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Mung Bean Coconut Curry

This mung bean coconut curry is the best curry you will ever have… it makes a lover out of people who think they don’t like curries. You have to try it!.
mung-bean-coconut-curry

When I was writing my book — The Chinese Medicine Cookbook, I necessarily had to test out tons and tons of recipes. I tested everything from smoothies to stews to salads. But I wanted to make sure that I included a lot of recipes that used traditional Chinese ingredients as a way to pay homage to the culture that created my love for Chinese herbs and healing.

This recipe for Mung Bean Coconut Curry is one of those recipes.  I’m not sure I had ever really enjoyed mung beans before I created this recipe. The closest I had ever come to feeling love for this ingredient came in the form of pasta. The first grain-free pasta I ever had was mung bean fettuccine and it really was love at first sight for me.

Mung beans are such a healing ingredient. A lot of uncomfortable conditions are caused by us retaining too much heat inside our bodies; mung beans release excess heat. This is a really good thing!

But, here I was trying to create a recipe with actual mung beans. These beans are sold in bags like any other dried bean — they are pretty little green things but I truly didn’t know where to start… and then I saw an amazing recipe by Katie of Hey Nutrition Lady and I knew this awesome recipe was where I would start.

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Honestly, when I was putting this recipe together, I figured nobody in my house would be thrilled about mung beans when I served it. So, I decided on a curry, because… well… I love curry but when I serve it here at home everyone puts on “the face”.  This seemed like a great opportunity for me because if nobody was going to like it anyway, it might as well be something I like but don’t get to make too often.

Here’s the kicker: I ladled a bowlful for Steve and put it in front of him. He asked no questions so I told no lies. He slurped this bowl up like it was a bowl of his favorite Cheeseburger Soup. `When the bowl was licked clean, I said: “I’m surprised you liked that so much… you don’t usually like curry.” His response: “I don’t like curry but this isn’t curry.” So, there you have it. Make this Mung Bean Coconut Curry and serve it to everyone… just don’t tell the haters what it is!

mung-bean-coconut-curry

Here are just some of the amazing healing ingredients in this Mung Bean Coconut Curry:

Mung Beans clear heat from your body; they help reduce acne and can help clear up other skin conditions.  They are also great to help rid  your body of toxins. In China, mung beans are a staple in most kitchens and are eaten often because they provide so many health benefits.

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…

Ginger is also a Chinese herb. In it’s raw form it’s called Sheng Jiang. This herb is especially good during cold weather months and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. And, when summer is turning into fall, or fall is turning into winter,  those are great times to add ginger into your diet, to prevent those winter colds that seem to pop up often. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist or herbalist).

In Chinese medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this curry.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. 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 — especially when you eat it raw, so be sure to also add some raw onion into your diet whenever you can.

mung-bean-coconut-curry

Mung Bean Coconut Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: curry, comfort food, stew, soup
Cuisine: paleo, vegetarian, whole30, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This mung bean coconut curry truly is an all-purpose curry; even self-proclaimed curry haters will love it!
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ tsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1 13.5-oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. In large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add the garlic and onion, and saute, stirring, 3 mins.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper, and cayenne.
  4. Cook, stirring often, 5 mins.
  5. Pour in the water and stir in the mung beans.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 30 mins.
  7. Then, uncover the pot and let simmer an additional 15 mins, or until the mung beans are softened.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk.
  9. Ladle into bowls and garnish each bowl with lime wedges and lots of cilantro.
  10. Enjoy!

mung-bean-coconut-curry

Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet

I was craving veggies, but also comfort food… so I made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet for dinner. It’s like a cross between eggplant parm and a Moroccan chickpea stew and it hits all the right spots!
baked eggplant chickpea skillet

I’m not sure why, but every time I see a food described as a “skillet” I think it must be awesome. I’m a sucker for any type of breakfast skillet on any menu anywhere. So, when I have the chance to actually describe one of my dishes as a skillet, you can be sure I’m going to go for it. So, here’s my baked eggplant chickpea skillet.

