Look into Lentils: A Nutrition Powerhouse

Looking for an ideal vegetarian protein source? Check out easy lentil recipes vegetarian Quicker and easier to cook than many other legumes, lentils are also packed with nutrients. One cup of lentils contains 17 gm protein and 15 gm of fiber. They are also a good source of folate, iron, vitamins B1 and B6, zinc, and potassium. They don’t require soaking before cooking, making them a faster alternative to other legumes. Here are a couple easy, vegetarian lentil recipes to add to your collection.

Red Lentil Curry
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 scallions, thinly sliced with greens and whites separated
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 carrots, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and scallion whites. Cook until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder. Add carrots, potato, lentils, broth, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
2. Sprinkle with scallion greens and serve with naan or rice.

Lentil Salad
1 pound dry, French green lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 bell peppers (any color), chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil, divided (1/4 and 1/4 cup)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup fresh, flat parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse lentils and add to a sauce pan with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Begin checking lentils at 20 minutes. Once they are tender, remove from heat, drain, and spread on baking sheet.
2. Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl, and add 1/2 cup boiling water. Set aside to steep.
3. In a saute pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until onions turn translucent. Remove from heat, and combine onion mixture in a bowl with lentils. Add walnuts, parsley, mint, and lemon zest and stir to combine.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup steeping liquid from sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses. Toss with lentils. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.