Jan 212014

One bite of my Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce will have your taste buds dancing.

Layers of flavor create balance in this dish; aromatic, fresh ginger, cooling coconut milk, sweet mango, a little heat from the chili sauce, and salty, savory miso ~ all tied together in a neat bow by Ume Plum vinegar.

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Have you seen the show the Taste?

The Taste “features no-holds barred chef Anthony Bourdain, British food star Nigella Lawson, expert chef and author Ludo Lefebvre and restaurateur Brian Malarkey. Each of the four culinary superstars and “Taste” mentors – Bourdain, Lawson, Lefebvre and Malarkey – will coach a team of four competing pro and amateur cooks chosen from a nationwide casting call as they vie to create the best tasting dish.”

My five year old daughter and I have been watching this season and rooting for our favorite Vegan, Cassandra Bodzak.

As you watch the judging of each dish, it is interesting how the judges lean towards two things: fat and balance. Many times the dishes that lose are too dry or lack one of the elements of taste, most often sour/acidity or heat.

As I created this dish, the subject of acid became very apparent at first taste. Many times, without acid a recipe falls flat, lacks depth and seems to be missing something.  Think about the dish ~ could you add tomatoes, vinegar or citrus….google to see what goes best in that type of cuisine. In this case I didn’t have lime on hand so I used Ume Plum vinegar. Ah ha! Perfection!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Umeboshi are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in barrels with salt. A weight is placed on top and the fruit gradually exude juices, which accumulate at the bottom of the barrel. This salty, sour liquid is marketed as umezu (梅酢; often translated as “ume vinegar”), although it is not a true vinegar.

I searched for quite a while to find this ingredient because it is often used in one of my favorite recipe books ~ Clean Food by Terry Walters. I finally found it locally at Native Sun; however, if you don’t live in the area, check on line or visit your local natural food store.

I can’t wait for you to try this dish! It is going down in my “favorites” and even my husband who is not a fan of Indian inspired dishes complimented this one. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Spicy Sweet Potato & Mango Lentils with Chili Sauce

Serves 7-8 3/4 cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 cup mango (the fruit of about 2)
1 sweet potato, chopped (do not peel)
2 tsp miso
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 dashes organic chili sauce or Sriracha (Plus extra for garnish if you like it hot like I do!)
2 tsp Ume plum vinegar
Cilantro for garnish (optional)


1. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat; add onions, sauté about 5 minutes; add garlic and ginger sauté an additional minute; add lentils, toast for 1-2 minutes; add curry powder; add vegetable broth, mango and sweet potato; bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils and potato are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk, miso, chili sauce and vinegar.

3. Garnish with cilantro and serve over cooked quinoa such as Pereg Quinoa with Vegetables.

Nutrition Facts
7 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 154.8
Total Fat 10.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 588.1 mg
Potassium 134.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 5.3 g
Protein 1.8 g

Vitamin A 50.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 5.7 %
Vitamin C 17.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.6 %
Calcium 1.3 %
Copper 4.6 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 4.3 %
Magnesium 2.6 %
Manganese 8.0 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.1 %
Phosphorus 3.7 %
Riboflavin 2.6 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 1.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Bonus tip: 

For a WONDERFUL breakdown of the different types of lentils visit about.com.

Nov 202013

 Utilize all your farmers market produce in this Sensational Seasonal Lentil Soup with a Surprising Ingredient – Radishes! 

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Acorn Squash

Step into my day dream of a Utopian world with an organic farm at the center prompted by my first installment of veggies last Wednesday. What a variety it was!

2) SPAGHETTI SQUASH or EGGPLANT(not in picture) or Yellow Squash/Zucchini
Plus delicious fresh bread!

