Ok, so we’re only halfway through January and I have to admit I’m going to cheat today and instead of offering you a new recipe, I’m going to upload a tried and tested favourite. True, until today I hadn’t had it for numerous months (that could even be over a year!) but, I admit, there was a time I cooked it often and so today’s dinner failed on the “increasing my repertoire” score. However, it passed on many other accounts. This month I said we would focus on weight loss and detox (let’s call that an early winter mini-cleanse – it sounds far more doable) and this spring green and lentil recipe contains many ingredients beneficial to both those themes.
• 350g spring greens or curly kale (the kale is more in season at the moment)
• 1 large red pepper
• 1 red onion
• 1 inch piece fresh root ginger
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 tsp sesame oil
• 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 400g cooked Puy/Green lentils (or one can)
• 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
• 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp chili sauce
• 1 tbsp runny honey
• 3 tbsp water
• wholegrain rice, pasta or quinoa
This is a great recipe to help manage your weight as it’s low GL (glycaemic load), meaning it doesn’t cause spikes in your blood sugar which encourage foods we eat to be stored as fat. What makes it low GL? The key is there’s enough protein in the form of green lentils and sesame seeds, some good fats (olive, sesame oil) and it’s served with slow-releasing wholegrain carbs. Of course, it’s also high fibre with the lentils and veg – which helps with the low GL and has the added bonus of supporting our digestive system!
Are there any other nutritional benefits to this meal? Of course! The kale and red pepper are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C, both great antioxidants. Kale is also really high in magnesium, which is deficient in many of our diets and can help us to relax.
Sesame seeds are packed full of calcium (as well as other minerals) and so are a great choice if you don’t tolerate dairy too well.
Onions and garlic are members of the sulphur family. Sulphur’s needed for the liver to do its job properly and fully break down and get rid of toxins- so use them freely. And of course, garlic and ginger both have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. So go on, get cooking and I’ll get a picture up there very soon!!