Have you tried lentil soup? Lentils are part of the legume family, which includes beans, peas and peanuts. They are seeds that grow inside pods and are dried after harvesting. With a rich history that can be dated back to 8,000 years ago, lentils are even noted in the Bible’s book of Genesis. They have graced the tables of kings to peasants alike.
Lentils are not only inexpensive, they also happen to be very nutritious and as versatile as rice. Unlike meat proteins, lentils are naturally low in fat, have 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of fiber and only 165 calories per half cup cooked serving. They have a nutty, earthy flavor and come in many varieties. Plus, they are quick and easy to prepare. They can be cooked in advance and will stay covered in the refrigerator up to five days.
Here is a delicious and filling lentil soup that is easy to prepare.
Curried Lentil Soup
- 2 cups of cooked lentils, green or brown
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1½ tablespoon of curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 cups of fat free, low sodium chicken broth
- 1½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ¼ cup of fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
- In a large stock pot over medium, add oil.
- Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder and red pepper; sauté for 1 minute.
- Add broth, vinegar and lentils and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool and in small batches in the tall NutriBullet cup and extract.
- Pour back into pot and add spinach, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
- Split into four bowls and serve with yogurt and remaining cilantro.
I love a bowl of homemade soup on cold winter days. This recipe falls into my category of comfort foods. It’s fabulous served with a crispy green salad and warm naan bread for dipping. Feel free to add some additional spice if needed.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I’ve been looking forward to drinking green-colored shakes all year! Sadly, most of them are loaded with fat, sugar and artificial flavors. So, I went on a mission to find something similar, but much healthier, than my old green friend. After experimenting and combining a few different recipes, I came up with a new and improved version – the Skinnier Shamrock Shake.
- 1 frozen banana
- large handful of spinach
- ¼ ripe avocado
- ¼ cup mint leaves – depending on taste
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- splash of almond milk or coconut milk
Place all ingredients in your Tall NutriBullet cup, extract until smooth and enjoy with a shot of whipped cream.
Some of you may be a bit skeptical about the taste – I know. I can assure you that it blends in well with the creamy, smooth, minty flavor. It’s perfect, not too sweet and not too bland. This is a great alternative version of my childhood delight and I can even say it’s breakfast worthy. Plus, this Blast is packed with fruit and veggies you can get all year round.
It’s a big weekend for debauchery thanks to St. Patrick’s Day, so start the weekend off on the right foot by drinking this skinny green Blast, filled with vitamins A, C, K, iron, fiber, and so much more. Eat your heart out,
Skinny Green Blast
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful kale
- 1 small banana
- 1/2 cup pineapple
- 1/2 greek yogurt (filled with probiotics)
- Water to the MAX line
Add ingredients to your Tall Cup and extract for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
I did something real stupid over the holidays. It was Christmas Eve; I was sautéing dinner over the stove, got a small crumb on my finger and flicked it off. In doing this small, reflexive action, my right hand’s middle finger dislocated and shifted to the right. After a few minutes of screaming in pain, I finished cooking and served dinner to my guests. I waited about two weeks and finally went to the doctor.
To make long story short, I ruptured a sagittal band in my middle finger and needed immediate surgery. This is not a common injury and is also known as “boxer knuckles.” However, it happens frequently from the flicking motion of a finger, especially the middle finger. The surgery is 15 minutes, but the recovery is three months. Now that I have a cast on my right hand and I’m not ambidextrous, I have a lot of time on my hands. Matter of fact, I’m typing this blog with my left hand!
I am a very active person, from running my own business to taking care of my family. I’m the type that needs to stay busy; I don’t sit around the house well! And when boredom sets in, I start to eat. I know this is going to be a problem and I cannot sit around and nosh for the next three months. I started searching for new recipes for my NutriBullet, recipes that would make good snacks. Here’s an interesting one that I know will ease my bored binge eating. It has cantaloupe, berries and some greens – some of my favorites.
Cantaloupe Berry Blast
- 1 cup of cantaloupe
- ½ cup of strawberries
- ½ cup of raspberries
- handful of greens – I use spinach and baby kale
- handful of raw almonds
- 3 – 4 ice cubes
- water to line
Add all ingredients to the tall NutriBullet cup, extract until smooth and enjoy.
Cantaloupe, like most melons, is made up mostly of water, so gulping this Blast will help keep me hydrated. Berries are great for their vitamins and antioxidants. The greens have vitamin A and fiber. The almonds add a touch of protein. Extracted together, I have a healthy snack that is satisfying and helps keep away the boredom. Plus, it’s a great mid-day energy boost. Here’s proof not all green drinks have to taste like dirt.
It’s Monday morning and my alarm clock goes off. I hit the snooze button and go back to sleep for nine minutes. I feel like I have no energy and may be in need of a giant cup of coffee to start my day. I know that’s not the answer. Despite the instant energy boost, consuming copious amounts of caffeine can ultimately sap me to exhaustion. I need more than caffeine to get me going through my busy day. I need real energy that comes from real food. I need an energy boosting Blast.
This is a yummy recipe I found on the Dr. Oz website. It includes two of my favorite foods, peanut butter and chocolate. It’s packed with protein and low in calories, too. It tastes more like a dessert than an energy Blast that’s actually good for you.
Energy Boosting Blast
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
- 1 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
- dash of cinnamon
- water to line
- 3 – 4 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to a tall NutriBullet cup and extract.
Peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt are good sources of protein. Bananas are loaded with fiber and potassium. Add some cacao powder, which is chocked-full of antioxidants, and you have a delicious, nutritious combination. This is a better approach to starting my day. I’m not only nourishing my mind and body with a refreshing energy boosting Blast, I am giving myself a break from caffeine. So, before you reach for the double espresso, consider a healthier, flavorful Blast.
Carpe diem – Enjoy!