by Beth Netter, M.D.
Today I am offering you a recipe that is not only delicious but it is also full of beautiful earth foods that provide your body and mind great energy and health-promoting nutritional strength to help balance the damage done via oxidation of tissues, disease, and mental stress. Along with sunshine, gentle exercise, deep breathing and meditation, foods like this support your immune system in functioning at its best, and help you feel happier and healthier.
It includes lentils (which contain 26% protein, along with vegetables, and quinoa which contains all of the essential amino acids our body needs to support protein-based tissues in our bodies but cannot produce on its own). This recipe was created by the founders of the American Meditation Institute in Averill Park, NY.
AMI’s DAL (Bean Soup) Preparation time: 40 minutes. Serves: 6 – 8
1/4 tsp. – salt
1 cup – split lentils (Masoor Dal; red lentils)
5 cups – hot water (approximately)
1 tsp. – salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. – ghee (clarified butter—see below)
1 medium onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (or ½-1 teaspoon dry)
1 Tbsp. toasted onions
Pick through beans, removing organic debris and stones. Rinse very well.
When you’re ready to cook: Dice carrots and celery (about 1/4 inch pieces).
Peel and cut onions in half, top to bottom. Place cut side down and cut into very thin slices. Set aside.
Place lentils and hot water in medium saucepan with carrots and celery. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cook with the lid off. Skim off any extra white “froth” that arises.
Add turmeric and immediately lower heat to medium low and continue cooking.
Place the ghee and sliced onion in a medium skillet on medium heat. Cover pan. Stir occasionally as onions brown, loosening any areas that stick and always replacing the cover after each stir. Continue until about half the onions have browned and all are translucent and limp — about 25 minutes.
When the beans lose shape and form a creamy soup (about 25 minutes), add salt. Reduce heat to very low. Add cilantro, cooked onions and toasted onions. Cover and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors.
Store in jars and use as needed in the days to come.
To prepare a delicious meal with this lentil dal:
Add 3 to 4 vegetables in one dish: Green beans (Green Giant frozen with roasted almonds), kale, Swiss chard, carrots, asparagus, spinach, kale, sweet corn cut from the cob, Brussels Sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes (yams)
To Cook Vegetables: Pick 2-3 vegetables and cut up into very small pieces. Low boil the vegetables in a ¼ cup of water and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or ghee (clarified butter) for 10 minutes.
Once these are cooked, combine vegetables with a nice portion of the lentil dal, a big scoop of quinoa (in lieu of pasta or rice), and cubed avocado. A sprinkling of roasted almonds adds crunch, flavor and a protein boost.
To cook quinoa:
1 cup quinoa (You can soak overnight if you would like. It tastes better. Rinse the quinoa in that pot a few times, drain).
2 cups water.
Bring to boil and turn to lowest heat. Cooks in 10-15 minutes. It should be soft but not soupy.
Ghee is clarified butter—butter that has been slow cooked, the solids removed, and a more “clean” oil remains. It does not have to be refrigerated. It does contain saturated fat but is an alternative to butter or margarine. I bring this to work for lunch every day and find it provides all the energy and nutrients I need.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes!