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Eating for Brain, Heart and G

Recipes for Ultimate Mind and Body Health

Maria and I are getting the launch ready for “Food for Thought”! Every two weeks until pub date, the 4th of December, I will share a recipe from the book! Two years in the making and now it’s finally happening! A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to, “The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement” founded by Maria dedicated to raising awareness about women’s increased risk for Alzheimer’s and to educate women and men about lifestyle changes they can make to protect their brain health. Here is one of them, FOOD, that’s where I come in.

I listened to the interview Maria did with Dr. Rudy Tanzi, Neuroscientist & Co Director of “The Center for Brain Health” at Massachusetts General Hospital on “World Alzheimer’s Day” September 21st. He pointed out how crucial it is to feed the bacteria in the gut with pre- biotic foods.  that are high in Fiber.

You have heard me over the last two years talk about the importance of feeding your brain. Many hours of research went into “Food for Thought”. This cook book contains information that is important to gut, heart and brain health. I break down the ingredients in the recipes that are contained in the book so you understand the nutritional value and how it helps to heal and keep your body and mind strong.

I am sharing a recipe for Red Lentil Soup from “Food for Thought” that is chock full of flavor and lots of fiber!

First look from the soup chapter of “Food for Thought”


I brought this recipe back from South Africa when I had the honor to attend the opening of Oprah’s, “The Leadership Academy for Girls.” It was a life altering experience, a story for another time.

On the schedule was a Safari, (no way I was going to miss that) and after a long mind- blowing day, we settled into our camp site. As the sun set and what looked like a gajillion stars lighting up the night sky, we sat down for dinner. To be honest I thought “I” was going to be someone’s dinner, I could hear growls in the distant and heavy breathing coming from the bushes.

On the menu was this soup made with Red Lentils and African spices. It was so delicious that I went right up to the cook who was serving up the last portions from a heavy cast iron skillet and simply asked him if he would share the recipe, he smiled at me and said yes! Lucky me!

I wanted to share the recipe for this Lentil soup with you not only because it is delicious but because of the many health benefits of lentils.

Lentils have many of the components that are necessary for gut health. Lentils help lower cholesterol and is great for heart and digestive health. They stabilize blood sugar, will help increase energy and is a great source of protein.

While I don’t grind the spices cumin, coriander, ginger and cinnamon myself like my new friend Ayo the cook in Africa, , I do buy the best quality spices in small packets at health food stores.

Buying in smaller portions keeps the spices fresher and full of potent flavor.


Serves 4 to 6


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small garlic clove smashed

2 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled

1-teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Add all of the ingredients into a Mason jar or small glass container with a lid. Shake well and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.


3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped fine

2 garlic cloves peeled and minced

1 teaspoon of salt and cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2-teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/4-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2-teaspoon cayenne

1-tablespoon tomato paste

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups water

10 ½ ounces (1½ cups) red lentils

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup cilantro coarsely chopped

2 lemons, one sliced thin, the second into 8 wedges


In a soup pot on medium heat add olive oil, onion and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add in the garlic cloves, salt and pepper cook for 1 minute.

Add cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and tomato paste, mix together well. Turn the heat to low and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Pour in 1-1/2 quarts of chicken or vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour in the lentils and bring to boil, then turn the heat to low. Simmer stirring occasionally until lentils are soft approximately 30 minutes or more.

Taste to see if they are cooked through, the lentils should be soft but not mushy. If you see the soup is too thick add in more chicken or vegetable broth ½ cup at a time.

Stir in lemon juice and correct seasoning adding a pinch of more salt if needed.


Ladle soup into individual heated bowls. Drizzle each portion with 2 teaspoons of the spiced oil, or more depending on how spicy you like it. Sprinkle with cilantro, garnish with thinly sliced lemons and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Thin soup with chicken or vegetable broth when reheating.


Any leftover Spiced Oil, save and use over omelets, eggs,

Avocado toast, creamy soups, grilled fish, grilled veggies!

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Eating for Brain, Heart and G

Recipes for Ultimate Mind and Body Health