The Benefits of Incorporating Soups and Stews Into Triathletes' Diets

This is the second part of a three part series on the benefits of incorporating soups and stews into triathletes’ diets.  The inclusion of plant-based soups into triathletes’ diets is an effective way to incorporate essentials nutrients needed for optimal triathlon training. 

During winter, homemade plant-based soups are a satisfying, nutrient dense, and an easy to prepare option for triathletes with demanding training and personal schedules. Without a major effort, homemade soups provide “one-pot” nutritious meals that involve minimal preparation.

The preparation of homemade soups is vastly superior to store-bought soups because mass processed soups are often saturated with unhealthy oils, preservatives, salt, fat, and other undesirable ingredients. My recipe for Moroccan Red Lentil Soup is fortified with protein and vegetables to provide triathletes with essential nutrients to supplement the training recovery process.   

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup for Triathletes

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup incorporates seasonal fall and winter vegetables, red lentils, baby greens, and a spice blend that provide roughly 15 grams of protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, among other benefits.  For example, lentils promote heart health, increase energy, and lower cholesterol, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, the greens are alkalizing and promote digestion, and the root vegetables are a rich source of anti-oxidants. 

Melissa’s Moroccan Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 onion diced

3 carrots diced

¼ winter squash diced

3 celery stalks diced

2 cloves garlic diced

1 cup water cress or baby greens

2 cups lentils lashed

2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari

¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 lemon juiced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon sea salt salt

1 pinch of sea salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat on a medium flame.
  2. Add onions, a generous pinch of sea salt and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional few minutes until onions become translucent.
  3. Layer in this order carrots, squash, celery and lentils and cover one inch over with water.
  4. Add bay leaf, curry powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes, bring to a boil , cover, and let cook on a low flame for 25 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if necessary or a thinner consistency is preferred.
  5. When lentils are soft, season with sea salt. Wait one minute and add lemon juice, pepper to taste and shoyu.
  6. Mix in the baby greens and serve.

Melissa Robbins teaches vegan and macrobiotic cooking classes in New York City. Melissa apprenticed with renowned macrobiotic chef and counselor, Melanie Waxman. Melissa graduated from Boston University with a degree in Biology. Outside of the kitchen, Melissa enjoys running, swimming, cycling, Yoga, and CitiBiking.

You can follow her @veganmash.