Monday, March 29, 2010

Springing it on (Sweet potato-red lentil soup)


This time last year, I was just finally over my morning sickness and feeling refreshed. My memories of that time are fond ones. It felt more like the renewal of spring than ever I've felt in the past. My life was changing in big ways and my body was reflecting this change. After eating primarily different forms of flour, sauce, and cheese for the first trimester of my pregnancy, I was happy to welcome greens back into my diet and did so with fervor. I also had loads more free time so I think I wrote about a few greens a week- oh how spoiled we all were. Anyway, I remember that my body felt fit, my energy levels were high, and I was excited about the new life growing inside of me, though it was still so hard to believe- I can't say it felt real yet.

Spring definitely inspires us all to clean up and clear out, though the record rain fall this month is inspiring less salads and more pasta. Chop thinks we need to clean up our act a little bit. I do too, of course, but with the lack of sleep for the past 6 months and the extra calories needed for nursing I have been finding it more challenging to make healthy food choices. Well, we have found new inspiration and once again it comes from Mr. Wesley -though we didn't know he was a mister last spring- he is already teaching us so much.

I have been cooking with Wesley for months, and have thought it important to show him each food in its whole form. I have wanted him to be able to smell the fresh fruits and vegetables and take in the colors and textures. My hope is that this exposure in his early development stages will encourage healthy and varietal eating habits as he gets older. We know that he will learn and mimic our actions, so although we are postponing curbing our language (little sh*t won't learn to talk for at least a year-ha!), we are becoming more aware of what he is learning from us now. Wes ate his first non breastmilk food this past weekend, some sweet potato. And with that, we are back at the kitchen table (we had been becoming movie and tv eaters, as well as grazers), and we are rethinking what's for dinner.

So what is for dinner?

Well tonights dinner is brought to you by, Wesley's sweet potato, rainy weather, and a overwhelming need for more greens in our diet.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in small pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
4 stalks of bok choy or one head of baby bok choy (or any green really)
2 inch piece ginger, grated
1 Tbl cumin
s and p to taste
garnish with goat cheese (optional)

cook onions on med-high heat till translucent
add sweet potato, stir
add garlic, ginger, and lentils-mix in well
coat veg and lentils with cumin
add veg stock-bring to a boil and then simmer
simmer till potato and lentils are soft
last five minutes of cooking add chopped bok choy

Greens are always more apt to make it into a meal when they are chopped and waiting for you. This bok choy is just screaming "look at me!" in the fridge. They keep longer as well if you put them in some cold water.

I believe I've shared this trick before, but never hurts to learn it again. This is blended parsley with a splash of water to be poured into an ice cube tray for easy "herbing" in the future. Once the cubes are frozen I always have parsley on hand. Seriously who uses a whole bunch at once? (ok juicers settle down...parsley is AWESOME for juicing)

We have decided to stop calling salads, salads. We are now just going to call them food, like really yummy, decadent food. Though not the best picture, this salad was flippin delicious.

Arugula
spinach
steamed golden beets
apple slices
avocado
toasted walnuts
shaved parmesan
radishes
ginger tahini dressing
oh my yum!