What could be better than an easy and savory soup that’s chock full of vitamins and nutrients? It’s low in fat and high in fiber and protein too. Sometimes I modify this recipe and toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes while cutting in half the amount of crushed tomatoes. I make up a large batch and store it in the fridge for a quick but satisfying meal during the week. It also freezes well.
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped in 1/2 inch dice
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 T fresh)
2 cups dry lentils (I like red)
8 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Step 1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
Step 2. Stir in lentils*, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until lentils are tender, at least one hour.
Step 3. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper; taste and adjust as needed.
* Don’t forget to rinse the lentils well before placing in the pot as this removes some of the indigestible sugars that can cause you to feel bloated and gassy and also removes any dirt or debris.
recipe note: Balsamic vinegar comes in many forms. I recommend a higher quality one to get the fullest flavor. Many balsamic vinegars found in grocery stores are very thin – like water. Higher quality ones often found in specialty shops are aged longer and are slightly thicker (not as thick as balsamic glaze, but somewhere in the middle of the two).41-Olive offers many choices.
4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer) kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 large garlic cloves, minced 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I mix it up with the colorful heirloom variety) 10 large basil leaves, finely chopped 4-6 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices balsamic vinegar, to taste (My newest favorite is BlackCherry from 41-Olive)
Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs or breasts and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken, cover pan, and cook for about 10 minutes. Flip chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked thoroughly (or has reached an internal temp of 165°F).
While chicken is cooking, in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and continue sautéing until tomatoes skin starts to soften/wrinkle, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Set aside.
Once chicken has reached desired doneness, top each chicken piece with 1-2 slices of mozzarella (depending on how thick you sliced it). Pour tomato mixture on top. Cover pan with lid once more and let the mozzarella melt, about 1-2 minutes.
Lastly, drizzle with a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.
Super Simple and Super yummy! This recipe mimics the traditional Thai curry but without so many hard to find ingredients. It’s so easy that it is perfect for a weekday meal.
10 oz. of Organic Jasmine Rice (found in a 3-pack in the freezer section of many grocery stores like Trader Joe’s)
13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 oz. butter or ghee
1 lb. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus four sprigs
1-2 mini red peppers, sliced (optional for garnish)
Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add coconut milk and curry powder. Stir until combined, then add the fish sauce and butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
Add the chicken and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
After the chicken has simmered for 10 minutes, remove the lid and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until the liquid had reduced by 50% and the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink in the middle).
Stir in the fresh cilantro and remove pan from heat.
Pop the bag of rice in the microwave for 3 minutes or as directed on the package.
To assemble, add 3/4 cup of the cauliflower rice and 1/2 cup of the curry mixture to individual bowls and place a fresh cilantro sprig on top.
As the weather starts to change, so does my cooking. Warm hearty soups replace summer’s repertoire of grilled and barbecued fare. This cozy soup recipe will warm you up this fall. It’s both satisfying and comforting.
Italian Sausage Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
1 lb. Italian sausage – mild or spicy (broken up out of skin or sliced with skin on) 1 large onion (cut into ½ inch dice) 4 cloves minced garlic (or more if you like) 1-16 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes (or plain crushed tomatoes with a few shakes of Italian seasonings) 32 oz. chicken broth (Homemade if you can. See my favorite recipe here) 2 large (or 3-4 medium) zucchini (cut into a ½ inch dice) 2 T fresh basil (Use just 1 T if using dried Basil) 1/4 cup pasta noodles (like elbow macaroni) salt and pepper to taste
1. Brown sausage with onion and garlic in a medium frying pan (drain fat). 2. In a large pot, add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, basil, and pasta noodles. 3. Add sausage, onion and garlic mixture to the pot. 4. Simmer slowly for 1 hour. Enjoy!
Psst! Soup can be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated for a quick weekday meal.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wash and prepare the fresh ingredients:
– Cut the sweet potatoes in 3rds and then cut each “wheel” in 8ths to make wedges
– Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
– Chop the fresh thyme.
3. Prepare the Fries:
– Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat the potatoes.
– Place the potato wedges on a Teflon coated jelly roll pan (or lightly greased cookie sheet) and spread in one layer on the pan.
4.Cook the Fries:
Cook for 20 -25 minutes on until nicely browned turning once with a spatula after about 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!
There’s a new healthy rice substitute that is SP friendly*. With just a few simple ingredients and little effort to prepare, our zucchini rice recipe is the side dish you’re going to be making all summer long.
MAKES 4 SIDE-DISH SERVINGS
START TO FINISH: 35 MINUTES
4 zucchini, ends trimmed
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Grate the zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater. Squeeze the grated zucchini with your hands and drain off the excess liquid.
2. Add the salt to the zucchini and toss to combine. Transfer to a strainer and drain, squeezing occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and zucchini to the pan, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese until combined, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve immediately, warm.
My daughter and I started a SP cleanse once together that required us to refrain from grains, dairy, nuts, meat or fish during the purification process. We were getting bored with simply raw or steamed vegetables and fruit along with our SP Shakes.
Here is a yummy side dish we stumbled upon via Blue Apron, that is both full of flavor and guilt-free too.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
6 ounces of cherry tomatoes
6 ounces of summer beans
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1. Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the bean stems; cut into 2-inch pieces. Half the tomatoes. Peel and mince the garlic.
2. Cook the vegetables:
In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beans; season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off.
Add the tomatoes and garlic; add a little bit more of sea salt and pepper if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Enjoy!
1-2 tsp minced fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp if dried)
2 cloves of garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1-2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)
Cut the cauliflower into florets, and then use a food processor to pulse the florets into rice-like grains.* Set riced cauliflower aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee, olive oil and onion. Sauté onion until it begins to soften. Then, add the salt, dried parsley, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well to combine the seasonings with the onion. Continue to cook onion another 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent.
Add the riced cauliflower to the seasoned onion and stir well to combine. Continue stirring and sautéing the cauli-rice until it begins to soften (about 5 minutes).
Add the chicken stock and cover the skillet. Allow the cauli-rice to steam for about 5 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the cauli-rice reaches desired texture.
Remove cover, add the minced fresh parsley (optional) and fluff cauli-rice to combine.
Serve alongside your favorite healthy meals.
Recipe Variation: By changing the herbs in this recipe, you can create customized cauli-rice to complement you main dish. For example, substitute minced fresh cilantro for the fresh parsley and add about 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder to create a delicious Mexi-Style Cauli-Rice.
* Psst! You can process a head of cauliflower into rice up to 3-4 days in advance. Store the uncooked cauli-rice in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook. Cooked rice should also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and generally tastes great for up to 2-3 days. My favorite store, Trader Joe’s offers a real time saving option – cauliflower rice in a nice little bag in the refrigerator section. Saves time and clean up!
Note: recipe creds go to thenourishinghome.com where I first found this tasty and nutritious grain-free “rice” dish.
Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons
Makes: 2 Servings
It is rare that my oldest daughter is home and we get to cook together. Yesterday was one of those treats. Together we whipped up a delicious Caesar Salad and turned it into a hearty entree by adding a flakey, pan seared salmon fillet and homemade croutons. The creamy dressing is light and tangy. This is an easy dinner prepared in less than 30 minutes. We enjoyed it out on the back patio. The meal together was heaven on earth!