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Posts Tagged ‘fiber’

I was inspired by my last post on fiber to make this warm hearty soup with roasted carrots and onions and green lentils.  It is from the cookbook “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas and is fairly straight forward.  Green lentils (aka “Le Puy”) get tender in under half an hour but keep their shape and are still firm to the bite. Don’t forget to make enough to have for a few days.  You can also freeze this soup.

Did you know…a  cup of lentils have about 15 grams of fiber (~half your daily rec) and about 18grams of protein.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs carrots

1 1/2 onions

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

freshly ground pepper

1 generous cup French green lentils (1/2 lb)

4 Cups vegetable broth

1 generous Tbs chopped fresh mint (or 1 1/2 tsp dried mint)

1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp Harissa/Chipotle Sauce or red chile salsa

Garnishes (optional): feta cheese or light sour cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cut the carrots and onions into 1/2-1″ pieces, toss in 1 Tbsp of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and lay on two separate baking sheets/ pyrex dishes and roast till tender and browning, about an hour.  Onions will likely be ready before carrots. When ready, allow to cool and chop coarsely.

3. Meanwhile, combine the washed lentils in a large soup pot with 4 cups broth and a tsp on salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender but still firm.

4. Add the chopped roasted vegetables, mint, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and harissa/chipotle/salsa to taste a small amount at a time for a little kick but not so much as to overwhelm the other flavors. If you want a more soupy soup add water or more broth, otherwise this should be a rather hearty stew.

5. Simmer stew for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors then taste and adjust as necessary (more lemon? salt? spice?)

6. Serve with garnish of your choice and thick slabs of crusty whole wheat bread.

To download this recipe go here or my resource section. For more recipes from Anna check out her website.

I added Romanesco to the roast pan to serve as a side

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Dietary Fiber is the indigestible part of any edible plant (vegetable / fruit / grain / legume). It helps food move through the body and gives “bulk” to stool.  There are two types of fiber, “soluble” (dissolves in water) and “insoluble” (does not dissolve in water) and both help the body by normalizing bowel movements and also help with:
•    Heart disease: Fiber may aid in the prevention of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. Also helps reduce blood pressure.
•    Diabetes: Fiber helps control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes and has been associated with a decreased risk of developing Type II diabetes.
•    Digestive Problems: Adequate amounts of fiber from foods can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
•    Weight Maintenance: A high-fiber eating plan is lower in calories and tends to make people feel full faster.

We always recommend getting fiber in your FOOD (rather than supplements) since high fiber foods also provides other vitamins & minerals.


Tips to Increase Fiber in your Diet:
•    Choose a high fiber cereal with >5g per serving or add wheat bran to your cereals.
•    Eat more whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta, 100% whole wheat bread and bulgur.
•    Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups, sauces or rice dishes. Snack on raw cut-up veggies (carrots, celery, radish, snap peas) with a low-fat dip or hummus.
•    Eat more beans, peas and lentils. You can add them to soups, sauces and rice dishes or add ½ cup beans (kidney, chickpea) to your green salad to keep you full longer.
•    Add more fruit to your day. Apples (with skin), bananas, oranges, pears and berries especially.
•    Add anti-inflammatory fibers like lignins to your diet- try putting Flaxseed meal in your cereal and sesame seeds in your salad or crusted on top of fish/chicken.

Careful not to add too much fiber too quickly as this can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping- and nobody wants that! Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks and drink plenty of water.

Read tons more about fiber here (NIH Medline Plus)

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