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Lentil and Tomato Stew, Grilled Cheese, and Baked Chocolate Fudge

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Apparently, the ultimate Valentine’s date is cookbook shopping. Omnivore was packed today. After brunch I had possibly the quickest five hours in the cookbook store I’ve ever worked. I spent the day drinking green tea, chatting with happy lovebirds and flipping through a new book on San Francisco tea establishments called “The Way to Tea”. I had no idea the underground tea culture was so amazing here! Now I have a big list of places to go – if anyone wants to accompany on tea culture sleuthing, I promise it will be a fun adventure.


When I came home, we were still unsure of our Valentines’ Day dinner plans – restaurants are a no go on V-day (overtaxed kitchens pose too many bad-experience risks). I was tempted to go into Chinatown for the Chinese New Year, but ultimately we settled on staying and and watching a movie.

I flipped through my latest favorite cookbook: Lucinda Scala Quinn’s “Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys” and used it as inspiration to make a hearty lentil stew. I’ve made about 10 recipes from this book, all with great success.


I didn’t have any tomato, or tomato paste on hand, so I actually just poured in an entire jar of Trader Joe’s Rustico tomato sauce in the pot. This is *great* tomato sauce. Highly recommended. It turned into more of a tomato lentil soup (bonus points for a red dish on Valentine’s Day) – and what better to go with a tomato soup – than grilled cheese! I used some Alvarado Street bread, and some delicious Cabot Pepperjack, that the folks at Cabot so kindly sent me to help celebrate Valentines’ day. Pepperjack is one of my favorites – a nice sharp cheese with a hint of heat.

Look at that hot melting action!!!


For dessert of course, we had to have something with chocolate. This outrageous pot of melty gooey goodness was the Pioneer Woman’s Delicious Baked Fudge . The ingredients are egg, butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and a tiny bit of flour. Nothing else. I made two individual portions in leftover ceramic yogurt ramekins… It was, I dare say it, almost too rich for me. Although, it could be because I ate mine, and then took the last two bites of Devon’s. Public Service Announcement: do not be gluttonous with this.


It was a lovely evening spent together. Minus the movie. I won’t say it was a bad film, but if you are going to cook through one of the most iconic cookbooks in the world, and then write a book about it, it might help if you were a competent writer. Alas, it was asking too much. [I think that’s enough about that.]

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