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Beet Hummus

                           Beets are good for endurance and digestion!
beet hummus

I used to make homemade hummus all the time. I don’t know why I stopped, but stop I did. I think I forgot how easy it is to make it and how much better it tastes than those store-bought containers. But, let me tell you, it is easier to make homemade hummus than it is to go out to the store and buy it! And when you can add in your own flavors, there’s no need to ever buy it. Hmmmm…. I hope I remember this next time. Anyway, this Beet Hummus is delicious! And, look how pretty!

Long, long ago, when I would be preparing for a dinner party, I fixated on the appetizers. I would put out pretty platters of way too many finger foods and dips. I loved to make them and I loved the idea of eating all of my creations with awesome cocktails before dinner.

And everyone would be full before dinner.

Then I got smart. Nobody needs a boatload of appetizers if you are serving a delicious dinner. They may need the cocktails, but not all of that pre-dinner food.

So, now I pick one dip and maybe one finger food and I’m done… OK, so now I feel I have carte blanche to make way too many courses for the actual dinner… but it’s still better…

Last week, when I had some of my favorite people to dinner, I made 2 bowls of this beet hummus and served it with some divine breadsticks, some gluten-free chips, and some fresh carrots and radishes. Yum. That’s all I can say. Just yum.

And if you want a recipe for the best beet side dish ever, you have to try my Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

beet hummusbeet hummus

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this beet hummus recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Sesame seeds have many great nutritional benefits. This recipe is made with tahini (sesame seed paste). They are an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness. For this recipe, you can use store-bought tahini.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

beet hummus

Beet Hummus
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer, dip, hummus
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, simple
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This amazing beet hummus is so easy to make! You just toss everything in the food processor and it's done!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium red beets, peeled, quartered, and roasted until softened or 3 pre-cooked medium beets
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • 3 Tbs water
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and whiz it up until smooth!
  2. That's it! Enjoy!

beet hummus

Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup

Green peas are good to keep you digestive system working properly… so, if hormones or menopause has been making you feel a little “sluggish”, this is a great dish for you!

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

I remember many years ago when all of these awesome soup spots opened up in Manhattan, and I thought it was the greatest idea ever! I used to go and get a different soup every day. Steve used to go and get the same 2 soups: split pea or black bean. There I was, ordering mulligatawny soup or borscht or spicy gumbo and I loved it, but no one was happier than Steve with his steaming bowl of split pea soup. My recipe for Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup is an homage to those quieter, gentler, less complicated days.

I admit, I am not a slow cooker aficionado. So, rather than experiment, this time I went the simpler route and looked to one of my favorite blogs for guidance. The credit for the original awesome recipe for this soup goes to The Kitchn.

In the past when I’ve made split pea soup — and I’ve many many variations — I’ve encountered a Three-Little-Bears type of situation. Oftentimes, my soup ends up too creamy. Or too chunky. But this recipe for slow cooker vegan split pea soup in just right.

What’s better than having a big pot of delicious soup in your fridge? Nothing.

This soup makes awesome leftovers.

It’s the perfect winter, comforting food.

And, it will heal what ails you.

Oh, and I’m certain it will make you smile.

And, one more thing — it’s sooooooooooo easy!

If you are looking for another great soup to try, take a look at my recipe for Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup.

slow cooker vegan split pea soupslow cooker vegan split pea soup

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this slow cooker vegan split pea soup:

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Turmeric is also a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

Slow Cooker Vegan Split Pea Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: slow cooker, soup, vegan, paleo, whole30, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The Kitchn
 
This is an easy dump and cook soup -- just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and you are good to go! This is so warming, healing, and delicious!
Ingredients
  • For soup:
  • 1 lb organic dried green split peas (you can buy them here)
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 4 scallions, cut off a 2-inch portion of the root end and then sliced the remaining stalks thinly; add all to the soup -- including the root!
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 20 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • For croutons:
  • 4 slices grain-free bread, toasted and rubbed with one raw garlic clove, then cut into cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all soup ingredients into slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high heat for 5-1/2 hours.
  3. Remove bay leaves and scallion roots.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

slow cooker vegan split pea soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup

This lentil vegetable soup is so healing and so comforting!

lentil vegetable soup

I make soup all of the time. I mean All. Of. The. Time. Unfortunately, I’m not quite as organized as I’d like to be, so oftentimes I make a great pot of soup for dinner, we eat it, we love it, and then there is not enough left for me to photograph. This means that some of my best creations never make it to the blog.

I have made a version of this soup at least 3 times already. Each one has been delicious. And, I’m proud to say, that finally, I cooked it during the day, while it was still light enough for me to take some decent pictures.  Yay… here it is!

I love a good lentil soup.

I love a great vegetable soup.

This is a great lentil vegetable soup!

And this version is filled with sliced up collard greens. OMG… it’s so good! And don’t even get me started on the health benefits of collards (really, just look below and I’ll list them for you…).

I also love to freeze some of my soup leftovers so that on a night that I don’t feel like cooking (yes, it does happen…) I can just defrost some and have a great dinner.

This time that didn’t work so well. I’ve been trying not to use plastic anymore; I much prefer glass. I see people freezing things all of the time in glass mason jars. I’ve had it work a few times, but like this time, sometimes the jars crack. Such a waste! It all looked good… I took the filled lentil vegetable soup jar out of the freezer, set it on the counter, and within 10 minutes, an entire side of the jar fell off! I mean, it really just slid away from the rest of the jar!

For those of you who have had success freezing foods in mason jars, will you pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaasssse share your secret with me????????

Anyway, none of this should take away from the deliciousness of this soup. It’s hearty and healthy and warming and yummy…

Just look at the pictures below. The first one shows the beauty of the tomatoes I had and the sliced up collards. The second pic is of my all-time-favorite Chinese herb, Huang Qi (Astragalus). You don’t have to add Chinese herbs to your soup, but I just had to show you these raw Huang Qi sticks. They are like magic; they build qi/give you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. Yes, I know, my family makes fun of my excitement for herbs too, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat the soup, so think about trying out some herbs the next time you make a pot of soup…

If you want a soup that’s really really good, but not a lentil-veg soup, try my Hot And Sour Soup recipe.

lentil vegetable souplentil vegetable souplentil vegetable soup

There are lots of great things in this soup:

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Collard greens are great for you. They help build strong bones, lessen constipation, help reduce stress and act as a detoxifying food. They have almost no calories but do have a lot of fiber. They contain vitamins A, C, and K and are filled with minerals like calcium and manganese. One of the best things about collards is that they are great at preventing the buildup of bad cholesterol.

Celery actually helps stop bleeding — so if you or anyone you know has just had surgery, start adding celery to your dishes! Celery is also great to help lower blood pressure and it’s been known to help with insomnia.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

lentil vegetable soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This soup is the perfect combination of lentil soup and vegetable soup. And it is so healing and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 bunch collard green leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 qt vegetable broth (here's one I use)
  • 3 (or more) spicy piquillo peppers, sliced (I used the marinated ones at my local olive bar) (you can buy these)
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 raw pieces of Huang Qi (Astragalus) (optional)
  • microgreens, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and and cook, stirring, for 3-minutes.
  4. Add sliced collard leaves and stir for about 2-minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir until combined.
  6. Pour in the broth.
  7. Add the peppers and lentils.
  8. Add raw Chinese herbs if using.
  9. Stir in parsley.
  10. Bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  12. Cover and let cook about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.
  13. Ladle into bowls and garnish with micro greens if desired.
  14. Enjoy

 

lentil vegetable soup