Friday, 19 September 2014

Give It Up For Lentils

I saw lentils in my cupboard last night. I've had them in my cupboard for a while and I found them and thought, "Huh. Haven't cooked you for a while. What the heck?" What a pleasant surprise. On so many levels.

I bought them due to their nutritious properties. And my, lentils own a lot of properties. Protein is the major tenant along with dietary fiber. My dietitian told me of the high protein real estate value and highly recommended them to me due to my cholesterol issues. Along with the low cost (a few bucks for a bag) and simplicity of the legume, I have decided to add lentils to my monthly grocery shopping.

And, much to my surprise, my home and native land is the world's top producer of this venerable food. So, what the heck? I made a batch last night and the family (and guest) loved the end result. So simple. So easy. So healthy. I didn't presoak overnight, but I thoroughly rinsed them and soaked for an hour. Seemed to do the trick.

I have a theory about the hesitation of the consumption of the lentil, texture. It's different than beans and not everyone loves the texture. After mixing it with Basmati rice and some yogurt, even my skeptical daughter offered praise to lentils. What the heck?

Curried Green Lentils with Peaches and Apples

Dab of Butter
250 g Green Lentils, rinsed and soaked for an hour
750 ml Vegetable Stock
1 Spanish Onion, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 Stalk of Celery, diced
2 Macintosh Apples, grated
2 Peaches, cored and cut into chunks
Pinch of Ginger
1 Tbs. Curry Powder
Splash of Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs.Chili Sauce

In a sauce pan, heat butter. Add onion, celery, carrot, curry and ginger and saute for 4 minutes. Add grated apples and peaches and cook for another 4 minutes. Add lentils and stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Stir occasionally. let cook for 30 or until preferred doneness. Add soy sauce, chili sauce and honey and adjust to taste.

Serve with Rice Pilaf.

Serves 6.

A Humble Chef's Tip: if lentils are too wet, drain and keep liquid. Heat to reduce and add to the lentils and rice.  

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