Detox Red Lentil Veggie Soup

Raise your hand if you spy someone who overindulged and under-exercised over the holidays and is now trying to pay for sins with healthier options. In the fall, I was all about cookies. But now that January has hit, and it’s been so “Texas cold,” I’ve been all about soups, and this is a good one.

As with all soups, it’s best not to get too persnickety with the exact ingredients. Use the veggies you like – I substituted butternut squash for sweet potato, for about half the calories and carbs. 

If you have an immersion blender, it’s perfect for this recipe. If you don’t, I’ll tell you it comes in so handy for things like soup and is $20 at Amazon – so much easier than dumping back and forth to the blender. (Happy Valentines Day, anyone?) OK, here’s the recipe.

Splash or two of extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
3 sticks celery, sliced
1 cup carrots, slided
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, chopped (can substitute butternut squash)
1.5 cups red lentils, uncooked
1 t. turmeric
1 T. cumin
1 t. salt (to taste)
8 cups water
1/ 2 lemon, juiced

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat.

Add leek, garlic, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, sweet potato, turmeric, cumin and salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add red lentils, water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Using a hand blender, blend soup right in the pot to desired consistency.

Stir in lemon juice and taste check for any additional salt.

Adapted from Colorful Recipes

Healing Chicken Soup in the Pressure Cooker

Friends, it happened. I got the flu last week, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. To be honest, I attribute it to two things: First, I was late getting my flu shot. Everybody else in my family got it early, and they’re thankfully fine. Lesson learned. I’m not invincible.

But even worse, I recently went to my favorite convention of Texas fairs and events, and I hugged approximately 167 cowboys and cowgirls. In January. In the height of flu season. But seriously, all my defenses go down when in the presence of cowboys I’ve known for years and love so dearly. 

So feeling like soup was the only thing that could possibly make me feel better, I decided to see if the rumors were true. Can you make soup quickly in a pressure cooker (or Instapot)? I’m here to tell you that you can.

Wait, you see corn in this photo that isn’t in the ingredients? Are you saying you DON’T throw in leftover veggies when you make soup?

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Brad’s Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Carrots

I’m giving you a holiday gift today, a recipe that is company-worthy with just two ingredients for a main dish. Sure, it’s semi-homemade, but who cares when it’s this delicious?

The secret ingredient is called Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce. Now I’m sure you think you’ve never heard of it, but it’s widely available, so check your supermarket. Here’s what it looks like:

Continue reading “Brad’s Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Carrots”

Dairy & Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our neighbors, the Ellinger’s, just moved back to North Carolina, and we miss them! But they gave me a recipe upon parting that’s really good! These cookies are both dairy and egg free (from when her kids were allergic), but they are delicious even if you don’t have those limitations! You know the recipe is good by how it looks on the page!


The Best Cookies

I hosted a new book club at my house recently, and one of my guests brought me a bag of cookies instead of wine. My kind of girl!!

I was dieting and dutifully put the bag in the freezer. When I’d lost weight, they were the FIRST thing I ate. Hint – they are great with a cup of coffee in the morning!

The original recipe is from Ina Garten, but I replaced some of the nuts and raisins with chocolate chips (because: chocolate). Winner!!

1 cup pecans
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool. Chop very coarsely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins, chocolate chips and pecans and mix just until combined.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.