It’s the first meatless Monday of 2012! Yay! We need to load up on some super nutritious goods to start the year off right, like hearty lentil soup and warm spinach salad; foods that are incredibly nourishing. Nothing beats a warming bowl of soup during the winter, especially one that is loaded with plant based protein. Lentils provide approximately 18g of proteins per one cup and LOTS of insoluble fiber! Research shows that insoluble fiber can help prevent digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and IBS. So let’s get cooking!
Hearty Lentil Soup
2 tbsp water or oil, for sautéing
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cups brown lentils, picked through and rinsed
8 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp truffle oil (optional)
Freshly ground pepper. to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat the water/oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.
Add the lentils, stock, 1 tsp salt, coriander and cumin and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Alternatively, you may transfer a portion of the soup to the blender, puree, and then return to the pot. Add the tomatoes to the semi-purred soup and stir to combine. Add the truffle oil, taste for seasonings, and add more salt if necessary. Serve hot topped with freshly ground pepper and chopped parsley.
Warm Spinach Salad with Toasted Almonds, Pecans and Goat Cheese
Yummy spinach! High in vitamin A, C, and K, folate and iron; this green is an antioxidant powerhouse! Topped with heart healthy almonds and pecans, this is a great salad on its own, or tossed with quinoa or brown rice.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup each pecans and almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, cook, tossing until spinach starts to slightly wilt, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
Add vinegar to skillet, and heat for 5 seconds. Drizzle over spinach and onion. Sprinkle with pecans, almonds and goat cheese, and squeeze some fresh lemon on top. Gently toss and serve!
Health & Abundance