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Curried Red Lentil and Roasted Delicata Squash Soup

Lentil Soup Drizzled with Coconut Milk.

Lentil Soup Drizzled with Coconut Milk.

Recently, I was approached by the lovely Katie over on the amazing blog, Whole Nourishment.  She is a fellow whole foodie and wellness coach and she just happens to post super tasty recipes!  She approached a number of bloggers that focus on whole food cooking about putting together a series which highlights recipes for Cooking for One.  I was super excited to team up with all of these bloggers because we share a common philosophy about food.  I was also excited about the thought of devising a recipe for people who cook for themselves.  Usually, I am cooking for my whole family so I have four people’s tastes and desires I have to take into account.  For this recipe, I got to focus on only myself!  Yippee!

On the rare occasions when I am cooking for only myself, I see it as an opportunity to eat exactly what I want.  Sometimes, I take the easy way out and just eat a salad or buy take out but every once in awhile, I am inspired to create something that truly nourishes my body.  This recipe is one of those times.  I know a big pot of soup seems like too much for one person but I see it as a chance to be prepared.  I now have lunch or dinner for the next few days and can even freeze a few individual portions for future meals.

Delicata Squash.

Delicata Squash.

This recipe is an extension of a recipe I posted a few weeks ago.  The soup calls for Roasted Delicata Squash but butternut squash or any other fall squash would be good.  Here is the recipe for roasting the squash.  I am a huge fan of  delicata squash because it does not need to be peeled and is incredibly sweet when roasted. In fact, when it is in season, I cook it so much that my kids complain as soon as they see one in the house.  (However, that’s the beauty of this recipe, the boys didn’t even notice the squash blended into the soup!)  Since delicata squash is high in vitamins A and C  and iron and calcium, I loved knowing I had snuck all those nutrients into the boy’s bodies!

This soup is filled with amazing whole foods nourishment perfect for the up coming winter.

Red Lentils.

Red Lentils.

Red lentils are a fiber all star with 16 grams of fiber in  a one cup serving.  All this fiber helps balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol.  They are also an excellent source of folate, copper, phosphorous, manganese and iron.  Eating just one cup of lentils will provide your body with over 35% of its daily protein needs.

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

This soup also features garlic and onions, two members of the alluim family.  Both are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects. They have traditionally been used to fight colds and the flu.  Ginger has traditionally been used to combat nausea and stomach upset.  It is well known for its  antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.  One of curry powder’s main components is usually turmeric and  turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, has been shown to prevent sharp spikes in blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory and helps manage cholesterol. All of these soup ingredients are considered “warming” in Traditional Chinese Medicine, making them an excellent addition to a winter diet!

Mixed greens.

Mixed greens.

I added about a cup of mixed greens towards the end of cooking to boost the nutrition in the soup.  I used a mixture of different kales, spinach and red and green chard.  Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber, and kale, in particular, adds a boost of calcium. They are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E- all important for optimal health.

Finished Soup without Coconut Milk.

Finished Soup without Coconut Milk.

Curried Red Lentil and Roasted Delicata Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 roasted delicata squash
  • onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbs of curry powder (to taste)
  • 1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
  • 1-2 tbs of coconut oil
  • 1/2 inch nob of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 can coconut milk, more for drizzling
  • 1 cup of chopped mixed greens
  • 4 cups of veggie broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook squash according to directions in the recipe link.
  2. Heat oil in large pot.
  3. Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook til begin to turn translucent.
  4. Add curry powder and heat til becomes fragrant.
  5. Add lentils and broth and cook until lentils become soft. (About 30 minutes.)
  6. Dice up the cooked squash.
  7. Add half of the cooked squash to the pot and set the other half aside.
  8. Blend soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches until no chunks can be seen.
  9. Now add the remainder of the squash.
  10. Add coconut milk.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add greens.
  13. Let simmer til greens are wilted and squash is heated through.
  14. Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk or plain according to your taste.
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Unfortunately, I am the last blogger to post in the Cooking for One series.  I highly recommend you check out the other posts.  There are some VERY  tasty recipes.

