Eat Well: Janus & Co

The following post was written by my mom, WWW who according to the below photo now rocks a bedazzled spoon? Get crazy, mom! 2013 or bust!
January is named after the Roman god Janus, god of the doorway. I love January, not only because it is my birthday month, but because there is something exhilarating about having a beginning after an end, opening new doors and starting afresh after all the decorations are put away, the house has been cleaned, and the family has left. It takes me a couple of days to get my land legs back after the month of rocking to and fro. We had eleven people staying here for Christmas and now the house is strangely quiet. I hear the hum of the refrigerator again, silenced for several weeks by big and little voices, and although I cherished every minute of our family togetherness, I feel good about rolling up my sleeves, plunging back into my work and finding new meaning in my life. 

This was our second year of gluten-free holidays and I now feel like a pro. Thanks to Pamela’s Artisan Flour, it was easy to convert favorite recipes—just substitute the mix for the flour in the recipes. Big winners were Gigi’s latkes, my mushroom gravy, Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous brownies, and Mimi cookies (I cut the sugar and nutmeg in half). Big loser was our gingerbread house, which collapsed about an hour after we decorated it. David was sure that it was the fault of the flour and he is probably right; I just went to Pamela’s site and their recipe calls for Pamela’s Bread Mix for gingerbread houses. Archer requested a haunted house this year and David designed an open, two story, four room house, like a doll’s house, which, although fun to decorate, might have contributed to its demise. Even still, the kids LOVED the added excitement of a house in ruins. This way they could start eating it before Christmas and, as Archer so aptly noted, the fact that it collapsed proved the house was truly haunted.
photo-1 moments after its completion/moments before it collapsed
photo photos by David because Rebecca dropped her phone in the toilet

I got a couple of great new cookbooks for Christmas. (I can NEVER have too many of these!) David gave me appropriately a new gluten-free cookbook: Small Plates and Sweet Treats by canelle et vanille Basque blogger Aran Goyoaga. I love her blog and the book looks really great. I can’t wait to try some of her ideas. My niece gave me Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It has awesome vegan recipes, a lot of which are raw. So…. inspired by the book, my New Year’s food resolution this year is to buy a dehydrator and plunge into experimenting with more raw food. I will keep you posted as I begin navigating those waters. In the meantime, I made Crazy, Sexy Kitchen’s red lentil soup for dinner tonight—a perfect quick meal for a cold January night and a creamier version of my standard red dahl. Double it and freeze half so you have an easy meal at your fingertips. I modified a few things from the original recipe.

Coconut and Red Lentil Soup 
(modified from Crazy Sexy Kitchen) 

1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 ½ cup red lentils
4 cups water
1 can coconut milk
2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons good quality powdered ginger)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon sea salt
the zest of 1 lemon
2 lemons, juiced (or 5 tablespoons bottled lemon juice)
½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. Toast cumin in dry pot on medium heat for 2 minutes until you smell the robust aromas.
2. Add the olive oil, cayenne, and onion. Stir consistently until the onion is golden and translucent.
3. Add everything else except lemon zest, lemon, and cilantro. Bring to boil and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until lentils have lost their round shape and have softened. You can add more water if it is too thick.
4. When soup is done, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped cilantro.
Serve in bowls over jasmine or basmati rice:
Enjoy and Happy New Year to all! 



French Cannes Cannes | 3:46 PM

Yummmmm! Definitely going to try this! Thanks WWW:-)

Lissa | 5:21 AM

Making this for hubs tonight... Mmmmm

Mariah | 5:27 PM

We made this tonight, and it's totally our new favorite soup! Really wish I had made a double batch. :) The bright lemon and cilantro really make it.