Posted in Recipes

Lentil and Kale Soup

I don’t know if it’s the smokie gray skies or just my wishful thinking but I am in the mood for all things comfy. Soup is one of my favorite things to cook and eat and in my book you can’t get any more comfy than that.

This soup has kale in it and hopefully even if you are on the fence with this vegetable you will give this a try. I know kale has got to be one of those veggies that are so good for you so you eat it but you only do it because you’re a grown up and know its the right thing to do, but hopefully this recipe will give you hope that you can enjoy kale.

I didn’t take pictures as I cooked with this recipe but it is fast and the ingredients are all easy to find.

Even though lentils can vary in the nutrion content there is no dening that what every type of lentil you choose for this recipe they are packed with good things like…

High in fiber, complex carbohydrates so hello to some quick energy with LOW in fat and lets not forget potassium but I believe it is the red lentil with the highest levels. They also offer clean protein, thiamine, Niacin the health benefits go on but the small little legume is pretty great for you. Mix it with kale which is great for detoxing, your skin, eye health and yes the list goes on for this mighty but difficult to like vegetable.

This recipe is pretty quick under an hour easy but keep in mind that cooking time varies with the type of lentil you choose.

Lentil and Kale Soup:

Prep time 15 minutes, Cook time 45 minutes Total about 1 hour

2 Cups of dried lentils ( rinsed and cleaned)

1-2 Cups of Kale chopped

8 Cups of Veggie stock (or 8 Cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of veggie bouillon per cup)

1 white Onion chopped

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

2 Carrots diced

2 cloves of Garlic peeled and diced

1 Teaspoon of Cardamom

1-2 Teaspoon of Turmeric

1 Teaspoon of Cumin

1-2 Teaspoon of Curry powder

Pepper per taste

(Side note I don’t measure and like seasoning and spice so I did use more than I have about but I believe these measurements will work for anyone’s taste.)

In large pot add oil, onion, garlic and all seasonings but pepper. Sauté until onion is translucent then add carrots, lentils and sauté for a minute or two then add vegetable stock or if using water add at this time with the veggie bouillon and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down for a nice simmer for 35-40 minutes. When the lentils are almost done add the kale cooking a little longer until the lentils are done and the kale is cooked but still has some life in it, just a little crunch left.

When soup is done add to bowls and enjoy.

Posted in Recipes

Veggie Sausage and Pasta

Yes, another pasta recipe but I couldn’t help but share.

Yes, I love pasta

Yes, I like fast easy meals (most of the time)

No, I am not one for making recipes I have to go to a specialty store for ( unless its a holiday then sure I’m in).

Keeping that in mind then you know this recipe will be quick and with things you can pick up at any grocery store or online.

I really love pasta but use ones that are higher in protean because I do not eat meat. I could and probably should do a post just on pasta, there’s just so many different kinds and alternatives to just wheat flour. In this recipe I kept it basic and used Barilla Protein plus multigrain spaghetti pasta but I have used so many other kinds, it is fun trying them out.

I also enjoy a nice Bolognese pasta so todays recipe is a little of that too.

Veggie Sausage Pasta:

2 Veggie Italian Sausage, sliced

2 Roman Tomatoes

Handful of Chives diced

1-2 Tablespoons of diced garlic

1 can of Tomato sauce

1-3 Drops of Basil Essential Oil

1-2 Drops of Marjoram Essential Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil

Spaghetti Noodles cooked according to the box and drained keeping 1/4 cup of pasta water

In hot sauce pan add olive oil, garlic, then brown sliced sausage to almost done. Now adding the chives and tomatoes cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes add tomato sauce, essential oils, salt and pepper simmer for a few minutes longer.

At this point the pasta should be done. Drain pasta reserving 1/4 cup of its water to add to the tomato sauce mixture. Remove from heat add cooked pasta and serve.

