Hearty Turkey, Vegetable, and Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup with Turkey & Veggies

This soup was created with liver health in mind. Midway through my chemotherapy treatment for Breast Cancer, my liver enzymes were too elevated to continue treatment. We had to postpone treatment for at least one week to make sure that my liver was healthy enough to process the chemotherapy. At that time I was in school to become a Nutrition Consultant and I knew there were things that I could do to “Love my Liver”, so I went home and made some BIG changes to my diet for that week and well, IT WORKED! I went back the next week and my enzyme levels were low enough to continue with chemotherapy. Here is one of the recipes that I made for the “Love my Liver” week.

 

Recipe:

1 1/2 C green lentils (soaked overnight)

1 jar diced tomatoes

24 oz. homemade bone broth (chicken or turkey)

2 T butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

4 small summer squash, sliced

3 small bell peppers, diced

6 carrots, sliced

6 stalks of kale, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. ground turkey

Herbs:

Bay leaf, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano

Sea salt & Pepper

Rinse lentils and let soak overnight. Next day: in a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils, and veggies. Add ground turkey. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue simmering for 30-45 min.

Enjoy!

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Cherry Tomatoes

It’s no secret, I’m not a fan of raw tomatoes. I’ve never liked them. In fact, I’m the black sheep of the family in regards to my dislike of tomatoes. With that being said, I believe that one day I will love raw tomatoes [growth mindset]. I do like cooked tomatoes of all kinds (except ketchup, yuck!). I am starting to like heirloom tomatoes in a caprese salad. I think the reason I don’t really like tomatoes is because of their strong flavor – it totally changes the taste of a burger, sandwich, or salad. Jennifer Tyler Lee and I are kindred spirits in this way. 🙂 The other fact that helps me feel justified in not liking raw tomatoes is that unless it’s summer, tomatoes are either grown in greenhouses or internationally, or are grown in Florida (Florida’s “soil” is actually just sand and is void of nutrients). So unless they are garden tomatoes or farmer’s market tomatoes, they are often mealy and are picked when green. The book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit is fascinating. Highly recommended! Anywho… Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato pops! I recently made a cherry tomato chutney at a Sur la Table cooking class – it was delicious!

Food Facts:

  • They are technically a fruit!
  • Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family (along with potatoes, eggplant, peppers- all kinds, and some spices). Nightshades are known to be inflammatory. Nightshades are commonly removed during a 5-R Protocol to determine food intolerances.
  • There are over a THOUSAND different types of tomatoes and can be a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.cherry-tom-with-logo-1000px
  • Native to South America.
  • The leaves of the tomato are toxic. It was long believed that tomatoes were poisonous because they belong to the nightshade family which houses other poisonous plants (poisonous nightshade and black henbane).
  • Great source of vitamins B6, C, and K, carotenes (especially lycopene), beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, and fiber.
  • Lycopene content is FIVE times greater in cooked tomatoes because cooking causes the cell walls to burst and “free” the lycopene. Also, the redder and riper the tomato, the more lycopene content.
  • Lycopene in particular has been shown to protect against cancers of the breast, colon, lung, skin, and prostate. Additionally, it has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
  • Highest levels of vitamin C can be obtained from raw tomatoes.
  • Fully ripe tomatoes cannot be shipped long distances. Therefore they are picked when underripe and then gassed with ethylene. You probably know what I’m going to say here….buy them at a local farmer’s market, CSA, or grown your own!
  • Cherry tomatoes have more lycopene per ounce and are sweeter and more flavorful than their larger counterparts. Smaller is better!

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipesby Jennifer Tyler Lee, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Healthby Jo Robinson, Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Tonia Reinhard, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planetby Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole [21DSD, Paleo, Primal, GF]

While visiting my Aunt Regina and Uncle John in Austin for our trip to South by Southwest in 2010, she made us a delicious breakfast casserole. Ever since then I’ve played with the recipe and made it my own.

First, I added MORE veggies to the original recipe, because, well, VEGGIES. Next, I began omitting the potatoes when we went Paleo. I’ve made it with several different meat options; just bacon, bacon and sausage, just sausage, or some leftover ham during the holidays. My latest version has no cheese since I’m avoiding most dairy. No matter which version you make, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. This is my current go-to version.

This is the perfect recipe for Sunday brunch, Christmas breakfast (our tradition), or to make ahead for quick-and-easy breakfasts for the week. While on The 21-Day Sugar Detox, this has been a great option for my husband and I. Let me know what you think!

Recipe:
1 dozen pasture-raised eggs

8 slices of pasture-raised bacon, cooked and chopped

1 can of diced green chilies

2 bell peppers, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 t sea salt

1/2 t ground pepper

1/2 t granulated garlic

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 T grass-fed butter

1 t coconut oil

Optional (any or all):

1 C grated cheddar cheese

1 large russet potato, grated

1/2 lb ground pork sausage

1 C ham

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan with coconut oil.
  3. Sauté the bell peppers and onions in a skillet with the butter.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble. Season with sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  5. In the baking dish, layer the bell peppers, onions, chili peppers, bacon, and eggs.
  6. Optional: If using the optional items, layer the potatoes first and the cheese on top. Cook the pork sausage and include it in the egg mixture. If using the ham include it in the egg mixture. Feel free to include whatever meat you have on hand or you prefer.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until firm in the middle. Cool for 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

Eggs are a good source of protein and healthy fat; often considered a “perfect food”. They are a good source of vitamins B12, B6, and D, riboflavin, choline, phosphorous, selenium, folic acid, pantothenic acid, iron, and omega-3s. It is important to choose pasture-raised, organic eggs because they are rich in the above nutrients, while factory-farmed eggs generally are not.

Green Bell Peppers are one of the most nutrient dense foods and are a great source of fiber. They are rich in vitamins C, K, B6, thiamin, folic acid, and also beta-carotene. They are great sources of phytonutrients. Green bell peppers help prevent against cataracts, prevent blood clots, which reduces risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which all play a role in cancer prevention. Onions also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2014). Therapeutic Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College Press.

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie