The average American household probably doesn’t eat lentils on a regular basis. However, lentils are a great source of fiber, offering 16 grams per one cup serving. The ratio of fiber in lentils is filling and aids in cholesterol removal. Because of its low glycemic value, lentils help control blood sugar levels. Lentils also contain an excellent amount of protein, folate, magnesium, zinc and iron.
You will find the lentil at the bottom of the food pyramid, ranked as one of the healthiest foods a person can eat. The Great Food Almanac by Irene Chambers offers a clever anecdote that rings true: When Jack traded the family cow for the handful of legumes that grew into the beanstalk, he ended up with the goose that laid the golden egg. The moral: He who eats low on the food pyramid will end up on top of the heap.
1 c. uncooked lentils (brown or French)
4 c. water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 c. tomato paste
2-3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
Cook the lentils until soft. Drain and set aside. About 10 minutes before the lentils are done, preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and pepper in oil about seven minutes, until softened. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Stir in cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano and salt. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes. Add maple syrup and mustard and heat through. Turn off heat and let the pot sit for 10 minutes so that the flavors can meld. Serve open-faced with a hearty piece of whole grain bread.
Recipe from Veganomicon by I.C. Moskowitz and T. Hope-Romero