Monday Munchies – Potato Lentil Soup

Potato Lentil Soup

potatosoup 2260 thumb   Not Your Average Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cups diced Yukon Gold potato (about 1.4 pounds)
  • 1 cup uncooked green split peas, rinsed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8-1/4 cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to to taste
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

1. Add oil to a large pot and sauté the garlic and mustard seeds for a few minutes over medium-high heat, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Be careful not to burn them. Add in the onion and sauté for another 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

2. Add the celery, potato, split peas, broth, and spices. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer on low-medium heat uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the split peas are cooked through and the potatoes are tender.

3. With a ladle, carefully transfer about 3 cups of the soup into a blender (leave some of the pouring hole ajar so stream can escape). Starting at a low speed, puree the soup until smooth and pour it back into the pot and stir. (Note: You can also use an immersion blender if desired.) Cook for 5 minutes and then serve immediately with fresh parsley and a pinch of smoked paprika, if desired.

 

From Oh She Glows

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Monday Munchies – Garden Quinoa Salad

Another new favorite from The Simple Veganista, this quick and easy quinoa salad is filling and refreshing–perfect as a dinner side dish or a light lunch!  I didn’t have any edemame (soy beans) when I made mine, but since they are packed full of protein I definitely recommend adding them if you can.

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s an amazing whole grain that doesn’t take long to prepare (I find it faster than rice) and gives you complete proteins–the only whole grain to do that by the way.  Just be sure to rinse yours first if you don’t purchase the pre-rinsed kind.  The outer layer can be bitter tasting, which can ruin the whole dish.

The zesty dressing can be made and used on regular salads as well.  I made a second batch for my spinach lunch salads all week. Yum!

Garden Quinoa Salad w/Zesty Garlic Dressing
 
Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup edemame (optional)
  • 1 cup english cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2  cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

Dressing
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of two medium lemons
  • 3 rounded tablespoons stoneground or dijon mustard (I used stoneground)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • himalayan salt, to taste
  • cracked pepper, to taste

In a medium size pot, add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove cover and let stand 5-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, taste for seasoning and let set.

Chop and dice your remaining vegetables, except the edemame. Place chopped vegetables and edemame in a large bowl, add the dressing tossing gently to coat.

Once ready, add quinoa to the vegetables and toss together. Serve with a little more sea salt & cracked pepper and squeeze of lemon on top.

Monday Munchies – Homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

This past week was full of some serious changes, most of them regarding Nate and I’s health and diet.  We’ve both been trying to eat healthier this year, and finally got up off our butts and got serious about it.  Nate is working out almost every day now, and loading up on protein and small meals every few hours.  I’m taking a more whole foods, plant-based approach to my diet by cutting out animal products and minimizing sugar.  I actually think I had a mild addiction to sugar, which is crazy because I never really thought about being addicted to a food before.

I’m cutting out all refined sugars cold turkey, and using natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup only sparingly.  One thing I’ve found to satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard is eating fresh fruit.  Fruit has a lot of naturally-occurring sugars, but I feel that the fiber and nutrients from the fruit are worth it.  A new favorite after-dinner treat is this Almond Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, which I found on The Simple Veganista (this site is now bookmarked and I visit daily for new recipe ideas).

It’s not exactly like ice cream since it’s pretty soft, but it’s delicious and creamy and nutty and has chocolate–perfect for a night time snack.  Give it a try!

Almond Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 3 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter, or any nut butter of choice
  • almonds, cut in half
  • dark chocolate, either in chips or bars broken into pieces
Directions
In a food processor, place frozen banana pieces and almond butter, blend until a fairly smooth consistency stopping every now and then to scrap down the sides and push the mixture to the bottom of the processor. It took mine about five minutes max, but this depend on your food processor. Serve in bowls and top with, or incorporate, the chocolate pieces and almonds, use as much as you like. Should be eaten right away. Makes one generous serving or two small ones.

Monday Munchies – Date Nut Fruit Pie

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the film, Forks Over Knives.  If you haven’t seen it and are interested in a healthier lifestyle and diet, I highly recommend it.  One of the doctors featured in the film, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing speak in person, and his son Rip Esselstyn is also interviewed.  Rip has his own book called the Engine 2 Diet, which today’s recipe is from.  It’s a whole foods, plant-based diet so you can be sure this rich and tasty dessert is better for your health than most pies would be 🙂 And it’s delicious!  Enjoy!

Date-Nut Fruit Pie

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for filling:

  • 2 to 3 bananas, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 ounces strawberries, blended into puree
  • 4 ounces strawberries, sliced
  • 4 ounces raspberries
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained

Directions:

Blend crust ingredients together in a food processor to achieve a sticky consistency.

Press blended crust ingredients into a pie pan.

Lay the bananas on top of the crust and press along the sides.

Place strawberry slices on top of the bananas.

Pour strawberry puree over the strawberries and bananas, and press into the gaps.

Place berries and mandarin oranges on top of the pie.

Cover and refrigerate for one hour or longer before serving.