Quick and easy lentil soup


Man! Since coming home from Utah late Sunday night and then diving headlong into teaching school early Monday morning, I had absolutely no time to shop and cook. Rather than going out to eat, I would rather make something quick and nutritious. This recipe is just that. It took me 20 minutes from start to finish on the prep time. Of course I had to let it simmer for 40 minutes after the prep. Here’s the low down:

Chop 1 cup onion, 1/2 cup carrot, 1/2 cup celery. Cook in a good pot with 2 Tlbs olive oil. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the veggies are nice and soft.

Add 2 quarts veggie broth, 1 pound rinsed lentils, 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. roasted coriander, 1/2 tsp. ground grains of paradise.

Bring to a boil then immediately turn down heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Spaghetti squash with marinara and vegan Parmesan cheese


You need to buy:
1 spaghetti squash
Or-1 pkg whole wheat noodles
1 onion
1 8 oz pkg mushrooms
coconut oil
italian seasoning (or basil, rosemary and oregano)
32 oz canned tomatoes (whole)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 Tlbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

First you need to cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (it takes a bit of muscle to cut it in half, but stick with it….it’s worth it)

Then put it in the oven at 350, face down. Let it cook while you prepare the sauce and Parmesan “cheese.”

Chop up one onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and 1 8oz pkg mushrooms

Then begin cooking the onions in a very hot pan. We like to use our wok. (But you can use any pot) You can cook them with coconut oil, or veggie broth, or even just water. Make sure you get them nice and soft (this is important).

Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms yield their juices and get soft. Stir it while you are doing this. Add 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning. I buy a big jar of this at Sams.

You could use 2 tsp basil, 2tsp Rosemary, 2 tsp oregano instead.

Use one quart (32 ounces) canned tomatoes. I think you can buy a 28 oz can and a 14 oz can to equal 32. Put the tomatoes in a blender. And add to the onions, mushroom mix.

If you don’t have a blender, just smash them good with a fork. If using a blender, pulse this about 3 times.
Add 1 small can tomato paste also and cook and stir until it thickened and smooth. I forgot to tell you, I salt the onions and mushrooms while I’m cooking them. Just shake shake shake 🙂
Let this simmer while you make the “cheese”

For the cheese, put 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 2 Tlbs nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt….put all of these into a food processor and process until fine and almost powdery.

This is what it looks like

Daddy and Samuel thought it was brown sugar. Haha!!

So you can then boil some whole wheat noodles. When they are soft, drain them and cook with the sauce. It absorbs into the noodles and Samuel and daddy like that.

Or you can save some sauce (or all of it) and put it over the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle parm “cheese” on top and voila! Sooooo super yummy!!

Before you put the sauce on, scrape the squash with a fork. It comes off in strings just like spaghetti! Once you’ve scraped it, leave it in the shell (it makes a bowl!) and put marinara and cheese on top.

Pinto Beans!!

I’m so excited about this simple and easy vegan dish. It’s sooooo yummy too! We made it the other day when we went to Houston for a temple trip and it was just perfect when we came home all hungry.

So last night I measured out one pound of dry pinto beans. You should sort through them quickly for rocks. Then put them in a bigger container and fill full with water. The water should be a good 3 inches above the beans (or more). They will swell as they absorb the water.

Then last night I chopped up 1 onion, three carrots, 3 celery stalks and 3 garlic cloves and put them in a ziploc bag in the fridge.

I even had some left over to put into snack sized ziploc baggies for lunches.

Then I went to bed! In the wee hours of the morning (around 5:00AM) I rinsed off the beans, put them in the crockpot along with the veggies I prepared, 2 quarts (8 cups) of water, 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes and 2 Tablespoons of salt. I put the setting on low and set it for 14 hours. It won’t need that much time, but that might be how long I am gone from home.

It smells so good already!! I can’t wait. I am going to make some brown rice when I get home and have a nice salad. Dinner will be all ready!
I am going to buy you a thermos right now. Something like this (or taco soup) could be heated up in the morning and put in the thermos and you would have it for lunch for a few days.





Samuel’s Salmon Dinner

I bought salmon on Saturday thinking we would have it for Sunday dinner by that didn’t happen. We ended up going to an organ concert and just eating leftovers. So I decided to make salmon tonight (Monday). First I made a rice pilaf from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
3/4 cups long grain rice toasted in 1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped celery
Sautéed in 1 Tablespoon butter
Add the toasted rice along with:
1 1/2 teaspoon bouillon granules
Dash of pepper
1 1/2 cups water
Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Crumble up 2 pieces of well cooked bacon and stir into the rice.

Then I made some salmon using Amber friend Holland’s recipe.
Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, and Dill
Serves 4
1 lb. salmon filet
2 T. olive oil
Garlic, minced, to taste
Sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper, to taste
Fresh dill, chopped, to taste
Lemon slices
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then coat it with cooking spray.
Combine the olive oil and garlic and spread evenly over the top of the fish. Season with sea salt, pepper
and dill. Layer with lemon slices. Place skin side down on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Remove from the oven and serve with
additional lemon slices if desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe from For the Love of Cooking.
Holland’s notes
The original recipe calls for 2 t. butter and 1 t. olive oil instead of 2 T. olive oil. Using all olive oil instead
worked just great. I used 2 T. because 3 t. wasn’t enough.
The original recipe calls for 1 t. garlic, minced, but I definitely used way more than that. I’d say at least 4 t.
We used packaged salmon filets from Costco. They were great!

And then I steam some broccoli. Here are the pictures!


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