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High in fiber, low in fat, and completely adaptable to your taste, this soup is great for all seasons. Serve as an entree for a healthy, satisfying meal that comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal.

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
3 medium carrots, medium dice
3 stalks celery, medium dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup white wine
1 28-oz can peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make it vegan)
3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
1 bay leaf
10 sprigs fresh thyme
Fresh cilantro (or parsley), rough chop, for garnish
Avocado, diced, for garnish
Lime juice, for garnish
Greek yogurt, for garnish (omit to make it vegan and dairy-free)

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for another minute.
3. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, and smoked paprika and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Deglaze the pan with wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck-on bits; reduce by half.
5. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, 1 cup water, beans, bay leaf, and thyme; bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove bay leaf and thyme and roughly puree with an immersion blender or regular blender (it should still be very chunky; alternately, you could eliminate this step completely and leave it as is).
7. Adjust seasoning and serve with cilantro (or parsley), avocado, lime juice, and yogurt (all optional).

Initially posted without a photo on account of a stolen phone, photo below was retrieved from the magical cloud!
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1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil
1 onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, grated
1 pound ground bison
11 corn tortillas
1 bottle enchilada sauce
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 pound monterey jack cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Sweat the onion in the oil until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables, stirring often, for another 10 minutes, or are soft and there is no moisture left in the pan.
4. In another pan, heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add bison, season with salt and pepper, and cook just until there is no more pink, about 5 minutes. Break apart the meat with the back of a spoon into small pieces.
5. Place enough corn tortillas in a casserole dish to cover the bottom.
6. Drizzle with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, and top with 1/3 of the cheese, 1/2 of the zucchini mixture, 1/2 of the bison, and 1/2 of the black beans.
7. Top with another layer of corn tortillas, and then repeat step 6.
8. Top with a final layer of corn tortillas, drizzle with the remaining enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Rest for 10 minutes before portioning and serving.

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I topped it with a super simple salad of parsley, cilantro, lime juice, and kosher salt.

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The first time I made Curried Cauliflower over Lentils, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Here, I’ve made only a few minor tweaks, but it was even better than attempt number one: brighter, bolder, cleaner–a bit more refined. The cauliflower is roasted with curry powder until it just caramelizes, creating a texture contrast to the bed of creamy lentils underneath. Pomegranate seeds add another pop of color, texture, and acidity, and a garnish of lemon juice and olive oil pushes the flavors just over the edge.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup brown lentils
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (can substitute fresh parsley)
1 pomegranate, seeded
Lemon juice, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

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1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Sweat the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until tender, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent browning. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add broth (or water) and lentils to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the cilantro and adjust seasoning to taste.
5. To plate, spoon lentils onto plate or into bowl. Top with curried cauliflower, garnish with pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

This is mostly a vegetable broth, since the chicken is cooked and then removed, to be used in the next recipe.

2 chicken breasts (with rib meat, skin-on, bone-in)
1 onion, halved, then each half cut into 3 wedges (root end intact)
2 carrots
4 stalks celery
3 large cloves garlic
1 3-inch knob ginger
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
Zest of 1 lime (large strips)
2 bay leaves
8 whole peppercorns

1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and cover with cold water.
2. Bring to just under a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken breasts are cooked through.
3. Remove the chicken breasts and discard the skin. Remove the bones and add back to the pot.
4. Continue to cook for another 2 hours, skimming often.
5. Strain and refrigerate. Skim off any fat that coagulates on the surface before use.

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Notes: add lemongrass. More ginger, more garlic, maybe more cilantro, maybe more lime. MORE. Fairly mild but yummy flavor.

This is an attempt to recreate a recipe from my old job. It’s ridiculously good.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 stalks celery, small dice
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh dill, rough chop
Juice of 2 large limes
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 3.75-oz cans sardines packed in water, drained

1. Combine all ingredients except for the sardines.
2. Spoon the salad into two shallow bowls and top each with sardine fillets.

Serves 2 as a light entree.

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This is attempt #2 at testing this recipe. I think this newer version is better than this previous attempt.

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 avocados, sliced or diced, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
Lime juice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until dark brown and tender.
3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the carrots to the pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
5. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir in coconut milk.
6. Garnish soup with avocado and freshly squeezed lime juice (optional). Fresh chopped cilantro would also be a great garnish.

Serves 4 (entree)-6 (appetizer)

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1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup lentils
1 small bunch parsley (or cilantro), roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeded
Lemon juice, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Add broth (or water) and lentils to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the parsley (or cilantro).
5. To plate, place lentils on plate or in bowl. Top with curried cauliflower, drizzle with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Hopefully this recipe tests well the second time around, because it was ridiculously delicious, filling, and terribly healthy.

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