I used hot italian sausage, but sweet italian would work just fine, too. I just really like the spicy heat of the hot italian. We haven’t really eaten many legumes since we changed our diet a couple of years ago. I had stopped using grains or beans in my dishes, but I recently decided to add them back in.
Paleo diet followers advocate avoiding legumes because they were A) not a part of our ancestors diet, and B) contain toxic anti-nutrients like phytic acid and lectin. While we never really followed the Paleo diet, our diet was similar to it, in regards to avoiding gluten, grains and legumes.
Paleo expert, Chris Kresser, recently said that he thought a few servings of legumes a week were fine as long as they were well tolerated. After doing some additional reading, I made the decision to add them back into our diet. I used sprouted lentils for this recipe because they are supposed to be better for you. Here’s a great post on the benefits of eating sprouted legumes. An added bonus of using sprouted lentils is that they cook super fast!
Now, I purchased a bag of already sprouted lentils, but you could certainly sprout your own. I didn’t really want to mess with that, so I bought a package of the Tru Roots sprouted green lentils.
*If using regular lentils, soak them for 24 hours before cooking. Cook time may vary slightly from mine.
- 1 tbsp . coconut oil or olive oil
- 1.25 lbs . bulk hot italian chicken sausage (if using links, remove from casing)
- 1 large white onion , diced
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 large garlic cloves , minced
- 3/4 cup sprouted lentils
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups chopped baby spinach
- Salt to taste
- Optional Topping:
- diced fresh avocado
Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken sausage and begin breaking it up as it browns. Add the onions and celery and cook to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and chicken stock and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the baby spinach, stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Check seasonings and and adjust if needed. Place into bowls, top with diced avocado and serve.