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What to make this weekend

Happy Friday. This week has flown by. I don’t want even to think about the sheer number of words that have come out of my mouth while talking with patients or that I’ve written or typed in the past few days. I’m ready for a little downtime.

red lentil soup with hemp seedsSaturday I’m going to be helping set up for the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York and then indulging in a little karaoke silliness—and hopefully Korean BBQ. Sunday plans include a half-shift at the hospital and hopefully some yoga.  I did a lot of cooking on Thursday so won’t be doing much food prep or recipe-testing over the weekend. I plan to enjoy a lot of soup and toast. Fancy, I know.

For those of you who plan to spend some time in the kitchen, what’s on the agenda? Any fun experiments you’d been meaning to try? Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

I love the idea of making my own fermented foods at home, but I’m such a scaredy-cat. Some years ago, my then-boyfriend made cashew cheese that spent a week wrapped in a towel in a cabinet, and after I ate some, I laid awake for hours waiting for botulism-related eye twitches to set in. Still, this recipe for homemade sauerkraut (in a mason jar, no less) sounds pretty badass.

A bunch of clicking around led me to this 2010 post for an egg baked into a sweet potato on The Daily Balance. Um, I need this in my life.

Speaking of vegetables, I loved this article on what a serving of vegetables looks like. A good visual makes all the difference.

Maybe it’s my age, but I feel like all of a sudden I know tons of people who are having babies. These lactation cookies from the Fitnessista would be a great gift for a new mom. Since I am a terrible baker, I’ll just keep sending goodies from Mouth or ordering from the registry, but you can try to make them…

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re planning to try? 

What to make this Weekend

Happy Friday! How’s your week been? What are you looking forward to this weekend? I’m working at the hospital, so food-wise, we’re looking at a lot of pre-made oatmeal, salads, and the like. Pros and cons.

For people with normal lives/work schedules, weekends are a great time for food-prep and trying new recipes. I’m always on the lookout for great ideas for myself and my clients and loved this round-up I saw on The Kitchn this week. Amanda Hesser’s “Fancy Refrigerator Salad” over on Food 52 sounds pretty dope too. Apparently I say, “dope,” now. Year of Changes, what did I tell you?

Red lentil soup with egg Lately, I’m obsessed with red lentils. As I mentioned the other day, they’re one of my mainstays. Sunday night, I made pan-seared scallops with spinach & pancetta over red lentils (similar to this business from summer, 2013). Tuesday, I made a giant pot of red lentil soup (recipe coming Monday) that I enjoyed in various forms throughout the week.

I think, by far, the strangest was Thursday’s breakfast, which was enjoyed post-yoyga and errands: ~ 6oz (all that was left) of soup with some roasted cauliflower and eggplant, served over steamed kale and topped with hummus, Trader Joe’s eggplant dip, and a little goat cheese. Oh, and a poached egg because, well, duh. I feel like there needs to be a cookbook called, “Yes, you can put an egg on that.” Or “If you liked it then you should have put an egg on it.” Or “Poached Eggs: A love story.”

While we’re on the subject of morning meals, it never hurts to keep in mind that Protein + Fat + Carbs = Breakfast that actually gets you from Point A to Point B, even if you end up staying in your sweaty gym clothes until, like, 1 pm. Ah, the glamor of working from home…

It’s probably a good thing I will not have much cooking time this coming weekend, as my freezer is once again running out of room. And because I need to stop listening to Andrew Bird’s “Lazy Projector,” which has become my comfort-soup-making song as of late. I’ve got it bad, like, “listen to it on repeat” bad. Sorry, neighbors. And by that, I mean #sorrynotsorry. Le sigh, as the kids say.

What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking projects or food prep on the agenda? What song(s) can you not stop listening to? 

 

What to Make this Weekend

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking in your near future? Here are a few ideas for things to make over the next few days:

IMG_9134* I made this slow cooker black garlic pork tenderloin the other day and am so glad I did. It’s a recipe from last year I keep going back to—so nice for cold days when you want some umami in your life.

*For whatever reason, I’ve found myself talking a lot about granola lately with Rise clients. While searching for recipes to pass on, I came across this great post from Gimme Some Oven with 15 Granola Recipes. I have a recipe for a chocolate coconut version you can try too.

Side note: I’ve also been on the lookout for helpful portion-control guides, and really liked this one.

Ways to use leftover sweet potatoes from Food 52. Somehow sweet potatoes fell off my radar there for a bit, but they’re finally back. Just the other night, I had some with veggies, sausage, and an egg. Perfect weeknight dinner.

*It’s cold. Soup needs to happen.

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re looking to try? 

Keep-It-Simple Chicken Soup

chicken quinuoa soupTalking to patients and clients and, you know, being a human, it seems that winter is an intense time for a lot of people. Life gets messy sometimes, feelings get complicated. The weather does not cooperate and our immune systems play with our expectations.

There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of adequate sleep, exercise, and some form of therapy. However, I think soup is also a very important part of the winter survival process. Today I have a simple chicken soup for those weeks when you just want to hide under the covers.