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Daikon and Red Globe Radish

There is nothing like walking up to a farm stand, jute bag in hand, with vegetables just pulled from the ground and saying hello to the farmer that grew them. I can’t help but dream about a concept where an organic farm is the center of a supportive community that surrounds it. On the outskirts of the farm are schools that get their food – fresh produce, not off a truck from a far away place, or from food like substances produced in a lab, but from their own back yard.  Ecology, recycling and sustainability would be a main focus.  Kids would be taught real skills along with the standard reading, writing and arithmetic such as sewing, cooking and farming.  We wouldn’t send jobs overseas – but we would produce real products and support families right here in our own communities.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Fresh Bread, Eggplant & Yum-Yum

Also located there are holistic doctors – trained in both conventional medicine and the healing properties of holistic nutrition with a focus on healing through food and traditional herbal remedies.  There would be less instances of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. People would live long and productive lives with a high quality of life.  We would respect and support our elders as a vital part of our community.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Bok Choy

There would be a huge focus on staying active with lots of natural trails, camping and hiking in the surrounding woods.  Homes would be built small and with sustainable materials and solar power.  We would collect and purify rain water and we would welcome people that are skilled as seamstresses, gardeners, chefs, mechanics. There would be less of a reliance on technology and more on face to face interactions with real people.  We would have a large library attached to the school with tons of programs for kids and adults alike. Book clubs, children’s story time, craft fairs.  Life is slower, calmer, less stressful.

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1

KyV CSA 2013-2014 Installment 1 Cucumber, Lettuce & Kale

Am I crazy to want such things? I know the argument is the fact that this method can not support the current population – a fact that gets scarier and scarier. How ARE we going to be able to support the population of the future?  Natural resources are being depleted, rivers, oceans and lands are being polluted and consumerism is off the charts. At this point all we can do is take one step at a time, lead by example and constantly be learning about what is going on in the environment and the world…..

And eat soup.

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Seasonally inspired, calming, comforting and rejuvenating soup.  Deliciously filled with fiber, vitamins and nutrients and just the right amount of protein.

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

For anyone in your family that isn’t a spicy radish lover – let them try this soup. My daughter thinks they are potatoes!

What is your idea of a Utopian society? What are your thoughts on feeding the populations of tomorrow? 

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

Sensational Seasonal CSA Soup

 Sensational Seasonal Lentil Soup

Serves 8
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients from KyV Farm


1 Tbsp oil or broth
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 Daikon radish, chopped**
6 Red Globe radish, quartered**
1 cup Yum-Yum peppers, chopped**
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped collard greens or kale**
1 cup lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (about 1 can Great Northern, Cannelini or Butter beans)
1 carton broth
2 tsp prepared mustard


1. Heat oil or broth in a Dutch oven over medium high heat; add onion and cook 5 minutes or until softened; add garlic, carrot and celery; cook an additional 3 minutes; add radish, peppers, poultry seasoning and salt; cook 5 more minutes or so; add collards or kale, lentils, beans and broth; reduce heat, cover and cook about 30 minutes or until lentils and radishes are soft. Stir in mustard, taste and re-season if necessary and enjoy!

Nutrition Fact
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 141.5
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 570.5 mg
Potassium 519.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g

Sugars 2.7 g
Protein 6.8 g
Vitamin A 49.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.6 %
Vitamin C 36.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.5 %
Calcium 7.7 %
Copper 10.8 %
Folate 22.6 %
Iron 16.9 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 25.2 %
Niacin 3.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.6 %
Phosphorus 10.9 %
Riboflavin 3.7 %
Selenium 2.8 %
Thiamin 8.4 %
Zinc 6.7 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 252013
Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Can it be that good?

Yes , yes, yes!  When you see a 4 year old drinking the last bit of soup out of her bowl, you know it can’t be bad.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

This soup manages to be both light for summer yet would be comforting in winter as well.  The complex layers of texture and flavor emerge gradually –first you taste the slight aromatic thyme and tarragon with a hint of tomato flavor, followed by the richness of the mustard with its distinct spice and hint of vinegar that dances across your tongue.

I stirred in some left over quinoa at the last minute.  It cooks so quickly that we almost always have it on hand to eat along with beans or tofu.  These small, round seeds added another wonderful texture along with the soft lentils.

