Monday, October 09, 2006

almost but not quite

Breakfast: smoothie
Lunch: small handful of cashews
Dinner: spicy red lentil soup with Normandy blend veggies (yellow summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)

Exercise: 45 min w/Maya, 30 min treadmill

Fuhrmometer Reading: broccoli

If I had only had a real lunch I would have had a Kale Day! I was actually planning on taking the plunge and making a blended salad too but I just didn’t get hungry until what I thought was too late to have a large meal so I grabbed the cashews to tide me over until dinner time. Tomorrow I’m back to work so maybe I’ll be able to pull off a Kale Day then.

As promised here are pics and recipes for the two things I made last night/ today: Crock Pot Veggie Stock and Spicy Red Lentil Soup. Yum!

Crock Pot Veggie Stock

2 medium onions, quartered
2 large carrots, cut into 1 in chunks (or a bunch of baby carrots)
2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled & crushed
1 small bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
2-3 bay leafs
½ tsp. black peppercorns or more if you like
8 – 10 C. water
Any other dried herbs you feel like adding (I like basil and rosemary)

1. Place all ingredients in your crock pot. Cover and cook on low overnight (8 - 10 hours or more).
2. Allow stock to cool a bit, and strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a pot or bowl, pressing the veggies against the sieve to release all the juices. Store in tightly covered containers for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. I like to freeze 2 cup portions so I know how much to take out when making a recipe.

I’ll be honest; I really don’t measure anything when I make this. I just toss everything in the crock pot and add water and let it go. I think this time I added 12 cups of water because that’s what looked right to me. I have a fairly big crock pot so I can get a lot of broth out of one batch. I got about 6 portions out of this batch.

I’m planning to use this the next time I make Blended Greens Soup or whenever else I have a recipe that calls for water or stock. It’s nice to have in the freezer for when you need it!

Spicy Red Lentil Soup
ETL-ized Version of Recipe from October 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times
6 (2 cup) servings

I’m posting this recipe the way I made it; I left out the salt and oil that the recipe calls for and didn’t use any Tamarind concentrate/paste. I also doubled the recipe as last time I made a soup from VT I didn’t get as many meal-sized servings out of it as I wanted.

1 lb red lentils
2 15 oz cans no-salt diced tomatoes
4 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz cans light & unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbs. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. tumeric powder
2 small jalapeños, minced (seeded if you want less heat)
chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)

1. Bring lentils and 10 cups of water to a boil in a medium to large pot, simmer partially covered for 20 – 25 minutes; do not drain. If desired; blend lentils with whisk or blend in food processor.
2. While lentils are cooking purée tomatoes and ginger in a food processor or blender until smooth and set aside. Chop garlic and mince jalapeño.
3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and a few tablespoons of water and cook 30 seconds or until just golden; stirring often. Add tomato/ginger mixture, coconut milk, coriander, cumin, tumeric, and jalapeño. Simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Stir lentils into other ingredients and simmer partially uncovered, 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro when ready to serve.

Nicole’s Notes: At meal time; I add some frozen veggies to the soup and microwave them all together. The soup heats up as the veggies defrost and they don’t get too mushy. Adding the frozen veggies is a great way to get your cooked veggies along with the beans that the soup already supplies.

Although we don’t have to count calories on ETL; VT’s version of the recipe which includes oil and tamarind is 201 calories per 1 cup serving – seeing as how these are left out in this version I estimate that a 2 cup meal – sized serving is in the high 300’s. Add in the frozen veggies and you’ve got a great and filling dinner for 450 to 500 calories.

I realized as I was typing this up that when I made the soup I didn’t double the spices. It tastes ok the way it is; but I think would be even better if I had used the appropriate amount of spices (the correct amounts are above). I’ll make this one again.