Wow, Monday already! Another weekend flew by too fast! It didn’t help that I was out playing all day yesterday shopping, eating out and going to a dessert class. Today is already nuts, but I had a wonderful day Saturday relaxing at home most of the day watching TV, blog reading, and playing in the kitchen. I wasn’t the only one relaxed, my cat was so content in her “mushroom” bed in front of our fireplace, she didn’t notice she was falling out of it.
But after lunch, I was getting serious dirty looks from my bored dog and took her on a long walk. The weather was so nice, it was kind of a shame I didn’t utilize that more, but it was nice having a chill day at home.
So many pretty red leaves.
I guess the cows weren’t out.
I love the fall foliage around here and never get tired of seeing leaves turn bright red in November. I never really got that experience while living in Florida.
I love seeing snow-capped mountains here and that you can visit snow usually after a 30-minute drive in the winter, but it rarely ever snows here.
I am not a huge snack bar person because they don’t seem that satisfying to me for the high calorie count and usually only have them while traveling as an emergency breakfast or alternative to airline food. But I do occasionally have them as a quick lunch accompanied by a smoothie I packed in a Klean Kanteen. On my last trip to Whole Foods, they were having a snack bar sample event going on which of course included Larabars and a new bar I’ve never hear of, but had to buy after trying.
The NuGo Dark Mocha Chocolate. Most of the flavors I tried were good, but this one stood out to me because of the size, flavor and calorie count.
For 190 calories, it’s a big bar – about twice the size of a Larabar. And it packs more protein.
The texture is like crunch bar with a rich coffee flavor for a little mid-day kick. And the rich dark chocolate flavor was strong without being too sweet. For only 190 calories, it tasted like it had a lot more being coated in dark chocolate. But it wasn’t overly filling or bloating, it didn’t weigh my stomach down at all. It would probably be a good mid-snack during a long run also. If you’re looking for a new snack bar to try, I recommend looking for this at Whole Foods.
I’m a huge fan of lentils because they’re quick to prepare with minimal cooking time and no soaking required and have a wonderful flavor that hardly needs to be tweaked. I’ve worked a lot with red lentils at home, but never with green and decided to be adventurous by picking some up from the Whole Foods bulk foods section.
The first thing I noticed is that the they’re considerably smaller than red lentils which means they should cook even quicker. But they’re also a pricier than the red variety, but I’ve heard worth it for the flavor. I was craving a hearty stew for dinner and came up with a simple winner.
Simple Green Lentil Stew
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups chopped winter squash (optional)
In a large soup pot, saute the olive oil and onions over medium heat until onions are transparent. Add water, lentils and apple cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add spinach, celery and squash and simmer for about 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
I had a quarter of steamed kabocha squash in the fridge and chopped it up into small chunks, leaving the skin on, to toss into the stew. I think butternut or acorn squash chunks would be excellent also. For such a simple list of ingredients, this stew was great! Both hubby and I agreed it didn’t need tweaking because the green lentils had such a rich flavor on their own. It’s perfect for a cold winter dinner, give it a try for a fast, main dish.
And now I’m craving a hot stew again. So on that note, time to start getting creative for dinner tonight!