Lentils have long been a staple in our kitchens, serving as a wonderfully nourishing and satisfying ingredient. Not only do they keep your gut happy and healthy, but they are also rich in fiber, a crucial nutrient that promotes regular bowel movements and enhances the diversity of your microbiome. A healthy gut is vital for supporting your immune system and may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. However, if you’re not accustomed to a high-fiber diet, diving in too quickly can lead to bloating. To avoid this, start with smaller portions, complemented by greens and salads, to gradually acclimate your digestive system to fiber-rich foods like lentils and chickpeas, grains and beans.
Cooking healthy meals during the weekdays has become a delightful experience. Being in control of the ingredients you use and the process of preparing and cooking your food is empowering. Especially for those working from home, cooking can provide a welcome break, sparking creativity, stimulating the brain, and enhancing concentration. Research has shown that the act of cooking and savoring delicious food triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter and hormone essential for memory, movement, learning, concentration, and the sensation of pleasure and reward. This dopamine release can leave you feeling satisfied and motivated.
A happy gut leads to a diverse microbiome, which in turn boosts energy levels and strengthens the immune system. Embracing the art of cooking from scratch not only nourishes your body but also increases dopamine levels, offering a dual benefit for both physical and mental well-being. Happy cooking, happy gut, happy you!
Gut Healthy Lunch – Brown Lentils, Roasted Red Peppers and Tahini Sauce
What will you need
Serve 2-4 people
- 1 mug of brown lentils
- 2 medium red peppers
- 5 small florets of fresh broccoli
- 4 big green lettuce leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small red chilli
- 4 small button mushrooms
- handful chopped finely fresh parsley
- handful chopped finely fresh dill
- himalayan salts and fresh ground black pepper for a taste
- Olive oil
- 1 spoon of Coconut oil
- Tahini dressing ( home made )
Step 1: Begin by slicing red peppers and tossing them lightly in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Grill the peppers for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until they are nicely roasted. Allow them to cool down for a few minutes after grilling.
Step 2: In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of lentils with 1 1/2 cups of filtered water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and let the lentils simmer for about 30 minutes. Be careful to avoid overcooking. Once done, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and set it aside. Now is the perfect time to prepare the Tahini dressing. You can find the recipe in my previous blog post titled ‘How to Make Tahini Dressing in 5 Minutes.’
Step 3: Heat a dash of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add finely chopped garlic and chili, sautéing them gently for around 5 minutes. Then, introduce broccoli and mushrooms to the mix for an additional burst of flavor, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Step 4: Next, incorporate the cooked lentils and the roasted red peppers into the skillet. Add fresh herbs of your choice and let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to blend all the flavours together harmoniously.
Step 5: Transfer the dish onto a large serving plate. Garnish with extra fresh herbs and prepare your serving utensils. To finish, drizzle your homemade, flavourful, and healthy tahini sauce over the dish. Your nutritious and delicious lentils and roasted red pepper meal is now ready to be enjoyed!
Some fresh ingredients like green lettuce and mushrooms we received from Riverford. Fresh herbs from local market every Wednesdays and Saturdays and, the rest ( brown lentils and other legumes ) from buywholefoodsonline
Eat for your healthy gut and longevity!
Till next time…