**For busy people be sure to cook the quinoa ahead, soak the lentils and chop the veggies. This won’t take you long – I did this before work and then it was a breeze to throw together after the long day.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Bowl-Licking-Good Lentil Soup

Serves about 8 (1 1/4 cup) servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Inspired by Forks Over Knives Companion Book
Printable Recipe
**Ingredients On Sale at Native Sun Natural Foods Market June 7-July 6, 2013


1 cup cooked quinoa**
1 1/2 cups green lentils, soaked overnight or all day
2 tsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 vine ripe tomatoes**
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped potato (I used mix of sweet potato and white potatoes)

Large handful (about 1/2 bunch) chopped flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
Rounded 1/2 each dried thyme and tarragon
1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt + fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup ketchup or 3 Tbsp tomato paste**
4  cups (low sodium or regular) vegetable broth + 4 cups water
2 Tbsp prepared mustard**


1. Cook the quinoa to package directions if you have not done so; soak the lentils, covering well above them as they will absorb water; chop the veggies. (If you can do this the morning before you have to cook this, it will save LOTS of time.)

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium to medium-high ; add the veggies and cook about 10 minutes; add the parsley, bay, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute; add tomato paste; cook another minute; add lentils, vegetable broth and water; bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover with lid ajar and cook 35 minutes; stir in quinoa and mustard, remove bay leaves; taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Nutrition Facts
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 112.7
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 666.0 mg (with low sodium broth)
Potassium 385.0 mg  
Total Carbohydrate 19.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 2.4 g
Protein 5.2 g 

Vitamin A 26.1 %
Vitamin B-6 9.1 %
Vitamin C 21.7 %
Vitamin E 3.7 %
Calcium 3.6 %
Copper 9.3 %
Folate 21.5 %
Iron 16.5 %
Magnesium 6.5 %
Manganese 18.6 %
Niacin 5.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 9.7 %
Riboflavin 4.6 %
Selenium 2.8 %
Thiamin 7.3 %
Zinc 4.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 212013

Two days ago I clicked on a photo and my mouth started watering.

Over carrots.

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

I was visiting one of my usual favorite blogger’s site, Eat’s Well with Others, and came across a roasted carrot recipe with walnuts.  Of course I LOVE walnuts but my daughter is very allergic to them so I needed an alternative.

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

I had sunflower seeds and dates on hand so I decided to add those instead.

Olive oil
Sunflower Seeds

Doesn’t that sound good?

This dish is so satisfying – a bit of coarse sea salt and sweet agave pump up the volume when paired with the aromatic cumin. I used canned lentils here for time’s sake but please feel free to cook your own if you have time! Want some more recipes? My friend Janet at Taste Space is the queen of lentils, grains and gorgeous whole food dishes and my friend Cara has tons of delicious carrot recipes at Caras Cravings!

What is so great about lentils is that they have TONS of belly filling fiber that also stabilizes blood sugar for very little calories and fat. Excellent diet food? I say yes! Now imagine if you sprinkled a little Mila on top….like I did.  Now it’s a SUPER food!

These gorgeous carrots are from KyV Farm – Support local farms!

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Carrots with Lentils and Sunflower Seeds

Altered from Eats Well with Others
Serves about 6 3/4-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
**Fresh seasonal ingredients from KyV Farm


1 clove crushed and minced garlic
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Carrots and Lentils
2 lbs fresh organic baby carrots** (or large carrots can be chopped for shorter cook time of about 25 minutes.)
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp heat stable oil such as avocado oil or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 15oz can lentils, rinsed and drained (if you have home cooked here, even better)
3/4 cup toasted and lightly salted sunflower seeds
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix carrots, garlic, cumin seeds and oil in a baking dish.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes, stir and uncover for an additional 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.

2. Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients.  Add lentils to cooked carrots, pour dressing and top with dates and sunflower seeds; toss to mix.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 

Calories 240.5
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 439.8 mg
Potassium 791.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.6 g
Dietary Fiber 8.6 g
Sugars 15.2 g
Protein 6.9 g

Vitamin A 364.2 %
Vitamin B-6 21.0 %
Vitamin C 17.5 %
Vitamin E 34.1 %
Calcium 7.7 %
Copper 20.0 %
Folate 28.9 %
Iron 11.8 %
Magnesium 12.7 %
Manganese 34.6 %
Niacin 14.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 15.0 %
Phosphorus 24.7 %
Riboflavin 8.8 %
Selenium 14.3 %
Thiamin 11.9 %
Zinc 9.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 022012

Forbidden rice is a black/purple, nutrient dense heirloom rice – with lots of vitamins and amino acids.  But the real reason to try this rice is the taste and color.  When cooked it becomes a gorgeous dark eggplant color that makes a striking presentation, perfect for a special occasion.  I got this in the bulk bins at my local natural food store, Native Sun, for $3.89 per pound.  (Not bad when you consider how many people a pound of dry rice would feed.)The taste is nutty with a touch of natural sweetness and the texture is firm and dense – like that of sticky rice used in sushi rolls.  In fact, it is sometimes used as a replacement for the sticky white rice. 

If you can’t get your hands on forbidden rice, simply sub anything you have on hand.  It will still go perfectly with the warm, chewy lentils with that hint of aromatic curry.  Next time I will be making a double batch as I had this for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day.

Also on sale I found this interesting coconut vinegar.  Since I love all things coconut and have saved quite a bit since deciding to forgo meat, I decided to splurge and try it.  This is not necessary for this dish but I added a splash and really enjoyed the hint of coconut in the background.  Another thing you could try is to stir in a bit of coconut milk at the same time you add the parsley.  

Forbidden Rice with Indian Spiced Lentils

Slightly Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Printable Recipe


2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
3/4 of one onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup yellow split lentils (or any lentils you prefer), rinsed well
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tsp coconut vinegar (optional)

Forbidden Rice

1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup forbidden rice
1/4 of one onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper


1. Heat EVOO in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic; saute three minutes or so; add forbidden rice, broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 50 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Heat EVOO in a second medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion, saute about five minutes; add garlic and curry powder, saute 2 minutes; add lentils, broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until lentils are soft to your preference.  Remove from heat, stir in parsley and coconut vinegar.  Divide rice and lentils evenly into four dishes.  Garnish with additional parsley if desired.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 244.9
Total Fat 11.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 84.4 mg
Potassium 286.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.7 g
Dietary Fiber 6.0 g
Sugars 0.7 g
Protein 7.7 g

Vitamin A 13.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.1 %
Vitamin C 21.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 7.3 %
Calcium 3.5 %
Copper 8.3 %
Folate 26.7 %
Iron 17.0 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 3.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 10.8 %
Riboflavin 3.2 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.1 %
Zinc 5.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dec 042011
Last Thursday was my second CSA pickup and I stayed behind to discuss some workshop ideas with Vivian and Francisco for KYV farm.

As we chatted, Vivian offered me some soup. 

It was delicious.  A hearty mix of all the veggies we got from our CSA, lentils and barley.

The most surprising ingredient was radishes.  They tasted, well, not very radish-y.  More like a mild, soft potato-I couldn’t believe it!  Normally I’m not a fan so I’m so glad to have found a new way to prepare them.

I cut some fresh herbs from my garden but a mix of dried would work just as well.

My daughter and I shelled some of the pigeon peas.  This is really weird but it’s one of my favorite tasks.  I can focus on the mindless task of shelling and working on my intention of staying in the present moment, especially through the holidays.

