Lentil Soup Recipe

IMG_5211Every once in a while I find myself in a phase. I had a shawarma phase, bran muffins phase, and samosa phase. I would go around different stores selling these foods and see which ones I liked best or make different versions myself. Now I’m on my lentil soup phase! I know it’s a little weird considering it’s scorching hot outside and I’m on a soup phase. The good part about lentil soups is that you can eat them warm. Lentils also have awesome health benefits. They are high in protein and good for your digestion!

I have made multiple versions of lentil soup. They absorb spices and herbs quite well so it’s fun playing around with different flavours. Here is a super easy lentil soup recipe!
Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked lentils of your choice
  • 5 ripe tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic
  • fresh basil and lemon thyme leaves
  • dried rosemary
  • spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ~2 cups of water

IMG_5205From what you can tell, I’m drawing inspiration from Italian flavours with the garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs.

IMG_5210Procedure:

  1. Start by peeling and chopping 4-5 cloves of garlic
  2. Set the garlic aside then move on to dicing the tomatoes.
  3. Once the tomatoes are diced, start roughly chopping the fresh herbs (you can also just tear them in smaller pieces instead)
  4. In a hot medium size pot, pour in the extra virgin olive oil into the pot then swirl it around so that the entire bottom surface has enough oil
  5. Add the chopped garlic into the pot
  6. Sauté the garlic until the edges turn brown
  7. Once the garlic edges turned brown, you can add the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, chopped herbs and dried rosemary
  8. When the tomatoes release their juices you can add the uncooked lentils into the pot (use a small to wash the lentils before adding them into the pot to take out any impurities)
  9. Mix the ingredients around then add the water. Add a pinch of more salt and pepper before closing the lid
  10. Check on the lentils once in a while to make sure they don’t burn or if they need more water (I like to add a little olive oil when I check them so they don’t stick at the bottom of the pot)
  11. Meanwhile, chop or tear your spinach leaves in smaller pieces.
  12. After 10 minutes, add the spinach into the pot.
  13. Check the pot after 5-7 minutes then check if the lentils are cooked.

I used Chinese five spice and spicy sesame seed oil at a different version and it’s by far my fave! Try out different flavour combinations and let me know which ones are your favourites by leaving a comment below!

Always,

-K

Fresh Rolls x 2

I’ve been really loving fresh rolls lately, so I decided on making a couple of recipes. They are healthy and tasty alternatives for snacking, appetizers/starters or if you have eaten enough an entire meal! They are also very easy and cheap to make. And don’t worry, you can easily find rice wrapper at any Asian grocery stores or supermarkets.

Vegan Fresh Rolls with Beets

IMG_4959Ingredients:

  • rice wrapper
  • red beets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh basil leaves
  • alfa alfa sprouts
  • cucumber
  • tomato
  • lime juice
  • salt & pepper

Procedures:

  1. Start by washing the cucumber, tomato and beets
  2. In a small pot, boil the beets and cook until tender
  3. While we are waiting for the beets to cook, we can start slicing the cucumber and tomato (Tip: to wrap the roll more easily, slice the cucumber and tomato lengthwise into sticks or wedges (tomato))
  4. Once the beets are done cooking, take them out of the water and set it aside to cool down (I peeled my beets before boiling it but you don’t have to).
  5. Set aside your sliced cucumbers and tomato to make some room on the cutting board for the fresh mint and basil leaves
  6. Stack the fresh herbs on top of each other and then roll it into a cigar shape
  7. With your rolled herbs, chop your herbs from the tip to the end of the cigar shape. You should have strips of fresh herbs (if you want to, you can chop them a little finer, I just prefer to chop them in strips)
  8. When your beets are done cooling down, start dicing them (about 1/2 inch or less)
  9. Put your diced beets in a bowl and add the fresh herbs, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper
  10. We can start making the roll by soaking the rice wrapper in a bowl with some warm water (soak the rice wrapper until it has soften, you don’t have to wait too long
  11. Place the rice wrapper in a clean board and start layering (I started layering with the sprouts then cucumbers, tomato and then the beets). Leave a little bit of room at the bottom of the wrapper
  12. Once you have all of the ingredients layered on the wrapper, start rolling by taking the bottom of the wrapper and folding it over the layers.
  13. Then take the right and left side of the wrapper and close the edge of the layered ingredients. From here can continue rolling until you reach the top of the wrapper.

Shrimp Fresh Rolls with Mushrooms

IMG_4938Ingredients:

  • rice wrapper
  • shrimps
  • mushrooms
  • hoisin sauce
  • soy sauce
  • white vinegar
  • spicy sesame seed oil
  • alfa alfa sprouts
  • cucumber

Procedures:

  1. Start by slicing the cucumbers lengthwise into sticks (the same as above)
  2. Prep the shrimps by washing them first and then clean the shrimp by peeling the shells and removing the vein on the spine of the shrimp from head to tail
  3. You can boil them until they turn pink or I decided to sauté them in butter
  4. I later used the same pan to cook the mushrooms once I removed the shrimps when they finished cooking
  5. Added salt and pepper into the pan of mushrooms and left it alone to mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, white vinegar and spicy sesame seed oil together in a small bowl
  6. Deglaze the mushrooms with the sauce mixture and cover the pan. Wait a few minutes and keep sautéing until cooked
  7. You can use the same rolling technique from above. The only difference is the ingredients.

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Two of my guilty pleasures are chocolates and ice cream, but of course staying healthy and eating well is a priority. Dark choclates are awesome alternatives for milk chocolates because they have less sugar and more antioxidants. It’s totally understandable that dark chocolates can be a little too bitter. If you’re not a fan of bitter dark chocolate, try 60-65% dark chocolate. It’s not as bitter and as delicious!

IMG_4836Now, this is not a new trick or recipe but it’s definitely one of my go-to substitutes for ice cream. It’s easy, affordable and doesn’t have as much sugar as store bought ice creams. You only need 3 ingredients: banana, Greek yogurt (or any kind of yogurt) and milk. You can also add cinnamon, honey, or other frozen fruits for variety.

It’s much harder to freeze the banana with the peel so I froze the banana by peeling it and wrapping the banana with plastic wrap or you can also cut the banana in chunks and put it in a plastic bag and freeze it overnight. Either method works well as long as you peel the banana first. After taking out the frozen banana and placing it in the blender, I added a 1/3 of a cup of Greek yogurt (you can use any kind of yogurt, I just prefer mine to be a little tart) then added 2 tablespoons of skim milk (again you can use any kind od milk, I just had skim milk). Once you have all of the ingredients together, blend away! If you are adding more frozen fruits, add a little bit more yogurt and milk to have a smoother consistency. Then transfer the mixture in a bowl and let it freeze for an hour or two. You can eat the mixture right out of the blender if you like, but I find that it can be a little runny and it melts a lot quicker.

Do you have healthier ice cream alternatives? Tell me about them by commenting below! I’d love to hear from you!

Always,

K