Hearty Lentil and Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

Here’s the recipe as promised:

When the weather is turning to fall we like a hearty, healthy soup chock full of fresh vegetables. It’s easy to make and very satisfying as the evenings get cooler. And I like to make a sufficient quantity so we have leftovers; (this freezes well too).

If you have veggies from your summer garden such as zucchinis and tomatoes, this is a great way to use them.

It is a thick soup; almost like a stew. You can, of course, thin it with additional broth, but we enjoy the texture and heartiness of it as is.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 or 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1lb. Dried Lentils, any kind; (rinsed and any bad ones removed- no advance soaking necessary)
  • 1-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large onion -chopped
  • 2-4 carrots (depending on size), washed, chopped or diced
  • 2-3 zucchinis-chopped
  • 2-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 32 oz/quart low sodium chicken stock (or more, depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • salt free seasoning (or 1 tsp salt if you like), pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp.fresh herbs or 1tsp. Dried; thyme, oregano, marjoram (you probably know that dried herbs are much stronger tasting- also best to crumble or crush before adding)
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO: in a 6 quart Dutch oven or other large pot:

  1. Sauté onions til soft (medium to medium high heat depending on your stove, on stove top) in 1-2 Tbsp. oil (4-5 minutes); add carrots -sauté another 4-5 minutes; add zucchinis, sauté additional 2-3 minutes. Add another 1Tbsp.oil if needed.
  2. Add garlic; sauté another 2 minutes
  3. Add rinsed lentils, Bay leaves and seasonings to pot
  4. Add broth and wine; stir
  5. Bring to low boil- then reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes-1 hr. Til lentils and carrots are tender
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs
  7. optional: add cooked sliced sausage before final cooking; and grate cheese on top of each bowl

For a delicious meal serve with whole grain toast and a green salad with your favorite vinaigrette, (for a suggestion see ).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

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Hearty Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentils, tomatoes, onion, on cutting board to be made into Lentil soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

 

Lentil Veggie Soup -recipe to come

Hope you don’t mind, but before  I share this recipe I want to express something that has become even more clear to me; the difficulty it can be for folks who had totally different lifestyle and eating habits to make healthy choices–and how impactful that can be.

What prompted this are two people I met in different circumstances. Rick and I were shopping for olive oils at a World Market store, and a guy started asking us about our choices, and that he was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was “trying to reduce sugars”– he had no idea about carbs – just that “sugar is bad.” He was buying two large cans of high carb snack foods (no sugar though), to substitute for sugary snacks. Actually I couldn’t help but suggest he try this blog (and especially read “The Journey” post).

The second incident was a woman who came to our house to pick up bottles we were giving away (we’re in process of stuff reducing)–she was thrilled as now she had containers for her own salad dressing, sauces, and such non-processed foods she was making for the first time in her life. She was so excited as this was a huge change for her!

It hit me strongly that these folks are representative of a large group of our population- who grew up with lots of processed foods and are used to eating one way, and are now faced with changing their diets- and what a major deal it is. I know this theoretically, of course, but it was reinforced!

Made me realize even more how lucky some of us are to have grown up mainly eating in a healthy way, with an emphasis on fresh foods; (although my son went through a fish stick and tater tot phase–I’m not a total purist (<*).

Makes me even more motivated to show that delicious, healthy eating and cooking is not difficult, not expensive, (cheaper that buying most processed foods, such as bottled salad dressings), and fun to do!

Stay tuned soon for the Lentil Veggie Soup recipe!

 

 

 

 

www.type2delicious.com

Fresh Chicken, White Bean and Vegetable🌶 Chili

Bowl of Chili with fresh chicken, white beans, carrots, tomatoes and other fresh ingredients

Fresh Chicken Chili with Vegetables and White Beans

We’ve been off our regular diet as we’ve been traveling a lot lately; to CO to visit with family and to the CO Music Hall of Fame concert induction of Joe Walsh, (my brother took the cover photo of JW’s Barnstorm album). Then turned around and went to OR for the eclipse!

