Fall Lentil Carrot Soup

As much as I HATE to admit that summer is coming to a close (no no no no no no nooo!), the first day of fall has been announced, and so I am determined to look at the bright side!  I will refuse to think about the impending 7 months of subzero temperatures and snow measured of feet.  Instead I will dwell on this positive point: DELICIOUS, COMFORTING FALL FOOD!  First up?  Lentil Carrot Soup!

I actually made this months ago, but have been waiting for just the right moment to post it!  The moment is now, yay!   The funny thing is, since I made this in the heat of summer, I had intended it as I side dish to accompany our main dishes for a few days.  However…it was SO delicious that both Mr. Rodgers and I gobbled it up as is, unaccompanied.  That’s gotta tell you something!

 

Side note, remember this book?

Meditteranean Frittata 1

This $4 treasure I found at an Ollie’s Outlet?  That’s where this recipe originated (with some Rodgers family tweaks of course!).  You really should go online and snag one for yourself!

 

So, enough talking!!  Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, or Grass Fed Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Carrots, Shredded
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 2 C Lentils, rinsed
  • 8 C Chicken Broth (Or water)
  • 8 Green Onions, sliced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Heat your oil in a large pot and dump in your veggies.  Cook and stir until they are tender.
  3. Add lentils, water (or broth), salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, probably about 10 minutes.  Add the green onion and cook for another minute or so.  And you’re done!  Just adjust as needed, and enjoy!!

 

 

Peectures!

Lentil Soup 1

Prep your veggies and start them cooking!

Lentil Soup 2

Look!  It must have been a “comfort” day for all…because these little ladies would not get more than a foot away from me!  Look how frumpy they are!  They’ve both had hair cuts since then.

Lentil Soup 3

And lentils, your liquid, salt and pepper.  Simmer until lentils are tender.

Lentil Soup 4

Add green onions…

Lentil Soup 5

Stir it all together and cook for another minute or so.

Lentil Soup 6

Lentil Soup 7

Lentil Soup 8

 

 

 

Chilled Curry Chickpea Salad

This was so fun!  I rarely do cold side dishes, but now I am thinking I should do them more often!  Not to mention…I am in LOVE with chickpeas!  And there are tons of benefits in lentils!  And Mr. Rodgers loves curry!  Basically I am saying…this is a win win win WINNNN!  Such an explosion of flavors and textures!  Great!

 

So here’s what you need:

  • 1 Can Chick Peas (Garbanzos), or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1 Can Lentils, or about 2 C boiled dried
  • 1/2 C Red Onion, Minced
  • 3/4 C Celery, Diced
  • 3/4 C Colored Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2-3 tsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!  (It’s REALLLY hard <–sarcasm!)

  1. In a bowl, combine chick peas, lentils, and veggies.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Drizzle the “dressing” over the bean/veggie mix, and stir to coat.  Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.  Eat and enjoy!

 

 

 

Photo (6)

Stir together beans and veggies.

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Mix together your “dressing” ingredients.

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Drizzle dressing over veggie mixture and stir to coat.

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Put in something pretty!

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And eat!

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Serve along side some yummy protein!  This is beside some amazing ribs…that I am crying inside because I didn’t write down my recipe for and can’t remember 😥  Woe is me!  But!  That’s okay because at least we got this fantastic side dish!!

Simple Warm Lentil Salad

This is what I made to stand beside my Marinated Garlic Herb Chicken Breast.  If you read that post, you will know that it was a week night, and I didn’t want to spend tons of time on dinner, but still wanted to treat Mr. Rodgers to something tasty.  Well, the chicken was SUPER easy.  I didn’t want to spend tons of time on the side dish either…and this was perfect!  Filling and hearty to compliment the lightness of the chicken 🙂  Try it out!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 lb Lentils, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Tbsp Minced Onion (The dry stuff.  You can use a real onion too, I just didn’t have one!  Probably about 1/2 an onion)
  • 1 1/2 C Frozen Mixed Veggies
  • 1/3 C Chicken or Beef Broth
  • 1/2 T Dried Chives
  • 1/2 T Savory Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Herbamare 
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Follow the directions on your lentil bag to get them started cooking.  Set your timer for just a couple minutes less than the recommended cooking time.
  2. In a large pot melt your butter.  Toss in the onion and mixed veggies and saute until tender.  
  3. Add the lentils and stir to combine evenly.
  4. Add the broth and seasonings, stir, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop on your plate, and top with a delicious protein.  🙂

