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“This soup was inspired by a Syrian recipe that I love, a spice-laced pan-cooked spinach that is served with yogurt and walnuts on top. I decided to use the same spices in a puréed spinach soup, and it worked beautifully. Half of the yogurt is stirred into the soup, contributing a tart flavor that’s a great finishing dimension to the soup. The rest is drizzled onto each serving.”
Advance preparation: You can make this several hours before you serve it, but you will lose the bright green color. If you are making it ahead, the soup will look brighter if you wait until just before serving to stir in the yogurt.

Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 314 calories; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 36 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 241 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 21 grams protein

Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 210 calories; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 24 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 161 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 14 grams protein

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • finely diced celery
  • Salt to taste
  • medium-grain rice
  • chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
  • ground allspice
  • ground clove
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • cornstarch
  • drained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt
  • chopped walnuts for garnish

GREEN CURRY PASTE The inspiring recipe called for a whole three tablespoons of green curry paste. I’ve learned from experience that (1) different brands vary in “heat” and (2) tolerances for heat vary too! I started off with just one teaspoon and then later added another two teaspoons. That was “perfect” heat for me, taste-wise, and for my three male taste-testers as well.
SWEET POTATOES If cooking on the stovetop, cut the sweet potato cubes quite small so they cook more quickly and evenly.
LENTILS Red lentils are the softest lentils, they “melt” into whatever you’re cooking. Brown and black and green lentils would work too but the texture would be considerably different.
ROASTED PEPPERS Roasted red peppers can be every-so-pricey in every-day grocery stores. I stock up at Trader Joe’s and, for St. Louisans, at Global Foods in Kirkwood. You could also roast your own, either in the oven or on a gas stove.
SPINACH Baby spinach cooks so quickly, add it at the very last minute. I take the time to slice off the stems but this is mostly for aesthetics. If you use regularly curly spinach, it takes longer to cook so add it with the roasted peppers.
SLOW COOKER vs STOVETOP Regular readers know that I like the “idea” of slow cookers but am often disappointed by the bland, mushy-texture results. NOT HERE! In fact, I liked the slow cooker version a tiny bit better than the stovetop version, the flavors really melded together with longer, slower cooking.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 209 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 1mg Cholesterol; 486mg Sodium; 37g Carb; 6g Fiber; 9g Sugar; 10g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 3.5 & WW PointsPlus 5 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving, 1/2 cup; 50-calorie serving, 1/4 cup.

ready in about 510 minutes
You might need to buy:
  • olive oil

For the almonds: To toast almonds, brown them for a couple of minutes in a skillet over medium high heat. To roast them, bake them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

You might need to buy:
  • rice vinegar
  • Dressing:
  • uncooked quinoa
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • minced garlic
  • sugar
  • ground ginger


serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • mild extra-virgin
  • olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • black olive tapenade
  • honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small grape tomatoes,
  • dried gemelli or other curly pasta
  • loosely packed cups baby spinach
  • ⅓ cup chopped toasted walnuts

“Barefoot Contessa” Family Style"

serves 4
You might need to buy:
  • baby spinach leaves
  • good olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • unsalted butter
  • Lemon
serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • olive oil
  • quinoa
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • dried dill
  • dried oregano
  • broth or water
  • olive oil
  • garlic,
  • chopped
  • organic baby spinach
  • small organic lemon
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper + more for serving
  • freshly ground nutmeg

Mediterranean Light cookbook by Martha Rose Shulman ISBN: 0-688-17467-1

serves 6
You might need to buy:
  • water
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • crushed coriander seed
  • freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • plain low-fat yogurt
  • dried mint or 2 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • paprika

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serves 10
You might need to buy:
  • fat-free milk
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • herb seasoned stuffing cubes

Serving Size: 1
Servings Per Batch: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
Fat 0.50g
Carbohydrate 18.40g
Dietary Fiber 2.60g
Sugars 3.20g
Protein 3 grams

You might need to buy:
  • bananas
  • vanilla extract
  • plant-based milk
  • white whole wheat flour
  • baking soda
  • lemon zest
  • baking powder
  • raw sugar