Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Fast and Easy Beef Chili

Chili is a great cold weather meal! In a perfect world, I would soak and cook my own kidney beans and use tomatoes I had canned during the previous summer. If you have time for that, great! You can even cook a large quantity of beans and freeze them in batches for future use.

Instead, this recipe uses canned products from the store. Great to have on hand when you need to make a big pot of chilly in a pinch. Continue reading

Preparing Sprouted Lentils

Lentils and legumes are a great source of protein and fiber. They also provide antioxidants, folate, and various minerals. According to Dr. Sharon Moalem, in his book The DNA Restart, legumes additionally provide a rich source of isoflavonoids and phytosterols, which nourish your genes. Other studies have shown that legumes help to lower cholesterol, reduce cardiovascular and heart disease, possibly reduce your risk for diabetes, help with weight loss, and even reduce pro-inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.

That is a lot of good stuff. However, to gain these benefits lentils and legumes must be prepared the right way. Similar to nuts and seeds, lentils and legumes contain “anti-nutrients” or phytochemicals like phytic acid and lectins, which inhibit the absorption of certain minerals, and enzyme inhibitors, which can prevent proper digestion. Soaking and sprouting them before cooking (as shown below) helps to reduce these anti-nutrients. It also helps to enhance the vitamins, minerals, and fiber naturally found in the lentils and legumes. Continue reading

Veggie Lentil Soup

20150116_181432My friend Erin recently reintroduced me to lentil soup – I had forgotten how good it could be!

The recipe below is a modified version of her soup. It is vegetarian but also tastes great with chunks of turkey or chicken.

For us, this quantity lasts for a couple of days and we sometimes add cut-up organic Applegate beef hot dogs to leftovers. Continue reading

Vital Broth Recipe for Electrolytes

4Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate. They are what your body needs to communicate at a cellular level. They are needed for many functions in the body including digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems.

You lose electrolytes when you get dehydrated through things like fevers, prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, excessive exercise, and just being outdoors when it is really hot outside. (Other health issues, cancer treatments, and taking certain medications can also deplete your electrolytes.) It is important to keep your electrolyte levels balanced. Continue reading

Kale and White Bean Soup (Chicken)

white beansBased on an Italian soup I had years ago. This soup is great with chicken but you can also convert it to a vegetarian soup by using veggie broth instead of bone broth and removing the chicken.

It is best to prepare the beans yourself by soaking them overnight (12 to 24 hours) in order to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible – you will be able to absorb more of the nutrients and have less chance of bloating, gas, heartburn, etc. (The precooked method is faster but does not removed as much of the “anti-nutrients.”) Continue reading

Oma and Opa Soup (Meatball Soup)

Named after my parents (Oma and Opa being Dutch for Grandmother and Grandfather), this is the soup my mother (and later my father) made weekly when I was growing up, slightly modified here. It is great for kids because all the vegetables are blended. And, many of the vegetables are similar to the Vital Veggie Broth so you are getting healthy electrolytes too!

Younger children love to help make this soup. They can help you roll up the meat balls and break the pasta into pieces before putting them in the pot.

Continue reading