/3 cup of olive oil (you will add this once the processor starts)

1/4 cup parm. cheese

Put everything in the food processor cleaned and dry, except the oil. It should fill the bowl.

Turn it on, and slowly pour the oil in until it is about as thick as a gaspacho or slightly thin smoothie.  If you like it a little thicker, then just check the consistency.

Here’s what you will get:

After the blend

After the blend

Keep in a glass jar, preferably, and use generously.  I will be putting it on some flatbread pizzas tonight.  Maybe I will even post a picture.

The jar

The jar

Sweet Potato Madness! (V) And Bread! (V)

So, I made this loaf of bread earlier, but since I am in the trial/error phase of this new little hobby, I am here to report to you that it was an absolute brick.  A wheat, uncooked-in-the-middle, brick.

I’m not taking the trash out.

I attempted to use half white and half wheat flour.  Except I didn’t account for the difference in the two (at least, that’s what I am assuming was my problem), and thus, the wheat brick masterpiece was half-baked in my oven.

Scratch that one.

Time for a new plan.  I looked online for a good while to check out recipes for bread, because it is, in fact, one of the few things I cannot “wing.”

Baking sucks.  YOU HAVE TO MEASURE STUFF, YOU GUYS.  LIKE, PRECISELY.

Anyway, victory was had: I stuck to the white flour, found a new ratio, added some fresh garlic and basil, and a really good loaf of bread was baked where its brother previously gave his life.

Tada!

Glorious, glorious homemade bread

Glorious, glorious homemade bread

Oh, I eat butter like it’s going out of style.

Here’s the rundown: there was flour, salt, warm water, yeast, a little bit of olive oil.  I drizzled some more oil and sprinkled sea salt on top, and baked it at 425 until I thought it looked pretty good.  You see, I can make baking awesome.  I just told you EXACTLY how to make bread!

It's alive!

It’s alive!

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Beautiful!

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It’s like a REALLY hot sauna in there…

Once that all got straightened out, I wanted to put dinner together.  I say that because tonight’s meal was prepped early, then just put together when it was time to serve.

Here’s what I did:

First, I made some lentils.  I LOVE lentils.  I put diced fennel, cumin, a little cinnamon, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and a little olive oil in with the lentils and water.  I usually use a little more water than a 2:1 ratio calls for.

So, once that’s done, you can just set them aside.  Also, you can bake your sweet potatoes ahead of time.  I just halve mine, wrap in foil, and bake at 400 for…well, a while.  You know, until they are soft.  Just squeeze ’em.

Finished sweet potato

Finished sweet potato

And yes, sweet potatoes are this color.  Google it.

Ok, now that’s done.  Easy.

Cook up a little spinach (I soak mine for a while, because even if you buy clean spinach, I still feel like it’s a little gritty).  Soak it for a few hours, again, this is something you can just keep on the counter until you are ready to cook.

I cook my spinach with a little olive oil, a lot of lemon juice, and black pepper.  It’s like a 3-minute deal.

You don’t need instructions on how to do this

Next, it’s time to build the dinner!

Take out your plate and cut open your sweet potatoes.  You can put a little butter or Earth Balance, to keep it vegan, or not.  Put some lentils on that bad boy.  Mmmmm.  I can taste it all over again.  Wait, that’s not good…

Step whatever

Step whatever

Great, you’re up to speed!

Next, layer on the spinach, sprinkle with red pepper (I know, I can never get enough), drizzle with a little olive oil, and fennel frawns, for a super fancy look.

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You just died, huh? I KNOW.

For my carnie (short for carnivorous, not carnival) roommate, I added a little of that Crockpot Chicken I made the other day, a small amount of grated organic white cheddar, and then the spinach.  She kinda liked it.

JUST KIDDING.  She ate it all because it was soooooo yums.

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Carnie version

Enjoy.  And if yours look totally different, or you use kale instead of spinach, or cannellini beans instead of lentils, go for it.  THAT’S the joy of cooking!