How to Make Immune Boosting Pea Soup

This is not your everyday ordinary pea soup. This is my super dooper split pea soup with a bangin good twist! Best part is – you can throw all ingredients into a crockpot, leave for work, and when you come home you will have the most delicious soup waiting for you. The secret is to add in lentils, sweet potatoes (not yams) and green zucchini… oh boy!

Benefits: Wow! Peas are a storehouse of vitamins and nutrients. They have tons of vitamin C that boosts your immune system, lowers cholesterol and controls blood sugar! Excellent for losing weight too….so don’t be shy.

Ingredients:

16 oz pkg green split peas (rinsed)

1/3 – 1/2 bag lentils (rinsed)

1 large sweet potato (or 2 small) chopped

1 medium/large sweet onion halved or chopped

1 chopped carrot

1 small/med green zucchini whole or chopped

1 bay leaf,  1/2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt

22 oz low sodium veggie broth

7 cups H2O

Directions: Throw everything into a crockpot. Cover, cook on high for 6 to 8 hours or until peas are soft. Remove bayleaf.

Blend with your immersion blender (hopefully you have one! If not, get one today! I highly recommend a cuisinart stainless steel) or blend part of it in your blender.

Eat!

 

How to Make Hearty Lentil Stew

This is one of my favorite meals when I’m in the mood for rich, hearty, comfort food. The good thing is, it’s comfort food with high nutritional value, very low fat, low calorie and low sodium. You might be thinking to yourself, “how can this possibly be good?”  I assure you it is well worth trying it out.

It’s fast, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious and requires only a few ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 small onion

2 carrots finely chopped

1/2 bag lentils

4-6 cups veggie broth (no/low sodium)

4-5 tbsp tomato paste – no sodium

garlic powder, salt , pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute onion until translucent. Add in 2 finely chopped carrots. Add a little water and saute fora few minutes. Add in 4-5 tbsp tomato paste. Add in 1/2 bag of rinsed lentils. Cover with approximately 4 cups of vegetable broth. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 tsp garlic powder and cook for roughly 45 min to one hour until lentils are done.

If need be, add in remaining vegetable broth as it’s cooking. I usually do use about 6 cups give or take.

I love this over brown rice with a healthy serving of steamed green beans on the side. Or over a bed of finely chopped romaine lettuce. If you aren’t a fan of brown rice, this is phenomenal over mashed potatoes or under mashed potatos as a vegetarian version of Shepherds Pie!

Note: You can always use fresh garlic, I am showing you how to put together something delicious without a lot of effort.By all means, use fresh where ever I use powder if you prefer – can’t deny the benefits of fresh garlic!

Facts: Lentils are part of the pea family. The red, brown and green are the most common here in the US, but theydo come in many different colors. They were a staple food in Biblical times and they are still a favorite in Middle Eastern, Indian, and North African cooking. They don’t need to be precooked and you can buy them already cooked to save time. They have a wonderful creamy texture, a delicate flavor and they cook quickly! They make a great base for purees and soups, they’re really good cold in a salad or as a salad.

Key Nutrients: Protein, fiber, potassium, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium and phosphorous.