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lentil salad

I highly recommend having cooked beans or lentils on hand whenever possible. Here’s why. I made lentil burgers the other night, and ended up with more lentils than I needed. Those little puppies came in handy today while I was roaming around my apartment, starving, wondering what on earth to eat for lunch. (I do a lot of roaming around now that I work from home, mostly so I don’t become permanently affixed to the couch, a withered shell of myself, fingertips glued to the keyboard).

What resulted was a quite tasty, very healthy salad, composed entirely of “stuff I had lying around,” including but not limited to, carrots, onion, kale, cilantro, pine nuts, and labneh (though greek yogurt would do). I threw some salt, pepper, cayenne and coriander for seasoning, plus a splash of red wine vinegar for some tang. Took about 10 minutes start to finish, and I have no complaints!

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We’ve all had a crush on someone who is objectively, at a minimum, funny-looking. All logic should steer you clear of this individual, yet, through some combination of actual magnetism and hormones running amok, you find him (or her) sexy ugly. Our friends may mock us mercilessly, but we can’t be dissuaded from the notion. After all, imperfection is attractive. And I would apply that notion, above all, to food.

You can definitely go too far with this line of thinking — if it looks like dog food, it’s probably not going to be particularly appetizing. But I’ve never been one to idolize incredibly perfect dishes plated entirely with tweezers. I respect the craft, but wouldn’t choose it for myself. My food is, like me, a bit messy. Even when it’s perfect.

Puff pastry is a favorite vehicle for basically anything, though I rarely use it because it is approximately 1000% butter. But in hunting for some recipe inspiration recently, I decided I would like to make a savory tarte tatin, with caramelized onions instead of apples. And with the remaining scraps of puff pastry, I made a leftovers lunch by topping it with a roasted butternut squash and kale salad I’d made a few days prior. (And goat cheese, for good measure).

Two imperfectly perfect meals, with one buttery crust! Recipes after the jump.

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