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Posts Tagged ‘Lunch’

This year, I’ve been spoiled by my grandmother – which is not unusual – except that I am now receiving a quarterly magazine with fresh, classic, and inspiring recipes from Normandy. It’s great, coming at a time when I am often at a loss for ideas since cooking for one is simply less fun than for two. It’s amazing how easy it is to get entrenched in routine in the kitchen, and this magazine has done wonders for me this year in getting me back into the exciting realm of cooking.

I love how this salad captures the flavours of summer, while being filling enough for a weekday lunch. I’d recommend making this soon, while the tomatoes are still sweet off the vine.

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Ingredients – for 4 servings

-1 Boursin cheese, garlic and herb
-1 boston leaf lettuce, washed and dried
-200g cooked Puy or French lentils (I cooked 1/2 cup in 2 cups vegetable broth for 25 minutes)
-1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
-1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
-1 Tbsp butter
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-2 chicken breasts
-1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

For the vinaigrette:

-4 Tbsp olive oil
-1 Tbsp dijon mustard
-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
-1 Tbsp honey
-3 Tbsp chicken cooking jus
-salt and pepper

Directions

Cook the lentils until tender but still intact, about 25 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Dice the chicken breasts. Heat the butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, sear the chicken. Cook 4-5 min per side until cooked through and golden. Season with salt and pepper. When the chicken is cooked, add 30mL of water to the pan and scrape the pan with a spatula to make the jus. Simmer until reduced and flavourful.

Coarsely chop the pistachios. Break up the lettuce leaves coarsely, add them to a large bowl with the lentils, the quartered tomatoes, the chicken, small spoonfuls of the Boursin, and sprinkle with the pistachios.

To make the vinaigrette, mix the chicken jus with the mustard, honey, vinegar and salt and pepper. Once it is smooth, add the olive oil one spoonful at a time while mixing. Season to taste and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately!

-Sitelle

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Shrimp Wrap

It always surprises me how frequently I go to post an item, and Sitelle is already a step ahead of me.  Despite living 4,000 km apart, we somehow still manage to cook many of the same meals!  The day Sitelle made buttery  garlic shrimp, I had the exact same idea – although I ate the shrimp in a cold wrap.

Shrimp continue to be one of the richest sources of protein and they are loaded with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (not to mention absolutely they are absolutely tasty!)  For the wrap, I threw together my favourite sandwich ingredients with some tzaziki and lemon juice.  Just the refreshing pick-me-up one often needs at lunch!

Shrimp Wrap

1 wrap

Ingredients:

buttery shrimp with garlic and parsley 

1 tortilla wrap

Tzaziki sauce

Cucumber, chopped

Tomato, chopped

Spinach

Red Onion, chopped

Avocado, chopped

Lemon slice

Directions:

To assemble wrap, spread tortilla with tzaziki.  Sprinkle veggies and shrimp on top.  Squeeze lemon slice over contents.  Roll up the wrap and bon appetit!

– Catherine

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I wrote my very last exam today, and before it I knew I’d need a good meal to hold me through the frantic writing-filled afternoon. Lucky me, there was still a bit of egg bread left over, and these delicious lentils I’d made a few days before. This recipe for lentils is so easy, and it improves as it rests a few days. You can not go wrong with them, and they’ll accompany just about anything, from an egg, to a piece of fish, to grilled cheese, or salad…

I am amused at how the egg bread featured in this recipe has taken to the left-over schedule almost like turkey at thanksgiving, which makes an appearance every day the week after.

Ingredients – lunch for 4

Lentils

-1 cup lentils [my favourite are puy lentils or little black ones]
-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
-2 cups vegetable stock
-1 cup water
-pinch salt to taste
-1 bay leaf
-juice from 1/2 a lemon
-5 sprigs parsley, chopped

Grilled cheese

-8 generous slices egg bread
-200g gruyère, grated
-butter to fry the grilled cheese in

Directions

In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the stock, water, lentils, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20-25 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice.

In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it is bubbly. Place 4 slices of bread in the butter, sprinkle well with cheese, and place the second slice of bread over top. Reduce the heat a little, and let the bread become golden, 2-3 minutes. Gently turn them over, placing an additional nut of butter in the pan, and brown the other side.

Sprinkle the parsley over the lentils, and slice the grilled cheese in half to serve. Enjoy!

-Sitelle

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With spring just around the corner, snow drops popping up out of the thawing ground, I can’t help but feel optimistic these days.  As I walk though the streets, people smile and take their time outside.  I love this change in attitude.

As spring rolls in, my tuber-rich, squash and cabbage-filled winter menu starts feeling repetitive.  The only issue here in Toronto is there’s a mismatch between spring and the first veggies (Toronto warms up faster than the surrounding agricultural land due to the urban heat-island effect).  This mismatch means I have extreme cravings for asparagus that I have to control for a whole other month before I can find some from around here.  Why do you tempt me so, asparagus from another continent?  Ontario produces more asparagus than it can handle (perhaps that is a challenge), and I am keeping all the space I have for it when it arrives in bursting bunches.  Bring it on.

All that is to say the light spring air is turning my cravings towards simple and light dishes.  This one can be made in less than 10 minutes, and is well worth it.  The gnocci, which can at times be on the heavy side, are well complemented with a light summery dressing.

Ingredients – 4 lunch servings

-1 package potato gnocci
-1/2 a shallot, really finely sliced
-basil leaves from 4-5 stalks, minced
-juice from 1/2 a lemon
-zest from 1/2 a lemon
-1 Tbsp capers, rinced
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-grated parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, chop the shallot, mince the basil leaves, and zest the washed lemon.  Combine all the ingredients except the parmesan cheese and gnocci in a bowl and mix.  When the water is boiling, drop the gnocci in, and boil until they float.  This takes around 2 minutes.  Drain the gnocci, and toss in the dressing.  Serve with grated cheese.  Bon appétit!

-Sitelle

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