Nourishing Ham and Lentil Soup

Nourishing Ham and Lentil Soup

You can relax while this is cooking. The preparation time is minimal.

8 cups stock (I used ham stock I’d previously cooked with a ham bone)

1/4 c. pot barley

1/4 c. dried red lentils

1/2 c. dried green lentils

1/2 c. brown rice

1 T. Italian seasoning

2 Bay leaves

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, diced

3 carrots

1/4 c. small pasta such as Orzo

1 1 /2 c. cooked ham, chopped

salt and pepper

Heat stock to boiling.  Meanwhile, rinse barley, lentils and rice.  Add to the hot stock along with the Italian seasoning and bay leaves.  Cook for 30 minutes on simmer.  Add onion, carrots, celery and pasta.  Cook for about 20 minutes more until vegetables are tender. Add ham and cook a few minutes more, just long enough to heat the ham.  Serves 8.



Gifts from the Kitchen: Minty Candy Christmas Cookie Mix

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Christmas M&Ms

1/3 cup chopped peppermint candy

Layer ingredients in 1-quart food storage jar with tight-fitting lid in the following order: granulated sugar, brown sugar, combined flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; chocolate pieces; and peppermint candy. Seal jar.

Cover lid with fabric circle, if desired. Attach gift tag and directions for baking and fabric to jar with raffia or ribbon.

To prepare:

1 jar Minty Candy Christmas Cookie Mix

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Place contents of jar in large mixing bowl. Using fingers, work butter into flour mixture. Combine eggs and vanilla in small bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place balls 3 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Slide parchment paper and cookies onto wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Vegetarian “Sloppy Joes”

This was last night’s supper.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe

1 c. green lentils

water to cover

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 c. frozen corn

1 small onion, chopped

1 – 2 T.  Club House Tex-Mex Seasoning

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp Italian herb mix

Rinse lentils and place in medium sized pot.  Cover with water.  Cook over medium heat until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain off any water left.  Return lentils to pot.  Add balance of ingredients, mix well, lower heat and cook on low for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve over toasted buns for a vegetarian sloppy joe. Makes lots.

Sizzling Fast Chicken Fajitas

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up
juice of one lime
1/3 c. oil
2 T. Club House Tex Mex Seasoning
1 tsp. each garlic powder and cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 c. diced onions

Combine all in a large Ziploc and allow to marinate in the fridge for several hours.

To prepare:

Slice one pepper and onion. Brown peppers and onions a bit in a frying pan, add in chicken with marinade and cook thoroughly. Serve with flour tortillas for wrapping and the usual mexican accompaniments (salsa, sour cream, chopped lettuce, guacamole, shredded cheese.) Ole!

More from the Microwave

From my microwave manual:

  • To steam hand towels – moisten then place on a microwave safe dish.  Heat on high 20-30 seconds.  This is likely intended to offer to guests after eating a messy item such as lobster. However, I’ve used this for a different purpose  – I have often created “moist heat” this way to relieve a little bit of my aches and pains. I combine it by layering it underneath another heat source such as my heating pad or Magic Bag.
  • To remove cooking odors – Combine 1 – 1 1/2 c. water with the juice and peel of one lemon in a 2 quart microwave safe dish.  Microwave on high for five minutes.  After the water finishes boiling, wipe interior of oven with a cloth.
  • To soften one cup of brown sugar, place in a microwave safe dish with a slice of bread.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap.  Nuke on high for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • To toast nuts, spread 1 1/2 cups on a microwave safe pie plate and nuke on high for 4 – 5 minutes.