Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Superfood of the Day: Lentils

This turned out really good tonight, and has a 4 star bonus for being super, super easy.  The boys each had THREE servings of it.  I used it as a main dish, but it could easily be a great side.

Lentil One-Pot Casserole 
Weight Watchers: 4 GIANT servings (1 hearty cup each)/7pts per serving (points plus program)

1c rinsed green lentils (dry)
1/2 c uncooked brown rice
2 c shredded carrots
3-4 c water (I put 3 in at first, but added water and cooked a little longer at the end bc my rice wasn't quite done yet)
1 packet onion soup mix
1t dried basil
1t garlic powder
1t olive oil

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes.

I dumped everything in the pot about 2 hours before dinner time, then I just let it sit on the stove and began cooking it when I was ready for dinner.  It cut down on my prep time while the boys are at their crankiest, and all I had to do was turn on the stove 30 minutes before eating.

And if you are not already a believer in lentils, read this interesting legume info that I learned tonight from Wikipedia (just because I was curious):

The plant likely originated in the Near East,[1] and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic (non-pottery producing) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. With approximately 26% of their calories from protein, lentils and generally any pulses or legumes have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp[2] and is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian populations. 

Lentils contain high levels of proteins, including the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world for those who adhere to a vegetarian diet.

Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiberfolatevitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%).[7]Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods.[8] Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.

1 comment:

Angelle said...

I have been scared of lentils ever since I scorched them and the house smelled like lentils forEVER! But this makes me want to try them again. Will let you know how it goes...