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French Lentil Soup

This recipe is based off of basic traditional French Lentil Soup replacing chicken stock with vegetable stock.  It actually turns out like more of a hearty stew. Feel free to add more water or stock if you like it soupier. This recipe can be low maintenance as I created it using the slow cooker to keep things simple.

Eat more greens and pair this one with a nice mixed green salad!

Equipment Needed

Slow cooker
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Wooden Spoon
Serves 4


1 cup dry French lentils, rinsed well
4 cups organic, low sodium vegetable stock or broth
2 cups carbon filtered water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 T shallots, raw, chopped
1 onion, sweet, raw, chopped
3 medium carrots, raw, medium, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, raw, chopped
1/4 cup white rice, long grain, raw
2 each bay leaves, whole
1 t dried thyme
1 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1 T fresh sliced tarragon leaves
1 t fresh thyme leaves
2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cups chopped kale, raw
2 T fresh chopped parsley

Recipe Directions:

Add rinsed lentils, vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, shallots, onion, carrots, celery, rice, bay leaves, dried thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Add the fresh tarragon, thyme leaves, sage and kale.  Stir in to incorporate throughout soup.  Cook on high for 10 – 20 minutes until kale is fully wilted.  Serve hot and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with a nice mixed green salad.

Nutrient Analysis per serving:
Calories 320, Total Fat 1.3, Saturated fat 0.2, Trans Fat 0.0, Polyunsaturated fat 0.0, Monounsaturated Fat 0.0, Cholesterol 0.0, Sodium 636.9, Carbs 62, Fiber 20.5, Sugars 12.3, Protein 16.9



Red Cabbage and Apples

Red Cabbage with Apples

Red Cabbage and Apples paired with the acidity of the red table wine immediately brings your taste buds to Eastern Europe.  Flavors are sweet yet tart.

With no added oils, this dish is not only low-fat but gluten free too.  It is easy to prepare just let the small slow cooker do its job.

Go ahead and serve this one with Uzbek Vegetable Stew to make a complete meal.

Download and Print Recipe


Equipment Needed:

Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Mixing Spoon
Small Slow Cooker


1/2 head red cabbage, raw
2 medium apples w/skin, raw, chopped
1 onion, sweet, raw, chopped
1 tbsp sugar, brown
1 tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp pepper, black, ground
1 tsp mace, ground
1/4 cup wine, red table
1/2 cup apple juice

Recipe Directions:

Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve hot.

Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 139.4
Total Fat: 0.5
Saturated Fat: 0.1
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 311.2
Carbs: 32.0
Fiber: 4.7
Sugars:  23.1
Protein: 2.0

Uzbek Vegetable Stew

After dining at the Russian Tea Room in Chicago I just had to have the Domlama again. Now that the weather is turning cold and have been craving heartier cooked dishes. I created this version for Uzbek Vegetable Stew and changed things up a bit from the original recipe. This version has no added oils and keeps things simple and low maintenance by using my slow cooker.

Download and Print Recipe

Equipment Needed:  

Sharp knife
Cutting Board
Slow Cooker

1/2 head red cabbage, raw, shredded
4 medium carrot, raw, medium, sliced
1 medium Daikon radish, sliced
2 beets raw, peeled and sliced
2 small turnip, raw, peeled and sliced
3 potatoes, russet, peeled and sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into rings
2 onions, sweet, raw, sliced
10 cloves garlic, raw, peeled
1 whole tomato, red, ripe, raw, sliced
2 cup kale, raw, chopped
2 cup vegetable broth, organic, low sodium
1 tbsp coriander seed, ground
1 tbsp cumin seed, ground
1 tbsp salt, kosher
1 tsp pepper, black, ground
1 tbsp cayenne pepper, ground

Recipe Directions:
Layer all vegetable ingredients in a slow cooker.   Pour in vegetable broth.  Add spices.   Cook on low for 8 hours.
Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 329.3
Total Fat: 1.9
Saturated Fat: 0.3
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 1084.2
Carbs: 74.1
Fiber: 13.2
Sugars:  23.7
Protein: 10.5


Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Oats

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The fall harvest is one of my favorite times of the year.  Markets are abundant and full of colorful sweet squash and pumpkins.  I am always looking for a recipe that reflects what is in season and created this one with ingredients I had on hand in my pantry.  I utilized my rice cooker to easily cook the oat groats and quinoa in advance.  I make large batches of oat groats and quinoa and froze it in single portion sizes to eat for breakfast mixed with a bit of fresh banana, almond milk and agave nectar. This Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Oats is a sweet but savory dish and can be eaten as a warm side dish or served as a cold salad.


Equipment Needed:

Rice Cooker
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Small Bowl
Large Bowl
Mixing Spoon


1 cup oat groats, cooked
1 cup quinoa, red, cooked
2 cup butternut squash, raw
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, sweet, raw, chopped
1 clove garlic, raw, chopped
1 tsp tarragon, leaves, fresh, chopped

1 tsp thyme, fresh

1 oz orange juice with no pulp, calcium + vitamin d
1 tsp agave nectar, organic, raw1 tsp parsley, raw, chopped

Recipe Directions:
Cook Quinoa according to package directions.  Cook Oat groats according to package directions.

Roast the butternut squash in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until tender and golden brown.

Saute Onion and garlic  in olive oil until tender.

Wisk together orange juice, terragon, thyme, parsley and set aside.

