Tag Archives: lentil soup recipe

Yoga Mornings + [Overnight Oats Recipe]

26 Feb

Well, I did it! I finally made it to an early morning gym class – hooray! I told you guys yesterday that I was going to try my darndest to get my butt to yoga this morning and so I did everything I could to make sure it was successful. After work I went scurried straight over to the gym and hopped on the treadmill. I decided to run instead of take a class because I wanted to get in and out ASAP.

IMG_2098[1]Apparently just under 5 miles appears to be my sweet spot this week. I watched an episode of the Biggest Loser on my phone while I was running and it was kind of nice because it felt like I was working alongside the people on the show. Whenever Bob would yell, I would feel a surge of motivation and keep pressing on. Whatever works?

As soon as I got home I went to straight to the kitchen and set about preparing a big pot of lentil soup for the week. I figure if I could make lunches and dinners easier by having it in the fridge already, I would be more likely to wake up in the morning.

IMG_1985[1]While the soup was bubbling away, I made some dinner – a MorningStar Tomato Basil veggie burger and some roasted sweet potato fries.

IMG_2099[1]I am majorly into burgers right now. I had two over the weekend and one yesterday and the craving shows no sign of letting up. Unfortunately, I’m out until I  go grocery shopping at the end of the week so lentil soup will have to suffice. I think one of the reasons I like them so much is because you’re supposed to take big bites and really sink your teeth into them, which makes them feel very satisfying, in my opinion.

While I was in the kitchen, I took the liberty of preparing some overnight oats to have when I got to work, because you’re not supposed to eat before yoga.

Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup raw oats (not instant!)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 6 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Mix it all together and put it in the fridge overnight and you’ve got breakfast ready to go!

That’s usually my base for overnight oats and then I add whatever mix-ins to switch up the flavor – this morning was a tablespoon of honey and some cinnamon.

Pre-Yoga

I usually set my alarm for 6:30 AM during the week, so setting it for 6:15 this morning wasn’t a huge change. I set all my clothes out the night before (after contemplating just sleeping in them) so when my alarm went off I hopped out of bed to dress and brush my teeth and then I was out the door!

Thanks to the early morning, there was zero traffic and the bus made it downtown in just 15 minutes – perfect timing for my class that started at 7 AM. I convinced my roomie to join me this morning, but he decided to run and meet me there. I was not so ambitious.

As I was putting my stuff in my locker, I cut myself on the shaving razor I had stashed in my gym bag  and sliced my finger wide open. Sweet.

After a few attempts to staunch it, I went over to the front desk and grabbed some Band-Aids to make a pseudo-wrap to get me through class.

IMG_2102[1]Just call me Dr. Sara.

Yoga (finally!)

When I finally made it to class, it felt SO good to be in the warm relaxing room and I really concentrated on being in the moment. Sometimes I get caught up in my day and all the things I have to do so I really miss out on the hour of “me time” that I get during class.

The instructor is one of my favorites at the gym: she’s calm and knows how to instruct without being aggressive and knows the perfect balance of offering tips and modifications without being so talkative that she distracts from the practice. I let myself focus on my breath, especially when stretching out the areas where I keep a lot of my stress (hello, hips!). I don’t really realize how much sitting at a desk all day affects my body until I get into yoga and suddenly everything needs to open up.

By the time we got to savasana, I was calm and so peaceful – well, mostly. I did find my mind roaming a bit and tried to calm the thoughts that were beginning to infiltrate. It becomes more difficult for me to focus on calming the mind when I don’t have what I am doing with my body to focus on. This is why meditation is so hard for me.

savasana

 

[ source ]

I’m working on it.

The beauty of the morning class was that I still had an hour before needing to be at work, so I took my time getting ready without the feeling of needing to rush to be somewhere – it was lovely.

My gym offers morning yoga classes on Tuesday and Thursday morning and I am definitely committing to making those a priority in my life. They also have some on the weekends and in the evenings, so I am hoping to make it to a classes at least three times a week. Yoga does so much for me physically and mentally – I always seem to forget that until I go to a class. I am counting on you guys to hold me accountable!

