Red Lentil Soup

(Recipe from NYT, 30 December 2008)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground

2 teaspoons hot curry powder

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/8 cups), washed and picked over

2 quarts (8 c) water or vegetable stock

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cayenne to taste (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lime

Optional for garnish:

Chopped fresh cilantro

Thickened yogurt

Martha Rose Shulman for the NYT says:

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Stir together for about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly. Add salt to taste.

2. Stir in the lentils and water or veg stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and continue to simmer for 1 minutes, until the lentils have fallen apart and thickened the soup. Using the back of your spoon, mash the lentils against the side of the pot to thicken the soup further. Add the pepper, taste, and add cayenne if you want more spice. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the lime juice.

3. If you wish, puree with an immersion blender.  Serve, topping each bowl with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

NYT has also provided the following:

Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving (recipe makes 6): calories 360; total fat: 6.8g; saturated fat: 0.7g; cholesterol: 0mg; sodium: 1032mg; total carbs 54.7g; dietary fiber 25.3g; sugars: 6.8g; protein: 22.1g (Nutritional Information provided by

Totaling up our ingredients, yes, from Whole Foods, I have determined the following:

Total cost:  $8.99 for the whole pot of soup, which includes $1 thrown in for the evoo and spices instead of precisely determining the cost per teaspoon but does not include $1 for the optional yogurt garnish.  We divided this soup among three of us, which comes to $2.99 per person (and something tells me we’ll get a lunch out of it tomorrow).

Southwest Quinoa Salad

2 c quinoa

3 c water

12 oz black beans

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 ear of corn, off the cobb

1 avocado, diced

feta cheese, crumbled

roasted sunflower seeds

half a yellow onion, diced (unless you’re yawa)

cilantro, chopped

any other veggies you feel like throwing in

Cook quinoa by combining water and quinoa in a pot, bringing to boil, and then simmering covered for 10-15 minutes or until the desired consistency. Combine quinoa with beans, veggies, feta, and cilantro.  We made a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic, dijon mustard, and agave, and then topped it off with salt and black and red pepper.

Total cost:  $8.59 for a big bowl of quinoa salad, which includes $1 thrown in for the dressing but minus the assumed cost of $0.75 per onion.  We divided this salad among three of us, which comes to $2.86 per person.