Aug 26, 2009

Quinoa and Lentil Soup

Cynthia Mary was served this soup at Holy Theophany Monastery in Olympia, Washington and liked it enough to ask for the recipe. She kindly made it for us and it has been our little one's favorite meal all week.

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Vegetable or olive oil for sautéing
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of lentils
  • 2/3 cups or more as desired of whole quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Brown the onions and garlic with the oil in a soup pot.
  2. Add the broth, lentils, and quinoa and bring it to a boil.
  3. Turn the soup down to a simmer and cook until tender (30-45 minutes).
  4. Add the lemon juice and serve.
Further Information:
Quinoa (said keen-wah) has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous. This complete protein source is also high in iron and calcium. To find out more about it, you can read here: (the rest of the site is unvetted).

This similar recipe adds carrots and rosemary to the mix. Here's a close-up of the quinoa:

Lasagna Spirals

  • 10 wide lasagna noodles
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained OR 2.5 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse.
  3. In a large bowl combine broccoli, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, green onions, basil and nutmeg.
  4. Spread about 1/2 cup of the broccoli mixture along each noodle. Roll noodles to form spirals. Place in prepared dish. Spoon spaghetti sauce on and around spirals, and top with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Special Diet Considerations:
There's no way we know of to make this recipe dairy-free or vegan. It is just one of those we wouldn't even try.

An online search says there are decent gluten-free lasagna noodles available for those who need them.


Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas with liquid
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 cups prepared rice (meaning 1 cup of uncooked rice that's been cooked)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion, pepper, and celery until tender.
  2. Pour in the vegetable broth, black-eyed peas with liquid, diced tomatoes and green chiles, garlic, and spices.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until ready to serve.
  4. Add water before serving if gumbo is too thick.
  5. Serve gumbo over the rice. Enjoy!
What We Do:
You can cook the rice in the gumbo if you wish (don't add extra water and take it off when ready around the 45 minute mark), but we prefer to cook it separately because the amount of water is just right for having leftovers the next day. That means it is a little soupy on the first day, but we just pour some of the liquid out of the ladle before serving on the first day and can easily re-heat it the next day. We make our own broth with a vegan bouillon cube added to 2 cups of water. We left it on the stove simmering on very low heat all day. We served it with some cornbread muffins and green salad.

Special Diet Considerations:
If you're making this for a strict fast, the veggies can be cooked with a vegetable oil. I assume they could also just be added to the gumbo without sautéing, but haven't tried it.

Our family found this to be just the right amount of spice, but a visiting child considered it too spicy. If you have someone sensitive to spiciness, I'd recommend omitting some of the Cajun seasoning or replacing some of it with plain black pepper and/or replacing some of the tomatoes with chiles with plain diced tomatoes.