Egyptian Lentil Stew

When researching recipes for the Mediterranean feature, I was intrigued by this recipe.  It sounded unique & delicious.  I really like lentils; and this recipe was an excellent choice for me; it is based on 3 different recipes – I used what I had since I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes & I LOVED how it turned out.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Oil

1/2 of a large white or yellow onion, finely diced

1 elephant garlic clove (see below) or 3-4 regular cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 cups dry lentils

2-3 tablespoons beef bouillon (use vegetable for a vegetarian/vegan option)

water – about 5-6 cups

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

 

Add oil to a skillet & heat over medium heat; once hot, add onion & cook 5-7 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic & cook another 1-2 minutes.  Scrape onions & garlic to sides of pan & add seasonings; cook until fragrant & stir into onion/garlic mixture, about 3 minutes.  Add bouillon to water (4 cups) & heat over medium heat.  Pour onion mixture into water & add lentils; stir to break up any clumps in the lentils (I’ve noticed the red lentils clump when poured into water).  Simmer over medium heat until lentils are soft – about 30 minutes.  Check occasionally & add additional water (1 cup at a time), if needed.  Taste & adjust seasonings as needed.  Add lemon juice & heat through.  Serve & enjoy!

 

Note:  I didn’t use any salt in this recipe due to the bouillon.

Elephant Garlic:

     

 

Have you ever tried Lentils?  Do you like them, comment & let me know.

Creamy Potato Soup & F.A.R.E. Walk

Last week I participated in Sacramento’s F.A.R.E. Walk.  It was a sun-shining day & warm, especially after we got started walking.  The walk was to raise money for Food Allergy Research and Education (F.A.R.E.)  I only found out about it the Tuesday before, but I have great family & friends & I met my goal of $100.  Donations are still being accepted through December 31st, if you would like to donate to allergy research & education (donate here).

F.A.R.E. also has a great website with lots of information (start here).  I was especially pleased to find an emergency plan form that I immediately completed & put in my purse with my Epi-Pens & at work.  It is a resource, that in an emergency, gives exact information of what I am allergic to (food & medicine), who to contact, which hospital to take me to & my doctor’s information.  It would be especially helpful if I am ever unconscious & can’t respond as I have been able to do in the past.  I hope you check it out for yourself.


Creamy Potato & Bacon Soup

IMG_3205

6 potatoes, scrubbed clean & cubed in 1-inch pieces

1 quart water

1 box of stock (I used chicken/use vegetable for vegetarian/vegan option) or homemade equivalent

1 onion, diced

1/2 pound carrot medallions

12 ounces to 1 pound bacon (I used beef bacon, yes, it is a real thing – SO delicious & hard to find), cooked to crispy & crumbled (omit for vegetarian or vegan or use your favorite vegan substitute)

Several garlic cloves, minced or 1-2 tablespoons minced, to taste (I like garlic, I used a lot)

2 potatoes, peeled & chopped small

Water

1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (vegetable for vegetarian/vegan option, use beef if you used beef stock, etc)

Earth Balance, Melt, etc

Cashew milk (if needed to thin – I ended up no needing it so I just omitted it)

1/2 tsp soy sauce

splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

dash paprika

 

Add the 6 chopped potatoes to the quart of water & box of stock; start cooking on medium-low on the back burner.

IMG_3178

IMG_3180

IMG_3181

 Cook bacon, remove from pan & set on paper towels to drain; set aside until cool enough to handle; chop up.

IMG_3162

(Beef Bacon!)

IMG_3166

IMG_3184

While bacon is cooling add onion & carrots to the skillet with the bacon drippings & saute until soft & onions are translucent.

IMG_3183

IMG_3187

With a slotted spoon, transfer onion & carrots to the potatoes cooking.

IMG_3190

The two peeled potatoes – place in small sauce pan & cover with water & add chicken bouillon; bring to a boil over medium-high heat & boil until potatoes are mushy;

IMG_3191

remove & puree in blender, adding EB or Melt & blend until smooth.  If too thick, use cashew milk to thin.  Set aside.  This is potato “cream”.

IMG_3192

IMG_3197

Turn up soup & let it simmer about 30 minutes & liquid has reduced; add potato “cream” &  seasonings; salt and pepper to taste;

IMG_3199

continue to simmer over medium-low heat until thickened.

IMG_3201

Add chopped bacon & serve.

IMG_3204

 

What is your favorite go-to comfort soup for the winter months?  Comment & let me know.

