Archive | April, 2013

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

22 Apr

photoThis weekend, I was a single girl (woohoo!) with Rafe at home in South Carolina. True to form, however, I didn’t do much out of the normal. In fact, as usual, most of the weekend was spent either at the gym, out on the deck, or in the kitchen. The weather was beautiful (sunny but brisk, with a slight wind) and on Saturday I went for a nice like (11 miles) run in the neighborhood and around Rice University to prepare myself for next weekend’s Nashville half-marathon.

I adapted a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe to make this pretty amazing veggie entree. In the future, I might add pork/ham to give it a little more savoriness or body. This would be good for a side dish, or a main, as we ate it last night…

With all the good things in lentils, this might become a regular in our household.

There are a few awesome things about lentils, and I’ll just name a few:

  1. 18g of protein per cup! That is a ton of awesome protein to build lean muscle.
  2. Only 230 calories in a cup, much lower than animal proteins.
  3. Contains nearly half of the fiber we’re supposed to get every day.
  4. Iron. A cup contains nearly 40% of the RDA value for iron.


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (with sweet potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (with lentils)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 pinches of chili flakes
  • 2 tsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (samish size as the sweet potatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 14 oz dried lentils (~2.5 c)
  • 2 tsp salt


  • Heat oven to 400, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and maple syrup, add a little salt and pepper to coat. Roast in middle of the oven for 25 min, until fork goes into cubes easily.
  • Heat large saucepan over medium, coating with olive oil. When warm, saute onion with herbs, garlic, and chili until glassy (~5 min). Add in carrot, stirring occasionally.
  • Add bag of lentils in, and add 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for ~40 min or until lentils have soaked up most of the water and are soft.
  • Add sweet potatoes into the lentil mixture.

Darkest, Richest Chocolate Ice Cream

13 Apr

DSC_0763Last month, my in-laws were in town for a visit. Now there’s something you should know about my father-in-law– chocolate is literally the only thing that works for him as a dessert. Nothing else will do.  And he’s a purest, so when chocolate is involved in the dessert, it’s really not enough. The dessert must be completely, darkly, richly, fully chocolate. (And the darker the better.)

So I adapted the Scharffen Berger chocolate ice cream recipe just for my father-in-law, and topped it with toasted coconut for my husband. We ate it while playing a game of Cards Against Humanity, which if you’ve never played, is quite hilarious especially while playing with one’s in-laws.


  • 4 oz very dark semisweet chocolate (I used a mix of 60% and 70% cacao)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 c coconut flake; sliced bananas (optional)


  • Finely chop the chocolate and place in a large bowl.

    Or you could eat over sliced bananas, like me.

    Or you could eat over sliced bananas, like me.

  • In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until canary yellow. Whisk in cocoa powder until you get a thick paste.
  • Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk continuously. While whisking the cocoa mixture, slowly pour the milk into the cocoa mixture, whisk until smooth (whisk continuously so the egg does not cook in place!).
  • Return the cocoa+milk mixture back to the saucepan and cook again over medium heat, stirring this time with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. This should just be a few more minutes.
  • Strain the hot mixture into the bowl with the finely chopped chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate melts.
  • Let cool, or cool by putting this bowl into a larger bowl with an ice bath in it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hr.
  • Freeze in ice cream maker according to instructions.
  • For toasted coconut to top, lightly brown coconut flake in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until aromatic. Let cool before serving over ice cream.