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Spring Lentil Soup

Welcoming Spring with a warm lentil and mushroom soup.  It was 50 degrees here in New Hampshire today, but the ground is still blanketed with snow.  In the early days of a new season, we are invited to lean in.  Transitioning is often more comfortable when we work with food to aide the shift.

So, a pot of beautiful Spring Lentil Soup is in order for our family table today.  Rich with immune supportive mushrooms, this soup could be had in the depth of winter (but I would make it thicker and more hearty with the addition of white beans).  

To make it:
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot and saute~
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Add ~
1 cup each diced celery and carrot
2 cups crimini or button mushrooms, minced
1 cup green lentils
6 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

Simmer until the lentils are tender and the broth is rich... about 45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a salad.  On our table tonight -- torn Romaine and Kale with caramelized yellow beets and maple walnuts  -- its' about the most perfect pairing.  

Sarah Lawrence

Quick and easy

The theme for me on this crisp Fall day was "quick and easy." Breakfast was cucumber, kale, apple and ginger juice. 3 minutes, alive and an easy way to open the day. image Lunch was a bowl full of baby greens topped with warm miso broth, carrots, mushrooms, and scallions.  Made this bowl brilliant by adding a twirl of pickled ginger.  Using warm broth is one way to stay high raw without giving up the comfort of warm foods. image Dinner was leftover miso soup. Felt like a sweet treat so I ran with some ChocolateCoveredKatie inspiration and whipped together a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a few drops of liquid stevia in the vitamix until smooth. Topped the fluffy mousse with a sprinkle of coconut and a bit of raw cacao powder. (CCK made her concoction in a big batch, froze it and used it as a pie filling... definitely an idea for a day when I've got the time to pre-plan!) image Spent maybe 15 minutes prepping/cooking today.  Eating well doesn't have to take a lot of work. What are your favorite quick meals?

Sarah Lawrence

Polenta Pizza (gluten free vegan yumminess!)

Polenta Pizza (makes 6 servings) 2 cups polenta 5 ½ cups water 1/3 cup nutritional yeast ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp pepper Topping ½ cup tomato sauce ½ cup shredded non dairy cheese, like Daiya Prep a 9 x 12 glass baking pan by rubbing or spraying with oil.  Set this aside. Bring water to a boil in an appropriate sized pot.  Add polenta slowly and whisk continuously as you are adding the corn meal; messing up this step will mean lumpy, uneven polenta… so stay alert and whisk, whisk, whisk!  Whisk in the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.  Stand near the pot because for the next 20 minutes you will be on hand to whisk every minute or so… we don’t want the polenta to burn or get too stiff. When 20 minutes has passed, the polenta should be stiff-ish but still creamy.  Spoon it into the prepared glass dish and press it into the corners while smoothing the top to make it an even layer.  Next, top with the tomato sauce as you would pizza dough.  I like to spoon it on and spread it to the edges.  If you prefer a saucier top, add more sauce to suite your taste.  Finally, top with your cheesy shreds.  You can pop the whole thing into a hot oven for a few minutes to gently melt the cheese, but I don’t find that necessary.  Just wait about 5 minutes for the polenta to set up firm and then slice it and serve.   [caption id="attachment_509" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad"]Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad[/caption] Nice, soft change from crispy GF pizza crusts.  This is a big hit with our 5 year old whose favorite food is pizza!


Easy Vegetable Sushi Roll (gluten free vegan goodness)

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="300" caption="YUM!"]YUM![/caption] Oh how I love sushi!  It's so healthy and is super easy to make at home.  Hope you'll give this one a whirl.  It's worth it! Play with vegetable combinations.  Some of my favorites are avocado, cucumber, carrot, scallion and mung bean sprouts.  Try sweet variations with fruit like mango and kiwi to make a fun roll for kids.  Be creative and enjoy your food! p.s.  For another fun veg roll recipe, click here to check out my fresh Spring Rolls in the "It's All in a Day!" post.  They are fun to make and you can use whatever veg you have on hand. Vegetable Sushi Roll  Basics: Bamboo sushi mat or bamboo placemat or a piece of parchment paper 2 sheets of raw or toasted nori 1 carrot, cut into long, thin strips (julienned) 1 cucumber, seeds removed and julienned to match the carrots Condiments: wasabi paste pickled ginger soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s amino acids (gluten free if you need it like me!) Rice: 2 cups cooked sushi rice (I used leftover steamed thai rice) 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1/2 tsp stevia powder 1 tablespoons rice wine Rock and Roll: Combine rice wine vinegar, stevia and rice wine in a small bowl until the stevia dissolves.  Reheat your leftover rice for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Put the rice into a large bowl.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice while you gently stir the rice.  The object is to cool the rice while coating it with the vinegar dressing. Now that the rice is ready, let’s get moving.  This is a quick meal considering we’re using leftover rice. Lay your nori shiny side down on the mat of your choice.  A bamboo mat makes rolling much easier, but if you don’t have one you can use a stiff placemat or even a piece of parchment paper.  I don’t want equipment or lack of it to stop you! Nori, face down; time to spread half of your rice.  Scoop about ¾ cup of rice onto the nori.  Rice should be sticky and glossy but not wet.  Moisten your hands with cool water and use your fingers to spread out the rice into a thin layer.  We are aiming to cover the nori with an even layer of rice.  Starting with wet hands means that the sticky rice won’t stick to our fingers right away. [caption id="attachment_311" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi Step 1"]Veg Sushi Step 1[/caption] Once the rice is laid out we’re going to place our veggies.  So, lay out a row of julienned carrot and cucumber about 2 inches from the bottom of the nori sheet.  We want the veggies to be even from side to side so everything stays together and looks pretty when we cut this into slices. [caption id="attachment_312" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi Step 2"]Veg Sushi Step 2[/caption] Magic time is upon us!  Lift the bottom edge of the sushi mat and begin to roll toward the top edge.  You need to press firmly on the roll to keep it tight.  Continue rolling to the top edge and press the mat at the top to seal the roll.  Repeat the procedure with the second sheet of nori.   Using a serrated knife, slice each roll into 6 or 8 pieces and serve with a dab of wasabi, braggs or gluten free tamari and a heap of pickled ginger. [caption id="attachment_313" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Veg Sushi step 3, rolled and ready to slice"]Veg Sushi step 3[/caption] Want to check out another version of my veg sushi roll on Food.com?  I’ve been making this stuff for a while now and it just couldn’t be easier!  Click here: http://www.food.com/recipe/tofu-maki-vegetarian-sushi-41104#ixzz1GWvr2Up2 [caption id="attachment_314" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Vegetable Sushi Platter"]Vegetable Sushi Platter[/caption]