Monday, 3 April 2017

African peanut lentil soup


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African Inspired Peanut Lentil Soup. African Peanut Stew with lentils and veggies. Harissa Spice, Nut butter, Sweet potato, veggies and lentils. Serves 3 to 4 or more.
Recipe type: stew
Cuisine: African Inspired
Serves: 3
  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 juicy tomatoes
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek or asian chili sauce or other hot chile sauce to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 to 1.5 tsp Harissa Spice Blend or harissa spice paste or use paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • ½ cup red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 2 cups veggies, chopped small or thin slices - zucchini, sweet potato or potato, carrots, eggplant, broccoflower etc
  • 2.5 to 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • ¾ tsp to 1 salt
  • 1 tsp or more lime or lemon juice
  • ½ cup packed baby spinach or other baby greens.
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. 5 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chili sauce, tomato paste, spices until pureed. Add to the saucepan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add peanut butter, half of the nuts, lentils, veggies, stock, salt and lemon juice. Mix, cover and cook.
  4. Stir at 15 minutes.Taste and adjust salt, heat and check if the veggies are al-dente. Add in the baby spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the veggies and lentils are cooked through. Add more water if needed.
  5. Garnish with rest of the peanuts, cilantro, more lemon juice. Serve with flatbread, crackers or as is.
Pressure Cook: Follow steps 1 and 2 in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add peanut butter, lentils, half of the peanuts, veggies, stock, salt and lemon juice, mix, close the lid and bring to high pressure. Cook for 5 minutes * (Manual setting for 5 minutes for IP). Let the pressure release naturally. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Fold in the spinach and let it sit for 2 minutes in the hot stew before serving.

* Depending on your pressure cooker, lentils and your preference of consistency, you might need to cook for less or more time.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Hot and Sour Soup

Sometimes I want to cook something, and if I just take the recipe and get it up on this blog, that seems to fill my need to cook it.  That was the case when I wanted to make some cheese muffins.  I did have all of the ingredients in the fridge.  But I looked up what I thought would be a good recipe, blogged it, and by that time I was too tired to make the muffins.

I don't think that will be the case with this soup, a recipe from Mary.  She gave me this list of ingredients when I asked her how she had made the healthy soup she had at work:
Hot and sour soup dry mix packet, 3 kinds of mushrooms, carrots, bok choy, onions, celery, maybe a can of tomatoes. Thick on veggies, just enough broth to fill in the spaces in between.
Here the trick will be to buy hot and sour soup dry mix packet, and then get 3 kinds of mushrooms in the house and some bok choy.  Those ingredients I will have to write on a piece of paper, get that paper to the store, and then remember where the recipe is when I start wondering what I am going to do with the bok choy.

Oh yes, I forgot to say that Mary had one more thing to say about her recipe.  That was, yum!

And one last tip.  Mary was looking for tamarind soup but couldn't find it.  If your eyes light upon it in the supermarket, buy it and substitute it for the sweet and sour soup mix.  That will be a double yum.


Friday, 3 March 2017

Cheddar Cheese Muffins Recipe

  • 1cup milk
  • 3tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & then cooled
  • 1large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4tsp cayenne pepper
  • 34cups all-purpose flour
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 34cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (or 1 cup cheese)
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a large bowl, combine milk, melted butter, egg& cayenne.
    3. In a second bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar& salt.
    4. Stir in cheese.
    5. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir batter until it is just combined.
    6. The batter should be lumpy.
    7. Spoon the batter into muffin tins (buttered or lined) filling each about 2/3 full.

    1. Bake 20- 25 minutes.

  • Note:  You can add chopped picked jalapenos, if you like.  Or sprinkle cheese on top of the muffins.  Or introduce 1/2 cheese, 1/2 cubed ham.  Good eaten with chilli.  
Recipe from

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Red Lentil Curry with Eggs

Image by: Hearty Red Lentil Curry with Eggs IMAGE  Author: Canadian LivingPortion size

  • Credits :Canadian Living Magazine: March 2016


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • onion finely chopped
  • large sweet potato (about 350 g) peeled and diced
  • 4 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about half head)
  • cloves garlic finely grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and tumeric
  • 3 cups sodium-reduced vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


In Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, sweet potato and cauliflower, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, ginger, coriander, cumin and turmeric; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in broth and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils and vegetables are tender and almost no liquid remains, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.

Divide among 4 lightly greased 1-1/2-cup (375 mL) ovenproof bowls. Using spoon, form well in centres; crack 1 egg into each. Bake on rimmed baking sheet in 425°F (220°C) oven until egg whites are set yet yolks are still slightly runny, 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Tip from The Test Kitchen: The eggs will continue to cook as they stand, so remove them from the oven just before they reach desired doneness to avoid overcooked yolks.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage

I have some spicy sausage that I want to use up. I purchased it at Costco when there was a coupon of, but there were 12 sausages in the package -- too much for me.

Here is a recipe that is going to work for me.

Some veggies, some meat, some lentils!

What is not to like about that.

I am just going to use regular lentils, for I can't find the herbed variety in my local grocery store.

Italian Lentil Soup with Sausage

1 15.5-oz bag Hurst’s Garlic & Herb Lentils
1.25-1.5 lbs. Italian sausage (I used hot)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water

Remove casings from sausage (if applicable). Brown and crumble sausage over medium to medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large pot until cooked through (take care not to let the pot scorch or burn). Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage from pot and set aside.

Add olive oil, carrots, onion and celery to pot and sauté until onions become translucent (about 4-5 minutes). 

Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. 

Add chicken broth, water, lentils (with seasoning packet) and sausage to pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Turn off heat and let soup rest, covered, for 20 minutes before serving. 

  • You can use ground beef, pork or turkey instead of the Italian sausage but you’ll need to season it liberally (suggest salt, pepper, fennel seeds, garlic and oregano).
  • I went with a small dice on the veggies (about 1/4 inch).
  • If you’re looking to recreate Carrabba’s Spicy Sausage and Lentil Soup, add a can of petite diced tomatoes (with juice) and reduce the water to 1 1/2 cups and I think it would be a bang-on copycat recipe. Seriously.
  • I don't know if you can cook this in a crock pot. I would think so but I'm not familiar enough with lentils to say for sure. I'd guess and say cook on High for 3-4 hours. 


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Classic Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

For sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes with basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper
6 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Sauté crushed garlic with olive oil over medium heat. Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add basil, kosher salt, crushed red pepper, and oregano. Stir together and simmer on low.