Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Spiced Lentil Soup

A phrase that is so rarely uttered in this house at meal time, I did a double take. Day 3 of CCN healthy eating challenge is going well – the dinner recipes are what I really enjoy making. The smoothies for breakfast (why we shouldn’t drink all of our calories later*) and snacks aren’t my favorite, but keeping lunches simple with salads is easy and delicious.

Last night was Lentil Soup + tonight we had Crockpot Chicken Tacos. The kids and husband LOVED both. This rarely happens, and I feel as though I’ve recently won the lottery, despite this darn head cold. The meals were SO easy to make, just about 20 minutes of prep time each. I can handle that.

Spiced Lentil Soup

(adapted from Cara Clark Nutrition)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C evoo
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 (28oz can ) diced tomatoes, BPA-free, non-gmo, organic
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils (CHECK YOUR PACKAGING, some are made in facilities with NUTS).
  • 4 C low-sodium vegetable broth, non-gmo, organic
  • 2 C water
  • 1 tsp sea salt + fresh pepper
  • 1 C fresh greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Optional Ingredients

  • 2 bay leaves
  • extra carrot, peeled and chopped
  • two stalks of celery, chopped similar size as carrot
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • parmesan rind
  • applewood smoked chicken sausage

Directions

  1. Warm the evoo (extra virgin olive oil) in Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onion, carrot and cook, stirring often, about 5 min.
  3. Add garlic + spices. Cook until fragrant. (If you’re adding the “optional ingredients,” do so now)
  4. Pour in the lentils, broth, and water. Add 1 tsp salt and a pinch of red pepper flake. Season with ground pepper.
  5. Bring to simmer and cook for 30 min.
  6. You can also use in immersion blender to make this a bit creamy. I chose not to.
  7. Lastly, add the greens (I left mine out and ate as salad).
  8. Serve with lemon
  9. Yield 6 = Enjoy!

 

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey breast
  • 1 C organic unsweetened fresh salsa
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 (15oz reduced sodium) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • for serving: boston bibb lettuce, diced avocado, black olives and fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and set to cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 7 hours.
  2. Serve over chopped romaine or inside the bibb lettuce like a cup. Top each serving with avocado, black olives and cilantro.
  3. Yield 6 = Enjoy!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED the fact the kids got into this recipe tonight. My little guy, who is only 2, could eat the meal like it was an actual taco because the boston bibb lettuce (my all time favorite buttery lettuce) was SO easy for him to hold, and eat. Much easier than a taco shell, or soft burrito. Plus, it was so healthy for them. So glad this worked out. Hope it works for you, too.

Tomorrow I’ll be trying a new smoothie recipe with some frozen bananas and spinach and berries. It’ll be posted here if I like it 🙂

*I enjoyed this link from US News Reports about eating calories, not drinking them, and the milk analysis rocks!

Eat your calories, don’t drink them.

 

 

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