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.

Red White and Blue Salad

spinach saladWith summer around the corner, I look forward to colorful and delicious salads full of fresh berries. This is one of my favorites. It is not only full of flavor, but also nutritious and pretty too.

Serves: 8

Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, Almonds and Feta

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh spinach
6 ounces fresh blueberries
3 ounces fresh raspberries
16 ounces fresh strawberries
1/4 -1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 – 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
your favorite raspberry, mango or champagne vinaigrette (or try my vinaigrette recipe* below)

Wash all fresh produce and slice the strawberries.  Dump all ingredients in a bowl.  Add dressing to your liking and toss lightly.  Yum Yum!

 

Favorite Raspberry Vinaigrette*

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Tilapia Meunière with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard

Tilapia and Moroccan-spiced Lentils And Rainbow chard

Tilapia Meunière with Moroccan-Spiced Lentils & Rainbow Chard*

Ingredients:

2-3 Tilapia Fillets
½ Cup Black Beluga Lentils
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bunch Rainbow Chard
1 Red Onion
1 Lemon
2-3 sprigs of  Parsley (for garnish)
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Capers
2 Teaspoons Ras El Hanout (moroccan spice blend of cardomom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric)
⅓ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Directions:

Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad

Holiday Brunch Citrus Salad
My friend Andrea shared this recipe with me years ago.  I made it this holiday as part of Christmas brunch.  It looks so festive and is tasty and refreshing too.

 

Holiday Brunch Grapefruit Salad

2 white grapefruit

2 pink grapefruit

6 navel oranges

½ cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup sugar

dried cranberries or pomagranate seeds

 

Directions:

1. Peel and cut between membranes of citrus to remove sections. You can do this the night before.

2.  Cut the mint leaves with kitchen scissors into thin strips.

3. Mix the mint  in with the sugar and add pomegranate seeds or cranberries.

4.  Sprinkle over the fruit and stir lightly.

Enjoy!

Psst!  I sometimes cheat and buy the fresh citrus already peeled, cut and sweetened.  Del Monte markets it in a glass jar that can be found in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores.

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Zov’s Golden Lentil Soup

Zov's Golden Lentil Soup

Our family loves this yummy and delicious soup on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon and often during the holidays with family and friends.  We first enjoyed it at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA, a lovely Mediteranean restaurant in our area.  Zov, the chef and owner was gracious to share her delicious recipe with all of us.  It’s a family favorite!

 

Golden Lentil Soup

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 onions, chopped
1 pound dried red lentils, see cook’s notes
1/4 cup raw long-grain rice
12 cups water ( I use 1/2 water and 1/2 vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh Italian parsley
Cook’s notes: Dried red lentils are sold at natural food stores, Middle Eastern markets and some supermarkets. When they cook, they turn yellow.

Procedure:

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Chicken Tikka Masala

I love the robust flavors of indian cuisine but never have time to make the yummy sauces on my own.  I recently discovered wonderful authentic sauces made by Maya Kaimal like Tikka Masala and Vindaloo in the refrigerator section at Sprouts Market.  They are also available at Mothers and other health food stores. They are my new secret weapon to making delicious indian meals in 30 minutes or less.  Sometimes I swap out chicken for tofu to make a vegetarian meal instead. Experiment to see what you like best.

tikka-masala-chickenCHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (sometimes I substitute extra firm tofu)
1 red pepper cut into 1 inch dice
1 container of Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala (approx 1 1/2-2 cups)
¼ cup cilantro leaves

Directions

In a medium-sized skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add peppers and cook for just 2-3 minutes. Don’t let them get too limp. Remove from pan and place in small dish. Next add the cubed chicken to the skillet and brown lightly on all sides.
Add the cooked peppers to the chicken and then add the Tikka Masala sauce. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes over low heat or until chicken is cooked through. If sauce becomes too thick, add water to thin.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with basmati rice or Indian naan or other flatbread.

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