Posted in Recipes

Meatless Nuggets

I have never been a big fan of the chicken nuggets, even if I did eat meat it’s just not one of those things I would really ever order out. When my son was little he was the chicken nugget fan. Well anything that had to do with chicken I knew it would be eaten in no time and he is still that way.

I was talking to him about how I was thinking of coming up with a good meatless nugget and he seemed excited so I did it and almost broke my arm patting my back they were so good.

Really, I used tofu and before I loose you please just hold on and read on…they really are good. I even got the thumbs up from my son.

They were crunchy with flavor, baked not fried so they are on the side of good for you too.

Meatless Nuggets Recipe:

1 package of extra firm Tofu drained and cut into nugget sizes

1/2 cup of Corn Starch or Potato Starch

1/4 cup of wheat flour

1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast

Seasonings per your taste: paprika, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper

1 Egg

4 Tablespoons of water

The key to this crispy nuggets is to remove all the water from the tofu. To do this drain the tofu then wrap it in a towel putting weight on top for at least 15 minutes. I have found a nice cast-iron skillet with a few cans in it work great.

In a bowl add egg and water then whip them together making a egg wash

In another bowl add corn/potato starch, flour and seasonings

In the last and final bowl add the nutritional yeast.

I know the amount of dishes sound like way to much but it is worth it!

Take the drained, cut tofu rolling it in the nutritional yeast then dredge in the egg mixture, then put in corn/potato starch mixture making sure you cover it well. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Do this with each nugget. Place the full cookie sheet of nuggets in a preheated oven at 350 for about an hour turning flipping the nuggets at about 30 minutes.

Note: If you want extra crispy, spray the nuggets with olive oil before baking them and then again when you flip them. I didn’t do that this time but have noticed a slight difference with crispness.

When they are done place on a plate and serve with dipping sauce of your choice or even just plain works too, they are that good.

Posted in Recipes

Summer Quinoa Salad

I am sticking with the Summer recipe theme. If you have read some of my blog its no secret that Summer heat zaps my appetite. This year I even stopped planning my meals in the latter part of Summer when its just me and I have no one to cook for I am tempted to just have a smoothie or cold cereal.

So instead of giving in to my desier to be a couch potato and eat cold cereal I decided to make a cool Summer salad.

You can add change it up but the basic was good enough for me to want to share. I also made the dressing for this but you could also buy it already done if you desire.

Summer Quinoa Salad:

1 16 ounce can unsalted Chickpea drained and rinsed

1 cup of cooked Quinoa

2/3 cup of cut in half Kalamata Olive

1 medium Cucumber peeled and cut in bite size pieces

1 or 2 Tomatoes depending on size or hand full of cherry Tomatoes cut in half

Salt and Pepper per your taste

Feta Cheese crumbled on top if desired

Dressing:

(I did not measure so these are estimates)

4 cloves of Garlic diced

1/2 to 1 Teaspoon of dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon of Lemon juice

1 Tablespoon of Honey

1/4 cup of Greek Olive Oil

1 to 2 Teaspoons of a mustard

2 Teaspoons of Red Wine Vinegar

Fresh ground Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook quinoa per package directions. As quinoa is cooking drain and rinse chickpeas add to bowl, peel cucumber then cut it up as well as the olives and tomatoes adding them to the bowl with the chickpeas. After quinoa is done cooking let cool down some while you make the dressing.

After quinoa is about room temperature add to the bowl with the rest of ingredients, add dressing then top with Feta.

Do this ahead if you would like it cool. Taste great straight from the refrigerator.

Posted in Recipes

Cucumber Spread

Summer time is great for eating fast fresh foods, but at times you can get stuck in a rut or maybe to hot to eat. That was me I wanted to make my chilled cucumber soup (check out previous blog post for the recipe) but my buttermilk went past a few days on the best by date and I am not one to really venture past that date when it comes to dairy.

I had a lot of cucumbers and still wanted something cool/fresh but still light so I came up with this cucumber spread and thought I would share. The list of ingredients are short, not pricy and this is something you can do ahead of time. Have for lunch or a light dinner like I did.

