QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Here I am again with another recipe for the soups (I just can't help myself!). This recipe has been in the works since December and I'm finally getting around to adding it to the collection. The poblanos and tomatillos have been sitting in my refrigerator for long enough (not since December though lol). So without further ado, I share with you my recipe for Quinoa Chili Verde. It's a hearty and brightly flavored chili. The tomatillos are what brighten this chili with their citrus notes. I've added just enough herbs and spices to be noticed but you can add more if you like. I used a flavorful vegetable broth so if using water you'll most likely want to up the amounts to suit your taste. My first attempt at this I added tempeh but for this recipe I've left it out. It wouldn't hurt to add a package when combining everything while crumbling it between your fingers. Tempeh will make it that much heartier (and its an excellent soy product for most!). I also added some corn which adds color and a nice sweetness. For the beans, you can use any mix. I would stick with cannellini, kidney, pinto or black. This chili is a one pot wonder and will be ready in under an hour from start to finish. This green quinoa chili is going to be a nice departure from the usual chili routine.  

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

I know tomatillos and poblanos are in season and abundant during the summer months, but here in California we have them year round tempting me every time I see them to take them home and make something wonderful. Corn is the only ingredient in the recipe that isn't fresh year round so I used 1 cup frozen. Hopefully you can find all the produce in the winter months with ease or you'll have to wait for the warmer season.

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

The only thing you have to chop and dice are the onion, peppers and tomatillos. I left my tomatillos on the chunky side, they will soften and fall apart, but you can dice them up as small as you like. 

Get ready, gather your ingredients and start cooking!

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 oz tomatillos, diced or quartered or 1 can (15oz) crushed
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim peppers, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 corn off the cob or 1 cup frozen or canned sweet corn
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste

optional garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil/water over medium heat and sautee onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder, oregano, cumin and chili powder, cook for 1 minute more stirring frequently, or just until spices and herbs become fragrant. Add tomatillos, poblanos, corn, beans, quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve in individual bowls topped with garnish of choice. Pairs well with corn bread too!

Serves 4 - 6.

Notes:

Add in a package of organic tempeh for added hardiness. This Three Grain Tempeh is my favorite flavorwise.

You can rinse your quinoa if you like. I honestly usually skip this step but if you prefer you can run the quinoa under cool running water using a fine mesh seive.

Adjust the spices to your taste. If using broth you may like it as is, if using water you may like to add more.


ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

Soups really have been a big part of my winter meals, although I've been really loving a few new vegetables bowls that I'll be sharing soon! They're so easy to throw together and will last me a good day or two. This soup happened to come about as a combination of ingredients I've never had together. It was something I threw together on a whim. I shared my first attempt here (this one looks better) and thought it was ultimately good enough to make it to the recipe collection. So here it is! It fits my criteria for being simple to pull together, has versatility and is fairly well-balanced. Now, I know that roasting vegetables and serving them in soup is not really typical but I'll be darned if it didn't taste great and make my life simple. I gently roasted them just until softened, about 20 - 25 minutes. It helps to cook your vegetables faster if they're chopped on the smaller side. You don't have to use all the vegetables I have here either, maybe just 3 of the 4 opting between the broccoli or brussels sprouts. I wasn't sure what direction I was going to go in, using the broccoli or brussels sprouts and decided to just add them both using 4 vegetables. Suits me perfectly! The miso broth is super simple. I'm in love with red miso at the moment (it's robust & flavorful) but you can use your favorite. You may even like to add a tablespoon or so of tahini to the broth for something different. Making the miso broth as suggested with keep the integrity (health benefits) of the miso paste at it's highest. The soba noodles are easy too and cook pretty much the same as any other noodle. Add some freshness to the soup with sliced scallions, a few greens and cilantro if you have it on hand. A dash (or two) of sriracha isn't a bad idea either! And if you feel the need for some added protien, add a serving of cubed organic tofu (firm or extra firm). If you have a few veggies left over, save and serve them with a grain like rice or quinoa and a protein like lentil or beans (or make more soup!). Enjoy this soup....it's filling, flavorful and easy. Win, win, win!

