I receive a lot of requests from all you awesome Beauts in the Beauty Detox Community, asking for soups & stews that can be whipped up in no time! And with good reason. Soups are filling, nutrient-dense, great for weight loss, beauty and energy! I am a huge soup lover myself, and enjoy them weekly, all year round.
My Spiced Tomato & Yellow Lentil Veggie Stew is another one-bowl-wonder! With 10 minutes of prep time, and 20 minutes to cook, you will have your belly full of beautifying goodness in 30 minutes flat!
For those of you who may be turned off to raw tomatoes, you might just like them softened into a soup or stew. I meet people all the time (including my partner!) who despise raw tomatoes but love pasta sauce and cooked tomatoes. Maybe it’s a texture thing? Go figure! I personally love them any way I can get my little teeth into them!
What I love about these red guys is their lycopene. Their what? Yes, I know, I’m getting all wordy with you again but it’s always great to read what research has found in Mother Nature. Check this out:
A study was designed in which tomato and other dietary sources of lycopene were removed from the diets of postmenopausal women for a period of 4 weeks (in order to see what effect lycopene restriction would have on bone health). At the end of 4 weeks, women in the study started to show increased signs of oxidative stress in their bones and detrimental changes in their bone tissue.
So what was the conclusion? That removal of lycopene-containing foods (including tomatoes) from the diet was likely to put women at increased risk of osteoporosis—arguing the importance of tomatoes and other lycopene-containing foods in the diet.
Have you ever thought about antioxidant protection as being important for bone health? Well it’s time to, since tomato lycopene (and other tomato antioxidants), may have a special role to play in this area.
Tomatoes have also been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes have been shown to help lower total cholesterol (including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides). In addition, tomato extracts can help prevent unwanted clumping together (or aggregation), of platelet cells in the blood—which is an important factor in lowering risk of heart problems.
A South American study of 26 vegetables said this:
Tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties. Only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the more unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits.
The great news is, as our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we will learn more about the unique role tomatoes play in supporting heart health. Tomatoes will likely to rise further towards the top of the list as heart healthy foods—I know they are definitely on my updated beauty foods list—not only packed with the antioxidants but with vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium!
If you’ve tried some of my other recipes, you will know why I love lentils so much. They are pretty quick and easy to prepare, and absorb flavors readily. Lentils have high nutritional value, and are available throughout the year (so no excuses when it comes to adding this beautifying food into your meals!).
Why are they so unique? One cup of lentils has a whopping 18 grams of easy to digest and assimilate plant protein. They are also the leader of the pack when it comes to their fiber content. They are rich in dietary fiber—both the soluble and insoluble types. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that grabs bile and pushes it out of the body, whereas, insoluble fiber helps increase stool bulk and prevent constipation.
What are some other benefits to adding lentils into your diet? Not only being inexpensive, they are a high protein, have loads of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.
Just remember that legumes and beans are nature’s “oops”, and what I mean by that is- they contain both protein and starch, and therefore, can be more difficult to digest. I suggest soaking them overnight and rinsing them well before you consume them. Despite that, I have definitely started eating more lentils in my diet in the past few years since I’ve started studying Ayurveda, in Kitcheree and other recipes.
Lentils are sold whole or split into halves (brown and green varieties retain their shape after cooking better than others). They are available in prepackaged containers but I usually try to buy them in the bulk bins as they tend to be less expensive that way.
Even though canned lentils can be found in some grocery stores, I don’t encourage them (unless you’re in a bind), since they lose much of their nutritional value. Because they cook pretty easily – try to make them yourself whenever possible!
Enough talking. Let’s start prepping!
Add coconut oil to a large stock pot.
Add the celery.
Add the diced carrots.
Add the chili powder.
Add paprika and saute until softened.
Once softened add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves, red lentils and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until vegetables are tender (about 10-15 minutes). Serve immediately or store for several days for delicious lunches!
Being able to bite into something you’ve grown or picked yourself has a warming effect to your heart too. Remember, that red is the color of our root/first chakra, which helps boost and balance it’s vibrations, and balancing our whole well-being in the process.
1cupred lentilsideally soaked overnight, and rinsed (or purchase germinated lentils if available)
Sea saltto taste
Freshly ground black pepperto taste
Add coconut oil to a large stock pot and saute celery and carrots with the chili powder and paprika. Once softened add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves, red lentils and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until vegetables are tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Serve immediately or store for several days for delicious lunches!
Note: It’s important to use fresh tomatoes and avoid canned tomatoes altogether, since most canned goods can have Bisphenol A (BPA) leached into them from the cans, which is a synthetic estrogen that is associated with health issues.
This is the one and only time we’ve put him in a stroller! And here is the pic to mark the momentous occasion. I still hold him everywhere- although he is getting so heavy! Every mom has her own style. I love that sleeping angel face!