There are many traditions around the world that involve serving select foods on New Year's eve and January 1st to bring good luck. There are black-eyed peas, long noodles, greens, pomegranates, herring, cornbread, pork, and my personal favorite - lentils. Lentils, shaped like coins, swell into larger amounts in liquid - symbols of future wealth and good fortune. Some are even green, like currency. Also, lentils are an abundant source of protein for many people throughout the world.
Low in calories, rich in iron, folate, and fiber, as well as, an excellent source of protein, lentils are the perfect legume to eat in salads, soups, stews, and as a substitute for red meat. Lentils can be a bit tricky to cook and can turn out mushy so here are a few tips:
In addition to rinsing and soaking prior to cooking, brine the lentils to soften the lentil skins and cook the interiors evenly.
Mild salting during cooking guarantees a creamy, pillowy texture.
In addition to serving this for breakfast at home, these gluten free granola yogurt cups are yummy for breakfast when camping, or as a snack after hiking or biking, or for the end to an outdoor summer meal on the patio. They are easy to make ahead of time and travel well. Enjoy!
Granola Yogurt Cups Makes 12 Servings
1 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil, cooled
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup fresh blueberries for topping
Preheat oven to 350°
Place oats and nuts/seeds in a food processor and blend into small pieces. Add the flax seed, dried fruit, orange zest, ci...
Fresh beets and beet greens are packed with nutrients. Beets are rich in folate, fiber, nitric oxide, and antioxidants. They help improve blood flow and can help neutralize toxins and fight inflammation. Beet greens are packed with vitamin A, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Here is an easy and tasty recipe to make which will make your heart and the rest of your body happy!
ROASTED BEETS WITH SAUTEED BEET GREENS
1 bunch of beets with greens (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 TBSP fresh orange juice
I TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the stems and leaves from the beet root and set aside.
Scrub the beet root with a vegetable brush and water until it is clean, and cut off any long "tail" ends.
Cut the beets in quarters, place in a bowl, and coat with the melted coconut oil.
ROASTED CRANBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE FLATBREAD - This dish uses seasonal ingredients, is easy to make, and is festive. It is perfect to serve your holiday guests for lunch or dinner. This recipe serves 8.
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
3 TBSP pure organic maple syrup
1 TBSP chopped leeks
2 flatbreads ( 14 oz each)
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/2 tsp chopped dried thyme
Salt to taste
Toppings: fresh arugula, pomegranate arils, and honey
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Mix cranberries, maple syrup, leeks, thyme, and salt in a 8" square baking dish. Roast, stirring every so often, until the mixture begins to caramelize (about 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and stir until the cranberries are broken down and the mixture is thick. Let cool for 5 minutes.
2. Divide the cranberry mixture and spread evenly over the flatbreads. Top each with goat cheese and pecans. Bake directly on the oven rack for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is warmed and the flatbr...
These muffin tin delights taste like pumpkin pie and are scrumptious! This recipe for PUMPKIN AND PEAR STRATAS uses several favorite fall ingredients and is a change from ordinary muffin tin egg recipes for breakfast. A strata is like a bread pudding but with less of a custard base. These stratas are easy to make, using a silicone muffin pan, and can be made ahead which makes it a good choice to serve for out of town guests over the holidays. The recipe makes 12 strata muffins which serves about 6 people. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving to you all!
This summer I have been preparing dishes using sorghum and really like this recipe because it uses several items from your summer garden. Sorghum's health benefits, besides being gluten free, are that it is high in fiber, it has lots of protein, and it is packed with nutrients. And it tastes yummy!
SPANISH SORGHUM STUFFED PEPPERS
3.5 cups cooked sorghum
4 large bell peppers, halved, seeds removed
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 cup fresh cooked corn
1 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ripe avocado
fresh lime juice
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Parboil the peppers until they are a little soft (this shortens the baking time). Let cool.
3. Brush the peppers with avocado oil (or a high heat oil of your choice).
4. Add the cooked sorghum to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredi...
Need something green to go with your corned beef and cabbage? Try this Rainbow Salad with Avocado Dressing:
2 large red and/or golden beets, cleaned and peeled
6 cups curly kale, cleaned and chopped
3 TBSP soft goat cheese, crumbled
3 tsp sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
2 cloves garlic
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped (any fresh herb can be substituted)
2 tsp raw honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice off the ends of the beets. Working one at a time, secure beets in a spiral slicer and turn the crank to create noodles.
2. In a large bowl, combine beet noodles, kale, cheese, and seeds. Set aside.
3. In a food processor or blender, add all the dressing ingredients plus 8 TBSP of water and process until smooth. Add more water, a little at a time, and process until the dressing reaches desired consistency. (Note: I use 12...
Ham and Lentil Soup - This lentil soup is an ideal meal on a chilly winter day. It is a great recipe to use any ham bones left over from the holidays. Freeze the soup in individual size servings for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
Yield: 8-10 servings
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of diced onions
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced carrots
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
3-4 smoked ham hocks or a ham bone
2 quarts of low-sodium, organic chicken stock
1 pound of organic orange lentils
3 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dried thyme)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add the oil to a large 6-quart pot and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 4 minutes.
Add the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and saute for another minute.
Add the ham hocks/ham bone and chicken stock.
Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-lo...