Simple Lentil Soup (30 minute meal)

In the past few months, I have fallen deeply in love with soup, and my current obsession is this Simple Lentil Soup.

For most of my life, I never found soup that alluring. Sure, there was space in my heart for a good tomato soup, and when I was younger I had quite a fling with clam chowder in Rhode Island one summer, but overall it wasn’t really my thing.

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And then I discovered the deliciousness that is Project Juice’s Butternut Squash Coconut Dhal. After a closing shift, I often bring home a bowl of leftover soup for an easy dinner. The soup changes every few weeks, and while I will happily eat all of them, the Coconut Dhal is by far my favorite.

Usually I wait until I get home to settle in with pjs and Netflix to enjoy my soup, but the dhal is so good that I sometimes find myself sneaking spoonfuls on the bus on the way home (despite the dirty looks from the bus driver).

This love affair (along with the chilly SF summer weather) has inspired continual cravings for soup, and one of my current favorite meals is a clean-out-the-fridge, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink soup.

The recipe I’ve created here is absolutely delicious, but it’s also just a starting point for any soup creation you desire. Change up the veggies, add some coconut milk, or sprinkle in some spices, whatever will help you find your own perfectly simple lentil soup.

If you try this recipe, or create your own variation, I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on Instagram.

And if you need a good podcast to listen to while you cook, the first two episodes of the Brains Behind the Brands podcast is now on iTunes!

Soup
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Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup roughly chopped kale
  • ½ cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup cubed butternut squash
  • ¼ cup lentils
  • ½ cup cooked white rice
Instructions
  1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil, garlic, and onion.
  2. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth, lentils, butternut squash, kale, spinach, and rice.
  4. Reduce to simmer, than cover pot and cook for 20-30 minutes.

 

Apple Quinoa Bowl

I’ve been reading the blog Imma Eat That for about a year now, and I love Kylie’s emphasis on eating satisfying foods. I find many people focus on what they think they should be eating and forget to pay attention to what they want to be eating/what makes their bodies feel good. At least, that’s true for my personal experience. I’m so grateful to Kylie for helping me get back in touch with my body and cravings.

While reading her blog the other day, I realized I’ve been feeling unsatisfied with my lunches recently. Salads, sandwiches, soups… they all leave me wanting something more. So this week, I decided to concoct a little something special. Especially because it’s midterms week, so I absolutely NEED something delicious to look forwards to during my lunch breaks.

I’m absolutely thrilled to report that I’ve finally found a meal that can give me all those happy-glowy-yummy food feels AND keep me full through 3 hours of school + my 2 hour volunteer shift at my local hospital.

This recipe has so many flavors, colors, and textures- from crisp apple spirals to crunchy sunflower seeds to earthy, hearty lentils- it brings a much needed excitement to those grueling lunch periods in the library.

Whether you’re a student in need of some study fuel, someone who wants to be the #desklunchgoals of their office, or you just love easy, healthy meals, this bowl is for you.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Apple Quinoa Bowl
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Recipe type: Lunch/Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup lentils
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ tbsp chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Add lentils, quinoa, and water to a large frying pan/skillet.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While quinoa and lentils cook, spiralize the apple and chop the carrot. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can dice the apple instead.
  4. Once quinoa and lentils are almost done, add apple, carrot, cinnamon, turmeric, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds to the pan.
  5. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then serve.

Lentil Pupusas

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Trying homemade, fresh out of the pan tortillas on vacation a few months ago completely changed my world. Or at least my food world. These were nothing like thin, bland tortillas my family purchased for taco night. They were melt-in-your-mouth soft and delicate, just the tiniest bit sweet, and tasted far more fresh and natural than store bought tortillas. Stuffed to bursting with beans and rice, enjoyed around a big table of good friends, the tortillas were a wonderful food and an amazing experience.

I couldn’t wait to share this tortilla enlightenment with my family. As soon as I got home, I searched up tortillas recipes, rushed to my neighborhood grocery store, and bought a massive bag of the primary ingredient, masa harina. The tortillas I made weren’t bad, but they came nowhere near the transformative tortillas I had enjoyed on vacation. That’s why this isn’t actually a tortilla recipe. This is a what-do-I-do-with-all-this-masa-harina recipe. (If you have any suggestions, definitely let me know.)

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Inspired by the huge bag of masa harina staring accusingly at me from my pantry, I decided to try my hand at pupusas. Now, I make absolutely no claims to authenticity here, as I simply attempted to replicate pupusas I have enjoyed in the past, but these “pupusas” are incredibly delicious. The spicy, salty, hearty lentil filling strikes the perfect balance with the soft, slightly earthy dough. The lentils are soft, but retain a bit of their chew, and the crust is crackly on the outside, soft on the inside perfection.

Ingredients:

Lentils

  • ¼ cup red lentils
  • Handful fresh  spinach
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup salsa

Dough

  • ¾ cup + 1 tbs masa harina
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt

 

Directions:

  1. Cook lentils according to package instructions.
  2. Halfway through cooking time, stir in salsa, coconut oil, and spices.
  3. Add spinach and and additional water if needed.
  4. While lentils finish cooking, begin pupusa dough.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine masa harina, warm water, salt, and olive oil.
  6. Mix, either with a spoon or with your hands, until a dough forms.
  7. If the dough feels sticky, add additional masa harina one tablespoon at a time until the consistency becomes drier and more crumbly.
  8. Separate the dough into four equal parts, roll each into balls, break each ball in half, then roll into spheres again.
  9. On a floured surface, using either your hands or a rolling pin, roll each sphere out until it is a circle ¼ of an inch thick.
  10. Divide the lentil mixture evenly among 4 of the circles, then top each with one of the remaining circles.
  11. Carefully pinch the edges of the pupusa until there are no gaps between the top shell and the bottom.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops become slightly cracked and the rims are golden brown.