Tag Archives: Lemon

Rainy Day Stew

The last few days have been absolutely dreary.  It might be summer, but the wind has been howling, the rain has been falling, and the temperature dropping more than it should during summer.  So it seemed like the perfect time to make a big pot of warm soup.  And man, was I ever right. This is technically vegetarian, although you can add meat in if you want. I top mine with either sour cream or yogurt. I adapted this recipe from the New Zealand Healthy Food Guide Magazine.

 

Curried Vege Stew

Serves: 8 or so

Time to make: 35 minutes

 

  • olive Oil or oil spray
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cubed
  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (i used 2 of the new Knorr brand gelled stock things)
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2-1 cup dried fruit (i use dried cranberries and dried apricots)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sour cream or yogurt to serve

 

Spray your heavy based pan with your oil spray, or coat lightly in the olive oil and place over medium high heat.  fry your shallot and carrots until softened.  Add 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Sautee until fragrant.   Add in lentils, stock, and sweet potato mash, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Add in the kidney beans, chickpeas, dried fruits, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes until lentils are thoroughly cooked. Taste as you stir, and adjust seasoning as you desire.  I prefer mine to have a bit of a hot and sour kick, so I add in more lemon juice.  salt and pepper to taste.

 

serve immediately with sour cream, or yogurt.

 

Last night I topped mine off with a dollop of greek yogurt, some freshly chopped cucumber, and dashes of mint and dill.  For lunch today, I had mixed up a yogurt dip that was a cross between tzatziki and raita and I used that on top of the stew.  Served with rye bread, this is a meal that will leave you feeling full and very warm and toasty.

 

Great for chilly winter/autumn days, or dreary rainy days.  It does not look particularly tasty, but do not let your eyes fool you.

 

 

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

 

peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber

greek yogurt

lemon juice

pinch of salt

2 pinches of sugar

dried dill

dried mint

 

Sadly, last night I did not measure.  But I took about 1/3 of a long hot house/english cucumber, peeled and seeded and chopped*.  I used about 3 large soup spoons of yogurt (let’s say about 1/3 cup), about 1 teaspoon lemon juice, pinch of salt, 2 pinches of sugar (maybe 1/2 tablespoon?), and then a tablespoon each of mint and dill.  Mixed it up well, tasted, adjusted the sugar and salt, and then covered and let sit in the fridge.

 

 

*While the sauce should be slightly runny, you don’t want it too watery.  A good trick is to take the chopped cucumbers, place them in a small strainer (or sifter), and coat them with a little salt. let this sit for at least 30 minutes, and then you can proceed with your recipe.  The salt draws some of the internal water from the cucumber, meaning that your end dip will be less runny.  This method is also used on other water-packed vegetables like eggplant in order to get a nice and crisp result.

 

 

Well there you go!  I hope that since most of my friends are in the northern hemisphere, that you find a use for this recipe soon!  The original in the magazine has half the size of this recipe, but since E loves soup so much, I always double soup recipes.  My additions to the recipe are the cumin, the sweet potato mash (i had some leftover from the other day), the chili powder.  The original calls for sultanas, but I didn’t have those on hand,  The recipe calls for lemon zest, but I only have lemon juice, the original calls for an onion, but I prefer to use shallots.  I also added in the step of toasting the curry powder and chili powder with the shallots, the original just has the spices being put in with the kidney beans and the chickpeas.

 

As Originally written, the authors in the magazine claim that the cost is $2.50 a serving.  That is, of course, in new Zealand Dollars, so it’s closer to approx $1.75 US.  Not bad for a tasty stick it to the ribs meal.

 

 

 

Thursdays

I am finding myself more capable of making it down and up the hill.  The breath comes back faster, and hurts less. there are less stabbing, prodding, poking hot stakes going into my chest.

 

How am I doing?

 

I’m making it. Being depressed makes things difficult.  But beating myself up into misery isn’t going to get all this excess fat off of me or tone this extra skin down.

 

I still need to get a scale.  But at the moment, I’ll take bit by bit.  I need to eat less.  My portion sizes have gone back up again and I know it’s not a good thing.  Because I feel miserable afterward.

 

Hot & Sour soup tonight for dinner, Not exactly light and refreshing, but it’s lighter than spaghetti and cream sauce.

 

going to try to make the Hamantaschen cookies tomorrow.  Had no luck at the grocery store near the house finding pie filling of any kind, so I picked up some lemon curd.  gonna try to fill the cookies with that.

 

there’s no real point to this post, nothing has made me want to post all of this, other than I need to keep people updated I suppose.

 

Job search is the same.  It’s still a search.  My CV has been more professionalized, my cover letters are better structured and professional looking.  Somebody, somewhere is going to want to hire me.  I just have to keep trying.

 

And that’s my life this thursday.  Oh, happy St Patricks Day.  Umm I’ll make some lettuce or something….