28-Day Detox / Kitchen Creations

28-Day Whole Living Detox: Day 11

Today I introduced legumes. I anticipated being so excited for today, so anxious, but what surprised me was that I was a little meh about it. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the new options, but that’s really all it was: the ability to add new flavors and variety to meals. A week and a half later and a person settles in to a fruit and veggie only routine. It actually makes eating much simpler in that there are very clear distinctions about what I can and cannot eat. That surprised me – pleasantly.

But, as wonderful as they are, I am not sure if a person can live on fruits and vegetables alone for the rest of her life, so I decided lentils would be a good introductory meal. The weather turned bizarrely cold for a day so I threw everything in the crock pot before I left for work, turned it on low and looked forward to the magic that waited to warm me up when I got home hours later.

I didn’t have everything I needed to make the Lentil Soup the Whole Living website actually calls for, so I did some searching for a similar recipe for which I had all the ingredients.  I ended up using Kalyn’s recipe as a template but adjusted it to use up some of the leftover goodies from past recipes and to cut out the few things I couldn’t have.

Picadillo Lentil Stew
Vegan, Soy free, Gluten free, Refined sugar free

Disclaimer:  I love spicy- like spicy spicy. Bare that in mind when preparing.  For example, you could easily select a can of diced tomatoes without the extra green chilis to lessen the spice.

2 cups dried brown or green lentils, rinsed and picked over
4 garlic cloves, diced
2-3 tsp. olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 to 1.5 cup diced bell pepper (I used Sweet Mini-Peppers.)
1.5 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. hot chili powder
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (3.8 oz – or more depending on how much you like olives) sliced black olives
Diced green chili peppers (I used a little more than half of a  4 oz can, but add according to your spice tolerance)
1 cup water*



Drizzle EVOO on bottle of crock pot.  Add chopped onion with about 1/3 can of diced tomatoes.  I find having it closest to the eat makes certain they cook all the way through.


Add chopped celery, carrots, and lentils.


Add chopped peppers.


Add spices, olives and green chilis. Top with tomato sauce, remaining diced tomatoes and water*. Stir to combine. Turn crock pot on low heat and allow to cook for 5-7 hours.


Mine thickened more than the last picture indicates, but don’t be afraid to add a little cornstarch if you want a thicker stew, just remember to mix it with cold water before adding it in.

Topping suggestions:  Habanero hot sauce, avocado

*I was being lazy and used Trader Joe’s steamed lentils instead of making my own.  If you do make your own, be sure to save a cup of the cooking water when you drain and use that instead.  It will give a better flavor.

Breakfast: Chia seed porridge
Roasted cauliflower and peppers (substituted pine nuts and capers)
Picadillo Stew with mixed greens



Feature photo credit: Kalyn


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