I’m a sucker for anything green…green eyes, green Gummy Bears, green apples, green foliage in the summer, green leafy vegetables and green split peas. Can you guess what the theme for today is? YES…the power of green foods! After loading up on sweet treats and suffering from food hangovers during the holidays, it’s time to detox and put healthy food back into our bodies.
Aside from pre and post workout smoothies and breakfast, split pea soup is the first dinner I’ve cooked since finishing my leftovers from New Year’s Day dinner at my aunt’s house. I think it’s important to mention that I have a big Greek family who like to cook delicious, rich Greek food! I miss my leftovers, but I miss my waistline even more. Split pea soup is one of my favorite meals, especially on a cold winter night. Not only does it taste delicious and is super easy to cook, but green split peas are packed with nutritional benefits!
The day after I made my soup for dinner, I had it for lunch but added cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and kale for added nutrition. I’m not one to brag about my cooking skills, but I must say, I’ve gotten really good and opening my fridge and cabinets and getting creative with my healthy meals. I’ll share my base split pea soup recipe and my creative add-on lunch version with you all, but I encourage you to make it your own! Add your favorite veggies, beans, spices, and super grains.
Green Split Pea Soup
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 2 Tbs coconut oil
- 2 cups of green split peas
- 6-8 cups of water
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic in the coconut oil until the onion is soft. Add chopped carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add split peas, water, basil, bay leaf and salt and pepper to the pot. I usually start with 6 cups of water and add more if needed. I tend to like my soup thick, so the amount of water is up to you. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, then simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until the peas have gotten mushy. I like to puree the soup using a hand held blender with a soup attachment. It makes the soup thicker and blends all of the ingredients. For my lunch the next day, while I was reheating the soup on the stovetop, I added 2 cups of kale, 1 cup of chickpeas, and ½ cup of cooked quinoa.
Green Split Peas:
One cup of cooked green split peas has about 230 calories, 16 grams of protein, and about 700 mg of potassium. This helps with weight loss and healthy muscles.
They are very high in fiber, which can reduce LDL cholesterol, promoting a healthy heart.
They have 16 grams of soluble fiber per serving and a low glycemic level, meaning that the sugar in our bodies absorb slowly into our bloodstreams, avoiding a spike and drop in sugar levels…very beneficial for lowering our risk for diabetes.
Very high in iron! Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. This promotes a healthy liver and proper cell growth.
High in vitamin K and packed with antioxidents, eating kale may reduce the risk for various types of cancers and prevent blood clotting.
Kale is great for detoxing. Being high in fiber, kale carries toxins out of your body and helps keep your liver healthy.
Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, preventing osteoporosis, bone loss, and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Kale is very high in vitamins A and C, which keeps your skin, immune system and night vision healthy.