Chris' Corner: Lentils - good for you!

Lentils - good for you!

lentils

Did you know that two-thirds of the world's lentils are grown in Canada?  Until this morning, I had know idea!

Lentils are any of a variety of dried legumes that can be prepared many different ways.  They are found in many varieties, among them: red, yellow, green, brown and black.
variety of lentils
We all know that they are good for us, don't we?  But do you know just How Good?
Regular consumption of lentils can contribute to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce the risk of heart disease and have positive effects on blood pressure and blood sugar levels and in moderating insulin levels.

These legumes are packed with protein, fibre, as well as beta-carotene, iron, zinc, selenium, and folate.  Because they are low in fat, with no saturated fat, and have no cholesterol, they are an excellent addition to any diet.

For those sitting on the fence, the main issue seems to be how to eat them.

My family tends to prefer split red lentils and predominantly in a dish called Kitheree.  There are many recipes available, but the one preferred in our household, is as follows:

Ingredients:
1 large onion (chopped)
1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 cup brown rice
2 cups red lentils
1.8 Litres chicken broth (we use two boxes 900 ml Cambell's chicken broth)
1 tsp. crushed garlic
Salt (to taste)

1 - Brown chopped onions in large sauce pan with oil, add garlic and saute.
2 - Add 1/2 chicken broth and bring to boil.
3 - Add 1 cup rinsed brown rice.  Simmer 15 minutes with lid off.
4 - Add 2 cups rinsed red lentils and second half of chicken broth.
5 - Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly until lentils turn soft and yellow and liquid is absorbed (additional water might be needed if lentils do not soften)
6 - Salt to taste (if necessary)
7 - The lentil-rice dish should have the consistency similar to a rice pudding.  If it cools and thickens, add a little water when re-heating to attain desired consistency.

Both my mother-in-law and my son love this dish and will often eat it plain.

Other facts and recipes can be found at this Canadian Lentil Website (including appetizers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts and an amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies!)

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Comment balloon 10 commentsChris Smith • March 02 2012 06:43AM

Comments

Good morning, Chris....I make a lentil dish once a week..... green lentils....now I'm going to try your recipe

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 8 years ago

Helen has modified it to try and make it healthier.  If you look up the recipe, most people use a white basmati rice, but brown rice is healthier with a lower glycemic index.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Had no idea that 2/3 of the lentils were grown in Canada. Definitely healthy, taste good and affordable.

I'll pass on the recipes to Ceil.

Posted by Carl Winters over 8 years ago

Really learned something in reading this post, Chris.  Just reinforces my belief that Canada is one great country!  Lentils and hockey!  Going to try the recipe ... so thanks for passing a favorite of your family on ...

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 8 years ago

Hi Chris - You learn something new everyday!!! :)

A few hours before reading this post, I had bought several cans of organic lentil soup with 50% less sodium than the same manufacturer's regular organic soup.

Posted by FN LN over 8 years ago

Well we didn't know that Chris! 2/3? Wow. We have been trying to eat more 'healthy', so will give this recipe a shot! Back to you later with results.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

This sounds delicious.  And, I think Chief Cook has made something similar, but she add some smoked salmon to it just for me. 

But, I will definitely show here this because she loves the great protein in lentils.  Thanks, Chris. 

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 8 years ago

Chris, Now you started something here. It's black beans and rice for dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Keith Gilkey, 410-920-7214, Re/Max Chesapeake (Re/Max Chesapeake) over 8 years ago

Hi Chris~ Had to stop by and say hello! I did not know that Canada produced the majority of the world's lentils!

I try to reduce our red meat consumption by incorporating a bean dish in once a week. Now I have a new recipe to tackle...Thanks!

Best regards from Seattle,

Posted by Judi Boad (ACCURATE REALTY GROUP) over 8 years ago

Chris - lentils are a great addition to any number of dishes and they certainly do have some great healthy eating benefits as you have spelled out.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago

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