Creamy One Pot Lentils
INGREDIENTS2 tablespoons butter 1 white onion diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced 2 sticks celery, diced 2 cups uncooked lentils, soaked overnight in water, rinsed and drained 2 potatoes, diced into small cubes 4 cups chicken broth 1 bay leaf Fresh thyme Fresh herbs I used coriander and chives Fresh cherry tomatoes 4 cups fresh spinach Salt and pepper to taste Olive oil ** To make this vegan or vegetarian replace chicken stock for vegetable and butter for coconut oil
I know right…..lentils! I can hear all the paleo peeps gasping! I personally think lentils can be a fantastic food source if your body can tolerate it and they are prepared properly. For the last 3 years my body hasn’t been able to handle lentils so they havn’t been a part of my diet. I had really bad leaky gut and often so called normal foods caused problems. Things like lentils, fruit and some forms of vegetables weren’t such a great thing for me while my gut was healing. At the time I had leaky gut I also had bad FODMAP intolerances and certain foods combinations like leeks and onions would cause crazy reactions and severe gas and bloating for me at the time.
Once I have spent the time healing I have reintroduced fruits and most vegetables and combinations are perfectly fine for me now. About 6 months ago I tried chickpeas out and they still give me some gas and bloating issues so they were off the table, but I wanted to really try out well cooked lentils and see how many body reacted. You see just because I don’t do well with chickpeas now doesn’t mean to say all lentils/legumes are created equal.
I do love hummus and I am pretty sure I will be okay with this one day, just as I am now with some dairy!
The point of me sharing all this is that the key is to fill your diet with whole real foods and legumes when prepared properly are an amazing whole real plant based food. You then have to work out what works for your body and what works for it today doesn’t mean to say it is what will work for it in two years time. If you are someone who limits there animal protein then you need to ensure you are getting protein from other sources and legumes can be a great option for that.
To often I see people getting cult like and trapped into whats written down in black and white according to the latest diet. The key is in order to gain real health and freedom in your food choices it comes down to learning to listen to your body. In providing it with food that works for you and makes you thrive. Animal protein is the best way to get protein into your diet, but if you don’t eat meat or there are nights where you might want to limit it due to budget or other reasons then lentils could be a great option for you to try. Maybe you are just ready to try something new because you are sick of meat and vegetables at every meal. I know I was after 3 years! There are after all cultures all over the world who thrive of legumes, some even eat it for breakfast.
Now normally I don’t do well on vegetarian based meals because my metabolic type does better with more protein and fats you can read up on all this here and here, but this is what I teach inside the online gym and how you can fine tune your diet to suit your body. You see everyone has different genetic makeups, some people do better on more protein/fat based meals while others do better on more vegan/vegetarian meals. For me I sit in the middle, but mainly do best with more protein/fat based meals, but I also need one meal in my day to be more carbohydrate based. Typically a light vegetarian meal would leave me craving, tired, moody and most properly end up overeating because my brain or body isn’t getting what it needs. This unique meal formula I have worked out over time and is what I help people do inside the online gym.
So to make this lentil based meal really suit my body and make me feel satisfied and well balanced I had to make sure I added plenty of good quality fats to it. It made it rich and creamy and the taste was simply perfect and what was even better was my body loved it. I felt great, no weird reactions and still felt great the next day with no weird changes in how I was feeling.
I am someone who does well on animal protein and yes you could say my diet is pretty much paleo but I don’t put myself into a box, because I also do well on lactose free dairy like butter, but badly on yogurt. I love my sushi and quinoa and on the days when we have run out of animal protein in the freezer I may now whip this meal up and be completely okay with it.
Heat butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute for 10 minutes until the vegetables are nice hot and beginning to slowly cook.
Add the lentils, potatoes and broth. Place the bay leaf and thyme and let the pot simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Stirring occasionally and add more broth or water if you feel it needs it.
Once lentils are cooked remove bay leave and thyme and stir through the fresh spinach just before serving.
Place into serving dish and top with fresh tomatoes, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.