Lentil Soup

You may have noticed…we’re big fans of Soup!! This is not a coincidence. Soups give you such an opportunity to Pile on the Greens and add goodness to your meal. It also allows us to make large portions which gives us leftovers for the kids and lunches.

I have to confess that before we started this journey I only ate 2 kinds of soup. Campbell’s cream of chicken and my mom’s chicken soup when I was sick. I didn’t even think I was a soup person. But all that has changed!!!!!

Now we have soup probably twice a week. Cabbage Soup is a weekly staple, and then one week we’ll make beet soup, and another week we’ll make lentil soup, so on and so forth.

We took this lentil soup from ALTON BROWN and Orlando put his spin on it. He’s actually tried several different variations, but each time he tries to pile on more greens!! This is his latest and in my opinion, most delicious, twist.
*Every item marked is an Orlando addition or substitution.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • I finely chopped leek*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground Turmeric*
  • 1 cup of mushrooms*
  • 2 handfuls of spinach*
  • Chicken andouille sausage*


Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, leek and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes,mushrooms, broth, coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 50 to 55 minutes. 3 minutes before the timer ends, throw in the Spinach. It will wilt in 3 minutes so you really want to avoid putting it in until the end. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately. Add cooked chicken andouille slices to the served plate.

A NOTE ON BLENDING: Consistency is a personal choice. Some people like the texture of the lentils, others like it thicker like a puree. I like the lentils, orlando likes the puree…therefore, we compromise. He puts half of the soup in our blender, blends and pours back into the dutch oven. That gives a little bit of both textures and it is DELICIOUS! But this is all a matter of personal preference.

Chicken Andouille: We slice the sausage down the middle and grill on our griddle. Then we slice it into small pieces and add to the meal. The soup can be eaten sans the sausage. We like it because it adds a spiciness to the soup that we enjoy and makes the soup more fillings. This too is a matter of personal preference.




Dinner for the Kids

A future family goal of ours is to all sit together at the dinner table and have a family dinner. The reason we don’t do it yet is because our children still go to bed much earlier than we can have dinner prepared for ourselves. Therefore I usually make the boys’ dinner, feed them, and while i’m bathing them, Orlando typically gets home and makes our dinner. Then we use the leftovers from our dinner for their lunch or dinner the following day. This routine is soon to change but as anyone with children can vouch….routines are constantly changing when you have little kids at home.

Yesterday I whipped this up relatively quickly and thought I should share it with you moms and dads who are always struggling with ideas for the kids.

I had some left over chicken in the fridge and some fresh broccoli from our box.

  1. I steamed the broccoli for less than 5 minutes so it could have a nice crunch.
  2. On a pan, I heated a little coconut oil.
  3. I chopped a little bit of ginger and green pepper and tossed it in the pan.
  4. Then I tossed in the leftover chicken which I chopped up into tiny pieces.
  5. I sauteed the ginger, green peppers and chicken with a splash of liquid aminos
  6. I heated up a packet of whole grain brown basmati rice
  7. And I served.

The meal came out delicious and the boys loved it. I noticed as I was feeding Justin that the meal was a little dry so I grabbed my olive oil spritzer and sprayed a little olive oil to moisten it up and add some good fat to their meal.

On the items I used:

Liquid Aminos is a little gem to have at the house. It is a healthy alternative to soy sauce and it has 16 amino acids. The ingredients are Vegetable Protein from Soybeans and Purified Water. I use it in small quantities because I think it has a powerful taste but it really adds a nice touch to stir fries, or when you want to revive leftover grilled chicken or something like that.

Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative

I found this rice at Publix and tried it yesterday for the first time. It is a Whole Grain Brown Basmati Rice. Orlando and I don’t eat rice regularly but my doctor did tell me that kids need more whole grains than adults so I want to make sure to give them a balanced meal. I  thought this was great because it was microwaveable and has very low sodium 10mg. I tried it and will confess that its a little flavorless, but with the combination of the liquid amino chicken and vegetables and a spritz of olive oil, it was delicious.

We took this genius idea from Alton Brown’s Good Eats episodes. Olive oil is a tough one because its easy to drizzle too much on the plate. I bought this spray bottle at bed bath and beyond for less than $2.00 and it lets us control how much olive oil we want to put in our meals. In yesterday’s case, I only wanted a spray or two just to add a little moisture to the meal and it worked like a charm!




You may remember from our Sarasota post that we mentioned we had Spinach with Meat sauce and the recipe would follow. Well, I thought that was a perfect Fearless Friday dish. I don’t know why but I find Italian food in general to be yummy comfort food. Pastas, lasagnas, baked ziti…all dishes that are usually made in large quantities for friendly gatherings and for the most part, everyone loves it.

On this particular evening, we were all exhausted from a long day at the beach. We got home and didn’t know what to make for dinner and Yaimy mentioned that she had a box of Spinach pasta – gluten free 🙂 She bought this box at Whole Foods and brought it with her…just in case.

