Thinking of strong protein meals that support your weight loss and cleansing programs I put on the soundtrack to Mama Mia, turned it up high, my dancing shoes tied on tight and managed a few fancy moves while I prepped and prepared these two recipes. Maybe it was the dancing or just the fact that the recipes are good, because the lentils turned out to be some of the best I have ever made, possibly ever tasted; and the Lima Bean soup was a wonder to behold.

For the meal I paired the lentil soup with a fresh green salad of red leaf lettuce, dandelion greens, red clover sprouts, and blanched broccoli, topped with minced parsley, green onion and a tart dressing of fresh lemon juice, olive oil and minced garlic. A great liver cleansing salad.
The Lima Bean soup is very simple to make once you have soaked the beans overnight. You literally place half a peeled onion into the pot with beans and water/stock (no need to chop it) and a whole head of garlic, first layer of skin removed and washed well. The garlic cooks in its skin and when the beans are tender you remove the garlic to cool before slicing off the end and squeezing out the treasures within.
Serve the lentils over a bed of red and white quinoa, with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. It was a meal that put a smile on my face with enough protein to satisfy my daily allotment.
I post the two recipes here for your enjoyment. As always pass the word around to your friends and family so they can experience some delicious, healthy food as well. Probably the best gift you will ever give them, this promise of good health and happiness.

Spicy Winter Lentils

Yield: 6-8 servings
2 cups French lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, ceded and chopped
3 clove garlic, minced
2” piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 red chili or cayenne pepper, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seed
salt to taste
Fresh cilantro minced
1. Combine lentils, water, carrots and celery in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and spoon into a crock pot set to HIGH.
3. Meanwhile, roast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a small skillet.
4. Remove from heat when they release their aroma. Place in a mort and pestle and grind to a powder.
5. In a medium skillet heat the coconut oil and sauté the onion, pepper, ginger, chili pepper and garlic until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the ground seeds, stir well, and cook another 3 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and stir onion mixture into the lentils. Pour ¼ cup of water into the skillet and dissolve any remaining herbs and oil. Pour this water into the lentils.
8. Cover the lentils, reduce the heat to LOW, and cook for 4 hours. 15 minutes before serving adjust seasonings and salt to taste.
9. Serve topped with minced cilantro and a dollop of fresh yogurt if desired.
Lima Bean Soup
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups dried lima beans
1 cup vegetable stock
4 cups water
1/2 onion
1 whole head garlic (one layer of skin removed)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1 teaspoon toasted pumpkin seeds per bowl
Sprinkle of cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the beans overnight in a medium size soup pot or Dutch oven. Drain the water and add the stock and fresh water to the beans.
2. Add the whole ½ onion and the head of garlic to the beans.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour. (You can also bring to a boil, then pour into a crock pot set on LOW. Cover and cook about 4-5 hours)
4. When beans are tender remove the head of garlic and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle squeeze the garlic out of the casings and back into the soup. Discard the skin and casings.
5. Using a hand blender, purée the soup until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve topped with the minced parsley, pumpkin seeds and green onion.