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Lentil Leftover Soup

The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club met again for another cooking session.

Michelle, the facilitator of the kitchen calls this Lentil Leftover Soup. You can use any leftover vegetables like spinach, rapini, swiss chard, etc in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetables or chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups lentils (brown)
  • 1 x 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt if using water (a pinch if using broth)
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • spinach (we used baby spinach) or any leftover leafy vegetables

Soaking the lentils helps the body to absorb its nutrients more easily.

Michelle shared the health benefits of eating lentils from mindbodygreen.com in the kitchen.

  1. Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
  2. Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy.
  3. Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestion disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
  4. Stabilized Blood Sugar – Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
  5. Good Protein – Of all the legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
  6. Increase Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow burning energy due to its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.

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Monica’s Coconut Lentil Curry

For the main course, Michelle shared a vegetarian Coconut Lentil Curry.

This Monica’s Coconut Lentil Curry can be served over rice or with some warmed naan bread.

P/S: I forgot to take a photo of the dish when it was served.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups lentils (green, brown or red)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • sea salt to taste
  • juice from 1 lime
  • optional: chopped cilantro, lime wedges and shredded unsweetened coconut milk for garnishing

Source: mintgreenapron.blogspot.ca/2010/12/happy-new-eats.html

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Spiced Lentil Tacos

The main course for the Mexican theme prepared by Michelle for the South Arm Older Adults Kitchen was Spiced Lentil Tacos.

Michelle shared with us that even his meat lover husband enjoys this. Lentil is a great protein substitute and is high in fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
To serve:
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 8 taco shells or soft tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat (2%) cheddar
P/S: Missing from the photo: brown lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil, onion, garlic, homemade taco seasoning. I accidentally deleted one of the photo of the ingredients.
Source: this recipe is adapted from epicurious.com

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Pasta with Lentils and Kale

The fall/winter vegetable featured in this recipe is kale. This is in line with the theme of eating food in season for the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors.

If you do not want to cook the lentils, you can use canned lentils or white beans but rinse them well. Chopped hazelnuts or walnuts or leftover cooked bacon, sausage or chicken can be added for added protein.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup French (small) green lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 pound kale (preferably Tuscan; sometimes labeled as “lacinato”)
  • 3/4 pound dried short pasta
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or toasted breadcrumbs for topping

Source: this recipe is adapted from Gourmet April 2007

Tips:

Lentils and onions can be cooked up to 5 days ahead and chilled. Cool completely and covered before refrigeration. Reheat over low heat, thinning with water as necessary.

Kale can be washed and trimmed 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with dampened paper towels.

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Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup

The South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen met again in the South Arm kitchen for another sharing and learning session.

Minoo briefed the group about the recipes she selected and talked about the nutritional values of the selected ingredients. Minoo selected ingredients that are rich in iron like lentil and spinach and ingredients that are high in fiber for this kitchen.

This week’s menu included a lentil soup, a quinoa salad and a dessert made with cassava.

The first recipe is a Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup from Mint Green Apron by Michelle Li. Michelle Li is the facilitator of the South Arm Seniors Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils or French green lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups chopped greens (spinach or arugula or combination of both)

Source: Mint Green Apron, Michelle Li

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