Category Archives: Soups

Tonight’s Dinner: Stewed Lentils with (Soy) Yogurt and Green Chilies

I’ve been eying this recipe since I got this month’s Whole Living magazine, but the health food store in the ‘burbs near me didn’t have any red lentils.   Whole Foods to the rescue!  I also picked up one of my favorite chocolate bars.  I’ve talked about them before, but the Lake Champlain Organic Dark Spicy Aztec Chocolate Bar is an addiction.  It satisfies my spicy palate, it calms my sweet tooth, and at 200 calories for a (small) bar, I don’t feel guilty indulging.

With a full belly, I’m now enjoying Glee, my chocolate, and blogging.  (Yes, I watch Glee. )

Stewed Lentils with Soy Yogurt and Green Chilies
Serves 4
Veganized from the original recipe “Stewed Lentils with yogurt, cucumbers, and green chilies” in Whole Living‘s October 2010 issue

For the lentils:
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
5 cups water
2 cups red lentils
Sea salt

For the garnish: (I made it for one)
1/8 cup diced onion
1 serrano chili, minced
1/8 cup cilantro, minced, plus whole leaf for serving
1 tsp white vinegar

For serving:
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
2 tbsp soy yogurt (I used Whole Soy Apricot-Mango since that is all I had.  It was awesome, but I’m not opposed to adding fruit to a savory dish!)

Directions:
1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Toast cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute, swirling pan.  Set aside.
2. Heat oil and add onion, garlic, and ginger.  Cook, stirring, until onions are tender, about 6 minutes.
3.  Add turmeric and toasted cumin seeds.  Cook 1 minute.
4.  Add water and lentils.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and partially cover.  Cook until lentils are tender and mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.  Season with 2-3 tsp of sea salt, to taste.
5. Meanwhile, prepare garnish:  Combine onion, chile, cilantro and vinegar.  Season with salt.
6.  To serve, ladle lentils over rice; top with soy yogurt and garnish mixture.  Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Nutritional information per serving:
652 calories: 2 g saturated fat; 8 g unsaturated fat; 3 mg cholesterol; 109 g carb; 24 mg sodium; 36 g protein

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Filed under Main Course, Soups

Black Bean and Chocolate Chili

During my camping excursion last week, my friend Lindsey made a big pot of Black Bean and Chocolate Chili for us to heat at base camp.  Once the sun went down, it gets cold in Missouri this time of year.  This hearty stew sure hit the spot – warming our bodies and our souls.

David and Michelle enjoying Black Bean and Chocolate Chili

It isn’t quite as cold in Tampa, but this afternoon was rainy and dreary, so I thought I would recreate the moment and make my husband and I some of the chili.  The original recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates recipe book (which I don’t have, but was lucky enough to score the recipe online – meanwhile I’ve put a hold on as many Moosewood cookbooks as I can at my local library).

When I cook chili I normally just throw black beans and other yummy ingredients in the pot, stir, taste and continue the process until I’m satisfied with the outcome.  It was nice to follow a recipe though to eliminate part of the trial and error with the spice mixture.  The unique blend of spices and the addition of dark chocolate made for an interesting and satisfying meal.

My husband thought the chili was a tad sweet for his taste buds.  I’m  not sure if that is because of the chocolate or the use of cinnamon which he normally equates with sweets.  I, however, really enjoyed this easy to make dish.

Let me know how you enjoy it as well.

Black Bean and Chocolate Chili
Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates Cookbook


2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small fresh chile, minced
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. chopped bell peppers
3 c. cooked or canned black beans
2 c. undrained crushed canned tomatoes
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
chopped scallions

In a saucepan, warm the oil on medium heat. Add the onions ad garlic and saute until the onions become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and chile, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat and stir in the spices and bell peppers. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the bell peppers begin to soften. Stir occasionally to keep the spices from burning. If needed, add a little juice from the canned tomatoes.

Add the black beans, tomatoes, lemon juice and soy sauce. Bring the chili to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chocolate. When it is melted, adjust the salt, black pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Garnish with chopped scallions.

My notes:

- As I’m making the recipe I’m searching long and hard on the internet only to get conflicting information.  Is 1 celery stalk in fact 1 rib of celery or the bunch/bundle?  I called my friend to see how she made it, but got her voice mail.  Google was no help because apparently a stalk of celery really does mean the bunch, but in recipes a stalk really does mean a rib.  I ended up using 3 ribs, and after I had added them to the pot, Lindsey returned my call and told me she normally uses 3 also.  Whew!

-  I used a 30 oz. can of uncrushed tomatoes, since that was the size of my can, and after only adding half, I thought it could use a little more liquid.

- My favorite type of chocolate is Lake Champlain’s Dark Spicy Aztec, which by the way I’m indulging in right this second, and I think would have been lovely in the soup.  Due to already adding a jalapeno, I decided against it (too much spice means my husband won’t enjoy it).  However, I urge you lovely readers to consider using it if you love the spice (or just buying it to enjoy).  I buy it at Whole Foods or other health food stores.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (207 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8

Calories 198.2
Calories from Fat 64
Total Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 401.5 mg
Potassium 594.4 mg
Magnesium 88.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 28.8 g
Dietary Fiber 9.7 g
Protein 8.8%
Eat well

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Filed under Main Course, Soups