Florida Fall Harvest Soup


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (or 2 cups pre-prepared)
1 bunch radishes, chopped
1 handful baby carrots, chopped
2 cups yum yum peppers, chopped (or 1 red bell pepper)
Handful fresh herbs-parsley, culantro and chives
1/4 tsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning (or salt)
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup shelled pigeon peas
1/3 cup lentils
1/3 cup barley
6 cups organic vegetable
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped


1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in Dutch Oven ;add onions, sauté about 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent; add garlic through fresh ground pepper, cook an additional 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients except kale, bring to a boil; reduce heat, set cover askew to let steam out, and cook on low 30 minutes.  Add kale to pot and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Oct 032011
I had such a wonderful weekend.  How was yours?
I got some new earrings at the farmers market and I liked them so much I updated my profile pic (plus it’s been a while as I’m no longer a brunette!)
Aren’t they fun?  They are actually rooster feathers.  (And was assured that no birds were harmed in the making of these earrings.)
I hadn’t taken any year 3 birthday photos of my daughter in August so I finally got around to doing so.  The weather was so perfect.
Here we are walking out to the dock where we take the birthday photos every year.
Also, I visited my farm last Thursday and, though my CSA hasn’t started back up yet, they already had some veggies!  I got a gorgeous calabaza (which is a sort of pumpkin) and the weather has been so cool and fall-ish that I decided to do another recipe with rosemary.

 I’ll get right in close so you can see all this yumminess.  The best part was that I didn’t step foot in a grocery store.  What I didn’t have on hand I got at either my farm or the St Augustine Farmers Market.

This is a great way to use left over grains or beans and you can cut some time by using frozen, cubed butternut squash and frozen greens as well if you don’t have them handy.  Any dried fruit can be subbed for the cherries so get creative!

Each bite is a new taste and texture; creamy and sweet squash, sweet/tart cherries, crunchy walnuts and pine nuts, tangy mustard.  This came out so well I might just have to make this for Thanksgiving.

It’s super filling from all the veggies, barley and lentils so I put my serving in a coffee cup. Perfect.

Roasted Calabaza and Garlic with Lentils, Barley, Kale,Toasted Pine Nuts, Walnuts and Dried Cherries

Vegan, Wheat Free (for a gluten free option sub quinoa for the barley)
About 8 Cups


1 calabaza squash, about 3 lbs, seeded, peeled and chopped (sub frozen chopped butternut as a time saver)
1 onion, sliced
1 head garlic, top cut off and wrapped in foil
1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1 cup cooked barley (or sub any left over, pre-cooked grain)
1 cup cooked lentils (or sub any pre-cooked beans or canned beans on hand)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp each pine nuts and walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp dried cherries, chopped (or sub any dried fruit here)
Olive oil spray
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/4 tsp each dried thyme, ground mustard, sea salt and celery seed
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tbsp each olive oil and agave
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare 2 pans with olive oil spray.  Add squash and leaves from one sprig rosemary to one tray and onion and wrapped garic to another.  Roast 15 minutes, turn and roast an additional 7.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and the kale, barley and lentils into an oval casserole dish.  Pour dressing over and toss to coat.  Place in oven during the last 7 minutes of squash roasting after the squash is flipped.  (This will wilt the kale a bit to make room for the squash, onion and garlic.)

3. Remove trays and casserole dish from oven and let garlic cool enough to handle.  Squeeze into small bowl the dressing was in previously; chop onion and add to bowl with roasted garlic; mix well.  Spoon roasted squash and garlic/onion mixture into casserole dish with kale and toss to mix.  Place back in oven to blend flavors an additional 5 minutes. 

4. Remove from oven, top with dried cherries, toasted walnuts and pine nuts.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste and mix to combine ingredients.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

About 8 Cups
Amount Per Cup
Calories 131.9
Fat 4.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 134.8 mg
Potassium 261.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.9 g