Yes, a lot of people have cucumber sandwiches and I love to try all sorts of variations too so this falls in with that.

Cucumber Spread Recipe:

2 small or 1 medium cucumber pealed and diced

12 ounce soft cream cheese (I didn’t use the full 12oz more like 8oz but that’s up to you)

Fresh Dill and Chives to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Add cream cheese to diced cucumber then dice or cut dill and chives adding the amount per your taste then salt and pepper and yes that’s it!

I know it sounds like its not really anything but its great and you should really give it a go. You can use on your favorite bread or bagel. Have the spread plane or you may also want to add sliced tomato an avocado or really any toping that sounds good.

Posted in Recipes

Black Bean Tacos with Guacamole

Who doesn’t like a good taco even if it isn’t on Tuesday? I know I haven’t blogged in such a long time. So much has been going on, I was even thinking of hanging up this whole blogging gig but I did end up missing sharing my recipes and thoughts so here is a fun recipe I thought to share.

I made these tacos for Cinco de Mayo since it fell on a Tuesday, yes I love a great celebration, even if it is just for me and yes I love Taco Tuesdays! Did you know it has been around since 1982 but Taco John’s filed for a trademark in 1989? I had no idea its been a thing for so long and there is actually a trade mark for it, who knew. Thank you Google.

Any way lets get to the very easy recipe. First the Guacamole recipe. It is easy with only a few ingredients, I kept it basic.

Guacamole:

Avocados ( I used two)

1/2 Tomato diced

1/4 White Onion diced

1 Tablespoon Chunky Paste Garlic ( I love garlic so you may want less or even more)

Cilantro diced the amount is per your taste I used about 1 Tablespoon

1 Fresh Lime squeezed

Your choice of Hot Sauce, Salt/Pepper to taste

Peel and dice the avocados, add rest of ingredients. I like mine chunky so I just I just did a quick mash of the avocados but you can use a food processor if you wish.

Now for the these amazing Tacos!

Black bean Tacos:

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

1/4 white onion diced

1 Tablespoon of chunky garlic paste

1 Tablespoon of chunky red pepper paste ( or less if you prefer)

Salt/Pepper per taste

1 small package of white corn tortillas

Grated Cheese (optional)

Add all but the beans to a hot pan that has a small amount of oil then sauté when the onions are almost transloosent add the beans to warm them then do a quick mash leaving some chunks. Remove pan from heat.

Next;

In a small pan add oil, heat the oil to a pretty hot temperature. As the pan and oil heat up get one corn tortilla that is slightly warm (makes taco easier to fold, you can warm up the tortillas by warping them in a damp cloth in a microwave) place a small amount of the bean mixture on half of tortilla and if you are using cheese add some grated cheese at this time, place in the hot oil and fold. let it start to get brown then flip to cook the other side. This should go fast so you do need to stay by the stovetop.

Serve the tacos with the guacamole and top with extra cilantro, enjoy. This is not the healthiest of tacos I eat but they are quick and easy even if you do need to stay and watch the tacos.

Posted in Recipes

Chocolate Lean Energy Bites

lean chocolate protien bites

I know it seems just another energy ball recipe but I am really enjoying these for a fast snack. I made them not really sure if they would be good or just okay, you know something that is just okay in taste but you eat it because you are trying to eat healthier on the go.

I have given them away to some really tuff critics, the people that love the drive-thru and think drinking soda or coffee is staying hydrated, those that laugh when the rest of us talk about maybe getting a gym membership. So when I say they were tuff I mean it. A day later I asked (almost ready to cringe) how they liked them and was so surprised when they said they not only ate them but yep they liked them and wanted more.(be still my beating heart.)

Because of that reaction from my toughest critics I thought I would share the recipe and hope you not only try making them but really enjoy them.

You may use a protein powder you have on hand but I love this Plexus vegetarian Lean meal replacement protein. Even before I became an Ambassador for them I enjoyed their protein powder because of the taste and all the benefits.

