Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Daily Dose of Lentils

Have you purchased lentils from the Co-Op lately?

These little pods are truly a nutritional powerhouse. They're loaded with fiber, packed with protein, and contain plenty of iron, magnesium, and folate. 1 cup of lentils boasts nearly 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein!

Not only do lentils have a fabulous nutritional profile, but they also offer endless opportunities for creative cooking. They absorb flavor wonderfully, perhaps best evidenced when they're cooked in vegetable stock. Dress them up with a light vinaigrette and fresh veggies for a summer salad, or slow cook them with carrots, spinach, and seasonings for a warm comfort food dinner.

This week, be sure to stop by the bulk foods aisle at the Co-Op and stock up on some lentils. If you're looking for a delicious, simple recipe to start with, try Co-Op member Diane T.'s recipe for Warm Lentils with Sherry Vinaigrette. This dish also tastes delicious served cold, and it might be the new favorite side dish at your next family cookout.

Warm Lentils with Sherry Vinaigrette
(recipe from Co-Op Board member Diane T.)

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • veggie broth (3 - 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary (or fresh rosemary to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • optional: 2 finely diced carrots and 1 - 2 diced stalks of celery
Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 3 TBSP sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 - 4 TBSP olive oil
1) Place lentils in a large pot and cover with veggie broth. Add remaining lentil ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, or until liquid has mostly absorbed.

2) To prepare vinaigrette, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. When lentils are done cooking, pour vinaigrette on top and stir to combine.