People always ask me: “What are you?” in terms of my diet. I’m not sure what to answer anymore except that “I’m whatever is good for me at the time.” Last week I was on a meat kick and I made a huge meatloaf and a chicken curry dish and the biggest piece of salmon you’ve ever seen. The best part was that this big protein-fest made for the best leftovers ever. But now, I still have some left in the fridge, and I really can’t even look at it anymore. I mean, there’s only so many times I can eat the same thing no matter how many creative ways I re-invent it. And some of the ingredients I used aren’t dog friendly… ugh. Note to self: scale down on the number of servings!

Last night was my niece’s engagement party. It was soooo nice. A few of us wanted to eat a light dinner beforehand so we wouldn’t pig out on all of the enticing appetizers. I opened the fridge, looked in, saw all of the same food, and I just couldn’t do it. I so wished I had already made this baked eggplant chickpea skillet so that we could sit there with a bunch of forks and dig into that skillet! (By the way, the Poke bowls we ended up ordering in were so good!)

This week I’m feelin’ the veggies and I want to cook some vegan dishes, and even though I wished this food had been ready to eat last night, I’m happy it’s here today! This dish is healthy, clean, and comforting all at the same time. The first time I made this dish it was because I had seen a recipe for an eggplant and chickpea casserole from The New York Times and I just had to make a version of it.

Did you know that in Chinese medicine we use chickpeas to elevate the mood? Haha, I know that’s a pretty random thought here, but I just think it’s so awesome… And, this dish did make me happy…

It’s not quite prime farmers market season yet here in New York, so when I shopped for this dish I went to Whole Foods. They had more different types of eggplant than I’ve ever seen in one place. And they were so pretty. It took me awhile to choose which ones I wanted but I ended up choosing some long thin, light purple Japanese eggplants because there are no bitter seeds and the skin is really thin and not too noticeable. If you have a picky eggplant eater, I highly recommend this variety.

But… ooh, the white and neon purple striped eggplants… oh my! They are just so pretty. I’ll have to try those next time…

If you are a skillet freak like I am, you should also try my recipe for Vegan Skillet Zucchini Parmesan.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Here are some of the awesome things this baked eggplant chickpea skillet can do for you:

In eastern medicine, eggplant is added to the diet when there is pain in the body because it’s great for relieving pain and reducing swelling. It’s especially good to eat eggplant when you are experiencing some nasty digestive issues. It relieves stomach pain, helps with dysentery, diarrhea, and painful urinary conditions. Eggplant has also been used topically to treat frostbite and canker sores… talk about a multi-tasking vegetable…

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

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

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….

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!

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

baked eggplant chickpea skilletbaked eggplant chickpea skillet

Baked Eggplant Chickpea Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, skillet, vegan, Moroccan, paleo
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: The New York Times
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dish is warming, comforting, healing, and it's vegan. The sauce is slightly Moroccan in flavor and it compliments the eggplant so well. And it comes in a skillet!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium, thin, Japanese eggplant, sliced in half vertically, then sliced horizontally into ¼- to ½- inch thick half moons
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
  • For sauce:
  • 1 medium onion, cut in ½, then sliced thin
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste (I love this one -- it comes in a jar!)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (here's an organic one)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (here's a good brand)
  • additional basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Brush the foil with some oil.
  4. Lay the eggplant out on the oiled foil. Brush the eggplant with more oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 mins.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven, fold up the foil around the eggplant, crimping all sides so that the eggplant is completely enclosed, and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  8. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
  9. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, use a regular one and then before you put it in the oven, transfer everything to a baking dish.)
  10. Add the onion to the skillet, and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 mins.
  11. Add the crushed garlic, and saute, stirring, 30 seconds.
  12. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, except the chickpeas, stir to combine, and simmer, uncovered, 15 mins.
  15. Stir in the chickpeas and the eggplant.
  16. Place the skillet in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 50 mins.
  17. Remove the wilted basil leaves, if you want (I actually like to eat them) and replace them with fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional).

baked eggplant chickpea skillet

Sweet Potato Apple & Swiss Chard Stew

sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew

The second that it started to feel like fall was finally in the air, I started clicking through all of my favorite blogs and sites and I happily flipped through my favorite beautiful cookbooks looking for inspiration for what kind of soup or stew to make. This sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew was the perfect choice.

