I guess it looks like we’re vegetarians, but believe me, we’re meat eaters. Not over the top carnivores by any standard, but we do enjoy a good steak, beef curry, lamb targine or poultry.
Conserving your kidneys and reducing the acid load from animal proteins on your body becomes increasingly important as the years roll on. With this in mind, we often mix up our meat dishes with a healthy dose of vegetable protein to take the load off.
- chickpeas or beans with meat/chicken curries
- lentils with beef soups and rice dishes
- lentils or beans with lasagna
- beans to a mince taco mix
Do you want more convincing why legumes are essential?
Here’s two good reasons (in addition to lowering blood pressure and blood triglycerides) to increase the addition of legumes/pulses in your every day foods.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Legumes are a much lower GI to simple carbs like potato and white rice and will lower a blood sugar spike after eating by a massive 35% compared to potatoes. Yes!
We all need more fibre for healthy digestion, happy gut bacteria and cleaning out excess cholesterol. Often given a bad wrap for the farting effect, if you soak your legumes overnight and rinse well before cooking, you’ll negate a lot of that side effect. Just saying….
Red Lentil Soup
Here’s what you need:
Another cook once : eat twice or freeze recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 slices pancetta or a smoky deli meat (I used smoked pork neck slices) – leave out if you are vegetarian
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely sliced
- 1 large brown onion, finely diced
- 1 long red chilli, chopped
- 1 long green chilli, chopped
- 2-3 garlic gloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (410g) diced tomatoes
- 300g red lentils
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary or oregano
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Parsley to serve
Here’s what you do:
Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan. Add the pancetta (or other meat) and saute for a minute or so until it begins to crisp up. Add in the carrot, celery, onion, chilli and garlic and saute gently for 2-3 minutes with the lid on, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring often so it doesn’t stick.
Add in the tomato paste and cook for about 30 secs. Add in the tomatoes, lentils, herbs and stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour until the soup has thickened and the lentils are cooked and soft.
Serve with the extra parsley.
Tip – freeze the leftovers in portion sizes for a quick and easy weekend or workday lunch.