Feb 282017
 
 February 28, 2017  Posted by on February 28, 2017 Health, Recipes Tagged with: , , ,  Add comments
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Red Lentil Stew - flavorful and filling, this low-sodium soup is perfect star of the DASH diet

Red Lentil Stew – flavorful and filling, this low-sodium soup is perfect star of the DASH diet

Red Lentil Soup Recipe | Low-Sodium | Dash Diet

Red Lentil Stew – flavorful and filling, this low-sodium soup is perfect star of the DASH diet

Many people strive to lose weight, start exercising, and look to dietary changes when they receive their first high blood pressure diagnosis.  High blood pressure damages arterial walls, may lead to heart attack or stroke and can damage the kidneys.  Dubbed the silent killer, it rarely causes symptoms.

High Blood Pressure Risk Factors

Before age 45, men are more likely to have high blood pressure.  However, most people eventually develop blood pressure issues with age.  Additionally, African Americans are more likely to get high blood pressure at earlier ages.  While sex, age, and race are all risk factors, almost 60% of people with diabetes also experience high blood pressure.  Also, overweight individuals experience increased disadvantage.

What Can You Do to Help Prevent or Lower Blood Pressure

Of course, you cannot alter the essence of who you are.  You cannot change your race or your sex.  And, medical science hasn’t discovered how to reverse aging, so getting younger remains in the realms of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies.  There are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

  1. Get more physical.  An active lifestyle can help keep blood pressure in check.
  2. If you are overweight, lose weight.
  3. Eat a high fiber, low-sodium diet.
  4. Eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods.  Most dietary sodium comes from canned goods and processed foods.  If you must eat canned foods, look for low sodium alternatives.
  5. Control stress.  Find ways to reduce stress.
  6. Limit alcohol consumption to two servings a day for men – and one a day for women.
  7. If you cannot reduce your blood pressure through lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking that may cause it.

Several years ago, I was on high blood pressure medication.  Simply by changing my diet, losing weight, and increasing exercise, I no longer need that medicine.  My blood pressure still runs in the pre-hypertensive range and bare watching.  So I work to maintain my healthy lifestyle habits.

Let’s Talk about the DASH diet

Usually, I am not a fan of prescribed diets.  I prefer to eat what I want in reasonable portions and make my own healthy food choices.  However, I do like the DASH diet.

DASH, an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a diet designed to teach you how to eat for improved heart health.  The American Heart Association endorses The DASH diet.  It limits sweets and sugary treats, tropical oils, red meats, sodium, and trans-fats.  While the American Heart Association offers an informative, downloadable PDF further expounding on the DASH diet, I also received a DASH diet cookbook you may like.

DASH Diet for Beginners

DASH Diet for Beginners by Sam Kuma Available on Amazon

The DASH Diet for Beginners by Sam Kuma (available on Amazon) offers a 2-week meal plan offering complete meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even desserts!  While you can follow the book’s meal plans, the book also organizes the recipes by meal-type (i.e., soups, breakfast, etc.).

Do not expect elaborate recipes that take an hour to prepare.  Most of these recipes come together quickly and easily.  Like the title says, it’s a beginner’s cookbook.   It’s an easy-to-follow guide to get you started on the DASH diet.

While the book offers many nutritious recipes, I do want to issue a few caveats about the book.

  1. While it’s a book about a diet that limits sodium, the book offers no nutritional information about the recipes.  I suggest using MyFitnessPal or a similar recipe calculator.
  2. The book frequently calls on canned goods (like tomatoes, broth, etc.).  However, most of the recipes do NOT specify to use lower sodium versions.  I’m sure Sam Kuma believed that it was just common sense, but not everyone reads food labels.  I prefer that to be spelled out.
  3. The book’s intro contains a few grammatical errors and only cursory information about the DASH diet.  I believe the author could have elaborated further on this fantastic diet.

Sample Recipe

The Red Lentil Stew recipe below comes straight from the book, with a few simple modifications to fit our tastes.  The author called for kale.  I meant to substitute spinach (but completely forgot it.  OOPS!).  Just stir in 1 cup of baby spinach at cook-time end if you desire.  He called for vegetable broth.  So you have greater control over sodium content, I suggest making your own homemade broth. It’s easy and free.  To keep the recipe DASH diet friendly, be sure to use low-sodium canned tomatoes.

Red Lentil Stew – A Heart-healthy DASH Diet Comfort Food

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4

This delicious Red Lentil Stew recipe is a comfort food recipe that follows the DASH diet guidelines. It’s vegan, low-sodium, and nutritious.

It’s a hearty meal destined to rank as one of your favorite comfort foods. Add a handful of spinach at the end of cooking if you like. A handful of fresh basil also rounds out the flavor profile well.

  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 ounces canned low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups [vegetable broth|https://www.taylorlife.com/make-homemade-vegetable-broth/]

Spritz large soup pan with vegetable oil cooking spray and heat to medium.

Saute onions and garlic until translucent.

Add all the fresh vegetables sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth to pot. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. Cover pot and simmer for about 30 minutes, till lentils are tender. Lower heat and cover. Simmer until the lentils are tender.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 248
  • Fat: 1 grams
  • Carbs: 45 grams
  • Protein: 16 grams
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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

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  15 Responses to “Red Lentil Stew – A Heart-healthy DASH Diet Comfort Food”

  1. I love cooking with lentils and your lentil stew looks delicious. I like the idea of adding a big bunch of spinach at the end.

  2. This is so my kind of comfort food. Looks delicious!

  3. I’m a big fan of red lentils and this looks like a tasty and hearty veggie stew for those midweek meals! Yum!

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with lentils, but this recipe looks super simple. I’ll definitely share it with my parents, because they are vegetarian and are always looking for new recipes to make.

  5. Comfort food hat its best! Plus it’s filled with vitamins, a great dish!

  6. I have never heard of a DASH diet before, but this post was really helpful and informative about it. The red lentil stew sounds so filling and yummy.

  7. Lentils are such a great ingredient to works with. So healthy, and you can make them so tasty as well. We try to eat them at least once a week….perfect for any meal of the day.

  8. Red Lentils are a staple at my house. I male lentil soup or otherwise known as dal almost every alternate day. I like your recipe as well.

  9. I agree we should all start looking at what we eat and our lifestyle choices. This is a lovely dish, looks delicious!

  10. Thanks for sharing your DASH diet information. I’d never heard of this. Looks like a dish for our Meat Free Monday board 🙂

  11. Thanks for your words of inspiration regarding us keeping up a healthy life style. I love your recipe and it looks like its full of flavor and very healthy. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I SO much prefer stews to soups. I feel like there’s something about the added chunk – and not just broth – that makes me feel like I’m full. This looks great!

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