Tag Archives: lentils

Journey Journal: Days 61-64

Day 61: Saturday, March 2, 2013

Slept in, which felt great after several late nights last week–been reading a new novel that’s been hard to put down…more on that later. Spent most of the day with my sister and nephews. Then Bryan and I grabbed coffees at Starbucks and went on a drive–one of our favorite dates–driving through the countryside and several small towns for about two hours before dinner. Made a large batch of Curried Vegetable Lentil Soup, which consisted of carrots, leeks, garlic, tri-colored bell peppers, daikon root, spinach, fresh sage, curry powder, vegetable bouillon, and red lentils, and was topped with fresh cilantro. It turned out very flavorful. If desired, a little sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper flakes would add a nice, extra kick to the dish. Serve with hearty bread, if desired.

Day 62: Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day of Worship. Day of Rest. Lunch with Bryan’s folks–it was good to see them again. We started with a small bowl of the Curried Vegetable Lentil Soup and Homemade Bread, then had a London Broil dinner (seen below), and finished with berries, dark chocolate, and walnuts for dessert. Since I had to make the potatoes dairy-free, I decided to add a little beef broth, a pinch of marjoram and garlic, and two tablespoons of mayonnaise (instead of butter and sour cream). They tasted great–even I was surprised! Of course, the gravy is a secret recipe, which makes everything taste amazing.

London Broil, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sauteed Onion, Pepper, Mushroom Medley

London Broil, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and a Sautéed Onion, Pepper, Mushroom Medley

Day 63: Monday, March 4, 2013

Down another 2 pounds last week! Very excited! Had a slice of homemade bread for breakfast and leftover London Broil with sides for lunch. It was a long day, and I wasn’t feeling the greatest, so after work, I ended up having soup for dinner with fresh bread, sweet tea, and a good book (or at least, it’s good so far–I withhold full judgment until I’ve completed the reading).

photo-4

Dinner and a book…

Day 64: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hearty oatmeal breakfast with berries, almonds, and a touch of maple syrup, accompanied by two turkey sausage links and coffee. Lunch of curried vegetable lentil soup with my friend Shannah (the last of this batch of soup), and a “vegetable salad” she made that had cabbage, carrots, onions, red peppers, and a sweet celery seed vinaigrette dressing. After work, came home to burgers with guacamole for dinner with a side of sweet potato fries. Thank you, Bryan! Now, to finish that book…or at least come close… Good night.

Recipe: Ham, Bean and Barley Soup

I’ve had a bunch of dried beans in my pantry for ages and have been waiting for the fall to make a great soup. This recipe is healthy, hearty, and homey! And it makes plenty, so invite a crowd! Here’s what I did:

Sneak Peek at Some of the Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 1 cup dried northern beans
  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • WATER!
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 # turkey ham, chopped
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley

Instructions:

First, I took 1 cup each of the following dried beans: black beans, red beans, northern beans, mung beans (the little green ones), and lentils (the little tan ones). I soaked them overnight in a big pot of water.

Beautiful Beans! I felt like I should be doing some kind of Aztec Art, they were so pretty!

Soaking overnight...

Then this morning, I drained and rinsed the beans, and put the big pot on the stove. I melted one stick of butter and added the salt, pepper, spices, and the chopped onion.

Tip: to finely chop an onion, cut a criss cross pattern without going all the way through, then lay the onion on its side and slice. Makes perfect little squares of onions.

Mmm! Onion cooking in butter...one of the most pleasant aromas on earth!

Once the onion was transluscent, I added the rinsed beans, chopped ham, and 8 cups of water.

I used an 8 quart stockpot.

Bring to a boil on high, then turn down to low and simmer for 1 hour. After the hour, add the barley and cook for another 40-45 minutes.

Be sure to invite a crowd...or be ready to eat this for a very long time!

Serve hot! To reheat, I would suggest adding a little water, bringing it back to a boil, then turning down to low to keep it warm.

If you don't have enough bowls to go around, utilize those tea cups from your grandmother! Enjoy!

Recipe by Melissa McKinnon