Red Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup


As autumn continues to bring cool temperatures soup remains a great choice for lunch or dinner.  Maybe you have never heard of red lentils or you think I’m making it up, but I promise you they exist and are easily found in your local grocery store.  The lentils and carrots give this soup such a vibrant color that screams you’re eating something healthy. If you’re not dairy free I recommend a dollop of greek yogurt as garnish, or some pumpkin seeds if you want to be fancy.


Red Lentil and Carrot Ginger Soup
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c red lentils
7 c veggie or chicken broth

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add shallots, garlic, ginger, carrots,red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes, allowing spices to become fragrant.  Add lentils and broth.  Bring soup to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Using an immersion blender pulse until completely smooth.  A food processor or blender can also be used, but allow soup to cool first then reheat once pureed.


Chicken and Broccoli


I just adore chicken and broccoli, and as a home cook I taught myself how to make it so I could have it whenever my cravings got the best of me.  The easiest way to cook any stir fry is to have all of your ingredients at the ready (chopped, measured, etc.) because once the pan is screaming hot you have to move quick.  Be ready and you’ll be able to master this recipe and any other stir fry.


Chicken and Broccoli
1 lb chicken breast, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch of ginger, minced
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs honey
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tbs toasted sesame oil
1 tbs + 1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 c + 2 tbs water
5 c broccoli, chopped into stalks and florets
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbs hoisin sauce
3 scallions, chopped for garnish
1/2 tbs toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a bowl toss chicken, 1 garlic, 1/2 of the ginger, shallot, soy sauce, honey, , rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp cornstarch, and salt to taste.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.  Mix remaining cornstarch with 1/3 c water, set aside.  Heat a large saute pan or wok over high heat.  Add oil and broccoli stalks, cook for 1 minute.  Add broccoli florets, remaining garlic, ginger, salt, and 2 tbs of water, cook for 3 minutes. Remove to plate and set aside.  Add a bit more oil to the pan, add chicken including marinade and red pepper flakes.  Don’t touch for 2 minutes so chicken can brown, then stir frequently.  Add hoisin sauce, cooked broccoli, corn starch mixture, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Ginger Spice Chicken


Have you ever gone about your day then realized you forgot to marinade the chicken you planned on having for dinner?  That happened to me yesterday, but for once I wasn’t worried.  Thinly sliced chicken breasts can marinate in as little as 30 minutes, and then cooks in 5 minutes.  What a time saver!  It also helps that the flavor is quite delicious.


Ginger Spice Chicken
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice and zest of 2 limes
2 tbs orange juice
2 tbs dijon mustard
3 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1.5 lb thinly sliced chicken breast

In a bowl add cloves, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Mix to combine then pour into resealable plastic bag.  Add chicken to plastic bag then seal and shake to evenly coat the chicken.  Let marinate for 30 minutes -1 hour.

Heat grill pan to high heat.  Once hot add chicken cook for 2 -3 minutes per side then serve.