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLESROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

ROASTED VEGETABLE MISO SOUP + SOBA NOODLES

Ingredients
  • 1 purple sweet potato (or any color), peeled and cubed 
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • handful brussels sprouts, quartered
  • handful broccoli florets
  • drizzle of sesame, olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 package 100% soba noodles
  • 5-6 tablespoons miso (I used red, use your favorite)
  • 4 cups water
garnish
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds (raw black and/or white are great too)
  • handful of shoots, sprouts or greens and/or cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare vegetables and place on a large rimmed baking sheet that's lightly greased or lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Add a drizzle of oil and toss well. Add a sprinkle of salt over top. Place sheet on the middle rack and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes, vegetables are done when just fork tender.

Cook your soba noodles according to the package directions. Be sure to use a large pot filled just under half way when cooking soba noodles. Once the noodles have come to a boil, the water tends to foam up quickly and overflow (ugg, I've learned from experience). Pay attention and reduce the heat as needed to prevent the water from boiling over while keeping the water at a gentle rolling boil.

For the miso broth, heat your water until nicely warmed, but not boiling, in a small pan or use the pot the noodles were cooked in. Remove from heat, add miso and mix until miso is dissolved. For me, I fill my 4 cup measuring cup using my hot water dispenser, add the miso and mix (works great for me!). 

Add noodles and vegetables to your serving bowl, top with broth and add a few of the garnishes. Some other optional garnishes would be a dash or two of sriracha or red pepper flakes.

Serves 2-3.

Notes:

Try adding a tablespoon or so of tahini to the broth for something different.

No need to use all these vegetables, three is enough. You may opt to use either the brussels sprouts or broccoli. My Vegetarian Flavor Bible didn't suggest that broccoli was a match for miso, but I liked it and it's available all year long. You can also try using butternut or kabocha squash in place or along with the sweet potato. I used butternut squash in my first attempt and it was delicous!

The smaller you cube your vegetables the quicker they cook. 

Add a serving of cubed organic tofu (firm or exta firm) for added protein.

For the noodles, it's 4 servings per package but I can easily eat half a package myself which is why I suggest this serves 2-3.


POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

I love soups this time of year! I've been making them like crazy lately. They're just so easy to throw together. And when it's time to clean out the fridge, I can almost always pull something together with a few stocked canned goods. They've made life a little easier around here with all the hustle and bustle over the holidays. So in comes this crazy good soup loaded with leeks, potatoes & white beans. I'm in love with leeks at the moment and used two large ones here. They add a wonderful mellow onion flavor that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients. I've made this soup a few times over the past couple of weeks and found that I love tarragon as my herb, along with savory. But don't worry, if you don't have either of these two herbs on hand, thyme and/or herbs de provence will work perfectly in their place. The latter are two herbs I always have stocked! The preferred potato to use would be red or Yukon gold. For the beans, I would stick with cannellini or great northern but chickpeas (garbanzo beans) would be ok too. If you manage to have left overs, the flavors get even better. Soup will thicken a bit after a couple of hours (here) from the potatoes which is nice (soup shown here is right after cooking and broth is thin). So gather your ingredients and get ready for a simple and flavorful soup to keep you warm and feeling your best any time of year!

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUPPOTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

Sauté your leeks, add spices and cook a minute more. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until potatoes are fork tender. And voila...soups on! It's that easy...

POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

 POTATO + LEEK + WHITE BEAN SOUP

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes, cubed 1/2 inch
  • 2 medium/large leeks, sliced and dirt removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water (water saute)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each dried tarragon & savory or 1 tablespoon herbes de provence or thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cooked or 2 cans (15 oz.) cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil/water over medium-high. Add leeks and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in herbs and spices, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in potatoes, beans, broth and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serve with topped with chopped parsley if you like and a slice of crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Serves 4 - 6

Notes:

You can change up the herbs here with what you have on hand. I really love the tarragon and savory here but starter cooks may not have them on hand so the herbs de provence and thyme will be great too!

Here is a simple guide to slicing and cleaning leeks: How To Clean Leeks 


MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

Happy New Year 2015! It's been a few long weeks since my last post. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and happy new year! It feels good to be back bringing you some healthy inspiration to start your new year. I'm starting the year off with this most delicious mashed chickpea & avocado sandwich. I love my chickpeas salads and have quite a few of them in the recipe collection for good reason. They are easy, healthy and filling. If you're already familiar with the other chickpea sandwiches, this will be a nice change up for you (if you're not you should definitely take a look). Chickpeas & avocados are a winning combination, add in a few other ingredients and it's a match made in heaven! Not in the mood for bread? Try serving this over a bed of leafy greens instead. Either way I know you're going to love it!

