Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nazareth Village Lentil Soup

Nazareth Village Lentil Soup Recipe
In The Spirit of the First Century

2 cups lentils
4 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt (more if desired)
Black pepper to taste

Mix ingredients and simmer on low to moderate heat 1 to 2 hours. Serves 4

Friday, February 28, 2014

Squash Gratin with Poblanos and Cream

I really really love this dish. (I'm a big butternut squash fan.) I don't make it often because it is a bit time consuming. Peeling and cutting squash is always a pain and it's a bit of a process to prepare the poblanos. But I think it's worth the effort. I usually just use milk instead of heavy cream and light sour cream instead of creme fraiche to save on calories. And less cheese. And for some reason I always prepare it as written and then remember it makes a huge amount and my children don't like it. But then I get leftovers for days! So you could easily half the recipe.

Squash Gratin with Poblanos and Cream
  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 12

  1. 6 large poblanos (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  2. 2 large butternut squash (4 pounds total)—peeled, halved, seeded and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  3. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped thyme
  5. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  7. 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  8. 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped oregano
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  11. 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  12. 8 ounces farmer cheese (see Note)
  13. Toasted pumpkin seeds, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning, until they are charred all over. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let them cool. Peel, stem and seed the chiles, then cut them into thin strips.
  2. Brush the butternut squash with 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and spread it on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the squash is tender, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced onion, garlic, oregano and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the poblano strips and cook until they are very tender, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche and season the poblano mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon half of the poblano mixture into a large baking dish and top with half of the butternut squash and half of the Monterey Jack and farmer cheeses. Repeat with the remaining poblano mixture, butternut squash and both cheeses. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until the gratin is golden and bubbling. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The unbaked gratin can be refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before baking. NOTES Farmer cheese is a form of cottage cheese that has had the liquid pressed out of it. It's slightly tangy with a dry texture that makes it great for crumbling. Look for it at specialty-food stores or at cheese shops.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

I actually used chickpeas instead of lentils and really liked this dish. I'm sure the lentils would be great too. Great flavors. It was a little spicy for me, but perfect for Ben. So adjust spices according to your heat tolerance (mine is pretty low).

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

by fANNEtastic food
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: boil stovetop entree soup/stew gluten-free vegan vegetarian sweet potato
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 (13.5) oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh Thai basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Cook lentils in water according to package instructions.
While lentils are cooking, in a separate medium sized pot, add sweet potato, coconut milk, basil, Sriracha, and spices. Bring to a simmer and let simmer until sweet potato is soft and fully cooked (about 15 to 20 minutes depending how large they are cut).
Stir in the chopped green pepper and cooked lentils. Let simmer another few minutes.
Serve hot, as is or over rice.

Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps are super yummy. The dipping sauce is key. I simplified and bought pre-cubed butternut squash. It says to cook it for 10 minutes in a skillet but I really didn't believe squash could cook that quickly so I roasted mine in the oven for a bit first. 

Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps




2 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves torn off
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, torn
thai dipping/drizzling sauce
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter (it mixes in easier if it's melted, FYI)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


Toss the squash with the salt, pepper and chili powder. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the squash and cook until it is fork tender and slightly caramely in color, about 10 minutes. Half way through, drizzle in the honey to help the caramelization process.
Assemble the lettuce wraps by laying a few pieces of sliced red pepper in a butter lettuce leaf. Top it with the squash, then a hefty drizzle of the thai sauce. Add a sprinkling of the onions, peanuts and cilantro.
thai dipping/drizzling sauce
Combine all the ingredients together in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and whisk until it is combined. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes with Cucumber Raita

I really liked the flavor in this dish. Oliver and Simon gobbled up the raita (I added more cucumber than it called for). The girls just gobbled up the naan. (The naan from Target's bakery section is pretty good.)

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes
Gourmet, February 2004
1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water
Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.
Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Cucumber Scallion Raita
1/4 cup finely chopped English (seedless cucumber)
1 thinly sliced scallion
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cream Cheese Penguins

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Valerie Cuff
Photo By: christapants
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Servings: 18
"Just imagine a cute display of penguins, made with black olives, carrots and cream cheese! You can add scarves and hats by using fresh red pepper strips, or canned pimentos cut into different shapes. Use frilly toothpicks if you can."
18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot
1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.


This recipe was in the Ladies' Home Journal, March 2014.  The secret is to use a lot of parsley.

3/4 cup dry bulgur wheat
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups minced flat-leaf parsley
1 plum tomato, finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Lettuce laves, for serving (optional)

Cook bulgur according to package directions to yield 2 cups.  In a large bowl combine cooked bulgur, onion, scallions, parsley and tomato.  In a second bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, lemon zest, and pepper.  Pour dressing over bulgur mixture and toss to coat.  Scoop onto lettuce laves, if desired to eat with hands.
Makes 4 cups.  80 cal., per 1/2 cup serving. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cuban Black Beans and Rice


1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 green pepper diced
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Juice of 3 limes
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
2 cans black beans
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in saucepan
Add onion and sauté
Add minced garlic cloves and sauté
Add diced green peppers and sauté as well
Add remaining ingredients
Let simmer on low for 15 minutes
Remove bay leaves

Serve over rice. Top with green onions.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Turkey Meatballs

These are from Bob Harper's "The Skinny Rules" book.  The way mine turn out, there are about 5 meatballs in each serving.  

Turkey Meatballs
Whether you have just a couple of meatballs as a snack or a larger serving for lunch or dinner, wrap them in lettuce instead of a bun.
Makes 4 servings.

Brown rice is a healthy substitute for the usual bread crumbs.

1 lb extra-lean ground turkey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 c. cooked brown rice, cooled
olive oil spray

1. Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a large mixing bowl and shape into about 30 meatballs 1 inch across.
2.  Spray a large nonstick skillet generously with olive oil.
3. Cook the meatballs for 5-6 min, ,working in batches if your pan is not large enough to fit them all, occasionally moving them around to brown all sides.

Variation: Once all the meatballs are cooked, add a jar of low-sodium marinara sauce to the pan.  Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes.  These sauced meatballs are great by themselves or served over quinoa, farro, or whole-wheat pasta at lunch, or over spaghetti squash or other veggies for dinner.

Nutrition Information per serving:
213 calories, 24g protein, 8g carbs, 9.6g fat