I can sit on the couch with cookbooks surrounding me and lose all track of time. Same thing with sitting with my laptop perusing food blogs and recipe sites. Yup, I can be a couch potato to the max — it’s one of my best talents!

But, whoever said couch potatoes are not productive, has not seen some of the results of my expertise in this area. Because I come up with my best recipe ideas when I’m in full-on couch potato mode (maybe even with a cheesy romantic movie playing in the background on TV)…

This is one of those dishes that you are so happy to have leftover in the fridge. And, it’s so good that even when the days grew hot and humid again here in New York, we still happily ate the hot stew. And, if you’ve ever been in New York City on a really hot and humid day, you know how good this sweet potato apple & swiss chard soup must be if we ate it on some of those days!

It’s quite the mental picture: we came in from the heat and humidity outside, stood in front of the cool refrigerator in our stuck-to-our-backs clothing, pulled out the big pot. And we heated it up. And we stood there, eating it with sweat stuck to us. Wow, that’s a pretty awful picture… but I’d do it again in a second…

A few days earlier, when I thought fall might be upon us (which, by the way wasn’t even close to fall yet — it got to be really hot out later…), I found a genius recipe from one of my fav blogs: Contentedness Cooking. So, I want to give credit for the original recipe to Florian; it’s an awesome recipe.

If you want another great recipe that shows off sweet potatoes, try my Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

sweet potato apple & swiss chard stewsweet potato apple & swiss chard stew

Here are some of the reasons this sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew is so awesome and healing:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.

Swiss Chard can help detoxify your body. It contains large amounts of minerals including iron, pottassium, and magnesium. It’s got lots of fiber and can help reduce inflammation.

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!

Turmeric is actually 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.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this stew, I sprinkled cashews on top of each bowl before serving, and it really elevated the taste… so don’t skip this step!

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this stew.

sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Potato Apple & Swiss Chard Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, soup, paleo, whole30, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Contentedness Cooking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect Autumn stew... or thick soup... whatever it is, it's healing and warming and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large head Swiss chard (I used rainbow chard), sliced into ribbons
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup raw cashews
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut milk and sweet potatoes in a large soup pot over medium heat. Let cook for 5 mins.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except cashews, and cook about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  3. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle each bowl with a big fistful of cashews.
  4. Enjoy!

sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I bet you didn’t know that potatoes can relieve some inflammation in your joints are they are good for constipation…
paleo chicken pot pie soup

Everyone always assumes that I grew up in a foodie home. Ummmmmm… not so much. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of frozen food I ate as a child. I remember frozen chicken pot pies. The ones that were tiny little frozen rocks with a thick crust and a gummy filling. As a kid, I think I must have thought they were good. But as an adult, I can’t even imagine eating one now. But a good pot pie… well, that’s a great thing. Enter this amazing paleo chicken pot pie soup.

I found the original recipe for this soup on a great blog called My Heart Beets. It’s a great recipe. I changed it up just a bit to make it a little more healing for Steve, who has a really obnoxious cold and cough that just keeps hanging on. But Ashley did an awesome job with this genius recipe.

We were on vacation in Mexico last week and it was so warm and beautiful. When we came home all I wanted was anti-Mexican food. I never thought I could have too much guacamole and too many margaritas, but it happened. So, this paleo chicken pot pie soup was just perfect!

This soup is creamy (but there’s no dairy) and rich and garlicky and healing. It’s just so comforting. And, it’s nothing like those frozen brick-like pot pies from my childhood.

This recipe is also super easy because it’s made with a rotisserie chicken. So, no excuses… come on, you’ve got to try it…

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For another creamy and warm paleo dish, try my recipe for Creamy Lentil And Kale Stew.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a soup with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

paleo chicken pot pie soup

The ingredients in this soup with heal you:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

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….

