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02-09-2009, 10:30 PM

Lentils are to India as meatloaf is to America: the quintessential comfort food. Ranging from yellow and red to deep black, these tiny disc-shaped members of the legume family are eaten in some form at least twice a day in “any self-respecting Indian household,” says Kavita Mehta, founder of the Web-based Indian Foods Co. In fact, India is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of lentils. Known as dal, lentils typically are served at every meal with steamed rice or bread.
Why to try them: This superfood gives you protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, as well as about twice as much iron as other legumes. And lentils are higher in most B vitamins and folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age because folate reduces the risk of birth defects. Plus, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered that the pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, cancer, and the aging process in general. Not too shabby for something the size of a pencil eraser.
What to do with them: Lentils can be stored a long time, are easy to make, and are one of the cheapest protein sources going, at just 75 cents per pound at grocery stores. And unlike other legumes, you don’t have to soak them before cooking. Just rinse them in cold water and simmer in water or broth. Enjoy them plain or spiced with herbs, onions, or garlic.

robert da strongman
02-09-2009, 10:31 PM
they make great soup.

02-09-2009, 10:33 PM
Lentils Come in All Colors

Lentils are thought to have originated in the Near East over 6000 years ago, making them one of the first plants ever cultivated. They grow in tiny pods: two flat, round, grains per pod. Some of the biggest producers of lentils are Turkey, Canada, China and India, but the French pride themselves on growing them as well.

There are many varieties of lentils and some of the more popular are:

Green - Most of the lentils grown in France are green. Puy lentils, grown on the volcanic soils of Velay, even have an AOC or Appellation d'Origine Controlee. When you find lentils bearing this mark, it is an indication that they were grown in a certain area (Puy-en-Velay) and according to certain conditions. It is a mark of quality. You'll also find Berry lentils which have a red label, another sign of quality, although not as lofty as an AOC. Green lentils are small with a thin skin that holds up well to cooking and have a distinct nutty flavor.

Red - These are cultivated in the Champagne region in France and are much rarer than the green lentils.

Brown - Larger than the green lentil, the brown lentil doesn't hold up as well to cooking and is perhaps less tasty. Turkey, the US, and Canada are all big producers of these lentils.

Coral - These lentils are salmon colored which veers to yellow upon cooking and have a slightly peppery taste. They are grown in North Africa and the Middle East, cook rapidly and are popular in Indian cuisine.

Black Beluga - These smooth, round and black lentils are so named because of their resemblance to caviar. They hold up great to cooking, not turning mushy, making them perfect candidates for your soups or salads..
Lentil Nutrition

Lentils are excellent sources of protein, iron, and fiber. They are low fat and when combined with rice, wheat or another grain form a complete protein, making them great vegetarian eating. Lentils can help lower high cholesterol levels and are a good source of complex carbohydrates.

Let's look at exactly what you'll get from one cup of cooked lentils:
230 calories
18 grams protein
1 gram fat
16 grams dietary fiber.
Almost 7 mg iron, or about 1/3 of the US RDA
90 percent of the RDA for folate
That's a lot of nutrition for not many calories, and the best part is, lentils are so easy to fix!

How to Cook Lentils
When buying lentils, look for unbroken grains with no signs of humidity or bugs. You can store lentils in an air tight container in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.

To prepare lentils, it's a good idea to spread them out on a clear colored surface and pick out any small pebbles that may have crept in. Then rinse them until the water runs clear to clean off any lingering dust.
Some people may find that pre-soaking lentils for several hours in cold water (and then discarding the water) can make them more easily digested, but it isn't really necessary, especially if your cooking something like Puy lentils.
Cook the lentils in three to five times their volume of water or broth at a slow boil for good results. Lentils can absorb a lot of water, and the exact amount varies from lentil to lentil, so watch your pot carefully so that it doesn't run dry. Lentils cook in less than an hour.
Lentils absorb the flavors of whatever you cook them with, making it a great substance provider with other flavor providing foods.

