Blackened Sea-caught Tilapia
Two filets of sea-caught tilapia (if you can only find farm-raised, substitute this with cod)
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime
~2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp sea salt
Combine the spices and juices in a flat bottom dish. Coat each filet on both sides with the spice/juice combination and set aside for about twenty minutes to let the fish absorb the flavors. Warm about 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and pan fry the filets; it should take about 3 minutes on each side, but the main thing is to keep an eye out for the blackening and test the fish with a fork when you think it's done. If the filet flakes, you're good to go. (The neat thing about this - I got this idea from my dad's apple pie recipe actually - is that the white pepper gives you a heat sensation without tasting "spicy", so even if you eat this fish cold - I did - it's still "warm" and delicious.)
Spinach and Tomato Salad
10 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine elements in a bowl and toss. I only used the pepper, but it's a matter of preference at that point. Yum!
Lentil and Spinach Soup
4 cups low sodium organic chicken stock (if you're veg, use vegetable stock)
3 heaping handfuls baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1.75 cups dried lentils, rinsed
1 tsp thyme
~3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
fresh ground black pepper
5-6 pinches Erbe Salle (This is a wonderful herb ground sea salt I adore. If you can't find this, use regular sea salt, about 5 turns of the grinder.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, thyme, and 2 pinches of your salt of choice and sauté ~1 minute.
Stir in lentils. Make sure you really mix up the lentils with the onions and garlic. It should be smelling simply wonderful at this point.
Add the stock, tomato paste, and 1 cup of water. Raise heat to high, bringing the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes. Add your spinach, simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
For the bento, I have an awesome little soup-storage container that retains the heat in the soup for about 3 hours. That said, I ate some of this cold the next day and it was still delicious, so go for it. Enjoy!