Monday, December 10, 2018

Curried Red Lentils with Winter Squash

Curried Red Lentils with Winter Squash Cubes
My dear friend Chrysa made me this spectacular Lentil dish on a recent family visit. It was so delicious that I could probably eat it every day for lunch and not tire of it.

The sweet squash chunks contrast beautifully with the savory Lentils.

And, it's super-healthy, too : )

She found the recipe here. She made a few changes when she made it for me. Then I made a few changes, resulting in the current Slow Cooker-friendly version.

Curried Red Lentils with Winter Squash

Saute in a non-stick skillet:
1 T oil
1 ½ C Onion
1 tsp garlic (I use the jarred, minced from fresh kind)
1 T Ginger (I use the jarred kind)
1 T Curry Powder
Add the above to slow cooker with
1# Red Lentils, sorted and rinsed well
1 Can diced Tomatoes, with juice
2 tsp salt
7-8 C Water
1 bag (10-20 oz) squash Cubes 
Cook on High about 4 hours
At end of cooking, add
Small Dash Lemon Juice at end to brighten flavors (not too much now !)

 In the slow cooker, frozen squash cubes tend to lose their shape and mix with the lentils (which can be quite tasty, too!). If you wish to keep a firmer shape, and a more distinct flavor contrast, use fresh, large cubes (about 1" cubes), or add frozen cubes one to two hours before the end of cooking time.

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Spicy Asian Orange Bowl

Spicy Asian Orange Bowl
This is a great lunch for one. If you want something healthy and satisfying, give it a try. It's also quick to throw together : )

You can completely customize it to your own personal tastes.

First add a layer of Rice. Or Quinoa. Or Couscous - or whatever your favorite grain is.

Top it with your favorite veggies. Here, I used a Stir Fry medley from the freezer. But, other times I add raw veggies like Shredded Cabbage.


Other good toppings (cooked or raw):
Snow Peas, Peas, Edamame, Broccoli, Peanuts, Tofu, Almonds, Scallions, Carrots, Celery, Mandarin Orange Segments

If you're an Omnivore, Some cubed chicken would also go nicely.

This is a GREAT dish for using up those leftovers in the fridge : )

I make the sauce in the microwave, but if you prefer, you can make it in a saucepan on the stovetop. Just keep stirring until it simmers - which won't take very long at all.

Here's the Sauce for One 

Spicy Asian Orange Sauce for One to Two

1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Water
½ Tablespoon Sugar*
¼ teaspoon Sriracha(or to taste)
½ teaspoon Tapioca Starch
Microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, till clear & bubbly (usually less than 1 minute total cooking time)



Here's the Sauce for a family


Spicy Asian Orange Sauce for 4 to 8


1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup  Soy Sauce
1/4 cup  Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup  Water
2 Tablespoons Sugar*
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or to taste)
2 teaspoons Tapioca Starch
Microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds, till clear & bubbly

Here's the nutrition information per serving I calculated for this sauce on these sites for
General Nutrition Information and  For WW Points:
When made with Sugar, per 2 T serving:
43.1 Calories, 0g Saturated Fat, 6 g Sugar, 1 g Protein. 2 WW Freestyle Smartpoints

*I tried this recipe with both 1) Pink Sweetener Packets (Saccharine) and 2) Measures-the-same-as-sugar-sucralose (Aka Splenda or Apriva). Don't use the Pink Packets (1) . But, if you use the Splenda-type sweetener that measures like sugar (2) - it  works like a dream. It also cuts your points in half, and significantly reduces your calories. Your call.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Two Week Advent Menu

Here's my menu for the first two weeks of Advent this year. For us Greek Orthodox Christians, most days of Advent (also known as the Christmas Fast) are days when meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy are forbidden, but fish is allowed. It begins on November 15th, and ends - of course- on Christmas. For us Greek Orthodox Christians, Christmas is December 25th. Russian Orthodox Christians follow a different calendar, so their Fast starts later, and their Christmas lands on January 7 by our calendar. Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians are the same religiously - we are in full communion with each other. But we have some cultural differences - language, music, and calendar dates, for example.

Since I'm vegetarian, I plan a menu with very little fish, but keep a little fish in the freezer - and tuna in the cupboard - to add as an impromptu "side dish" with any meal for the family, as desired.

The vast majority of these meals have a Slow Cooker option - making for an easy cooking schedule.

Here's the plan:

Greek Okra & Tomato Stew

Fasolia Vrasta (served with Tuna for Omnivores)



Indian Chickpeas in Ginger Sauce over Rice

Stir Fry Veggies over Rice

Chili & Rice



Split Pea Soup

Calzone Casserole



Tabouli and Lentil Rice Salad  with Fish

Fasolia Yachni

Black Tie Moujendra

Greek Style Black-Eyed Peas

Boca Burgers (purchased) and Oven Fries

Peas & Artichokes Yachni

Fill Your Own Tortilla



Red Lentil & Squash Curry (Recipe still to come!)

Cyprus Bulgur Pilaf


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