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VIBES: Sheila E “A Love Bizarre

This is a new weekly staple at our house. Im so into easy recipes with minimal ingredients. I pretty much always have lentils, brown rice and onions on hand and that’s the basis here. You could serve this as a side dish or a main course. I like to serve it with a quick pickled cucumber salad. It would be nice with a spiced roasted chicken and some sautéed greens, but I’m perfectly happy with a bowl of this on its own.

Adapted from Bon Appetit


4 cups water

1 cube knorrs vegetable bullion

1 cup french green or brown lentils / rinsed

1 bay leaf

kosher salt/ fresh ground pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

4 large purple onions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley or mint)

lemon wedges for serving


Bring water and bullion cube to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. You can also use chicken or vegetable stock. Add rice, lentils, and bay leaf and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice and lentils are tender, 35–45 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit 5–10 minutes (there should still be some broth remaining). Discard bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Set rice mixture aside.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cumin seeds and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often and adding water to pan as needed to prevent burning, until onions are golden brown and soft, 20–25 minutes.

Mix half of onion mixture and half of herbs into rice mixture; season with salt and pepper. Top mujadarra remaining onion mixture, and remaining herbs, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.



I have a slight obsession with all things lentil. Ive had this dish countless times at one of my favorite spots; Lucky Strike.  One day I realized I just needed to learn how to make it at home. A super healthy quick meal. Add grilled fish or chicken for another layer of flavor.


1 cup  green lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups  water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (dried is ok too)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water
Crunchy sea salt, for serving
Fresh arugula, washed and chilled.

In a medium saucepan bring lentils water and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp of salt and cook another 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy.

While lentils cook, warm 1tbsp oil in a skillet over medium low heat.Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme,1/8 tsp salt, and cook until vegetables are softened. About 8 minutes.
Prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, remaining salt, water and olive oil. Whisk until it emulsifies.

Drain lentils in a colander and discard the bay leaf. Dump into skillet with vegetables, add vinaigrette. Cook over low heat stirring gently until heated through. Add splash of red wine vinegar and serve warm over a bed of fresh arugula. Top with a pinch of crunchy sea salt.

Recipe adapted from (Patent and the Pantry)


2014-07-20 19.56.10-1VIBES: RADIOHEAD “ALL I NEED”

This is a nice little Sunday project. I recently acquired a super cheap pasta machine, so i set out to see how hard this was. My interest in fresh pasta began at  Posada Margherita in Tulum. I thought it was so bizarre that some of the best pasta Ive ever had was in… Mexico?? (and yes I’ve traveled through most of Italy) Good food is good food.

The Kitchn has a great fresh pasta tutorial. Most of this recipe is adapted from them with adjustments for a food processor vs. hand kneading.


2 cups of all purpose flour, more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Crack the eggs on top of the flour. Process for 30-60 seconds, until dough comes together and forms a ball.If sticky add flour, if its too dry and pebble like, add more water. Repeat until dough comes together. Remove dough from food processor, shape into a ball. Rest dough in bowl covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes.

Note: At this point, the pasta dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let it come back to room temperature before rolling.
Divide the dough into four equal portions. Dust the portions with flour and cover with a clean dishtowel. Make sure to keep all pasta dusted with flour. You do not want the dough to stick to anything. Flour all surfaces including your hands when handling the dough.
Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting (usually marked “1”). Flatten one piece of dough into a thick disk between your hands and feed it through the pasta roller. Repeat once or twice. Fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, and press it between your hands again. With the pasta machine still on the widest setting, feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers. Feed it through once or twice more until smooth. If desired, repeat this folding step. This helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked.
Begin changing the settings on your roller to roll the pasta thinner and thinner. Roll the pasta two or three times at each setting, and don’t skip settings (the pasta tends to snag and warp if you do). If the pasta gets too long to be manageable, lay it on a cutting board and slice it in half. Roll the pasta as thin as you like to go. Ive tried both thicker and thinner, and i prefer the pasta as thin as possible since it tends to puff slightly when cooked.
Cut the long stretch of dough into noodle-length sheets, usually about 12-inches. If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping. If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. Toss the noodles with a little flour to keep them from sticking and gather them into a loose basket. Set this basket on the floured baking sheet and cover with a towel while you finish rolling and cutting the rest of the dough.
To cook the pasta immediately, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook the pasta until al dente, 4-5 minutes. To dry, lay the pasta over a clothes drying rack, coat hangers, or the back of a chair, and let air dry until completely brittle. Store in an airtight container for several weeks. To freeze, either freeze flat in long noodles or in the basket-shape on a baking sheet until completely frozen. Gather into an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Dried and frozen noodles may need an extra minute or two to cook.




