Hearty Soup for a Cold Winter’s Night

“How we need that security. How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this. I need someone to pour myself into.”
― Sylvia Plath

It’s freezing in Toronto.  Windchills, snow, ice…winter is making its presence known.  What’s better on a chilly winter’s night than some hearty, hot soup.  Perusing my fridge, I got the idea to make a butternut squash and kale soup with chicken.

Some of the ingredients – butternut squash, orzo and lentils.  Butternut squash is a great source of fibre and heart friendly vitamins while lentils deliver an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron — especially when paired with a food containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruits or peppers. And like other legumes, lentils are a significant (and virtually fat-free) source of protein.

IMG_6695First, the lentils go into a pot of boiling vegetable broth seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme.  I threw in some chopped garlic also.

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After about 10 minutes, the sliced squash is added.  This is left to boil for about 25 minutes.

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After the 25 minutes, sliced chicken is added.  The soup is then brought down to simmer for another 30 minutes.IMG_6699

Within this 30 minutes, the orzo is added. IMG_6700

By now the squash is soft, the chicken and lentils cooked and the smell fragrant.  Time to add the kale. IMG_6701

Just another 2 minutes to allow the kale to steep in the broth and soup is done. IMG_6704

Protein from the chicken and lentils, fibre and antioxidant properties from the squash and the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K from the kale. Not only flavourful and filling, this soup is healthy.

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Quick Kale Macadamia Nut Pesto

Making use of ingredients in my kitchen. Trying to whip up something for lunch tomorrow because I’m trying to avoid buying something junkie.

Decided to use kale and macadamia nuts to make pesto. Other ingredients include roasted garlic, garlic salt, garlic infused macadamia oil from Hawaii, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.

I blanched the kale for 30 seconds to soften.

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Then I throw everything else in and pulse adding oil as needed.

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Lunch tomorrow is pesto covered salmon. Yay! =)

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Eating Up The Kale

So, just trying to eat up the veggies in my fridge before they go bad. I think perhaps my eyes were bigger than my stomach…yet again. It’s Sunday and I’m lazy plus I am not in need of making a lunch or dinner for the next couple of days, so I am definitely not cooking up a big meal.

I keep coming across articles and recipes for kale chips. People seem to swear by them – “the BEST chips ever!”. Well, no better time to try this.

My kale, washed and well dried. Ripped into fairly big pieces since they apparently shrink up.

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I put the kale pieces into a ziplock bag along with one tablespoon of olive oil. I shook the bag lightly, just trying to ensure all the leaves get coated by the oil.

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Then I laid them in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet and sprinkled some garlic salt all over. Not too much.

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Into the oven for about 17 minutes, just until I started to see some of the leaves turning a bit brown. And then I had kale chips.

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They certainly were crispy but were very light. Just enough saltiness. I suppose it’s a good way to eat up kale. Wouldn’t say they were “the BEST ever” but they were pretty good. =)