Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday's Soup/Eating For Your Future

If you've followed the blog for a while, you've heard me talk about the tumor I had in my jaw. I was 24 years old. Of course, it was quite shocking. Now, for true confessions, I smoked at the time. Yep, me, Miss Health Conscious, I smoked. When I went into the hospital for surgery, I had no idea of whether the tumor was benign or cancerous. As I walked into the hospital, I threw my cigarettes in the garbage. I decided that if the tumor was cancerous, I would just have to deal with whatever was ahead of me, but if not, then why continue smoking and take such a chance that cancer would eventually develop? Fortunately, the tumor was benign, it has not returned and no cancer has developed. I've had other issues to deal with, but as I've told the doctors, it's been nothing that they couldn't tape back together ;)

As many of you know, I now have new issues to deal with and again, I have decided that I will do all I can within my power to take care of myself, so I'm eating for my future and I'm asking you to join me. Even if you just change 1 meal a week, that's a start. I'm not asking you to make a commitment to me, but to yourself. In the start of this new year, this is the time to lay aside excuses and take control over bad habits. In all honesty, I am probably preaching to the choir as if you are reading this, you probably follow a fairly healthy lifestyle. But in the off chance that you don't, or you would like to make some changes I would like to invite you to join me in a special diet. Not for the rest of your life, just for 21 days beginning the first of February. I'll warn you that it's a bit radical. The diet is called The Daniel Fast. It's basically a vegan diet. For 21 days you commit to eating no sugar, no meat or animal products and drinking only water. As I said, it's a little radical, but I have done this in the past, and I can tell you that at the end of the 21 days, you will feel better than you have in a very long time, if ever. I will also warn you that craving sugar will be huge. I did the fast about 5 years ago and what I learned about myself is that when I craved sugar the most, I was tired. If I could rest for 20 minutes and then follow the rest with a piece of fruit and a few nuts, the craving would pass. It will be a challenge, but one well worth taking. As limiting as the diet is, I think you'll find that you can eat more than you think. The recipe that I'm posting today fits well into the diet. I made it for dinner last night and it was absolutely wonderful. The soup is called Moroccan Lentil Soup and you can find the original recipe HERE.

As usual, I made a few changes, but nothing major. I added a sweet potato to my list of ingredients and I'm really happy that I did as it complimented the soup beautifully. I also found this fabulous rice,

It gave the soup a little more bulk and I love the flavor. I also added sea salt to my soup. It was just a little too bland without the salt.

Moroccan Lentil Soup
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
6 cups of water
1 cup of red lentils(I couldn't get red lentils, so I used regular lentils)
1 15 oz. can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup carrots diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 sweet potato chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne(if you don't like spicy food, reduce or eliminate)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala(recipe below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste

  1. In large pot saute; the onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the water, lentils, chick peas, white kidney beans, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, sweet potato, garam masala, cardamom, cayenne pepper and cumin. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.

Cook rice according to package directions. Put a little rice in the bowl and then add soup and enjoy. 

Garam Masala is a beautiful spice that complimented this soup beautifully. It's easy enough to make at home if you can't find it in your store. Here's the recipe,

Garam Masala

1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. 

Enjoy the soup!

I'll talk a little more about the Daniel Fast over the next few weeks. 

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  2. Count me in! After 21 days it will be come part of a healthy way of life and easy to continue!

    1. I'm so excited!! I really didn't anyone would actually join me. It'll be so nice to know that I have a few partners :)

  3. You are right that changing your diet affects your health and well being. I've totally given up processed foods and eat more green vegetables and fruit, have managed to lose 40 lbs and feel totally better. I hope your Daniel Fast works for you and makes you feel much better.

  4. That is exactly the kind of soup I would eat anyway! Fast or no fast! I would add my special Guyanese Madras Curry instead of making my own garam masala, but yum!

    1. I was so pleasantly surprised by how the spices worked together. None were overwhelming and it just felt so warming to the body. I need to know about your curry recipe...if you don't mind sharing :)

  5. That sounds yummy and so perfect for a cold winter. I've been getting more into healthier things like lentils and sweet potatoes myself and I'm feeling better. I've been exercising more and I crave sugar less.
    Best of luck to you and praying for your health. Keep in touch. We care so much for you, you are such a sweet person.

    1. Thank you Becki :)
      I'm hoping to make a trip to Houston in April. Fingers crossed!!

  6. We had something quite similar last night so thanks for the recipe. Nice to try new ones. We are trying to get more fruit and veggies in to us and cut out some carbs. The Daniel Diet sounds interesting. I am away to look it up. Xx

  7. Rhonda, I would like to join your fast!

  8. Hi Rhonda, I hope that your choices lead you to ever-improving health.
    This recipe is similar to one I made the other day. It's Moroccan Bean Stew, and the combination of seasonings puts it over the top (IMO). And I am not able to eat "spicy" or "hot" foods. I wish you well in your Daniel Fast; I'm going to check out the link. In the meantime, if you want to add another Moroccan dish to your repertoire, here's the recipe: http://www.forksoverknives.com/moroccan-bean-stew-with-sweet-potatoes/ .

    1. I just took a look at the recipe. The recipe is similar, but I think the addition of the fennel seeds and the basil is quite interesting. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the link!

  9. This looks like a great project -- and a great recipe. I love Moroccan flavours.