Easy and Healthy Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup is so hearty, flavorful and healthy that I wonder why I don’t make it more often. This Easy and Healthy Lentil Soup is one my favorite lentil soup recipes. Hopefully, you have most of these ingredients already at home.

Lentils are filled with protein and fiber as well as iron, minerals and B vitamins. One-half cup of cooked lentils has:

Calories: 140

Fat: 0.5 grams

Carbs: 23 grams

Fiber: 9 grams

Sodium: 5 milligrams

Protein: 12 grams

Lentils come in three main varieties: brown, green and red. Most grocery stores carry brown lentils, usually dried. Green and red lentils may be found at specialty food markets. Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes.

Californian Sandwich Recipe

Californian Sandwich

We have been eating healthier than ever since this quarantine started. Does anyone else feel that way? I know that my kids do. They are not scrambling for food at college, Instead they are enjoying our fresh, homemade meals every single day (the bright side of being stuck at home). We have all been doing a ton of outdoors exercise and at-home workouts. Because we are all focused on staying healthy, we take time every Sunday to discuss and curate our weekly menu. This California Sandwich Recipe has been a go-to recipe. I have been making it often and occasionally altering it to create different variations.

After I wrote my cookbook, 400 Best Sandwiches Recipes, I was often asked in television and radio interviews which sandwich recipe was my favorite? It is extremely difficult to choose between 400 different sandwich recipes. This California Sandwich is in my top 5 favorites. I love the simplicity of the goat cheese spread combined with zucchini, squash, tomatoes, avocados and sprouts on this multigrain bread. If you can’t find alfalfa sprouts, I love using kale or broccoli sprouts, which are typically available in grocery stories. I also like to recommend adding fresh basil if you have some at home.

This sandwich is perfect for a spring or summertime lunch or dinner served with a tossed salad, corn salad and/or fresh fruit. I promise it is as good as it looks! If you’re interested in ordering a copy of my cookbook, click here.

Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto

Homemade Pesto

I am thrilled about our fresh herbs growing right now. We planted them in hanging baskets a few weeks ago, so they’re plentiful at the perfect time. During this quarantine they have been a lifesaver (one less thing to purchase at the store). This Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto recipe is so easy to make and takes only 5 minutes. Toss fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It is that simple.

I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis. Friends often ask me. What do you use basil for besides on pasta or on a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad? Here are a few suggestions:

•To add to pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp

•To serve on top of grilled or roasted flounder, snapper or salmon

•To add on top of avocado toast

•To puree in soups

•To use as a base for homemade pizza

•To spice up a fresh salad

Basil is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as  arthritis. Some studies also say that eating basil can help with acne and help protect the skin from some effects of aging.

Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches

With kids at home right now, I wanted to share a twist on the basic tuna sandwich. Make it fun by mixing and matching different types of bread to jazz up the kids’ sandwiches. These Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches are my healthier version using fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar instead of mayonnaise. I also add freshly chopped basil or dill to mine if you have that at home or in your garden. This recipe is light, flavorful and a great new way to get the kids to eat more tuna. Let me know how your kids like it. Stay well!

This recipe is in my first internationally published cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” published by Robert Rose, Inc. If you’d like to purchase a copy, purchase here.