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.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. 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!

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

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.

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.

paleo chicken pot pie soup

If you make this Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: paleo, comfort food, soup, stew, whole30
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: My Heart Beets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This soup is like a creamy chicken pot pie... without the crust or the dairy. It's so comforting and satisfying. Oh, and it's easy to make too!
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded (preferably organic)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs grass-fed butter or ghee
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 lb yellow potatoes (half of them peeled and roughly chopped; the other half cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I used bone broth)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried dill (use fresh if you have it)
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a large soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  2. Add the peeled, roughly chopped potatoes and the broth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and onions to a blender and set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Whiz them up until nice and creamy.
  7. Add the carrots and celery to the broth in the pot.
  8. Add the bite-sized potatoes.
  9. Add the contents of the blender.
  10. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  11. Add the chicken, scallions, and herbs and cook another 5 minutes.
  12. Ladle into bowls.
  13. Enjoy!

 

paleo chicken pot pie soup

Creamy Lentil And Kale Stew

This creamy lentil and kale stew will warm you up and keep you healthy…

creamy lentil and kale stew

I follow lots of vegan food bloggers, and let me just say that so many of these blogs are drool-worthy. As soon as I saw a recipe for lentil stew from Veggies Don’t Bite I knew I’d be making it soon. This recipe is awesome. I learned from Sophia’s awesome blog that the original recipe is from one of my all-time favorite vegan blogs, Oh She Glows… wow, these women are talented.

Anyway, I made the recipe with a few minor changes (because I’m just always have to take a little creative license…). It’s so good. I use cashews in so many recipes, but I would never have thought to use them here! This stew is so creamy (thanks to the cashews) that it tastes like heavy cream was added… but it’s vegan and so healthy!

Creamy lentil and kale stew is just that. It’s creamy. And it’s filled with lentils and kale. And lots of turmeric. And delicious veggies and spices. This is great on a cold winter day.

Right before I started typing this post, I went into my fridge and took out the leftover stew and transferred it to my freezer because I cannot even think of getting rid of it even though there’s a good chance that everyone here would throw things at me if I served it again this week. Sometimes something is just so good that I can eat it over and over again all week long. My family… not so much…

You also really should try my recipe for Lentil Vegetable Soup.

creamy lentil and kale stewcreamy lentil and kale stew

There are lots of awesome healing ingredients in this creamy lentil and kale stew:

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.

Turmeric is actually 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.

Kale is everywhere these days. It is extremely nutritious, and because it to so popular you can find it already washed and prepared in lots of markets. My cheat for this recipe was that I bought this kale already cut up and washed at the market. If you are using a whole bunch of kale, make sure you clean the leaves thoroughly and remove the center thick stems if they bother you (I don’t like to eat these think stems when they are raw). This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this dressing a velvety, creamy texture.

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.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is also 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.

Creamy Lentil And Kale Stew
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, comfort food, lentils, soup
Cuisine: vegan, paleo, whole30, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This vegan, paleo-friendly stew is so creamy that you won't believe it's dairy-free. This one's a keeper... I'll be eating it all winter long!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup dried french green lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups cleaned kale, torn into pieces
Instructions
  1. Blend the cashews with ½ cup water in a blender until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix -- I'm not sure how creamy this would get with a regular blender).
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the oil.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Saute, stirring often, until the veggies are starting to soften, about 6 minutes.
  5. Stir in the thyme, turmeric, and cumin, and stir 1 minute.
  6. Pour in the tomatoes, lentils, broth, and 1-1/2 cups water.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered 30 minutes.
  8. Stir in the kale and the cashew cream and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite crusty bread (I used paleo toasted bagels) or a nice crisp green salad.
  10. Enjoy!

creamy lentil and kale stew

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili

This Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili has big chunks of beets in it. Beets are great for nourishing your blood (that’s not a vampire reference…) — I find that they are awesome for fighting off some of those annoying conditions associated with menopause!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

