A friend in Hawaii owned a restaurant with her husband that served these wonderfully garlicky and spicy edamame. It was my first introduction to this unique little bean, but my first taste made me a die-hard fan. A lot of people like them plain, but […]
Have I mentioned that I love Kale? It was not always so…
My first introduction to this thick, green, leafy vegetable was during my first pregnancy. A friend had given me a bunch of her old Fit Pregnancy magazines to look over. I found them to be filled with ads trying to sell me what I supposedly needed for pregnancy and beyond. My self esteem tanked as my pregnancy continued because I looked less and less like a pregnant super model as the days went on.
But hidden in those lifeless pages I found a gem. There was a little recipe tucked away where only the determined would find it. The title was “Pregnancy Stew” because it boasted to be high in fiber, calcium, protein, iron and folic acid.
I had never bought Kale before and had to ask the produce manager to point me in the right direction. I am so glad I made that extra effort. Over the years I have made a few adjustments to the original recipe and it has been a winter staple in my house ever since. Even my husband, who I assure you has never been pregnant, loves to fill up on its hardy goodness…
especially if I add a little smoked sausage to his!
That pregnancy ended with the traumatic birth of my son at 30 weeks but he celebrated his 19th birthday this year. Whenever I make this stew, I think of that hard season in our lives and am so thankful for health and healing and for this yummy recipe that has nourished us through the years.
Lentil Kale Stew
Rich in nutrients and fiber, this stew is a delicious winter staple.
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic – crushed or diced
- 3 to 4 large carrots – diced
- 4 stalks celery – chopped
- 1.5 tsp salt
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 cups lentils (brown or green)
- 4 cups of Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 2 to 4 cups water (depending on how thick you want it)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups shredded Kale Leaves (or one large bunch)
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Step 1 Over Medium heat, saute onion, carrot & celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until softened. (I like to start with the onion while I am chopping the rest, adding the carrot next and the garlic and celery last.)
- Step 2 Add the broth, water, lentils and tomatoes and simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Step 3 Add Diced or shredded kale and heat for another 10 to 15 minutes or until wilted.
- Step 4 Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a splash of balsamic vinegar in each bowl.
~For faster cooking and softer lentils, soak them in water for 1 to 6 hours before cooking.
~If you like a thinner stew, add more water or broth with a bit of extra seasoning for more of a soup consistency. I love to serve the thicker version with a dollop of cottage cheese on top for extra protein and it really does taste good that way. I make it thinner if I am going to add some leftover chicken, beef or sausage to it… my husband likes it that way.
~For Trim Healthy Mama’s, this is a delicious E meal. You will just want to be sure that if you are adding meat or cottage cheese, you stick to lean and lower fat.
There was a time when nearly every Friday afternoon you could find Becky and I along with our dear friend Wendy, having a gigantic play date with a dozen or so kids and a delicious servings of taco salad. Those were amazing days of sweet fellowship and what I wouldn’t give to crowd onto the living room floor with those gals and all those kids and have life changing conversations.
But only slightly less life changing was the introduction of this homemade Ranch Dressing. For the longest time, I couldn’t remember who came up with it…. Was is Becky or Wendy?…. or maybe Betty Crocker? Pretty sure it was Becky that first brought it but it has been a staple in our house ever since. I have made a few slight modifications over the years and I tell you, my husband will eat almost any vegetable on earth as longs as he has some of this to go with it.
Since I first published this recipe on my old recipe site, it has been made by the multitudes, shared on social media thousands of times and even made it into a cookbook where they titled it “Rohnda’s Ranch”. I had to apologize to Becky for that one since it probably should have been named after her but we can’t take it back now! It’s in print!
Since then, it has cured the multitudes of their store-bought ranch habits with it’s rich creamy taste and the simplicity of throwing it together. It works great on salads and sandwiches and even serves as a marinade or dip for meats. I am usually a pretty good cook but occasionally something comes out too dry or with not enough flavor and a little jar of this white magic cures whatever woes plague you in the kitchen department. Seriously, it is that good.
But I still think my favorite use is smothered over a taco salad and every time I eat that I think of all those little kids running around and time spent with dear friends. The taste will forever take me back to those sweet memories!
Homemade Ranch Dressing
This homemade Ranch Dressing will forever cure you of your store bought ranch rabbit. Quick and easy and taste great on everything!
- 1.5 cup of Mayonaise
- 2 clove of garlic crushed or 1 tsp powdered garlic
- 1 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp dried minced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Step 1 Place all ingredients in a bowl or a jar and mix well.
- Step 2 Chill for 2 hours before serving.
~This recipe comes out a bit thick, more like dip. You can thin it with a few tablespoons of water or other liquid if desired.
~You can also substitute the Greek Yogurt with buttermilk for a thinner dressing consistency.
~To keep this THM, use the Greek Yogurt option and enjoy it with your S meals.
~Keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
We love spaghetti… or any meal that compliments this garlic bread! Soup, salad, frozen lasagna (yes, I feed my family frozen lasagna… don’t judge me), pasta, grilled meat, you get the idea. The other day we were having spaghetti for dinner and I planned ahead […]