Lentils = Protein

It’s hard to get my mostly-fresh-fruit-and-veggie-eating littles to consume protein too. They love eggs and red meat and salmon – sometimes chicken, if it’s fried. But that will cover like 6 of the 4000 meals that need to be made … in a day. (Doesn’t it feel like the meal prep and dishes are just one continuous stream throughout the day right now? Pepper in some laundry and then it’s already time to go to bed.)

Anyway, they love this lentil (kinda) soup recipe. I say kinda because there isn’t a bunch of broth. If you like yours more broth, just add a 1/2 more around 20 min mark in the cooking process. And the kids don’t know about the anchovies!

Lentil (kinda) Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup black lentils (or any other that you have), rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, diced super small so kids don’t notice
  • 2 carrots, diced super small because of picky children
  • 4 anchovies in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I’ve started buying the kind in the jar because holy crap this is a lot of cooking we’re doing these days)
  • Cumin to your liking (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Good amount of salt to your liking
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled jalapeños for the grown ups as a topper

Kid approved.

Start a medium pot with a good amount of olive oil (2-3 TBSP? Sure). Heat on medium/low. Add onions, carrots, garlic and anchovies. Melt down the anchovies so you don’t see them as whole pieces anymore. They should just add color to the veggies. After they cook for a few mins, add a dash of salt and cumin. cook for another 5 mins being sure to not burn.

Add the rinsed lentils and broth. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on until the lentils are tender. Salt to taste.

Lots of toppings go great with this from fried eggs to pickled jalapeños to avocados and sour cream to all of the above.

Enjoy!

SIP Wondrous White Bread

Ok, ya’ll. This is not the whole wheat, semi-healthy loaf of bread that’s full of fiber and good for … well, you know. No. This is the stuff we used to savor as cinnamon toast or flanking some bologna (the kind with a name). Yep. This is the good stuff with sugar and canola oil. YOLO! This is how I’m using my precious yeast.

Wondrous White Bread

  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cup flour (maybe less)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg and 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the canola oil, egg, and salt in a measuring cup. Add to the yeast mixture. Then slowly add enough flour to form a soft dough. I usually add 3 cups then slowly sprinkle more as the dough sticks to my fingers or the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes. Make sure you do this for a full 5 mins.
  • Form dough into a smooth ball. Keeping the dough in the bowl, spray with non-stick spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (70-80 degrees) for 15 minutes.
  • Punch down the dough.  Knead for 1 minute. Take the dough and cut it in two. This can make a full loaf and a mini one. I would do 2/3 and 1/3.
  • Form each into a loaf by rolling it into an oblong shape then tucking and pinching the ends under the loaf.
  • Line loaf pans with parchment. Place each loaf in a pan. Brush thoroughly with egg mixture.
  • Let loaf sit while oven is preheating to 400 degrees F, or about 10 minutes. I arrange the rack to the upper part of the oven because my burner is on the bottom.
  • Carefully put the loaves in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until outside is golden brown and internal temperature of loaf registers 195 degrees. If the top starts to brown too much, lightly place foil over the top to stop browning.
  • Let cool. Slice & enjoy!

Shelter In Place Trend: Make Sourdough

I had no idea this was a trend until I started seeing pics of sourdough bread on social media. Making a started just seemed like a cool science + nourishing food activity for the kids. Also, being a sourdough starter mom is rewarding and a PITA. Enjoy!

Sourdough Starter

The Kitchn is the resource we used for making the starter (note, it takes 5 days if you can keep it in a room 70-75 degrees f.

Sourdough Bread

  • 1200 grams bread flour
  • 900 grams water
  • 20 grams fine sea salt
  • 20 grams starter

Make the leaven the night before baking. Mix 20 grams of starter with 200 grams of warm water. Wash your hands really well and stir with your hands to disperse.

Add 200 grams of flour and combine well. Cover and let rest at room temp for 12 hours or until puffed in appearance.

To test for readiness, drop a tablespoon of leaven into a bowl of room temp water; if it floats, it’s ready to use. If it doesn’t, allow for more time to ferment.

In a large bowl, combine 200 grams of leaven with 650 grams of warm water. Wash hands really well and stir to disperse with hands.

Add 1000 grams of flour to bowl (if using whole wheat, use 900 grams of bread flour and 100 grams of whole wheat flour). Wash your hands again really well. Use your hands to mix until no traces of flour remain. The dough will be sticky and ragged. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 25 to 40 mins at room temp.

Add 20 grams of fine sea salt and 50 grams of warm water. Use hands to integrate salt water into dough thoroughly. The dough will begin to pull apart, but continue mixing. It will come back together.

Cover dough with a towel and transfer to a warm environment, 75 – 80 degrees f (like near a window in a sunny room, or inside a turned off oven) Let dough rise for 30 mins.

Fold dough by dipping a very clean hand in water, taking hold of the underside of the dough at one quadrant and stretching it up over the rest of the dough. Repeat this action 3 more times, rotating bowl a quarter turn for each fold. Do this every half hour for 2 1/2 hours more (3 hours total). The dough should be billowy and increase in volume 20 – 30 percent. If not, continue to let rise and fold for up to an hour more.

Transfer dough to a work surface and dust top of flour. Use a dough scraper to cut dough into 2 equal pieces and flip them over so floured sides are face down. Fold the cut side of each piece up onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf; this will become the crust. Work dough into taut rounds. Place the dough rounds on a work surface, cover with a towel, and let rest 30 mins.

Mix 100 grams flour and 100 grams rice flour in a different bowl. Line two 10-12″ bread proofing baskets or mixing bowels with clean towels. Use some of the flour mixture to generously flour towels (reserve remaining mixture).

Dust rounds with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip them over onto a work surface so floured sides are facing down. Take one round and starting at the side closest to you, pull the bottom 2 corners of the dough down toward you. Then fold that into the middle third of the dough. Repeat this action on the right and left sides, pulling the edges out and folding them in over the center. Finally, lift the top corners up and fold down over previous folds. Roll dough over so the folded side becomes the bottom of the loaf. Shape into a smooth taut ball. Repeat with the other round.

Transfer rounds, seam-side up, to the prepared baskets. Cover with a towel and return the dough to the 75 – 80 degree f environment for 3 – 4 hours. (Or let dough rise for 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temp before baking. )

About 30 mins before baking, place a Dutch oven or lidded cast iron pot in the oven and heat it to 500 degrees. Dust tops of dough, still in their baskets with the bread and rice flour mixture. Very carefully remove heated pot from oven and gently turn 1 loaf into pan seam side down. Use a lame or razor blade to score the he top of the bread a few times to allow for expansion. Cover and transfer to oven. Reduce temp to 450 degrees and bake for 20 mins.

Carefully remove the lid (steam may rise) and bake for 16-20 more mins or until crust is rich and golden brown.

Transfer bread to a wire rack to cook for at least 15 mins before slicing. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Increase oven temp to 500 degrees, clean out the pot and repeat the process with the second loaf.

Recipe from NY Times’ Tartine Bread.