If you haven't already, you may like to pick up a copy of the 'The Archives' E-cookbook! It's a collection of 250+ timeless whole food vegan recipes for you to have at your convenience always. I personally have it downloaded on my iPad mini and use it often in and out of the kitchen. It's so handy to have when your internet is unavailable and is much faster to use. Start your new year off with this invaluable resource of healthy & simple recipes to keep you feeling your best throughout the year! And be sure to subscribe to the blog for new recipes and inspiration as soon as they're available. Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!
MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

MASHED CHICKPEA & AVOCADO SANDWICH

Ingredients 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, seed removed
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • dollop of hummus, optional
  • dash or two of garlic powder
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste

To serve
  • leafy greens
  • 6 slices bread of choice
  • red onion slices

In a medium size bowl, add chickpeas and roughly mash with the back of a strong fork. Add avocado and mash together well. Add in carrots, lemon juice, hummus, garlic powder, salt and pepper, mix to combine.

Layer your bread slices with leafy greens, onion and a nice helping of the mash. Top with remaining slice and enjoy!

Serves 3

Notes:

Sliced tomato would pair nicely in the sandwich.

Try adding a small handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds to the mash for extra nutrition and crunchiness.

If needed, add a dollop of hummus, it pairs well and will act as a binder.


ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

This is a quick n' easy orange hot chocolate to change up the usual hot cocoa routine. The winter weather is finally setting in here with rain and very cool temperatures, it calls for a nice mug of hot cocoa! I love orange and chocolate together and set out to come up with a hot cocoa using this combination. After doing a bit of research on orange hot chocolate, using orange juice is not typical, usually a bit of orange extract is added or even orange flavored liqueur (which sound pretty good too on certain occasions!). Since I happen to only have some oranges on hand, I decided that would do perfectly fine. And it did! Using orange juice instead of flavoring will also give you the added benefit of vitamin C with your cocoa. Add in the cinnamon & ginger and you have yourself a nicely flavored hot cocoa. I even love this without the ginger, using just cinnamon. Use the spices to your liking and preference. For a bit of heat, you may consider adding a dash of cayenne powder. The toppings can be changed up to whatever you like or have on hand. So next time you're thinking about having a cup of hot chocolate give this version a try, I think you'll love it too!

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOAORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA
ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

ORANGE & SPICE HOT COCOA

Ingredients
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup 100% pure orange juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, pure maple syrup or coconut nectar/sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

garnish options:

In a small/medium saucepan, heat milk and orange juice over medium-low heat. Add cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and pinch of salt, stir until cocoa is completely dissolved. Turn heat to low to keep cocoa warm until ready to serve.

Serve in individual cups topped with any garnish you like. I added coconut cream, dusted with cocoa powder and topped with orange zest.

Serves 2 - 3.

Notes:

Feel free to use water in place of non-dairy milk or use a combo of water & milk equally 3 cups.

For the orange juice, use fresh squeezed or bottled (no pulp to medium pulp pref). If using fresh squeezed, you may like to strain the pulp before using.

Make your 1/4 cup of cocoa heaping if you like a little extra chocolate flavor.


KALE + RED CABBAGE SLAW

Kale + Red Cabbage Slaw

Aah yes, I have a salad to share with you today. It's fresh, healthy and full of color! A much needed departure from all the cooked foods I've been devouring lately. If you're anything like me, you tend to eat more cooked foods in the fall and winter. It seems to be somewhat instinctual but a good fresh and hearty salad is a welcome change. It all started with some kale & red cabbage sitting in my refrigerator that needed to be used up quickly. After googling the two ingredients together, I found this recipe on Martha Stewart. I had all the ingredients on hand and whipped it up within minutes. The result was pretty darn good! It's one of those salads that on the first bite may not seem so great but after a few bites the deliciousness sets in. Maybe I was just having an off day and it was delicious from the get go. The dressing is light and not overly drowning, if you like lots of dressing I would suggest doubling the amount. All in all, I would definitely make this again...so that says something! I think next time I'll replace the oil with tahini for creaminess. I ate this salad to myself as a whole serving. I'll let you be the judge of how much you think this will serve, but to me it serves 2 or one generously. Ready, set, go...get out your biggest bowl and have yourself a nice big fat salad!
Kale + Red Cabbage Slaw
Kale + Red Cabbage SlawKale + Red Cabbage Slaw

Mix the dressing and prepare your vegetables. Add dressing to salad and toss to coat...