 

Simple.  Warm. Comforting.  Delicious.  And fast 🙂

 

Lentils and Veggies

 

Lentils!  Such a wonderful food!  I love them and I didn’t even know what they were a year ago!  🙂  Check your package and cook them just a couple minutes shy of the recommended time.

Lentils and Veggies 2

 

Measure a cup and a half of frozen veggies.  You can use fresh if you want!  But as I mentioned before…the groceries were low so I was using things from the caverns of the freezer and pantry. 🙂   Usually I prefer the flavor of fresh veggies, but for a busy night when you can’t spend time chopping and slicing these work great!!!  

Lentils and Veggies 3Melt the butter in a large pan.

Lentils and Veggies 3.5Add your frozen veggies and minced onion and cook until they are tender.

Lentils and Veggies 4Add lentils and seasonings.  If you don’t know what Herbamare is…here ya go…its a tasty version of salt, and it’s pretty healthy!!

Grilled Chicken Chickpea Salad 1

 

Add your beef broth and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Scoop on your plate, top with a protein, and devour!!!!  Yummy!!!Lentils and Veggies 5

 

 

Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils

This recipe…is a treasure. I ate two bowls last night and wanted more, but had to refrain in order to stretch our meals…we need to go grocery shopping 😉 Eh hem. And then I ate two more bowls today. Hehe. But you know what’s most exciting about this? It started out as a simple lentil soup recipe…and I butchered it!! Muaha! And it worked…really well! Like seriously…I added so much, it has gotten to the point where it’s beyond recognition. In fact…I was so excited about my recipe butchering (I hope you know I mean that in a good way 😉 ) that I had to text my sister-in-law Dani to share the news…and she congratulated me on using the recipe not as rules, but more like guidelines. Insert Pirates of the Caribbean quote here 😉 Anywho…if you knew me closely, you would know how big of a deal this is for me, and you would be rejoicing with me 🙂 Yay!!! This “diet” has been so good for me in that respect. I’m getting adventurous! And I’m so glad you are all along for the ride 🙂

So. On to the recipe! It started basically as a few veggies and lentils. Well…I had a few extra veggies going bad that I figured I’d throw in there. Then I noticed the chicken breast that had been sitting in my fridge thawed for a few days! Can’t let that go bad!!! Then I gave in to a common temptation I have…I love corn in soups. So I added corn. Then the veggies and the cumin in the recipe started making me think about tacos. Beautiful, wonderful, delicious tacos that I don’t get to eat very often any more. So I busted out the ingredients for home made taco seasoning and, BAM! You have this beauty. I’m serious. This recipe is beautiful. Please make it. You want to know one more wonderful thing? Nothing in this recipe came from a can. YEAH BABY! I think its an extremely healthy, satisfying meal!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1-2 large Chicken Breast, cubed

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced

  • 3-5 Stalks Celery, chopped

  • About 2 Qts Chicken Stock

  • 3 large carrots, sliced

  • 1 Onion, diced

  • 1 T Minced Garlic

  • 2 Medium tomatoes, diced

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

  • 1 C fresh or frozen corn

  • ½ lb Lentils

  • 1 sprig oregano, leaves pulled off and chopped

  • ½ tsp Chili Powder

  • ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes

  • ¼ tsp Paprika

  • 1 ½ tsp Sea Salt

  • 1 tsp Cumin

  • 1 tsp Coriander

And here’s how you do it! It’s not scary, I promise 🙂

  1. Slice, dice, chop, mince…get prepped!!!

  2. Generously salt and pepper your chopped chicken.

  3. Get a real big pot! At least 6 quarts. Melt your coconut oil over medium heat. Add all your veggies minus the tomatoes and saute for about 7 minutes.

