Fierce appetite? Barley Soup

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Barley seems to have a lot of benefits, probably the first one  is  keeping you warm on a cold day but this little grain has more to offer, considered to be a super food it help digestive system in many ways plus it makes you feel full with not much calories , this could help  to control appetite and studies have shown that people eating barley for breakfast would eat 100 calories less at lunch time, but benefits don’t end up there, it slows starch digestion, which may help keep blood sugar levels stable, lowers blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of colon cancer and women are less likely to develop breast cancer… the list goes on!

ingredients:

1 cup barley
1 tbls coconut oil
1  yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 cups of white button mushrooms, sliced
1 liter of water                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   3 cubes of vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 T. fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1 In a medium pan, bring 4 cups of water and the 1 cup of barley to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 40 minutes.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Add the vegetable broth cubes, water, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 15 minutes or so.

3 Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

 

 

Pump Up the Iron!!

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If you feel tired and lethargic might be time to increase your iron intake, if you are vegetarian this is important and if you a woman is even more important you get enough iron. Iron from plant based diet doesn’t absorb as good in our bodies, that doesn’t mean we cannot get enough, a vegetarian diet has a lot of resources like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, lentil, chickpeas, oats, hazelnuts, raisins, etc.

Iron carries oxygen to all parts of your body and it’s involved in many functions such as  brain development and function, regulation of body temperature, muscle activity and helps to improve immune system and keep us  ready to fight infections and anemia.

If you take t iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron on the other hand Tannins from tea, coffee and wine reduce iron absorption by binding to the iron and carrying it out of the body. The absorption is related to the amounts of iron already stored in your body and too much iron can be toxic, so  it’s always good to keep moderation and some advice from a professional in the field. Still we can try to include more iron rich foods and here’s my suggestion for today, I found it, tried it and loved it, specially when it’s getting colder and colder.

Pump it up!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2  teaspoons coconut
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, depending on how zingy you like things
  • 2 small garlic cloves, chpped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 11 ounces carrots (that’s 3 to 5 smallish or slender carrots), peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, washed
  • 1 cube of vegetable broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat the coconut oil in a small nonstick saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently until golden, then add the ginger and garlic and stir for 40 to 60 seconds. Add the coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper and stir for 20 seconds. Add the carrots, lentils, and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Take the pan off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree it or set aside for at least 10 minutes and then puree it in a blender. If the consistency is too thick for your liking, just add a little water and blitz again.

3. Reheat over low heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Recipe adapted from: http://leitesculinaria.com/77235/recipes-carrot-and-lentil-soup.html

Coconut Zucchini Soup

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2010/06/creamy-zucchini-coconut-milk-soup/

This soup is one of my favorites, easy to prepareand tasty. The best part, believe it or not, is completely dairy free but still creamy thanks to the almighty coconut milk. Bon Appétit!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds & membranes removed (if desired), and minced
  • 3 cups  grated zucchini
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  •  kosher salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and chili pepper, and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. I use the hand blender for processing the soup , but you can process the soup in a blender, until the soup is almost smooth. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Coconut Lentil Soup

 

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Recipe adapted from:  http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/spiced-coconut-lentil-soup-recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1/2 red chili
  • thumbsize piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 400g can coconut milk
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cube vegan vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp coconut oil

Directions

1. Finely chop the red onion

2. Heat the coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onion, season, cover and allow to soften for several minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mince the chili, garlic and ginger together. Add to pan, cover and cook for a few more minutes until the flavors begin to infuse.

4. Rinse  red lentils and add to pan along with the ground coriander, paprika and cumin. Mix thoroughly and then pour in the coconut milk and water. Sprinkle in the vegetable bouillon and lightly season with some  salt and  ground black pepper.

5. Cover, bring to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for forty minutes, ensuring to stir frequently.

6. When the lentils have softened and almost disintegrated to form a thick, creamy soup, take off the heat, pour in the lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a few fresh coriander leaves for garnish.