Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Soup (in slow cooker)

Another good recipe from Vegan on the Cheap. I was looking for something new and different....this Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Soup with interesting ingredients like dried fruits and apple juice did the trick. Chalk full of spices....cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric it sure it tasty.

It took me 45 min to prepare for the slow cooker. Then I woke up the next morning to a great lunch item for work.

1 tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 med carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp coriander
0.5 tsp cinnamon
0.25 cayenne
0.25 turmeric
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup brown lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup apple juice
0.5 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped (I used mango and apricots)
salt and black pepper
2 tbs minced fresh parsley
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1. Pour oil in 4-quart slow cooker
2. Add onion, carrots, bell pepper, garlic and ginger. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric, then stir in tomatoes and their juice and lentils.
3. Pour in veggie stick and apple juice, add dried fruit. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place lid on slow cooker and turn heat to low. Cook until lentils and veggies are tender, about 8 hours. When ready to serve, stir in parsley and lemon juice.

Fish eating vegan nonsense (and oven-roasted chestnuts)

I've been a terrible vegan this November. A week in London for a trip business led to eating lots of diary and seafood products. It's like the Brits have not fully embraced tofu. At least their animals are treated slightly better and they have higher food standards. My vegan self could not handle the porridge made whole milk. It made me realize how much I actually prefer the taste of soy milk. I was so happy to discover Pod Food.

Now back stateside I've become more of a pesce-vegan. I think I opened a flood gate with all the fish eating in the UK. Hmmm. Fish was always a tough thing for me to give up. I've been a vegetarian for 14 years now. During that time I've alternated between eating fish and abstaining. I think part of the problem is I don't feel bad about killing fish. I've been fishing before and gutted my own catch. However, I'd never want to kill a goat, sheep, cow etc. Plus there are some health benefits to fish (Omega fatty acids and all that jazz). Hmmmm.

While I ponder what to do with my fish eating vegan self. You can roast some chestnuts in the oven. Chestnuts are awesome and so appropriate this winter season. They can be quite filling.... "Chestnuts have twice as much starch as the potato. They are the only "nuts" that contain vitamin C, with about 40 mg per 100 g of raw product, which is about 65% of the U.S. recommended daily intake. The amount of vitamin C decreases by about 40% after heating."

How to Roast Chestnuts in the Oven:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Clean off chestnuts.
  • Use a sharp paring knife to cut an X into one side of each chestnut, or prick chestnuts with a fork to allow steam to escape. (Or you might have some exploding chestnuts)
  • Arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan, with the cut or pricked sides up.
  • Roast in oven for 15 to 25 minutes, or until chestnuts are tender and easy to peel.
  • Peel the nuts when they are cool enough to handle, and enjoy
To read my thoughts on all the comments below click here.
Everyone smile and have a great day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kale Spinach Mango smoothie

I've often come across recipes for smoothies with kale/spinach but I assumed they'd taste terrible. However, after reading Nima's blog entry I felt compelled to try it....Nima, a 20 something with leukemia (A.L.L) wrote "Its my birthday and the best gift you can give me is to dedicate one day a week to doing something healthy for yourself....like having my smoothie ;)" So really, it was the best time ever to try it out. Plus I love kale.

Turns out it tastes pretty good, basically a purer version of Odwalla's Superfood. Next time I'm going to try it with juice (instead of water)

1 whole mango (I used frozen mango)
2 bunches of spinach
3 leaves of kale
4 ice cubes
1 cup water/juice
honey to taste

blend and drink....mmmm kale :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Road ID - wearing my ID while I run

In April, I switched from an after work runner to a pre-work runner. This means I’m often running while the sun is rising and it’s still relatively dark (see the picture I took before last week's run). Whenever I mention running under the morning stars to people their first concern is safety. Luckily Prospect Park is always full of avid runners regardless of the rain or dark. So I feel somewhat safe in numbers. However, I never carry ID with me. And I should in case there is an accident etc. So when I saw Road ID’s advertisement in Runner’s World magazine I went to their website and ordered one. (This is really rare for me. I previously worked in advertisement for a quick and painful 6 months so I tend to avoid ads.)

I ordered the classic wrist ID for $19.99 plus shipping. You can customize 6 lines of text to engrave on the surgical stainless steel ID tag. I included
  1. my name
  2. my city/state
  3. (Husband’s name), phone number, Husband
  4. (Mom’s name), phone number, Mom
  5. (Father’s name), phone number, Father
  6. Mungu ni Adhimu (A shortened Baha’i prayer “God is Sufficient/Significant" in Swahili)

I’m listing Road ID’s top ten reasons why their product is useful to summarize………
1. If you can’t speak for yourself, Road ID will speak for you.
2. Road ID enables First Responders to immediately contact family members and friends.
3. Road ID enables family members to provide additional details about your health or give consent for potentially life saving procedures.
4. Road ID enables hospital staff to locate vital medical records.
5. Road ID can communicate medical conditions or allergy information to medical staff.
6. Road ID can prevent serious delays in treatment by saving crucial time during the “golden hour” of medical treatment.
7. It’s far better to have Road ID and not need it than to need Road ID and not have it. It’s not just a piece of gear, it’s peace of mind.
8. Accidents happen far more than you think they do. Each year approximately 450,000 of us are taken to hospitals unconscious and without identification.
9. Road ID looks good on and makes a statement about your athletic lifestyle – not to mention that studies would probably prove that people that wear Road ID are considerably smarter than those that don’t.
10. Road ID can save your Life. Period.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Linguine with Lentils and Roasted Butternut Squash

I tried out another recipe from Vegan on the Cheap, Linguine with Lentils and Roasted Butternut Squash. It tastes pretty good not sure both the lentils and squash are necessary and might only do one to reduce this time intensive recipe. But try it yourself and decide :)

1/2 cup brown or green lentils
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeded
salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons crumbled dried sage
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 cup vegetable stock
12 ounces linguine

1. Boil lentils in salted water, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender (45 mins). Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400*F. Put diced squash with olive oil drizzled over and salt/pepper to taste. Roast until tender (30 mins). Set aside.

3. Saute onion in a skillet for 5 min, add garlic cook 30 seconds. Stir in sage, tomatoes and cooked lentils. Stir in stock and season with salt/pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 mins. (For a creamier sauce use an immersion blender to blend a portion of lentil mixture). Stir in roasted squash. Then set mixture aside.
4. Boil pasta in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and add to lentil-squash mixture.