And again with the blog neglect. *sigh* It just gets so difficult when there are places to go, books to read, and winter pounds to shed.
The other night, I came home from work. It was a BAD day. Aussie was out at a flying lesson, and all I wanted was something comforting and delicious that utilized the remainder of the $8 bottle of San Marzano tomato sauce I splurged on the other day (I made something wonderful that I promise I’ll post about later this week!).
What to make, what to make…
SHAKSHUKA!… or cheater shakshuka, since I was in no mood to go find myself chilis, feta, and parsley.
15 minutes later or so, after deeply inhaling the scent of cooking onions and letting some of the tension run out of my shoulders, I toasted a piece of hearty bread, poured on some cheater sauce, topped it with a poached egg… and wow. A more delicious, simple meal may never have existed.
Before shakshuka, I’d never though of eggs as an appropriate, well, dinner food. They were a breakfast food, or maybe a lunch food or an appetizer, but they only came near my plate at dinner if I was having breakfast for dinner. I began noticing food blogger after food blogger proclaiming the velvety richness of eggs, how they could add flavor and texture to just about anything, and one even said it was a way to “sex up” a dish. As if the shakshuka wasn’t enough to get me experimenting, the promise of sexiness was!
First up, I tried this bizarre combo…
Smashed Lentils with Egg, spotted on The Kitchn, adapted for 2!
Wow, does that sound like a “clean out the pantry” kind of dinner or what? But actually, it’s quite tasty. Hearty, warm, and even cute, since you cook everything up in a little ramekin…oh, and I did I mention it’s also RIDICULOUSLY EASY?
1 cups of lentils
1/4 red onion (can also use shallots)
1 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the lentils. Mince the shallots and garlic and chop the cilantro. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about five minutes, then add the garam masala and lentils. Stir so the lentils are coated with the oil and garlic, then add the cilantro and cook until wilted.
Add 2 cups of water and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 35 minutes (note: original recipe says 20, but that wasn’t nearly enough for me!). If they are too watery at the end, leave the lid off for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and mash with a fork.
Heat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease individual baking ramekins. Mound the lentils in each then make a hollow and crack in an egg. Cover with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until yolk is just set.
Head some advice on this one: 1) it takes WAY longer to cook lentils than it says, and 2) if you cook the lentils ahead of time, make sure to warm them up before putting them in the ramekin to bake with the egg… just trust me on this one!
Since that was a success, I had to try another, and this one was even tastier:
Quinoa with Fried Egg and Spinach, from Dinner: A Love Story
Quinoa is apparently some miracle food, and although Aussie didn’t like it when I first attempted it, I persuaded him to let me have another try with this recipe. Easy, tasty, healthy, and Asian-ish, I will make this again and again.
2 cups cooked quinoa (instructions on how to cook it at the link above)
2 tbsp chopped onion (or more, if you’re an onion-hog like me)
2 (or more) big handfuls of spinach
1 tsp + some more soy sauce
Cock sauce sriracha (optional) 😉
Put one cup on cooked quinoa in each of two bowls.
In a small frying pan over medium-low heat, saute the onion in some olive oil and a dash of sesame oil for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. If you have kitchen scissors, use them to chop the spinach while it cooks.
Remove spinach from frying pan and place on top of quinoa. In the same frying pan over medium heat (please spray with non-stick spray or add some oil or SOMETHING… don’t want to be like me!), fry two eggs over easy. Place them on top of the quinoa and spinach. Drizzle a little more soy sauce on top (not too much). If you want some heat, add a few drops of sriracha.
(photo from Dinner: A Love Story)
All of these egg recipes are so darn easy! Now I want to try some more, like these:
And, of course… Breakfast Pizza
Do you have any eggs-for-dinner recipes to share? I’d love to try them out!