Tag Archives: spinach

Lentil-Potato Stew

Featured Image 2

I don’t know about you, but I just get little girl kind of excited about fall and the beginning of soup season.

It’s probably how my hunter friends feel about the smell of deer pee and countless hours in the stand. Other people just don’t understand it (like ME), but somehow it amuses and fulfills these  friends.

That’s how I feel about my soups.  Other people might not get it.  But it brings me joy.

Have a bad day? Make some soup.  Have a great day? It calls for soup.  Depressed? How about some soup and biscuits?

Soups are a part of my regular routine for many reasons:

-They freeze well and make busy nights easy!

-They are cheap.  Really, who doesn’t get excited about that?!

-They are packed full of healthy ingredients.  It’s even easy to sneak in some things like carrots and spinach.

-They give this vegan-like girl some awesome protein.  I can’t lie though, lentils do something special to my digestive system.  Whew!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I hope it gets you excited about this beautiful season coming up!

3

Lentil-Potato Stew
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ medium white onion, diced
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 3 red potatoes, washed & diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • ¼ t ground coriander
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of water, divided
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add onion to the oil and stir until onion is soft (about 5 minutes), being careful not to let the onion burn.
  3. Add the lentils, potatoes, carrots, and garlic.
  4. Saute for another few minutes until vegetables are soft (sprinkle with water if things start to stick).
  5. Add the tomato paste and all spices.
  6. Stir well--until fragrant.
  7. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth and stir.
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  9. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  10. Let cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  11. Add ½ cup water and stir.
  12. Cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes longer, or until lentils are soft.
  13. Add the remaining water, vinegar, and spinach.
  14. Stir until spinach is wilted.
  15. Serve with a salad and bread!

 


Classic Green Smoothie

Allergen Information: Contains Tree Nuts (can substitute)

Special Equipment: High powered blender

Ok…What’s wrong with the color green?

It’s the color of healthy, beautiful grass and trees.

We go crazy over it in March, and even think little Leprechauns are cute when any other time of the year, we might actually admit they are creepy!

We don’t hesitate to reach for a green apple.

We admire the Green Jacket, especially THIS week in Augusta, GA!

Shoot, money is GREEN!

So I ask again, what’s wrong with the color green?  Or more specifically, what’s wrong with the color of green when it comes to food?

It’s apparently some mind game we’re all a part of—that green = yuck.

THAT was the old me.

The new me?

I’m the person who posts recipes like this.

Classic Green 2

See, I did it.  And I used to think Laffy Taffy and Spaghettios from a can was a “good lunch.” (I know, I was warped!)

But seriously, look at that beautiful color!  If it were an apple, you’d pick it.  If it were a shirt, you’d buy it.

At the beginning of my food journey, I’ll admit this looked a little weird.  Drinking spinach?

BUT I quickly learned that I couldn’t taste it.  I mean AT ALL!

This one tastes more like Vanilla Ice Cream to me than spinach.

So the point is….just give it a try 😉

If you are struggling with the green color (or your kids are), try one of these tips:

  • Don’t let you children see you making the smoothie.  If they see the green, they will automatically be turned off.  Then pour it directly into a cup that has an opaque straw, or one you can’t see through.  If they taste it and like it, no reason to tell them it’s green just yet.  Later, that will be a great parent-child talk 🙂
  • If YOU are struggling with the color, I recommend using a straw as well. Psychologically, it works.  I like stainless steel straws myself 🙂
  • Try throwing in some berries.  Dark berries like blueberries and blackberries turn it more of a purple color than green.  It might alter the taste just a little, but it’ll still be AWESOME!

I use homemade, unsweetened almond milk for this smoothie because it’s my favorite!  But if you are using sweetened almond milk, I’d omit the liquid sweetener in the recipe altogether.

Classic Green Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 T liquid sweetener: raw honey or maple syrup
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup of ice
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender (except ice) and blend until smooth.
  2. Add ice and blend again until smooth consistency.
  3. Enjoy!

 


Creamed Spinach–Gluten & Dairy Free

Allergen Information: Contains tree nuts.

Special Equipment: High Powered Blender

Final

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of spinach.

When it’s raw, it’s sneaky–it doesn’t really have a taste and that makes it easy to mix into smoothies for an extra dose of vitamins in the morning. Try our Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie to see what I mean!

Plus, we all need more greens. It’s just a fact.  Getting 6-8 servings each day really is hard.  It’s one reason why I have multiple vegetables at each of my meals.

This hot spinach side is perfect for a pot-luck, holiday, or as a substantial side to a dinner!  You can serve it with some grilled chicken or fish and a salad for a filling, nutritious meal.

I only eat meat a couple of times per week, and since I keep eating the bacon my lovely husband is cooking, I think I’ll pair this batch with a salad and Sweet & Salty Roasted Carrots for tonight’s dinner.

The creaminess in this dish comes from cashews and nutritional yeast (a standard vegan cheesy flavor).  If you aren’t concerned about dairy, don’t worry, this is still amazing, and a great way to get some wonderful nutrients in your body.

If you are gluten free and/or dairy free, I know you’re jumping for joy!  Well, if you like spinach, too 😉

Collage

A couple notes about the food:

~Please buy ORGANIC frozen spinach, as it’s on the dirty dozen list!

~Raw cashews are just cashews that have not been roasted.  You can find them in the bulk bins at Earthfare/Wholefoods.

~We have only found the rice crumbs at our local health food store, New Life Natural Foods, but they are also available on Amazon.  Feel free to leave this step out completely if you can’t find them.  The dish just won’t have a crunchy top. Or if you aren’t gluten-free, you could also use whole-grain bread crumbs as well.

~You can find Nutritional Yeast in the bulk bins at Earthfare/Wholefoods, as well as in a plastic jar at Kroger in the Organic Section.

~We use Vegenaise because it’s egg free, and we use the soy-free variety since one of our sons can’t have eggs or soy.  If you have no soy sensitivities or allergies, feel free to use regular Vegenaise.  As I’ve mentioned before, Vegenaise isn’t weird, it just has a weird name.  If you don’t have Vegenaise, feel free to use Organic Mayo if you want.  It’s important to use Organic, so that the eggs are coming from what we call “good chickens.”

Creamed Spinach--Gluten & Dairy Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours, drained & rinsed
  • ¼-1/2 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Vegenaise
  • 3 T Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • ¼ t red pepper flakes
  • ¾ t sea salt
  • ¼ t ground pepper
  • 2 t coconut oil
  • 4 T rice crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile put cashews, avocado, water, Vegenaise, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a high powered blender and blend until smooth, stopping several times to stir and push the sides down. (Alternatively, you could use a food processor, but the mixture might be a little grainy). Set aside.
  4. Pour the two bags of spinach in boiling water and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat and drain.
  6. Using a large spoon, squeeze as much water from the spinach as possible.
  7. Put cashew mixture and spinach in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
  8. Pour into a pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
  10. Add rice crumbs and stir, cooking for 4-5 minutes.
  11. After the spinach has cooked for 20 minutes, take out and turn your oven to broil.
  12. Sprinkle with rice crumbs and broil for 5 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.