Wednesday, April 18, 2018

French Lentil Soup Instant Pot

How much do you love your Instant Pot? 
French Lentil Soup can be made in 16 minutes cooking time in my Instant Pot, and it is so good I ate it for breakfast this morning !  

This naturally creamy soup has a rich flavor and lots of healthy ingredients. It's naturally gluten free, high fiber, plant based ( vegan) soup.

Why I try to eat plant based
You know I am always dieting. Despite relatively healthy menus , I still tend to be about 10-15 pounds overweight. The other day I met a beautiful woman named Monica who mentioned that she used to weigh 300 pounds.

She said that she had tried many diets, bypass surgery, and exercise but nothing seemed to work permanently for her until she decided to go on a plant based diet. 

Of course I was intrigued and had to know how she did it.  She said that she ate no meat, chicken, eggs or dairy. She did eat fish very very occasionally. And she assured me that she ate carbs- like potatoes, bread, rice etc. 

She also wrote out a list of books that inspired and in some cases frightened her to change to a plant based diet.

Some reading Monica suggested: 

The Cheese Trap The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthyby Neil Bernard, MD

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD

I have read many books that support a plant based diet. Personally, I am a vegetarian but eat many plant based recipes. Today I am sharing a vegan and gluten free delicious French Lentil Soup Recipe. 

I used a handful of Haricot style green beans that I bought at Costco 

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog ( www.realfoodblogger)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Serves : 8-10 bowls

1 and 1/2 cups of green french lentils , washed and cleaned
1/2 large tomato diced
1/2 red onion diced
4 cloves garlic diced
8 haricot green beans, sliced 
8 cups of good tasting vegetable broth ( I used Whole Foods 365 organic vegetable broth)
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Saute veggies in the instant pit for 4 minutes , turn off the sautee feature and then turn to cook 16 minutes - allow to slow release for 5 minutes and then release manual according to directions on your Instant Pot

My Notes: 
1. 16 minutes cooking time does not take into consideration the heat up time and the release time.

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post. 

This post is also linked to Souper Sunday where anyone can share a soup, salad, or sammie recipe. Check out this week's recipes.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Moroccan Cumin Chickpeas

I live in a very diverse area in a high rise with neighbors of all nationalities. Last night my friend Suzanne, who is originally from Morocco, invited a group of us for dinner to taste some of her authentic family recipes. Moroccan Cumin Chickpeas was one of her recipes which happens to be vegan and gluten free.

Being a vegetarian, I have certainly eaten my share of chickpeas ( garbanzo beans) , but her recipe really intrigued me. First of all the chickpeas were slightly smaller in size than the ones I usually see. In addition, they had a brown golden hue and the fragrant aroma of cumin. I was excited to dig in to the slightly saucy  beans, and I wasn't disappointed. They were exotic in taste, smooth and buttery in texture, and very delicious. ( of course you gotta like cumin and we do!)

The chickpea recipe makes a nice side dish for any meal or a wonderful addition to a Middle Eastern Mezza ( appetizer salads)

To say that Suzanne is an outstanding cook is an understatement. I will write another post describing more of  her  other  unique dishes that she served at this outstanding meal.

Can Make it in a Regular Pot or an Instant Pot

Although Suzanne made her chickpeas in a regular pot, I decided to make mine in my Instant Pot which saves hours of time with quality results. ( I'll give the recipe both ways)

Other Moroccan Recipes
I have published Moroccan recipes in the past. Savory and lemony Moroccan carrots is a favorite. If you like things hot, Moroccan Harissa soup ( with Harissa recipe) is outstanding and easy,
I'm glad to add Moroccan Cumin Chickpeas to my list of Moroccan recipes that meat gluten free standards.


1 bag of dry chick peas ( like Goya Brand) , washed and soaked overnight
1 level teaspoon of turmeric
1 level teaspoon of cumin
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt 
1 cup of water

Directions for Instant Pot: ( 20 minutes) 
Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the Instant Pot. Add the garlic and saute in the Instant Pot for 1 minutes. Turn off saute mode and switch to manual or pressure cook. Add washed and soaked uncooked chickpeas, turmeric, cumin, salt and water. Cook in Instant pot on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow to steam release on it's own.

Directions for Regular Pot:
Place 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a 5 quart pot. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Add dry soaked overnight chickpeas and stir in the oil in garlic. Add turmeric, cumin, and salt and 5  cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for one and half hours until chick peas are soft. Add additional boiling water if needed or boiling vegetable broth. 

My Notes: 
1. This recipe is extremely economical to make
2. This recipe makes a tasty side dish for any meal or with a salad it's lunch
3. The Instant Pot make it so fast and easy
4. No need to use cans that have aluminum and bpa
5. Very high in fiber and other nutrients
6. Great recipe when health matters 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Banana Split Breakfast

This is such a clever idea. Do you love banana splits? Now you can have one for breakfast or lunch. 

However instead of the ice cream, substitute a scoop of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt . 

You can still use a banana and add any fruit and or that nuts you like to make a healthy delicious breakfast treat. 

Kids of All Ages Love to Make and Eat Banana Split Breakfasts 

Kids especially love to make and eat this breakfast recipe that can be drizzled with honey or maple syrup. 

It is perfect for those who are gluten free since no grains are used!

There is no limit to your imagination of what you can add to your banana split.  You make it your way, so every banana split breakfast is different and geared to your personal taste.  

List of Choices: 

1. ground flax
2. all fruit jelly or jam
3. honey
4. maple syrup
5. walnuts
6. pecans
7. berries
8. pineapple
9. banana
10. coconut
11. cocoa nibs
12. raw sunflower seeds ( unsalted)

Banana Split Breakfasts not only look inviting, they taste amazing. In fact after I ate mine I decided it makes a fabulous dessert!! Maybe in a parfait glass layered - yum

Great Passover Breakfast when you can't eat grain- 

During Passover we abstain from leavened products with includes breads, cereals, and some grains. Breakfast is frequently a challange- so this week I've come up with 4 ideas:

1. 2-3 ingredient banana pancakes ( gluten free and kosher for Passover)

2. Low Carb Cream Cheese Pancakes ( GF and K for Passover)

3. Matzo Brei ( using GF Matzo )

4. This yummy banana split breakfast-

You can make them as healthy as you like- fruit, nuts, and yogurt offer some powerful nutrition! Add ground flax seeds for some extra fiber!

Linking to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post.