Sunday, 12 February 2012

Eat More Veggies: Lovely Lentils- a meat alternative

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Photo by Mote
Lentils are pretty great. They're quicker than the other legumes to prepare, they're inexpensive, and they're good for you. Since one of my goals is to work on the nutrition for my vegetarian lifestyle, eating this food is a good idea. Lentils actually count in the meat and alternative group of The Canadian Food Guide, so they're a great way to get those nutrients while saving money and going meatless. On top of that awesomeness, they are a delicious food featured in some of my favourite recipes.
Sources say, if you're looking for a good source of iron, protein, and fiber, you've come to the right place. Like many plant foods, to get a complete protein, you can eat another type of protein, such as a grain sometime during the day. However, Wikipedia cites sprouted lentils as a complete protein. I'm not sure, but it sounds like an interesting process to try.
Now that you're convinced, here's one of my new favourite recipes.


Dal
One of my lovely sisters and I made this a couple of weeks ago. This yummy Indian soup is so good, cheap, and so easy to make. I highly recommend it.
  • First, I get myself a bag of dries red lentils. It's important to take a quick look through the lentils before you wash and strain them. You don't want to eat a stick or stone.

  • Then, I get a big pan and put in 4 times as much water as red lentils, making sure to check for stones as I pour. 1 cup lentils and 4 cups water will probably be a good sidedish for 4, but I like to make a lot for leftovers.
  • If you want it really mild, you can just cook it and stop there, but I like to add some spices.
  • Recipes for Dal are plentiful and call for anything from tomatoes to shredded coconut to treacle, so you can be creative. I tend to throw in some powdered or grated ginger (maybe about 1 tbsp?), the same of curry powder, ground coriander, and cumin. I sprinkle in about 1/2 of a tsp of the seeds from a crushed chillie pepper, and a little garlic powder.
  • I bring the pot to a boil then turn it down and let it simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until it seems done. I stir it occasionally cause I don't want the lentils to clump and burn at the bottom.
  • I like this as an alternative to chicken-noodle soup when I'm feeling under the weather, as an entree, or yummy snack. I think it would also be good with grated carrots, spinach, and other little veggies.
Photo by little blue hen



While you're thinking about lentils, why not try out this veggie burger recipe? Looks yummy, yummy, yummy! You might also like these tips for making this healthy food cheaply and quickly or these  other recipes and food posts.

How do you like your lentils? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear it. And- if you like what you read, don't forget to share, subscribe, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Eat well, Charlotte

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