Happy Meatless Monday! I recently just finished a 5-Day Vegetarian Dinner Challenge program with on-line coaching and recipe support. The goal of the program wasn’t to convert everyone to vegetarianism, but to learn about the benefits of adding more plant-based meals to your diet. I provided the grocery shopping lists and recipes and the participants cooked and learned about plant-based diets. I’ll be sharing some of the most popular recipes in the upcoming weeks, hopefully inspiring more people to adopt Meatless Mondays and learn how to cook more meals without meat.
For today, if you are looking for a quick and easy, plant-based meal, this recipe is for you. Here are 3 highlights for this soup:
- Mushrooms – A great substitute for meat in most recipes, mushrooms are lower in calories to help with weight management. They also block tumor growth and have anti-estrogenic activity; regular consumption of mushrooms (as little as one mushroom per day) has been shown to decrease breast cancer risk by up to 60-70% – wow!
- Lentils – As a plant-based protein powerhouse, 1 cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and is an excellent source of cholesterol lowering source of fiber.
- Kid friendly – This recipe got rave reviews from my nephews! One in particular had 3 bowls for dinner and then wanted to bring it in his thermos for lunch the next day at school!
Mushroom & Lentil Soup: Serves 3-4
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup of green lentils
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh parsley – optional
- Salt & pepper – to taste
- Baguette – optional
- Rinse lentils in cold water
- Bring broth to boil with lentils with 2 cups of broth, reduce to medium heat and cook until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender and remove from heat
- Add olive oil to a pan and heat, cook garlic and onions over high heat for about 2 minutes
- Reduce heat to medium and add mushrooms, salt and pepper, let cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes
- Move mushroom and onion mix to pot with the lentils
- Add 2 cups of broth, bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to low and serve
- Top with fresh chopped parsley – optional
- Tastes great with a slice of crusty, fresh bread – like a baguette
Question for you: Would you like to learn more about plant-based diets and get simple recipes to try? Join me for my next Challenge!