French Lentil Recipes

Salads: In France, you will often find warm lentils accompanied by smoked duck or smoked ham and served on salad greens. You'll also find them in salads with goat cheese or hard boiled eggs.

Soups: French lentil stews will often feature lots of onions, carrots, and various sorts of meats and sausages.

Good Combinations: Other foods that go well with lentils are: foie gras, fish cooked in a sauce, ham, bacon, and duck confit.

Seasonings: To season their lentil dishes, the French might use mustard, parsley, coriander leaves (cilantro), or curry.

02-09-2009, 10:35 PM
1 chopped onion.
Olive, ¼ cup.
2 diced carrots.
2 chopped stalks of celery.
2 minced cloves of garlic.
1 tsp of dried oregano, dried.
1 bay leaf.
1 can of crushed tomatoes or some from the garden..(preferable)
Dry lentils, 2 cups.
Water, 8 cups.
½ a cup of rinsed and thinly sliced spinach.
Salt to taste.
Vinegar, 2 tbsp.
Black pepper to taste, ground.

In a large pot, heat some oil over a medium flame. Add the carrots, onions, and the celery and then cook and stir until the onion becomes tender. Stir in the bay leaf, garlic, basil and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils and then add the tomatoes and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for around an hour.When you are ready to serve the soup, stir in the lentils and then cook it till it wilts.. Stir in the vinegar and the salt and pepper.

02-09-2009, 10:36 PM
1 c. lentils, dry
6 c. water
1 c. celery, chopped
1 c. carrots, sliced or chopped
1 c. potatoes, unpeeled, chopped
2 med. onions, chopped
Salt, to taste
Sweet basil, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
2 c. tomatoes, pieces or stewed, canned

Cook lentils for 30 minutes. Add vegetables and seasonings. Cook another 30 minutes until vegetables are done. Add tomatoes; simmer until tomatoes are hot and cooked throughout stew. Serve immediately, next day or use in thermos. Can be frozen in small containers for future lunches.

02-09-2009, 10:37 PM
3/4 c. whole grain bread crumbs
1/4 c. oat bran
1 egg white
1/2 c. onion, chopped fine
1/2 to 3/4 c. carrots, grated
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 c. garbanzos, cooked and mashed or chopped in a food processor or lentils and black eyed peas, mashed or chopped or a combination
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. savory
1 tsp. basil
2 tbsp. fresh parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley

Combine the bread crumbs and oat bran. Add the egg white and mix. (If the mixture is not moist, add a little water.) Add the other ingredients. Put the mixture in a loaf pan or casserole dish, non-stick or sprayed with Pam. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve with a tomato sauce or Soy Lemon Sauce

02-09-2009, 10:39 PM
1 1/2 c. uncooked lentils
1 can beef broth plus water to make 3 c. liquid, or
3 c. water and 1/2 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/3 c. finely chopped parsley
1 c. bread crumbs

Bring lentils and liquid to a boil and simmer, covered, until liquid has evaporated and lentils are tender. Remove from heat and stir in onion, soy sauce, and celery seed. When mixture is cool, add parsley and bread crumbs. Mix well, mashing lentils slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning. Form into patties and fry the burgers in lightly oiled or buttered pan until nicely browned. Serve on buns with Vidalia onion slices, tomato, pickles, lettuce, etc.


robert da strongman
02-09-2009, 10:41 PM
so Peaceful do you think its possible to mix meat with the lentilburgers?

02-09-2009, 10:42 PM
1 cup lentils
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bell pepper
1 tomato
1 carrot
2 tsp oil
1 tsp lime juice

1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp pepper flakes or chilli powder
(You could also use 1-2 tsp garam masala instead of all the above spices.)

Soak lentils in water for 1 hr. I make the soup in a pressure cooker, its faster. You can make it in a sauce pan.
Heat a tsp of oil in a pressure cooker, fry chopped onions & garlic for a minute. There is no need to brown them. Add the spices and fry for another minute. Add bell peppers, carrots, tomato and the lentils. Add water & salt. Cook for 3 whistles.

