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Lentils are an extremely versatile food, delicious hot or cold, pureed into soups, or standing alone. They are a staple in my kitchen, and should be in yours, too, especially if you are following a vegetarian or plant-based diet, as they are an excellent source of fiber and protein. In 1 cup of cooked lentils, you get approximately:
63% of your daily fiber requirement (16 g), and
38% of your daily protein needs (18 g).
Did you know most Americans only get about 15% of the suggested daily fiber requirement?
Lentils are filling and satisfying, so they make an excellent “diet” food. You won’t even want dessert after a delicious cup of this. Serve over brown rice and with a salad on the side for a simple yet well-balanced and flavorful dinner.
The best part, this makes 2-3 servings, so you can cook once, refrigerate, and then have a yummy meal pre-made for lunch or later in the week.
Warm & Spicy Lentils
1/2 of medium size shallot
olive oil for pan about 1 tbs
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 small/thin carrot
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice shallot, and set aside.
Heat a large saucepan or sautuese over medium-low heat.
Cover bottom with olive oil, and let it heat for about a minute. (Do not use high heat! Do not let oil start to smoke). Add in cumin, turmeric, cayenne and shallot. Let it sizzle for about 1-2 minutes, stirring once or twice while it’s cooking. Don’t let it brown, just get translucent.
Next, add in lentils and water, continuing to cook on medium-low, for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the carrot in half lengthwise, and then chop it crosswise, into half moon pieces. When the 10 minutes is up, add in the chopped carrot and continue to cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Lentils: An excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, a plethora of minerals and B vitamins, with no fat.
Cumin: Cumin is high in iron, a mineral needed for energy and immune function. You get 15% of your daily suggested value in just 1 teaspoon. It also helps digestion and has anti-carcinogenic properties
Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful detoxifier and anti-inflammatory that also exhibits antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activity, which helps protect you against many diseases, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses.
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