Moroccan Lentil Soup

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“Lots of lentils means lots of filling fiber.”SAM_5357

Or so wrote the editors of Eating Well in this year’s February issue. Can’t have enough of that, right? plus all the delicious spices that come with this recipe–somewhat adapted to my personal preferences–featured along a half dozen or so other soups they featured. I wanted to try them all.

Unfortunately I don’t have that much time.

I do, however, have a lot of lentils in my cupboard. And so, Moroccan Lentil Soup was in order.

IngredientsSAM_5351

  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions and carrots
  • dash of minced garlic
  • dash of each spice: cumin, coriander, ground turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/4 cups lentils
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh kale
  • a little chopped cilantro
  • 1 big squeeze of lemon juice

DirectionsSAM_5348

-In a medium pot (yes, a pot), heat oil; sautee first two veggies and tomatoes ’til tender with garlic. Then add in spices one at a time.

-Add in liquids, cabbage, and lentils. Boil until the lentils are almost perfectly tender. Turn down to a simmer, about 10 minutes at that heat.

-Stew in the kale a few minutes before serving, along with lemon juice and cilantro.

Pretty easy, yes? And it makes one HUGE portion. Okay, maybe more like two. But with so many healthy veggies, you should probably eat the whole thing and get those vegetable serving counts in any way. It’s good for you 😉

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Quick Rosemary Rolls

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If you ever need dinner rolls fast, like 30 minutes or less fast, give this recipe a go. You can decrease the recommended rising time as much as you like; I often let it rise for only 20 minutes and that’s because I’m almost always in a bit of a hurry.SAM_4996

I based this recipe off a hybrid of the whole-wheat pizza dough recipe and the rosemary ciabatta loaf recipe I’ve featured in the past. The rolls aren’t gorgeous–they are, after all, just quick and easy drop biscuits–but they are delicious and pair perfectly with soup or pasta.

Ingredients

1 t honey or agave nectar

1/2 of a yeast packet

3/4  cup whole wheat flour

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1 T rolled oats
pinch of garlic salt, if you like1 t cornmeal

Seasonings: Rosemary to taste, a little basil, and dill, too

Directions

-In a bowl, dissolve sweetener and yeast in 1/4 cup hot water. Let stand for about five minutes.

-Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir ’til a soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.SAM_4995

-Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Let rise ’til double in size, about 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Punch down and work in seasonings. Use a spoon to scoop the dough into rolls, sort of like drop biscuits. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm. Maybe with my Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup!

 

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup

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If you know me, you know Happy Fit Mama is one of my favorite bloggers. A successful young mom running her way to happiness and writing about it. What’s not to love.SAM_5001
Oh, and on Wednesdays, she shares her healthy little recipes. Oftentimes, they sound delicious, but I never get around to trying them.
But you know how much I love soup, especially soup I can freeze in mason jars and grab any time I need a quick lunch to take to work.
So I tried her Roasted Corn & Black Bean Soup one Saturday sometime back. It was delicious. The recipe, which serves about six, follows…SAM_4991
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Red, Yellow Or Orange Pepper (or combination), diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 14.5 Oz Vegetable Broth
  • 15 Oz Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn
  • SAM_49971/2 Cup Zucchini, diced (optional)
  • Additional optional toppings: avocado, shredded cheese, plain greek yogurt, cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add red onion and pepper. Cook till softened.
  3. Add garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn and zucchini (if using).
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with toppings, such as diced avocado, shredded cheese, yogurt or sour cream and cilantro.

Appetizer Idea: Grilled-Cheese Skewers

This post  is less about a specific recipe…

More about a neat idea.

Grilled-cheese skewers.

Who doesn’t love grilled cheese sandwiches? Even if you have a lactose allergy, like I do, you can find so many delicious soy-based cheeses and feel just as satisfied with the yummy sandwich.

But there are two things that make tasty (although somewhat boring) grilled cheese sandwiches more fun: (1) mixing it up with new add-ins, such as pesto, basil leaves, tomato slices, apple or pear or other fruit slives, toasted nuts, and much, much more, or (2) you can design them differently, like I did one evening when I was looking for a cheesy companion for my favorite black bean soup.

Ingredients

2 slices whole-grain bread

vegan butter

cheese of choice

add-ins of choice

Directions

Simply prepare your grilled cheese sandwich as you like. Once finished, use a serated knife to cut the sandwich into small squares. Thread through a wooden or bamboo skewer and serve warm with your favorite soup.

If you want to make these even prettier, consider using a cookie cutter to shape the sandwich bites.

5-Minute Black Bean Soup

I just learned a new trick. I you like black beans and you like soup, you’ll certainly appreciate this one.

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can of low-sodium blackbeans, drained and rinsed

1/2 jar of salsa (or more if you like)

cumin, chili powder, and other seasonings, to taste

Directions

It’s so simple! Just blend the beans and salsa in your food processor ’til a smooth soup forms. Heat on stovetop and serve with your Tex-Mex favorites.

Seriously, it’s that easy. I always thought making this kind of soup would require a skilfful hand to reduce the puree and cook for a long time, but this recipe is fantastic (and fast–the combination of which makes for a real winner in my book).

Harvest Pumpkin Chili

If you follow this blog, you’ve read about my friend Sareena more than once. I’m mentioning her again because this time I cooked something for her and her new family last Sunday.

It started as a sweet idea: Our friend Sarah started a Facebook group for friends to sign up to bring the new family–“new” since the coming of their new baby, Lydia, in late August–a home-cooked meal. Several of us took turns making sure this new family was well fed.

Since it’s fall, high-time for chili eating, and Vince loves pumpkin-based dishes, I went with a pumpkin chili recipe from SnackGirl.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical. I don’t normally like mixing sweet and savory.

But this recipe was really good! Not too sweet at all.

I’ll link here to SnackGirl’s full-size recipe (serves 6), but you can find a single-serving version below:

Ingredients

3 oz. lean ground turkey

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

5 oz. crushed tomatoes

1 T green chili peppers

1/4 cup chickpeas (black beans would work well, too)

1/2 T chili powder, oregano, and cumin

2 T diced red onion

red pepper flakes to taste

Directions

-In a skillet, saute onion in cooking spray or 1 t olive oil for 5 minutes or so (’til golden brown).

-Add in ground turkey. Let it cook all the way through before adding in all remaining ingredients.

-Simmer for as long as you like. The longer, the better. But if you do let it sit for a few hours, you might want to add a T of water or so to keep it from drying out.

Serve warm with your favorite wheat roll or corn muffin.