NO TRADING MOOD #LENTIL SOUP

It is said that these healthy legumes (lentils) date back to Bible days where Jacob traded same to Esau for his birthright. For thousands of years, lentils have graced many  Mediterranean, Asian, African and other tables. This was music to my ears.

As I washed my tiny beans I smiled knowing what was in store.  I’ve consumed lentils many times. I like the fact that they are very satisfying and will not spike the glucose level within my body. I used the brown lentils I had on hand.

These super-foods are of a variety of hues such yellow, green, black, orange and brown. Based on research, lentils are some of the healthiest foods around as they are loaded with nutrients such as cholesterol-lowering fibers, protein, vitamins including B12, folate and others.

Lentils cook relatively quick and easy and is able to absorb flavors and seasonings. And, with that on my mind, I sautéed  in a drizzle of olive oil root vegetables like:

  • diced carrots
  • diced celery
  • finely chopped onions
  • garlic
  • bell pepper
    SAUTEED ROOT VEGGIES FOR LENTIL SOUP
    SAUTEED ROOT VEGGIES FOR LENTIL SOUP

    This was seasoned along with salt, black pepper, cumin, bouillon, and fresh thyme. Then, I added rinsed brown lentils and coated them in oil for a few minutes.

    LENTILS AND ROOT VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED
    LENTILS AND ROOT VEGGIES BEING SAUTEED

    Cold water was then added. This simmered on low for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Additional water was  added as required.

After soup arrived at the preferred consistency, this was cooled  and then pureed. Lentil soup was served with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped parsley as garnish.

 

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HUMP DAY DELIGHT! #CURRIED DRUMSTICKS/THIGHS

When the middle of the work week rolls in, it brings somewhat of a relief within. Yes, I know others consider it to be an obstacle or maybe, the toughest day of the week.  For me, It’s like a tinge of liberation so to speak. Half of the ‘battle’ has been won. So, I go with the flow. And that’s what I did this afternoon.

I hopped in my kitchen and did some wild chops to my drumsticks and thighs while I sipped on a little left-over Merlot chilling in the fridge. Placed the red brew in the ice-box to garner a little more shelf-life. And boy, I was ‘over the moon’.

But anyway, I was in for a bold and delicious taste. Decided to make a curry stew from my dark meats. It didn’t take me long to season with my familiar spices of curry powder, cumin, all spices (pimento), onions, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, garlic and of course, salt and pepper to taste.

With a little coconut oil in a sturdy skillet, I allowed my feathery pieces to simmer to a mouth-watering consistency. It was a fall from the bone type of ‘deal’. Served up my curried chicken (bone-in) with a fluffy Jasmine rice, garlic and lemon flavored asparagus and broccoli, a sweet serving of fried plantain and of course nature’s butter (avocado).

All ingredients married quite well. It was a spicy, a hint of sweet, bold and delectable affair. Oh, I love Hump days! Happy Hump day everyone!

ROCKED MY CARROTS/BEETS TWO WAYS

For me, it’s a big bonus when I can use my a particular food item more than one way. And, that’s how it was with a couple of popular root vegetables. These bold and vibrant vegetables are loaded with nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamins, and more that are beneficial for the body.

CARROTS AND BEET ROOTS
CARROTS AND BEET ROOTS

Decided to make a refreshing and healthy drink. Added fresh ginger root and lime juice along with cold water. All ingredients were blended and strained for a naturally sweetened drink without added sugar.

BEET ROOT, GINGER ROOT AND CARROT JUICE
BEET ROOT, GINGER ROOT AND CARROT JUICE

I hate to waste. So, I  then used the residual pulp to bake some delectable muffins.

BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP
BEET ROOT AND CARROT PULP

With a couple of eggs, whole wheat/all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, baking powder/soda melted unsalted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered ginger a batter was done up. I made sure to toss in a few dried cranberries for added sweetness.

BATTER FOR CARROT AND BEET ROOT MUFFINS
BATTER FOR CARROT AND BEET ROOT MUFFINS

In no time my batter was ready  for muffin cups.

MUFFINS READY FOR BAKING
MUFFINS READY FOR BAKING

Carrot and beet root muffins were baked at 320 fahrenheit for twenty minutes and an additional five minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit.

 

OVERSTUFFED SNAPPER COOKED IN PARCHMENT PAPER

Supper was a breeze. Well, sort of, when you consider that it took me just a few minutes to cook and prepare supper. I went the easy and nutritious route. Allowed my oven to do the work by cooking my snapper in parchment paper. Cooking in parchment paper makes it easier for clean-up in the aftermath. I made sure to layer the baking sheet with foil before placing parchment paper.

SEASONED AND OVERSTUFFED SNAPPER READY FOR ROASTING
SEASONED AND OVERSTUFFED SNAPPER READY FOR ROASTING IN PARCHMENT PAPER

After scoring snapper, I seasoned with salt, black pepper and crushed garlic. I did a quick sautéed of an assortment of root veggies like onions, strips of carrot bell pepper, etc. Then, these were cooled and stuffed inside the cavity and head of fish.

With a squeeze of lime, crushed pimento, finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers, a pat of butter and drizzle of olive oil, snapper was wrapped in parchment for roasting at 360 degrees fahrenheit  for fifteen minutes. All the veggies and lemon released a delicious sauce that flavored fish.

OVERSTUFFED SNAPPER WRAPPED IN PARCHMENT PAPER
OVERSTUFFED SNAPPER WRAPPED IN PARCHMENT PAPER

Fish was cooked to a beautiful flaky finish and was served with sautéed purple and green cabbage along with left-over side of whole-wheat rice and pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk. A creamy slice of nature’s butter (avocado) completed my meal.

#GREEN EGGS WITHOUT THE HAM – DR. SEUSS WOULD’VE APPROVED

Funny how a particular dish can bring back a flood of memories. This one is quite innocent and pure. It involves my days as a Sitter. One of my favorite tasks; perhaps, I shouldn’t call it task, because I enjoyed reading to  the tiny tots, it didn’t feel like work. One of the books was Dr. Seuss’s ‘Green Eggs & Ham.’

The children would harp “Read it again!”  I believe Dr. Seuss real name was Theodor Seuss Gersel. He was born in on March 2, 1904.Although he passed in 1991, his stories still come alive by children and adults alike.

I guess  his  birthday was on my mind as I prepped and cooked green eggs without the ham.  Although I didn’t have ham in-house, I was determined to cook green eggs. With that inspiration in mind, I reached for the main ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR GREEN EGGS
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR GREEN EGGS

First, I sautéed kale in a little olive oil flavored with finely chopped onions and crushed garlic.  This was then  added to food processor along with a generous handful of parsley. To that, I added a drizzle of olive oil and made a quick pesto mimicking the green.

SAUTEED KALE FOR PESTO SAUCE
SAUTEED KALE FOR PESTO SAUCE

With a little olive oil and pat of butter in skillet, I did a scrabble with two eggs under low heat. A piece of gouda cheese was added for a creamy and added flavor. This melted in a couple of minutes. Pesto was then stirred in with scrambled eggs. Dr. Seuss would’ve approved.

Served green eggs with chopped tomatoes and toasted English muffins.