  4. Toss in your chicken and saute about 5 more minutes.

  5. Add tomatoes and stir everything up, cook for another minute or so.

  6. Finish off with as much of the chicken stock as you can fit, spices, and lentils.

  7. Bring to a boil, the reduce to a simmer and leave it for 35 minutes, giving it an occasional stir! Top with a bit of sour cream, shredded cheddar, perhaps some avocado…whatever you desire! Annnnd…you’re done! SO DELICIOUS!

    I hope you love this as much as I did…the beautiful taste of tacos, mixed with the satisfying heartiness of lentils (which is quite comforting, really), and with so many stinking veggies that your insides will thank you 🙂  Here’s some photos!!

Prep your veggies!!! Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 1   Aren’t they pretty?!  SO MANY VEGGIES!  My favorite 🙂  I have to add one more photo of them…just so you can see my cup in the background.  Can you see it?!  It was my birthday present from my wonderful friends Costa and Karen…hand made with a quote from Meet The Robinsons (FAVORITE!).  “I’ve got this big head and little arms…”  Hahahahahaaa. Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 6 Saute all the veggies (minus tomatoes) in coconut oil for about 7 minutes… Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 2 Chop your chicken…salt and pepper generously… Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 3 Add chicken and saute about 5 more minutes.  Stir in tomatoes…then add the rest! Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 4 Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 35 minutes.  Scoop into bowls and serve with cheddar, sour cream, whatever you want!! Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils 5 And…if you want to step a little outside the “super healthy” realm, but crank it up a notch and still be decently healthy…grab a bag of these! Hearty Chicken Taco Soup with Lentils Last

Seared Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad

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I never realized that healthy food can be comfort food.  Warm.  Tasty.  Fills up the tummy and makes you wanna curl up on the couch and just…be still.  That’s what this was for me!! And so very, very simple!!

This was my first experience with lentils! And I must say, I very much enjoyed it! Pleasantly surprised.  We ate leftovers for days and were happy about it!! 😉

This IS a Perfect Weight America recommended meal, so…if you are going for super health, try and get all your ingredients fresh and organic.

So, here’s what you need 🙂

  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 C Chicken Stock (Preferably free range!)
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Lentils
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, leaves stripped
  • 24 oz Wild Caught Salmon Fillets (Fresh or frozen…but fresh will taste better and probably be more moist!!) cut into 4 even pieces!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bring 6 Cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils and remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Set your timer and continue prep!! But don’t forget to drain them after 20 minutes!  This was so interesting to me…I had never heard of this technique…kinda like a fast-soak! Who knew?!
  3. In a nice big pot, heat up 2 Tbsps of  your coconut oil.  Saute your onions, thyme, salt and pepper for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
  5.  Add carrots, lentils, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Stir it all together, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  6. Heat a large, oven safe pan to high heat.  The original recipe says to rub the last 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on the salmon fillets.  I found that…icky and not-working-y.  So I took a couple Tbsps of coconut oil, melted it and drizzled it over one side of the fillets.  Then gave it a nice shaking of salt and pepper.
  7. Toss the fillets in the hot pan.  If you are using the melted coconut oil method, put it coated side down, then drizzle the rest of the coconut oil on the other sides of the salmon while it cooks and sprinkle salt and pepper on it! You’re going for a sear here, so just cook them about 3 minutes.  Flip them, then transfer immediately to the hot oven in the pan.  Cook 4-6 additional minutes, or until its done to whatever degree you desire 🙂  I didn’t have a big enough pan, so I had to cook my fish in shifts…I had a casserole dish heating up in the oven, so when it came time to transfer it to the oven, I set it straight into the 450 degree casserole dish while I seared the next shift.  It worked pretty good!
  8. Take out and serve with your warm lentil salad.  SOOOO warm and wonderful!

Credit to Perfectweightamerica.com for this beauty! I barely changed anything!! I hope you enjoy!