Since starting my Academy of Culinary Nutrition course, I’ve become hyper-aware of the food I put in my body. Before, I focused on organic and local foods when possible. Now, I focus on organic, local and plant-based foods all of the time.
Honestly, I feel amazing. During the week, I don’t eat meat, dairy or refined foods. When I eat out, I consume these ingredients in moderation and try to avoid them if possible. My body doesn’t react positively when I have too much of any of those ingredients.
When eating 100% plant-based, my blood sugar levels are stable and I rarely experience symptoms of hypoglycemia (something I struggled with in the past). I feel energized enough to bike to and from work, work all day, go to the gym, cook dinner and then either do school work, blog or read. I’m so grateful.
Plant-based in Berlin
Here in Germany, organic and local produce is more available than I thought it would be. Berlin is also a hub for vegetarians and vegans; I keep stumbling on new vegan restaurants and juice bars. I’m just over here waiting for the kombucha boom. Serious question: Should I start a kombucha business?!
Anyways, one of my favorite savory, filling, plant-based ingredients is lentils. Lentils are a great source folate, phosphorous, iron, fiber and protein. Those last two nutrients make them super filling and great for improving digestive health. This dhal also has a healthy amount of turmeric (“kurkuma” in German). In Sanskrit, turmeric is called “kringhna” which translates to “germ killer.” Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic properties (to help combat throat infections).
Now… time for some yummy lentil dhal! Pair it with my vegan, nut-free parsley pesto.
Sweet Potato Lentil Dhal
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup of lentils, soaked then rinsed
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups water
- 1+ Tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Start by heating the coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the lentils, sweet potatoes and garlic. Toss and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water and bring the dhal to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15-20 minutes. Once the water is absorbed and your dhal thickens, it is ready for the spices.
- Pour the spices into your hand first away from the heat, then add them to the pot. Stir, turn off the head, cool, and finally, enjoy!