This and That…

This week I’ve been contemplating my goals for this blog beyond just “sharing information”; I’ve thought about & set more specific goals…in addition to recipes and tips/information, I realized that I also need to address basic nutrition too.  I’m not a professional nutritionist, and what I share is what I’ve researched and have learned for myself.  If you would like a professional opinion, please contact a registered dietitian in your area.

IMG_3067

I had a realization this week that with not having the dairy, more specifically the milk and cheese that calcium needs to be sourced from other food items.  Just a little calcium research so far (and I will be doing more); I learned that some great sources of calcium are dark leafy greens (think spinach, kale, bok choy, arugula, etc).  To make sure I was addressing this need for myself I’ve been eating more greens.  The first was a “Bowl on the Go” from Cooking for Balance (her webinar is great and FREE; if you are a woman I suggest taking the informative session).  I incorporated greens along with quinoa, chicken, spaghetti squash, lemon juice, olive oil (all items I had on hand) from her list and for personal taste I also added a few grinds of Himalayan Pink Sea salt, some black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder – picture above.

Another way I am incorporating my greens this week is white bean and smoked turkey soup.  I don’t really have a recipe (I just dump and season to taste), but I’ll share the ingredients below…

beans n greens

White Bean and Smoked Turkey

 

White beans, soaked over night & rinsed

Smoked Turkey leg

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (grinder) & Kosher salt (@ 1 tsp)

Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Hot and Smoky seasoning (or a pinch of cayenne)

cumin

liquid smoke

mixed greens

 

I boiled the beans & turkey leg (slowly, overnight on med-low – about 8 hours).  Then I removed the turkey leg & separated the meat from the bones.  Put the meat back in the pot & toss out the bones; season with the seasonings, to taste (start with small amounts – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to start; keep adding small amounts until you like the flavor.

To serve; put greens in bottom of bowl & top with hot turkey and bean mixture; stir a bit to wilt greens & enjoy.

You could also add in fresh onion & fresh garlic as well.

IMG_3066

Other goals I have determined: to share product information (more and more delicious items are being created for the dairy free life) and giveaways (who doesn’t like free things?)  I hope to have a giveaway soon.

Is there anything you’d like to see on the blog, something that you feel is missing?

Did you watch the Cooling for Balance webinar?  What did you think about it?

 

Comment & let me know.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Before I had to go dairy-free, I used cream of soups in a good deal of my cooking; cream of mushroom was my go to cream of soup.  I knew that I would need to re-create a non-dairy version to use.  This is the end result and it is so delicious!!

IMG_20150730_223502

1/4 cup “butter” (Earth Balance [EB], Melt, coconut oil – use your preferred choice, I used EB).

3-6 cloves garlic, minced (I used 6; I like a lot of garlic…)

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, chopped (I used button mushrooms; I plan on trying a mixture next time)

1 onion, diced

salt & pepper, to taste

1 cup beef broth (I used @ 1.5 teaspoon bouillon dissolved in 8oz water)*

4 cups chicken broth (I used gelled pan juices from a roasted chicken [@ 1-2 tbsp] to 4 c hot water])*

1 cup cashew milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoon corn starch

 

(Picture steps below)

Melt butter; add garlic & mushrooms.  Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper and onion & cook 2-3 minutes.  Add beef broth & bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes.  Remove 1 cup of mushrooms & set aside.  Add chicken broth & thyme.  Blend in blender until smooth (or use immersion blender), return to pan.  Whisk in milk; adjust salt and pepper, to taste.  Add cornstarch to 1/4 c water; add a bit of hot soup to temper & return to soup; stir until thickening – 1-2 minutes.  Add in mushrooms & heat through.  Serve hot or refrigerate for another use.

Ingredients

chop garlic

Chop mushrooms

Gelled Chicken Pan drippings

Gelled Chicken Pan drippings

dissolve gelled pan drippings in 4 cups hot water
dissolve gelled pan drippings in 4 cups hot water

melt Earth Balance (butter substitute)

Add garlic to melted butter

add chopped mushrooms to butter & garlic

IMG_20150730_220229

IMG_20150730_221311

(sorry, I missed getting a picture blending the soup)
(oops, I missed getting a picture blending the soup)

IMG_20150730_223502

*for vegetarian/vegan – use all vegetable broth.

 

Are there any recipes you’d use this for?  What type of mushrooms would you use?  Comment & let me know.