Comfort Green lentil Soup and Salad for Dinner

I love me some comfort, homemade, grandma style soup on a cold day. I really think I cook soups and stews of grandmother quality, although neither of my grandmas were the best cooks (sorry!). Soups are great foods according to Ayurveda, they balance the doshas, specially Vata dosha, the airy and light type. Whether you have an airy and light body (bony structure, difficulty gaining weight), or you have an airy personality (quick thoughts and speech), warm digestible soups will bring balance and warmth.

Lentils are the finest of vegan/vegetarian protein sources! The best part is there are so many types of lentils, that truly do have DISTINCT FLAVORS! That means, it’s hard for you to get out of eating lentils by saying - I don’t like the flavor!

Here is a run down of a few of my favorite types of lentils:

Red lentils cook incredibly quickly! Unlike any other legumes, specially dry one’s, these take about 15 minutes. And if you ‘overcook’ them, they will start to fall apart pretty quickly, but in a good way, as they will create a nice creamy texture for a soup or stew that you would get without having to blend them.

Yellow dal or split peas are one of my favorite, the taste is both creamy and starchy in a good way. They take a bit longer to cook, but they make the best stews or dal soups, which are traditional Indian eats I have tasted many times in Hindu temples I visit.

Green lentils have only been part of my diet as of recently! They are a bit different than green split peas or green dal, and are crunchy and chewy when cooked. My recent obsession are green lentil soups and the following recipe is just one of the many variations you could create.

Green lentil Soup and Salad for Dinner

{vegan, gluten free, soy free, high protein, low fat}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils (3/4-1 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 cup romanesco broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup peas (raw or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels (raw or frozen, always organic)
  • 1 vegetable bullion (I use Rapunzel, with sea salt)
  • pinch black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Lentils take longest to cook, so they go into the pot first! I like my veggies as raw as possible, so I always cook them shortest. Green lentils will take about 25-35min to cook, depending on if you have soaked them (the longer you soak, the quicker they cook) and on your stove as well. Put water to cook, and you can already put lentils in (that counts as soaking too!). Add just a small pinch of water to add a bit of flavor.
  2. Once it boils, lower the heat as the lentils will spill over! Cook for 20 min, and prep your veggies in the meanwhile.
  3. To check the progress of your lentils, you will see them growing. But the best way is to pull out a few pieces, and just touch them and see if they break apart - if they do, they are ready. Otherwise, break a piece into half and check the middle. If it’s dry, they are not done, if its soft then you are there or almost done. The middle should also be the same color as the outside, if it’s lighter then it is not done. (Same works for grains like rice as well).
  4. Chop your veggies to the size you please, and the carrots, broccoli and cauliflower go in first. The lentils should be almost done or even done when you put them in. They are more digestible (read: less gassy!) if they are very well cooked, so don’t fear overcooking them.
  5. Allow the veggies to cook for about 5 minutes, and put your peas and corn in to cook for only a minute (if they are raw of frozen, they don’t need much).
  6. Put in your bullion, spices and stir well for them to combine and the bullion melts. And you are done. Serve hot!
  7. Option: Serve with a side wrap. I used Brown rice, gluten free wraps from Trader Joe’s.

Creamy & Crunchy salad

{vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, low-fat}

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 leaves romaine
  • 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 5-8 rainbow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Soy-free Veganaise (Or make your own)
  • 1-2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Chop your veggies, place them all in a bowl and add Veganaise and Balsamic, combine well. Quickest creamy salad dressing ever!

The soup and salad combo is my favorite dinner variation. The lentils really take the longest, and while they are cooking you can prep your veggies, make the salad and warm up your wrap, prep the dinner table and all you need to make your dinner pleasant. Therefore, this dinner will be done in under 30-35minutes!

NOTE: I served my comfort meal in natural clay plates I bought in Mexico! I have this great desire to bring myself constantly closer to nature, and eating from natural materials (and cooking in them too - I have clay cooking pots!) has definitely made that happen for me. I also love eating with my bamboo spoon, unfortunately I have lost/my dog ate the rest of my Go-To-Ware utensils.

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