Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Mmmmm. Soup in the wintertime… a match made in heaven if you ask me.

It’s really getting cold around here, and it’s easy to fall into the rut of eating heavy, rich foods that may satisfy your craving for some warmth and comfort. The problem with a lot of these foods is that they will often leave you comatose on the couch, watching another 8-hour Say Yes to the Dress marathon.

Which got me thinking… is it possible to create a meal that is both filling, warming and delicious, that doesn’t make you want to curl into the fetal position and never put on a pair of skinny jeans again?

What if I told you that it IS possible, and that this hearty meal is also gluten-free, completely vegetarian, and even… woah… vegan??

Lentil Soup

It’s no secret lentils are my new obsession. I’ve made several different lentil dishes during my cleanse, including this lentil salad I posted about earlier, along with seriously bomb.com red curry lentils from Pinch of Yum. There is something so yummy about this little legume that I am totally down with, plus they are so good for you and low in fat.

This soup combines a ton of healthy ingredients in one delicious package. I got this recipe from the back of the Standard Process Cleanse handbook, and I will definitely be making it again!

Lentil Soup
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.
  5. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Lentil Soup

This recipe can be easily halved, or you can store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Happy Eating 🙂
mally

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

Happy Friday! How’s everyone’s resolutions coming along so far- we’re a week and a half in to 2013… is everyone still going to the gym every day and really watching what they eat?

…No? Maybe?

Well, I’m excited to share this recipe with you because not only is it delicious and filling, it’s also pretty healthy. It also features a fairly new ingredient for me: Lentils.

Lentils are a great source of fiber, and are known to help lower cholesterol. They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamins and minerals. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of lentils here at WHFoods.

Sure, that all sounds wonderful, but if these little grains don’t taste good, who’s going to eat them?

Well, that’s the great thing about lentils – they absorb pretty much any flavor you throw at them, and are pretty darn good just on their own. I decided to throw them together with a bunch of fresh vegetables and a very simple dressing, and created a crunchy, flavorful side dish that doubled as lunch for me the next day.

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any dirt or small pebbles
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and cut into ½” pieces
  • ⅓ cup frozen corn (if doing the Standard Process Cleanse, omit)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions
  1. Add water, lentils and bay leaf to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, bring heat to low and let cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf and strain the lentils to remove any excess water. Add the salt and stir.
  2. Add bell pepper, kale leaves, corn and broccoli and stir, allowing the vegetables to absorb some of the heat from the cooked lentils. Add oil and vinegar, and stir to incorporate.

In related news, I am actually starting a cleanse starting next Monday, called the Standard Process Cleanse. Don’t worry, it’s not one of those crazy juice fads… it’s more focused on incorporating more whole foods and vegetables into your diet, and flushing the toxins from your body. I am working with my friend and nutritionist, Rebecca Meyerson of Simply Healthy Living, during the 21-day process. You bet I am going to turn to this salad quite a bit during that time! So fair warning, over the next few weeks, you are going to see a lot more healthy recipes from me as I go through the cleanse process and make more vegetable-centric meals and snacks.

I also wanted to share two  e-books that my childhood neighbor and family friend, Mike Angarola, wrote that are chockfull of delicious Italian recipes, in memory of his grandmother, Gracie. Mike used to own an amazing Italian specialty shop in my hometown of Nyack, Gracie’s Ravioli, and he really knows his stuff. You can also check out his blog at Gracie’s Italian Wine Review. Check out his e-books, here:

   

Happy Eating 🙂
mally