Fighting the winter slump with soup!

I love soup.  In fact I make soup more often than I make any other dish.  I have just returned from  vacation (nothing quite like escaping the winter for three weeks), and needless to say the cold is really getting to me.  Today I decided to make some soup to warm my tummy and give me an energy boost.  It is easy to make and inexpensive.  You can use pretty much any ingredients you want, and it is bound to be tasty.

Here is the recipe that I used.  It was delicious and hearty.

2 yellow onions,   1 red pepper,   1 green pepper,   3 cloves fresh garlic,   4 ripe tomatoes,   1/2 cup red lentils,   4 long sticks of celery, 2 cups spinach   1/2 cup courgette,  700ml water,   a dash of nutmeg, oregano and basil.

Recipe

1.  Chop all the ingredients depending on how chunky you like your soup. 

     Pre-soak the lentils  (about 1 hour)

2.  In a large pot,  saute the garlic and onions for 2 minutes.  Then add the courgette.  After about 2 more minutes add the peppers, celery, spinach and tomatoes.

3.  Drain the lentils and add.  Add the water and all spices.

4.  Boil all the ingredients together for about 10 mins.  Then reduce and simmer for 5 mins.

Enjoy!


My Fall Favorite – Pumpkin and Spinach Soup!

Fall is upon us, and there are pumpkins everywhere.  I feel that pumpkin is one of the most underrated vegetable.  There is just so much you can do with it.  From appetizer to dessert, it makes a hearty addition to any meal.  Pumpkins are full of carotene which are powerful antioxidants.  They have great anti-aging properties and contain many disease preventing nutrients.  The high fibre content  will satisfy your hunger and aid digestion, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.  This recipe is perfect for a chilly evening, and tastes even better when kept in the fridge overnight and reheated.

This recipe was my first attempt, and the result was a delicious, hearty soup that was perfect for dinner.  It felt warm and nourishing, I will certainly be making this again soon.

Ingredients

2 medium-sized pumpkins (soft-boiled and peeled), 300g -400g spinach and kale (use according to your taste preference), 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves fresh garlic, 100g ginger, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon turmeric, 200ml coconut/soy/almond milk, 200ml water.

Recipe

1.  In a large bowl, mash the pumpkin and add your choice of milk.  In another large pot or wok, saute the onion, ginger and garlic in the turmeric for 2 minutes.

2. Add the pumpkin mix to the pot, mix thoroughly and add the water and cinnamon.  Boil on a low heat for about 30 minutes, you can add more milk or water in the boiling process as you feel necessary. 

3.  Towards the end of the boiling process add the greens and boil for a further 5 minutes.  Serve and Enjoy.

This recipe makes at least 4 large servings.


Butternut and sweet potato saute

I love this recipe, it’s colorful, tasty and easy to make.  The ingredients pack a powerful punch in the nutrition department.  Butternut is filling, yet surprisingly low in calories ( just 45 cal per 100 g.) It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, and is a rich source of dietary fiber.  Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and have a high vitamin A (immune system) content.  They make the perfect pair!  Sweet and simple.

Ingredients

1 medium-sized butternut

2-3 medium-sized sweet potatoes

1 red onion

2 cloves fresh garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil.

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Recipe

1. Cut and peel the butternut.  Pre-boil the butternut and sweet potato.

2. In a pan or wok, saute the red onion and garlic in some olive oil for about 2 minutes.

3.  Add the butternut and sweet potato to the onion and garlic.  Lastly add a dash of cinnamon.


Healthy hummmmmus !

Hummus is great for spreading, dipping, filling, or just about anything.   It’s really tasty and has great health benefits.  Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein, and have no saturated fats.   Chickpeas are known to prevent build up of cholesterol, and help to maintain  healthy blood sugar levels.

There are many different recipes for hummus.  Here is a simple hummus recipe that I tried out and it was delicious.

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon Tabasco/Hot sauce

1/4 cup water

1 Teaspoon salt

For a higher calorie option:  6 green olives with 2 Tablespoons brine.

Add the ingredients into a blender or food processor.  If your blender is not strong (like mine :D) you can add the liquids first and add the rest slowly as the mixture progresses.   Blend until the mixture has a similar consistency as peanut butter.  

Health tips:  Swap peanut butter and sugary spreads for hummus, or enjoy it as a dip with fresh raw veg, such as cucumbers and carrots.