Kale + Red Cabbage Slaw

Throw in some heart healthy seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and hemp hearts. They'll add crunch while providing a good amount of protein and omegas!

Kale + Red Cabbage Slaw

KALE + RED CABBAGE SLAW

Ingredients
  • 1 small bunch tuscan kale (aka, lacinato or dinosaur), thick stem removed and shredded
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 - 2 carrots, grated or julienned
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix your dressing and set aside.

Prepare vegetables and place in large bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. Add in seeds and toss again (or sprinkle over each portion before serving). Let salad rest a few minutes before eating, this will help soften the kale a bit. 

Serves 2 or one generously. 

Notes: 

For a creamier dressing, replace the oil with tahini.

If you have fresh lemons on hand, this would be great with a big squeeze of lemon over top.

If serving for one, use 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons each of the seeds.

CHANA DAL & SWEET POTATO CHOWDER

Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

This recipe is inspired by Bob Red Mill’s and comes from a recipe on the back of one of their dried Chana dal packages. I love chowders all year long but especially in the cooler months! This is a healthy and flavorful one packed with protein and fiber. The sweet potato adds a hint of sweetness while the jalapeno gives a bit of spice. This recipe will definitely be going on my meal rotation for the next few months. It’s everything you'd want in a chowder...creamy, hearty and satisfying!

Chana Dal = young chickpeas, dehulled and split in half

Chana dal are the desi type chickpeas (garbanzo beans) that have had their outer layer removed and split in half. Resembling yellow split peas, these little golden legumes are widely used in Indian cuisine. Unlike that of the yellow split pea, chana dal hold there shape when cooking. I've edited this recipe since posting to include soaking the dal. It's an extra step that will ensure quicker cooking and tender dal all the way through. Being low on the glycemix index makes them an excellent legume for diabetics. Per 1/4 cup, dried, they contain 190 calories, 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and zero cholesterol. They're a good source of phosphorus, folate, magnesium and iron. If you can't find them locally, you can order them online.

Chana Dal & Sweet Potato ChowderChana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

Using one pot and colander, this chowder comes together easily. First cook your dal and potatoes...

Chana Dal & Sweet Potato ChowderChana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

Next saute your vegetables, set aside with the dal and potatoes...

Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

Add everything back to the pot once your non-dairy milk is ready and finish cooking. Enjoy the deliciousness!

Chana Dal & Sweet Potato Chowder

CHANA DAL & SWEET POTATO CHOWDER

 Ingredients
  • 1 cup Chana dal
  • 1 sweet potato, diced 1/2-1/4 inch cubes (orange or white)
  • 2 -  3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water (for water saute)
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 small jalapeno, most seeds removed and diced
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour (chickpea, spelt, all-purpose, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • mineral salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley, to serve

Rinse Chana dal and remove any pebbles or unsightly peas. In a large pot, soak the dal in about 4 cups of room temperature water for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or hot water for 1 hour. Drain water. 

In a large dutch oven or pot, place soaked Chana dal, sweet potato and bay leaves, cover with about 4 - 5 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until dal and sweet potatoes are tender.

Place cooked peas and potatoes in a colander, rinse gently and quickly with warm water, set aside. Leave bay leaves with the mix. Don’t worry about getting every pea out of the pot.

In same pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add bell peppers, jalapeno, onion and thyme, saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove sauteed vegetables to the colander with the chana dal and potatoes, set aside. Don’t worry about getting every vegetable out of the pot.

In same pot, over medium – low heat, add flour and 1/3 cup of milk, whisk well until it thickens and lumps are barely visible, stirring continuously, slowly add in the remaining amount of liquids, stirring continuously, continue to heat over medium-low, lumps with dissolve completely as the liquid warms up. Careful to not boil or milk will begin to curdle. Continue to stir and heat until liquids begin to thicken about 7 -  10 minutes.

Add in the Chana dal and vegetable mixture, heat over low until everything has warmed, about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed, remove bay leaves and discard.

Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers and a sprinkle of parsley over top.

Serves 4.

