Lentil & Buttercup Squash Stoup with Brown Rice & Rye Berries

Every Sunday I make meals for the week, by doing so, I never have to worry about what I’m going to have for lunch or dinner. Today, I made Lentil & Buttercup Squash Soup (well, Stoup because it’s thicker than soup) with Brown Rice & Rye Berries (cooked using the Saveur method).   If you have never tried a buttercup squash then I suggestion you run out right now and purchase one. If you’re a squash lover like I am, then BC Squash will knock you over. The taste is incredible. I have cooked it in various ways (soups, stews, roasted, etc.) and I never grown tired of it.

I also used the last of my mutant carrots from my garden.  I didn’t want to toss these babies into the composter. I mean, just because they look like something from an alien planet, doesn’t mean they deserve a tossing with nary a care, right???



The ingredient list line-up:

Photo Left:  Buttercup Squash, onion, lemon, my mutant carrots and garlic.

Middle Photos: Kombu (I use kombu in most of my soup (stoup) and stews recipes. Kombu assists the body in breaking down legumes. )

Picture of Rye Berries

Photo on Right:  Snapshot of the Saveur brown rice cooking method


The finished product:


And here is a picture of my cat Sammy (just because), baking a sunshine cake (that’s what my father calls it when he sees a cat lying in the sun – “baking a sunshine cake”).


And this is a picture of my favorite snack (again, just because) which goes great with everything, especially hummus or Tahini. Yum!

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks back 1 hour.



Onigiri Japanese Rice Ball – Made with Toasted Sesame Salt by Carla DeLangre

This is a great macrobiotic dish that I am copying/pasting from Selina Naturally, to which I am a member.

This is simple, easy to make and oooh so healthy.



  • 2-3 cups cooked organic brown rice or millet
  • 2 tablespoons organic wheat-free tamari
  • 1 organic scallion minced
  • 4 organic umeboshi’s (salted plums) pitted and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon organic rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground sesame seed salt (gomasio) in a small bowl
  • 1 cup cold water


    With clean hands or a spoon mix together umeboshi, vinegar, and scallions then incorporate the umeboshi mixture to the rice. Roll 1/4 cup of rice into a ball. Dip fingers into tamari and roll the rice ball around hands to coat with tamari. Lightly roll or dust the rice bowl in the ground Toasted Sesame Salt.

    Garnish with nori and greens and serve warm or room tempurature.

    Makes 8-12 rice balls.

    Recipe created by Carla DeLangre.


The Perfect Brown Rice

This morning I was reading an article by the Environmental Working Group about Arsenic in our rice and rice products. It was a fairly disturbing article.  As someone who consumes  cubic yards of brown rice, I was pretty disturbed by the article. If you’re interested in reading about it, please click here.

That being said, I noticed there was a link in the article about how to make perfect brown rice. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and read the following article and recipe which completely blew away everything I thought I knew about cooking brown rice.  Well, as the proverbial “they” say, “You’re never too old to learn.”

Perfect Brown Rice

1 cup short, medium, or long-grain brown rice
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.

2. Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, off the heat. Cover the pot and set it aside to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt.


Red Lentil & Chickpea Stew with Rice & Rye Berries (not Wheat Berries!)

Those of you who follow my blog might recall from previous posts that I cook all of my meals on Sundays so that I have lunch and dinner for the entire week.  Eating this way allows me to control what I am putting into my body as well as control my spending.  I work in Boston and quite honestly the food offerings around the vicinity of my office aren’t that great. We do have one vegan food truck which is terrific in a pinch. But quite honestly, I prefer to cook my own food as I don’t like a lot of people touching/prepping my food.  This probably stems from my days working in the industry as a Garde Manger and then Pastry Cook.

As I mentioned in my post: Cutting the Cord with Cable, well almost, I have friends who cannot make time to cook, and yet seem to have ample time to watch their favorite reality TV line-up (go figure).  I receive so much enjoyment from cooking that I would prefer to cook than watch TV.

Also, due to the hours I work (plus my commute in/out of the city), I don’t have a lot of time during the week to prep and cook a meal, which is the other reason I cook meals (usually two or three) on Sundays to cover me for the week.

Anyway, yesterday I made Red Lentil & Chickpea Stew with Rice & Rye and I thought it might be nice to share this with my followers.

In case you are wondering about the Brown Rice & Rye Berries, let me say this:  Brown Rice and Rye Berries cooked together is the best! I love it and eat it with everything and so good for you. 

Chick Pea and Red Lentil Stew

(FYI: This is a great recipe for a Crockpot!)


