It's 2 in the morning and I haven't eaten properly all day and (thankfully?) there are no unhealthy-yet-convenient foods available (i.e. frozen stuff). Being a vegetarian who has diabetes, eating should be something that I pay a lot of attention to, but several parts of my life have been upside down the past 6 months or so. Which would also be the reason I haven't been writing much. I held a part time job over the holidays in addition to school work, I just lost my very dear uncle, and now I'm desperately looking for work again. But, I cannot say I am poor, because poor people do not have cabinets full of food bought with spare money. Tonight I needed to put something healthful, filling and warm into my tummy, so I stared at some lentil soup recipes and came up with this!
Chickpea Lentil Spinach Stew
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 medium red onion, chopped
4 roma, plum or campari tomatoes, sliced
2 T diced poblano pepper
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach or 3/4 cup frozen spinach
6 cups warm water
1/2 cup lentils
1-2 cups egg noodles or other pasta
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed (cheating, I know!)
Salt, black pepper, spices to taste
Optional: cheese, just because it is awesome.
Directions: Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add garlic, onion and poblano pepper, cooking until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes and spinach. Simmer a little while longer, gradually turning up the heat until almost no tomato juice is left. Once everything is coming together, add the lentils and 6 cups of warm water, then bring it to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook a little while longer, reducing the heat a bit, if necessary. Add the can of beans and cook until pasta is al dente (Or however you like them. My housemate likes them soft. Bleh.) For seasonings, I added about a teaspoon of oregano, a dash of celery salt, paprika, chili powder, and garlic salt, and a good teaspoon each of salt and fresh ground pepper. Because cheese is like crack for vegetarians, I sliced some monterrey jack for the top of my nommy bowl of soup. But, do what you wish with spices and toppings... with the whole thing, even!
Pros: Garbanzos and lentils are SO good for us, lots of healthful fiber and a wee bit of protein. Garlic is a powerful super food that is part of my wellness arsenal (it's ok cooked but it's like the Terminator against colds if taken raw, minced in a tablespoon of honey and a big gulp of water - sounds gross, but I swear by it!). Spinach is a super food, too, as are most deep green veggies. Peppers and spicy food in general is great for boosting metabolism, too.
Cons: There is probably too much salt. And I'll probably eat too much of it because it is so delicious. Does that count as a con?
So what's "femme" about this soup?
There's not much femme about the soup, unless you're a housewifey femme who likes to throw things together from items already in one's cupboards to create a flavorful, healthful meal. What's femme about the process of cooking is that when I concocted this soup, I was taking care of my #1. Last year I renewed my vow to always do what is best for me, because that is what is best for everyone around me. I am a rescuer but somehow I always wind up rescuing others but not myself, which is what got me into my current financial trouble. A woman taking care of herself? Preposterous. But that commitment is the most important one you'll ever make. Make it a ritual, write it on your mirror in red lipstick, put a reminder in your calendar for next month and make health-related appointments as soon as possible. Drink more water, eat whole fruits and plan therapeutic dates with friends, even if it's just popcorn and a movie at home or a walk in the park. Practice telling yourself that you are beautiful, valuable and unique - and meaning it. Put down some manageable goals and a positive, concise mantra on paper and keep it near you. It is not selfish to do whatever it takes to make your own wellbeing your top priority. It is essential.
Okay, I think I've made my point. Time for bed! Just be good to yourselves, okay?
All my love.