Lentil & Spinach Soup

Lentil-and-Spinach-Soup

During these last few months with the colder weather I’ve been loving warming up with hearty soups. I’ve always loved pea and ham (my Nan & Mum always made it in winter) but lately I’ve been loving lentil & spinach soup from Whole Foods. Freshly made with no preservatives it’s whole food that has that ‘homemade’ feel to it.

So with that homemade feel in mind I want to make some Lentil & Spinach soup of my own & have found a really great recipe:

 

Lentil & Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 5oz (141 gms) packets Organic Spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onions
  • teaspoon minced Garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped Carrots
  • 1/4 cup  Lentils
  • 4-6 cups Organic Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  • sprig Fresh Italian Parsley

 

Directions

  1. Sauté chopped onions & minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add chopped carrots; let the carrot cook for few minutes.
  3. Add lentils & sauté some more.
  4. Add the chicken stock.
  5. Add tomato paste & stir well. Add sumac, paprika, salt & pepper.
  6. Let the soup simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender.
  7. Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon juice & chopped fresh parsley!

 

* Recipe adapted from fOOD 52

Meal In A Bowl Ideas

Honey-Chipolte-Chicken-Bowls

I love eating out of a bowl, might sound like a weird thing to love, but I do, pretty much every single meal I have at home, I have in a bowl (not my husband though, he’s a plate man!). I don’t really know why I’m so enamored with eating out of a bowl, but maybe it’s partly because I love how everything mixes so well in a bowl and how it sort of feels almost comforting to out of one, either way I’m a ‘bowl girl’ for life! Plus I guess the things I love to eat are pretty conducive to bowl eating, like stir fries, soup, salads etc

So anyway when I saw theses ideas for salads and lunch bowls , I just had to share them. Easy to make, you can add/delete ingredients to your taste and they can be as healthy or as indulgent as you like! Some ideas to mix up your weekly lunch/dinner rotations!

Prosciutto Wrapped Frittata Muffins

 

Prosciutto-wrapped-frittata-muffins

These frittata muffins are easy to make and are perfect for an easy dinner (just serve with a side salad) or a grab and go lunch! Packed with protein and veggies this is a healthy recipe that everyone will love!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/2 finely chopped onions
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 6 swiss brown mushrooms
  • 1/4 red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 handful chopped baby spinach leaves
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons nut milk or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into 5mm thick slices

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 175ºC/ 347 F. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with a little coconut oil.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion & garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and capsicum and sauté for a further 3 minutes, or until tender. Add the parsley and spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the cooked vegetables to a colander to drain off the excess liquid.
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk with the nut or coconut milk and coconut flour. Season with salt and pepper, add the cooked vegetables and mix until well combined.
  • Line each muffin hole with 1 slice of prosciutto, covering the base and sides completely. Spoon in the frittata mixture until level with the rim of the tin. Top each muffin with 2 slices of cherry tomato.
  • Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and a metal skewer inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean and dry.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 2 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely

Spinach & Cheese Strata

Cheese-and-Spinach-Strata

For those weekends were you just want to stay indoors and hibernate this recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen is perfect. I love that it can be prepped the night before, allowing you to sleep in, catch up on reading or spend some extra time with your family the next morning! It will make a great brekky, brunch or lunch meal and is pretty much prefect on its own but you could do a side of bacon, smoked salmon, mushrooms or sausages, to send the whole thing over the edge!

Spinach-and-cheese-strata

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Pecans

Thamksgiving-Brussels-sprouts-with-bacons-and-pecans

As we’re hosting Thanksgiving this year I wanted to find a good brussels sprout recipe to go along with the other sides I have planned for meal. I wanted a recipe that incorporated a few other flavors besides just the brussels sprouts, but that still kept them as the star of the dish.

I found this recipe which includes both bacon and pecans and sounds so good, I think it’s the one ‘ going for! I like how this recipe isn’t super hard to prepare and the bacon and pecans can be cooked earlier in the day and then sprinkled on the sprouts once they are cooked closer to meal time.

 

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving!

We’re having a couple of friends over to our place for Thanksgiving this year and I can’t wait to cook up a storm in our kitchen and celebrate in our new home! One of the things about cooking for a group or for a big occasion is really always going to have leftovers and usually lots of it! Don’t get me wrong I love leftovers, but there is only so much turkeys 2 people can eat, right? So when I saw this DIY idea for printable leftovers stickers I was instantly in love!

 

Leftovers-Stickers

Of course these stickers can be used for whenever you have leftovers and can even be given to neighbors or friends, when you want to try our that new recipe that serves 8 or when you bake that cake and don’t want to be tempted by it for the next week!

Sticky Chicken Wings

Sticky-Chicken-Wings

Ever since my Dad made Sticky Chicken Wings, when he and my Mum were visiting, I have been wanting to have them again and again! Since they’ve gone back home to Australia now (sob sob) I knew that I had to replicate those wings, cause they are so darn good and bring back good memories too!

 

Sticky Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 3 lb chicken chicken wings or wingettes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 shallot (green part only), finely chopped

Directions

  • Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F (220 C). Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and lightly oil foil.
  • Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and stir in soy sauce, hoisin, honey, oil, and cayenne. Add wings to sauce, stirring to coat.
  • Wings can be left to marinate for a few hours over night or can be cooked straight away.
  • Arrange wings in 1 layer in baking pan and roast, turning over once, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer wings to a large serving bowl and toss with sesame seeds and schallot.

 

Spooky Hot Chocolate

Halloween-Hot-Chocolate

With Halloween just a couple of weeks away I was drawn to this idea for a Halloween hot chocolate. So easy to do and both kids and adults will like it – I mean who doesn’t like hot chocolate? Perfect for a relaxed Halloween or an after trick or treating warm up!

Use either a store bought hot chocolate mix or for those ‘do it yourself’ types, here is a simple but awesome hot choc recipe:

Hot Chocolate Recipe
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk (milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.

Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad

Warm-Butternut-&-Chickpea-Salad

I love butternut squash, I mean I reeeealy love it & when it’s roasted, lordy lord it’s good! So this recipe had me from the very beginning and didn’t disappoint. The dressing is a winner too and the whole dish is so easy to make – I know I’ll be making this again!

 

Roasting-butternut-squash

 

Ingredients:
For the salad
  • 1 medium butternut squash (2 to 2 1/2 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or a 15-oz. can, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
For the dressing
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp well-stirred tahini
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, more to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F/ 218C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss the squash until evenly coated. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor but also a kick of lemon. You may need to add more water to thin it out.
  4. To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a large bowl. Toss with about half the dressing, then add more to taste or serve the rest of the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.