peanut cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.

Last post, we made chicken with braised cabbage. As cabbage heads are normally HUGE, there is typically always some leftover. With that leftover cabbage, and two of the chicken breasts AND the onions (that I quick pickled!), we have this recipe, which is perfect for lunches! A cabbage slaw tossed in a quick peanut dressing, highlighted with some herbs, and topped with that leftover chicken. So easy and so delicious!

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The dressing uses some of the vinegary pickling liquid, but if you choose to not pickle the red onion, use unseasoned rice vinegar. Here is a great tutorial on pickling red onions – they keep for weeks, and are a great way add a pop of tart flavor to your dishes! The base of this slaw is cabbage and red bell pepper, but I added some sliced cucumber, as I was positively swimming in it! Feel free to add any veggies you have on hand — carrots would be a lovely addition!

If packing for lunches, mix the dressing, add to the bottom of a jar/container, layer with the chicken and then the cabbage slaw. Enjoy!

cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.
from Buzzfeed Food.

ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon liquid from pickled onions or rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pickled red onions
1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
8 ounces cooked chicken breasts, sliced

directions
In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, fish sauce, pickling liquid/fish sauce and olive oil until smooth and well combined. Add cabbage, bell pepper, pickled onions and toss with the dressing until the slaw is well coated.

Divide between two plates and top with chicken. Serves 2.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

 

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pan roasted chicken with braised cabbage.

I’m not sure if it is due to my strong Polish heritage or what, but I LOVE cabbage. It is so versatile, it lasts forever, and it’s a bit of an unsung food hero, in my humble opinion. I also feel like it gets brushed aside in favor for its more trendy cousins, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts, and I love an underdog. Ergo, here we are — where I’ll be showcasing cabbage in two different preparations over the next few days. First up – a braising recipe so easy and quick, it’s perfect for weeknights, or for meal prepping! Pan-roasted chicken with braised cabbage.

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Cabbage lends itself easily to being cooked, where it becomes tender and sweet with minimal effort. Here, we will briefly saute it with some red onion and the leftover marinating liquid, and it gets roasted in the oven with the chicken. The result? Soft, tender leaves punctuated with with the sweet-tangy flavor of the onions, cooked down in the vinegar and fish sauce (<– don’t be afraid… fish sauce is ALL about the savory, umami flavor!). I used chicken breasts that I sliced in half as I prefer their flavor, texture, and lower calorie count. If you prefer, use chicken thighs – if using skin-on, make sure to saute long enough to render out the fat and create a crispy skin.

This is a simple dish with loads of flavor – what could be better?

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pan-roasted chicken with braised cabbage.
from Buzzfeed Food. 

ingredients
4 chicken breasts or breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 small head of green cabbage, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
sea salt
black pepper

directions
To marinate the chicken, combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, fish sauce, and olive oil in an air-tight container. Add the chicken and shake everything together. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least an hour, and up to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade; reserve the marinating liquid. Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry and season with sea salt and pepper.

Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat with a teaspoon of oil. Add the chicken and cook, 4-5 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and set them aside. Turn the heat down to medium, add the red onion and saute for about one minute, until the onions begin to soften, about a minute. Add the cabbage, and marinating liquid and stir to ensure the cabbage is coated. Bring to a boil, add the chicken atop the cabbage and place the skillet into the oven to roast for 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and the edges of the cabbage are lightly browned.

Divide the cabbage mixture amongst to plates and top with a chicken breast for each. Serves 2, with 2 chicken breast halves leftover.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

 

white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

This dressing. I want it on everything. I think it may be my favorite homemade dressing to date. It is SO. GOOD.

I’ve been eating this so simply — spooned over sliced half moons of cucumber; cucumber that I had left over from last week’s pasta salad. I enjoyed that combination so much, I actually went out and bought more cucumbers just for the dressing! YUM.

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This is absurdly simple to make – especially if you have a blender! I tend to mix up my dressings in the blender — usually due to laziness. I don’t have to worry about a perfect mince of the garlic and shallot, and the mustard and honey emulsify beautifully with the whizz of the blender; yielding a thick, almost creamy dressing. If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to dirty it, never fear! Simply toss all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined.

