Spicy Lentil Soup + Sprouting Lentils

Entrees

lentil soup
Last nights dinner: spicy lentil soup

I love lentils. They are my new favorite food. I’ve even got some set aside to sprout!

Sprouting lentils is extremely easy & so good for you. I was intimidated for a while, but I did some research on sprouting and it’s actually very simple! All I did was put about ½ c of dry lentils in a strainer and I rinsed them with water from the faucet 3 different times yesterday. In between rinses I just set the strainer on the counter so that they stay moist, but not waterlogged.

It’s that easy.

And I already have little sprouts!!!

sprouted lentils
Back to the soup.

I enjoyed this soup so much I’ve decided to add it to the list of meal prep ideas for when school starts. I plan on doubling this recipe (5 servings) and storing each soup in its own individual mason jar. I could pack the lentil soup along with avocado slices, rice or some seed crackers. Or maybe some dosa!!!

Side note – I am going to learn how to make dosa  someday.

Side note II – lentils + rice = complete protein

Anyways, this spicy lentil soup was fairly easy to make and only took about 30 minutes!

lentil soup

Spicy Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1 TBS Sunflower oil

½ purple onion – chopped

3 large garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS tomato paste

1 TBS curry powder

½ tsp red chili flakes

2 c vegetable broth

2 tomatoes – diced

1 ⅓ c dry green lentils

1 jalapeño – sliced

Handful of cilantro

Spinach or any other leafy green

2 Green onions – chopped

Directions:

1. Heat oil in pot

 

2. Sauté onion and garlic in oil

3. Add tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes & stir until everything is combined (like the picture below)

4. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes and lentils. Bring to a boil & let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, until lentils are very tender

5. Remove from heat and add cilantro, green onion, jalapeño, and leafy greens

Enjoy 🙂
This recipe is adapted from Vegangela

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Tofu – scrambled & sautéed 

Entrees

I’ve been feeling extremely groggy since I stopped eating meat, which I understand, but I didn’t realize until this week how much protein I’ve been missing. Along with going out on weekends, my body has truly been suffering! For example, I feel weaker and yoga has been more challenging in the physical sense. Another example, I have been taking naps! I never take naps. So this is a huge wake up call for me.. 

I need more protein! 

So I did some research on vegan protein sources:

Beans

Nuts 

Legumes

Greens

Soy 

I have always loved tofu so I remembered to pick some up on my next grocery haul. 

And I always make sure to have some canned beans around.

& I learned all about the many ways to prepare tofu! Exciting stuff ^^ 

For my first successful tofu cooking experience, I decided to make scrambled tofu with black beans and green onions, tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeños. 

 tofu  

It was fairly easy to make this! I was surprised and very happy with this meal 🙂 I used half of the tofu block for this serving.

Next time, I should add something orange and yellow like sweet potatoes and corn or bell pepper boats! And add some cilantro or fresh basil.

& maybe even a dessert bowl of blueberries and oranges.

& add a spicy chili sauce!

To make scrambled tofu:

1. Mash ½ tofu block with a fork in a bowl

2. Add seasoning to bowl and mix – sea salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano

The next day, I went all out and made some tasty sesame kale (like the kind from whole foods!) so I added some tomatoes, avocado, black beans, jalapeños, and tofu that I sautéed in the pan. 

 
I like you, Tofu. 
To make the tofu,

1. Chop up ¼ of the tofu block and put the pieces into a bowl. 

2. Add sea salt, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and liquid aminos. Stir the tofu.

3. Heat pan on medium with some oil (I used sunflower oil) 

4. Sauté tofu for 10 minutes or until it changes color on all sides.

5. Enjoy!
I’m so so pleased with how the tofu came out both times. Definitely will be adding these two recipes to my meal prep list for the school year.
Next I want to make miso soup with extra tofu, my mom always orders it. 

Also, I’d like to make crispy baked tofu!

Sesame Veggie Wraps 

Entrees

After I recently wrote about making cabbage wraps, I became inspired to make more wraps! 

This time using beautiful sesame leaves from Hmart. 

sesame veggie wraps   
I am forever grateful to my mother for introducing me to sesame leaves, yum! 

I’ve been craving Asian food a LOT lately, so I mixed together a little bowl of seasoning for the rice (rice vinegar, liquid aminos, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, garlic powder) then I sliced some cucumber, and got out my little container of diced onions, jalapeños, and cilantro that I’ve started to keep on hand. It saves a bunch of prep time! 