Vitamin A 178.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.2 %
Vitamin C 47.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.1 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 10.9 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 7.9 %
Magnesium 7.4 %
Manganese 33.7 %
Niacin 4.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.6 %
Phosphorus 7.1 %
Riboflavin 4.5 %
Selenium 4.3 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mar 282011
Today’s Eat. Live. Be. for a better 2011 is about lunch; which actually ties into my new little poll (look over there to the left). Is lunch your favorite meal? 
I have to admit I love lunch because this one is easy for me. I work out on my lunch break four days a week so each prior weekend I make a big salad or pot of soup to bring with me. It is perfect, no planning or thinking. I already have it done! Today is a perfect example. This week I will bring a cup of lentils with me as well as a few snacks such as sliced veggies with hummus, a fresh apple, an egg or even a few squares of dark chocolate.
The day I do go out to lunch is another story. I usually tend to splurge a bit more on that day, but, within reason. We go to a local Mediterranean restaurant called Mandaloun a lot. I typically get the fattoush salad and order a side of hummus. Sounds pretty virtuous right? Nope. Restaurants go above and beyond to make the food taste good; typically without regard to your waistline. Even though the salad is super fresh with tons of aromatic herbs, it has a very generous amount of dressing as well as little crispy fried pita strips. And boy, are they oh so good. On top of that I might eat an entire pita with the hummus. This all adds up to far more than I would typically eat at lunch, but it is my once a week treat so I figure every now and then is ok.
What is your typical lunch?
 I was on a quest to do something with my CSA cabbage that I would actually look forward to.  I figured I was just not a fan.  I mean, it is OK but I’m never really like Yes!  We are having CABBAGE TONIGHT!  In fact, I had already used half the head on fish tacos with cabbage slaw but I didn’t post that one as I wasn’t really excited about it.
This, on the other hand, is a cabbage recipe I can really look forward too.  Yes it is labor intensive but you will not be disappointed if you like spicy and flavorful Indian food.  I promise.


Green Lentils with Ginger, Coconut Milk, Sweet Potato and Cabbage

Altered from Smitten Kitchen and Madhur Jaffrey, Indian Cooking
Estimated 10 (1-cup) Servings
**4 WW Pts Plus
1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed and drained if necessary (truRoots Organic Sprouted)
6 cups water or broth (I used 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 2 cups water)
1 sweet potato, chopped (Organic unpeeled)
1/2 heaping tsp ground turmeric
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp butter
1 heaping tsp cumin seeds
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (or 3/4 Tbsp dried minced)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine slices
1/2 head finely shredded cabbage
1 to 2 fresh, hot green chilies, finely sliced
3/4 tsp salt
14.5oz can peeled to whole un-drained, tomatoes chopped (Muir Glen)
1 heaping tsp peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1. Pour water and/or broth, sweet potato and lentils into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Add turmeric; stir to mix. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar to vent, turn heat down to low; simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours. Stir several times during the last 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds; allow to sizzle for 3 to 4 seconds. Add garlic; stir to combine and cook a few more seconds. Add the onion, cabbage and green chilies. Stir the cabbage mixture for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Turn off the heat under the frying pan.
3. Stir remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the tomato and ginger to the lentil pot (after the initial cooking time); stir to mix. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture; stir to mix and bring to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk.
Nutrition Facts

Estimated 10 (1-cup) Servings
**4 WW Pts Plus
Amount Per Serving

Calories 159.8
Total Fat 6.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 325.5 mg
Potassium 303.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 22.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 2.3 g
Protein 4.7 g

Vitamin A 55.6 %
Vitamin C 68.2 %
Folate 19.8 %

Feb 232011
I found Nutmeg Notebook through my weight watcher message boards. The photos of her healthy recipes are just gorgeous and occasionally she does product reviews.  The one I came across that intrigued me was for an Organic Sprouted Bean Trio from truRoots .  Per 1/3 cup there is 160 cals, .5 g fat, 11 g fiber and 11 g protein.  Is that unbelievable or what?
I was so excited I contacted the company to find out where I could purchase their product and they advised where and that they could send me a sample to see if I liked it before purchase. Of course I gave a resounding yes!
This would be the “sample” pack they sent.Sprouted Mung Beans, Sprouted Quinoa, Whole Grain Quinoa

Germinated Brown Rice, Sprouted Green Lentils

Organic Chia Seeds and Organic Haiga Rice

The first thing I thought of was a curry lentil soup because the last time I had some from Native Sun it was so amazing I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  Every time I go back I ask if they have the soup and no far no luck.
To my complete happiness this came out just as amazing and was super easy.  It’s so creamy, flavorful and has a hint of sweetness.
Thank you to truRoots for this amazing sample pack!

