Brown Rice with Cardamom

Most people dread brown rice. If cooked well, brown rice tastes so much better than white rice, has more fiber, more fat, and can be surprisingly filling. The secret to perfect brown rice are these two steps. The first step is to soak the rice before cooking, preferably overnight. The second step is to let the rice rest for at least an hour before serving. I know how to cook rice in a rice cooker, but I am sure you can modify and cook it on the stove top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of brown rice, washed & soaked overnight in 2 1/2 cups of water (add water if required)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom 

Directions:

Transfer the soaked rice and water into the rice cooker, add salt and oil. Once it is cooked, sprinkle the cardamom on and let it set on warm for an hour or more. This rice can be served with lentils or any other dish of your choice.


Lentil Soup

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup of soaked, cooked lentils
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • garlic and ginger to taste, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 chili powder
  • 2 TBSP avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed
  • pinch of cumin

Directions

Soak 1 cup of lentils in two cups of water over night. Bring the mixture to boil and set on low heat, until the lentils are soft enough.

Place a pot on medium heat and add the oil. Add the mustard seed, followed by onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for a few minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the tomatoes and stir for a few minutes until it forms a sauce like consistency. Add all the seasonings and stir. Close the lid for 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils. Stir and add water to achieve your preferred consistency. Let it simmer on low for 15 minutes. It is ready to serve. 

Note: This soup can be served with bread or a thicker consistency can be served over rice. 


BAKED SWEET POTATO GINGER

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped evenly
  • 1 tsp cinnamon  
  • 1/4 cup peanuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried figs or cranberries
  • Small cube of ginger, peeled and cut
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 TBSP of Avocado Oil

Directions:

Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle the cinnamon on evenly. Add the rest of the ingredients and then the oil. Mix everything well.  Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the mixture in an oiled seasoned cast iron pan. Bake for 1 hour or until fully cooked.  Stir at least once or as needed


Pumpkin Cashew Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin or 2 cups of puree
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in water
  • 1tsp cinnamon  
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • pinch of cumin
  • pinch of pumpkin spice

Directions

Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Place the cut sides face down in a baking dish with 1 cup of water. Bake at 400 F until soft. Let it cool a bit, remove the skin and then add all the ingredients in a blender. Blend well and serve. 


Quinoa Pasta

I have always like pasta baked with cheese, but regular wheat pasta and cheese make a very heavy carbohydrate and fat meal. Thank goodness for quinoa pasta. It adds some protein in to the mix and makes this pasta dish well balanced and delicious.  Disclosure: This is not low in calories or healthiest recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked al dente pasta (see the package for cooking directions)
  • 2 TBSP avocado oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce, or your own homemade pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend, or more if you prefer it really cheesy 

Directions

Place a pot on medium heat. Put the oil in, add the garlic and stir till golden. Add the chopped pepper. Stir for about 10 minutes or until the peppers are almost cooked. Add the pasta sauce in and bring to boil. Turn off the heat. Add the cooked and drained pasta in and stir well. Put the pasta in an oven safe dish. Place the cheese on top evenly. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly golden. Enjoy!


The Big Soup

This is one of those soups that you cook during a rainy day and can eat it over the next several days.  

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup kidney beans, soaked over night
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, soaked over night
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped evenly
  • 1 large carrot, chopped evenly
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped evenly
  • 1 russet potato, chopped evenly
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Seasonings to taste: bay leaf, cumin, red chili powder, cinnamon, salt, pepper
  • 2 TBSP avocado oil
  • 1TBSP dried mint powder  

Directions

Cook the kidney beans and garbanzo beans together in three cups of water till soft. Do not drain, it will be used as stock. Set aside. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the garlic and onion till translucent. Add the potatoes, stir for 2 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stir well. Add the carrots. Add the seasoning. Give it a good toss, close the lid for about 3 minutes. Add the celery, stir well. Then add the beans and the stock. Check the consistency and add water to your liking. Stir well. Bring to a boil for 5 min. Add the mint powder and let simmer on low heat till all the ingredients are well cooked.