Tag Archives: recipe

Quinoa-Lentil-Kale Soup

During my visit to Sun Harvest this past weekend, I picked up a can of black lentils. I wanted to do something simple with them, so I thought up a soup using the quinoa and red kale I had also just bought. I scoured the internet for a recipe to work from. This recipe is light on the calories and heavy-handed with the nutrients. Plus, it’s FILLING!

While I enjoyed the recipe I used, I do suggest using cumin, curry powder, and cinnamon as the spices to warm up the dish, since the basil and oregano sort of hid in the background. And now that I think about it, I forgot the tomato paste. Ah well. 

Enjoy!

IMG_8912-1

Quinoa, Black Lentil, and Kale Soup
(Adapted from this recipe)
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, unpeeled, chopped
1 large stalk (or two small stalks) celery, chopped
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can black lentils
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1-2 cup kale, chopped or torn into small pieces
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil ( again, I suggest subbing the oregano and basil out with 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp curry powder, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, then stir in the onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with some salt and allow to cook until onions art translucent.

Raise heat to high and add the broth. Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to simmer (at about medium head). Add the quinoa. Cover and allow to cook for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy. Stir in lentils, kale, the 1/2 tsp of sea salt, and the herbs/spices. Cook for another 15 minutes or until kale is tender.

Check out the nutrition facts!!!:

Calories: 326
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Total Carbohydrates: 52g
Dietary Fiber: 13g
Sugars: 6g
Protein: 18g

 

This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Iron and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese.

 

———–

30 Day Challenge
Day 6: 30 Facts about yourself

1. I strongly dislike roller coasters. I hate them. No, I abhor them. I vehemently abhor them. I’m such a buzz kill at amusement parks.

2. It’s February and I’m already in the mood for fall.

3. I don’t like bananas when they’re under ripe, which means I don’t like them until they’re speckled with brown.

4. I’m not the biggest fan of hot oatmeal. It’s the texture.

5. I honk for minor chords. Or something…

6. I’m a mezzo-soprano. I sing alto (A1) in choir because I can sing the entire alto range and entire mezzo-range, but not the entire soprano range, which stinks when there isn’t an S2 part written in the music.

7. I’ve been with Edgar for over four years and he has yet to hear me sing all by myself.

8. All I know about reading music has come from seven semesters’ worth of choir experience plus a vague memory of elementary school music class and a year of recorder class in 5th grade. I’m basically learning very slowly over many years what most music majors learn their first semester.

9. I have the most random taste in music. It makes absolutely no sense. There’s no rhyme (pun not intended) or reason. I currently have six songs playing on repeat on my iTunes right now, and they consist of: one bluegrass song, one rock-song-turned-acoustic-and-bluegrassy, “Love the Way you Lie” by Eminem, “Samson” by Regina Spektor, “Sally’s Song” sung by Fiona Apple, and “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry.

10. I do not enjoy country music, but I love bluegrass a great deal. It also reminds me of fall and road trips.

11. I have a condition called uterine didelphys. Wait what?? Long story short, I have two uteri. And to answer your question, double-pregnancy at two different gestational periods is technically possible but extremely unlikely.

12. I’m allergic to cats. My mom is also allergic and I became so half-way through high school. Both my sisters became allergic to cats during high school as well.

13. I have carpal tunnel syndrome.

14. I love climbing trees

15. I love hiking. It’s cardio and strength training in one! If I had my way, I’d hike every weekend.

16. I love pilates/power yoga. It reminds me of ballet!

17. I was homeschooled from 5th grade through graduation and my social life didn’t suffer even the slightest. In fact, it greatly improved once I started homeschooling.

18. A lot of people are scared of hospitals. I’m not. Some of my earliest memories were of visiting the hospital when my mom was working there as a medical transcriptionist. It also helps that my grandfather was a doctor and my aunt is a nurse.  Medicine is a familiar field in my family.

19.  5 years of Spanish and all I got was this rusty Spanglish. Actually, when I hear people speak Spanish (and here in Texas, it’s almost more common than English), I can always understand some of what they’re saying, and I can usually read what’s written in Spanish. I’m not that confident in my ability to speak it, though.

20. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I decide to take first semester Old Testament History with the hardest religion professor on campus, but I didn’t pick up on her teaching and testing style until half-way through second semester New Testament History. I got a C in Old Testament as a result, and if I had actually gotten an A in that one class, I would have graduated Summa Cum Laude. Humbug.

21. My minor was in psychology, I have 12 graduate level hours in counseling, and I’m a member of the Psi Chi National Honors Society for psychology.