Notes:

You may consider using 3 1/2 cups milk w/ 1 veggie bouillon cube. Just be sure you have 3 1/2 cups liquids.

Edit: I've added in soaking the dal first for quicker cooking time. This will ensure that your dal is perfectly tender.  

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

I had a bunch of broccoli that needed to be used up and thought this would be a perfect time to add a broccoli soup to the recipe collection. Seeing that my last soup, Butternut Squash + Red Lentil Soup, was so good with the addition of lentils, I decided to add them to this soup as well. Lentils add bulk, heartiness and boost the nutritional profile by adding protein and good carbohydrates. They cook fast too so you can pull this recipe together in about 40 minutes from start to finish. It's also a one-pot meal which I love (less dishes is always a plus)! I was inspired by both these recipes from 101 Cookbooks and Green Kitchen Stories. Both simple and delicious! I especially love the Savory Corn Biscuit recipe included in the GK Stories recipe, which I had a chance to make. I made half a batch and used different shapes, a flower and a circle. Because I didn't have the non-dairy yogurt on hand, I subbed unsweetened almond milk. They were still delicious without the yogurt, so easy to make and a perfect accompaniment to the soup! 

On a side note... 

Time is flying and the holidays are almost here. If you haven't finished your holiday menus, take a peek at my Vegan Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe ideas on pinterest and follow along if you like. During mid-October through December of every year you'll find this link at the top of every page. All handpicked and include a note about the recipe or suggestions when needed. Check the board often, it will continue to grow as I find new recipes. Happy holidays and happy pinning! :)

I also updated a couple soup recipes over the last week or so. If you need some more soup inspiration take a look at these: Roasted Fennel & Potato SoupRoasted Butternut Squash Soup, Parsnip & Split Pea Soup: Slow Cooker or Stove Top and this Curry Lentil & Greens Soup. Each one is delicious...check em out!

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUPCREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

We know broccoli is a nutrient dense vegetable. Rich in fiber, vitamin k & C and folate, its deep color holds many health benefits. I often eat it simply steamed with a dollop of hummus and a little sambal oelek. Once mixed, the combination is creamy, slightly spicy and delicious! Having it here in a soup is a nice change up, especially with soup season under way.

I love red lentils and their ability to blend easily in pureed soups. They add fiber, protein and cook up very light as to not alter the color of the soup as much as if using green/brown lentils. I would suggest sourcing and keeping red lentils in your pantry at all times. They are reasonable at about $2 to $3 a pound and will make dishes more nutrient dense when added. 

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

CREAMY BROCCOLI + RED LENTIL SOUP

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut, grapeseed or olive oil or 3 Tbsps water for water saute
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 - 3 large heads broccoli, cut into florets (stalks chopped ok too)
  • 6 - 7 cups water or vegetable broth (or combo)
  • 1 can coconut milk, optional
  • mineral salt, to taste

to serve
  • mustard seeds, crushed (I used black)
  • 1 - 2 scallions, sliced
  • slivered almonds

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat oil/water over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook another minute or until fragrant. Add lentils, broccoli, broth/water and optional coconut milk. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, using the back of a fork or spoon press the broccoli down as much as you can to cover with liquids. Cover pot with lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Soup is done when lentils are tender. Taste soup, add salt as needed. Using an immersion blender puree until desired consistency. Or once cooled a few minutes, use a food processor/blender to puree (this method may take two batches to complete).

Serve in individual bowls topped with mustard seeds, scallions and almonds. Pairs great with crusty bread or biscuits of choice. If you have one on hand, a squeeze of lemon will add some brightness. 

Notes: 

If using pre-cut packaged broccoli, use about 1 1/2 - 2 pounds or 8 - 10 cups.

You may feel there is not enough water, and most likely all the broccoli won't be covered by the liquids at first. As it cooks it will soften and sink down, and any that doesn't will steam and become soft. If you like you can push the broccoli down half way through cooking. If adding a while can of coconut milk, start with the lower amount of liquids adding more as needed.

If you don't use veggie broth or have run out of an onion and/or garlic. Try adding 1 teaspoon each of garlic and/or onion powder.

I recommend sticking with red lentils but you can use green/brown lentils if needed. Cook same as above but simmer for 30 - 35 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Your soup may look a bit muddy but flavor will be good.

Use full-fat or light coconut milk. If you'd prefer, use up to 1 cup or so of unsweetened almond milk.