Day
Friends
Sunday, October 5th
Katie @ Whole Nourishment ~ Green Quinoa Bowl
Monday, October 6th
Kellie @ Food to Glow ~ Grilled Shiitake Kimcheese
Tuesday, October 7th
Isadora @ She Likes Food ~ Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups
Wednesday, October 8th
Dearna @ to her core ~ Roasted Pumpkin and Peanut Soup
Thursday, October 9th
Lynsey @ lynseylovesfood ~ Roasted Root Vegetable Calzones
Sarah @ Highgate Hill Kitchen ~ Spicy-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad
Friday, October 10th
Grace @ Earthy Feast ~ Marinated Mushroom Sandwich with Sautéed Greens + Avocado + Egg
Saturday, October 11th
Teri @ Nourished Roots ~ Curried Red Lentil and Roasted Delicata Squash Soup

Enjoy all the deliciousness and remember just because you might be cooking for yourself, does not mean you don’t deserve to nourish your body with tasty, whole foods you enjoy!  YOU ARE WORTH IT!

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An Incredible Surprise

 

Liebster Award.

Liebster Award.

This morning I woke up to a very nice surprise!  Katie at the super amazing Whole Nourishment blog nominated me for the Liebster Award.  I have gotten to know Katie in the blogging world because we share common ideas about how to nurture and feed ourselves and our loved ones.  I love checking out her blog for yummy inspiration for dinner or snacks!  (And I am super excited to collaborate with her next week on her Dinner for One series -more details on that later!)

The Liebster Award started in Germany as an opportunity for bloggers to recognize their favorite bloggers.  I love the idea of having new readers discover my blog while introducing my readers to other bloggers I admire so I was happy to be nominated.  This award has a few rules:

The Liebster Award rules ask that I do the following:
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated me and link to their blog + display the award badge.
  1. Answer 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated me
  1. List 11 random facts about myself
  1. Nominate 11 bloggers (I tweaked this rule)
  2. Pose 11 questions to said nominees
  3. Go to each nominee’s blog and notify them of their nomination.

Here are the answers to Katie’s questions:

What is your favorite food movie?
My favorite food movie would have to be Like Water for Chocolate.  I loved the idea that the chef’s emotions could become infused into the food.
What can always be found in your fridge?
Some type of fermented food.  I always have either sauerkraut, kombucha or water kefir in my fridge- usually all three!
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to food?

I am struggling with this question because I am up for just about anything food wise.  I am a fairly adventuresome eater.  However, I eat VERY little fast food- especially from the major, international fast food companies.

Has blogging helped you learn anything new about yourself?

It has reminded me that I am a “wing it” sort of cook- not always a good trait when you are sharing recipes with other people!
Blogging is creative work. Some people argue creativity is artfully bringing together seemingly disparate ideas to make a dish while others say it’s about creating something new. What does creativity in the kitchen/on the blog mean to you?
One of my other jobs before I became a Wholistic Nutritionist was as a jeweler.  I loved being able to have an idea for a particular piece of jewelry and then turn it into something beautiful that someone could love.  I feel like cooking provides that same opportunity.  When you create something truly tasty for someone you love, it is an amazing feeling.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I like it quiet.  When I am home by myself, I don’t have on any tv or radio.  I enjoy the silence!
What on your life bucket list are you determined to make happen?

Someday, I will go on an African Safari.  I am dying to giraffes in the wild!

What cookbook do you cook from the most?

Lately, I have been cooking a ton from the The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon.  Everything I have made from this book has been a hit with my family- no small feat with two teenage boys!

What is your favorite go-to quick dinner?

I make this super yummy white bean and sausage soup with tomatoes and kale.  I love it because it is quick and tasty and I know the recipe by heart so I don’t have to think about it while I am at the store.
How do you like to start your mornings?
Breakfast!  Always breakfast!
What is your most nourishing daily habit?
I make it a point to move my body every day.  Sometimes that means early morning boot camp, sometimes it means yoga, sometimes a run or even just a walk around the neighborhood with my dog but a day rarely goes by that I do not do something.  It clears my head and makes me a happier person!
11 Random Facts about Me
  1. I went to school in Italy for one semester in college but can’t speak Italian.
  2. I never had a fresh (non-canned) pear until I lived in Italy.
  3. While living in Italy, I tried to cook pesto on the stove.  I didn’t know you just needed to stir it in warm pasta!
  4. I often roast cauliflower and eat the whole head by myself.
  5. Both of my parents are from New Orleans so I eat a lot of sea food.
  6. I cannot sing AT ALL!!
  7. I have completed 3 triathlons.
  8. Even though I haven’t lived in Texas for over 20 years, I still consider myself a Texan.
  9. Two years ago, my family went to Honduras to build a house for a family who needed a home.
  10. I have a completely irrational fear of sharks- at times even thinking they might be in the pool.
  11.  I am happiest when I am outside, in the sunshine, with my family.

