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Chick Pea, Lentil & Spinach Dhal

This quick, simple and delicious dhal is a fantastic dish for women seeking to balance hormones through #perimenopause and #menopause as its packed full of #PHYTOESTROGENS

What are PHYTOESTROGENS and why are they SO important for #hormonehealth in women? As we enter into perimenopause (the years of hormonal fluctuation before our periods stop) our estrogen levels are on a roller coaster ride heading towards decline, and as there are oestrogen receptors in almost every system of the body, we can experience a huge range of seemingly unrelated symptoms because the whole body can be affected. PHYTOESTROGENS are plant based nutrients that gently mimic our own oestrogen in a gentler form, and research has shown that they can help with oestrogen balance.

The main ones in our diet are the #flavanoid group - including flaxseeds, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Flaxseeds are the highest source of LIGNANS which help to bind waste oestrogen (100 times more than any other food!) followed by sesame seeds / tahini, cruciferous veg, wholegrains and some fruits. Fermented soya products like Tempeh, Miso and Tamari (fermented soy sauce) are also high in Phytoestrogens. Take care with other soy products through - ensure they're organic and avoid things like soy yoghurt and milk as they tend to have lots of preservatives and sugars added which wreak havoc on our hormones. One of my favourite sources is pomegranate seeds - I wondered why in my early 40s I got a huge craving for pomegranates, now I know it was my body telling me what it needed!

Ideally we're encouraged to try and include at least three portions a day of these types of foods to support our hormonal balance. Ground flaxseeds are fantastic to add to smoothies, cereals, porridge and even salads. Chick peas are wonderful in curries, dhals and hummus. Soups are an easy way to introduce lentils, beans and other pulses, as well as lots of veg. And I love adding blueberries and pomegranates to my morning smoothie bowls

I LOVE this Dhal recipe, it's delicious, contains lots of high quality phytoestrogens and it's really quick and easy to make. Serve it up with wholegrains like brown rice / quinoa / buckwheat and some steamed green veg on the side to amp up your phytoestrogens. My favs with this dish are broccoli, cabbage and kale

Where possible, choose organic ingredients as preservatives and pesticides can disrupt hormone balance




1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Freshly ground black pepper & Sea Salt / Pink Salt to season

Other ingredients:

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

2 tbsp tamari

300ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp maple syrup

Juice of 1 fresh lime

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)

A bunch of spring onions (chop finely)

1 x carton / tin organic chick peas (drained and rinsed)

1 x carton / tin organic lentils (or cook your own from fresh in some water)

1 x carton / tin organic chopped tomatoes

About 10 cherry tomatoes - chopped into halves

Half a bag of organic spinach (or more if you like more greens like me)

Optional: chopped fresh parsley or coriander to serve


  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on medium heat

  • Add cumin seeds to the pan, heat for about a minute, then add in the rest of the spices, stirring well and cook for around 30 seconds

  • Add the chopped ginger and spring onions, reduce the heat a little, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they start to soften

  • Add the cherry tomatoes with a pinch of salt

  • Add drained or cooked lentils, chickpeas, chopped tinned tomatoes and the veg stock. Stir well

  • Add the tamari, maple syrup, lime juice. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat adding in the spinach until wilted, simmering for a couple of minutes

  • Taste and season

  • Add the chopped fresh herbs for serving

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