Warm Lentil, Kale & Bacon Salad

Lately I have been really liking lentils. Lentils are a power food–loaded with protein, fiber, B vitamins and iron; and the stellar health benefits of kale. And there’s bacon…

Lentil kale bacon salad lgLately I have been really enjoying lentils. Now for the die-hard Paleo/Primal folks, lentils are not on the ‘list’, but as an athlete who needs to get plenty of non-grain high quality carbs, lentils are a perfect addition. Lentils are a power food–they are loaded with protein,  fiber, B vitamins and iron.

Lentils contain more folate than most any other plant food. Besides protecting your body against heart disease and inflammation by lowering dangerous homocysteine, folate is ideal for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, as it helps prevent birth defects. And did you know that folate, combined with vitamin B6 (also in lentils) helps reduce the risk of breast cancer and other cancers.

Lentils’ high fiber makes them filling and satisfying, while keeping blood sugar low. This low calorie legume is a great dietary addition if you are trying to lose weight as well. The lentil is an easy to digest food that is helpful to those who have digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrom and diverticulosis.

Lentils contain the third highest level of protein of all legumes and nuts, so not only are they a  great slow burning carbohydrate source, but they are also an excellent source of protein.

And one of the main reasons I love lentils is their steady, slow-burning energy they provide for athletes, along with the iron which helps to transport oxygen in the body. Oh, and did I mention they taste delicious?
And of course, there is the kale, which we all know is a known ‘Superfood’. A member of the cruciferous family, it has anti-cancer, fat burning properties, along with its powerful anti-oxidants, calcium and vitamin K, among other more numerous health benefits.
There’s also turmeric in this recipe too. If you don’t know about turmeric, read more here. It’s one of the most powerful, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging spices you can use.
I used black lentils in this recipe. They are a slightly smaller, firmer lentil than the more common brown lentil you see at the grocery store, although you can use either type. Brown lentils cook relatively quickly, so don’t overcook or they will become mushy.
This recipe, that I made up on the fly, turned out surprisingly good. I may have to make it again tonight!

Warm Lentil, Kale and Bacon Salad

2 slices of thick sliced, natural (nitrite/nitrate free) bacon

4-6 good sized garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup (or so) cooked black or brown lentils

1/2 bunch of kale, chopped in small pieces

sea salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

juice of 1 fresh lemon wedge, to taste

hot pepper flakes, to taste

toasted sesame seeds, optional

In a frying pan, fry bacon until medium crisp. Remove from pan and chop or break in small pieces. Set aside. Leave about 1-2 Tbsp of the bacon grease in pan, and stir and cook garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add chopped kale, salt, drained lentils, red pepper flakes, and turmeric. Cover with lid and cook over medium to medium-low heat for a few minutes until kale is tender. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over kale, stir and serve. Enjoy! Serves 2-4.

This can be served as a side dish or as a complete meal.





What’s For Breakfast? Primarily Paleo, Gluten and Dairy Free Ideas

Breakfast is truly an important meal.It actually jumpstarts your metabolism, fires up your brain and gives you fuel to start your day full of energy. Don’t miss this opportunity to supercharge your day with some essential nutrients. And, eating a healthy breakfast reduces hunger all day.


Breakfast is truly an important meal.

Breakfast actually jump starts your metabolism, fires up your brain and gives you fuel to start your day full of energy. Don’t miss this opportunity to supercharge your day with some essential nutrients.

Studies show that in comparing breakfast eaters with breakfast skippers, the breakfast eaters lost weight, lost body fat and were less likely to eat high calorie lunches.
And, a University of Missouri study found that eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.

In one study done comparing a higher protein/fat breakfast with a high carb breakfast, the higher protein/fat breakfast won big time!

Study subjects lost more weight (with the same calorie intake) eating the higher protein/fat breakfast than the ones eating the high carb breakfast.
The protein/fat breakfast eaters had a healthier metabolic profile than the carb eaters as well, and burned more body fat.