Chocolate Lean Energy Bites:

1 Cup of Oats

1/3 Cup Honey ( or agave syrup)

1/2 Cup any kind of  Nut Butter

1 Cup of Shredded Coconut

2 Scoops of Plexus Chocolate Lean meal Replacement

Now this may not be so healthy and it is totally optional

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter or Carob Chips

(If consistency is to powdery to form in balls then you may add about a Tablespoon of almond/soy mild, I had to do this but you may not need to)

Roll into balls and place in refrigerator for at least an hour before eating.

Keep Refrigerated

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes

Crockpot Potato Soup

20191010_173118

I love potato soup! It is one of the best soups in my opinion so when the weather gets cool I am always making it but I don’t usually veer off  from the old stand by recipe but when I wanted to use my crockpot and I had a can of Campbell’s cheddar soup I thought I would try something different and I am so glad I did!

Todays recipe is definitely not a healthy recipe by any stretch of the imagination but it is so very good, plus easy and little clean up.

Crockpot potato soup:

4 medium to large potatoes cleaned and cut up in bite sized pieces (also pealed if you prefer)

Milk (enough to cover cut up potatoes) I used alternative to cow but any cream will be good

1 Tablespoon of Butter

2 Tablespoons of cornstarch

Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Onion powder, dried Parsley all per your taste

1 can of Cheddar soup

 

In crockpot:

Place cut potatoes in crockpot then cover with milk add butter, cornstarch and seasoning. Cover and simmer on low for at least 6 hours or when potatoes are almost tender. Add can of cheddar soup stirring well then cover with crockpot still on low for 1 more hour.

The soup will come out so creamy and ready to eat,  serve with additional grated cheese on top of soup if desired then enjoy by its self or a nice warm piece of bread. This is such a great meal on a cool day/night.

Posted in Recipes

Peanut Butter Lean Protein Muffins

 

20191012_140555

I am so excited that the cooler days are here and I am able to bake! Yeah!

I have mentioned on my last few post that I am doing all I can to be the healthiest I can be even with a few challenges. So after finding out that I need a good protein powder to help me through days when I am unable to eat all my meals I found a good one for me to drink and even use in some baking. I not only come up with different uses for the powder but the company has some great recipes too and todays recipe I got from Plexus (yes I am an Ambassador with them now) in all honesty with no biased I would like to share. These muffins are really easy and good.

20191012_121112.jpg

 

2 scoops Plexus Lean Vegetarian Chocolate Mocha protein powder
2 cups rolled oats
2 ripe medium-size bananas (I used two frozen ones and they work just fine)
2 eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey or agave
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup all-natural nut butter and a pinch of salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Blend the 2 cups of rolled oats, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the wet ingredients first to the oat mixture. Then add in the dry ingredients.
Spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use muffin tin liners.

20191012_125504
Bake the muffins for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

 

 

References

My website https://plexusworldwide.com/gwynsch  ( in sunny and share healthy recipes)
1 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323169.php
2 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal#section7

Posted in Recipes

Sweet Potato Brownies

IMG_20190905_162727813

I have such a weakness for brownies. I almost feel like a Dr. Seuss character in “Green Eggs and Ham” except  I would and could eat them everywhere. I have been know to eat a whole pan in one sitting or so my kids say. I don’t confirm or deny it but I can say I have cut back on my consumption these last few years because I have been trying to cut back on eating so much sugar.

So when I was on Facebook and I saw a new recipe from “Vegan strong dad” (you should really check him out) I got so excited and had to try it.

Here it is and I must say they are REALLY tasty!

Sweet potato brownies:

 

1 Cup of mashed sweet potato

1/4 Cup coco powder

1/2 Cup of nut butter of your choice

1/4 Cup maple syrup

 

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well, pour in 8×8 pan (I didn’t grease it and it didn’t say) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Yes that is it and then you have semi healthy brownies that are so good that you could eat the whole pan if you choose.

IMG_20190905_162744684