02-09-2009, 10:48 PM
so Peaceful do you think its possible to mix meat with the lentilburgers?

Yeah...why not? I would certainly try it. You should..and post up your results. I bet it's pretty good!

02-09-2009, 10:50 PM

1 pound green lentils
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup halved seedless green grapes
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped skinned and toasted walnuts
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Rinse off the lentils in a colander. In the old days there used to be little rocks you'd have to sift for but most bags are clean of this now. Keep an eye out anyway. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lentils. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes then remove and return to the colander to drain the water. Rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking. Let cook to room temperature.

While the lentils are cooking/cooling, prepare all the ingredients above. I like to toast the walnuts first. Add them to a pan and toast over medium heat just until they start to release their oils. Be careful not to burn them. When the cooked lentils are at room temperature, add all the prepared ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

For the vinaigrette, add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl. Slowly add the oil while simultaneously whisking until completely mixed. If you're serving family style, then add the vinaigrette to the lentils immediately and serve. If you plan on eating over several days, keep the vinaigrette unrefrigerated and add a little to the lentils as you eat them. If you add the whole thing to the lentils and then refrigerate what's uneaten, the oil will congeal in the refrigerator...not good.

02-09-2009, 10:51 PM
1 c Dry lentils; or 3 cups cooked
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 c Coarsely chopped escarole;
2 tb balsamic vinegar
1/2 c Crumbled goat cheese
Fresh thyme or chopped sage
1/2 c Chopped shallots
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare lentils according to package directions. (If using leftover lentils, warm in microwave.)
2. In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add shallots and tomato; toss to mix.
3. Add greens and cooked lentils and toss well. Top with crumbled goat cheese if desired, and serve immediately.
.... Sprinkle liberally with thyme or chopped sage.

PER SERVING: 220 CAL 35% from fat), 9g FAT 29g CARE 229mg S00,Omg. CHOL. 7Mg FIBER

02-09-2009, 10:53 PM
Pre-cook your lentils....then saute' escarole with a little garlic and olive oil....let it cook down and then just add the lentils to it with a little sea salt.

robert da strongman
02-09-2009, 10:58 PM
Yeah...why not? I would certainly try it. You should..and post up your results. I bet it's pretty good!

adding the lentils to my grcery list.

i like the salads....:D

02-10-2009, 12:41 AM
That Italian Lentil Salad looks absolutely scrumptious :)

Palumbos Boy
02-10-2009, 08:47 AM
Very healthy and great source of fibre and good carbs!!:D

02-10-2009, 10:32 AM
Good recipes!!!

I love Lentils! I spent a year working in India ad never bothered trying them even though my cook suggested i try them on a number of occasion! I thought they would be boring, I tried them just before I left and WOW! they were good Unfortunately I have to be careful as I suffer from gout and they seem to cause attacks!

Beans, especially black beans are good stuff too! wasn't going to try them in Cuba but was talked into it! ( I should have learned from before) and they are real tasty! ad in the London Metro paper today for all their Health benefits :-)

Bacon Boy
02-11-2009, 02:21 PM
Lentil Soup with Sirlion tips yum!

02-11-2009, 03:08 PM
They're a great low GI carb guys, for those of you dieting!

02-11-2009, 03:21 PM
Lentils lentils lentils I LOVE LENTILS!

My recipe. Red lentils, cool util mushy like mashed potatoes, toss some chunks of chicken, salt, pepper, Franks hot sauce and a salad.

My favourite diet food.

02-11-2009, 03:52 PM
I've never tried lentils....do any of u guys use them in contest prep?

Ripped Italian
03-29-2009, 12:46 AM
Lentils are by far one of my favorite sources of carbs. I'll usually alternate Lentils, sprouted grain bread, and sweet potatoes throughout the day. Lentils don't bloat me at all, unlike rice and oats...