Lentils With Spinach

Here is a recipe that is easy and healthy! It is vegan, low fat, high in plant based protein and chlorophyl (see the benefits of chlorophyl here). This recipe is so pleasing to the  palate, I think I could eat it every day. It consists of only seven ingredients, including salt! Try experimenting with additional ingredients to add some new flavors and textures, for example, kale or roasted hazel nuts. I found the basis for this recipe in the book “Thrive Foods” by Brendan Brazier. I simply adapted the recipe a little by adding onions and substituting kale for the spinach.

(Makes about 4 – 1 cup servings)

Ingredients

1 tbsp Coconut Oil

3-5 cloves chopped garlic

1/2 lemon

1/2 onion – diced

3-4 C Chicken Broth or vegetable broth

1 C Red Lentils – well rinsed

3 C spinach or de-spined kale

Salt and/or pepper to taste

**Makes about 4 servings

Directions:

  • Add coconut oil to Dutch oven or similar high sided saute pan and place over medium to low heat.
  • Add onions and saute for about 2-4 minutes or until it begins to brown
  • Add garlic and saute for 2-4 minutes
  • Add 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and add lentils – bring to boil
  • Back off temperature and simmer without lid for between 30 – 40 minutes, adding broth as it cooks to maintain moisture and broth base. Cook until lentils are tender
  • Add spinach and mix as you simmer for 2-4 minutes until it is wilted and mixed into lentils
  • Remove from heat and squeeze lemon over the top, add salt, mix and serve

The Power of Mint

Most everyone has heard of mint, and have likely grown it in their garden at some point. Mint is also a Chinese herb called Bo He. In Chinese medicine, it is used to expel wind-heat from the head region, and treats symptoms like fever, headaches, red eyes, cough and sore throat. It is also used to help vent rashes of the skin by bringing pathogens to the surface to speed up healing.

Because of it’s aromatic properties, mint is commonly added during the last 5 minutes of an herbal decoction. Drinking mint tea before bed can stop nightmares in their tracks. In Chinese medicine, nightmares come from heart heat. Mint helps clear heat in the body and in turn can eliminate nightmares. Breathing in vapors from mint tea can also help clear cold symptoms in the head. It is cheap, easy and is very effective. It is also safe for kids.

Peppermint essential oil and a muscle gel with menthol (we like Dynamint) are two great remedies to combat cold and flu symptoms. Body aches are a terrible symptom of a bad virus, but applying a thin layer of Dynamint over the muscles of the back and neck can reduce body aches by up to 95%! Sinus pressure is another debilitating symptom. It makes it difficult to think, eat and even sleep. Spreading a thin layer of peppermint oil over your sinuses (above the eyebrows and below the eyes) will really relieve the pain. Just be sure to avoid the eyes!

Minestrone Soup

 

Minestrone

This soup is unbelievably delicious and packed full of roasted vegetables! This soup just makes you feel good, especially on cold winter days. You can tweak the recipe as you see fit… for example if you don’t eat potatoes or are allergic to them; just leave them out. The same goes for the beans or pasta. 

Bon apetit! -Jake

(Serves about 8 people)

Ingredients

2-3 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups diced bacon (I prefer a non-smoked variety for this soup)

2 finely diced yellow onions

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced celery

1 can diced tomatoes and the juice (italian style or fire roasted are great)

1 can white beans (Great Northern beans or Cannelini variety – cooked)

2 zucchini (small to medium) peeled and diced

1 cup potatoes 

2-3 cups diced, stemmed green beans

3 cups shredded green cabbage

7 cups beef broth

(optional) 1 – 2 cups spiral pasta

Shredded parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  1. Choose stockpot or dutch oven large enough for all the ingredients.
  2. Place on stove over medium heat
  3. Add a little of the butter to the pan and once it is hot, add the bacon. Cook the bacon until it starts to brown (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the diced onion and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining butter and repeat this procedure with the green beans, celery, potatoes, zucchini and finally the cabbage.
  6. Add the broth, the diced tomatoes and their juice, and a little bit of salt (go easy on the salt, especially if you are using canned broth. You can correct the seasoning or add salt at the end after sampling it).
  7. Cover and cook at low simmer for at least 4 hours or until roasted veggies are very tender. Slow roasting this in the oven works great as well.
  8. Minestrone should never be thin and watery, so cook until it is soupy thick. If it gets too thick, you can always add another cup of broth or water at the end.
  9. Optionally you can add 1-2 cups uncooked pasta, 15-20 minutes before the end of cooking.
  10. Add the canned beans at the end or 15 minutes before serving.
  11. At serving time, top each bowl of minestrone with a little shredded parmesan.
  12. Put the leftovers in the fridge and reheat it as needed. I think it gets better and better when reheated.

 

Sausage and Kale Soup

Try out this amazing and healthy soup recipe. I make it all the time.

Sausage and Kale Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic, chopped and peeled

1 pound of mild, ground chicken sausage

2 cups of chicken broth

3 cups of beef broth * I often skip the beef broth and use 5 cups of chicken broth.

1 head of cauliflower- chopped small without the stems

1 large bunch of kale – spines removed and chopped

Directions

  • In a large Dutch oven sauté chopped onion and chopped garlic in coconut oil for 2 minutes over medium heat
  • Add chicken sausage and sauté until done and browned
  • Add chicken and beef broth, keep at medium heat right below a boil
  • Add chopped cauliflower florets. Simmer for 20 minutes with lid on or until cauliflower is tender
  • Add chopped kale and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Serve immediately or put it in the fridge and reheat

Bon Apetit.