This recipe is for our friends who are switching to a more plant-based lifestyle. Going plant-based doesn’t have to be done cold-turkey!

Using a plant-based protein source, like lentils, cuts down on the total amount of saturated fat and sodium without compromising the protein. Lentils have 11 g of protein per ¼ dry cup! That’s equivalent to 1 ½ protein exchanges. 

Not only do lentils provide you with an extra boost of protein; you’re also getting 10g of dietary fiber per ¼ cup of dry lentils. Dietary fiber is beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut, regulating hunger and appetite, and blood sugar control. 

Lentil and Sausage Soup

Makes 6 Servings

Exchanges: 1 Fat, 2 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 2 Protein

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 uncooked hot Italian Sausage links

3 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth

1 – 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with basil, undrained

1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained

⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  1. In a large pot, cook celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes
  2. Add sausage, cook until browned
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to simmer for about 35 minutes until lentils are tender

Modification Suggestions: 

Ready to go completely plant-based? Add an extra ¼ cup of dry lentils and skip the sausage.

Substitute turkey sausage or chicken breast for less fat. 

Add avocado slices on top for a healthy fat that cools down the spice.

Try this recipe with fennel, corn, or spinach. Not a big fan of lentils? Try this recipe with quinoa or split green peas.

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