It’s chili season! Nothing says happy autumn like the fragrant aroma from a big pot of chili cooking on the stove. In our house that chili must be eaten while watching whatever football game is on TV. And the table has to be filled with bowls of guacamole, cheeses (vegan ones too), coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, and some healthy-ish chips to pile on top of the individual bowls of chili. And even though this is a healthier chili, it still goes great with an ice cold beer…

Oftentimes I make my chili with meat — beef, pork, turkey, bison, lamb… whatever I’m feeling at the moment. But, I’ve been eating vegan more and more these days, so I decided to make this vegan chili. It’s especially awesome because it’s hearty and has big chunks of veggies. You know, it’s not like one of those vegan chilies that seems to be mostly beans. This one’s got moxie. It’s got heart. It’s got substance. It’s really awesome. And it tastes like a traditional meaty chili… for realz.

Every time I make a pot of chili or soup, I add some raw Chinese herbs to the pot so that while the food cooks, the amazing healing properties of the herbs get infused in my food. This time I added Huang Qi and Shan Yao to boost my energy. If you have access to good quality Chinese herbs, I highly recommend this, and of course, if you have any questions, just ask me!

As I sit here and type this post, I keep sneaking a peak at my closed refrigerator door because I know there’s still a bit of this awesome vegan beet & butternut squash chili sitting in the pot leftover in the fridge. Just sitting there. It’s kind of calling my name… OK, as soon as I’m done here, I’m answering the call of the chili…

If you want to eat more beets, you have to try my awesome recipe for Pomegranate Glazed Beets!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Here are some of the awesome healing capabilities of the ingredients in this vegan beet & butternut squash chili:

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.

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Turmeric is actually 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.

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.

In Chinese medicine, red kidney beans are used to aid digestion; they help you if you have diarrhea and they also have a diuretic quality. White navy beans actually improve your memory and they also have a calming effect, so feel free to use a mix of colored beans if you like.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido.

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Vegan Beet & Butternut Squash Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: chili, comfort food, vegetables
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This is a vegan chili that's as hearty as a traditional meaty one. It's got beets, butternut squash, carrots, peppers, beans, and so much more!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (use whatever color pepper you have)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-1/2 lb large-diced butternut squash
  • ½ lb red beets, peeled and diced (I used pre-cooked ones)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Huang Qi, Shan Yao
  • For garnish: vegan cheese, coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, chips
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Saute, stirring, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the squash, beets, garlic powder, chipotle powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and more salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, about 15 minutes, over medium-low heat.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and cacao.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer 30 minutes.
  7. Give the pot a good stir, uncover it, and cook an additional 20 minutes.
  8. Ladle into individual bowls.
  9. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some cilantro, more cheese, and crushed chips.
  10. Enjoy!

vegan beet & butternut squash chili

Chicken Potato Tomato Skillet

This chicken potato tomato skillet is made and served right in the skillet!

Chicken, Tomato, And Potato Skillet

There’s just something about food that’s served in a skillet that makes it look so appetizing. I’m a sucker for any menu item that is described as a “skillet”. I love a breakfast “skillet” and no matter what the ingredients, I will think about ordering it before any other menu item. Does this make me weird?

This is one of those recipes that is perfect for those nights that you just don’t know what to make. It’s versatile enough so that you can substitute whatever meat you want, whatever veggies look good, and whatever type of potatoes are lying around your kitchen.

I made this dinner even easier by using leftover tomato sauce that was in my freezer. You can make it even easier than I did by using your favorite store-bought sauce.

So, here’s a dinner skillet. This chicken, potato, and tomato skillet is awesome. It’s a one-pot meal, so clean-up is a breeze and it’s easy to make.

And, come on, who doesn’t like chicken and potatoes and tomatoes and spinach served in skillet?

As I was just re-reading what I wrote, I had a great idea! The next time I make this dish, I am going to toast some healthy garlic bread and hide some of it in the bottom of this skillet… okay, now I’m really excited. I’m never sure if it’s a good thing or not that I get excited so easily by food…

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a skillet recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

If you like this kind of thing, you should also try my recipe for Chicken Stew With Potatoes And Crispy Brussels Sprouts!

