Lentils are a delicious, inexpensive super food.
Why lentils are so good for you:
- Lentils are high in protein.
- Lentils are low in calories and low in fat.
- Lentils are high in fiber which may help lower cholesterol.
- One cup of cooked lentils is 230 calories, 1 gram fat (0g saturated fat), 16 grams fiber, and 18 grams of protein.
Here is a great Moroccan lentil soup recipe adapted from eatingwell.com:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1 3/4 cups lentils
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat; add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 55 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 5 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.
This recipe yields 12 servings, so you can freeze some for a quick easy weeknight dinner.
Photo courtesy Robert Cochrane / freedigitalphotos.net