quick italian soup.

One of my new go-to recipes. It’s healthy, a little bit spicy, and loaded with veggies. Plus, it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Though I’ve made it using turkey sausage, you can easily make it without and add more kidney beans or subsitute Italian Field Roast or the like. Either option would be as satisfying as the original. :)

lv, molly


Spicy Italian Sausage (or bean) Soup

Serves 4, entree-sized portions

1 Tbl olive oil
8 oz. mild or hot Italian Style, chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed OR Italian Field Roast OR double the kidney beans
1/2 C chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper (or more, to taste)
32 oz reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (15 1/2 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely crushed
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
1/2 C uncooked small pasta, such as mini bow ties or elbows (I use the Barilla Plus macaroni)

Heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat.

Add sausage or Field Roast; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes; cook and stir 3 minutes longer or until onion is tender and sausage is browned, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Pour chicken broth, beans and tomatoes into saucepan. Stir in oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in spinach and pasta. Return to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer. Optional: sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


slow-roasted tomatoes.

For the millions (nay, trillions) of you who read this blog, this post was slowly cultivated, after weeks of consideration, hours of roasting, minutes of salivating. It seems like an appropriate first post after a 1 month hiatus. These tomatoes are so…. slow.

I recently made a purchase on Amazon for which Christian has mocked me incessantly. I bought Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. (I can hear the snickers from here, people of the internets!) While there’s nothing particularly ingenuous or inventive in it, I do like that most of the recipes are healthy and focused on fresh ingredients. They’re also simple enough that I could easily make most of them on a weeknight after a long day of teaching. While the cloying narratives that precede each recipe grate on the nerves, she seems earnest, and the recipes work really well. I truly like this cookbook.

The first recipe I made from the book was the simplest. We used these tomatoes on a pizza (see below), in a frittata, and had there been leftovers, I would’ve added them to a grilled cheese sandwich. They’d also be delicious in a simple pasta sauce, omelet, salad, or soup. Completely versatile, and they last in the fridge up to a week.

The slow roasting brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes that I’d never tasted before. Truly delicious. Even Christian cut out the mockery when he tasted these.

lv, molly

PS- Now that I’m finally back to this blog, I have so many recipes to share: asparagus with fried eggs and toast, broccoli and lemon pasta, blackberry muffins. Stay tuned.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

vine-ripened tomatoes (use a bunch, since they last a while!)
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally. Rub with a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake seed side up for 3-5 hours, or until they look nearly sun dried. The edges will be caramelized and the moisture will be almost entirely evaporated. Make a bunch at once!

a knock your socks off dinner.



I posted this recipe a few months back, and I’m re-posting because I made it last night and was quite taken by how unbelievably delicious this is. How could I have forgotten? (Am I being immodest?)

This dish is sweet and spicy, and it’s made its way into my list of favorite dinners, hell (!), foods. The soy sauce, butter, and pinch of sugar create a rich sauce that’s flavored with shallots, ginger, and eight cloves of garlic.

It’s slightly more labor-intensive than most dinners I make, but it’s totally worth it. (Buy a garlic press if you don’t have one. It’ll save you some trouble; plus, I think they’re fun to use.)

My boyfriend said this is the best tofu dish he’s ever had, and I think I may agree, save for Tamarind Tree’s Lemongrass Tofu. I just checked the fridge hoping for leftovers but none in sight! Enjoy!!

lv, molly

Black Pepper Tofu

Serves 3 generously

Adapted (AKA “healthified) from Lottie + Doof

600 grams extra firm tofu, pressed
All purpose flour
Vegetable or olive oil
3″ piece ginger, chopped finely
1 serano chili, seeds removed, sliced thinly
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
8 large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Tbl unsalted butter
2 Tbl peppercorns, coarsely crushed
3 Tbl tamari (strongly flavored soy sauce)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
10 thin scallions, chopped into 1/2″ segments
Jasmine or brown rice, for serving

Cut the tofu into 1/2″ blocks and toss them in flour, shaking off the excess. Pour enough oil into a nonstick frying pan to create a shallow coat, and bring up to frying heat. Cook the tofu in batches in the oil, turning the pieces as you go. Once they are golden all around, and have a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, and add the butter. Once it has melted, add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 15 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the contents of the pan are shiny and totally soft. While you wait, crush the peppercorns, using a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. They should be quite coarse.
When the shallots and chillies are soft, add the soy sauces and the sugar, stir; then stir in the crushed pepper. Warm the tofu in the sauce for about a minute, then add the spring onion and stir through. Serve hot with steamed rice and a side of vegetables.

Black Pepper Tofu