I have been watching a lot of Master Chef lately. What can be more addicting than watching Gordon Ramsey yell at chefs? Honestly, I’ve had a dream of being on a cooking show and it’s brought back a lot of inspiration to continue cooking.
I spent the second half of 2018 traveling and enjoying visiting areas all over the US. However, I was not cooking as much and gained some weight. I felt disconnected from my purpose and traveling helped me come back home. Luckily, I always have my tools to come back to in order to get back on track.
Being away from cooking made me realize how much I enjoy and appreciate it. It gives me confidence that I’m building something from scratch on my own. I am creating my own food. Cooking keeps me focused and present. I feel I am at my best when I am cooking because I am living at my highest potential. Cooking is like my pencil and paper where magic comes out onto the plate.
With another round of Clean, Burn, Shape underway, I wanted to find some recipes that were new and inviting to my palette. It’s currently winter, so I’m definitely in soup mode. I could eat soup any time of the day! It’s easy for my body to digest cooked foods, which makes soup an easy decision. Soup always yields me tons of leftovers and it’s easy to share with people. As an added bonus, it’s super easy to prepare. Get the whole family involved because you will want multiple spoons for this healthy lentil taco soup.
For the Soup:
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 white onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
2 cups of homemade tomato sauce (see below)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like a little heat!)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Mangoes, sliced (optional)
Salsa Con “Queso” (see below)
For homemade tomato sauce:
5-6 tomatoes on the vine
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salsa Con “Queso”:
1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked overnight in cool water
1 lemon, juiced
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ Cup vegetable broth
1 Tsp Chili powder
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp garlic powder
¼ Cup salsa of choice
** Before preparing the queso, make sure to soak the cashews overnight or prepare it in advance. If you have a high-powered blender like a vitamix, you
1) Cook lentils according to the directions on the bag. Typically, cook the one cup of lentils with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until all the water evaporates.
2) Prepare and chop all of your vegetables. Place a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add in olive oil, garlic, bell pepper, onion and jalapeño. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown and soften.
3) Add spices and black beans. Stir until black beans are cooked and spices are stirred evenly.
4) Blend all of the ingredients for the tomato sauce. Pour into the skillet with your vegetables. Cook until the sauce comes to a boil.
5) Transfer the vegetables into a 5-6 quart stock pot with 4 cups of fresh water or vegetable broth.
6) In a high powered blender, combine all the ingredients for the queso and blend until smooth. Set aside
7) Cover the soup and let it simmer on low for 15-20 minutes to combine flavors.
8) Add the cooked lentils, stir, and serve with desired toppings. Enjoy!
PS: By cooking my favorite take-out recipes from scratch, I found a fun way to still eat my favorite foods without feeling like I need to go out to the restaurant to eat them.
Cooking has been a way for me to find peace in my life because I know what I’m putting in my body.
That’s why I created 55 all-new recipes to give you fun and creative ideas for what you can manifest in the kitchen.
As a bonus, I've modified all of them to be gluten-free and dairy-free.
Each recipe can be modified to fit your dietary needs.
This book contains recipes for appetizers, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and crockpot.
As another bonus, I have included tips for some food swap ideas.
Ditch the takeout and bring the food back to your kitchen with my easy, healthy, affordable meals.