Sprouted Green Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

***3 WW Pts Plus
10 to 12 servings

Organic Ingredients

1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 Tbsp EVOO
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp minced ginger
4 cups (1 carton) vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 rounded Tbsp curry powder
10 oz frozen cubed butternut squash (or fresh will be fine too)
6 Tbsp or about 1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup lentils, I used truRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
Salt, to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper, optional


1. Heat butter and olive oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat; add onion, carrot and ginger and cook until softened but not brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Pour broth and water in to vegetable mixture; stir in curry, squash and tomato paste and bring mixture to a boil.

3. Add lentils and gently boil for 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat; stir in coconut milk and raisins.

Nutrition Facts
***3 WW Pts Plus
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 134.9
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 1.6 mg
Sodium 458.1 mg
Potassium 282.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 4.9 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 81.2 %
Vitamin B-6 5.6 %
Vitamin C 13.3 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 4.1 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 16.5 %
Magnesium 5.0 %
Manganese 8.9 %
Niacin 3.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.2 %
Zinc 1.4 %

Feb 072011

Today’s Eat. Live.Be. for a better 2011 is how to get out of a rut.

The only thing that works for me is to change things up and simply keep trying. Think about it, any time we start anything new, we go through a honeymoon phase. If it’s a new diet, we are all gung-ho at first, since it’s new. On top of that, it is really motivating to see results. Then the plateau hits, and the weight stops coming off quite as easily. For me, I’m always trying to lose the last five pounds. I love the new weight watcher program but realize that, to keep things interesting, I still need to try new foods. Having this blog really helps because it keeps me excited about trying new recipes and sharing the results.

Take this North African Chickpea Stew. I was able to use the base recipe from Eating Well and change it up to use some of the calabaza and some of the fresh cilantro in a new way, when I could have simply roasted the squash and used the cilantro in salsa. (Not that I don’t still do that. I’m just saying it is great to change it up.) On the down side, it was a bit labor intensive with prepping the squash. But, in the end, it was so worth it to be able to share it with you as well as my friend Suzanne, who belongs to the same CSA, and my friend Justine; my friend that did the Acro-yoga with me. It makes a LOT.  The serving size is 8 but I am sure I could get 10 servings out of it which is why I’m sharing.  I really liked the sweetness of the squash, the nutty crunch of peanuts and the aromatic cilantro.

Speaking of Acro-yoga, this is an example of how to keep the motivation going with working out as well. I already know I love yoga and try to make a class two to four times per week, but it’s the same teacher (unless they have a sub for some reason which is rare) and a lot of times I can anticipate what they will say next. When Justine invited me to try this workshop, I thought, yes! What a great way to visit a new studio; try a new teacher and a new form of yoga. So, on top of trying new forms of working out, you can even change up the way you already do your workouts. If you run, what about getting a running partner; if you bike, try joining a group, or do what I did….check out a new studio, teacher and method!

North African Chickpea Stew
Slightly altered from Eating Well Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew
Serves 10


3/4 cup dried chickpeas
3 lbs calabaza squash, butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron, 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp PB2 (a powdered peanut butter product), Optional
2 cups water (optional to thin consistency)


1. Place chickpeas in medium bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.

2.Combine the soaked chickpeas through pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
 3.Stir in lime juice, peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts according to SparkRecipes

8 Servings
***5 WW Pts Plus (this is using the calabaza, when I switched to butternut the pts plus value went up to 6)Amount Per Serving

Calories 177.6
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 494.9 mg
Potassium 395.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 9.6 g

Vitamin A 58.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.0 %
Vitamin C 14.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.3 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 11.5 %
Folate 21.5 %
Iron 12.2 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 28.8 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 12.2 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 3.7 %
Thiamin 8.3 %
Zinc 7.1 %