Lentils for lunch

April 29, 2009


While I’m really not liking this new marketing term “uber cocooning” (why not just call people shut-ins or hermits?) I worry I could be mistaken for one. You see, I do love a well-stocked pantry. It just makes life so much easier to be able to make a great recipe literally right out of the cupboard.

Case in point: this lentil salad that I made recently for my Sunday lunch. The genesis for this bowl of yummy stuff was a humble can of lentils that I drained, rinsed and put in a bowl. Subsequent scavenging led to the discovery of green pumpkin seeds, a carrot, a quarter of a red pepper, a hunk of a forgotten pomegranate, some coriander and a shallot. A little chopping and a very few minutes later, my salad was born as this concoction dressed with a curry flavoured dressing.

Delish on a dime and in no time!

What’s your favourite out-of-the-cupboard lunch?

By the way, here’s how I made the Curry Vinaigrette:

1 tsp (5 mL) curry paste
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each honey and minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) minced fresh garlic
3 tbsp (45 mL) canola or extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Blend the curry paste, honey, ginger and vinegar together until smooth. Stir in the garlic and while whisking, drizzle in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Pantry raid: banana bread

November 3, 2008

Have you ever opened the freezer and had to dodge cannonball-sized projectiles cascading out the door? No? Then you are a better freezer manager than I. This past weekend it became obvious that it was time to go on a pantry raid and clean out some of the food I’ve been saving for another day.

The result? A buffet dinner of warmed up bits of Martin’s terrific cassoulet, some weeknight pasta with tomato sauce and the like. And for dessert? A pretty tasty banana loaf made from some skanky, black peel covered bananas.

Although this was definitely not the best dinner I’ve served, it was satisfying on other levels: As a housekeeper, I felt great about organizing the freezer and having a heat-and-eat dinner was a nice break from meal planning, too.

How often do you need to clean out the freezer? When you do, is it more like a treasure hunt or a step into the mysterious beyond?

Pantry raiders unite

August 5, 2008

For a food writer, I have a perverse love of empty pantry shelves and wide open spaces in my refrigerator. Our test kitchen develops about 600 recipes a year for our various editorial and corporate clients so we have a huge pantry management issue. (In fact, we have a team member whose business card title is Pantry Manager).

A side effect of having to cope with so much food is that I’ve developed this weird desire to have an empty refrigerator. I just love to open the fridge and see an empty shelf. It’s become synonymous with having no work to do. Weird, but true.

Perhaps that’s why I liked this post about saving money by using up your pantry supplies. Saving money, earning money – just two sides of the same cookie, right?

Keep up with Bread Chick’s pantry management experiment by following her Pantry Plan tags each week.