  • Crockpot, Soup or Stock Pot
  • EVOO (or whatever oil you like)
  • Celtic Sea Salt ~ eyeball it. I think I used 1 heaping tsp
  • Yellow Onion (or whatever onion you like) ~ rough chopped
  • 1-3 large carrots ~ cut on the diagonal
  • Chile pepper(s) ~ Fresh (use whatever kind you like. I used Serrano) ~ chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper ~ rough chopped
  • Garlic (use as many or as little cloves as you like. I used 5)
  • Garam Masala ~ eyeball it. I don’t use exact measurements as I use the palm of my hand
  • 2 cans Garbanzo Beans (a.k.a. Chick Peas) drained/rinsed
  • 1 package of red lentils (I used Goya brand)
  • 1 can of Tomato Puree (I used Cento brand)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup of black pitted olives ~ eyeball it, I didn’t use exact measurements

Method of Prep:

Gather all of your mis-en-place

  • Pre-heat pot
  • Rough chop: Onion, chile pepper and green bell pepper
  • Slice carrots on the diagonal
  • Drain/rinse Chick peas ~ set aside
  • Open can of crushed tomatoes ~ set aside
  • Add EVOO to pre-heated pot
  • Add onions, carrots, green and hot peppers and salt.  Cover and sweat the vegetables until translucent
  • Remove lid & Add Garam Marsala, leave lid off and cook until you can smell the spices.
  • Add a little water and scrape bottom of pan
  • Add Chick Peas, Red Lentils, and Tomato Puree, plus 1 can of water from puree can, vegetable stock and olives.
  • Give a good stir and simmer , slightly covered,  (unless using Crockpot) until cooked through.

Serve with Rice & Rye



Important: MUST SOAK OVERNIGHT (Best cooked in Rice Cooker and/or Pressure cooker, or you could even use Crockpot)


  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Bob Red Mills Rye Berries (NOT: Wheat Berries)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 TBSP of Wakame Seaweed ~eyeball it
  • ¼ cup Shoyu

Method of Prep:

1 large pot

  1. Measure: 1 cup of Brown Rice, 1 cup of Rye Berries and add to pot.
  2. Add 4 cups of filtered water and Wakame
  3. Cover and soak overnight 

Next day:

  • Remove lid
  • Add 1/8-1/4 of tsp of Celtic Sea salt
  • Bring Rice/Rye to a boil ~ DO NOT STIR OR DISTURB, otherwise the rice/rye will turn out mushy.
  • Reduce to low heat
  • Cover and allow to cook.  PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB

After an hour or more, check to see if all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat, add Shoyu, cover and allow pot to sit on burner (w/out heat).

Be sure stir before serving. Rice and Rye goes with everything!






Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Curry Soup

A follower of my blog (Kevin @ http://nittygrittydirtman.wordpress.com/) has asked me for the recipe to the soup I mentioned in yesterday’s post: 17 Inches.  I told him I didn’t have a recipe per se, because I just winged it. Generally, I do not follow recipes.  That said, I promised him I would try to recollect how I constructed the soup and post the recipe.

So here goes nothing…

Susan’s (slap-dashed) Vegan Butternut Squash Curry Soup


  • Diced Onion (I used Vidalia because it is all I had on hand)
  • Curry Powder ~ eyeball it, I use the palm of my hand to measure
  • Cumin ~ eyeball it, I use the palm of my hand to measure
  • Oregano ~ eyeball it, I use the palm of my hand to measure (OPTIONAL)
  • Coconut Milk (1 can – mixed well) ~ Optional NOTE: you could make this non vegan by adding heavy cream
  • Celtic Sea Salt ~ eyeball it
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) ~ eyeball it
  • 17 inch Butternut Squash – rough chopped (sorry, couldn’t help myself ha-ha!)
  • Water (I used a full Zero Water Pitcher and then some ~ again, eyeball it)
  • Fresh Cilantro ~ add at the end when the soup is finished

Method of Prep:

Gather all of your mise-en-place and equipment

Preheat Stock or Soup Pan

Prep your vegetables: dice onion; peel and rough chop BN Squash, chop cilantro (and set aside for garnish)

Once pan is heated, add evoo and sauté onions, toss in some Celtic Sea Salt (eyeball the amounts to your liking) and cook onions until translucent (I liked to wait until mine turn slightly brown).

Add spices: curry and cumin (or whatever spices you have on hand).  When you begin to smell the spices cooking, add the oregano, saute for another minute (careful not to burn) and then add some of the water, all of the chopped squash, and then the remaining water. NOTE:  If you add all of the water first, you may not have enough room for the squash, which is why I add some water, all of the squash and then the remaining water.

When the squash is mushy (past the point of fork tender); begin pureeing the soup, either with an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor (I used my blender pureeing the soup in batches). NOTE: You can either puree all or some of the soup – it all depends on what consistency you are going for.  I pureed most of it, leaving some texture.   While pureeing the soup, begin adding the coconut milk (or dairy) so as to temper it before adding it back into the pot.  It is important to temper your coconut milk or dairy, otherwise, could wind up with a disaster on your hands.  Ha-Ha!

Once you have pureed the soup with the coconut milk add everything back to the pot and simmer until the coconut milk and soup flavors blend together seamlessly.  Once the soup is heated through, be sure to taste it to see if it needs more salt, cumin, et-cetera and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Serve with chopped Cilantro and toasted Ezekiel Bread.

If you have any questions or are not sure of my instructions, please contact me.