Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Oh the weather outside is frightful…cold…frigid…very winter-like for early December. Perfect soup weather. And perfect running weather.

That’s right bitches. I ran outside in 20° weather yesterday and today. And today I ran my best 5K time – 25 minutes. And then, just for good measure, I ran another half a mile. Total mileage and timeage? 3.6 miles in just under 30 minutes.

Now I swear I’m not bragging. I’m just amazed by myself. In high school, when we were forced to run at crew practice, my friend and I were the last people to finish because we walked most of the way. So guys, if I can do it, so can you. I swear.

Now, once you finish running, or just standing outside for 2 seconds, you’ll need something to warm you up. And I’ve got that covered. You will need a bowlful of red lentil and vegetable soup. It’s like tomato soup with substance, a bright sunny kick from some lemon juice, and a nice, warm cumin flavor.

Cumin reminds me of my dad’s chili, which reminds me of being toasty in winter.

Toasty up your insides. Make this soup. Maybe add some green beans, because that’s kind of what I want to do next time I make it. And there will be a next time, and a time after that, and a time after that…….

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Greens & You: Garlicky Kale Salad and Arugula Pesto

Gone are the days of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peaches, and peppers. Welcome to the greens and squash days. Yep, we are creeping towards winter produce time. It’s evident in the choices in my GreenBEAN (that’s Farm Fresh’s new name), in the tables overflowing with leafy greens, golden squash, and red apples at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market. For awhile I was afraid of the greens. I mean how much can you do with chard, spinach, arugula, and kale anyway? And don’t they all just taste the same? Turns out you can do a whole lot with these vegetables and they all taste a bit different.Plus, they’re really good for you. They help your body naturally detox and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

So today I have two recipes for you that’ll help you use up the kale and arugula that may be overflowing from your CSA bin. Both have made successful appearances at ladies night potlucks (the kale salad multiple times actually).

The first is a raw kale salad with garlicky dressing. I like kale because it has a little more flavor than, say, spinach, but it’s not overwhelming. Kind of a nice nuttiness.

The second is arugula pesto. Arugula has a very peppery and more bitter flavor. I can only handle it in smaller doses when it’s all raw and on it’s own (i.e. on sandwiches, where it’s very yummy), so this pesto is a nice way to use a lot of it. Plus, it gives your pesto a good kick that basil doesn’t.

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