22. I think my body requires 9-10 hours of sleep every night to feel rested. This means I never feel rested.

23. I have been blogging regularly since 2003. I was 14 and a sophomore in high school when I started my first blog.

24. I don’t swear. And as far as I can remember, I’ve never knowingly cussed. It’s not a habit I ever picked up, nor one I desire to have. I like to think I have a more creative vocabulary.

25. I eat hamburgers upside down. The burger, not myself. This is probably why my burger innards are all assembled backwards.

26. Those Larabars I was saving for my trip…I just ate ‘em. Both of them. Meh, I’ll buy more later.

27. I’ve been able to do a back-bend from a standing position since I was a single-digit age.

28. I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. I just finished the Sorcerers Stone.

29. I’m a bit of a bread snob!

30. Tamales are my very favorite Mexican food!

Advertisements

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I was right! I said in my previous post that perhaps the reason why my pizza crust was too crunchy for my liking was the fact that I left it in the oven too long. I decided to use some leftover dough for dinner and this time it was only in the oven for about 5-8 minutes. Perfect chew! Many people like thin crust for the crunch. Honestly, I prefer a chewy crust. I go for thin crust because it means fewer calories. So if I can get my chewy crust in thin form, all is good in the world! And that seems to be the case in my kitchen right now.

This recipe is something of a combination of Roni’s Thin Crust Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Jenna’s Best Pizza Crust, and a little know-how as learned from Mr. Alton Brown. I wanted to create a “’high-protein” whole wheat pizza crust for Weight Watcher Points Plus’ sake, and so I incorporated soy flour. And because I love a great deal of chew, I used bread flour, a higher-gluten wheat flour, in place of all-purpose, and opted for an addition of vital wheat gluten to ensure a nice rise and chewy texture, which can be difficult to achieve when using whole wheat flour and the completely gluten-less soy flour.

Michelle’s Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
makes 2 large pizza crusts (can easily make 24 slices of pizza, total)

2 1/2 tsp (or 1 packet) of active dry or quick-rise yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (preferably about 120 degrees)
1/2 cup soy flour
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 tbsp ground flax
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil + more for rubbing

Combine water and yeast together in a small bowl (I used a measuring glass) and allow the yeast to “bloom” for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all the flours, the flax, the gluten, and the salt together thoroughly. Stir in the olive oil. Once the yeast has bloomed (it will look foamy), stir into the dry mix until you get a sloppy ball.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead the ball for about 10 minutes, or until the whole ball is smooth and evenly moistened without being sticky or dry to the touch. Add more flour or water in the kneading process, as needed. Sometimes it’s needed. Sometimes it isn’t. Ball will be done “kneading” when it becomes sort of elastic. It shouldn’t tear easily when you fold it over on itself, and you should be able to poke it gently with your fingertip and have the dough bounce back fairly easily.

Lightly oil the ball on all sides and place in a large bowl and cover tightly. Place in a warm place for several hours at minimum (until the ball doubles in size), or up to a day. I prefer to leave mine out for, at minimum, overnight, since that gives the gluten time to relax and make the dough easy to roll out without pulling back into a smaller round.

Once you’ve allowed the dough to rise for the amount of time you wish, cut the dough in half (for two large pizzas. I wrap up the second and stick it in the freezer for a quick pizza night at a later date) and with one ball, press out into a small round starting with the center of the ball. Use a rolling pin if you wish to roll out the dough, starting the pin from the center of the dough and rolling outward, turning the dough after each roll so you get whatever shape you wish (round, oval, amoeba… whatever).

Top with whatever ingredients you wish (pre-cooked where applicable. Don’t try to “cook” ingredients that require more than a few minutes in the oven, because you don’t want to overcook your crust), and place in a 400 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, or until the crust firm at the bottom and a bit puffy on top. Or, if you’re using cheese as a topping, when the cheese is sufficiently melted to your liking is a good gauge.

Serving size: 2 slices (1/12th of the recipe or 1/6 of a whole pizza crust)
Calories: 154
Fat: 2.7 grams
Carbohydrates: 24.88 grams
Fiber: 4.32 grams
Sugars: .06 grams
Protein: 8.98 grams
Points Plus: 4

—-

Don’t forget about my Lea & Perrins Giveaway! Winking smile

Inching Closer

First things first.

Wendie Plan? Not so much for me. Basically eating up the majority of my weekly points the first part of the week has never worked for me, because I can’t live off the very little of the remainder during the second half of the week. So after a week of eating and counting tons the first half of the week and “intuitively eating” for the second half (because there wasn’t enough points left to really sustain me, so I decided to just listen to my body’s signals and feed it nutritious food when I got hungry), I gave up on that idea. However, the next week (last week) wasn’t much different because I had special events (and an out-of-the-bleu blue, trance-induced frying episode) the first half of the week and practically nothing leftover for Sunday and Monday.

