Vegan Lentil Soup- So Good!

Cravings

I made a lentil soup today that I found on cookieandkate.com. It’s delicious. Two thumbs up for this one!

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INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. (FYI: I skipped the blender step due to laziness.)
  5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Balls

Cravings, Wellness

I’m so over smoothies for breakfast, especially with colder weather coming. And for whatever reason, eggs just aren’t floating my boat. I found this protein ball recipe on cottercrunch.com. A few of these with some hot tea made for a good breakfast. Per the website, each protein ball has approx. 78 calories.

  • 1 heaping TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (around 65-75grams) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey if you are not vegan.·
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or peanut flour (you can also just finely grind raw almonds) ·
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup nut butter (creamy no stir works best)
  • 3/4 cup of gluten free quick oats or gluten free cereal of choice
  • Vanilla extract

 

  1. Grind up your oats or cereal in a food processor and transfer into a mixing bowl. This is optional. YOu can keep them whole as well and adjust the addition of honey.
  2. Add your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, and nut butter. Stir ingredients all together. • Add in your honey and vanilla then mix again well with hands. •
  3. You might need to add more honey or nut butter if batter gets to dry. See notes.
  4. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on cookie tray or plastic ware with parchment paper underneath.
  5. Let them freeze for 20-30 minutes then transfer into a Ziploc bag.
  6. Dust with additional cinnamon and vanilla protein if desired.
  7. keep in fridge or freezer for up to 6 weeks.

 

Legit Insalata Caprese Recipe

Cravings

 

Simplicity is often the most delish. Recipe from Parishues.com.
Insalata Caprese Recipee

Cut some very ripe tomatoes into slices, place them into a colander and salt them with sea salt. This will actually allow them to lose a lot of their water and taste even riper and more tender as the salt breaks the fruit down a little.

Leave to stand for an hour then rinse off the excess salt crystals.

Place the tomatoe slices into a flat salad dish.

Cut some Mozarella Buffala (it’s the creamer kind, you can find it everywhere nowadays) into medium to thick slices. Layer in between the tomatoes.

Drizzle on generously some virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Take some pesto (for this quantity, no need to make your own unless you have some handy. I just buy a small jar of Pesto Genovese from my local supermarket) and coat the mozzarella and tomatoes with the sauce.

Then cut some FRESH basil leaves into large bits straight onto the salad and be generous.

Let stand for about 30mn (I find this way the tomatoes soak in the seasoning) and, as before, TASTE.

All this accompanied by a rather tasty glass of White Gascogne, Domaine de Sancet.

Bon appétit xxxxx

Yerba Mate Tea Trend

Cravings, Wellness

I’m a constant tea drinker and am always open to trying new teas. The latest and greatest “super” tea seems to be Yerba Mate. Yerba Mate is said to:

  • Have multiple antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids
  • Increase energy (as it has more caffeine than most teas, but still less than coffee)
  • Aids in digestion
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves mental function/concentration

Sounds good to me….until I tried it. The taste of Yerba Mate reminded me of tree bark combined with smoke. It is not a tea I could drink on it’s own. After a few failed concoctions, I finally found a way to drink this wonder tea. Combine it with Mint Tea. The mint completely overpowers the Yerba Mate. Drink on!

Drinkable Yerba Mate:

  • 1 Yerba Mate tea bag
  • 1 Mint tea bag
  • Stevia (optional)

Vinaigrette Dressing

Cravings

It can’t get any easier than vinaigrette dressing for a salad, but I recently read a few pointers (frenchandparfait.com) to make it better.

The basic recipe:

  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (mix until dissolved), then add…
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, mix then add…
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp at a time and mix

Here are the tips:

  • Vinegar to oil is always a 1 to 3 ratio
  • Use a wooden spoon (no metal)
  • The order you mix your ingredients is important. Mix as listed above

Variations:

  • Start with a minced shallot, then add the vinegar, salt, etc. as listed above
  • Add 1 tsp Dijon Mustard after the black pepper, before the oil

Product Recommendations

beauty, Cravings, Wellness

Here’s three products I’m loving.

Olema Rose Wine. So good and reasonably priced at $14.

 

Native Deodorant. Native contains no aluminum, smells great, and works better than any other deodorant I’ve tried.

 

Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self. This book provides a perfect introduction to yoga including workbook style prompts to help you be the best you.

Its Official, Rosé Season is Here

Cravings

I know some of you are still living in the cold, but for me here in Mexico we went straight from a few weekends of winter to summer. And while I’m not quite ready for all the heat, I am quite ready to start drinking Rosé.

Note: (If you are still experiencing winter weather, well… it is officially Spring so go ahead)

Here’s a few stats on Rosé

  • Rosé (French) is called Rosado (Spain), Rosato (Italy), and it’s also known as blush
  • European Rosés are drier than rosés from other parts of the world
  • Primarily consumed in Spring and Summer
  • Fruity profile and should be dry
  • Serve chilled
  • One of the most versatile food friendly wines
  • Bargain wine

When in doubt, ask for a dry Rosé from Provence under $15.00. Á votre santé!

A Liquid Life

Cravings, Wellness

I have a drinking problem. Not alcoholic, but healthful. Is it possible to get out of control with daily healthy drinks? I’m beginning to wonder and so is my sloshing stomach Here is my daily consumption:

Warm water with lemon OR Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Morning Smoothie (including a plethora of powders)

 

Green Tea (probably 2-3 cups)

 

Then later I have my daily bottle of homemade Kombucha

 

A bottle of Topo Chico (carbonated mineral water)

 

A cup of Matcha with almond milk

 

More tea throughout the late afternoon/evening

 

And I’m thinking of starting a late night cup of Golden Milk (Turmeric benefits)