Monday, September 30, 2013

Importance of Sundays & Soup Recipe

For your fitness and nutrition goals Sundays are the day to meal plan for the week!  You'll be blown away by how satisfied and successful you feel at the end of the week if you lay your week out in advance. I put an exercise schedule in front of my TV so I know which DVD I'm doing each morning. Early morning workouts rev up your metabolism, jump start your energy level and accelerate your ability to burn up calories.

However for the month of October I've decided to mix up my routine a bit. I bought a groupon for a one month gym membership so I can take zumba classes 3x a week. I thought it would be a fun change, but also a hectic change since I'm so used to working out in the morning and having my whole evening free. I'm also going to challenge myself to not consume refined sugar and wine for the month to tone up for my favorite holiday - Halloween! I was inspired by Ashley who is giving up alcohol for a year.

 Now that it's fall I make a pot of soup every Sunday for my lunch for the week. This week I made a lentil, coconut based soup with some Indian spices. Lentils are a great source of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber which help stabilizing blood sugar levels They're also a great source of folate and magnesium which is good for heart health. Plus it has vitamin B, phosphorus, iron, potassium and other minerals.


Red Lentil Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper  diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1  jalapeno chili pepper, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½  teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • ½ of a 15-ounce can of white northern beans
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (optional)
  •  freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  fresh cilantro for serving
Directions:
  1. Saute the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno in olive oil
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste for a couple more minutes
  3. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and beans,  cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes
  4. Taste and adjust with salt and lime juice 
  5. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro

Nutritional Analysis 
Makes 7 servings, 326 cal, 18g protein, 7g fiber

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