So I’ve been craving some “comfort food” that’s tasty, healthy and satisfying.  I made this Chili soon after we returned–hit the spot!

It’s full of good protein and fiber with the chicken and beans, fresh carrots, onions and tomatoes–hearty and flavorful with just the right amount of heat for me; (I’m a bit of a wuss- but like a little.) It’s also easy to prepare, and makes great leftovers– another big advantage when you’re home after a vacation.

Serve with brown rice and a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette- delicious!

At the CO Music Hall of Fame concert

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3 with leftovers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs or breasts (we like the thighs- Trader Joe’s sells Organic thighs that I prefer)
  • 2-3 cans Cannelini and/or white great northern beans
  • 1 quart box low sodium chicken stock (TJ’s again)
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can diced jalapeños (mild or hot depending on preference- you probably know I use mild)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • salt free spices to taste; ground pepper
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 1-3 Tbsp olive oil

TO DO:

1. Chop chicken into 1″ pieces; brown in 1Tbsp. olive oil in 4-6 quart Dutch oven

2. Remove chicken from pan into a bowl, (will be added back soon).

3. Add 1-2 Tbsp. Oil- sauté  onions for 4-5 minutes. Add chopped carrots, sauté another 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken back with vegetables.

4. Add broth, tomatoes, jalapeños, spices.

5. Mash 1 1/2 cans of beans – (this is the Trick to thicken the Chili). Add this and unmashed beans and mix well.

6. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer for 1/2 -3/4 hr. til carrots are tender, not mushy.

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumber Salad

I’m reposting this as I think summer calls for cool, tangy salads, and this is one of my favorites.

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot; julienned or chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt (I use whole milk Greek type), or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix sour cream (I like the “light” reduced fat sour cream–I can’t taste the difference) and yogurt mix
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt (and sour cream if you’re using it), red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into small cubes and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  7. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Chicken Italiano

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces with sauce

2nd step-Chicken pieces with sauce ready to be baked

Chicken pieces with sauce and cheese- ready to be served!

Chicken Italiano ready to be served!

Maybe it seems a little off season during summer months, but this hearty Italian dish is simple to make, including in advance, rich tasting and satisfying when you don’t want to barbecue burgers and want something easy and delicious to serve for a dinner party or as a treat your family.

When my kids were growing up, this was one of their favorites, plus it was one of the first dishes my son mastered; (he’s  now 28 and an excellent cook).

As I said, this can easily be made in advance as there are only a few steps. Just make it through step 1, refrigerate and do the final baking just before you’re ready to serve. Very easy, very delicious, low carb–hope it becomes a favorite for you too!

Chicken Italiano ( serves 3-6)

INGREDIENTS:

–6-8 Chicken pieces (we prefer breasts and thighs)

–1 32 oz. jar pasta sauce ( I’m a Mazzetta’s fan- any type of theirs is very good– or make your own)

–6-8 cheese slices; we use goat cheese slices from- yes, my go-to place; Trader Joe’s

–no salt spices, fresh oregano if you have it

–1-2 eggs, beaten

— bread crumbs- your choice ( I actually toast whole grain bread and crumble it, or use commercial whole wheat bread crumbs)

TO DO:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spread about 1 cup sauce on bottom of a 9×13 baking pan

Dip chicken pieces in egg ( both sides)

Either dredge chicken in bread crumbs in a plastic bag or in a flat pan

Add chicken to baking pan (I use Pyrex)

Step 1: bake chicken for about 20 minutes (here’s where you can let this cool and refrigerate and finish later- like the next day- obviously don’t wait too long!)

Step 2: Pour rest of sauce over chicken; add a cheese slice on each piece; sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Bake for another 30 minutes, til brown and bubbly.

Serve with whole grain pasta, green salad with tangy vinaigrette, and a good bottle of red wine if you like.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Marinated Swordfish

Two Barbecued Marinated Swordfish

Marinated Swordfish Steaks

Two Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Fish is great for lots of reasons and Swordfish is one of my favorites; low calories/low cholesterol, healthy for you, plus overall deliciousness.

