1. Lentils are cheap. I paid $2.99 for a big package of dried green lentils which should be enough for at least 10 servings. Costing it out, that’s about 30 cents for a solid serving of protein! Not bad, especially when foods costs are skyrocketing these days.
2. Lentils are nutritious. A 3/4 cup serving of cooked lentils is a substitute for meat, an excellent source of iron and packs in about 25% of my daily quota for fibre.
3. Lentils need no soaking. Unlike many other dried beans, lentils don’t have to be soaked prior to cooking – a real time saver!
4. Lentils are versatile. For week 3 of my Pulse Pledge, I made Easy Lentils and Rice. Last week, I used a can of lentils to make an amazing Lentil Shepherd’s Pie.
5. Lentils are delicious. They add texture and soak up any spices or flavours in your recipe. Give these nutritious gems a try!
Easy Lentils and Rice
Makes 4 servings
1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red or orange pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
1 cup dried green or brown lentils
2 cups sodium-reduced chicken or vegetable broth
1. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Fry onion, garlic, celery and red pepper for a few minutes. Add cumin and salt. Continue cooking until onions are soft.
2. Stir in the lentils.
3. Add broth and bring to boil.
4. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes until the lentils are tender.
5. Serve over cooked rice, whole grain couscous or quinoa.
Although I don’t have celiac disease, I do like to try different gluten-free foods every now and then for variety. Quinoa, rice noodles, brown rice and buckwheat noodles are already staples in my house. A few weeks ago, I was delighted to receive a free sample of Catelli Gluten-free fusilli. I had served different types of gluten-free rice pasta in the past, but the texture just wasn’t a winner with my kids.
This gluten-free fusilli is made from the flour of four grains: white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa. In 1¼ cup (85 grams) of the dry fusilli, you’ll get 310 calories, 2 grams of fat, 66 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 0 sodium, 3 grams of fibre and 6% DV for iron. It’s nutrition profile is similar to regular enriched white pasta except that the gluten-free fusilli is much lower in B vitamins and iron because, like most gluten-free products, Catelli’s gluten-free pasta isn’t made with enriched flours.
There were three cooking times suggested on the package: 7 minutes for very firm; 8 minutes for firm; and 9 minutes for tender. I taste tested the pasta at each stage and must say that they were right on the mark! And what about the taste? Both of my kids gave the product a “thumbs up”, and so did I! Both the taste and texture were just as the package promised – delightful!