Nominees

  1. Rama at Freshly Grown a fellow whole foodie and mama doing amazing things to spread the whole food word.
  2. Linda at Gluten Free Homemaker for her dedication to tasty, gluten free living.
  3. Deborah at Urban Naturale hosts two amazing whole food link ups each week that help expose everyone to other bloggers.
  4. Kimi at Rock My Vegan Socks.  A wholistic nutritionist and  vegan food guru.
  5. Kristy at She Eats because she posts such amazing food with beautiful photography and funny commentary.
  6. Krista at Fitlandia for her focus on a positive mental attitude in her blog posts.

Questions for Nominees

  1. What is your favorite food or fitness blog?
  2. What is your favorite cookbook?
  3. What is your typical breakfast?
  4. What has been the most popular post on your site?
  5. If you had $10 US to spend.  What would you buy?
  6. Where is your most favorite place you have ever visited?
  7. What is your most favorite dish to eat?
  8. What is the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
  9. Do you have any pets?  Tell us about them.
  10. What is your drink of choice?
  11. What is one thing you always have in your fridge?

 

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Inspiration Week

Be kind to yourself!

I decided to do something a little different this week.  I love Pinterest and spend an amazing number of hours searching for inspiration, recipes, projects, workout advice and anything else I can find there. I know  many of you out there also lose many hours pouring over all the pins.  I decided this week, I am going to share some of my favorite inspirational finds.  I would love if you have a favorite pin that inspires you, you shared it with me!

My first find this week comes from Gaye at Calm, Sexy, Happy.  I love this pin and her blog post because I have had this exact conversation with some friends and even myself at times.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could all make a commitment to being at least as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends and family.

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5 Great Road Trip Snacks

Road trip picture.

Road trip picture.

Summer  has definitely hit and it seems everyone is on the move.  People are visiting family, headed to the beach or checking out the National Parks.  I can’t wait til we get to hit the road.  Beyond the hassles of packing, boarding the dog and planning the trip, one of my biggest concerns is what to bring for car snacks. I don’t want to undue all the healthy eating we have been doing at home by failing to be prepared!!  It never fails that we have barely made it out of the driveway and the kids are already asking what we have to eat.  I have been giving this a lot of thought and this year I am prepared.  Here are five snacks I will be packing.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.  Blueberries are an amazing car snack.  Pick or buy them, wash them and then store them in your container of choice.  They are a tasty, healthy, sweet alternative to candy and other junk food you might be tempted to pack.  Plus they provide a shot of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fiber.  Perfect to keep you regular when your routine is out of whack.  Read more about the benefits of eating berries here.

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut butter stuffed Dates

Nut Butter Stuffed Dates.  These portable little beauties offer a hint of sweetness with a little bit of salty thrown in.  There are currently so many options for different nut butters.  I often use pistachio but experiment with what is your favorite.  Here is a recipe but they are so simple to create.  Just slice the date down one side, remove the pit and then stuff with the nut butter of your choice.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.

Trail Mix.  The great thing about trail mix is it can be completely customized to your own individual taste.  Take the kids to  a store with bulk bins and let them choose what they would like in their own “special” trail mix.  Chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, sesame crackers- it is all good!  Just be aware that some dried fruits have added sugar.  Once the kids have chosen their ingredients, you can pack each kid their own bag of “special” mix.

Fermented Blueberry SodaFermented Blueberry Ginger Soda.  This snack takes a little more planning because creating the ingredients for the ginger bug takes about a week.  However, having a cool, refreshing, healthy alternative to soda while on the road is well worth it.  Plus it will provide your gut with healthy probiotics while you are traveling. Here is the recipe for Fermented Ginger Blueberry Soda.

Yum!  A whole container of granola!

Yum! A whole container of granola!

Granola.  Jane’s Chocolaty Gluten Free Granola is a great road trip food.  Portable, healthy and no refrigeration required.

These are just a few ideas!  I would love to hear about what other families take on their road trips.

Shared with REal Food Forager, Gluten Free Homemaker,  Urban NaturaleReal Food Wednesdays and Allergy Free Alaska.

Car Photo by Les Chatfield on flickr with text added by me.

Trail mix photo by Sara Milne on flickr.

Blueberry photo by Mr. TinDC on flickr.

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