Many of us may know about all the amazing benefits to eating a whole foods diet and lots of greens. Sounds great in theory, but how can we actually we make a seasonal whole foods lifestyle practical and delicious?
So I set out to see if the "impossible" could be possible :-) This is the kind of challenge that I LOVE! Using the 5 Secrets to Everyday Health, I explored ways to make whole plant-based spring cuisine convenient, easy, quick, affordable and delicious.
Above: Produce Items from the Spring Produce Shopping List. Photo compliments of Richard Giordano Photography
Red Lentils Give you GLOW
Why? Red Lentils cook in 20 minutes or sometimes less, and are easy to make delicious. This means that when all else fails ~ aka you have no meals planned, you are starving, don't feel like cooking, yet want to enjoy a delicious whole foods meal to maintain your GLOW ~ red lentils will save the day. Red lentils can be made delicious very quickly with the help of a high quality soup stock, herbs or spices from the Everyday Pantry Shopping List. Voila! You have yourself a quick and delicious tasting meal without any hassle.
Not only are red lentils practical, they also give you that inner GLOW. Red lentils are high in an amino acid (building blocks for protein) called tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin ~ the happy neurotransmitter. In order to feel good we need to get the nutritional building blocks from food so that our physical bodies can feel positive emotions.
To celebrate the coming of warm weather, red lentils got spring makeover with the addition of affordable organic canned tomatoes, fresh ginger, cumin and Swiss chard. Ginger is a powerful herb for cleansing liver and boosting immune system. Cumin is one of my favourite versatile spices that helps your body to properly digest legumes to give you optimal energy.
Red lentils LOVE...ginger and Swiss chard
(Remember ginger and Swiss chard also LOVE each other in green smoothies) Learning what flavours pair well together will help you learn the secrets of making everyday health delicious!
1 1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups filtered water
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated and minced
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander (optional)
3 - 4 garlic cloves
1 can organic tomatoes (pssst.. these are affordable!)
2 cubes high quality vegetarian soup stock (my favourite is New Harvest Organic Soup Stock)
3 1/2 cups Swiss chard, minced (do not skimp on this ingredient! ;-)
sea salt to taste
Garnish: freshly squeezed lemon juice, cold pressed olive oil, nutritional yeast and freshly ground black pepper
(1) Grate ginger and mince garlic before you begin.
(2) Heat pot on medium and add coconut oil.
(3) When oil melts, gently saute ginger, garlic and spices until well blended with a bit of sun dried sea salt.
(4) Add red lentils and mix them well into the spice mixture.
(5) Add water, tomatoes and soup broth and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked.
(6) Add Swiss chard and let sit on low for 2 – 3 minutes.
(7) Garnish with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, nutritional yeast and black pepper. Enjoy
Stay tuned for tip #2 and tip #1 :-)