What to have for breakfast if you want to eliminate wheat and dairy? What about a Paleo style breakfast? If your sleepy head wants to reach for that easy bowl of cereal, you may have to reprogram your thinking just a little. But truly, it’s not that hard.

If you are thinking of doing an elimination diet, or if you want to go Paleo, breakfast sometimes creates a dilemma, since the mainstay of many people’s breakfast is wheat and dairy. If you are left scratching your head looking for a  tasty breakfast, here are some great, tasty, alternative ideas:

For those who just want to be gluten free, the easiest route is to purchase some gluten free bread. Now there are lots of gluten free breads out there taking up shelf space in the grocery store, but many of those GF breads are just as bad as processed wheat flour.

Look for ‘whole grain’ gluten free breads or at least bread made from brown rice flour.

My favorite gluten free bread (that won’t break your foot if you happen to drop it) is a brand called ‘Udi’s’. They offer a whole grain version that is quite good—not heavy or chewy, not too starchy—and it tastes great toasted or untoasted.
Gluten free toast and a pan-fried egg make a great egg sandwich on the run.


I like to add a couple slices of natural bacon (no nitrates/nitrites) on it for a bacon and egg sandwich.

Or try gluten free toast with peanut butter, almond butter or other nut butter and berries, banana, apple or raisins. This is one of my favorite quick and easy, take-it-with-you breakfasts.

Another easy, light breakfast is a bowl of berries, a handful of nuts and maybe a couple slices of cheese. Antioxidants, protein, healthy fat and fiber all in one healthy meal.

Want to make something a little more elaborate? Try gluten free French toast!

Or grab some brown rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill) and whip up some pancakes with a cup or so of brown rice flour, an egg, a teaspoon of baking powder, pinch of sea salt, and just enough milk to make a thick batter. Pour into a pan or waffle iron, add some REAL butter and real maple syrup (not the kind with corn syrup in it), and Viola! A yummy GF version that will start your day off right.

Ok, so what about ‘Primarily Paleo’ people?

Great Paleo breakfasts are truly not that hard, either.

How about a yummy fresh berry smoothie?

Now that strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are in season, throw in a generous cupful of these into a blender; add a banana, a few ice cubes, a cup or so of either hemp milk, coconut milk, almond milk or OJ, an organic or pasture raised clean raw egg (don’t use the regular commercially raised eggs, they are more likely to contain salmonella); and blend.

I like to add any or all of these optional ingredients to supercharge my smoothies:

Cold processed grass fed whey protein, a big spoonful of virgin coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, flax or chia seeds, a handful of raw nuts, or half an avocado.

You can even throw in a couple leaves of kale, swiss chard, parsley, or other dark green leafy vegetable to really up the nutritional punch. (Don’t worry, you can’t really taste the green stuff, it just blends in.)

Make this yummy, high protein breakfast the night before and you will have a delicious breakfast that is full of protein, stays with you, and is a quick and easy way to take your breakfast on the run. Makes a great high protein snack too!

Egg quiche cups

6 eggs, beaten

1 small pkg of frozen spinach, drained or 1 big handful of fresh spinach

¼ cup minced onion

1-2 slices of diced natural ham or crumbled nitrate/nitrite free bacon

dash of Tabasco or hot pepper flakes

Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350, spray muffin pan or foil muffin cups with cooking spray. Thaw and drain spinach if using frozen. (You can just squeeze it with your hand to get rid of most of the excess liquid.

Mix all ingredients in with beaten eggs, and pour into muffin pan or foil muffin cups. Bake for 20 minues. Cool and serve.

You can refrigerate and re-warm these in a pan over low heat with a lid if you would like. Try with some fresh salsa and avocados!
And check out this awesome site I found for more great Paleo and gluten free breakfast ideas:


There are some particularly good recipes here for sure!

Gotta go, I am starving and it’s time for breakfast!


Till next time, stay healthy, energetic and lean!

Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN,is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

                     Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.
           Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.