Ice In Africa

January 31, 2010

WOO HOO!! All schools are canceled tomorrow!! There is still major ICE on the roads. Not safe for big school busses of kids!

Matt and I ventured out ourselves this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny [ice cold] day! By afternoon our street was patchy and most of the main roads were just wet – no ice. Some roads we encountered were even dry! We frolicked – ran would not be an accurate description – through about 5 miles winding through our neighborhood and two next door. I was S L O W because I had smoothie in my stomach! I hate running after lunch. But I survived. And I think my lips are sunburned!

Once home I broke into 20 minutes of Yoga For Runners.

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I had dinner cooking since 9AM!

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Slow Cooker Lentil Soup


  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • Can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup lentils (green or brown, red would get mushy)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celeries
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk

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Chop the veg and crush the garlic.

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And put everything in the pot BUT the coconut milk. Crank to low for 6-7 hours until lentils are tender, then change to just warm.

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When you’re 20 minutes from dinnertime, add the coconut milk (I had it curdle on me once so I don’t add it at the beginning). Stir:

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Since I am clearly obsessed with my Vita-mix, blend for a creamy soup!

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If 2006-2008 were years of flavor, 2009-2010 are the years of texture. I am so in love with all things bubbly, foamy, blended, and crunchy on top of blended. It’s all like a dessert!

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Topped with a few chopped roasted almonds.

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To be all Middle Earthen (isn’t the addition of dried fruit and nuts a characteristic of African cuisine?) I rehydrated some raisins and chopped more almonds to add to a rice side dish

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Back in college, my roommate taught me to stir plain yogurt into rice. Loved it at the time but I haven’t remembered to make it in ages!

I reheated about half a cup of leftover brown rice and added about 1/3 a cup of Oikos plus the raisins, almonds and cinnamon. Fantastico side dish!

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Matt and I agreed that the soup was kind of like a Mexican mole sauce. The lentils and tomatoes and cinnamon really gave it an almost chocolately flavor! We liked the thick, blended texture and also thought it would make a fantastic SAUCE for something. We have lots of leftovers, so we’ll see where that goes…

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Condiments for the soup.

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That would be my sugar bowl as a soup bowl tonight :)

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Although I get to sleep late tomorrow and save myself 2 hours of driving, I do have a lot of work I can do in preparation for the week that we WILL be in school. So tomorrow is a serious day. Not a total play day.

Have a great night!

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 31, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Hahahah that seasoning from hell is funny! I’d love to try that!


2 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self January 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I have never tried stirring plain yogurt into rice, but it sounds like genius! And I am SO SO jealous of your Vita Mix!

Silly question from a newbie cook: how do you rehydrate your raisins? And would that same method work for any dried fruit?


3 Kath January 31, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Just a little hot water! I heat it in the microwave and then add the fruit and let it sit for about 5 minutes then drain off water.


4 emily January 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I love plain yogurt stirred into rice but haven’t had it in ages either, thanks for the reminder!


5 [email protected] January 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The soup turned out beautiful, I want some! I love the side dish, it kind of reminds me or rice pudding. I enjoy using the crock pot, it is so nice to have a carefree day knowing that dinner is cooking and waiting for you.


6 Marla January 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Well we all have work we can do at any time…..but it’s still really a day off work girl!
Another day off for you-I am totally jealous (and still jealous even if you tell us all how much you accomplish at home!hee hee) green eyed monster here loooonging for a day at home!!!


7 Jessie January 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I’ll have to try yogurt in rice — I never would have thought of that.

Have a nice driving-free day tomorrow :)


8 Danielle (Coffee Run) January 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Yay for a snow day! I’m jealous that you can run outside :(
I love my soup just like that- thick + creamy


9 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 31, 2010 at 8:39 pm

That soup sounds great! And yogurt in rice… I would have never thought of that! Do you usually add spices and other things like you did tonight or can you just do the rice and yogurt?

And that sounds like a great run. Not much better than yoga to stretch you out after a run :)

Congrats on getting to sleep in!


10 Kath January 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Do whatever you want to the rice + yogurt!


11 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 31, 2010 at 8:40 pm

What a perfect day for lentil soup! I’m making some tomorrow :)


12 Hannah January 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Ah, amazing! S very unique and different – I love the yogurt + rice idea.

However, no fair – slow cooker and a Vitamix, in the one post? I currently own, um…. a spoon?


13 Nutritious Foodie January 31, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Today was a perfect soup day here in Houston… 34° (felt like 24°) and heavy winds.


