Three Things: Recipes
Potato Leek Soup, link to recipe in post

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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February 23, 2016

Potato Leek Soup, link to recipe in post

Potato Leek Soup, link to recipe in post

Food is really hard sometimes. I am a picky eater which leads me to eating the same thing all the time. There are lots of reasons for my pickiness–there are a few types of flavors I dislike (earthy ones, mostly) and I also have texture issues–plus years of being forced to eat food I didn’t care for because it was what was for dinner. So we tend to default to the same five or six meals.

We’ve been making an effort to switch things up with intermittent success, perhaps these recipes will ring your bell, too?  Even if half the ingredients aren’t currently in season [insert sobbing face here].

Spite Lettuce vs. Big-Ass Delicious Salads with Blueberry-Avocado Vinaigrette

This. Salad. Is. Amazing. It is because of this salad that I have developed an obsession with arugula. I never, in a million years, would have thought about combining all these different ingredients together–blueberry avocado vinaigrette, really?–but it totally works in a way that makes my mouth super happy. It also has prosciutto in it. Prosciutto is an excellent ingredient in nearly anything. This site also sums up my food philosophy quite nicely:

This salad will make you feel fed but it won’t make you feel shitty. It’s the way all salads could be if we stopped thinking of nutrition like a series shitty, judgy Unchangeable Rules that demand forsaking all carbs and fun in exchange for anti-inflammatory super alkaline clean omega green skinny power smoothies.

I am looking at you, Moon Juice Lady. (However, Moon Juice Lady did spawn this delightful essay, so. Even Moon Juice Lady has contributed something positive to the world.)

Rad Rainbow Pad Thai

This is another thing I never thought I’d like: historically, I haven’t found zucchini particularly tasty and tend to avoid it in all forms. But last summer I was feeling adventurous and thought about trying this and lo and behold, I like raw zucchini (still iffy on the cooked stuff and other summer squashes are still on the do no eat list). It was delicious and it’s incredibly filling. This particular recipe is also meat-free and doesn’t have any processed carbohydrates if those are things you’re looking to avoid or not eat for any particular reason.

The thing about salads, though, is that they don’t keep particularly well unless you segregate ingredients and assemble shortly before eating.  This makes them less than optimal for work lunches, at least for me it does.

Potato Leek Soup with Dill

This recipe, on the other hand, is amazing for leftovers. So damn good. And I’ll admit: we use waaaay more bacon than the recipe calls for because bacon is the candy of meat and it makes everything taste delicious. It’s filling, it keeps well, and it’s not at all difficult to make–and the ingredient list is pretty simple (ignore the preciousness in the write-up about the bacon: not everyone has regular access to Fancy Pasture Raised Bacon and you shouldn’t let that stop you from trying this recipe out).

Nom nom nom potato leek soup.

Do you have any favorite recipes? Link me up in the comments!

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  1. PK

    A modified version of this pasta is a weeknight staple by us as it’s quick to make and ridiculously tasty for those who eat pork. We use chopped black olives instead of capers and pour off some of the extra fat as it’s too greasy otherwise.

    For North American folks: rocket = arugula, and chorizo here is the cured variety. This would totally work with fresh chorizo of either the Mexican or Spanish varieties, you’d just need to cook it fully first!

  2. schizospider

    Well, that potato-leek soup and that pad thai needs to be in my face immediately.

    I have yet to go wrong with any recipe that sounded remotely good from Smitten Kitchen ( The best part is she’s got something ridiculous like a seven-year archive, so you can search by, say, one weird ingredient you picked up to try out, and still come up with a lot of really great ideas. Admittedly, I’ve mostly tried her baking recipes, but the Spinach & Cheese Strata ( became a family legend almost immediately after I made it for this past Christmas morning and could easily be jazzed up with prosciutto/ham/bacon/meat of choice. (I don’t even make it in strata, I mix all the ingredients together & dump it in a casserole dish. Still delicious.) I’ve got plans (and rinds) to make the Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans (, I just have to locate a cheesecloth some time in the immediate future.

    My favorite “I probably have all this stuff kicking around” feel-good recipe is Alton Brown’s lentil soup ( It’s something stupid like 10 ingredients (3 of which are spices), and only one of them is remotely obscure (grains of paradise, which you can easily replace in the recipe with black pepper, or black pepper with a dash of nutmeg if you’re feeling jaunty). If your grocery store sells pre-chopped onions, carrots, and celery, it seriously cuts back on the prep time (similarly, I’ve found you can easily get away with using canned diced tomatoes, which is wonderful because tomatoes are disgusting in these parts during the season that lentil soup really hits the spot).

    If you’re into trying new soups in general, my favorite book on the subject is Soups For Every Body, the conceit of which is just that they let you know which recipes are vegan/vegetarian, high protein, low carb, and “smart” fat (I bought it when my mom was having some medical issues that required her to have a higher protein diet and it came it really handy when I tried cutting back on my meat consumption, although it should be noted that my second-favorite recipe in there is a white bean, garlic, and prosciutto soup that uses chicken stock as a base, so I’m kind of okay with being a half-assed vegetarian). The Creamy Triple Mushroom soup is my favorite, although I don’t have anywhere in a two-town radius that sells dried shiitake mushrooms. Oh, hell, I went out of my way to have my mom pick me up some mole paste last time she was out west & I still haven’t made the Southwest Butternut Squash soup! I’d better get on that…

  3. Victoria Janssen

    Olive oil (not extra virgin)
    Cayenne pepper
    One can pinto or pink beans
    One can tomatoes
    One can pumpkin
    Salt, Pepper

    Cooked rice

    On medium heat, saute 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper in enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Cayenne will darken in a minute or so. Add one large can beans with liquid (careful not to splatter when liquid hits oil), one can of tomatoes, and one can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix).

    Mix gently. Lower heat. Add salt, cumin, and cinnamon–perhaps 1/2 teaspoon each to start, more to taste; usually less cinnamon than cumin. Simmer on low heat for perhaps fifteen minutes, stirring when mixture bubbles, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Add freshly ground black pepper towards the end. Serve over rice.

  4. Selki

    I like combining sauteed parsnip medallions with arugula.

  5. Donna

    I still need to try that big salad. our two go-to meals are Dragon Noodles from Budget Bytes: (we double the sauce ingredients because we’re saucy) and Spaghetti Amatriciana (a little like this, but simpler – we just use bacon instead of expensivo specialty pork): These are both nice because they’re pantry dishes, which is always a relief when you’re starving.


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