Winter Lentil Soup


While the rest of the country is experiencing abnormal heat waves, we here in Washington are getting our April showers a little early. It has been pouring nearly everyday, all day, until the clouds decide to part in the early evening for a couple hours. And then the rainclouds roll back in. And that’s when I’m grateful to come home to a warm pot of vegetable soup, simmering in my crockpot.

Winter Lentil Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced , undrained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours. Yep, it’s that easy.


Coconut Daal


Thanks to a huge vet bill, we’re starting to tap into our pantry goods for meals. Pippin is fine. She just had her annual check-up with a full workup that showed she has hypothyroidism. We are getting her on meds and hoping this will help her shed a few pounds and take care of her chronic ear infections. She’s also going in for some dental work next week and we are removing a couple tumors and getting biopsies. I have a feeling they are nothing but we have to make sure.


So anyway, yeah, we are eating down the pantry a bit in an effort to save some dough. There will be spaghetti, chili, probably a tuna noodle casserole – all the standard cheap and filling pantry dinners. But there will also be some more adventurous things like this coconut daal. It’s simple and satisfying.


Coconut Daal

1 1/2 c red lentils
1 14-oz can coconut milk, light
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 T oil
1 tsp dry mustard
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
dash of cayenne
1 tsp curry powder
2 T cilantro, chopped
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp garam masala

In a medium saucepan, combine lentils, water, coconut milk, salt and turmeric. Cook on medium, simmer until lentils are tender.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium. Sauté onion until soft. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through. Stir into cooked lentils and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Soup


This is the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. And I eat pretty well so that’s saying something. I mean, I know you can’t really go wrong with buffalo but this soup was a home run. Don’t skimp on making the croutons/toast topping – they made this soup.


Buffalo Chicken Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used leftover rotisserie chicken.)

1 Tbls olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon flour

32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Cholula)

1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

sliced whole wheat baguettes, toasted with parmesan cheese (I used spelt bread and made croutons.)

sliced green onions, crumbled gorgonzola and cilantro for topping

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions with a sprinkle of salt to the pot, stirring to coat, then cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Sprinkle in flour and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add in stock, buffalo sauce, chicken and grated cheese, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.

Serve soup and top with toasted baguettes, cilantro, green onions and gorgonzola.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew


As much as I would love to say that soup season is over, I’m not really seeing an end in sight. It’s cold, rainy, and windy and there is no sign of it letting up. So in the meantime, I’ll keep sipping on my warm, salty soup, curled up on the couch with a blanket and a movie.


Spanish Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Original Recipe here.

  • 2 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes,  undrained
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 12 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and very slightly browned. 

    Add spinach, diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and soy sauce, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened into a thick stew, about 30 minutes total.

    Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup


    I’ve been battling a chest cold the past few days and basically living off of Thera-flu, Emergen-C and cough drops. My nose is red, my throat is scratchy, and I feel like I have a ten pound weight on my chest. Normally, I would saddle up with a bowl of chicken soup and call it a day but I’m trying to be more mindful about our meat consumption… which has been basically every single day since we ended our detox. Oops. So now that we made up for lost time, I’m back to trying to incorporate more plant based meals into our lives. It’s a constant battle, an ebb and flow. I know that there will be phases in our lives where we are better than others – it’s just finding that balance.

    So I knew I wanted to do a vegetable soup but just veggies in broth is boring and we did a lot of my favorite veggie soups over the detox so I was itching for something new. This Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup sounded up my alley. And spice helps clear at your sinuses, right? Win. I cheated and used pre-made red chile paste but I liked that the recipe had you make your own. But I’m sick. And lazy. So out of a jar it is!


    Spicy Thai Vegetable Soup

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbls red chile paste
  • 1 tsp red miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, diced
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Bring broth to a boil in saucepan over high heat. Stir in soy sauce, chile paste, miso paste, and ginger. Add turnip and mushrooms, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes. Add tofu, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in arugula, mint, and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, or until herbs wilt.

    Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque


    So, I know we just had another carrot soup last week but this recipe came in my email from Vegetarian Times. I was going to delete it after just seeing the title but somehow I accidentally opened it on my phone and my eyes caught one of the ingredients: banana. Um, say what? A banana in my soup? Ok, now this is something I must try. Apparently banana curry is a semi-common thing that I’ve apparently never heard of. Strange. I’m happy to report that the banana did add a nice silky texture to the soup and a bit of sweetness to cut the spice and didn’t taste like banana at all.


    Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque

    • 1 Tbs. olive oil
    • 1 large sweet onion, diced
    • 1 tsp.  salt
    • 4 tsp. minced fresh ginger
    • 1 Tbs. curry powder
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
    • 4 1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
    • 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
    • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
    • 1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk
    • 2 1/2 Tbs. lime juice

    1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and and sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add curry powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion and ginger with curry mixture.
    2. Add carrots, banana, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, or until carrots are soft enough to be pierced with fork.
    3. Purée soup with immersion blender or in batches in blender. Return soup to pot, and stir in coconut milk and lime juice, reserving a small portion of the coconut milk for garnish.
    4. Ladle soup in bowls, and garnish with coconut milk into each serving.

    WIAW: Detox Week 3

    Fingers are crossed for a snow day today – we are supposed to get up to 10 inches! That’s huge in this area.

    Breakfast: Green Monster in new tumbler! Straws make drinking these so much easier. I always make them too thick to slurp.


    For two: 3 carrots, 1 banana, 3 cups frozen chopped spinach, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 2 scoops brown rice protein powder, 2 scoops Greens+, 3 cups unsweetened almond milk. That makes 2-24oz monsters that take me over an hour to drink while getting ready. Pills: Vit D, Vit B, Vit C, mutli-vitamin, Fish oil, glucosamine, glutamine. (And yes, they are in a smiley face, thanks to my husband!)

    It was a busy day at work after a 4-day weekend. I munched on grape tomatoes while processing paperwork and prepping for a big meeting. (<- I only said that so I sound important. But I’m not at all.)


    A slightly later than usual lunch: leftover Italian Vegetable Soup with Vegan Pesto (stirred in) that got devoured all too quickly. It’s actually a pretty big bowl – 4 cups I think? And lots of sweet potato and parsnip to fill me up.


    Also did really well on the water front – 3 Siggs at work and one at home.

    Afternoon snack at the office: 2 kiwis, skin and all.


    Afternoon snack at home so I don’t gnaw my arm off while cooking dinner: 3 tiny dates with almond butter.


    Dinner was yet another orange soup. Recipe to come, tomorrow probably.


    And I made a decent sized side salad to go with that looks kind of unappetizing but is really good: Earthbound Organics Herb Salad Mix + sundried tomatoes + capers + kalamata olives + homemade vinaigrette.


    It was a fabulous dinner and relatively normal. I don’t think that you can tell by looking at my daily eats that I’m on a detox and that’s what I love about this program. It isn’t extreme. Anyone can do it.


    Daily totals:

    Calories: 1658
    Carbs: 228g
    Protein: 69g
    Fat: 59g
    Fiber: 54g (wowsers!)


    I’m happy with that considering this is essentially a vegan diet. Normally, I’d shoot for a higher amount of protein but since I’m not weight lifting right now, it is less of an issue for me.

    And with that, that’s the last WIAW for the 3-week detox. I’ll be back next week with a little recap/reflection post for this go around but if you are itching to hear more about it, check out this post from 2010.