14 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 31, 2010 at 8:48 pm

My favorite flavor is CHEWY!!! :-)

Seasoning from hell…lol.


15 Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 31, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I made lentil soup in the slow cooker too — SO perfect for a cold, snowy evening!


16 lynn (The Actors Diet) January 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

oooh! will definitely try this sometime…though i don’t have a vitamix so it’ll have to be a chunky version.


17 Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. January 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I love lentil soup. I have never pured it before. I’ll have to try that next time.


18 Lauren @ eater not a runner January 31, 2010 at 9:02 pm

That soup looks awesome! Yay for snow days, I’m jealous 😉


19 Jil January 31, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Mmm, that lentil soup looks awesome. I love that you blended it – such a good idea.


20 Kaite@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle January 31, 2010 at 9:07 pm

So creative- I like the rice + yogurt idea


21 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) January 31, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I can’t run after eating…..I have to wait 3-4 hours depending on the size of the meal. Suuuuch a long time until food when you factor in the actual workout, shower, getting dressed.

You just keep tempting us with that Vita Mix :)


22 Karla January 31, 2010 at 9:18 pm

AHH so jealous!! I wish school was canceled here! Alas I think upstate NY is used to this kind of snow :(


23 zestycook January 31, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Kath – this soup looks amazing! I think I like creamy soups lately too.


24 Annie January 31, 2010 at 9:25 pm

It may be a characteristic of NORTH african cuisine – but definitely not all of Africa. 😉


25 Kath January 31, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Right. Isn’t Morocco famous for dried fruit in couscous?


26 Annie January 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm

ya! you know what you should try that i think you would love? West African peanut butter stew. I have a killer recipe for it – but its a little…non-exact. Just let me know if you want the non-exact recipe!


27 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:44 am

Oh I would love that! And I’m all over non-exact recipes.


28 Mary (Food Fit & Fun) January 31, 2010 at 9:32 pm

I’m glad you got a run & yoga in! I love that Yoga for Runner’s. The quick 20-minute version is pretty good as well! Soup looks excelllllllllent!


29 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope January 31, 2010 at 9:34 pm

What a neat recipe Kath! All those flavors sound really good!

Enjoy your “ice” day tomorrow!


30 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather January 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Your getting some good use out of that Vita-Mix girl! Your dinner looks yummy, especially the side dish.


31 Ashley January 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Soooo jealous. Wake County schools are closed tomorrow because there is still so much snow and ice on the road, but my office is just delayed until 10AM. I think I might be stuck until noon at least!

The rice looks interesting–I might have to try that! I tend to not eat enough calories when I’m eating healthfully and yogurt seems like a good way to add some calories into brown rice.


32 Emily Eats and Exercises January 31, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Soup sounds great – and I have ALL the ingredients. I was just looking for a soup for the first course of my dinner party tomorrow. I think this is going on the menu.


33 Jamie January 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm

would the soup be any good without blending it? i don’t have a vita mix but the ingredients all sound awesome!


34 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:44 am



35 Mara @ What's for Dinner? January 31, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Looks delicious, and wouldn’t “Middle Earthen” be people from Middle Earth? Like Hobbits and Elves? :)


36 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:44 am

Yes, definitely. :)


37 Shannon (The Daily Balance) January 31, 2010 at 10:17 pm

awesome dinner! and such a creative rice dish – i have GOT to try that!


38 Lindsay January 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Your soup looks awesome, but I dont think that I would have pureed it all up because I like to be able to feel all of the textures in my mouth when I am eating, but that might just be me!! Well, I hope you have a nice snow day tomorrow… there is NO snow here in Illinois where there usually is a ton!!


39 Lisa @bakebikeblog January 31, 2010 at 10:33 pm

oh Kath – that soup looks AMAZING!!!!!!


40 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 31, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Enjoy your day off tomorrow!


41 Stephanie January 31, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I really like the idea of the yogurt stirred into the rice plus the toppings, looks delicious!


42 Cynthia (It All Changes) January 31, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Ooo I have a bag of green lentils and will have to give this a try.


43 Emily January 31, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I just checked my pantry and the only thing I don’t have is tummeric! =] I’ll live. My crock-pot will be put to use tomorrow!! Not sure I could handle the creamly soup as I like to chew dinner! =] Looks amazing none-the-less though!


44 Jenna January 31, 2010 at 11:05 pm

The side dish of rice and yogurt look great!


