It is often thought that only animal protein and sweet snacks can be used for recovery after a workout, however we’d like to show you that is certainly not the case. This slightly sweet, savoury stew is the ideal post workout meal to help build and re-fuel your muscles as the carbs in the squash stimulate your muscles to absorb amino acids from protein in the lentils by increasing the hormone insulin in the body. Whether you are in Spring or otherwise, these healthy carbs can replenish fuel stores to prevent muscle breakdown and contribute to the positive energy balance needed to grow muscle and recover from training. Besides, it is delicious and easy to make!
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cook Time: 25 minutes stovetop or 4-8 hours slow cooker.
Makes: 4 servings.
Ingredients & Equipment
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion
1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped small (for deep Spring, substitute 2 cups sliced mushrooms)
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dulse flakes
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup of shelled edamame
10-ounces (2 cups) sprouted green lentils*
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
*Sprout lentils yourself, or purchase at a health food store. If unavailable or unprepared, add those that’ve been soaked for at least 4 hours.
Large Crockpot is preferred, however a large, heavy bottomed stovetop pot works well as an alternative.
The focus of this recipe is lentils, however as we know, pulses have hard seed coats that hinder their digestion and may even cause digestive issues over time. In an attempt to correct this issue, we recommend that they be soaked and sprouted before consuming them. It is generally thought that pulses need to be paired with grains to create complete proteins. Interestingly, once lentils are sprouted, methionine and cystine, two essential amino acids, become available in higher levels, creating a complete protein.
This soup can be made on the stovetop in under a half an hour, or left to cook in your slow cooker for a more passive preparation.
Chop and dice vegetables if not already prepped.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, squash and celery and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes, and saute, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Keep in the pot or pour into the slow cooker. Add the vegetable stock, edamame and the lentils.
Cover the slow cooker and allow stew to cook for 4 or 8 hours. Alternatively, in your pot bring stew to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, 20-25 minutes.
In either method, at this point stir in the kale and simmer over low heat until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Taste, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.