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This is tangy, light, yet super flavorful. It is Italian dressing-esque, but a more delicate flavor, thanks to the white wine vinegar. Feel free to use champagne vinegar in place of the white wine, and red wine in place of the apple cider if that’s what you have on hand. I recommend using a neutral oil; olive will overpower the other flavors. You can also use dijon in place of the whole grain mustard, but I love the bite of the whole grain. Enjoy this tossed with fresh, crisp romaine, in a pasta salad, or, over chopped cucumbers like me!

white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

ingredients
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
scant 1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado

directions
In a blender, add all ingredients except the oil. Turn the blender on medium-low, and stream in the oil, increasing the blender speed for 30-45 seconds, allowing the dressing to come together.

Makes about one cup. Keeps for 2 weeks refrigerated.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

roasted sweet potato salad.

People feel really seriously about potato salad. Mayo, or no mayo? (<– NO. Never. Yuck.). Eggs? Chopped pickles? Celery? It can be made a plethora of ways, but for me, the idea of potato salad is almost always better than the reality. I too often find them bland and unappealingly gloppy. Aside from the warm, vinegary German potato salad I grew up on and LOVE, I always tend to be disappointed. HOWEVER. I stumbled upon the idea of a sweet potato salad and was immediately intrigued. You guys. I have your new summer staple picnic salad!

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Yes. This salad combines roasted sweet potatoes with crunch red bell peppers, scallions, roasted frozen(!) corn, dressed in a bright yet lightly sweet honey dijon lime dressing (<– use agave for a vegan dish)! The original recipe I used for inspiration included black beans and cilantro, but I decided to keep it simple and omitted the cilantro simply because it didn’t look good at my grocery store the day I was there. I would also probably skip the cilantro for parties, as many people have a vehement dislike for it. There is so much going on here, you won’t miss it. Promise. 🙂

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As a bonus, this is better the longer it sits as the flavors will be allowed to mingle and marry. Letting it rest for 30 minutes is necessary, but you could make this a day ahead – so convenient for busy schedules! I served this with chicken enchilada meatballs and tortillas, but this would be amazing inside the tortillas for vegan tacos or enchiladas! Enjoy this new warm weather favorite.

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roasted sweet potato salad.
adapted from Averie Cooks.

ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.25 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon each)
1 cup frozen roasted corn (thawed)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
3-4 scallions (green parts), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey (agave if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil and nonstick cooking spray, add the sweet potato. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, tossing about halfway through, to ensure even browning. Check potatoes for doneness around the 30 minute mark; they are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork but are not falling apart.

While the potatoes are cooking, slice the red peppers and scallions and add them to a large bowl along with the thawed corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the tablespoon of olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, lime, salt, pepper and cayenne until emulsified.

Once the potatoes are done cooking and at room temperature or slightly warm, add to the bowl with the vegetables, pour the dressing over top and toss gently to combine.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Keeps well for up to 5 days. Serves 4 as a side.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted salmon salad with honey-dijon vinaigrette.

I just showed you how to meal prep salmon, so let’s turn those portions of delicious fish into a delicious workday meal!

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This salad is so simple – just toss some chopped romaine, baby kale, carrots, cucumbers and sliced almonds with an easy honey-dijon vinaigrette and top with the salmon (warmed or not!). As you can see, I used a whole filet to top my salad; that I had warmed slowly in a pan on the stovetop. For work lunches, I recommend flaking some cold salmon atop your salad (store separately from the greens until just ready to eat).

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Not only is this great for meal prepping, it’s also a great ‘clean out’ recipe! Toss whatever vegetables you have into the salad bowl, top with a sprinkling of almonds or walnuts, or even some leftover fresh herbs. Possibilities are endless.

roasted salmon salad with honey dijon vinaigrette.

ingredients
2 salmon filets, cooked
1 romaine heart, chopped
4 cups baby kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mixed vegetables such as cucumber, bell pepper, celery, etc. (optional)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
sea salt and pepper
dressing:
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of sea salt and pepper

directions
In a blender or small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and then whisk in the olive oil until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

If serving immediately, toss together all salad ingredients except for the salmon. Divide amongst two plates and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing (you will have dressing left over). Top with salmon filet each and serve.

To prep: toss together the salad ingredients except the salmon and dressing. In containers, add the salad greens/vegetables. Store salmon separately in an air tight container; same with dressing.

Makes 2 entree-sized salads. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

super simple roasted salmon with lemon.

Honestly, the title says it all. This is SO. EASY. and it’s my preferred way to meal prep salmon!

Yes, you read that right. Meal prep that includes fish. It can be done! To be fair, cooked fish is more delicate than other cooked proteins (chicken, etc.), so it’s best to consume the salmon in 2 days after cooking it, 3 at the most, IMHO.