For this recipe, I made my chicken in the slow cooker before I went off for an afternoon at the clinic so it would be ready when I got home. You could also use a rotisserie chicken from a store and remove the meat from the bone and trim off the skin. You could also roast your own or brown the meat and then add the rest of the ingredients—it all depends on your comfort level, time, and kitchen set-up.

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cooked
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp each rosemary and oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the soup: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp each rosemary and oregano
  • 8 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (optional)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and top with broth, spices, and lemon zest. Cook on low 4-5 hours.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and spices. Cook until soft.
  3. Add water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add quinoa. Cover.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes. Add quick and spinach and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What’s your favorite winter survival tip? 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

What to Make this Weekend

Happy Friday! What are you getting into this weekend? I’m working at the hospital and prepping for some upcoming events. Weirdly enough, I’m also really looking forward to sleeping. I have no reason to want to hide under the covers or anything, but I am just obsessed with the many layers of blankets on my bed.

As far as food is concerned, all I want this week is soup and salad. And toast with hummus and roasted eggplant slices on it. I made some chicken soup the other day (recipe coming soon) that paired very nicely with said salad & toast. And some Larry David on the side..Soup and Larry

 

One of the best things about having TV is watching old Seinfeld reruns. I also loved Curb Your Enthusiasm.

If I were to spend some time cooking this weekend, here’s what would be on the agenda…

Julia Moskin’s Beef Bone Broth. I am so curious to try bone broth, and my mom has been raving about this recipe. Must try soon…

My salmon obsession continues. I’ve been eyeing this BBQ Salmon BLT Salad from Iowa Girl Eats.

Another salad! This gorgeous winter salad from How Sweet It Is makes me want to go buy blood oranges right this minute.

Speaking of salad, this infographic my friend Linda shared with my is awesome! I <3 Lifehacker.

What are you up to this weekend? Any special cooking projects? Thoughts on bone broth? 

What to Make this Weekend

Eli lounging So, this week started out kind of scary, when Eli ate a bunch of rat poison and had to be rushed to the vet. Luckily, he is okay now. They induced vomiting and were, like, “So, Eli ate a bunch of rat poison, but here’s the good news.” My parents didn’t even know they had any rat poison in the house (they’re super-careful about these things and think it may have been put there by the former owner at least before they moved in 13 years ago), and I just so happened to be there and see some weird blue stuff in his crate—likely within a few minutes of him finding and eating it. Now he’s on vitamin K for a month.

First it was the acute kidney failure and the renal diet, now this. Dude has, like, a f***ing posse of guardian angels.

I think all the crying on Sunday knocked down the door to my immune system, and then it got really cold and I got laryngitis. All-night coughing fits will do that, I suppose. That said, despite adequate sleep and my inability to speak above a whisper, I’ve been weirdly peppy. I bounded out of bed at 5 yesterday morning, like, “Hello, world!” Must be the Mucinex? I finally dragged myself to the doctor, where I was prescribed a 3-day course of Things I Would Normally Avoid. I do love the Dr. Evil pictures on the wall at the walk-in place, though. Dr Evil Urgent Care

I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of cooking, as the food demo that was supposed to happen Thursday was canceled by the client, and I have tons of prepped food in the fridge. I am experimenting with freezing cooked quinoa and coming up with ways to use the 3 pounds of beets and 2 pounds of squash I roasted in anticipation of creating recipes in front of strangers. All for the best, though, because they would have had to crowd around me to hear as I tossed seasonal stuff with red quinoa while wearing gloves, croaking about fiber and carotenoids for glowing skin in the dead of winter. Full disclosure: It took me three tries to spell “carotenoids” correctly.

Turns out giant salads with makeshift hash (complete with shredded brussels sprouts, uncured bacon from the freezer, and eggs) are great ways to use up roasted root veggies and the like.

Here are some unrelated food things that sounded good to me as I perused the interwebs between coughing fits and gulping fluids.

*These Apple Peanut Butter “delights” from the Pioneer Woman look delicious. I love that she uses whole wheat English muffins too. You could skip the sugar, though, since apples naturally get sweeter when you cook them.

*This noodle soup from Gena Hemshaw of Choosing Raw sounds very nice to my sore throat. Something to make once I’ve drained my supply of soups (including last week’s lentil soup) from the freezer. I am not allowed to make new soup until I’ve made space for it in there.

*These adorable mini-cakes in mason jars sound like fun and look super-easy to make, even for people like me who do not bake. It’s not exactly picnic weather, but I’m fever-dreaming about Central Park in the summertime.

*This isn’t a recipe, but this Sh*t Juicers Say video totally made my sick-day yesterday. Also love that they use music by Spoon and Belle & Sebastian.

What are you up to this weekend? Any recipes you’re looking to try? 

Easy Red Lentil Soup

Nonna's Smoky SauceI cook when I’m procrastinating. Last month, when faced with 8 projects and very little time in which to complete them, I just had to make soup one morning. I saw this jar of Nonna’s Smoky Sauce from City Saucery, grabbed a bag of red lentils from the cupboard, and decided to see what would happen.

