Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Better Complexion

Is winter getting you down? I know that I am ready for a few sunny days. In the meantime, certain foods can really help make your complexion glow. Two powerful nutrients really help your skin stay hydrated are Antioxidants and Beta Carotene and Omega 3s. Omega 3s are easy, fatty fish like salmon or nuts like walnuts and almonds and greens(the darker the better). For antioxidants and beta carotene think color - Winter Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes. Here is a recipe that is delicious and gives you all of these in one dish. From Real Simple...

Winter Lentil Soup

Real Simple

Photo: Kana Okada

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour(s)
Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan (optional)


Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons (about 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.

Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips; you'll need 3 cups.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using). Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).

Tip: Basic brown lentils retain their shape better during cooking than pricier red and yellow lentils, so they're terrific for soups. You can substitute green lentils, which taste slightly peppery.

To Freeze: Omit the Parmesan. Let the soup cool, then ladle into large resealable bags, filling each one halfway. Store for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 20 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).

Nutritional Information

Calories: 190 (21% from fat)
Fat: 4.5g (sat 1g)
Protein: 10g
Carbohydrate: 31g
Fiber: 9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 1,070mg
Real Simple, MARCH 2006

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