Gently toss together the quinoa, oats, butternut squash.  Fold in the the onion and garlic mixture.  Stir in the orange juice and herb mixture until well combined.  Serve warm as a side dish or may be served cold as a salad.

Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 270.3
Total Fat: 4.8
Saturated Fat: 0.6
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 10.9
Carbs: 49.1
Fiber: 7.3
Sugars:  5.3

Protein: 9.8


Polenta and Greens

I love my greens and I figure you can never have enough greens in your diet. In this recipe, I used two varieties of kale straight from my garden but would work really well with the dark green Lacinato variety if available.  This Polenta and Greens recipe serves two as an entree and would pair really nice with a side salad.

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup polenta, yellow, (corn grits)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, organic, low sodium
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Equipment Needed
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Wooden Spoon
Large Pot

How to
Stem the onions and garlic in a 1/2 cup of stock until tender.

Add remaining vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Slowly add the polenta and reduce heat to medium low. Stir polenta mixture continuously until thickend.  Add the chopped kale.  Stir until wilted.  Add parsley, Aleppo pepper, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Serves 2
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 223.1
Total Fat: 1.1
Saturated Fat: 0.1
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 145.5
Carbs: 47.7
Fiber: 3.8
Sugars:  6.0
Protein: 6.7

Download and Print Recipe

I like to use this in my recipes



Moussaka is a Greek dish that is traditionally made with meat and dairy.  My husband and I created this recipe together and we both loved it. This recipe is entirely plant-based and absolutely delicious.  It was so good that in the middle of the night all that ran through my head was I can’t wait to have leftover Moussaka for lunch.  We served this one up with a side of Spicy Garlicky Greens.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.


3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices
2 tbsp  olive oil
1 onion, sweet, chopped
4 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup wine, red table
1 tbsp tomato paste, no salt
15 oz 1 can tomatoes, crushed
2 tbsp bay leaf whole
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp allspice, ground
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
56.7 g/2.0oz (63.2g) prepared creamy cashew nut cheese (recipe to follow)

Equipment Needed
Sharp Knive
Cutting Board
Large Sheet Pan
Pastry Brush
Tongs or Spatula
Large Saucepan
Spoon8x8x2 non-stick square baking pan

How to Moussaka
Lighly oil the sheet pan with olive oil. Place eggplant slices on the sheet pan and lightly brush with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the slices. Place under a hot broiler until lightly browned.  Turn and repeat on other side.

In a non stick saucepan, add 1 T of olive oil and set over medium heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes and add the chopped garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice and reduce heat to low and simmer on low for 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly oil the 8×8 baking dish. Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of the pan. Spoon tomato sauce over the slices. Repeat with a layer of eggplant and a layer of tomato sauce and an additional layer of eggplant. Top with Cashew Nut Cheese.  Bake in an oven at 400 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Turn on the broiler and lightly toast the cheese . Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before cutting.

 Serving suggestion
Make the meal complete and serve with a side of Spicy Garlicky Greens and nice Greek Salad

Serves 4

Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 275.5
Total Fat: 10.7
Saturated Fat: 1.6
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 447.3
Carbs: 39.3
Fiber: 15.4
Sugars:  18.0
Protein: 7.5

Download Moussaka Recipe

Cashew Nut Cheese

4 oz/1 cup raw organic cashews
1 tbsp or the juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, raw
1/8 tsp salt, kosher
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup filtered water or more for a thinner creamier consistency

Equipment Needed
Vitamix or High Speed Blender
Rubber Scraper

How to
Add all ingredients to the Vitamix and turn on to low.  Turn to 10 and to High and blend adding additional water if necessary for a thinner consistency.

Download Cashew Nut Cheese Recipe

Thai Butternut Squash Soup


I love food.  I wake up each morning and start planning on what I will eat that day but let’s face it, sometimes we are just plain lazy and don’t feel like cooking.  That is me on most days of the week.  I love this recipe for dinner and its all about the “garnish”.  Thai Butternut Squash Soup is one of my very favorite dishes of all time and it does not hurt that it is packed with nutrients.  Butternut squash is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Special Equipment needed
Slow Cooker
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Spoon for stirring
Ladle for serving

2 – 2 1/2 Pound Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 to 2 ” chunks’
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 small onion (or preferably half of a sweet onion)
1 T brown sugar
1 t Thai curry powder (I get mine from the Spice House in Geneva, IL)
1 Low sodium Tamari
1 T crushed red pepper (more or less depending upon your heat preference)
1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk

for the garnish (prep after step two)

1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade 
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh roasted peanuts
2 shallots fried crisp in 1 T of peanut oil
4 green onions finely sliced
zest of 1 lime
lime wedges

In the Slow cooker throw in the butternut squash, stock, onion, brown sugar, curry powder, fish sauce, soy sauce and crushed red pepper.  Cook on low for 5 to 5 1/2 hours

When squash is very tender smash with a potato masher while in the slow cooker.  Whisk in the coconut milk and set slow cooker on high.  Now prep your garnish.

Ladle soup into heated bowls.  Top with a bit of each of the listed garnishes to your desired taste and squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice on top.  Enjoy with a cold Reisling.  

ref:  The Spice House

Chiffonade:  Leafy vegetables or herbs cut into fine shreds:  often used as a garnish*
Garnish:  An edible decoration or accompaniment to a dish.*
Vegan:  A meal that does not contain meat, any product or by-product that is sourced from an animal living on land, air or in water. 🙂

*Definitions from The New Professional Chef – The Culinary Institute of America – Sixth Edition Textbook