Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

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Lentil soup has been on my mind for the past couple months. For some reason, the thought of cooking lentils was intimidating, since my family didn’t eat them growing up and I was never taught how to cook them. To my delight, an article showed up in my email inbox entitled, “Lentil Soup Without a Recipe”. This was just the motivation I needed to start thinking about actually making this soup. While cooking soup on the stove-top is my usual go-to cooking method, I wanted to use my slow cooker to be able to leave it alone and bring that heavenly homemade soup aroma into my apartment while I worked. After browsing a few recipes, I was confident I’d be able to conjure up the exact soup I was longing for. I must admit, this was one of the easiest recipes and requires minimal prep. Feel free to experiment with adding your favorite vegetables and spices!

Easy Slow Cooker Green Lentil Soup

Inspired by Food 52 and these two recipes

Ingredients:

4 cups water

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups green lentils, rinsed

1 sweet potato peeled and chopped

3 carrots peeled and chopped

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 bunches kale, washed and chopped

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker except for kale and Italian parsley. Wait to add these until the last 10 minutes before serving. Set heat at low if heating for 7-8 hours, or set at high if heating for 4-5 hours. Serve warm with your favorite crusty bread or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro!

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Food for thought: Which is your favorite color lentil to cook with?

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Cocoa Banana “Ice Cream”

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Even though winter is blasting its arctic chill through the air, sometimes a cold, smooth, creamy, chocolatey treat is desired. So what does one use to make a dairy free dessert without coconut, almond, or soy?  Bananas of course!! This simple recipe is one of my favorites; I hope you find it delightfully satisfying.

Cocoa Banana “Ice Cream”

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana (break in half or slice before freezing)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Dash of ground cinnamon

Dash of cayenne pepper

Cocoa nibs

Directions:

  1. Place frozen banana in food processor and blend to break up.
  2. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Serve in bowl sprinkled with cocoa nibs.
  5. Enjoy!

Optional: blend in 1 tablespoon of your favorite natural nut butter for added protein.

Food for thought: Do you have a favorite “ice cream” ingredient? I’d love to hear, please share your comments below!

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