Unfortunately, I was unable to snap a picture of an actual wrap… Guess I enjoyed my meal too much 🙂

Not to worry though, I made wraps again the next day!

sesame veggie wraps 
This time, the only difference was the veggies to fill the wraps.

I used: steamed green beans, broccoli, carrots, and cabbage

 sesame veggie wraps 
I used the same seasoning for the rice as the day before. 

Also, I really like to put a little smudge of soybean paste (far left) on the completed wrap on the outside or hidden somewhere inside the wrap. It’s not very healthy as it contains a lot of salt but every now and then I tell myself it’s gonna be okay and indulge just a lil 😀

Abundant Salad Cabbage Wraps

Dips & spreads, Entrees

 cabbage wrap 

I’ve been craving tortillas for nearly every meal, but it isn’t happening because 

A. I refuse to buy store-bought-laden-with-chemicals-&-preservatives 

and 

B. I still have not mastered the art of making my own clean tortillas (I’ve tried twice now and it is just not my cup of tea)

SO. 

My resolution? 

Cabbage! 

I know. 

Cabbage does not compare to a tortilla whatsoever, but all I was thinking was, I just want to taste everything at the same time without the mess.

   

Yum! Fresh herbs and veggies is SO worth it. I mean, look at that tomato! It’s so red and vibrant, freshly picked off the vine from my container garden. 

  

This salad consists of: avocado, sautéed spinach, steamed cabbage and broccoli, fresh tomato from mini garden ^.^, red and green onion, basil, jalapeños and cilantro. 

For the dressing: I sprayed some liquid Aminos on some tahini. Good mix! Especially with the cabbage.

I am that person who puts every possible food item on my fork for one bite, so I got fed up because there was too many food items this time. 

Resolution – wrap it all in a big cabbage leaf 

Tada!

 

An easy, clean, crunchy fix and a much better alternative to a tortilla 😀

  
Update ***

I made cabbage wraps again!

 cabbage wrap  
This time, I used a sweet potato, avocado & jalapeños as the filling, topped with a spicy garlic tahini dressing. 

cabbage wrap 
These were delicious and very filling!

For the inside:

I mashed sweet potato, avocado, green onion and some seasoning (sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper), then I added chopped green onions and jalapeños. 

For the dressing:

I blended 2 TBS Tahini, 2 garlic cloves, garlic powder, 1/8 tsp liquid aminos, 2 slices orange bell pepper, paprika, cayenne, chili powder

Chickpea flatbread – so easy!!

Dips & spreads, Entrees, Snacks

I finally bought a bag of chickpea flour today and I’m so glad I did. 

 Chickpea flour is so versatile, cheap, and nutritious!

aaaand it only requires water. Say wha?

Pictured above is before mixing. The bowl contains chickpea flour, water, and spices (garlic powder, sea salt, paprika, chili powder, and cumin)

I can’t believe how easy this was. 

Just mix and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes and voila, an interesting, tasty “flatbread.”  

chickpea flatbreadI was shocked when I saw that it looked like this, but felt like a very thin layer of a moist cake. It’s an interesting food. 

I initially intended to make mini veggie pizzas, but I was hesitant to potentially waste my veggies on something that could have failed, so I added them after baking.   

 I topped them with thinly sliced avocado, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro and fresh basil. Yum!

After devouring a mini flatbread/pizza, I whipped up a garlic tahini soybean paste dressing.

 I am pleasantly surprised and happy about the outcome. Chickpea flour rules.

Chickpea flatbread / pizza crust

Ingredients:

⅔ c chickpea flour 

⅓ c + 1 tbs water

Spices – anything you want; I used garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Mix everything in a bowl

3. Prepare baking sheet

4. Add mixture to baking sheet and try to spread evenly with a spoon or your hands

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes 

6. Top with herbs or veggies and enjoy!
***also, I experimented with the chickpea flour + water mixture a couple different ways & they all worked!

Method 1:

All I did was mix 1/3 c chickpea flour, 1/3 c water, and ⅛ tsp baking powder and it became a very thin batter, like the consistency of pancakes, and I poured it into the skillet to find that pancakes, crepes, dosas, etc are all totally doable:)

Method 2:

I also mixed ⅓ c chickpea flour, ⅓ c water and poured that into the skillet. They came out as slightly thicker but not a very noticeable difference.
Pure awesomeness.

