Sweet Potato Salad (An Idea for Leftovers or Not)

Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad (recipe from IIN)

“Num, num!”  I think this salad is so yummy, and you can be so creative with it.  You can use turkey or chicken for the lentils, but the lentils are perfectly good too. It’s also really good if you add dried cranberries, cherries or, if you love sweet, dates.  So be creative.  I love that!

With Thanksgiving behind us, we might find ourselves with already baked sweet potatoes calling to our tummies from the fridge.  Well, put them in this salad.  Did you know that sweet potatoes help balance blood sugar despite their sweet taste?  Lentils, too, can help balance blood sugar.  So here’s what you need:

1/2 cup green lentils

1 large sweet potato

1/4 cup raw walnuts

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp maple sugar

Dash of sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Dash of cinnamon

2 cups baby spinach

1.  Cook the lentils using 4 cups of water to every 1 cup of lentils.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes on low

2. Dice the sweet potatoes into cubes, toss them with melted butter or coconut oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Bake them for about 30 minutes at 400*.

3. Fill a bowl with the washed spinach.

4.  Combine mustard, vinegar, and maple syrup.

5.  Toss lentils, sweet potatoes, and spinach together in bowl.  Pour dressing over salad.

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Tomato Soup

I originally got this recipe from Amand Blake Soule’s website, SouleMama.com  I have, however, made a few changes  to make it easier for digestion.  She uses olive oil which has a low heat tolerance resulting in oil not easily digested.  I replaced it with coconut oil and also left out the celery.  I have two jars of it in the freezer waiting for a winter’s night to be brought out for hungry mouths.  Here is the revised version.

You will need:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

4 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, sliced in half and with stems removed

1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste

1 medium white onion (she calls for yellow, but I like the sharp taste of the white) diced

5 medium carrots diced

3 cloves minced garlic or to taste

2 cups free-range chicken broth

Place the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet, top with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and thyme (or whatever herb you like).  Roast them in the oven for 3o min. at 400*

Colorado grown tomatoes from Pope Farms

While the tomatoes roast, melt the butter in the bottom of a stock pot.  Add the onion, carrots, and garlic until they begin to get soft.

When the tomatoes are done, add them.

Also add the chicken broth, and simmer until the vegetables are done.

Puree the soup.  If you want to eat right away, add some cream (if you don’t have a dairy allergy) and fresh basil.  If you want to freeze it for later, ladel into jars, let it cool so the glass doesn’t break in the freezer, and freeze.

To reheat: thaw out the soup, pour into pot on stove, and slowly reheat.  You can then add your basil and/or cream.

DIY: Almond Milk

Something I really love about cooking is that it’s such a do-it-yourself activity.  Where I may not be able to repair a gas leak in my house, I can cook which somehow makes me feel like a competent human in the face of sometimes overwhelming circumstances.  I know I could buy a lot of take-out or live on someone else’s cooking, but I also know that I can do it myself.  That’s not the case with gas leaks which require knowing more than I do about plumbing or pipes.  It’s also great to know that I don’t have to rely on grocery store brands of almond milk to have a nice nut milk to drink.  They oftentimes are full of additives anyhow, and if that is professional cooking, well, then I’ll take my chances in my own kitchen.  Thanks.

Here is how I make my own milk:

1.  I buy raw almonds in bulk through Amazon.com  Raw almonds, unlike their roasted counterparts, have enzymes which aid in digestion.

2. I gather my ingredients.  I’ll need:

1 cup of raw almonds

water

1 bowl

3.  Place the almonds in the bowl, and add water to about one inch above the almonds.  Soak overnight.

4. Next day: drain and rinse the almonds.  Then you will need:

your blender

3-4 cups filtered water

soaked almonds

5. Place the almonds and water into your blender and start your blender.

6. Then place a nut bag into a bowl to strain the mixture:

7.  Pour the mixture into the bag, and squeeze the bag to get the excess.

8. Pour into a container to keep in your refrigerator.  You can now add maple syrup, honey, and/or vanilla to flavor your milk.

9. Enjoy in smoothies, tea, or by itself!!  Be creative.