Cookies and candy canes, turkey and ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and yams! Holiday staples, as well as sipping our favorite drink by the fire with family and friends...but, PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO ADD LENTILS TO CLEANSE!
The story of Lentils goes back to Neolithic times, at least 8,000 years and is the first domesticated food
source known to man. They are grown all over the world in warm dry climates and Canada is the largest producer of this little pearl of a gem.
Rich in amino acids, folate and fiber, vitamins and minerals, the lentil is considered the richest source of plant-based protein available. A meal for less than five dollars, lentils come in red, yellow, green, brown and black each with their own unique texture and flavor. They are nutrient dense, easy to digest, great for blood sugar regulation, preventing cancer and are great for the stomach and heart. Lentils by far are the healthiest food in the world!
This beautiful bushy plant grows to about 4 to 5 feet and is super easy to cultivate. Due to their "sattvic" nature (Ayurvedic term meaning clear, clean and light) lentils are considered a life-giving food. With less than 1 gram of fat, this low-calorie high fiber food becomes a perfect meal when rice and some kale are added. Lentils bump up the immune system, rebuild the microbiome and alkalize the body.
Bring this dish to your table during the holiday season! As a gift of giving make it for family and friends, contributing to their health by sharing food that will offer relief for the gut, less calories and more benefits.
Here is a recipe my Italian Momma makes:
3 to 4 parts water
1-part rinsed and clean green or brown lentils
Brown rice pasta
Carrots, celery, onions and a dash of garlic
Mom makes it like a soup and calls it Pasta Fagioli. This may be her own version but there are many
ways to make it. Check the internet. Add some thyme, a bay leaf, a tad bit of rosemary and a small sprinkle of parmesan if you'd like. You have a hearty & healthy meal in 20 to 30 minutes.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds asparagus (~2 bunches)
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only
1 small shallot
1 medium Yukon Gold potato
1 garlic clove
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
DirectionsCombine the vegetable stock, water, thyme, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and start to bring a boil. Grab one of the asparagus stalks and bend it until it snaps into two pieces. This is the natural breaking point and tells you where the fibrous stalk becomes tender. Trim the root ends from the remaining asparagus to roughly match one you snapped. Add all of the root ends to the stock, bring to a boil, and let simmer while you chop the remaining vegetables.
Cut the rest of the asparagus into one-inch pieces, leaving the tip ends intact. Trim the root off of the leek, cut it in half lengthwise, and rinse away any dirt. Roughly chop the leek, shallot, and potato into half-inch pieces. Mince the garlic.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat for a couple minutes and then add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the leek, shallot, and potato and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the alliums are translucent and the potato is softening. You can prevent browning by covering with a lid or turning the heat down slightly as needed.
Stir in the garlic and, once fragrant, strain the simmering stock into the pot with the vegetables. Discard the asparagus root ends, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the chopped asparagus to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If you want, remove a few asparagus tips after 3 minutes and reserve these for garnish. Turn off the heat after 5-7 minutes of total simmering time. Stir in the lemon juice, salt to taste, and a few grinds of black pepper.
Puree the soup in two batches using a blender, food mill, or food processor. Remember to remove the cap from the blender lid or the food pusher from the food processor when pureeing hot liquids. If you plan on serving the soup at a later time (it is good chilled, too!), chill the soup using an ice bath to help retain the vibrant green color.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
Add 1 teaspoon Burdock Root, 1 teaspoon Dandelion Root, 1 teaspoon Licorice Root.
(To promote womans health add 1 teaspoon Shitavari Root)
Bring to boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Drink 3 cups a day away from meals.
For best results drink tea for 10 days along with light fasting
Limit use of this tea in winter months as it is designed to cool ama (toxins) built up from to much heat in the blood system.
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.