Monday, January 19, 2015

REAL FOOD MONDAY ~ Moroccan Lentil Soup


For me Moroccan cuisine is one of the best in the world. The layers of flavor can be subtle or spicy with unique combinations like preserved lemons and olives or sweet cooked onions in raisin sauce. Located on the northwest edge of Africa, for centuries Morocco has been at the crossroads of cultures. The food gives you a peak into the country's history with influences from Rome, Spain, Arab Countries and the native Berber's to name a few.

Today's Real Food Monday recipe is a Moroccan Lentil Soup. Layered with flavors this soup is also good for you. Lentils are nutrient dense. They are high in protein, help improve digestion, help with diabetes control and heart health. Not to mention the soup is loaded with healthy spices and veggies!



  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    2. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 55 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 5 minutes.
    3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice. ENJOY!

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    DIY ~ Healthy Almond Milk ( on the cheap!)


    When it comes to dairy we buy only organic, which can be very expensive. I like to use almond milk for things like smoothies, some baking and some of my soups. But organic almond milk can be expensive as well. My solution is to make my own almond milk!

    I have tried several recipes. Some of them just did not taste very good. In others I could not justify the cost. Then I stumbled upon a recipe that was pretty good and made the cost to make it was great. After some "tweaking" ...oh my. I love it!

    The recipe is simple but you will need to do some planning. But it truly is worth it!

    Healthy Almond Milk on the Cheap!
    • 1 & 1/2  cups of almonds
    • 1 gallon of water ( purified if you can)
    • 1 whole vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large pitted dates
    • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • Optional - Sweetener to taste ( raw honey or molasses is my favorite)
    1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
    2. Rinse and drain the almonds. Place almonds in the blender
    3. Add the 1/2 the vanilla and dates.
    4. Add as much of the water as your blender can handle.
    5. Blend on highest speed for a few minutes.
    6. Strain into container. I use a nut milk bag (you can use a clean unused paint strainer or cheese cloth )
    7. Be sure and squeeze out all of the "milk" that you can
    8. Place the ground nuts that are in the straining bag BACK INTO the blender. You are using them again
    9. Add remaining vanilla, dates and water.
    10. Blend and repeat straining process.
    11. Take the strained milk and add put back in the blender. Add cinnamon, pinch of salt and sweetener ( if you want)
    9. Blend and put back in container
    10 ENJOY.

    If your blender is small simply divide into smaller batches to blend. You can use the left over almond meal for smoothies, add to muffins or oatmeal or even make into almond flour!

    Be sure and check out our Seasonal Herbal CSH Surprise Boxes just click on the link.

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Real Food Monday ~ Skillet Rosemay Lemon Chicken


    One of my favorite culinary and medicinal herbs is Rosemary. Rosemary is deeply aromatic with a pine like scent and slight floral undertones. It is delicious to use with roasted meats, root vegetables and herbal vinegars.

    On a medicinal note Rosemary is rich source of anti-oxidants and is high in anti-inflammatory compounds. Traditionally Rosemary has been used for improving digestion, ease headaches and enhance memory and concentration. Recent studies have show that it may significantly help prevent brain aging.

    Todays Real Food Recipe incorporates the goodness of Rosemary into a one pot dish that is simple, delicious and even with organic meat cheap to make! 



    • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves
    • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes
    • Juice of 2 lemons (cut in 1/2 and save the halvs)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4-6 skin-on, bone-in organic chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)
    • 10 ounces mushrooms, halved


    Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
    Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
    Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet, place chicken over mushrooms and potatoes and drizzle with any marinade remaining in the bowl and the juice of the remaining lemon.
    Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. ENJOY!

    Recipe & Image from Sadie + Stella blog