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My salmon filet was 1 3/4 pounds, but I cut it in half and used one half for this recipe/prep, and the other I cut into 3 filets and slathered with a sweet chili glaze for that evening’s dinner. Fish markets and places like Costco are great to get affordable, fresh whole filets; my cost was under $15 for almost 2 pounds.

I like this simple cooking method because it lends itself to a myriad of meals/ways to consume. My favorite way is to top a salad with some flaked salmon (<– look for this next!), but you can: eat chilled with roasted asparagus, chopped hardboiled eggs and olives for a riff off of a nicoise salad, fold into a a fish cake (use this recipe and replace the tilapia with salmon!), or toss into cooked pasta with some lemon, cream and fresh herbs. Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

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To ensure proper storage, once cooked, divide into portions (I usually keep the portions in tact, but flake if you prefer), wrap in aluminum foil and store in air tight storage containers. You can absolutely heat up leftover fish, but be kind to your coworkers, and only do that at home. 🙂 Chilled leftover fish is delightful!

easy roasted salmon with lemon.

ingredients
1 pound salmon filet (one whole piece or individual filets; your choice)
nonstick olive oil cooking spray OR 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 lemon, sliced

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, add the whole filet (or cut into two, as I did). Spray the salmon with olive oil spray or brush one teaspoon oil onto the filet. Season with salt and pepper and top with lemon slices.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, 15 for medium-rare, closer to 20 for well done. General rule of thumb is 4-6 minutes per half inch thickness. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon will keep well for 2-3 days wrapped tightly in foil and stored in an air-tight container.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

spicy beef, kale + brown rice bowls.

Happy Passover and Easter weekend friends! For all who celebrate, of course. I am back after  a bit of a hiatus; I was traveling to Colorado (which is stunning!), and I was so busy and with internet service being a bit spotty, I wasn’t able to regularly check in and post!

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I’m back however, and with me I have an easy recipe I made several weeks ago. This is a super simple one bowl meal that hits all of your nutritional goals: protein, complex carbohydrates, and vegetables. This is simply spiced with sriracha, tamari and a little aromatics, courtesy of onion and garlic. It is so flavorful!

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This does take a bit longer to use since I used brown rice, but I try to always use whole grains when I can. The thing I love about rice versus pasta (beside it being GF!) is that much of the cooking time is inactive: boil the water, add the rice, stir, pop a lid on and cook. Most brown rice takes about 40-50 minutes to cook, but check your package directions. The kale cooks with the beef, but please add once the beef (or ground turkey!)  is cooked all the way through, add seasoning, and top the rice with the beef and vegetables.

This is a great meal for meal prepping for weekday lunches! Enjoy!

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spicy beef, kale + brown rice bowls.
inspired by a recipe from HEB. 

ingredients
1 teaspoon grapeseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
1/2 pound ground sirloin
4 cups baby kale, unpacked and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sriracha or chile garlic sauce
1 teaspoon tamari or GF soy sauce
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced

directions
Cook the rice according to package direction. When done, fluff with fork and keep warm.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and the oil. Add the ground sirloin, and cook for 7-9 minutes or until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic at about the 5 minute mark, and continue to cook for 5 additional minutes, or until the onion has softened and the garlic is fragrant; reduce heat if needed to prevent burning.

Add the sea salt, pepper, sriracha, and tamari and stir well to combine. Add chopped kale and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes and let the kale wilt slightly.

Divide the rice amongst four bowls or storage containers. Top with beef and vegetable mixture and serve.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

 

red lentil + kale soup.

It’s lentil soup time! This time, with kale. Mmmm. Kale is my cheese. It makes everything better.

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Still with me? Hooray! Thanks for staying, even after that kale comment. It may seem so basic, but it’s true! I’ve loved kale (and all other leafy greens) long before kale had its trendy moment in the sun. It is *especially* wonderful in soup, as its hardy texture stands up to the cooking process without turning too soft and wilty. If lentils aren’t up your alley, try these soups with kale: this has been a long time favorite that I need to make soon, this is so comforting and this one is vegan and uber allergen friendly!

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This lentil soup is a little different for me, as I did not puree it at all; it is as brothy as a red lentil can be. 🙂 Chop the kale into bite size pieces before you add it at the end of the cooking process so that it’s nice and manageable, and is similar in size to the tomatoes, carrots and celery. If you want a spicier flavor, use hot paprika in place of the sweet or toss in a few crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy this! It’s delightful, especially with some toasted naan.

