I installed the Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app on my phone last year, and it was a real eye opener for a few reasons. The app is actually just a simple checklist of ingredients to incorporate in your daily diet – ideally, every day. Beans, berries, spices, nuts, greens, etc. It’s actually not simple. The thing that struck me immediately is the way you need to make every meal (and snack) count if you want to check all the boxes. I found that I needed to have more of a plan than my usual “free-style” approach, as well as an evolved arsenal of go-to recipes. So! The first thing I started doing was incorporating meals that were delicious, satisfying, one-bowl “box-checkers”, like this soup. It’s a fortifying lentil and tomato-based stew, dotted with plump, tender dumplings, spiked with a range of spices, and boosted with plenty of spinach. It’s so delicious, and simple, week-night friendly, and great for leftovers. Also, no shame in using frozen spinach, here. It cuts the already minimal prep time here down to near nothing. Enjoy!
For a vegan version, source vegan tortellini. Or if you have trouble finding that, substitute a vegan ravioli!
4 big handfuls spinach, chopped (or frozen equiv)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon sweet (or smoked) paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with liquid
3/4 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
8 ounces / 1/2 pound fresh tortellini
to serve: a bit of grated cheese, lemon (optional)
If you’re using frozen spinach, set it on the counter to thaw a bit. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or so, until the onion has softened a bit. Stir in the garlic, wait a minute, then add the curry powder, paprika, turmeric, and chile flakes, and stir well. Break up the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot along with the tomato liquid, stir in the lentils, and the water. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes or so, until the lentils have cooked through. Stir in the salt, and then the tortellini. Cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or per package instructions – until tender and cooked through. Stir in the spinach bring back to a simmer, and serve with a dusting of cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you need to thin out with a bit more water, do so, and re-season. Enjoy!
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 25 min