Someone asked me the other day, why do I call my cooking, ‘Compassionate Cooking?’ Well, first of all, I’m vegan, and I don’t consume any animal products. Secondly, I like to eat for my health meaning that I like to fill my body with calories that are nutrient dense which will fuel my body all day long so that I can get more done but also live a longer, healthier life. Thirdly, our food choices largely affect the environment. I like to eat for my health, save the animals and the planet, compassionate cooking.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love my slow cooker. Place some healthy ingredients into it, leave it alone for several hours, and voila, you have a healthy and tasty plant-based meal that tastes delicious. Soups and stews are the main event at this household in the winter and since I’m usually busy off helping others get healthy, I really rely on my slow cooker to cook the meal for me when I don’t have to. Mind you, I still have to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, but once they go in, I’m done cooking.
Today, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite soup recipes. It’s a combination of mixed beans and lentils. I’m always amazed at that some people are willing to spend a fortune on exotic berries, vegetables and seeds, when we have some of the healthiest foods right under our noses that don’t cost us a fortune to purchase. Beans are one of these foods.
Beans, a staple in our pantry is one of the healthiest foods out there but then again, so is every other whole food. Not only are beans filling but they are nutrient dense and full of fiber. In today’s recipe, we are using many different legumes including beans, lentils, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Throw in spices, tomatoes, and kale and you have a filling meal that won’t break the bank. Also, this recipe will provide you with lots of energy, fill you up, and your taste buds will have you coming back for seconds. Remember that all of my recipes are whole food, plant-based, meaning that we don’t consume any oil. Why? Oil is not a whole food and once it goes through the refinement process, you are pretty much left with pure fat and no nutrients. You can substitute the oil with some vegetable broth or water saving you calories.
TIP: I don’t like to use canned beans as I soak all of my beans overnight and pre-cook them for 25-30 minutes beforehand. Canned food can be very high in sodium and contain chemicals to preserve the food. Also, it is much cheaper to purchase packaged beans even though there is an extra step of soaking and cooking them. You can also use this method and freeze them for future use and pull them out of the freezer when you are ready to use them.
So let’s get started………….
Slow Cooker Bean & Lentil Soup
- 2 tsp vegetable broth
- 2 onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced gingerroot
- 1 1/2 tbsp curry paste
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 can or soaked chickpeas (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 can or soaked beans(19 oz/540 mL) navy beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can or soaked beans(19 oz/540 mL) black beans drained and rinsed
- 3 cups kale finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- fresh parsley for garnish
- In large Dutch oven or slow cooker, heat vegetable broth over medium heat; add onions, garlic, ginger and curry paste, turmeric, coriander, and cumin and sautee for 5 minutes or until softened. This is where I add these ingredients to the slow cooker.
- Add tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add vegetable stock and lentils; bring to boil. If you’re using a Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are softened. If you are using a slow cooker, turn to high and let the lentils cook for about 2 hours along with the tomatoes.
- Add the chickpeas, navy beans and black beans; cook for 15 minutes or until heated through if using a Dutch oven. If using the slow cooker, turn the setting to low, and add the beans and cook for 1-2 hours.
- Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper, kale and let simmer for another 7-15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,