Showing posts with label meat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meat. Show all posts

Lentil Soup

While I was growing up in Greece, my mother prepared meatless dishes during the week and made dishes with chicken, pork or beef tenderloin on a Sunday. Sunday was a special meal. The whole family looked forward to it. We all gathered around the table, to enjoy any type of meat with some kind of vegetable or starch, that my mother had prepared (like the roasted chicken with potatoes - Roasted Chicken with Potatoes in the oven) one of my first posts. Living in the US, I’m trying to incorporate that same principle that my mother had, by trying to cook meatless dishes during the week, and enjoying meat on a Sunday. Sometimes I accomplish that, but other times it’s quite difficult.

Lentil soup is a common dish to prepare during Lent. This year, Greek Easter falls on May 5th thus our Lent period is still on. It began on March 18th and it will last till our Easter Sunday which is seven weeks from March 18th. Our Easter follows the Julian calendar and should not coincide with Easter of other faiths. During Lent, strict food restrictions apply. According to our Greek Orthodox customs, meat, fish or poultry is forbidden to eat (except crustaceans) even dairy and olive oil. The only two days that we are allowed to eat fish is March 25th (Fried Cod in Beer Batter) when we celebrate our Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation of Virgin Mary (or Evangelismos of Theotokos - pronounced: E-van-geh-lee-zmos of Thee-ott-oh-kos), and on Pam Sunday.

Living away from the Mother country is always difficult to establish these rules. As hard as I try, there are days that I will have to skip the tradition and end up cooking a dish with meat. Lentil soup is easy and fast to make, and since my family likes it, I cook it often during Lent.

Enjoy!!!

Makes 8 servings (approximately 15 oz each or 2 cups per serving)

½ cup olive oil
¾ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 ¼ cup sliced carrots
1 lbs lentils (16 oz)
8 cups water
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
2 tbsp chopped parsley
4 bay leaves

Wash the lentils and remove and foreign objects, like tiny rocks that might have escaped into the package. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, over high heat, pour the ½ cup olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté till transparent. Add the sliced carrots and the lentils. Add the tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes,salt, cumin, chopped parsley, bay leaves and the 8 cups of water. Let it come to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for one hour. Remove from heat. Before serving remove the bay leaves.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
15.613 oz (442.6g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344
Calories from fat 122
Total Fat 13.5g
Saturated Fat 1.9g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 596mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.1g
Dietary Fiber 19.4g
Sugars 6.1g
Protein 16.2g


Greek Style Seafood with Herbs and Vegetables

Since it's Lent I'm trying to cook dishes that are free of meat or chicken.  Fish is allowed on certain days of the week. Enjoy this hearty seafood soup.  If not during Lent, during a cold rainy day.

10 servings (approximately 1 ½ cups per serving)

½ cup olive oil
1 cup onion chopped
1 tsp garlic chopped
2 cups celery diced
1 ½ cups carrots diced
4 cups potatoes diced
1 cup chopped parsley
1 lbs cod fillets diced
1 lbs large shrimp
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 15oz cans water + 1 extra 15oz can water
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
3 bay leaves
¼ tsp cumin
In a Dutch oven, over high heat pour the ½ cup olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté, until transparent. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables absorb some of the oil. Add the tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes, the two 15oz cans of water, the parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and cumin. Let it come to a boil. Then, turn down the heat to medium and simmer for about one hour until the potatoes are cooked. If you need to add more water, then add the extra 15oz can of water. Depending on what size you diced the potatoes you might need the extra can of water so that the potatoes are cooked.

Towards the last five (5) minutes, add the fish and the shrimp. Let it come to a boil and lower the heat for the last 5 minutes. The fish should be flaky and the shrimp pink colored. Turn off the heat. Serve with some fresh bread.
 



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size  1serving(389.1 g) approximately 1 ½ cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 267
Calories from Fat 109
Total Fat 12.1g
Saturated Fat 1.8g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 113mg
Sodium 853mg 3
Total Carbohydrates 17.7g
Dietary Fiber 4.0g
Sugars 5.3g
Protein 22.5g