I haven’t decided whether or not I will make it to the gym after work or if I should just walk the 2.5 miles home and call it a day. I guess we’ll find out!

Food For Thought: Do you practice a type of yoga? How has yoga been beneficial in your life?

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!

 

 

 

 

Roman Lentil Soup [Recipe]

5 Feb

Around this time last year, most of Europe went into a deep freeze. I was living in Rome, Italy at the time and the whole city freaked out about the sudden drop in temperature. While cities across the continent were covered in thick layers of ice (even Mallorca saw snow!), Rome was busy throwing a fit over its two inches of snow.

romesnowSchools and government offices were shut down and the mayor declared the city in a state of emergency. The buses were unable to navigate the slippery cobblestones, so Mayor Alemanno tried to alleviate the road problem with salt. Table salt.

aaAlemannosalefinodentro

Needless to say, the salt didn’t do a very good job and most of the city was unnavigable by car or bus for a few days. That same week, my friend Grace came to visit me from Geneva. Sure, the weather was cold in Rome, but it was nothing like the city she left behind.

genevafreeze[ source ]

Yes, that is an actual picture taken this time last year in Geneva. If you follow the source link, you can see some pretty amazing photos of different cities turned frozen tundras across the continent.

Still, it was cold by my standards, so I decided to make her my staple winter meal in Rome: lentil soup. Lentils are dirt cheap here in America, but they’re practically free in Italy. I used to make this soup in huge batches, where it would take up my whole mini-fridge in my studio apartment, but last me all week.

romesoupA side of bruschetta never hurt anyone, either.

IMG_1985[1]

Lentil Soup

Makes 4 generous servings
  • 8 oz. dried lentils
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tblsp. olive oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4  Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • water (use 1 empty tomato can)
  • 1 tsp. pepper (Feel free to play around with spices, as well! What I love about soup is you can add whatever you want to the pot)
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Add garlic and chopped onion to olive oil and sautee in large pot until onions are transluscent.
  2. Add broth and turn heat up until broth begins to boil lightly.
  3. Add onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and return to simmer.
  4. Stir in pepper and bay leaf.
  5. Cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally (Note: If the soup beginning to look like it’s losing too much liquid and begins to stick to the bottom, add the can of water. I prefer my soups to be thicker and more stew-like, so add more water as needed).
  6. Once the potatoes and lentils are tender, turn off heat.

IMG_1987[1]Now comes my favorite part: the immersion blender. If you don’t have one, you could blend this in a blender or with a hand mixer or even just leave it, as is. However, I think it’s the blending of all the different vegetables and lentils that gives this soup a creamy, rich texture.

Immersion blenders are just such a handy tool to have in general. They’re great for smoothies, soups, frostings, this list goes on. They run anywhere from $20 to $50, but pay for themselves in the long run.

Anyway, take your immersion blender (or other mixing device) and blend away! I don’t like to blend it too much, because I like having bites of potato and carrots in my bowl, but it’s all a matter of preference.

IMG_1988[1]

Looks like sludge, tastes like heaven.

This soup is pretty hearty and when I say four generous servings, I mean really generous. Just for grins and giggles, I put all the ingredients into My Fitness Pal to get the nutrition facts and boy, are they easy on the eye. Each serving contains:

  • 257 calories
  • .4 g fat
  • 18.4 g fiber
  • 14.5 g protein
  • 200% of daily Vitamin A
  • 112% of daily Vitamin C
  • 34% of daily Iron

I used low sodium vegetable broth from Trader Joe’s and didn’t salt the soup. My intention was to add salt in my own bowl, but didn’t need to after giving it a taste – it was plenty flavorful enough!

This soup is perfect for the winter and keeps in the fridge just wonderfully. I would argue that it tastes even better the next day and the day after that! Make a big batch and keep it for those days when you want a dinner that will warm your stomach and your soul.

IMG_1989[1]If you want to have ice cream afterwards, I won’t judge. It’s exactly what we did.

romegracegelato

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