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red lentil soup with kale.

ingredients
1 cup split red lentils
15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with their juices
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalked, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2-3 cups (not packed) curly kale, thinly chopped

directions
Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to turn translucent and soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for and additional minute. Add the paprika, ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, salt and pepper and stir to combine and allow the spices to ‘bloom’.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and vegetable stock and stir to combine. Stir, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and let cook for 12-15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still retain most of their shape (you do not want them to completely fall apart in this recipe).

Add the kale and let cook for 5-7 minutes longer, until kale has softened.

Serve immediately or let cool completely before storing and freezing. Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a starter (1 cup).

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

sausage + broccoli brown rice skillet.

After making last week’s sausage sauce, I had a few links of sausage leftover that I stashed in the freezer. I was craving simple and comforting food that didn’t need a ton of effort to put together. You know what I mean? As much as I love to cook, sometimes when I know I’m going to have a really busy week I try and make a dish like this: much of the cook time is low to no hands on effort, it makes enough for multiple leftovers (if you’re feeding one or two) AND it reheats well! Exactly what I was looking for.

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I used brown long grain rice for this, which will require a longer cooking time. If you prefer, you can use quick cooking brown rice or white rice, and adjust the cook times accordingly (you’ll want to toss the broccoli and peppers in earlier if you use either of those options so it cooks all the way through).

Feel free to use your favorite veggies in this… swap asparagus for broccoli, or toss a handful of kale in!

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sausage + broccoli brown rice skillet.

ingredients
8 ounces hot Italian poultry sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 cups broccoli florets (about 2 broccoli crowns)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
splash of dry white wine or rice vinegar
scant 1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken stock (or water) plus additional 1/4 cup if needed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper if desired

directions
Heat a 3 quart skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once oil is heated, add the sliced sausage and cook, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until sausage is cooked through. Add splash of wine or vinegar and let bubble and reduce, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the rice, chicken stock, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper if using. Stir together, allow to come to a boil and reduce heat low, and cover, allowing mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, checking and stirring once or twice while cooking to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan (add additional liquid if needed).

After cooking for 30-35 minutes, Add the broccoli and red pepper, lightly stir and recover, allowing the mixture to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the vegetables soften, the rice is tender, and the liquid is absorbed. Let rest for a few minutes and fluff with a fork.

Serves 4.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

sausage red sauce.

This recipe has always been known to me as H’s sausage pasta sauce, or more affectionally, ‘sausage sauce’. It was a recipe from a previous boyfriend’s stepmother, and it. is. divine. And addictive. I cannot wait for it to finish cooking so might as well taste test a spoonful, or twelve addictive.

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The first several times I had it, the thick and flavorful sauce was spooned over penne pasta, with plenty of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of sauce. Utterly delicious and addictive, but decidedly not friendly to your waistline. For my interpretation, we are using poultry sausage and serving over spaghetti squash. For all you spaghetti squash novices, here is a great tutorial on how to cook one. These lightened up swaps work when I want comfort food but am trying to watch what I eat. For total comfort, serve with pasta and bread. Also feel free to use pork sausage! I flip flop, and it’s amazing either way.

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I usually use diced or petite diced canned tomatoes, but I accidentally grabbed a can of crushed and realized it once I started to cook. It won’t change the dish at all, the sauce will just be smoother with crushed, so use what you prefer. I recommend petite diced: it’s a nice way to meet in the middle. 🙂

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Don’t skip the pesto – the richness really rounds out the finished sauce. If you don’t cook with wine, use half the amount of red wine vinegar. This makes A TON (I usually halve the recipe) but freezes beautifully. Enjoy!

red sauce with sausage.
from H. 

ingredients
a few tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 pounds Italian poultry or pork sausage (about 4-6 links)
2 sweet onions, diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated or minced
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 jar marinara sauce, your favorite
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup jarred pesto

directions
Heat a large heavy pan with a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add sausage links and cook, turning halfway through for 8-10 minutes, partially covering the pan while cooking. Remove from pan and after letting rest for a few minutes, slice into 1 inch rounds.

Add additional tablespoon of oil if needed, and add onions, carrots, and bell pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for additional 1-2 minutes.

Return sausage rounds to pan and add diced tomatoes, marinara sauce and wine. Heat to a slow boil and then reduce to a simmer, and cook on low for an hour to an hour and half. Add pesto and simmer for additional half an hour. Taste and season with a touch of sea salt if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serves 8 (generously). Freezes well.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*