But that’s a-okay, because…

I lost 1.4 lbs this week and now find myself in the 130’s!! I’m just OUNCES away from my Weight Watchers goal!! It’s pretty exciting!

Okay, I have some goals this week. First of all, I am going to experiment with photographing everything I eat and posting them on here every day. A day in the “life of [michelle’s] pi[e-hole]” if you will. I want to get more involved in my blog and share more about my daily eating habits, but I’m not sure how much time it’s going to consume since I’m already a full-time office worker and a full-time wife. But we’ll certainly see!

Starting….. NOW!

Breakfast was fantastic! I always look forward to reaching the bottom scrapings of my nut butter jars so I can do THIS!

Overnight Oats in a Jar!

In this mix…

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Oikos)
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1 average (4 oz) banana, chopped up
  • ~2 tsp of Dark Chocolate Dreams scrapings
  • ~1 tsp of some almond granola stuff I’ve had in my pantry for ages. The stuff expired years ago, but it’s apparently still good!

And with a side glass of no-sugar-added cranberry juice blend. I don’t typically drink juice, and certainly not cranberry juice, but I’ve heard that it helps… well… certain discomforts. And we’ll leave it at that. This a food blog and I’m eating!

I packed some dates for my morning snack.


I knew better. I knew that it’d do nothing for mid-morning hunger. But did I listen? Noooo. By 11:00 I was STARVING.

So I was all about volume come lunchtime.

Ain’t it pretty?!?

  • A bunch of romaine and arugula as a base
  • 1 oz of bell pepper
  • 1 oz of avocado, sliced
  • 1 slice uncured bacon, crumbled
  • 1 medium-boiled egg
  • a grating of parmesan
  • drizzling of lime juice

And the mini-sandwich was a slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Low Sodium bread with some fig preserves and 1/2 oz of Organic Valley Extra Sharp Raw Cheddar. Yum!

And two glasses of cranberry juice….

I finally got something right with my afternoon snack.

I’ve been on the search for a good all-natural pudding cup. This one is all-natural and has a bunch of good stats, but the texture is more gelatinous than creamy. And frankly, Jello Sugar Free Dark Chocolate scores much better in the “chocolate-y decadence” flavor category. So the search continues…

(Oh, and insert 6 oz of Dr Pepper in here, because I poured myself a small cup at work, but obviously didn’t photograph it. Oops!)

After Zumba I wasn’t all that hungry, but when I finally did eat, it was leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup from several nights ago. Topped it with some sliced up asadero cheese and a few tortilla strips I fried up last Wednesday.

I’m not going to share the recipe for it yet because, while it was good, it could really be improved upon. I’ll share the recipe when I tweak it a bit. 🙂

So there you have it! Day one of my one-week food-journal-blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more interesting eats!

Mexican Black Bean Lasagna

I conjured this up last night and oooooohhh myyyyy gossssh. It’s good. High in sodium for a single dish, but like anything else, everything in moderation, right?

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ~4 cups spinach leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 cup black beans, DRAINED AND RINSED
  • 1 tbsp dried (Mexican!) oregano
  • 6 oz whole wheat ready-to-use lasagna noodles (or tortillas. I had both, but chose to use the last of my lasagna noodles, which definitely made it lean more toward lasagna in flavor. I’m sure the tortillas would make it taste more like enchiladas)
  • 2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups reduced fat Mexican-style cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-large nonstick pan set over medium heat, sweat onions and garlic until mostly translucent. Sprinkle with salt if needed to draw out moisture. Then add corn, bell peppers, black beans, spinach leaves, and oregano. Saute until everything is heated through.

In a medium casserole dish, spoon a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce into the bottom just to cover the bottom. Layer like so:

1. 1/3 of noodles
2. 1/3 of remaining sauce
3. 1/3 of veggies mixture
4. 1/3 of cheese
5. 1/3 of noodles
6. 1/3 of sauce
7. 1/3 of veggies
8. 1/3 of cheese
9. 1/3 of noodles
10. 1/3 of sauce
11. 1/3 of veggies
12. 1/3 of cheese

Cover and place in oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through and cheese and sauce are bubbly.

Serves 4-6

(Nutrition based on recipe divided four ways)

10 WW points/463 calories, 15 grams fat, 1077 mg sodium, 56 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 23 grams protein