Healthy and Easy Lentil Soup recipe

This baby is a recipe I got from my wonderful mother. It’s her faux creamy orange lentil soup with veg. It is a winner, I promise!

Back at home we used to usually have this soup during the cold winter months, or during Ramadan for extra nourishment–protein and hydration. It’s an easy and quick vegetarian recipe to use when you just can’t be bothered to cook a decent meal–a bit of this soup and you’re warm, full, and fuzzy inside. It’s a good option for a healthy and quick lunch or/and dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • ¾ of a mug of orange lentil
  • ¼ of a mug of basmati rice
  • a pinch of cumin
  • 1 cube of chicken stock
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • coriander
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 ltr of boiling water

Method:

First, chop the onions and carrots and saute until tender in a deep pot. While the veggies tender, measure your lentils and rice in a mug and wash until the water runs clear (getting rid of any excess starch or muck). To the onions and carrots add the garlic, green pepper, stock cube, and coriander and cook on a medium-low heat.

Once the cumin has been toasted, add 1 liter of boiling water and add rice and lentils. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with ripped coriander, a drizzle of olive oil, and lemon.

You can never go wrong with my Puerto Rican mother’s version of a Palestinian classic ‘Shorbit Adas’.

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I’ve got to tell you, slurping seems to be my favorite eating method..like..ever. And because pasta isn’t something I should be slurping every single waking minute, soba noodles seems to be an adequate alternative. My husband and I were lounging around on a quiet Friday night when I had an epiphany! What if I made us a soba noodle salad RIGHT NOW! (yes, food could be an epiphany). So I rummaged through the fridge looking for whatever ingredients felt Asian enough for me and used the following:

  • Soba noodles
  • Garlic
  • Orange juice
  • carrots
  • frozen green beans
  • frozen broccoli
  • poached chicken breast
  • green onions (scallions)
  • bell pepper
  • ginger
  • store bought  ready-made Thai lemongrass and sweet basil dressing (I know, I cheated…leave me alone)
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce

First, I cheat-made the dressing for the salad as I put the noodles to boil. I added a good glug of the ready made lemongrass dressing and added sesame seed oil, soy sauce, garlic, orange juice, and grated ginger. Then, I shaved the carrots into ribbons and added them to the dressing to pickle them.

After that, I shock boiled the chopped veg. by blanching them in hot water for a minute and running them through ice-cold water, I also washed the noodles through with ice-cold water once they cooked.

Now for the assembly.

I add the cubed poached chicken breast and the remaining ingredients, toss, and serve. 

This recipe was absolutely scrumptious if I may say so myself–I was pleasantly surprised with myself, and you will be too. Give it a shot!

Go straight-up bananas and try out this recipe.

I am in dire need of groceries. All I’ve got are a couple of sprigs of parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, leftover cans of white beans and crushed tomatoes, and some parmesan cheese…what to do?…is it okay to have pasta for the third time this week?…hmm… Well screw that, pasta it is! This quick lunch took me less than ten minutes to put together, and it was so worth the wait lol. 

Ingredients: 

  • Garlic
  • Organic flaxseed fettuccine
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red chili flakes
  • olive oil
  • half a can of white beans
  • half a can of crushed tomatoes
  • parsley
  • balsamic vinegar

This recipe is more like an assembly than a recipe really, but who cares..as long as it’s yummy, filling, good for me, and in my belly I don’t care how long it takes to make.

Put the pasta to boil in boiling salted water. As the pasta cooks, fry the chopped garlic until golden brown, then add the tomato, parsley, and an incy wincy bit of the pasta water (to loosen up the sauce a bit because it can get quite thick). Once the sauce has cooked for about 5 minutes, turn off the heat, add a splash of balsamic, red chili flakes, and whatever herbs you’ve got on hand, then add the beans–I kept the beans till the end because you want to heat them through, not cook them or else they’ll get super mushy and you’ll end up with a watery mushy pasta, yuck.

Add the pasta to the sauce, toss a bit, and top with a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese and you’re good to go!

Go straight-up bananas and give it a try and let me know how you like it.

For more recipes that are healthy, fun, and fast check out my blog www.straight-upbananas.com 

Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Orange Segments, Walnuts, and a Balsamic Reduction

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During Ramadan, it is absolutely vital that one eats healthy. Foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and water are truly a necessity if you want to stay full and hydrated. Keeping that mantra playing in the back of my head, I decided to rustle up a good nutritious salad and hearty soup to break my 15-hour fast.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

– A handful of crunchy leafy greens (I used different kinds of lettuce)

– An orange

– A handful of walnuts

– Cooked black quinoa 

– A beautiful ripe avocado

– Half a medium sized red onion (sliced thinly)

– Red pepper flakes

– Balsamic vinegar (reduction)

– Extra virgin olive oil

– A squeeze of lemon

– A sprig of thyme 

Awesome. Now for the assembly.

Now prepare you ingredients.

First, cook the quinoa for fifteen minutes in some salted water. While the quinoa cooks, slice your onion as thin as humanly possible and make the dressing. Combine the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, salt, and onions and let sit. The reason I put the onions with the vinaigrette is that I want the acidity from the vinegar and lemon to cook the onions just enough to take away the edge that raw onions tend to have.

Then,  tear up the lettuce in a bowl, cut the orange into segments, slice up the avocado, and add the cooled quinoa to the bowl with a handful of walnuts.

Toss the salad with the vinaigrette. lol

Oh happy days!

This salad is delish! You’re going to love it, I assure you. I mean, what’s not to love, right? You’ve got your crunch from the nuts and the lettuce, your buttery avocado, your sweet orange; I mean COME ON!

Give it a go, and let me know how much you loved it!