September 29, 2010 at 1:24 am 1 comment

This afternoon I was inspired by several blog posts and tweets I read over the last 24 hours; I was inspired to don my candy cane stripe apron and spend some time in the kitchen.

My first inspiration was from Finola’s Blog.  She talked about making lots of yummy things over the last couple of days, though this is not her usual habit.

Next, I read an interesting tweet from @Foodthought 1/2 cup cooked quinoa is enough protein for the day for a child!

Everyone is talking about quinoa these days and I’ve really wanted to try it.  What’s more, I’m always trying to incorporate plant-based protein into our diet (since I am a vegetarian and don’t really enjoy preparing meat, though I do).

I think protein is often emphasized too little in adult diets, but over-emphasized for children.  I’ve seen parents feeding their children protein shakes with enough protein for the whole day, and too much protein for their little kidneys to process in one sitting.

But back to quinoa:  I had already planned to make my favourite lentil and brown rice dinner.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of rice.  Since I only had 3/4 cup of brown rice left in the pantry, I decided to add 1/4 cup of quinoa.  Yay!  Finally, a way to sneak in some quinoa and try the texture out combined with flavours I know everyone already likes.

Around noon, I read a post at a Peek Inside the Fishbowl about lunch time soup (which included peanut butter so I couldn’t make it).  I had the lentils on the counter for the dinner recipe, and a commenter on the soup posted a link to a spicy lentil soup recipe for which I had all the ingredients.  “Why not?”, I thought.

I used dried green lentils and had to cook the soup for much longer than the original recipe recommended.  This meant I also had to add another 2 cups of water.  It was so delicious… though, if anyone in your family doesn’t like strong aromas, beware!  This is my version of the recipe:

Indian Lentil Soup
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 spanish onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon ginger (fresh, chopped)
3 small white potatoes
2 carrots
200 grams dried green lentils
1 litre (4 cups) water

1 tbsp curry
1 tsp turmeric
0,5 tsp chili
sea salt

Chop all the vegetables quite small.

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot.

Add onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. After about a minute add the potatoes, carrots and the lentils, stir it around another minute before adding the water (or vegetable stock).

Let it boil on medium heat for 30 minutes, stir occasionally, taste the soup and add more salt and spices if needed. Let it boil for another 30 minutes more; you may need to add another cup or two or three of water at this point. The soup is done when the lentils are almost dissolved.

Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh coriander.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 348
Calories from Fat 38
Total Fat 4.3g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Sodium 36mg
Total Carbohydrates 62.3g
Dietary Fiber 20.6g
Sugars 5.6g
Protein 16.4g

And then, of course, I felt like making a really decadent treat.  Yesterday, I read a post on Cookie Madness about this fabulous recipe from David Lebovitz.  Oh my!  It is scrumptious and rich and you only need a tiny piece to feel satisfied.  Though, if you are concerned about your saturated fat intake, read no further.  Or read, and imagine, but stop there.

We snacked on these a bit this afternoon, and the rest is packed away in the freezer (for the next sugar/fat/chocolate craving).

Cheesecake Brownies

One 9-inch (23cm) square pan

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) chocolate chips

8 ounces (200g) light cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a 9-inch (23cm) square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6. Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter.

7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

Let cool, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.

Storage: These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well, too.

Calories 144
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 8.9g
Saturated Fat 5.5g
Cholesterol 43mg
Sodium 67mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.0g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 12.1g
Protein 2.1g

Entry filed under: Recipes.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Nanny: Last Week of September

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Finola  |  September 29, 2010 at 1:53 am

    This may be the first time I have ever inspired anyone to cook. I am so pleased 🙂
    That lentil soup recipe sounds amazing and I think I will make that next weekend. Thanks for the recipe!


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