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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Integrative health recipe corner: split pea soup & whole-grain quick bread

This month’s recipes continue in the same vein as last month’s: they both “fit the bill” when it comes to adding fiber-rich foods to your diet. The split pea soup recipe also incorporates some vegetables into the dish, and a slice of the seeded whole grain quick bread can meet one of your daily servings for whole grains recommended by American Institute for Cancer Research.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Though not a complete source of protein, split peas are high in protein, and when paired with a piece of whole grain bread, the amino acid mix in the meal is complete.  Split peas are very low in fat, contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and are naturally low in sugar. Legumes, such as split peas, have more dietary fiber than any other major food group. In regard to vitamins and minerals, split peas are high in B vitamins, especially thiamine and folic acid, and are high in phosphorus, potassium and manganese.

This soup is fat-free, since instead of sautéing the vegetables you add them directly into the simmering soup.

Serves: 6 or more


  • 3 cups dry split peas
  • About 8 cups of water (more, if needed)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 4 to 5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly or diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thinly or minced
  • 1 small red-skinned or gold potato, thinly sliced
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (to taste, if desired)
  • Toppings (if desired): a fresh, ripe tomato, diced freshly minced parsley


Place the split peas, water, bay leaves, salt and dry mustard in a Dutch oven or kettle. Bring to a boil, lower heat as much as possible, and simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes. 

Add the  onion, garlic, carrots, celery and potato. Partially cover, and leave it simmering gently for about 40 more minutes. Stir occasionally. If needed, add more water.

Add the black pepper and vinegar (if desired) to taste. Serve topped with a diced tomato and/or minced parsley. 

Seeded Whole-Grain Quick Bread

If you exchange a slice of this bread for your usual whole-wheat toast, you’ll get two to three times the protein and fiber!

This bread is suited for topping with both sweet—honey, mashed banana, or all-fruit jam—and savory—avocado, for example—toppings. Because the seeds make it more susceptible to drying out when compared to typical whole-wheat breads, store this tightly wrapped.

Serves: 10 (1 slice each)


  • 1/3 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs*
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk**
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey

*If possible, use organic, free range omega-3 eggs.

**If possible, use organic buttermilk.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9”x5” loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds in a dry medium-sized skillet; toast over medium heat, stirring, until lightly brown and starting to pop—about 5-7 minutes.

Save 2 tablespoons of the seed mixture in a small bowl. Transfer the rest of the seeds to a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the large bowl; mix to combine. Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl, then add the buttermilk, oats, oil and maple syrup or honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients; stir and fold together until combined. Scrape the batter with a spatula into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with the reserved seeds.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean—about 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: September 26, 2016

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