Served over steamed kale and topped with a spoonful of goat cheese, the result made for a delicious lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 24-oz jar tomato sauce of choice

Directions: 

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add red lentils, stir to coat. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add sauce and stir. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Do you procrastinate? What do you do when you “should” be doing other things? 

What to Make this Weekend: Lucky Lentil Soup

Happy LentilsHappy Friday! Hope your 2015 is off to a great start. Traditionally, there are certain foods eaten on New Years Day that are thought to be “lucky.” I like to extend that to all of January. I really feel like this first month of the year can set the tone for the months to come. Here’s the lentil soup I made to enjoy yesterday.

This soup features lentils-round foods are thought to attract money because they resemble coins-and greens because, well, green = money. Money soup! It also happens to be full of protein and fiber to help you stay full (helpful if you’re trying to stick to a weight-loss goal) and plenty of vitamins A, C, D, and K plus B-vitamins like folate and B-6 as well as iron. The potassium in this soup can also help with hangover headaches and muscle cramps leftover from dancing on New Year’s Eve. It also happens to be delicious. My favorite way to enjoy this is with a poached egg on top-the added protein, omega-3, and choline make it a good “brain food” for the dead of winter.

Ingredients:

1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 8-oz container sliced white mushrooms
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
1 tsp herbes de Provence (or a mix of rosemary, oregano, and thyme)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, carrot, and celery until soft.
Add mushrooms and herbs. Cook until just beginning to get soft, about 5 minutes.
Add broth or more water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add kale a little at a time, stirring in until wilted. Add more broth or water if needed.
Add lentils. Cook for another 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Top with a poached egg if desired.

***

Some other things you can make this weekend:

Here, from Food 52,  are some creative uses for (leftover?) champagne you may have from New Year’s Eve. People actually end up with leftover champagne?

If you’re totally over alcohol and thinking about what the hell you’re going to eat for dinner in these first weeks of 2015, they also have a great round-up of weeknight recipes.

Since my mom’s birthday is coming up next week, I’m visiting the family Sunday for a little celebration. I will not subject their collective palate to my attempt at making a birthday cake, but this S’mores Cake in a Jar recipe from How Sweet It Is sounds like it would be fun to try. I don’t care if it’s from 2011 and mason jars as serving vessels are “out”—let me have my nostalgic mason jar moment.

What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking on the agenda?

3 Things to Make This Weekend

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? If you’re anywhere in the northeast, you’ve probably been making lots of small talk about the freezing weather, but it’s supposed to “warm up” a bit for a few days—in the 40’s and mostly sunny here in NYC. I’m not planning to do a ton of cooking, as I’ll be working at the hospital through Monday, but here are a few things for you to try.

golden milk 1.) Golden Milk. Bone-chilling days call for warming drinks. And no, for once in my life, I do not mean bourbon. I’ve been using turmeric and ginger potions as a col remedy for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever written about golden milk. Basically, you slowly boil some milk and add turmeric and ginger. Then you grind a little black pepper on top, sweeten with honey to taste.  This post from Fresh Bites Daily gives a pretty good background—and recipe. I like to use organic low-fat milk, but you can definitely use coconut milk or almond milk if preferred.

2.) Have you tried my eggplant lentil soup yet? I’m obsessed with it. Try it with a poached egg and some feta or goat cheese on top. Perfect cold-day comfort food. I like to add a little steamed kale or spinach (aka—greens that have been zapped in the microwave) for a little color, fiber, vitamin boost.

3.) This baby kale breakfast salad from How Sweet it Is. This is what I think of when I think of brunch. And by brunch I mean the kind I will never know because it involves sleeping past, like, ten a.m., but I would totally make this for lunch-called-brunch. Champagne optional. I know I’m a dietitian and all, but there is absolutely room in life for salad with bacon and poached eggs on it. If your arteries clench up just thinking about it, you could always, like, skip the baked-in-butter croutons and use olive oil instead of bacon grease in the dressing. Whatever makes it work for you.

Have a lovely weekend!

What are you planning to make this weekend? What do you think of when you think of brunch? 

 

Eggplant Lentil Soup

When the temperatures drop, I crave tomato-based soups and sauces like crazy. Perhaps it’s some misplaced longing for summer? I refuse to buy fresh tomatoes once they’re out of season because it’s kind of like dating a blander version of that ex you’re not over: Just not the same, no matter how much wine you drink.

tr_logoCanned tomatoes are the perfect solution, and I always stock up once I’ve adequately mourned the end of the summer season. When the folks at Tuttorosso tomatoes sent me a bunch, it was the perfect excuse to make an updated version of an old idea. This Eggplant Lentil soup will keep you warm on many a lonely winter night, especially since it makes, like, a billion servings. Or ten.

eggplant lentil soupEggplant Lentil Soup

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed, peeled, or diced tomatoes
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 2o minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent.
  3. Add spices, zucchini, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften and then add wine. Raise heat and bring to a boil for one minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add lentils and cook on low another 15 minutes.

What foods do you refuse to buy out of season? Any favorite soup recipes? 

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