Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato lentil soup

I love making soup because you get to throw everything in a pot and let the stove do the rest of the work. This soup tastes great and has some healthy ingredients too.

What You’ll Need

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped

4 small carrots (or 3 medium), chopped

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp salt & pepper

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

48 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
(I used diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion– but plain would work too)

1 cup of brown lentils

How to Prepare

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and carrots. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 mins.

3. Add ginger, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 mins.

4. Pour in chicken broth, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juice), and lentils. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

This makes about 8-10 servings.

recipe adapted from: cookingwithmykid.com

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It’s About the Paths You Take

quote superhero

I love this quote because it can apply to everyone in a different way.

We are all given a talent and a set of traits, but these characteristics alone do not define us, it’s how we use them that makes us who we are.

If you are excellent at public speaking it can be seen as a positive (or a super “power”) especially since that is a difficult skill for many people. But if you use this strength to do evil (Hitler comes to mind) your negative actions will outweigh the “super power” you have.

It can be viewed the opposite way as well. Everyone has a certain thing about themselves they do not like. It could be anything from a bad situation they are in to a negative personality trait, but how you use this situation/trait will determine the type of life you will live.

Learn a lesson, become a stronger person, and use what you have been blessed with to bless others.

(by the way- I drew the picture for this entry. I am not too good at drawing, but I tried. I had to look at something for inspiration as it would have come out much worse if I made it up haha. The girl looks sorta mermaid-ish with the star in her hair though.)

Think it and Make it Happen

what we think we become

This is a quote spoken by Buddha (and there have been many variations of it).
 If you tell yourself that something is too hard, you will begin to believe it and prevent yourself from fully applying yourself and giving all you can give. If instead you think positively, you will believe that you can achieve your goal which will give you the strength to fight the battle.

If you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. Feed your mind with things that will help you grow and motivate you to become a better person.  If you can conquer your thoughts you can conquer your battles.

Greek Lima Beans

Greek Lima Beans

I don’t think lima beans have much of a flavor on their own, but this recipe gives them a nice taste. This recipe calls for mint leaves, but keep in mind there are two types of mint (peppermint and spearmint). From what I have read, traditionally you cook with spearmint, but I used a combination of both. Whatever you have on hand should be fine.

WHAT YOU NEED

10 oz frozen lima beans

1 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

3Tbsp parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
(approx. 15 leaves. I used mostly spearmint leaves and a few peppermint)

3 big cloves of garlic

zest from 1 lemon

1 oz feta cheese

salt & pepper

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Put oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute to soften garlic.

2. Add the lima beans, water, 1 tbsp mint, 2 tbsp parsley, and some salt. (the remaining herbs will be added at the end)

3. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and reduce heat.

4. Cook for approx. 17 minutes or until the beans are soft.

5. Remove from heat and add remaining herbs, lemon zest and pepper. Crumble feta cheese on top.

You can serve this dish with a variety of food. I had it with steak and red potatoes as shown below.

steak - lima beans - potatoessteak - lima beans - potatoes - dinner

recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp

honey lime grilled shrimp

I made this shrimp for a party and it was very very tasty! It can be served as an appetizer or part of your main course.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

2 lbs raw, shelled, de-veined shrimp

1 jar (4 oz) hot chili paste
(look in the ethnic section of the grocery store. I used Thai Kitchen brand)

1 cup of honey

1/2 cup of lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)

1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh minced ginger

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup canola oil (you could substitute with coconut oil)

Approx. 10 bamboo or metal skewers

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Rinse shrimp and place in a large ziplock bag.

2. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

3. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade to use when ready to cook.

4. Pour the rest of the marinade in the bag and coat the shrimp.

5. Put the bag of shrimp w/ marinade in a bowl/container to prevent from leaking.

6. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours.
(I marinated mine for about 35 hours)

7. When ready to cook, thread the shrimp onto the skewers and fire up the grill.

  • *Some people recommend soaking bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling to avoid them catching fire. I have read that it doesn’t really help, but use your own judgement. I didn’t soak my skewers, but I also lined the grill with foil.
  • *I baked a few in the oven to try them out before I served them at a party. So if you wish to bake them instead of grilling, they will still turn out delicious. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

8. Put shrimp on the grill and pour the reserved marinade on top.

9. Cook the shrimp for a few minutes on each side until pink.

*Be sure to keep an eye on them because shrimp cook very fast!

10. Once fully cooked, take off the grill and pull off the skewers to serve in a bowl. You can give each person an individual skewer if you prefer.

This recipe was adapted from: ourbestbites.com

The Benefits of Cucumbers

I love to eat cucumbers and I was wondering what benefits they actually had. So, I did some research and compiled it all together so I could share it with everyone. I know that cucumbers may not be a favorite among most, but maybe this information will convince you to add cucumbers to your diet and serve as reinforcement to those who already enjoy them. You can check out my snack recipe for cucumbers here. And If you have a favorite cucumber recipe I’d love for you to share.

cucumber benefits

information gathered from: livestrong.com and nutrition-and-you.com

Cucumbers Topped with Tuna, Dried Mango & Cranberries

cucumbers-tuna-fruit

This is a healthy snack idea or could even be eaten for lunch.

If you want to make it like a little sandwich, you could even put an extra cucumber slice on top.

WHAT YOU NEED

Tuna fish (prepared how you like it, read below to see my preference)

1/2  Cucumber sliced (or however many slices you want to make)

Dried fruit of your choice

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Prepare tuna the way you normally would.

-I put a little bit of mayo, relish, and onions in mine.

  • Cut the cucumber into slices, spread a little tuna on each slice and top with dried fruit

(my favorite is cranberries)

If you don’t like the skin you could peel it, but remember the skin has a lot of nutrients!

If you want to know the benefits of cucumber read my post here.

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