Heartfelt Cooking for Good Health

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Earlier this month, Heartfelt Catering joined a discussion presented by Dr. Carla Hightower of Living Health Works on ‘Food as Medicine for Lowering Cholesterol and Blood Pressure.’ 

In this educational seminar, Dr. Hightower shared insights on the causes of high cholesterol and high blood pressure that affect an alarming number of people in our communities. And while many may rely on prescription drugs for relief, Dr. Hightower presented a few natural solutions that can be gained by way of a healthy, plant-based diet for long-term health benefits.

Heartfelt Catering’s mission of providing delicious food that’s made from scratch, but low in sodium and low in fat, is near and dear to the heart of Heartfelt Catering’s executive chef and founder, Cecelia Hamilton. Chef Cecelia’s expert techniques in layering spices and building flavors result in dishes that leave her clients asking for more.

When cooking vegan dishes, I like to follow the same basic rules that I apply to everything that we cook at Heartfelt Catering: 

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  • always use fresh herbs
  • embrace an array of spices
  • use citrus zest or freshly squeezed juice to enhance vegetables
  • watch the sodium, sugar and fat.

For this presentation, Chef Cecelia prepared a Red Lentil and Roasted Spiced Carrot Soup that’s completely vegan, without oil, and extremely low in sodium and in fat. We’ve all heard the joke: low in sodium, low in fat, low in fun; but that’s certainly not the case with this soup. The flavors of cumin, coriander, lemon and vegetables are abundantly present so that you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing.

Serve the soup as a first course or as a main dish and enjoy it hot or cold. You won’t be disappointed.

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Red Lentil Roasted Spiced Carrot Soup

Yields 6 - 1 cup servings

1-½ cups red lentils (rinsed and pick out bad lentils) 4 carrots peeled and diced
2 tablespoons water
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks celery small diced
2 plum tomatoes deseeded and diced or 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
4 cups vegetable stock
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
6 twists fresh black pepper
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup of chopped flat leaf parsley

Method of Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Add 2 tablespoons water to stock pot
Add diced onion and minced garlic, cover and let simmer on low heat until softened, approximately ten minutes
Add remaining ingredients: celery, tomatoes lentils, water and vegetable stock and cook lentils on medium heat
Meanwhile, toss diced carrots in spices with fresh lemon juice and water Add to parchment lined baking sheet and roast for approximately 10 minutes or until fork tender. Lightly wrap with aluminum foil to retain moisture. Remove from oven
Once lentils are tender, stir in roasted carrots, turn off heat and cover pot. To serve, stir in ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice and garnish bowled soup with chopped flat leaf parsley

Note: After cooking all ingredients, this soup can be pureed, strained and serve creamy. You will need to add more liquid to achieve the right texture

Cecelia Hamilton