I first had this dish at a chain restaurant in a shopping mall in New Jersey. Yes.. Fine dining at its finest. When I have a great dish, wherever that may be, I obsessively try to recreate the recipe at home. So heres my interpretation of New-Jersey-Mall-Restaurant-Pasta-Primavera 🙂


-1/2 lb of barilla thin spaghetti
-water for boiling pasta
-olive oil
-1 TSP of red pepper flakes
-4 garlic cloves diced
-1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
-1/2 cup zuchinni- julienned
-1/2 cup red bell pepper – julienned
-1/2 cup yellow squash – julienned
-1/2 cup carrots – julienned
-1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
-Handful of grape tomatoes halved
-1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
-1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
-salt and pepper to taste
-pat of butter
-1/2 cup of fresh grated parmesan or pecorino romano

Bring a 5.5. quart pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook for 5 of the recommended 6 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and set aside. Meanwhile prepare all the veggies, chop, dice, julienne. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan (you can also use a wok or the pasta pot). Add the red pepper flakes and swirl for 1 minute. Add Garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two until fragrant. Add zucchini, squash, carrot and red bell pepper, add a few tbsp of the vegetable broth toss around making sure to evenly cook all veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and allow to cook for another 2 minutes. Add pasta, a few tbsp of the pasta water, the fresh herbs, and pat of butter and swirl in pan until everything comes together. You should have a nice little brothy sauce in the pan as well, but should not be soupy. Just enough liquid in the pan to coat everything and bring the flavors together. Add grated cheese and serve immediately.



I sort of made these up based on all the bean recipes I’ve collected form latin friends, moms and grandmothers over the years. Its also probably loosely based on the recipe on the back of the Goya can. This is one I’ve been making forever, and its slightly different every time. This is one of those recipes you learn once, then instinctually change it as you go to suit your own tastes. Taste as you go, and you’ll be fine.

-2 TBSP olive oil
-1 large onion chopped
-1 green pepper chopped
-2-3 cloves garlic minced
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 13 oz can of black beans (use dried beans if you have time, the texture will be way better)
-2 cups vegetable stock or water
-1 TBSP Homemade Sazon  or 2 packets Goya Sazon
-1TBSP apple cider vinegar
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Handful chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add garlic, swirl around in pan for another minute. Add onions and peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Add Sazon and stir to combine. Add beans and liquids. Liquid should just cover beans, you can use water or broth. Cook down for about 30-45 minutes, longer if you’re using dried beans. If you’re using dried beans you’ll want them to be tender, add more liquid if needed until you have tender beans and a thick sauce. When beans are close to done, mash a few to thicken the sauce. Add the apple cider vinegar and cook for another few minutes. Add chopped cilantro and stir to combine. Adjust salt/pepper as needed. Serve over rice with fresh sliced avocado.

-4 Cups Water
-2 Cups long grain rice
-1 TBSP Olive Oil
-1TBSP Homemade Sazon or 1 Packet Goya Sazon

Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan over high heat, stir to combine. When water begins to boil, reduce to low, cover and cook until liquid has evaporated (about 20 minutes) Remove from heat and serve immediately.



Grilled cheese is one of the greatest gifts. Outside of Raekwon and Pizza, its up there with my favorite things. Hook it up with GOOD bread, GOOD cheese,  FRESH tomatoes and a balsamic reduction and you just went to a whole new place. Easy.

-Ciabatta bread, sliced in half
-Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced (I used Dubliner)
-Two slices red tomato
-Two slices yellow tomato
-1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
-cracked pepper to taste

Toast bread in a toaster until golden. Transfer to baking sheet and layer cheese, then tomatoes, then pepper. Place under broiler high heat. Broil for about 5-6 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Meanwhile make balsamic reduction on the stovetop. Add 1/4 cup of balsamic to a saucepan on medium high heat. When it begins to bubble, swirl constantly for about 3 minutes or until the liquid has thickened and reduced to half. It should be a syrupy consistency. Remove grilled cheese from oven and drizzle balsamic on top. Serve immediately!



VIBES: The Lox – Go Head

Cacio e Pepe. Cheese and pepper pasta. The ultimate comfort food. Costs almost nothing to make, with ingredients you already have in the house. The only rule is: USE GOOD CHEESE. By ‘good cheese’ I don’t mean that kraft-green-can-parmesan-joint they sell in every supermarket. Go to the dairy section and grab a container of freshly grated Pecorino Romano.  Anyone can make this.


-Sea salt
-1/2lb of pasta (I used Barilla thin spaghetti)
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
-1 Tsp. Fresh cracked pepper
-1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
-1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
-Pinch of fresh lemon zest (optional)

Bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil in a 5qt pot. While water is heating, prepare your ingredients. Crack the pepper, grate cheese, cut butter, etc. Add spaghetti to boiling water, cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water in a mug. Drain about 1 minute before tender (Barilla thin spaghetti cooks in 6 minutes, so you’d drain in 5 minutes)
Return pot to burner and melt butter over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan to toast the pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add pasta, add pasta water, stir. Add cheeses and toss with tongs until combined. Cheese, butter, pepper, water should all come together in broth like sauce. Transfer to bowls and serve immediately.

*Optional – Add a pinch of lemon zest right before serving.