3 Step Lentil Soup

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts 

Per Serving:

Lentil Soup Nutritional Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 8
Calories: 349

% Daily Value *

Protein: 18.3g 37 %

Carbohydrates: 48.2g. 16 %

Dietary Fiber: 22.2g. 89 %

Sugars: 3.3g 

Fat: 10g 15 %

Saturated Fat: 1.4g 7 %

Vitamin A 85 %

Niacin Equivalents: 5.7mg 44 %

Vitamin B6: 0.5mg 33 %

Vitamin C: 13.3mg 22 %

Folate: 333.7mcg. 83 %

Calcium: 98.1mg 10 %

Iron: 6.2mg 34 %

Magnesium: 104.4mg 37 %

Potassium: 969.5mg 27 %

Sodium: 130.5mg. 5 %

Thiamin: 0.4mg 39 %

Calories From Fat: 90.1

Gaby Inspired Pan-Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1/4 to 1/3c. olive oil
  • 1.5 lb. baby eggplant (Japanese or Baby variety), sliced in half lenghthwise and diced into 2-3 inch pieces if Japanese and larger variety of eggplant
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Vinaigrette-
    • 2 T. lemon joice
    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino (or your favorite hard cheese. I like Spanish Manchego)
    • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Process

  1. Make your vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant and turn often for about 15 minutes. Add more oil if eggplant starts to burn- you want it to caramelize.
  3. Transfer eggplant to a large bowl and toss with (more oil!) about half of the vinaigrette.
  4. Save the rest of the vinaigrette for your salad.
  5. Sprinkle with more Pecorino if desired and serve.

Thai Marinated Cucumber Salad

This sweet and tangy salad is a perfect side dish all year around.  It is super easy to make and the flavors get even more delicious as it marinates.  Allowing it to marinate at least 10 minutes is key.  If possible, allow it to marinate over night as I think it is even better the 2nd day. 

 Makes: 4 Servings

Time: 20 minutes to overnight

  Ingredients

  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 2-inch Piece Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Small Bunch of Thai Basil (optional)

Instructions

1.Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.  Trim off and discard the ends of the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise and then again so that the cucumbers are spears.  Then cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion; place in a small bowl with the vinegar and set aside.

2. Assemble & marinate the cucumber salad:

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and ginger, and as much of the onion-vinegar mixture as you’d like. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

3. Finish & serve your dish:

Transfer the marinated cucumber salad to a serving dish; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pick the Thai basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves and add to the salad just before serving.  Enjoy!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

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This colorful side dish is packed with flavor and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored, broken into large florets, florets sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 onion, peeled, thickly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow madras curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven, line baking pan with foil: Pre-heat oven to 425°F with a rack on the top third of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking with foil.

2. Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, oil, curry, cinnamon, salt: Put the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk vigorously until well combined.

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3. Coat floret slices with curry mixture:  Add the cauliflower and onion slices to the bowl with the curry and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower and onion slices on the baking sheet in a single layer.

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4. Roast in oven: Roast in oven at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes until well browned. Check halfway through the cooking, and rotate the pan for more even cooking.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Source: Simply Recipes

Savory Sweet Potato Fries

img_7430Savory Sweet Potato Fries

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes
2 ½ Tablespoons fresh thyme (rough chopped)

 

Instructions

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!

Zucchini Rice

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

INGREDIENTS
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

DIRECTIONS
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.

* SP = Standard Process Purification Program

Summer Vegetables

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.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6367

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of summer beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6368

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.

 DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6372
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.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6373

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!

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pops

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Pops

IMG_8471
With Superbowl Sunday just around the corner, I know many of you are looking for HEALTHY appetizers to balance out all the junk food we tend to indulge in while watching the big game.  Here is a repost of a popular one that is both simple, satisfying and guilt free!  Enjoy!Tomato Basil Appetizer

1 dry pint (basket) of cherry tomatoes
1 carton of fresh mozzarella cheese (small balls or you can cut up larger ones)
10-20 fresh basil leaves (depending on size)
good quality extra virgin olive oil
good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
toothpicks

 Directions

Wash tomatoes and basil and allow to dry; Thread tooth picks with tomato, basil leaf and cheese; Arrange on a serving dish; Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl; Drizzle over tomato skewers.   Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Salad Variation: eliminate the toothpicks and cut the basil leafs with scissors. Toss all ingredients together and serve in a pretty bowl for a yummy, fresh side salad.

 

 

Masala Meatballs with Mango Ginger Chutney

img_8040This easy-peasy appetizer is so simple but the flavor combination is devine.

Masala Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Slowcooker Method
In a  slowcooker, heat the meatballs and simmer sauce for about 2-3 hours on high until heated through.

Oven Method
Preheat oven to 350°. Place meatballs on a jellyroll pan  and cover with masala sauce. Place in oven and let cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through and sauce is hot.

Serve warm alongside a small dipping bowl of Mango & Ginger Chutney.  What could be simpler?

Ras El Hanout Chicken with Cucumber and Tomato Tabbouleh

Chicken and tabouleh
I only recently discovered  ras el hanout, the dynamic spice blend from Morocco. I found a jar of this flavorful blend at Williams-Sonoma.  I seasoned the chicken with this and just a little salt and pepper…Oh so good!  This recipe pairs the chicken with a yummy sauce of greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, lemon and garlic along with a simple but classic tabbouleh.

Ras El Hanout Chicken with Cherry Tomato & Cucumber Tabbouleh

Makes: 2 Servings

Calories: About 700 Per Serving

Cooking Time: 25 to 35 minutes

Ingedients

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ Cup Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 4 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Large Bunch Mint
  • 1 T. Ras El Hanout (found at Williams-Sonoma)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 T. Pistachios (optional)

Instructions

Cook the quinoa:

Add 1/4 cup salted water and the quinoa to a small pan and boil on high.  Once boiling,reduce heat and cover and cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Prepare the ingredients:

Prepare the ingredients:

While the quinoa cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the tomatoes. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems.  Peel and finely mince the garlic or use a zester so it resembles paste.   Use half of the cucumber for the tabbouleh and half for the yogurt sauce.  For the tabbouleh, medium dice 1 half and  for the yogurt sauce, grate the other half and squeeze if out to remove excess water and prevent yogurt sauce from being too runny. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, grated cucumber (water removed), half the garlic paste and the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with the ras el hanout, salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat 1 T. of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to cool slightly. Wipe out the pan.

Make the tabbouleh:

While the chicken cooks, to the pot of cooked quinoa, add the tomatoes, diced cucumber, half the mint (cut into small strips with scissors just before adding), remaining garlic paste and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil (optional) and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish and Plate your dish:yogurt sauce chicken and tabboulehWhen cool enough to handle, thinly slice the cooked chicken on an angle.  Top with the remaining mint and pistahio pieces if desired. Serve with the tabbouleh and yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!