Lentil Soup and Super Duper Banana Blueberry Muffins

In search of a relatively quick meal to make for dinner after a day of classes and running errands (which didn’t involve the haddock I had been eating for the last two nights), I ended up making this great lentil soup. I pretty much started with lentils as the base, then added whatever vegetables and other ingredients I had on hand that I thought would go with the flavour profile. I was really happy with the way this soup turned out. You could really taste everything that went into it, and it was an enjoyable way to get a lot of vegetarian proteins, fibre, and lots of vegetable goodness into my system without feeling like I was eating a glorified salad or some sort of tofu dish which I have yet to master.

This soup could easily be made 100% vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you decide to give it a try, feel free to add in any other combination of vegetables and/or beans that you have on hand or particularly like. This is a pretty flexible recipe and adapts well to personal preferences and individual tastes.  All I know is that every tear I shed dicing up the onions that went into this soup was completely and totally worth it!

Lentil Soup

  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup baby carrots finely chopped
  • 1/2  a red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2  a medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • a dash of pepper, oregano, and medium curry powder to taste

Method

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add lentils and whatever vegetables/beans you choose to include. I added my finely chopped onions, carrots, chickpeas, and red peppers at this point, simmered for 20 minutes, then added the spinach leaves and allowed them to wilt.
  3. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes after adding your spices.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

This muffin recipe is a great way to get rid of some of the over-ripe frozen bananas you have waiting in your freezer, and if you’re at my place, the bounty of fresh ones as well. I swear you’d think I had monkeys for roommates. Oh wait…

So I saw this delicious looking picture of a blueberry Greek yogurt banana loaf on Pinterest, and I decided this was the perfect excuse to use some of those bananas. I made a few alterations to the recipe, and opted to make a dozen muffins instead of a loaf, because seriously, who wants to wait an hour for it to bake?

I only used two of my frozen bananas for this recipe, and just to get rid of another one, I topped the muffins with fresh banana slices. Like the soup, they turned out really well. Nice and moist due to the addition of the Greek yogurt (which also gave the muffins a little tang, and a good shot of protein), and the banana-blueberry combo was delicious, as always. By pureeing the bananas, I think I avoided those funny looking brown squiggles that show up whenever I make banana bread with mushed up bananas. Overall, a great muffin to wake up to in the morning, or serve as a snack.

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas, pureed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground flax. Use a whisk to evenly combine ingredients.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the honey, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and banana puree. Whisk until uniform.
  4. Add the blueberries to the flour mixture and incorporate evenly.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix just until all the flour has disappeared. Try not to over mix, it will just make your muffins tough.
  6. Place one generous tablespoon of batter into each cup of a greased muffin tray, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Adapted from Daily Garnish
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