These days, it’s a challenge to find a dish you can serve to everyone, from your manliest meat-eater to your weight-watcher, the animal-conscious vegan or even a diabetic. Here’s a fast and tasty way to provide bowl full of heavily health in only 20 minutes that’s good enough and healthy enough for almost any diet!
Red Lentils are low in fat, loaded with protein and fiber, and chock full of heart-healthy folate and manganese. They are also pretty to look at, which makes them festive enough for company. The best part? They are extremely easy to prepare because, unlike green or brown lentils, red lentils are very quick cooking, i.e., no soaking, no waiting.
With it’s fresh splash of lemon and bright mint, this recipe will bring a bit of the Mediterranean to your soup bowl and it will keep you feeling full for hours.
EASY RED LENTIL SOUP
In a small soup pot, boil 2 cups of salted water and add to it:
- 1 Cup red lentils
- 1 large, or 2 small, minced garlic teeth
- 1 Tsp. dried, flaked onion
Simmer about 15 minutes, until lentils are soft. Now add:
- 1 Can “no salt” diced tomatoes. Your choice, but I prefer to add & control my own salt.
- 1 Tsp. fresh Italian flat parsley, chopped
- 1 Tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 Tsp. fresh or jarred lemon juice. Use more or less, to taste.
Simmer soup about 5 more minutes. Add salt to taste and serve.
Notes: Garnish with fresh Mint or Parsley. Use fresh tomatoes, if you like. Add carrots if that appeals to you. I did not need to use any type of flavor “cute” or powder as the lentils, garlic, salt I used and fresh herbs created a lot of flavor!
Cauliflower is very popular these days as a healthy replacement for not only carb-loaded potatoes, but as a meat replacement in dishes such as Tacos!
If you’re eating Paleo, Vegetarian. Grain-Free, or just wanting a new way to get your veggies, this super simple preparation is for you!
No bacon needed!
- Split or quarter 1/2 of a large head of Caulifower, leaves included, except for those really thick, tough leaves that don’t steam up well.
- Have 1/4 cup loosely chopped onion handy but don’t add yet.
- Cover your Cauliflower with salted water (2 tsp salt) and simmer until easily stabbed with a fork. About 3 minutes before it is really soft, toss in the onion!
- When fork-soft, drain and place in a large bowl.
- While still hot, chop or break the cauliflower it into smaller pieces with a scissors or a knife. This should be easy.
- Toss in 2 tbsp butter
- Toss in a 1/3 tsp of Oregano. (Any fresh herb could do, such as Tarragon, Sage, Thyme, but stick with one flavor.)
- Puree all the Cauliflower & Onion with a hand blender, or whatever blender/food processor you use. Leave a few lumps for a nice consistency.
- Once pureed,sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of Italian blend cheese or a very mild cheddar, or any mild cheese. Now stir in the cheese until combined and melty.
Spoon your puree out and garnish with fresh herbs.
TIPS: To treat this more like traditional mashed potatoes, add a little Half & Half to the mix as you puree. You can also top with gravy or, on each serving, top with a dollop of Sour Cream, Chives, and extra Cheddar. Cauliflower is influenced by the flavors that surround it.