I finally watched “Julie & Julia” over the Christmas holidays with my sister (we also watched Les Miserables and the first Hunger Games movie all in one night but that’s beside the point; it might however, account for the extra 4 pounds I came home with … well, that and the enormous amount of raw chocolate macaroons I managed to stuff in my face between December 31st and January 2nd, but I digress). So the point I was trying to get to, was that I really do not know how she did it! Julie Powell that is, not Julia Child, because, well, Julia Child is a legend so let’s not go there, shall we. Julie took all 524 of Julia Child’s recipes, and cooked and blogged about them in one year. That is almost 1-1/2 recipes per day plus a blog post. And here I am, day 6 into the Daniel Fast and my secret (or now not-so-secret) resolve to post at least every other day for 21 days is, well, wavering. And that’s just the food posts (let alone faith posts) and I find those the easier of the two! It is not that I lack the motivation to write or the ideas. It is the time. Where did Julie Powell find the time? I mean I was already blogging about leftovers on days three and four for goodness sake! Now granted I thought it was pretty clever to point out that leftovers are the new convenience food of the nutrition-savvy consumer but still. I cannot imagine having the time to cook something different – and sometimes 2 different somethings – every night for 365 nights straight. And then blog about it. I could try to console myself with the fact that she did not have any children but I only have one; many people have multiple children and seem to multi-task effortlessly. Now, I do realize that life for others is hardly ever how we perceive it from the outside looking in. That calm mom I am admiring, maybe she just took an Ativane before stepping out the door; that multi-tasking wonder woman might be trying to keep her mind off the fact that her husband just walked out and left her; that successful career woman might be neglecting her kids at home. The truth is, it does not need to be as dramatic as though examples; we all just have “stuff”. And we all choose where we put our time and our energy. That includes me, and it includes Julie Powell. I have been listening to my friend Joyce (Meyer) again, and she was saying, if God asks you to do it, He will give you the ability to do it. He’s not going to ask you to do something you cannot do and then sit back and laugh at you. God equips us for every good work in Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work, it just means you can do it. I am believing that as I work hard to step into my destiny and calling in Christ Jesus, He will open doors that no man can close and He will also shut doors that no man can open (Rev. 3:7). And with that I will tell you about the soup (ya gotta love that segue, doncha?).
While I have still been enjoying delicious left over Mexican One-Pot Wonder for supper (FYI it is just as good re-heated on day two AND day three!), I needed something else for lunch and as it is winter, soup just seems to fit the bill. A friend of mine shared a recipe for a green lentil soup with curry and since I happen to always have green lentils, onion, garlic and curry in the kitchen, I thought it would be a nice easy lunch and I was right. Not only is it easy, it is fan-flippn-tastic (yes, it is late, I am tired and I am resorting to pseudo adjectives, lol). Those who are not vegan can use butter but I have a jar of curry-flavored coconut oil that someone gave me and it was the perfect substitute. I did however decrease the amount of curry powder in the spiced “butter” to 2 teaspoons instead of 1 tablespoon because of the curry-flavored oil. I also found that I did not need the extra spiced “butter” for drizzling on individual bowls as the flavor is excellent just the way it is. I increased the amount of coconut milk by accident but that probably only added to the flavor, so I have kept that change below. I did use a generous amount of salt though as I only had about 1/3 the amount of vegetable broth needed and I used water for the rest of the liquid. There is a bit of a heat from the red chili pepper flakes, so reduce the amount if you need a milder but still tasty soup. We have had this soup for two days in a row now and the yum-factor has not abated even a teensy bit so we will have it again tomorrow. I am really happy I doubled the recipe as I can throw the rest in the freezer tomorrow after lunch. Click on the link to see the original recipe; the one listed below has a few of my changes. Meantime, I have to go and blend my homemade applesauce … already thinking ahead to the next post! Thank you God.
- 2 tablespoons plain or curry-flavor coconut oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (reduce amount for less heat)
- 5 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable broth or water
- 1 1/2 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons plain or curry-flavor coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon Indian curry powder (reduce to 2 tsp if using curry-flavor coconut oil)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- Fine-grain sea salt
- 1 bunch fresh chives, minced (optional)
- small cubes of pan-fried tofu (optional)
Combine the 2 tablespoons coconut oil, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, but can take as long as 50 minutes.
In the meantime, warm the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for a minute or two then stir in the curry powder and sauté until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute. When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt (more if using water instead of broth), and puree with an immersion blender. You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth.
Stir in the spiced oil, taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve sprinkled with chives, (and tofu cubes if you’re using them).
Serves 4 to 6