Lentil, Quinoa & Greens Soup

IMG_20180913_114742.jpg

This recipe is a hybrid of a few different ones from across the internet, and can be made vegan or dairy-free by substituting coconut oil or vegetable oil for the ghee / clarified butter and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Packed with protein from the quinoa and lentils, and very tasty with a little spicy kick from curry powder and chili flakes, this soup is a definite winner! Even got the stamp of approval from my usually pretty picky eater, Kira. :)

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP ghee / clarified butter (or substitute vegetable oil or coconut oil)

  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp curry powder

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red chili flakes

  • 1 cup dried green lentils

  • 3/4 cup white quinoa

  • 3-1/2 cups water

  • 3-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4 cups chopped mixed greens (E.G. spinach, chard, kale, etc.)

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Heat ghee / clarified butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  2. Stir in all of salt and spices and toast them for 1 minute.

  3. Add the lentils and quinoa and mix well until the spices are well incorporated.

  4. Transfer all of it to your Instant Pot or other digital pressure cooker (if you have one), and add the water and chicken broth. Stir well, then seal up the cooker and set it to manual, for 15 minutes. When it’s done, release the pressure manually, and check the cook on the lentils. If the lentils are still too firm, seal it back up and cook for another 5 minutes at pressure (15 minutes made them perfect for me).

  5. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, transfer everything to a large soup pot, add the water and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked to your desired firmness.

  6. When the lentils are sufficiently cooked, add the chopped greens and let them wilt in the soup for a few minutes.

  7. Add the lemon lemon juice and season to taste, then serve!

How To Make, Maintain and Use Your Own Sourdough Starter

How To Make, Maintain and Use Your Own Sourdough Starter

After watching the Netflix 4-part series "Cooked", based on the book by Michael Pollan of the same name, I got the itch to try making long-fermented sourdough bread to provide my girls with a healthier option for their school sandwiches.  After playing around with a couple of different sets of instructions on how to get your own starter going, I settled on this method.

Chickpea Hummus

Here's a recipe and instructional video for one of my favourite snacks, homemade chickpea hummus.  From start to finish, it takes about five minutes to make.  I absolutely love this with sugar snap peas for dipping, and it's got some high-fibre, slow-digesting carbohydrate, healthy fats and a little bit of protein to keep you satisfied.

You could cut the fat and calorie content a bit if you want by substituting water for half of the olive oil, and you could also substitute some sesame oil or sesame seeds for the tahini.  This is a traditional lemon and garlic flavoured hummus, but you can play around with adding some roasted bell peppers, roasted garlic, etc. for variety - experiment away!

Ingredients:

  • 1x 398ml can of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed well
  • 1 tsp of sesame tahini (you can substitute sesame oil, sesame seeds, or just omit if you want)
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 - 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Put everything except the olive oil in a food processor with the standard blade
  • Process on high, drizzling in the olive oil until the desired consistency is achieved.

Total calories are somewhere between 500 and 600 calories for the entire recipe, depending on how much olive oil you use.  For me, this makes 3 servings, with each serving having about 7g protein.