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato SkilletChicken, Tomato, And Potato Skillet

Here are some of the great health benefits of this awesome chicken potato tomato skillet:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

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….

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet

If you make this Chicken Potato Tomato Skillet recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: one-pot, chicken
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: 12 Tomatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This one-pot skillet meal is delicious, simple, and healing. Feel free to substitute other meats and vegetables -- it's all about what makes you happy!
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 lb. boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 baking potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 9 oz fresh spinach
  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium oven-proof skillet with sides, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to get a little color, about 5-minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes to a plate and add the chicken to the pan, stirring until the chicken begins to color.
  5. Add the potatoes back to the pan.
  6. Next, add the shallot, garlic, and spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1-minute. (You may have to add the spinach a little at a time in order to fit it all in the skillet.)
  7. Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice, chicken broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Bake the skillet in the oven about 40 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Chicken, Potato, And Tomato Skillet

Spicy Chickpea Turkey And Tomato Stew

This spicy chickpea turkey and tomato stew is so warming and healing!

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach-9643

Why is it that a big pot of spicy stew makes me smile so much?

Do any of you feel the same way?

Whether it’s chili or hot and sour soup or a spicy meat and veggie concoction, just the smell of it makes me happy. Maybe that’s why a huge pot of chili is often on my stove. Or, maybe it’s because I love football and all of the traditional foods associated with the game.  I’m sure it’s partly because a big pot of simmering goodness is the perfect foil for my Chinese herbs.

But it’s mostly because it’s just so yummy! And warming! And filling!

Whatever the reason, this stew came together because I had a hankering for chili, but it wasn’t football Sunday. So, what’s a cook to do? Lots of times, I just make the chili anyway, but this day I felt like something a little different… more like stew I thought… or maybe a touch Moroccan… I just felt like taking regular chili to another level… a little more gourmet if you will (does that sound too snooty???). Since I was only cooking for a few people instead of a regular big football crowd, I figured I’d experiment. And a successful experiment it was!

I love cooking down the aromatic ingredients and then shoving (literally shoving) as many leafy greens as I can into the pot and watching them melt into the gooey goodness in the pot…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (spinach)-9583

“Pots of stuff” or “stews” are great because you can add in whatever you like and whatever your body needs at that point in time. Here’s some of what I put in this gorgeous pot:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic, pasture-raised turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium.

In my acupuncture practice, some of my favorite conditions to treat are stress, anxiety, and depression. I’m also always looking for foods that will add to the effectiveness of these treatments. Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…

Most people think of Popeye (am I dating myself??) and iron when they think of spinach. It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. This recipe has canned chopped tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes — double whammy!

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. 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; the onion can actually draw the toxins out of the body!

Chili powder is rich in vitamins A and C and also in essential minerals. Spicy pepper is one of the most nutritious spices available. Consuming small amounts gives you a great source of potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Spicy peppers have been shown to ease the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness.

Turmeric is actually 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.

I love to add my Chinese herbs to anything that simmers on the stove for awhile. This time I added some Bai Shao. Bai Shao is white peony root and it’s great for yin deficiency (think menopausal symptoms…). If you want more info on this herb, just ask…

Spicy Turkey, Chickpeas, And Spinach (pot)-9633

 

Spicy Chickpea, Turkey, And Tomato Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: stew, chili, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ground turkey, chickpeas, and spinach cook in an amazing, spicy tomato sauce... so warming!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric (just found this one-- I'm buying it for next time!)
  • ½ tsp (or more if you like more spice) chipotle chili powder (here's one I use a lot)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika (this one sounds good - let's try it!)
  • 20 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2-minutes.
  2. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until it is starting to get some color.
  3. Add chili powders, turmeric, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
  4. Pour in canned tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt and stir until it is all well combined.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until it's hot and smelling amazing.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!