We try to eat fish at least once a week, sometimes more often. If available, I look for fresh, line -caught varieties, or line-caught frozen fish; just as nutritious. See * below for more information about healthy fish choices.

(Trader Joe’s is a good source of many frozen fish varieties, and Costco often has fresh.) Our local farmer’s market as well as other local markets offer fresh line-caught fish depending on the season– yes, a California coastal option, not everywhere.

Barbecuing fish in warm weather is a great option and actually very easy. While the grill is hot and there’s room, we like to add sliced fresh vegetables such zucchini, onions, eggplant, red pepper ( I’m not a fan of green peppers- but if you are add them too). You can also broil the fish for equally great results. We’ve done it both ways and both are delicious!

Starting with a tangy marinade gives great flavor. The one I’m giving you has lots of citrus, garlic and a touch of heat. We love it- hope you do too!

* https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/swordfish/overview

Marinated Swordfish 

INGREDIENTS

  • MARINADE:
  • Juice of 1lemon, plus 1-2 tsps. grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (something dry like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon-type mustard
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1tsp. Ground red chili pepper ( we get a mild/medium mix at a Mexican grocery store- use whatever type you have)
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme is my favorite
  • Paprika to dust on top before serving
  • FISH:
  • 1 Swordfish steak per person, preferably wild, line-caught

TO DO:

1. Prepare Barbecue coals (spread coals on sides. When hot; put fish in middle and vegetables on sides)

2. In a Pyrex glass or Corningware pan (I used Pyrex 9×13 size) lay steaks on a single layer on a thin layer of olive oil ( approx. 1Tbsp.).

3. Mix/wisk together marinade ingredients; olive oil, mustard, white wine, lemon/rind and herbs/seasonings.

4. Pour marinade over fish.

5. Let fish marinate approx. 1/2-1 hr.

6. Barbecue 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fish; (we like our fish moist and just a tad underdone- cook yours how you like it).

7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and dust with paprika.

Serve with grilled vegetables, your choice of whole grain rice or other grains, and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Gardens behind the Boonville Hotel, Boonville CA

Lovely Boonville Hotel gardens

Summer Salad with fresh new Peas and strawberries

Summer Salad with fresh new peas and strawberries

 

We recently visited Boonville, CA, a small bend in the road (rte 128), on the way to Mendocino. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boonville Hotel, actually a top level hotel and restaurant that serves fresh farm-to-table selections; many items, such as the peas, right from their beautiful on-property gardens.

I was especially knocked out by this salad combination so I tried to recreate it on my own to share with you. I added avocado (which is a “good fat” along with the olive oil), plus sliced almonds. Served with a tangy, lemony olive oil dressing, this salad is refreshing and delicious.

One important thing is that the peas need to be very young and tender. (I made a mistake the first time I made it and the peas, especially the pods, were tough- no good!) If you can’t use fresh, young English peas, use snap or sugar peas instead.

So good, so easy, so pretty and with very fresh peas and sweet strawberries– one of the best salad combos I’ve ever tasted!

Summer Salad –serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Head of Red Butter, or Red Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; (and/or arugula; if adding to lettuce use 1cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (plus pods, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, any strings removed and quartered)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. Sliced toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s is my friend)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • Dash of white (or red) balsamic or white wine vinegar- again, adjust to your taste
  • fresh Thyme leaves (about a Tbsp.)
  • Salt-free seasoning and pepper to taste
  • shake or mix with wisk

TO DO:

1. Wash and spin dry lettuces

2. Put lettuce(s) in salad bowl; chill in fridge until ready to serve

3. When ready to serve, add dressing to lettuce and mix (a tip–mix dressing with lettuce before adding other ingredients, so they don’t sink to the bottom)

4. Add other ingredients on top

5. Add seasonings and salt if you like.

6. Serve; (especially good with fish)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com