Lentil Sprout Bowl

Entrees

About a week ago, I made a spicy lentil soup and I also learned how to sprout lentils in the midst of it all.
It’s such an easy process that I think everyone should do it. Seriously.
All you need is a strainer, running water, and 1-3 days! So simple and so good for you.
The sprouts are super packed with nutrients! I got an energy burst after enjoying this colorful & hearty meal.
Also, they’re ridiculously cute!
 
lentil sprout bowl
  
I whipped up the last of my produce for the week – a purple potato, orange bell pepper, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, green onion – and topped it off with some fresh lentil sprouts.
  

 
It was so nourishing and divine tasting!
 
Definitely making this again.
  
Hmm… what should I sprout next?

Apartment Patio Garden Update

Container Garden

garden 


Basil

  

So much basil 🙂

It smells glorious.

Basil propagation worked!

All I did was pinch a top of a basil plant and put it in a shot glass of water by the window for a week.

There’s something so grounding about these new roots. It’s like a wave of certainty ensuring myself that the plant will survive.

I believe in you! 

I actually talk to my plants a lot :O

Also, a mini jalapeño fell off while I was smelling it! It was incredibly spicy and fresh.

 basil

Muahaha another propagation!

*Tip –  when cutting the top of the basil plant make sure to leave enough room for roots & gently scrape the end of the stem where the new roots will emerge.

Purple Basil

Currently working on getting some roots from my purple basil. Here’s the progress after about 2 weeks:

  

& here is the original plant:

purple basil 

The new home of the propagated purple basil:

   

When I first introduced its new home a caterpillar came out of nowhere and began eating all of my basil >< so I ripped off the leaf it was perched on and threw it in the grass. Easy fix. 

So these two pictures (above an below) are after the caterpillar incident and some serious growth time.

 
Looking pretty swell, Basil.

Mint

A common theme that I noticed in a couple of Texas gardens was that mint flourishes with ease and overtakes the garden. I was totally surprised when I learned about this because of my skimpy mint plant. (Jk it’s still a super beautiful fragrant plant that I love)

But I wish I had that problem. Definitely still working on mint.

I’m currently trying to propagate mint. Began soaking in water on June 19th.

**update – it did not work so I am trying it again

  


Green Onion

  

Not too sure what happened to my green onion, maybe there’s too much stuff in there. 

I ended up buying more green onions today, which is only the second time this year I must add 🙂 

So I will be replanting those in a container by themselves.

& here they are! They’ve already begun to grow:

  

Holy abundance! I have plenty of green onions now, feeling successful 😀

  
Cilantro

image

My dad planted some cilantro seed and now we have growth! 

 

  

Yay cilantro, what an interesting plant

  

  

The cilantro is beginning to become fragrant. Can’t wait!!

Lavender

   

 I recently got a beautiful lavender plant 🙂 it smells divine

I’ve tried to propagate this one as well. I’ve already got a tiny root after sitting in water for about a week!

  

I got a second lavender plant because I love the smell so much but something happened & it’s not lookin too hot

  

😦

Tomato

One day, I will have so many tomatoes that I’ll be forced to make a ton of salsa and then I’ll have salsa forever 

I hope!!!

  

We had to move it inside because of the storm but we only have one so far. Wish I knew more about growing tomatoes in containers.

 tomato  

Fresh tomatoes are out of this world.

  
I thoroughly enjoyed that 😀

Since picking the first tomato, I crushed egg shells and used my hands to help incorporate them into the dirt. 

Egg shells = calcium

I also made a fertilizer using Epsom salt and water (2 tbs Epsom salt + 1 gallon of water) which I used today June 30th.

Jalapeño 

  

When we first got this jalapeño plant it was flowering so beautifully and produced 3 jalapeños total, which I feel should have been a lot more, but it was so nice having some fresh jalapeños on hand. 

I can’t go back to store-bought! It’s just not the same as a fresh, crisp, bright green jalapeño with a super spicy kick. 

I recently read about “topping” your pepper plants, which includes chopping off the top of your plant, but I decided against it since I saw teeny baby flowers. 

 
I also covered more of the stem with dirt, I read that pepper plants really like to be cozy and tucked into the dirt farther up on the stem than you’d normally assume. 

I don’t know if it worked but those tiny flowers are looking much more prominent as if something is about to happen. 

If anyone has any tips on how to get maximum yield the natural way please let me know!

* update – I did the same as with the tomato plant (crushed eggshells and Epsom salt fertilizer) and now we have a bunch of adorable little flowers that will bloom into beautiful jalapeños.

   
 
Strawberries