Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Challenge: Vegetarian Freezer meals Part 1

As you might have noticed from my last post, I am have been put on a crazy diet from hell. It has something to do with fat clogging my heart and blah blah blah. Whatever.  Ok seriously, I have a family history of really high cholesterol and my father has recently had a stroke and a stent put in his heart, so I am paying attention to what the nutritionist said and taking my meds to get things under control.  Part of getting used to the diet is realizing that I am really going to have to go vegetarian for at least one meal a day. I mean, I could eat just the reduced fat and fat free varieties of everything and probably be fine, but then I feel like I would be eating more garbage than I was to begin with.  The plan is to try to keep the food as real as possible, but with some tweaking to keep things under control.

Last week a new grocery store opened up in my neighborhood. One of its great opening week deals was an awesome price on rib eye steaks. Rib eyes are super tasty, but also have about 5 grams of saturated fat per steak. In order to have a yummy steak for dinner, I needed to have a really low fat lunch that was still yummy and filling to keep me from snacking all afternoon and blowing my calorie allowance.  Curried Lentil Soup really fit the bill!

I know, your thinking lentils ???? what the heck??? But seriously, this soup was GOOD. I had been looking to find a really tasty soup that could be frozen and heated quickly for lunch and this was perfect.  With a mix of veggies, lentils and coucous it is perfect for freezing.

Doesn't it look yummy?

And look at all my little orange rimmed containers in the freezer!! Ignore the corn dgos leftover from my daughters birthday party. I am pretty sure I would drop dead immediately from eating one.

So here is the recipe - enjoy it!!!

Curried Lentil Soup

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts (10 1-cup servings)

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup dry couscous
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Combine lentils, onion, celery, garlic, cumin, and water or broth in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover loosely and cook until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

Stir in couscous, tomatoes, curry powder, and black pepper. Continue cooking until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Per 1-cup serving

■Calories: 107
■Fat: 0.4 g
■Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
■Calories from Fat: 3.5%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 6.4 g
■Carbohydrates: 20.2 g
■Sugar: 1.6 g
■Fiber: 4.2 g
■Sodium: 280 mg
■Calcium: 34 mg
■Iron: 2.4 mg
■Vitamin C: 4.3 mg
■Beta Carotene: 48 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0.4 mg

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