My immune system has a pretty good fighting spirit, but it does occasionally fall prey to the trials and tribulations of public transportation and office doorknobs. One of the things I do to stay healthy is get regular acupuncture treatments, which seem to make a significant difference in bolstering my overall health. I volunteer at a community acupuncture clinic* one day a week and receive free treatments as trade for my labor (score!) which makes the arrangement very wallet-friendly– or, more accurately, wallet-free.
I went in for a treatment this week and my acupuncturist could tell my system was up against something. After the treatment, she prescribed some herbs, advised me to stay warm and skip the booze, and to eat warm, clean foods (i.e., no fried stuff).
It can be pretty tough to pry me away from my raw veggies, but I was determined to give hot food a shot, especially if it meant a shorter cold duration. After my treatment I put together this warming, easy wrap, which I think fits the bill, and is flavorful enough to cut through the unresponsive sense of smell that so often accompanies new colds. I served it alongside some steamed Swiss chard for a complete meal.
Sweet Potato Lentil Wraps
Serves 1 with leftovers
- 1 medium sweet potato
- tsp garam masala
- Coconut oil spray (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, de-seeded, de-veined, and diced
- 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 1 tsp shredded coconut
- 1 whole grain tortilla or wrap
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potato and cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes. Lightly oil a small baking sheet with the coconut oil spray, then put the sweet potatoes on it. Sprinkle the garam masala over the sweet potato cubes and shake the pan to coat. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and put in the oven to roast. Let them roast, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the lentils to a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil uncovered, then add the diced veggies, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water as needed. When tender, add salt and pepper to taste.
- When both sweet potatoes and lentils are cooked, assemble your wrap: Put the spinach on the tortilla, then top with about 1/2 cup cooked lentils (use a slotted spoon to avoid excess liquid) , 1/2 the sweet potatoes, and a sprinkle of coconut.
The coconut is optional but does bring out the flavors and help them meld. The hot lentils will warm and partly cook the baby spinach – good if you’re following the advice of your acupuncturist.
*Community acupuncture is a very affordable way of trying out this style of healing if you’re interested. I’m not trained in Chinese medicine, so I can only speak about my experience with it, but if you have questions, ask away, or you can go here for more information.