Well, we had ground turkey in the fridge and Orlando whipped up this meal quickly and it was DELICIOUS!

Orlando likes using the 93/7 ground turkey. Meaning 93% meat, 7% fat. He feels that anything less is so high in fat that you might as well use the ground beef…but the 99% fat free ground turkey is so lean that he finds it too dry for certain meals. We avoid SUGAR mainly, so a little fat doesn’t scare us.

So, on to the recipe…

Meat Sauce

  • 2 – 2 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • mix of oregano, basil and thyme
  • peas, carrots, and any other veggies you want to sneak in 🙂
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 small can of Rotelle tomato paste
  • 3 chopped tomatoes


  • Cook the spinach pasta according to the instructions on the box


Yaimy had taken a nice block of Manchego cheese on the trip also, so we grated the Manchego on top of the pasta… WOW!!!! We all loved it!

FYI: Sneaky Orlando had made a cabbage soup the night before and true to form…he snuck some of the veggies from the cabbage soup into the pasta. The result: our brains registered that we were eating a delicious Italian pasta dish that satisfied all our taste buds…but the truth is that we were having leeks, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, green beans, peas, and asparagus under all the deliciousness and actually eating a quite healthy meal. Obviously, we welcome vegetables and it is not necessary to sneak them in to anything, however, its good to know that you can offer this dish to your friends and family whether they are anti-veggies or not. They’ll never know the difference!!!!!!

Enjoy your weekend!!!!!!

Eggs and Avocados- a recipe we just discovered!

I get so excited when I get a recipe from a fellow healthy eater and it’s delicious. This weekend a good friend of ours suggested we try the following for breakfast.

Hard boiled eggs
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Just Mash it all together and serve for breakfast.

Can I tell you that I tried it this morning and I was blown away!

It was totally delicious and so easy to make. The only thing I had to do was boil the eggs which took about 15 minutes. Then I cut open the avocado, put the olive oil and salt and mixed it together.

The ratio I used was 2 eggs and 1/2 an avocado because that’s what I happened to have available.

It was also a nice variation from my regular morning smoothies. I’ll confess I felt a little guilty not getting all my fruits and veggies in the morning but I know I replaced them with good protein and fats which are also essential.

For those who are in a rush in the mornings:

Hard boiled eggs are quite easy because they can be cooked in batches. On any given night hard boil about 5-10 eggs (depending on your family size) and put them back in the egg carton. We get a marker and just write on the shell HB. The shell comes off and it’s how we differentiate them from the non cooked eggs. You can also tell by shaking the egg. Then in the morning you can peel and combine with the avocado. You can also take the boiled egg and avocado with you and make at work for snack or lunch… So it can be portable also.

I highly recommend you try this recipe. And it really doesn’t have to be limited to a breakfast food. I would have this for a snack in the middle of the day also.

I’m in love!!!!!!

I did a quick search on the benefits of these 2 foods and I found this informative short paragraph on both foods. Read below…

Eggs are one of our best sources of high-quality complete protein, which is easily absorbed and has all of the amino acids the body needs. Eggs are also high in choline, a phospholipid compound similar to B-vitamins that many cells in the body utilize. Choline plays a large role in gene expression, and may prevent long-term memory loss., Choline is also essential in the formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that sends messages between nerves and muscles. With more than 90% of Americans choline-deficient, incorporating eggs into your diet is an easy fix. Just be sure to use the egg yolk when making your morning scramble – since this is where all of the choline and vitamins are stored.
We’ve come to think of orange foods as the best source of carotenoids (carotenoids might make you think carrots, right?). But dark green vegetables actually get their trademark deep green color from a mixture of the green pigment chlorophyll with the orange-pigmented carotenoids.

Avocados boast incredibly high carotenoid levels, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties. What does anti-inflammatory really mean for us? Inflammation is the body’s protective response to toxins, pollutants, and other harmful invaders. Inflammation can decrease short-term cell function and over time causes permanent damage. Nutritious foods with anti-inflammatory properties help us minimize those damaging effects. You already know that avocados are a great source of heart-healthy fats, and that just adds to their superfood status: avocados have a truly unique mixture of fat-soluble vitamins, antioxidant plant pigments, and antioxidants, which have been linked to decreased risk for cancer.


Green smoothie

This morning I made the family a green smoothie.

Here’s what I put:

Romaine lettuce

I made this smoothie because Justin had a fever last night and I’m not sure if he’s teething or coming down with a cold. I thought the honey would be good for him.

I will confess it wasn’t his favorite. But he drank most of it and then I gave him a few craisins which he loves. I’m constantly trying new ingredients in my smoothies knowing that it may be hit or miss. But this is the only way to find the ones we absolutely love. It’s a process!!!!

Orly loved it though which shows that it’s really important to get the kids to try everything. It’s not a guarantee they’ll like it and each child is different but exposure plants the seed which is all we can do!