Friday, December 30, 2011

Superfood Soup (Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Lentils)

Although a warming soup made of super foods needs little excuse, here are mine: I have a cold right now. It's winter. Oh, and also, we just got done with Christmas and are heading into a time of year where New Year's Resolutions (and a gym membership for this girl) are looming.  
Time for a super healthy soup. 
This soup is incredible. The three main ingredients kale, sweet potatoes, and lentils are all considered "super foods."I just don't think you can go wrong here. Low in fat, high in everything good. 
As an added bonus, this soup is fairly quick to prepare and incredibly simple. If you prep all the ingredients beforehand you really just have to throw things in and set a timer. Make sure to make enough for leftovers, as you'll definitely want them . The end result is garlicky, healing, and apparently--unlike most things I like when I'm sick--very, very good for you! 

Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

By Jen, from Eating Clean
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 cups water

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons bittersweet paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
12 ounces fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 cups)
4 cups chopped fresh kale leaves (stems removed)
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Next, add garlic, cooking for about 30 seconds and stirring to combine with onions. Add all spices and salt, stir to combine. 

Next, add lentils and stir to coat with spices, onions and garlic. Pour in 5-7 cups of water (depending on how thick you like your soup--add less water for thicker soup). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and simmer until tender, about 10-12 minutes, then add kale and simmer for about 5 minutes. Crack fresh black pepper lightly over the soup and serve hot. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{Holiday Gift Guide #1} For Foodies Who Love to Read

Happy holidays! Although I've been watching Elf and playing Christmas tunes since early November, it's finally time (for normal, non-Christmas-obsessed people) to deck the halls and laze around near the Christmas tree. I can't quite enjoy it all yet, since I'm approximately a week away from defending my masters thesis. But, as I often do in the middle of stressful weeks, I'm constantly dreaming of what vacation will be like. At the top of my list? Reading food publications, novels and cookbooks. While sipping hot cocoa. And listening to Christmas music. It is going to be great. 

If you've got a foodie friend (who is also a bookworm) like me, this gift guide will help you find the perfect reading material for them to unwrap on Christmas day.

Food Writing Publications
#1 Lucky Peach {Cost: $28 for the rest of the subscription, starting with issue 3}
From David Chang and Peter Meehan, a collection of food essays and recipes with personality. This is the hottest thing for foodies this year, for good reason.

#2 Food & Wine subscription {Cost: $20, annually}
A well-regarded food magazine that includes food trends, recipes and articles. Sure you can go online for the same content, but to some people (including me) nothing beats turning the pages of a magazine, and keeping the laptop closed.

#3 Milk Cookbook {Cost: under $20}
Milk bar, Momofuku's creative dessert place in NYC, now has a cookbook. It's delightful, and combines recipes for crack pie and crazy cakes with quirky stories from pastry chef Christina Tosi.

#4 I'm Just Here For The Food, {Cost: under $25}
Alton Brown, per usual, provides a wealth of straightforward and incredibly useful information that results in better, more consistent cooking.

#5 Ruth Reichl Novels {Cost: approximately $10-$15/book}
Ruth Reichl is a mega-celebrity in the food world. Her novels give more detail on snippets of her incredible food-focused life, and include recipes at the end of each chapter. My favorites are: Comfort Me With Apples, Tender At The Bone, and Garlic and Sapphires.

#6 A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle  {Cost: $10}
This is a classic novel for foodies--the story of a man and his wife who move to Provence and enjoy the good life. It seems like they eat most of the time, but they also leave the house to buy food and get to know the community. It is full of beautiful writing about a beautiful lifestyle. 
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