Middle Eastern- Spiced spinach and lentil soup with garlic yogurt…



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp sweet paprik
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 6 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 3 vined ripened tomatoes chopped
  • 16 oz. spinach chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

For the Garlic Yogurt:

  • 3 oz. natural Greek yogurt
  • 2 small garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil



  • Heat oil in a large pan, then add, onion, carrots, garlic, chili flakes, some salt and pepper. Stir, cover, cook for 7-8 minutes until soft and lightly golden.
  • Uncover pan, add cumin, paprika. Stir a few seconds, add puree. Add lentils and stock, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for garlic sauce, add salt and chill.
  • Add diced tomatoes to soup and simmer for 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bunch up the spinach leaves and slice them thin (fine shreds). Stir into soup until wilted.
  • Serve with yogurt sauce on top. Sprinkle paprika on top
  • Serve with a lemon slice

Courtesy of Anarosa Nazario

Flower Power…

Flowers are a big part of our lives. They are present in so many occasions, from happy as well as sad. Now they have even taken a prominent place at our dinner table. Hibiscus is now present in beer, water, and tea. It can convey a tart, cranberry like flavor. Some have found that it may even curb your appetite for sweetness. Marigolds are known as the poor man’s saffron. They have a tangy peppery taste. They are a great addition to salads and rice dishes. The petals of carnations, when cut away from the base, have a sweet flavor that can be used as cake decorations and liqueurs. Chrysanthemums are now used to flavor vinegar. Dandelions, when the flower is picked very young, have a very sweet flavor. Nasturtiums are the most used edible flower. They have a taste like watercress. Sunflower buds have a taste close to artichoke hearts. However, there are many flowers that are similar in appearance to those mentioned above and can be dangerous. It is better to purchase edible flowers from a reputable source instead of eating the bouquet that someone has sent to you.




White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip…


-1 jar (12oz.) roasted red peppers

-1 can (15oz.) white beans, drained and rinsed

-10 oil-marinated sun-dried tomato halves, coarsely chopped

-2 garlic cloves

-3 tbsp. avocado oil

-1 tsp. dried oregano

-1 tsp. ground cumin

-1/4 tsp. chili powder or dash of cayenne pepper

-Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


-Using a food processor or blender, process peppers until smooth

-Add beans, tomatoes, garlic, avocado oil, oregano, cumin, and chili powder

-Blend mixture until it is a smooth puree

-Season with salt and pepper

-Set aside for 1 hour-best at room temperature

-Will store up to 3 days in refrigerator

-Can also be served chilled

(Recipe complements of The American Institute of Cancer Research)

Anasazi Beans…

The Anasazi people lived in what is known as the four corners region of the US where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. They existed from the years 100 to 1600. The only records of their civilization were written by Spanish explorers. The Anasazi bean was their most valued crop. It is drought resistant because of its deep root system. The bean itself dates back some 2500 years. However, the bean was discovered after about 1000 years during an architectural dig. A clay pot was unearthed containing the dormant beans. Anasazi beans are spotted maroon and white. The beans are nutritious and a much sweeter bean than the pinto bean. They are a large part of Mexican dishes and go well when they are baked with ham. They are rich in iron, protein, and fiber. They are easier to digest than other beans and lower in carbohydrates then pinto, kidney or black beans. They are commercially sold since 1993. Anasazi beans are great in a food processor with chili and lime juice as a spread on toast. They are great as a bean salad with Quinoa, carrots, red onions and olive oil and vinegar. The beans are great as a vegetarian burger when mixed with grated beets and cumin.