45 Janet January 31, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Love the Vita-mix and was hoping that you could show us how well it grinds whole grains. I’d like to use some fresh ground wheat in my bread and other recipes and maybe this machine would work for that also. Thanks! Love the lentil recipe, will be trying it out soon. I don’t have the Masala but I think curry might work well also.


46 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

Have you checked the Vita-mix website? They have lots of how-to videos. I know you CAN grind grains, but I probably won’t be doing that in the near future.


47 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 31, 2010 at 11:36 pm

it’s so cool that you get the day off! hope it’s fun and productive!


48 Colleen January 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm

When you said “Middle Earthen” did you mean to say “Middle Eastern?” :) Your obsession with LOTR is too funny.

I need a slow cooker!! Putting it on the list for the Costco trip next week…


49 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

Three cheers for LOTR!


50 BroccoliHut February 1, 2010 at 12:14 am

Mmm I never would have thought to add coconut milk to lentil soup, but it sounds delicious!


51 Jenn (www. ) February 1, 2010 at 1:31 am

The lentil soup looks SO good! Love the idea of yogurt + rice with fruit, yum! Almost like rice pudding, only savory. :)



52 Freya @ February 1, 2010 at 2:49 am

Oh that soup looks amazing! How many does it serve?
Great rice idea too, I normally really don’t like rice, so that’s a brill idea :)
Sleep well!


53 Kath February 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

Serves at least 6 small-to-medium bowls.


54 Jac February 1, 2010 at 4:38 am

am def trying that stew one day!


55 Lauren February 1, 2010 at 6:21 am

Fantastic idea to mix yogurt into rice, then add raisins and nuts. I will definitely have to try that! Have a great “ice” day today!


56 christie @ honoring health February 1, 2010 at 7:28 am

I’m at home today too and I have a few things I need to get done. I also want to venture out into the world and see how the roads are. We still have thick ice on my street :(


57 Annie @ stronghealthyfit February 1, 2010 at 7:43 am

Great idea with the rice + yogurt! I’m totally going to try that. Might be good with quinoa too.
I LOVE the 20 minute classes on yogadownload! I did one yesterday just to stretch myself out a little- it was my “rest day” of the week.


58 Paige(Running Around Normal) February 1, 2010 at 8:19 am

Woot for getting out there and running! That’s funny that the schools are closed out there.
That seasoning from Hell cracks me up, but I bet it sure is goood!


59 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale February 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

Yum – I’m all about pureed soups like that. Especially with legumes like lentils or chickpeas – they taste so nutty and fulfilling! Unfortunately, my husband hates blended soups (he likes broth based only), so we have battles over this from time to time…


60 Jenny February 1, 2010 at 10:27 am

I’ve gotten so bored with plain brown rice lately. Stirring in some yogurt is a great idea to change things up!


61 Erin February 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Hey Kath,
the other day I read this post and noted that you had used some leftover rice. Tonight, I suggested we use the leftover rice we had to make something for dinner. My fiance informed me that he hates to eat leftover rice because of the risk of Bacillus Cereus and resulting food poisoning. You can do a little research on that if you are interested (there actually studies about how rice should be stored, etc. due to several outbreaks of food poisoning, from contaminated rice in restaurants, most likely because it is prepared and then sits out for so long…). Just thought I would share the info.



62 Kath February 3, 2010 at 5:57 am

I think that’s more of a problem if you don’t cook it properly in the first place. Quote Wikipedia: “If rice is cooked at, or over 100 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or more bacillus cereus cannot survive, therefore eliminating possible food poisoning.”

So the leftovers should be fine if it was cooked right the first time.


63 Erin February 3, 2010 at 8:22 am

Bacillus Cereus spores can survive boiling (they are pretty heat resistant). I think wikipedia might be a bit off on this one.


64 Kath February 3, 2010 at 8:23 am

But if the bacteria was killed the first time it wouldn’t be able to produce the spores in the leftovers, right? Or are you saying the spores were there to begin with.


65 Erin February 3, 2010 at 8:46 am

They are there to begin with.


66 Cindy February 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I love to add lentils to my pressure cooker soups, but I never though to blend the soup afterwards. It looks really beautiful, almost like a pudding.


67 Allie February 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm

That lentil soup looks delicious. My mom was actually just telling me the other day I should try out lentil soup. I’ll definitely give this one a go!


68 Sonia October 19, 2012 at 11:56 am

This looks so good and I love the yogurt and rice side dish. In fact, your roommates tip will be something I will be using more often as well.


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