Moroccan Tomato Soup February 19, 2009

I fould this tasty soup at a local soup kitchen a few years back, and fell head over heels in love.  I am a peanut butter junkie, and couldn’t believe my taste-buds that I could make a soup that had PB in it and tasted so amazingly decadent.  Trust me, this is your sure-fire way of instant happiness!  Guaranteed!  Easy, cheap and velvety smooth, this insanely delishious soup will warm your soul and keep your wallet and tummy very very happy.

2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 head garlic, diced
4 cups veggie stock
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/2 – 1 cup all natural peanut butter
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp or 1 tbsp Hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp White Vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

1) In a large sauce pan, heat oil and fry onion and garlic until golden brown.

2) Add veggie stock, canned tomatoes (including all the liquid) and tomato paste, bring to a boil and then reduce heat (simmering for about 10 minutes).

3) Puree mixture with hand blender, continue to simmer on LOW, and season soup with vinegar, sugar, cumin , cayenne pepper and pepper sauce.

4) Adjust salt and pepper to taste, stir in peanut butter and let soup simmer on LOW heat for an additional 15-20 minutes.

5) Serve and enjoy!

Notes – you can add chick peas and/or quino/rice, etc … to make it even heartier if you like.  soup1


Lentil-Quinoa Salad February 10, 2009

I eat alotta beans … alotta quinoa … alotta salad … so a tri-combo is what my tummy is used to, but it’s quite a savory treat for my tastebuds!  Plus, I’m on a bit of a lentil kick these days.  Did I mention this is so very kind on your wallet too?  Oh, and don’t bother sitting down to wait for the cooking to be complete … it’ll be done before you even set the table!

1 cup lentils, uncooked (or 1 cup canned – skip step 1 if using canned)
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
Fresh coriander (optional)

Lime-curry vinaigrette
1/8 cup canola oil
6 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground coriander


1) Cook the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes – drain and allow to cool.
2) Cook the quinoa until translucent and tender (2 parts boiling water
or stock, 1 part quinoa, simmered until all water has evaporated) –
allow to cool.
3) Chop scallions; and add along with lentils and quinoa to a large
serving bowl.
4) Place all ingredients for vinaigrette in a separate bowl and stir
thoroughly (you can adjust spices to suit your taste).
5) Add vinaigrette to mixture and combine thoroughly.
6) Garnish with fresh coriander if desired, and serve at room temperature.



Lentils, Sweet Potatoes, and Swiss-Chard Curry

Don’t be afraid of curry, that’s my motto.  There are so many varieties, ranging from the sweet to super hot, so find one that is right for you.  I like ’em all.  This one is another work-week quick fix … and once you have it nailed down, it’ll surely become a go-to.  You can sub in a bunch of different ingredients for each major veg (try regular potatoes or spinach).  Did I mention the health benefits here?  You can guess I’m sure – just look at that ingredient list!


2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, grated (for fresh, make sure you peel & grate first)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded if desired), minced
4-5 cups vegetable broth
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils (I use green)
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced (or you
can sub fresh spinach)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime


1) In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
2) Add onion to pan and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
3) Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno, and
cook (while stirring) for 1 minute.
4) Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf, then
increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
5) Once boiled, reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for
20-25 minutes.
Note – if lentils seem hard still, add up to 1/2-1 cup stock, as needed
6) Stir in chard with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until
lentils are nice and tender and chard is cooked (approx 30-40
7) Before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice – then spoon
into bowls and savor!!!lentils-for-sprouting


Baked Tomato Risotto February 9, 2009

Okay, sometimes I just don’t have the time to stand over a simmering pot for an hour stirring away … sometimes I just want the quick-and-dirty route.  So here’s a fix for a mid-week hankering for sumptuous creamy risotto – start this healthy risotto on the stove, then simply plop it in the oven and walk away.  Don’t worry – you’ll come back soon enough once it’s done … your nose and growling tummy will make sure of that!


2 tbsp butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup arborio or long-grain rice

19-oz can stewed tomatoes (any “Italian” flavour will work really)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp dried oregano leaves

1 tsp each garlic powder, salt and sugar

5 oz (1 log) goat cheese, crumbled

5 oz pkg baby spinach, about 8 cups

extra shaved Parmesan cheese


1) Preheat oven to 400F (200C)., and melt butter in a large, ovenproof saucepan over medium heat.

2) Add onion and stir often until soft, 5 min.

3) Stir in rice until coated, then tomatoes – ensuring to stir often until liquid is almost absorbed, 4 to 5 min.

4) Then stir in broth, seasonings and sugar, and bring to a boil (stirring often!)

5) Tightly cover pan and bake in centre of oven until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 to 40 min.

6) Remove from oven, and stir in cheese and half the spinach.

7) Spoon into bowls and top with remaining spinach (and shaved Parmesan cheese if you wismicrowave-tomato-risotto-de-31096358h).