Back to Work

So it’s my last official day off.  I used today to prepare for the new year and the new week.  Luckily, we had an unseasonably warm day and the recent rain has cleared off my local path.  I was able to go for an outdoor run, a little over 6 1/2 miles, which felt great.  I hate running on the treadmill, but it’s a must during Chicago winters.


One of my goals for 2011 is to spice up my lunches.  I tend to take the same few things each day because they are easy and convenient.  I wanted to try some new soup recipes as well.  I’ve never had lentil soup or black bean soups before, so I figured I’d give it a shot.



First step, rinsing and draining the red lentils.



I used my Salsa Maker to chop up my onion and red pepper. I’ve never used it before for peppers, but it worked great.

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Sauté veggies and add spices.



The soup turned out thicker than expected, which I like.  I had a taste tonight and it is delicious. I was surprised to see how yellow my red lentils turned out.  I am always learning something new!





Hearty Lentil Soup

From Clean Eating Magazine



1 cup dried red lentils

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 tsp cumin, ground

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, ground

1/4 cup whole-grain or brown rice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

-Rinse lentils and pick through, discarding any debris or small stones; drain.

-Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes or until brown.  Stir in cumin and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more.  Add 4 cups water, lentils, and rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Add salt, stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Before serving, stir in lemon juice.  Enjoy!

-Leftovers can be kept in a resealable container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Nutrition Facts (per cup)

Calories: 290

Total fat: 9 g

Carbs: 41 g

Fiber: 9 g

Sugars: 4.5 g

Protein: 14 g

Sodium: 248 mg


Black Bean Soup

Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 tbsp cumin and 4 minced garlic cloves in 2 tbsp olive oil.

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Add 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth (I used 1 container which was 4 cups), 3 chopped tomatoes, one 15-ounce can black beans, and one 1.4-ounce can diced green chile peppers.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.

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Add 1 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro.  Garnish with crushed tortilla chips if desired.



This soup turned out a little more watery than I would have expected. It is more of a Mexican soup than a black bean soup, but delicious none the less.  It made 8 cups of soup, some for the week and some to freeze.

Nutrition (per 2 cup serving)

Calories: 245

Protein: 10 g

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Fat: 11 g

Fiber: 8 g

I recommend this fabulous whole wheat bread recipe  to go with your soup.  It is easy to make and doesn’t require any yeast.

My lunch bag is packed up and I am ready to get back to work.


3 thoughts on “Back to Work

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